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Festool #1: Value for your buck

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Blog entry by Moron posted 04-09-2011 05:57 AM 3024 reads 0 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Festool series no next part

Doesnt matter what side of the fence your on, you are either the good neighbor or the bad neighbor, you have formed an opinion, if only in your own unbudgable ego : ) or your wallet, you live to your means or you live below them. A few are like me and are teetering on the fence, remaining silent and undecided

I freaking love Festool but am disappointed that so few cxraftsmen have the chance to enjoy them, rather a more fortunate bunch who decorate second homes with them. Some of those embarrass me with a video, some of them implore me to dig deeper into the world of “Festool”

To own them is a privilege, certainly and by no means a right, and respectfully bow to those who can afford to own them, and never put them to use, no worse, no better, then those who are dedicated to Ridgid and do the same.

When I see so many, buy a brand new tool when they could have bought ten times the tool, had they bought the same tool used, and then “Slam” the price of Festool, it beacons me to think that there is never a stupid question but only stupid people: (..............

My bias….......yup. I am a craftsman. Forgive me please but I know I am. And no one is going to take that away fro me…....... because they cant…..: ) , so I speak from my heart, my soul, and I call, make choices, decide, for me, for my client, my friend, and my enemy, choices and decisions that might not be the best ones, but non the less, choices that must be made…..............and I live with them. Most often and thank God, they have been good ones.

Festool is to the skilled as a pencil is to paper. For those gifted in mathematics, logic and common sense, they are like a God Given gift of how to be more competitive, more efficient, and bottom line…......how to save the client money while increasing your own profit.

Has anyone checked out that circular saw ?

Or played with their router?

Or the track thing a ma jiggy combined with that workbench?

Its a situation I have never been in, yet I am in it. A choice to make, to sell tens of thousands of dollars in stationary tools, and change over to a portable shop, supply and install the same product, at less cost to the client, consumer. Add that capacity to the world of “some body else made it and I install it”...............its a money machine very few comprehend.

Brings me back to the world Festool understands….................every single soul in a mortal body hates dust.

and some pay more then others just to avoid it…..........be it the client, the owner of the new expensive trophy, or the tradesperson…..opps,.............the craftsman.

Long Live Ryobi, as they keep people like me busy

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso



35 comments so far

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#1 posted 04-09-2011 06:05 AM

no offense to Ryobi fans as they work in a pinch…......: )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#2 posted 04-09-2011 06:41 AM

12 reads

2 comments

both mine

?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View mike85215's profile

mike85215

127 posts in 1888 days


#3 posted 04-09-2011 07:27 AM

Roman…..I understand exactly what you are saying here. It is a tough decision I too have contemplated the need for a shop filled with stationary tools vs the Festool route. Festool builds an unbelievable product….well, unbelievable that is until you use one….after the first use the quality comes to be expected. What I can say is that I have never met a person that has used a Festool product that was not truely impressed. I have met and talked to quite a few that condemn the cost of the Festool…...the common denominator there has always been they have never owned one or even used one. As much as people here “rip” on the crap that comes from “China” they run to the big box stores to buy them…...if you or any one else wants to use a quality tool then there will be a cost involved. Perhaps those same people who are so vocal against the Festool are also against Lie-Nielson and several other manufacturers in the same class.
But then again those people in those third world countries who are being underpaid and overworked in deploreable working and living conditions need to be able to help finish off the economy here in the developed world.
Bottom line…..this is a classic example of why I do not spend much time on Lumber Jocks ….I used to read this forum on a daily basis but quit at the end of last year and would not have read this comment had you not been a favorite of mine and I recieved your post via email.
I congratulate you for speaking out against the accepted norm of inferior tools built in the third world countries.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#4 posted 04-09-2011 08:04 AM

thank you Mike

albeit I could argue some of your type, I generally concur

the world is changing fast, but crafstmanship is ever so slow to learn as the compitition from the TV, has a budget you nor I , can match

a festool knock down bench…..........vs a millennium of wooden ones. Who would dare say that Festools 1,000 dollar knock down could compare but I dare say this

Take about 250 to 300 board feet of hard eastern maple and just to be fair…....pick your own timber. You have exactly 24 hours to plane, join, cut, mortise, drill, bolt, fasten…..........and done. 24 hours, thats it, thats all and it HAS to be done. Most are exhaiusted at the thought of even planing it all to the right thickness.

Its a tough trade to make a buck at it. Festool is a god send for those who can crank out a bench, .....in 24 hours, no mistakes, then sell the bench, just to pay for the festool toy, and not complain because they dont have a bench and if they did have a proper bench their work would improve….........poor excuses with no back bone.

Idle womanish, impromptu gobble goop.

I stand behind Festool and here by assign myself to the learning curve of the investment, and to share both good and bad, with those like me, who are stuck in purgatory.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

468 posts in 1704 days


#5 posted 04-09-2011 08:47 AM

hmm, well im not sure if i understand the idea behind this blog but here i go:
i am in the process of switching to festool, and Mike i can say im not really impressed with festool so far.
by impressed i mean positively surprised, you already know their reputation and price before buying, so there is no surprise. they better be as good as people say, the only surprise can be negative when you find out they are 2x as expensive but not 2x as fast, comforatable precise etc…
so im not impressed, if they were cheaper i would be impressed. when you pay someone double to do a job, you are not gonna be impressed that the result is better. you are expecting it.

what i think about festool is that they are verry good at marketing, but also at making tools and systems.
their tools are “how it should be” and it makes me think why on earth have other brands not though of this.
everything is thought through, the systainers, removable power cords, guide rails, excentric drill chucks, angle chucks etc… once you use them it feels so logic. you wonder why on earth have the other brands never thought of this. well they are slowly copying those features.

but for me the festools do not replace stationary machines, the plunge saw on the mft worktable is a good jobsite alternative to a panelsaw. but inside a shop there is no question that a tablesaw is infinitively better.

View greengarage's profile

greengarage

9 posts in 2612 days


#6 posted 04-09-2011 01:42 PM

Wow, I think I’m like Greedo above. Not sure I get the whole thrust of the blog but I’ll throw in my 2 cents b/c I need 5 posts before I can send a message to someone who asked me a question about my projects. I think Festool tools look pretty cool and if money were no object for me I’d have some of their stuff and may still buy one or two things. I am only a hobbyist so don’t depend on my tools for my job. I do have friends that work in construction with crews who tear up about everything he buys so he has to balance between cost and reliability. If you are a hobby woodworker and want to buy Festool and you have the money knock yourself out….same goes for the pro woodworker/craftsman. I just have to echo Greedo’s comment about 2x the price probably doesn’t correspond to 2x the productivity. If you absolutely have to move your shop around a bunch, need super dust protection and you’re doing it for a living you could probably justify Festool but otherwise probably could same tasks in a more economical manner.

View Eric in central Florida's profile

Eric in central Florida

3670 posts in 2319 days


#7 posted 04-09-2011 05:36 PM

Couldn’t have said it better myself greengarage.

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 2013 days


#8 posted 04-09-2011 05:59 PM

I am still at a loss as to what the controversy is here? There are tools that I can afford and there are ones that I can not….just a matter of economics. Being a hybrid – I don’t make a living from woodworking (I have a day job)....but I do make some occassional monies here and there (and my day job is related/reliant on construction)....so I spend gladly on my hobby.

I used to pooh pooh the Festools…being so overtly expensive….but to those who were like me….I say try them! I was very impressed by how well they are made….how accurate the cuts….and the excellent dust control. Being a hobbyist for the most part..and not having alot of time left over from my day job to ply my hobby….I have found that something that will save me time and make a task easier is worth the extra cost to me….I get the rewards by being able to get a project done and done with less errors.

Like said above…not everyone can affort Festools…and there are certainly less expensive options….and I do not feel anyone is a lesser craftsman for purchasing these….a tool is just that….a tool….it is the craftsman and his/her skill that makes the tool useful…the tool only assists….so if someone can do something beautiful without a Festool this or that…thats great…it is no busness of mine whether they can afford this tool or that…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1626 days


#9 posted 04-09-2011 06:12 PM

I think it comes down to what your needs are as a WW. I am in the market for a new MS, and I drool every time I think about getting a Kapex; as Greedo said, it is made “how it should be”. However, I am a hobbyist WW, and really, a Milwaukee 12” slider MS would more than suit my needs; for $600 cheaper I can live without some of the premium features of a Kapex. I think this way about most of the Festool tools; you’re paying for something that is built very well, works flawlessly and smoothly and has more innovative features than a lot of the other tools on the market. If I had unlimited money, most of my tools would be Festool, however, most mid-grade powertools on the market will last just as long and will perform with close to the same accuracy.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1436 days


#10 posted 04-09-2011 08:45 PM

Festool is great, is there really any question? They’re expensive, sure; what isn’t? Like most expensive versions of common items, they’re an absolute joy to use. I’ve never understood the debate myself.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#11 posted 04-12-2011 06:43 AM

I still have my doubts as to whether Festool can rip parts as fast an accurately as a sliding table saw, ......I kinda doubt it, in fact, I really doubt it but I sorta knew that before dropping the first grand on a single hand held power tool…..............it was an “ouch” then, and an “ouch” now.

No tool, no “brand name” will ever be all things to all people and for what ever personal reasons, folks have to slam or praise,..........thats OK. Its a democracy and without debate, only bad things happen so.

I bought a Festool track saw and spent $1, 250 bucks. OMG. 500 more the Makita and even 600 + more then Dewalt but Festool’s track saw doesn’t stop at the track and I am beginning to wonder if Festool is like Meth…......do it once and hooked.

The track didnt work worth a sh!& when I applied my clamps to the track holding track to tripled up plywood as the saw hit the clamp and a quick no brainer said this isnt happening. Nobody told me I had to buy Festool clamps but…........I didnt clamp the track down as the track has anti slip strips in it so to hell with the clamps and I ripped it without

Flawless

no deviation

that,...... in itself,............. speaks volumes….....

I traded up on the fence/track and bought the 10 footer, no connectors, no fuss and muss which is a slight challenge as the box in the truck is only 6’ long so it has to be stored in the rack above. Not the worst problem but a challenge I really dont need. The actual track as 100% rigid where it needs (on the “X” axis) to be but quite flexible on the “Y” axis. I suppose this could be advantageous on curved surfaces but eh…...ya cant have it all. The 200 dollar “each” accessories to the track fence can add fast so I got permission to borrow a few of them and test drive them on the job site…........yet again, I remain somewhat skeptical but I’m pretty sure the learning curve (lengthy for some) will be short.

I know one thing for sure. I want the 4’ 7” track too.

Perhaps Festool is my middle aged crisis, so instead of buying a Harley to find out who I am, I choose Festool.

I want to know if its worth its salt, if it can make skilled hands more money.

The saw itself…......................absolutely stellar. That puppy can be calibrated to amazing tolerances. Soft start, NO herky jerky, no fighting clamps, toggles, bashing, cursing and most amazing the “cut line” is exactly the same spot, no matter what the angle. The Riving knife is a cinch to center. Its a 5 star….... keeping in mind, I’ve only used it for a few hours

My work, has finally become a means to test my madness. : )

Oh ya…..................not one chip, not one piece of grain raised, broken, a flawless cut across tripled up chippy plywood and not even a single clamp

: )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#12 posted 04-12-2011 06:50 AM

DO NOT TRY WHAT I DID

You might get hurt.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#13 posted 04-12-2011 09:13 AM

never ever put a fence down, like the fence on your TS, and dont clamp it, secure it….and risk ruuning something against it. Pure suicide, an accident waiting

I laid that Festool fence down and I didnt clamp the front or the back of the track. Just let the anti skid rubbered bottom suck itself down.

I laid the saw into the track and it didnt waver a 1/32nd and the lighting was poor at best

3 sheets thick

somebody, anybody, show me another tool that does that ?

no @

In the right hands. gold

in the wrong hands, money flushed

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Russ's profile

Russ

356 posts in 1820 days


#14 posted 04-12-2011 02:05 PM

Roman, I think it is an insult to those of us that cannot afford or are not willing to spend money on Festool that we are not bw craftsman. I’ve seen many beautiful pieces of furniture in my life and tons of them were never done with a Festool. Craftsmanship in my opinion has nothing to do with the tool.

-- Russ

View Moron's profile

Moron

4717 posts in 2637 days


#15 posted 04-12-2011 11:39 PM

I agree with you Russ and no insult was intended so if any one mistook it…..........sorry.

Its purely about money, as in “profit”

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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