Wood Magazine - dis of Festool

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 08-21-2010 12:29 AM 2116 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

08-21-2010 12:29 AM

In the latest edition of Wood Magazine (the October 2010 issue) you will see a comparison of mid-sized routers beginning on page 56.

The Festool OF 1400 EQ would be directly comparable to the routers in this article. Yes, it is expensive at $470 but not completely out of line with the tools listed with prices up to $350. I think it would have been interesting to see how the Festool compares with the other products in this analysis. I am disappointed that it was not included.

I will argue that some Festool products are well worth their price such as the plunge saw and some of the sanders. Some festool products are grossly over priced such as the miter saw at $1300. In my opinion, the routers are high priced but not outrageously so. One may be able to justify the extra cost of a Festool router (at least the OF 1400 EQ). It should have been included in this comparison.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

15 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3915 days

#1 posted 08-28-2010 02:59 PM

I’ve often wondered how tools are selected for these comparisons. Do they just pop down to the local tools store and say ‘give me one of each’ or do the vendors supply them and when they have enough of a particular tool they begin their comparison; do they request tools of a particular type from the vendor (how do they pick which vendors to choose?)? Is there a bias if the vendor is an advertiser, even subconsciously on the part of the testers?

I’ve never seen any Festools in the flesh yet, it would be interesting to take some for a test drive.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3916 days

#2 posted 08-28-2010 06:44 PM

I think most tools are provided by the manufactuers and it just may be that festool ASSUMES that they are the best (there’s no ego quite as big as a german ego) and simply isn’t intrested.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#3 posted 08-28-2010 11:04 PM

I will only comment that the Festool OF 1400 EQ is a viable alternative to the routers that were tested and it is something different. IMHO, it should have been included.

Regarding German engineering ego. I’m one who appreciates Mercedes-Benz cars (I have owned 2) and BMW motorcycles (I still own 2) and Festool tools (I own many). Yes, they are all pricy. In most (not all) cases, they are worth the price.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11067 posts in 3631 days

#4 posted 08-29-2010 12:03 AM

Geeze-o-Pete, I just got proficient with my new Krause-Zimmerman laser guided hatchet and rasp combo.
Don’t think my skill level is high enough for a router yet.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3870 days

#5 posted 08-29-2010 02:58 AM

Magazines, like all media, are a controlled outlet for information. That being said, my guess is that any big company can have an excellent review of their products, for the correct price.

Take any issue of a magazine that features a tool review and then pay attention to the advertisements in that issue, keep in mind many tool lines are owned by the same company.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3632 days

#6 posted 08-29-2010 09:09 PM

Some of us would like to have a festool shop and are willing to pay the asking price. To that I say fine, go for it. If that is the way you chose to spend your hard earned money, I hope you enjoy every minute using them. I can not afford the prices festools tend to cost and I don’t believe they are enough better than many others to make the difference.

If a router costs twice as much, will it last twice as long, will it cut twice as well, will it pay for itself. Maybe if you are a professional woodworker, but I am not and I do not believe there is a payback that I will ever see.

My PC and my Ryobi and my Delta and even my old Craftsman CS look pretty good.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#7 posted 08-29-2010 09:53 PM

When talking about Festool, I think is a mistake to generalize too much about their tools. I am particularly fond of their plunge saw, rotex sander and dust extractor. Each one is a very unique tool and, IMO, the pricing is reasonable.

I have purchased a used router and a used jigsaw. Because I got them used they were quite reasonably priced. I don’t think I could justify paying the new price for either and, while they are very good, I don’t consider them to be exceptional tools.

Where the pricing gets completely out of line is the $1,300 for a miter saw, $500+ for a cordless drill and $800+ for the domino jointer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 08-29-2010 11:15 PM

Where the pricing gets completely out of line is the $1,300 for a miter saw, $500+ for a cordless drill and $800+ for the domino jointer.

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. However, I think you’re completely, totally wrong.

How long did you use any of these tools? What did you find superior yet not worth the expense? In what ways, if any, did you feel they didn’t measure up?

I just spent 7 months working with the T15 drill and I found it to be absolutely worth the money, in fact I just finished a rather extensive review. I’ve been using the Domino for over a year, it’s a totally unique product that blows away any other method of creating M/T joints. I have only a few minutes experience with the Kapex, so I’ll refrain from any uninformed comments on that one.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3129 days

#9 posted 08-29-2010 11:29 PM

Excellent review, Woodnerd! Very well written.

I thought you were a bit eccentric talking about that chuck at first, but I definately see the advantage of it after looking at the photos… :)

I have a number of drills, so this is one purchase I can’t justify right now, but you do make a good case…

It is a slippery slope.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#10 posted 08-30-2010 12:16 AM

I will also congratulate Woodnerd on a very well written review. I also want to respond to a few of the things he said.

I admit that I have never used the Festool miter saw so perhaps it is wrong for me to call it’s price “completely out of line”. There is one thing I will speculate about regarding the miter saw. In general, Festool does a very good job with dust control and I have never seen a miter saw that was very good at dust control so maybe (only guessing) the Festool miter saw may break away from the pack with respect to dust control.

I have also never owned a domino jointer but I have seen a couple of demonstrations and I have even done a test run. It’s a very good tool. However, when I decided to upgrade my M&T system, I couldn’t see the paying the cost of a Domino and I bought a Mortise Pal instead and I am very happy with it.

Regarding the cordless drill I also have to acknowledge that I have not actually used a Festool cordless drill but the review that Woodnerd wrote has me thinking a little differently about this tool. In actual practice, I use a drill press whenever I can and with respect to handheld tools, I use an impact driver to drive screws much more often than I use a cordless drill to drill holes. My cordless drill does not get a lot of use. (My impact driver gets a lot of use.)

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3301 days

#11 posted 08-30-2010 01:17 AM

My experience’s with German engineering is as follows:
I owned a precision machining metalworking company and the German and Swiss machines are light-years ahead of anything else. They invent the systems, and the far east makes replicas. The Japanese at least give it a good go and make some very nice machines.
I have owned a Mercedes S-600 SEL (12 cylinder huge sedan) and it was an incredible vehicle, except in the 10 years I had it, it cost me $22,000.00+ for over and above maintenance. (You want to be a big-shot, you gotta pay the price)
I owned a BMW 320i, and couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Injectors every 6 months, seats were made of concrete, any snow… go.
I owned a VW Scirocco that was ahead of it’s time, but behind in any snowfall. (Front wheel drive)
Regarding Festool, I have no tools, but from what I have read, the vacuum systems and the plunge saw are on my list when the wife isn’t looking.
All in all I love German/Swiss engineered products. PRIDE. They remind me when we took manufacturing in the USA seriously in the 50’s and 60’s, before we became paper pushers.

Just my rant.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3332 days

#12 posted 08-30-2010 03:03 AM

I’ve seen other review of other products and in many case product lines that you and I would assume would be included are left out with no explanation. I’ve often wondered if in such case the manufacturer simply declines the offer to be tested or if the tester just overlooked something.

P.S> Richgeer, I own both the mortise pal and the domino. The MP can make a much deeper mortise than the domino though nothing is as fast as the domino. So over all I agree with you. You get an awful lot for money with the Mortise Pal.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#13 posted 08-30-2010 03:37 AM

For me, when I am in my shop, speed is not a priority. I’m not working to make a profit. I’m working because I enjoy the process.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3638 days

#14 posted 08-30-2010 06:41 AM

Rich, I read the same article and I was a bit miffed my Bosch1617 got such incredibly poor reviews. I’ve had it for a while and it works just fine for my tastes.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3164 days

#15 posted 08-30-2010 02:42 PM

I agree with richgreer. If I was in a hurry, I would get all CNC equipment, sit back and watch it run.

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