Reply by Mary Anne

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Posted on Festool or Fesfool

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Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3206 days

#1 posted 08-21-2011 03:19 AM

Chippy, I would never presume to tell you what brand of tools you should buy. However, I own three Festool tools and love having them in my shop. More would be welcome anytime! I would be happy to tell you why they were a good choice for me.

Before I owned any Festool products, I, too, scoffed at the prices and couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money on them. Like you said, you could buy several very good tools for the price of one Festool. At one time my budget dictated that I buy good tools and replace them every few years. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. We all buy the best we can afford… or the best our spouses will allow. ;)

Then I received a Festool TS 55 tracksaw for my birthday two years ago. Ah ha, then I understood what all the fuss was about. The Festool tracksaw is fantastic for me. My shop is in the basement and not roomy enough to handle sheet goods on my table saw. With the TS 55 I can cut to exact dimensions with very little setup or hassle in my garage and carry the smaller, easily manageable parts down to my basement shop. And do it way better, faster, and cleaner in my garage than any jig or straightedge and clamp system I had tried in the past with my circular saw. It was also great for trimming the edges of a small deck I’d built. Also recently, when David (patron) was here, I used it for ripping some long cedar strips… no sweat. It is more versatile and it takes up a lot less room than a panel saw.

I then purchased the Festool Rotex 125 EQ random orbital sander along with a CT 36 Dust Extractor for myself. No other sander I’ve ever used—and I’ve had some good sanders—comes even close to the Festool; it is in a league of its own. Hardly any vibration to aggravate my RA, lots of torque, and sandpaper lasts an insanely long time. Add the Dust Extractor which quietly removes nearly 100% of the dust out the air—and my lungs!—the combination makes sanding almost a joy. I never thought I would get that excited about a dust collector… I have 3 Ridgid vacs and four shop vacs hanging around that I bought over the years. Again, no comparison!

No, owning Festool products do not make me a “serious woodworker”; that would be an absurd claim that would be. And I don’t have them as a status symbol… the only people who visit my shop wouldn’t know the difference. And to tell the truth, I don’t really like the green color. LOL

But my Festools, like my Incra stuff (another name that seems to set some people off) make me a happier woodworker. Due to disabilities, I can’t work in my shop as often or as much as I would like so I put high value on anything that makes precision easier or makes my shop time go more smoothly. It is depressing to go to the shop with a project in mind and end up spending my entire limited time and energy fiddling with tool setup. Even if I were in excellent health and physical condition with all the time in the world, I would appreciate the quality, easy accuracy, dependability, and virtually dust free environment. They are simply a pleasure to use. The only way I feel like a Festool fool is for not getting them sooner.

What I don’t understand is the anger and vitriol of some non Festool owners. Hey, I don’t get mad at anyone or call them names because they use Dewalt, Ryobi, Bosch, Jet, Grizzly, or even Harbor Freight tools!! I have some of each of those brands in my shop, too. If you are happy with the tools purchases and think you got good value for your money, I am happy for you. I just don’t get it why some folks feel a need to stoop to name calling and ridiculing others for being happy with their choice of Festool tools. It seems… well… foolish.

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