Festool and other product lines


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I had a question regarding product lines in regards to festools products.

Is there another line that provides a wide range of tools, equipment, and accessories like the festool line does?

I am asking this because I just looked up the products in their line. Very nice tools and equipment but it comes at an increased cost.

Is there any other product line out there that other woodworkers would recommend?

I plan on putting together a hobby shop in the near future and do not need the festool expense or quality. I am not saying quality isn't an extremely important factor, they are just to expensive.

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I had a question regarding product lines in regards to festools products.

Is there another line that provides a wide range of tools, equipment, and accessories like the festool line does?

I am asking this because I just looked up the products in their line. Very nice tools and equipment but it comes at an increased cost.

Is there any other product line out there that other woodworkers would recommend?

I plan on putting together a hobby shop in the near future and do not need the festool expense or quality. I am not saying quality isn't an extremely important factor, they are just to expensive.

Pbmaster11,

Let me begin by saying I own my share of Festool products (6). I like, but do not love, the brand. Their tools are very expensive, but in most cases very nice also. I'm happy with all that I own (many sanders, a Dust Extractor, an old 3 HP router and a Domino).

While Festool markets their tools as a complete system, that is really only true in two ways: 1st, they all connect to their dust extractors and 2nd, many of their tools use their guide rails as accessories. Regarding the dust extractors, while theirs are great, there is no reason you have to use theirs. The equivalent Bosch or DeWalt dust extractor will work just fine as will a standard shop vac with the right fitting on the hose. To address their guide rails, while it is nice that many tools connect to them, only the track saws use them natively, and as they come with the track. Even the DeWalt & Makita track saws can use the Festool track. You don't need to buy many tools to get the saw/track combo.

I've personally opted to outfit my shop with what I feel was the best &/or most cost effective tool for each job, regardless of brand. Just in hand power tools (to keep it in terms of what Festool sells) I have Bosch, DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Makita & Festool. To limit it even further, I have 5 brands of cordless drills.

The bottom line is that getting everything from a single brand is unnecessary. Find what you feel is the right tool for the job (regardless of brand) and get it. You'll be happy with your purchases and save a bit over an all Festool shop.

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Here is my take. When I make a decision of outfitting a shop, is also a decision of partnering with somebody who will support you. My background is in sales of really expensive CNC equipment so unfortunately, and I will admit this, I am a snob.

99% of my tools are festool, minus a milwakee drill, a Bosch portable table saw and a freud router for a router table.

The support I received from Festool is amazing. When you partner with them, you will get personal service when you need it, you will be able to call for help in operation of a too, in setup, no questions asked.

I can't say anything bad of other outfits.

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I have a few Festools and really like them. You can use them as a sander+vac or router+va or saw+vac, but after you get used to the system, you'll find yourself mixing them up a bit. It isn't to say you can't get as good results from other brands. Actually, I'm a firm believer that other brands have recently started paying attention to design and dust collection because of Festool. Whether you believe that or not, other tools are trying to catch up. Usually moments after a Festool patent expires :)

I think a lot of the "system" hype of Festool is more true abroad (assuming you are in North America). Abroad, there are component tables with interchangeable plates to use 4-5 of the tools with a sliding fence; here, it's hung up in UL certification. There are also more job-site tools under Festool and the sister company Protool. None available here. The system would be that much better if those were also available here.

I think you could live within any of the major brands. Certainly DeWalt and Porter Cable each provide every tool under the sun.

As for the Domino... well the patent hasn't expired :) Initially you might be curious about it and think the price is high (cuz it is), but after your first project with it, you'll wonder why you waited and not remember the bill. If you do get it (and I recommend it if it is within your means), realize it has a learning curve and isn't a different biscuit joiner. Most dimensions of the fence are precisely milled with only a few "un-guaranteed"; you can use all those numbers to your advantage to plow through work without pencil lines or wide "slop" mortises.

So let us know when you get it :)

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I totally agree with what the guys are saying, I have some Festool tools and unlike Dyami I love them:) That being said you don't have to go with them to start out with, or ever. I have been doing woodworking for 12 to 14 yrs and didn't own a Festool until about 3yrs ago. The tools are nice but try to never let the tools limit you and your work. I would love to get a tracksaw some year but until my trusty Porter Cable circular saw dies it isn't going to happen, so I use my shop built tracks and run my saw on them. It does the same thing albeit not as smooth of cuts and takes a little longer but I mostly use it to break down sheets of ply so I cut oversized and take it to my ts to finish it off. One thing I will say, get quality tools right away or you will be sorry. When I was first getting started I bought a cheap TS and jig saw and they seriously only lasted a couple months longer than the warranty, which wasn't very long. Not only did I have to recycle my money but it frusterated me big time when I used those tools because of the poor results I got. When you are starting woodworking there are going to be enough frusterations, don't let crummy tools add to them. Have fun with your new hobby and hope to hear more from you, this is a great place to ask for help and let us in on some of the tricks you learn as you go too.

Nate

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the best choice you can make is stay with name brands. Ridgid, bosch, porter cable, dewalt, hitachi, milwaukee, grizzly, powermatic, jet and makita and more are all good brands that will give you years of service. stay away from walmart, harbor freight, and places like that.

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I've personally opted to outfit my shop with what I feel was the best &/or most cost effective tool for each job, regardless of brand. Just in hand power tools (to keep it in terms of what Festool sells) I have Bosch, DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Makita & Festool. To limit it even further, I have 5 brands of cordless drills.

I have to ask, and I'm probably being dumb -- why 5 cordless drills? I'm coming up with 18V drill/driver, impact driver, and a 12-14.4V smaller driver primarily for screws, which leaves two more.

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I have to ask, and I'm probably being dumb -- why 5 cordless drills? I'm coming up with 18V drill/driver, impact driver, and a 12-14.4V smaller driver primarily for screws, which leaves two more.

Wilbur,

Not 5 cordless drills, 5 brands of cordless drills. Here are all of my cordless drills / impact driver by brand, voltage & battery type:

DeWalt

14.4V NiCad Impact Driver

12V LiIon Impact Driver

Makita

18V LiIon Drill/Driver

18V LiIon Impact Driver

Milwaukee

12V LiIon Drill/Driver

12V LiIon Driver

12V LiIon Right Angle Drill

Hitachi

10.8V LiIon Impact Driver

12V LiIon Drill Driver

Ridgid

12V NiCad Drill/Driver

12V NiCad Right Angle Impact Driver

To explain the high number of individual tools and brands I have:

The 14.4V NiCad DeWalt is back from the dark days of NiCad cordless tools. The Makita 18V LiIons are for home improvement work around the house. They're hand to have but are rarely used with the 12V around. The Hitachi 10.8V & 12V were my first small LiIon tools. I picked up the Milwaukee 12V LiIon driver to compliment the Hitachi's and was wowed by it's performance, leading me to supplement my Hitachi 12V LiIon drill with a Milwaukee 12V LiIon. The new DeWalt 12V LiIon line seems to have the old yellow brand returning to making good cordless tools, so the DeWalt 12V LiIon with dramatically more torque than the Hitachi has replaced it. Though I usually stay away from Ridgid, the 12V NiCad combo kit I have is a noted exception. I bought it because of the right angle impact driver, which is a great tool when you need it. Helping was that the kit of a drill, right angle impact driver, 2 batteries and a charger was on sale for only $99.00 when I bought it years ago.

With the exception of the two Hitachi's, all of the drill/drivers and impact drivers listed above are unique to my collection and server their intended purpose when needed. As an aside, the most used trio are the Milwaukee 12V LiIon Drill/Driver & Driver and the DeWalt 12V LiIon Impact driver.

I hope that answered your question. Now, happy drilling!

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