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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 04-14-2013 07:24 PM 2189 views 1 time favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2281 days

04-14-2013 07:24 PM

Is a Festool ROS 300-500 times better than a DeWalt, or a Ridgid?

Can someone please explain how this company survives. Or are there woodworkers out there with more money than smarts?

What’s the deal? I just don’t get it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

46 replies so far

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 2112 days

#1 posted 04-14-2013 07:35 PM

Different strokes for different folks.

Festool has a huge worldwide following. Their tools are great for the woodworker who takes tools to the jobsite. I have a bunch of Festools, and also Grizzly, Rigid, Makita, Porter Cable, Jet, Shop Fox, Kreg and others. Festool is a “system”, their sanders for example work with their dust extractors (vacs). Yes they are pricey. I don’t think it has to do with more money than brains – I think people who buy Festool know they are buying a quality tool that will fit their needs. If you don’t need a $300 sander or a $1300 SCMS, that’s cool too.

I find bad opinions and “reviews” of Festool based solely on price (not directed at you Russell) useless. Festool has a 30 trial period. Give one a shot, if you don’t like it, send it back. No, I don’t work for them!

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#2 posted 04-14-2013 07:35 PM

From what I’ve read online, the festool sanders excel in dust collection and vibration.
I’m considering one myself for those two reasons.

Aside from that, the festool sanders don’t cost 300-500 times what the others do. Regardless of brand, good sanders are priced at $80 and up. My current ros (dewalt d26456/pc 390) cost me $85, while my finishing sander (pc 330) cost me $90.

In a lot of instances, festool is overpriced for what you get (kapex, jigsaws) but for a lot of their tools (sanders, dust collection, domino) you get your $ worth.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2033 days

#3 posted 04-14-2013 07:37 PM

I played with one at a Woodcraft last year. I think – and it’s my personal opinion, I know some Festool owners who will vigorously disagree with me – that it’s a name thing. They’re good, but in the end random can only be so random and sanding is sanding and it’s the same paper doing the cutting.
If you make “an end table with quartersawn white oak finished with an ammonia fume” then you use a Dewalt or Ridgid. If you make “an artistic recreation of the classical Stickley table with subtle coloring of the hardwood pores through a proprietary finishing process – the large upper piece extending in a planar fashion is designed to evoke feelings of boundless release while the four thin vertical pieces (with carefully matched straight grain) represent the four pillars that blah blah blah ” – then you use a Festool.
I say again – that is my personal opinion based on limited demonstration in the store. I’m sure there are a few Festool owners who are now ready to track me down and slowly butcher me with an $825 Festool biscuit jointer all the while exclaiming how cleanly it cuts my flesh with absolutely no tearout or annoying vibration.. :)

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 04-14-2013 07:47 PM

copcarcollector, I did at my local lumber store. Like I say, 425$ compared to 60$ – 85$. It should sand by itself for that. DC is a problem with most ROS, but a little innovation fits them right up to the DC if you need it. I do a lot of sanding and really the only thing that DC’s my dust is being outside. I don’t like the hose, it makes the ROS harder to handle. I don’t just use my ROS for flat surfaces, I can contour with it to a degree, so the hose is hard to work with.
Gotta blow out the shop on occasion, but it looks worked in.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View cabmaker's profile


1730 posts in 2804 days

#5 posted 04-14-2013 07:55 PM

russel, I was on the same side of the fence as you. I have performed many hours of sanding over the years. I too considered the festool thing to be a lot of hype. I also am never convinced by a sales person at specialty stores such as woodcraft,etc who typically will have very limited experience with such things. I know too that the only way to know for sure is to buy one myself and put it to work ! I did just that about three months ago. I came home with a ct26 and an ets 125. Within the first two minutes of use I was able to discern that this system was on much higher plateau than the other sanders I have used. Within two weeks of that original purchase I added yet two more sanders and a jigsaw to my arsenal.

When it comes to sanding it makes lots of sense , especially if dust has become a problem for you as it has for me. Once you use one, you’ll forget all about the price. Enjoy ! JB

View dhazelton's profile


2766 posts in 2291 days

#6 posted 04-14-2013 07:57 PM

There’s a tool dealer near me that has Festool. I went in for a Makita sander and he showed me the Festool for hundreds more. He said ‘we had a guy who bought one – used it every day for a year. It died and we shipped it back to them (Festool) and they rebuilt it for $200. Makita won’t do that.’ Well no – you could buy a whole new Makita for a lot less than $200, and it probably wouldn’t crap out after only a year. A Mercedes and a Ford will both get you there, just how much prestige do you need?

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3642 days

#7 posted 04-14-2013 08:17 PM

Festool sanders are very good in terms of dust collection and vibration.
Both factors relevant to pros who do a lot of sanding. With
my Festool sanders hooked up to a vacuum dust collection
is nearly perfect – good enough to forego a mask with
no noticeable sinus irritation as long the the sander is
used on flat surfaces only. If you run it on chamfers and
use it to shape edges and stuff like that the vacuum
won’t get very much of the dust.

Bosch makes some sanders in Germany that share some
obvious design DNA with Festool. It wouldn’t surprise
me if they are made in the same factory. If you’re looking
for a lower price with similar handling to a Festool you
might check out the Bosch.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3312 days

#8 posted 04-14-2013 08:31 PM

Festool products aren’t, to me, worth the premium price asked for them. But I understand and respect the fact that others might have a different opinion.

It’s like comedy – some things are funny to one person that aren’t funny to another.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#9 posted 04-14-2013 08:34 PM

I have felt the same way about Festool products as you Russ but after having some folks bad mouth a tool I use that I owned but they had never used I realized I was doing the same thing with festool products,This is when I decided not to have negative input on tools or products I’ve never used or owned. Even though I feel that Festool products are very expensive and I don’t own any of their tools nor do I plan on buying any of their tools I will still leave judgement of their performance and value to those who have used and owned their tools . This works for me but to each their own.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3642 days

#10 posted 04-14-2013 08:40 PM

You might as well object to Lie Nielsen and other premium plane
makers. You can buy all your tools at Harbor Freight and if
you’re good at the craft, nobody but you will know.

If having a superior tool for a job lets you finish a $300 job
in 6 hours instead of 8, did you make more money? No,
but you saved wear and tear on your body.

View Tony_S's profile


867 posts in 3078 days

#11 posted 04-14-2013 08:44 PM


I was just going to suggest the same type of thing.

Some are perfectly happy with a $10.00 set of chisel’s from Walmart…..Some…a $350.00 set of Veritas chisels.

They both cut wood….buuuut.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2878 days

#12 posted 04-14-2013 08:45 PM

I have a 5” Bosch ROS and a 6” Festool ROS. Both are well made and designed and both should last me for years. The Festool is better than the Bosch at dust collection and has less vibration. A 6” Bosch ROS advertised as less vibration than a “normal” ROS was only about $100 cheaper than the Festool. For me, the extra $100 was worth it for the better DC, but I can understand others feeling differently than that. Some of the other Festools I don’t understand their appeal, eg. the hugely expensive router and the Kapex MS, but then again, I’ve never tried them.

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

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

935 posts in 2229 days

#13 posted 04-14-2013 08:50 PM

In my view if they were not a viable product and a value for the money they would not sell. Pure market forces.
I own none the their products because I do not need a tool in that price range. Just as I do not need nor can I afford a $4,000 smoother.
More power to the people who do buy and use top line tools.

-- Jerry

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2572 days

#14 posted 04-14-2013 09:02 PM

The better the dust extraction the longer the consumables last.

So which one is more expensive in the long run?

Which one has a better resale value?

Festool’s customer service is legendary, whereas, others not so much.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3312 days

#15 posted 04-14-2013 09:19 PM

Loren, I’ll pay $350 for a LN plane knowing that I can (or my descendants can) resell it in the future for probably $349. So LN products represent value to me. I can part with a large chunk of money now, use the tool for as long as I want, then get my chunk back.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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