Am I doing the right thing here? First 5 powertools.

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Forum topic by Patrik posted 07-17-2011 05:16 PM 3053 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2708 days

07-17-2011 05:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello Friends!

This is my first post here, and I hope to get some good help/input from you more experienced guys.
There are seven youtubelinks in this post, but that’s just for clarification, and is not a must see ;-)

After a “pause” of 20 years, I’m getting back into doing some smaller carpeting/woodworking.

Someone said “spend more than you plan on your tools – then you only get disappointed once”

So the plan is to buy quality gear that will last for a long time, and that will not disappoint in their performance.
Like everybody else, I want the most quality out of my bucks, so thats why this thread came up.

Present, I don’t have my own woodshop, but do have access to a empty “woodshop room”, where I can bring my portable gears and do some woodworking. I also plan on doing onsite projects like:

- and all the small woodwork projects like the (in)famous woodwhisperer cuttingboard.

As most woodwork at least initially will be made in this temporary woodwork room, and fences and decks will be constructed on site, the tools must be highly portable, durable and with a good dust reduction system.

The solution:

First batch of tools would be a good mobile dust extractor, a good drill, and a good jigsaw.

I’m thinking about the cleantex CTM36:

The Carvex PSB 400:

and the cordless T-18:

Second batch would be a router and a sander:

The OF2200:

And the Rotex Ro150:

The Kapex Mitersaw would be nice also, but is not as versitile as the Carvex jigsaw, initially.

These two sets would get me started ( tablesaw, bandsaw, drill on stand and the planer/thicknesser is also on the wish list – just thinking about buying some more “heavy” models rather than portable ones – and for that I need a permant shop first.)

So what’s your say? – Any other ideas/options?

Thanks in advance, Patrik

ps: I’m not a pro-festool guy (I am a pro guy for any equiipment that helps giving the best result in fastest time ;-) Just seemed to be the best option given these user videos:

(50 seconds into the movie about the dust reduction issue)

-- If people concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing rods.

32 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4296 days

#1 posted 07-17-2011 05:39 PM

Interesting. Any thoughts about a circular saw. What about hand tools?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Patrik's profile


13 posts in 2708 days

#2 posted 07-17-2011 06:10 PM

Heyllo Wayne!

The handtools will be a seperate topic itself, as it’s so wide – as an example, there are carpenter chisels, and fine woodwork chisels, so I will have to come back to that one when I’m further in the “hands on” try-out.

Greetings, Patrik

-- If people concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing rods.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3846 days

#3 posted 07-17-2011 06:40 PM

Festool is good stuff and it does hold resale value. I have a
bunch of pieces of Festool kit and it’s all very well thought out
and the jigsaw is, as claimed, almost free of vibration in use.

I don’t own a Festool cordless drill, and my main reasons are
that it’s very spendy for what you get and the battery doesn’t
work with anything else. I have Milwaukee drill now and
the battery is robust enough to drive a circular saw, which is
nice, but also a reciprocating saw, which I’ve found more useful
than expected.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3390 days

#4 posted 07-18-2011 02:50 AM

My first Festool was the T-15 drill. I absolutely love it, although it didn’t really start out that way. The interchangeable chucks have proven to be far more valuable than I would have expected.

See the whole story at

You might really want to consider the OF1400 instead of the 2200. The 2200 is a beast, but unless you really you need that much power in a handheld router the 1400 is easier to manage, both in terms of weight and $$$. Generally, high HP routers live in a table which is really a waste for the 2200.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Patrik's profile


13 posts in 2708 days

#5 posted 07-19-2011 04:51 PM

Thanks guys, I will try the 1400 and the 2200 to see IRL. Loren, regaring the circular saw I don’t know if I will need a carpenter model (thicker, more rigid blade) or a woodworker one (ie festool with thinner blade)

-One surprise that came out of this thread was the WD-40 tips on woodnerds page, never knew you could use it that way. Thanks! :-)


-- If people concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing rods.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3430 days

#6 posted 07-19-2011 05:09 PM

As a counter point to the assertion of spending more than you plan on tools is the quote..

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Don’t buy on brand name alone or you will end up with a garage full of overpriced tools that may not work the way you had expected.

Dive into the forums, learn to use the search features of the various ones, and seek out the various reviews and what the chatter about specific tools is… Of course you can fill your space with Festool, and that’s great, but horridly expensive for most of us. Shop wisely and you will not only be happy with your tools, but you will have money left over for more wood!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3273 days

#7 posted 07-19-2011 05:36 PM

I own many of the tools you are considering.

I will second the recommendation on the OF1400. It’s a great, easy to handle, router. I also own an older OF 2000 (predecessor to the 2200) and I very seldom use it. I own 6 routers and my OF1400 is always my first choice for situations that require a plunge router.

I also advise the Rotex 125 as opposed to the 150. It’s easier to handle and it is all the sander you will ever need.

I don’t see the need for the big dust extractor. The midi works just as well. IMO – the only down side is that the midi will need to have its bag changed more frequently. That is not a big deal and the smaller dust extractors are more portable. I own both a midi and a mini.

The jigsaw is a great tool but it is not a replacement for a circular saw. I assume you do not have a table saw and a Festool plunge saw is almost as good as a table saw for many (but not all) applications. As you might expect, I recommend TS-55 (not the 75) because it is easier to handle.

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

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3390 days

#8 posted 07-19-2011 05:51 PM

My thinking on the DE is just the opposite. On a per-gallon basis, the large CT bags are like half the cost of the mini/midi bags. The savings may be even more dramatic now that the self-cleaning bags are available for the smaller models, I haven’t looked to see the cost yet. Upgrading a mini/midi to HEPA is also a bit pricy and I’m becoming a lot more protective of my lungs these days. Overall, the only reason I see for getting the smaller models would be if you just don’t have the space. Same argument applies to the 26 vs 36, I’d recommend going all the way to the top of the line because of the bag costs.

My detailed look at the CT26:

-- The Wood Nerd --

View EvilNuff's profile


60 posts in 2826 days

#9 posted 07-19-2011 08:16 PM

I would get the tablesaw before the Carvex. Controlled angles (even just 90o) angles are quite difficult without a table saw. Personally I find them more accurate and flexible than a chop saw.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3209 days

#10 posted 07-19-2011 08:36 PM

Is a tracksaw on your list?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3169 days

#11 posted 07-19-2011 10:03 PM

I’m sorry, I just can’t see how to justify any Festool product. I guess this comes from working for Mersedes at one point in my carreer. I came to realize that “German Quality” was a complete myth. It’s like a sugar pill, a placebo. You think because it is the most expensive wiget around it must be the best. And they have the sales and marketing clout to be sure you feel good about coming to that conclusion. Fact is, their parts come from the exact same suppliers as everybody elses. And the German production machines we had were total crap.

For what you’re planning to spend on a few portable boutique tools, I could fully equip a real shop. Or, if portable is an absolute requirement I’d have multiple backups of all the top rated normal tools, like Mikita, Bosch, Dewalt, Millwaukee, etc. and still have money left.

Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes here, I just don’t understand the logic. Maybe someone could enlighten me.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2766 days

#12 posted 07-19-2011 10:37 PM

you can certainly buy a portable tablesaw. The portable today work really well. I don’t see a circular saw on your list. I would think that would need to be in the first list. Also if your going to remodel kitchens, you’ll need a sawzall. Period. Look at a cordless “kit”. I’m not sure the circular saws in the cordless kit would be good enough for me, but its better than not having one.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Patrik's profile


13 posts in 2708 days

#13 posted 07-19-2011 11:53 PM

Thanks for the input guys!

Just a few side-notes: Crank, I actually have a friend that has owned 3 different Mercedes (2003, 2007, 2009) and each and every of them has had electrical problems! He has sworn to never buy another one before they “get their thumbs out of their b*uts and start producing quality again” :-)

DbHost, There are 13 guys on every dozen here that will produce far better stuff than me, with far cheaper equipment – I’m a newbee! :-)

Just rather starting in the right end, and for me that is highy portable, quiet and dustfree (“dustfree” is in total fairness not true, so lets call it less dusty! ;-)

Evilnuf and Don W – You are both recommending a tablesaw, and Richgreer votes for the TS-55 vs the tablesaw – that is a perfect sample that show that both recommendations are true, and that both fill a puropse, so the real question is rather: What purpose will you use the machine for, and then go decide.

I was just eyeing the Incra wonderfence today:
- Wich would be an absolute madness in a carpenters enviroment, but make full sense in a woodwork enviroment. – Decisions decisions… I will let you guys know how the chips fall in september when I will be ordering my first batch, and also in november/december where my second batch will be – there might have been a complete change in that batch by then. It’s intresting times ahead, so thanks for ALL the good input! :-)

Best regards, Patrik

-- If people concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing rods.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3390 days

#14 posted 07-20-2011 12:24 AM

I’m sorry, I just can’t see how to justify any Festool product

Not to be snide, but it’s because you haven’t used one.

Festools are head-and-shoulders better than most comparable products. Now, is a given tool three times better because it’s three times the cost? No, of course not. Quality/performance is an exponential factor. The first 75% of what a tool can do/be is the easy and cheap part, that’s where Harbor Freight lives. Improvements beyond that are progressively more difficult and costly.

As an example, probably like you, a couple years ago I thought you’d have to be insane to pay $600 for a cordless drill. I had just spent several weeks buying 7 different cordless drills, including Bosch, Milwaukee, etc and found them all lacking. Then, because I could return it for 30 days with no questions, I tried a Festool T15. What an eye-opener, I didn’t think a drill could be worth that much because I had never knew such a drill could exist. If you’re curious about the details, see

I’m sure you’re familiar with the satisfaction of using quality tools vs cheap ones. Just imagine another step up and you have the Festool experience.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Arch_E's profile


48 posts in 2720 days

#15 posted 07-20-2011 12:32 AM

CMS, slider, would be my first suggestion for jobsite work, along with circ, jigsaw, handdrills, etc. If dust extraction indoors IS critical, Fein or Festool represent the best.

I envy your spunk, ambition, and finances to buy such top quality tools. However, consider paying cash along the way rather than borrowing to start a business. The Makita 18v set is tops, but not the biggest or best of all drills: the batteries just keep working. Hand tools, strategically used—such a hand brace for auger bit boring—will keep you from wearing down batteries or needing a worksite generator. If you bought every Bosch tool (just using this as an illustration not as a recommendation) rather than Festool, you could cut your initial tool outlay by 50% minimum, with some tools even more savings. However, I’m impressed with most Festool tools. They’re good, so my friends say. Hoss routers need tables; jobsite routers need a steady hand—so softstart and less powerful routers, if not overtaxed, might do the trick. Do stay away typical homeowner power tools. They work okay, for a while. Buy right, buy once! That, I do believe. However, for a business venture buy your tools based upon what’s needed for just that first project, then second, etc.

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