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Forum topic by Chipy posted 08-20-2011 09:19 PM 5433 views 0 times favorited 106 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chipy

374 posts in 1311 days


08-20-2011 09:19 PM

I am not trying to knock anyone’s choice of tool here but Can anyone please explain to me why I should buy Festool.I cant believe what they are charging for there tools!You would think for the price they are charging it will cure the flu and cut wood at the same time.
I saw an add for a Festool bis cut joiner and it was $800 I can buy a nice used cabinet saw for that kind of money, what is the casing made of titanium are brushes made of gold?A hand planer goes for 400 beans I can buy a nice used contractors saw for that kind of money!! $250 dollars for a jig saw come on! $1300.00 for a chop saw are thees tools that much better than Dewalt or Porter Cable or Makita, I just don’t get it!!! Are they making Fesfools out of some of us?


106 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7806 posts in 2365 days


#1 posted 08-20-2011 10:11 PM

All of the Festool stuff I have owned has been very well engineered
and with very good ergonomics. The tools mostly hold resale value
well too.

The Festool jigsaw cuts with less vibration than others. It also
cuts very straight due to bandsaw-like guides. The large planer
does things other planers cannot do. The dust collection on all
the tools would be difficult to improve on.

The track saw system is the original and now has some good
competition and I certainly have complaints about it, but I’m
sure all the track saw systems have weak spots.

For a pro it saves time, and for the hobbiest with money to spend
they provide convenience, precision, cleanliness and emotional
validation.

Festool excellence is very real but I won’t argue that the stuff
is spendy or recommend it to anyone but the most serious
woodworker.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2584 posts in 2150 days


#2 posted 08-20-2011 10:25 PM

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it… I only own 2 and they are my go to drill and sander.
I hate the cost, but on a small scale, they are worth the money…
I dare ya to try them… ;-)
If there is a demo in your area, try it. You may not buy it (I chose the Bosch over the Kapex) but you will understand some of the fascination with the line.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1777 days


#3 posted 08-20-2011 10:37 PM

I just bought a festool ETS 125 sander. I will do a review when it get here.

I think their tools are engineered well in dust collection.

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

362 posts in 1531 days


#4 posted 08-20-2011 11:07 PM

Festool is wonderful, no question. But I don’t support an over inflated product or its company.

Owning Festool does not make you a serious woodworker. It makes you a woodworker that has some spare cash to blow, that’s all. Maloof didn’t own Festool, Nakashima didn’t, Tibbetts doesn’t. Obviously they did fine without it. Festool wants you to think you are a serious woodworker if you own it. BS!
I used to be tool salesman and demonstrator for a big tool store a few years ago. We were a major vendor for Festool. Festool has very strict rules for being a vendor and requires (or used to) that a sales rep attend training about their product line. They are extremely well engineered and back their product up 100%. I have tried out their products and used their sanders heavily in production. Great, dependable equipment.

Do I think that they are worth the dollars they require to purchase them…..absolutely NOT!!
There is no question about their excellent engineering and quality. The reality of it is that the cost of this equipment is disgustingly absurd. The quality still does not justify the cost.
It’s like buying a Harley….a status symbol. Great bikes, no doubt. The best? Not convinced on that.

They have made it to where it is a status symbol to have their product. Clever marketing strategy at work here folks.
If I were a millionaire I still would not buy their product line.
Is it great…Yes! Is it worth the expense….hell no.
Yes they have made FESFOOLS out of some people. But hey…that’s just my well founded opinion.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1715 days


#5 posted 08-21-2011 01:28 AM

It depends. From the perspective of a home hobbyist, It is overkill and way too expensive. From the perspective of someone who works with tools for on a daily basis and depends on them for their livelihood, the price is immaterial. Different rules and economics apply when you are doing it for a living.

Take ergonomics as an example. If I drive twenty nails on some project, the ergonomics of a handle doesn’t mean that much to me. If I am driving them 8-10 hours a day, it means the difference of being able to go to work or going to a physical therapist.

I am pretty cavalier about dust in my garage workshop. The few minutes of sanding I do adds up to a big fat zero for the most part. Good dust collection over the entire workday over years, means the difference between going to work or walking around with an oxygen bottle while waiting on an organ donor.

I have one of the trimmer routers from HF. If It goes out, I will go over to HF and pick up another one. If I were doing a job under a time contract, I can’t figure that into my hours of billable time. It can end up costing me a lot more in work loss or losing an entire contract than the price of some dinky tool.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1428 posts in 1350 days


#6 posted 08-21-2011 01:29 AM

I don’t own any Festool stuff, but I could see myself buying soem of their smaller ticket items IF I found one I really liked. If I were in the market for a palm sander, a tool I use all the time, I’d pay an extra $100 for THE tool I liked best.
Of course, I have limits to this philosophy…...which cap-out at around $100 :LOL:
No way am I paying $1300 for a miter saw. I’d have to deprive myself and try to squeak by with a $500 DeWalt. I definitely believe that their is a (price) point where a tool can’t get MUCH better. The difference in performance between a $80 Skil miter saw, and a $500 DeWalt is huge. The difference between the $500 DeWalt and the $1300 Festool would be unappreciable to a hack like me.

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1926 days


#7 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.

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1618 days


#8 posted 08-21-2011 03:30 AM

I just started a thread on the same subject. Sorry that I didn’t see this one first. Anyway, count me among the folks who don’t get it!

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Roman Hrytsak's profile

Roman Hrytsak

503 posts in 1403 days


#9 posted 08-21-2011 04:06 AM

I have had an opportunity to work with a contractor that has bought a few Feestool products and they are the best, well worth the price. I’ve used the dust extractor and it is a very quiet machine and does a superb job.

-- Roman:... there are no mistakes, just opportunities for a design change!

View Riick's profile

Riick

7 posts in 1392 days


#10 posted 08-21-2011 04:07 AM

Mary Anne,
I may have missed something but so far I haven’t seen any name calling. I haven’t really read any anger, either. I read frustration with consumers that feel the need to buy Festool but I didn’t pick up on anyone insulting others for owning Festool.
Just my two cents.

-- -- I've Been Reading So Much About The Bad Effects Of Smoking, Drinking & Sex, That I've Decided To Give Up Reading.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1876 days


#11 posted 08-21-2011 05:00 AM

I have a 6” refractor telescope that cost $9000. The mount needed to set it on is another $9000.

I have a 12.5” reflecting telescope that cost $21,000. The mount required for that scope cost $12,500.

I have two astronomy cameras that cost $13,000 and $9000 each.

I have another 4” refractor telescope that cost around $3000.

The performance of all that equipment I just mentioned cannot be duplicated with other, less expensive gear for the applications that I perform…Astrophotography.

Can Festool performance be duplicated by other manufacturers? That’s the question.

I say, it depends on the product. To me, the sanders, dust collectors, and the Domino are probably the equipment that might truly be worth the money because they seem to do things other tools can’t. But as much as I’d like a track saw like the TS55, I’ll probably opt for the DeWalt instead.

But so much of this is my perception of these things. If I used any of them, I’d probably change my mind on all the Festool products…or at least I could better see the value of them compared to others. You folks probably gulped when you saw the price list of my astronomy gear above, but if you come out and see how rockin’ awesome that stuff if, you’d understand.

But, yeah, some of that Festool stuff looks a bit crazy expensive to me, especially their drilll. How high-tech do you need a drill to be?

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View bobsmyuncle's profile

bobsmyuncle

110 posts in 1408 days


#12 posted 08-21-2011 05:15 AM

I have a Festool ROS* and a Bosch ROS. The Festool is better. Is it enough better that I should send 3x as much for it? Sort of a value judgment. If the Bosch rates a 92 out of 100 and the Festool a 96, I’d have to think about it.

  • I got this on special for $59, so it was a no-brainer.

If I was a trim carpenter doing miter cuts all day, I might consider their Kapex. But I did without a miter saw for 20 years of woodworking. So probably not.

And I do not for one minute think a track saw will ever replace my table saw. Can’t do repeatable cuts to a fence, miter gauge, or stop, can’t do tenons, can’t do rabbets, can’t do raised panels, can’t do dadoes/grooves, can’t do accurate miters without a lot of fussing, etc.

View EvilNuff's profile

EvilNuff

59 posts in 1345 days


#13 posted 08-21-2011 05:58 AM

If you can afford them then yes they are good tools and worth having. However, IMO there are two types of Festool tools. There are some that there are no competitors for and others that there are alternate options. Let me elaborate.

Their sanders are flat out better than anything else. They have significantly better dust collection, the paper lasts longer (even non Festool paper) b/c of the DC, and they vibrate a lot less than others. This makes them just superior to any other sanders I have ever used.

The Domino is another tool that has no comparison. You incorrectly label this a biscuit jointer, it is not. Its a lose tenon mortising machine. Dominos are not biscuits don’t confuse yourself about that! :)

Other tools they make, such as the jigsaws and cordless drills and routers are just superior versions to other competitor’s tools. The routers have significantly superior dust collection which is nice but whether its worth the extra money is up to you. For the cordless drills the best example I can give you is Harbor Freight cordless drills. You can go buy a $20 18v cordless from Harbor Freight and compare that to say $150 for a dewalt 18v. Why the devil would you EVER pay SIX times as much for the dewalt? Well because its just flat out better. Now compare the dewalt to a Festool drill, same comparison applies.

The Festool products really are just better than any competitors products, and yes they are heck of expensive. Do this, go buy one and try it for 30 days. They have a 30 day return policy no questions asked so just go see for yourself, it costs you nothing.

View StephenO's profile

StephenO

37 posts in 1263 days


#14 posted 08-21-2011 07:21 AM

I have lately been playing around with some of the Festool line at my local Rockler store, and they are definitely quality tools. I think what makes them seem so expensive is the fact that the market has been flooded with Chinese stuff that is either lower quality or flat-out garbage, but it’s dirt cheap and it lowers peoples’ perception of what prices should be. Disposable lighters cost all of $1, so why would anybody want to spend twenty bucks on a Zippo? ;)

-- -Steve, Seattle

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

468 posts in 1678 days


#15 posted 08-21-2011 12:42 PM

the price of festools is simply the price of anything high tech manufactured in europe.
on one side you have threads about everything being made in china being cheap crap and taking away jobs, and on the other side threads about stuff made in the west being expensive.
in europe we can’t immagine that in the states you can get a cabinet saw for $800, because there are still plenty of european brands that make make high quality equipment in europe. and instead of trying to make the same tools cheaper and cheaper without innovation or at best copied innovations, they have gone the quality and innovation route to stay competitive.

china can easily replicate made in usa stuff like cabinet saws, on their own or actually helped by the us company who closes its’ plants in the states. though i think china cannot keep up technologically with what is made in europe, because no big brand will share it’s technology as they know “made in germany” italy, austria belgium or france etc… is a bigger selling point than something 40% cheaper stamped “made in china”

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