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Dear Festool.....

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Blog entry by reedwood posted 01-08-2013 05:38 PM 2271 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dear Festool,

I love to buy tools at Christmas. Every year, I try to upgrade a few power tools and then hand down the old tools, if they’re still in good shape to a young deserving apprentice.

When I go to Woodcraft, I always stop and look at your Kapex sliding miter saw display model. I check out the way it slides, the nice color scheme, the dust collection system, the stand and then, the price tag….. sigh.

”......Maybe next Christmas.” , I always thought.

But I saved up all last year. It was finally time to upgrade so I kept my fingers crossed for a Christmas sale.

My 10 yr. old Makita 10” slider was still a good saw but it didn’t have a LED light, which is the main reason I was upgrading, so I can see better with these tired old eyes.

Next to my Delta table saw this would have been one of the most expensive tools I’ve purchased.

I know, you get what you pay for. Believe me, I always shop around and read the reviews before I buy a power tool. And then, I look for the best price and usually buy when it’s on sale.

But, I just couldn’t get over that there was such a huge price difference between your saw and all of your competitors. Why?

My friends at Woodcraft shrugged their shoulders and said they’re sorry but there’s hardly any mark up and they never go on sale.

That’s why I compared it to other sliders like the Bosch with it’s hinged style mechanism, the Makita with it’s laser/ led light and direct drive, the Hitachi which looks like an alien green space gun, the gigantic orange Ridgid, the under appreciated no frills Milwaukee and finally – the new Dewalt 10” slider with built in LED/ laser.

I was really impressed with the Kapex slider’s dust collection and the overall quality of all of your tools. Although, the fact that I couldn’t use my blades on it was a bit of a surprise especially when I saw how much your blades cost… ouch.

Even so, I sipped the Festool koolaid….... and it was good.

I signed up and I had money in hand, ready to go out in style – to buy my last miter saw and spend the rest of my life making furniture and jewelry boxes in my woodshop with the king of saws, there for all to look upon and drool at, wishing they had one too.

I was sold….... All you had to do was set the hook.

Just give me that one last incentive to buy your saw. Maybe consider your customers and the dire economy’s effect on them, the fact that it’s Christmas time and people like me usually buy tools at the end of the year,

And put the damn thing on sale….. just once.

I didn’t get the Kapex.

Mrs. Santa said I didn’t need it and brought me the Dewalt 10” slider instead.

I have to say, it has just about the same fit and finish and all the features of your saw, maybe not as good of a dust collection system but certainly an improvement over my old faithful Makita.

I was hoping for a front release for the back angle adjustment, like my Delta 12” miter box but the Dewalt’s lock is not that hard to reach and works easily.

I prefer the Makita’s direct drive motor compared to the Dewalt belt drive as there is a slight vibration that I’m not crazy about. But it doesn’t seem to affect the cut so, for $920.00 savings, I can live with it.

Point is, the Kapex probably is a better saw than the Dewalt, I admit it. But it’s the principle of it, at least to me.

I took the extra money I “saved” and upgraded my old 3 hp. Makita router with a Porter Cable 3 1/4 HP motor,

a Kreg router lift and a Jessum phenolic router table top and…

I still had money left over for some new router bits.

.

But don’t worry, I will still come by your display and sip on the sweet nectar of Festool.

I’ll look at your beautiful tools and wonder what it would be like to some day just say,

What tha heck…. and pay full price.

As a OCD principled consumer, I sadly doubt I will ever own one….. well maybe, if it goes on sale?

”Maybe next Christmas….... sigh. “

sincerely,

Mark Reed
an American woodworker who loves to buy good tools – on sale.
.
.

Before all the Festool fans jump on me in support of their beloved tools of the Gods,.... Ha!
here is the math I considered:

429.00 – Dewalt 10” sliding miter saw – on sale
34.00 – led light
295.00 – Porter cable 7518 router motor – on sale
299.00 – Kreg router lift – on sale
200.00 – Jessum table top – on sale

1257.00 total

OR -

1350.00 – Festool sliding miter saw – never on sale

135.00 – special exclusive 80 T blade – not on sale

Please feel free to post a picture of your Kapex slider if you have one. At least that way we can drool on yours and wish we had one too.

-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.



22 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3664 posts in 1821 days


#1 posted 01-08-2013 06:00 PM

OK, I don’t really have too much to say, but at least I will give you a few nibbles. I own a Kapex. At my vacation house….......for only one reason…....dust control. It is also fits into a fairly small space, and that is important there. I also own some other Festools there, for the same reason. Dust control was absolutely critical in the location of that shop. The other Festools are also very easy to store and put away…...important, because I have limited space.

I haven’t had a whole lot of time with the Kapex, but it does control dust well, but a few chips still fly around. About like my radial arm saw here at Anchorage with its home-made dust shroud. I will try to get a better opinion of it over the next year, but my guess is, that your choice was a good one for you. I don’t even own a miter saw here in Anchorage. But at the vacation house, I don’t have a table saw.

Hope you had a good holiday season, mine was a little fragmented but OK.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3515 posts in 1134 days


#2 posted 01-08-2013 06:18 PM

no way am i spending a grand plus on a 10 inch saw I would not spend that much. I also think the dewalt is a fine saw I went with the 12 inch saw it has a shadow line where the laser would shine it works great but i am thinking I will be adding a laserkerf to the saw just because it is a brighter line.

I love my new DeWalt I am sure you will like it too.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2305 days


#3 posted 01-08-2013 06:46 PM

to buy my last mitre saw and retire to spend the rest of my life making furniture and jewelry boxes in my garage with your saw sitting there for all to look upon and drool at, wishing they had one too.

- But that is not really what they built the Kapex for :/

to understand your client base and the dire economy’s effect on them, to think about the fact that it’s Christmas time and people like me usually buy tools at the end of the year……

They actually do understand their client base, but their client base is not exactly those that have the saw sitting in the garage ;) their client base are those that requires the features that the kapex provides that other saws don’t , and it’s not the cutting itself.

congrats on your new tools ;)

and no, I do not own a kapex, and not everyone should. but those that do appreciate what it can do for them, and for them (for that customer base) the price is justified and pays back for itself.

Cheers, and a Happy new year !

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View 2bigfeet's profile

2bigfeet

64 posts in 1336 days


#4 posted 01-08-2013 06:48 PM

I’m hearing you. You did fine Grasshopper. I have that router & table setup X3. Only with the Jessem Master Lift II and Kreg Bases. Your going to love it!

I borrowed a friend’s Kapex which I used daily for a few weeks in the shop thinking I might want to buy one. The deal killer for me was it’s ergonomics. The vertical pull down angle killed my wrist at the end of the day. When my older Hitachi needed to be replaced I bought the newer Makita LS1016L with laser (which I can’t live without now). “For me” the Makita is way more ergonomic for my likes, just as accurate and durable as the Kapex… for a third the price.

I usually never balk at things that cost a little more. Champagne taste I guess. That said, I too have always had a problem with their prices. There is a fine line between feeling like your paying a little more than you should… and feeling like your getting hosed. Sorry, I just don’t see THAT MUCH added value in their tools no matter how you try to convince me. My sense is there is an emotional, gymnastics component to their marketing. Make it almost unattainable to create more desire for it. Anyway thats my amateur analysis. :-)

Irony: A couple weeks ago my local lumber yard was clearing out new, old stock Festool stuff. I finally broke down and bought the Domino and larger track saw. Only because they were half the normal price. These things had been sitting there for years since they brought the line in. Not a lot of the local guys buy them apparently. And for some strange reason I still feel like I overpaid LOL!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3363 posts in 1470 days


#5 posted 01-08-2013 07:27 PM

I have had a dewalt miter saw for many, many years. It is reliable and makes square, splinter-free cuts. It has a built-in stop for repeat lengths (factory add-on). I’m not sure what else I could want.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View TurnTurnTurn's profile

TurnTurnTurn

585 posts in 1766 days


#6 posted 01-08-2013 07:41 PM

Great story!!! Makes my Craftsman miter saw look like a steal. :-)

-- TurnTurnTurn

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

891 posts in 767 days


#7 posted 01-08-2013 08:08 PM

On thought… Where is each tool made?

First world manufacturing is expensive.

I don’t know the answer to this, none of the online sources for the DeWalt listed it’s origin.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View degoose's profile

degoose

7014 posts in 2011 days


#8 posted 01-08-2013 08:19 PM

If only I could get one for 1200… instead of the TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED BUCKS they charge in Australia…. I wish all you yanks would stop and think about the rest of the world … and stop whinging about how dear everthing is in the states….... when we have to pay double and sometimes triple outstide the USA….....there I have vented my spleen….but I really do get sick of the disparity in pricing….
Heck, if I lived stateside… all my tools would be Festool/ powermatic/ etc….

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3254 posts in 663 days


#9 posted 01-08-2013 09:07 PM

While everuone else is offering advice, I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your letter. It made me smile! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1579 days


#10 posted 01-08-2013 09:21 PM

I’m with joein10asee. Enjoy your new saw (alright that’s the one I’ve been looking at myself)

-- Life is good.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2446 posts in 2399 days


#11 posted 01-08-2013 11:26 PM

Degoose – - just curious, what does the Dewalt go for down under?

Just wondering if the Festool stuff there is 3X the cost of the other main namebrand tools. Or if there is a smaller premium for Festool outside the US.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1608 days


#12 posted 01-08-2013 11:51 PM

I too enjoyed that letter. Enjoy your Dewalt.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View mafe's profile

mafe

9547 posts in 1746 days


#13 posted 01-09-2013 12:56 AM

I bought a Dewalt planer here in Denmark, as I can see the price is app double than the us, this makes me laugh since I have been told they are all made in China now (perhaps the planers are made in Mexico since they are so dam expensive in Europe)... JET is half price here…
I have several Festool products and love them all, Festool is a world of it’s own, do not compare… It’s like a Toyota and a Mercedes, they both run perfectly well but the sound of the doors and the motors spinning after miles and miles are just not to compare, the Germans know how to make things to perfection.
Festool products are mostely made for use on site, so the TS system is not a substitute for a workshop TS as such, but the Kapex is the same use on site and in the workshop, both places it is in a leauge of it’s own.
(I do not have a Kapex, use my mitersaw too little to justify the price tag, but if I used it daily I would have no doubt).
If it makes you happy, the price on Festool is app the same in US and Europe.
Congrat on your saw, I am sure it will be more than good enough and that is what counts at the end of the day.
Be happy for what you got, the logo is greener on the Festool…
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile (online now)

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5109 posts in 1965 days


#14 posted 01-09-2013 02:07 AM

Over the years I have owned numerous miter saws… a Craftsman, Makita (back when no aluminum was used and it weighed a ton), a Delta, a Ridgid, another Makta slider, a Bosch slider and finally A Festool Kapex.
Many of these saws were great saws but the Festool is a fantastic saw and I never realized the differrence in quality until I owned one and use it daily. I am not rich but I appreciate quality and am willing to spend my hard earned cash to get what I like and enjoy.
Some people will spend under a $1000 on a table saw while others will spend in excess of $3000 on a better one…such as a Unisaw, Powermatic, SawStop etc…
Most tool manufacturers produce different levels of tools ranging in a wide variety of prices. Festool does not…they just go for the high end…You only live once and you can’t take it to the nursing home or grave with you when you go belly up….so enjoy the best you can afford now in proportion to how much you enjoy your woodworking.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View NormG's profile

NormG

4185 posts in 1660 days


#15 posted 01-09-2013 03:14 AM

If the tool meets your needs and you can afford it, then it is the best tool for you to use. You will be happy with it and enjoy using it

-- Norman

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