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Thread: Felder or MiniMax Purchase Advice Needed

  1. #1

    Felder or MiniMax Purchase Advice Needed

    Iím planning a workshop makeover, starting with my saw, jointer and planer. I currently have a 3hp Jet cabinet saw with a Jessem slider, 6Ē Jet jointer and 15Ē Delta planer.

    For the saw, Iím torn between a Felder KF 700SP and MiniMax ST 4E.

    For the jointer/planer I have a similar struggle between the Felder AD 941 and MiniMax FS 41E.

    Iíve got quotes for both For roughly the same amount delivered. I think Iím getting more for my money on Felder, but have added tooling cost since everything is proprietary and I would need a phase converter.

    Looking for some advice
    - jump on one or the other?
    - re-evaluate if I need to spend that much?
    - point me in a different direction?

    Thanks,
    Toby
    Last edited by Toby Jutras; 02-06-2019 at 8:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Toby, both brands are "worthy". There are many Felder owners here and many SCM/Minimax owners like myself. I do like that my sllder takes regular blades as until recently I still used the 10" Forrest blades I used with a cabinet saw prior to buying the slider. (I've subsequently moved to the 12" version) I also really like the Tersa knives on my J/P. But that's me. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either and could even opt to do the saw/shaper from SCM/Minimax and the J/P from Felder if the features are more in tune with your needs. Of course, if the pricing you have is a package deal, breaking it up might up the cost.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    This isn't specific help but I think you are making the correct comparison. The ST5 would be more like a 900 series Saw shaper if Felder made one. If you have room, a slider longer than 8.5' would be my preference but so would the ST5. I'm not a J-P fan so I have no opinion there other than prefering Tersa but that is personal to my work. Dave

  4. #4
    In Canada Felder is never equivalent to Minimax $$$. The Felder machines are built with smaller work surfaces and lighter castings than the Minimax. What about going with CU410 Elite S by Minimax? Get it all done in one! I have one and it is fantastic. I'm not saying that the Felder is a poor machine. The Felder appeals to the gizmo, CNC jewellery guy for sure but that doesn't move woodworking ahead in your shop. It just looks neat. I've shopped for two machines from both companies and for me the Minimax was the right choice both times.
    Last edited by Chris Fournier; 02-06-2019 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Seplling

  5. #5
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    Mar 2017
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    What part of the world are you located Toby?

  6. #6
    Located in Maine. What are you thinking?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby Jutras View Post
    Located in Maine. What are you thinking?
    Buying sources vary with country...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Western PA
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    Damn, i swear there was just a mint condition Kappa or 900 series saw in Maine from a guy moving to Phoenix.

    I have a decade old KF700 saw shaper. I agree that Felder has a much better/cooler aesthetic to it, but SCMI makes great stuff. For whatever its worth, i havent played around with Hammer stuff, but i wouldnt want less build quality than my 700 series. Im not ripping on the machine, it does what i want it to, but its just on the cusp of not being disappointing--if that makes any sense. My space is crammed full of too much stuff and tools, but i was recently in a creeker's shop with all Felder combos. I dont know what your space looks like or how big it is, but assuming you are in a 20x20' space, your thought process is on the right track. My shop is ok, and i like having stand alone jointer, planer, and a spare cabinet saw, but i an absolutely appreciate the effectiveness of combos in a small shop. If I switched to combos(and sold the cabinet saw), i would have a ton of open space to allow for a Barth table or two. This would let me work smarter and less wear and tear on my body lugging around project parts. I mill a lot of 8/4 for islands etc. so it makes a difference to push around a cart versus carrying. Open space is something i never put much stock in until it began to dwindle. Its a different way of operating, but for hobbyists it is a clean and elegant solution.

    Just curious, what is you budget for those two tools? Im guessing $20,000ish? Chris Mentioned the CU400, and in the last year or two ive seen atleast a dozen of them for under $8-9k. I dont know how you are with buying used things long distance, but saving 10k is saving 10k. Especially when you consider for $20k you wont have tooling, a feeder, etc. If you are patient, these high end hobby kits pop up every few months for appealing prices. I bought my single phase KF700 for about 65% off retail.

  9. #9
    Patrick,
    Much appreciated. Yes, the budget is just north of $20k, and within $250 between Felder & Minimax. My workshop is 30'x40' dedicated to woodworking, which seems generous until you start stocking some lumber, and assembling some stuff. I'd like to keep some room for a CNC in the future.

    I don't mind used, and looked at a Hammer C3 31 locally, but was underwhelmed and it was a bit rough. I just missed out on a SCMI with a 10' slider too. Part of my challenge is that I don't see the value in buying used unless I get it for >50% off new. Lots of folks trying to squeeze every dollar when they sell, and I'm no different.

    Thanks,
    Toby



    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    Damn, i swear there was just a mint condition Kappa or 900 series saw in Maine from a guy moving to Phoenix.

    I have a decade old KF700 saw shaper. I agree that Felder has a much better/cooler aesthetic to it, but SCMI makes great stuff. For whatever its worth, i havent played around with Hammer stuff, but i wouldnt want less build quality than my 700 series. Im not ripping on the machine, it does what i want it to, but its just on the cusp of not being disappointing--if that makes any sense. My space is crammed full of too much stuff and tools, but i was recently in a creeker's shop with all Felder combos. I dont know what your space looks like or how big it is, but assuming you are in a 20x20' space, your thought process is on the right track. My shop is ok, and i like having stand alone jointer, planer, and a spare cabinet saw, but i an absolutely appreciate the effectiveness of combos in a small shop. If I switched to combos(and sold the cabinet saw), i would have a ton of open space to allow for a Barth table or two. This would let me work smarter and less wear and tear on my body lugging around project parts. I mill a lot of 8/4 for islands etc. so it makes a difference to push around a cart versus carrying. Open space is something i never put much stock in until it began to dwindle. Its a different way of operating, but for hobbyists it is a clean and elegant solution.

    Just curious, what is you budget for those two tools? Im guessing $20,000ish? Chris Mentioned the CU400, and in the last year or two ive seen atleast a dozen of them for under $8-9k. I dont know how you are with buying used things long distance, but saving 10k is saving 10k. Especially when you consider for $20k you wont have tooling, a feeder, etc. If you are patient, these high end hobby kits pop up every few months for appealing prices. I bought my single phase KF700 for about 65% off retail.

  10. #10
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    Hey Toby, I sent you a private message. Not sure if you received it. Let me know.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pappas View Post
    Hey Toby, I sent you a private message. Not sure if you received it. Let me know.
    PMs are limited to Contributors. Please see the announcement at the top of any forum area.

    Jim
    Forum Moderator

  12. #12
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    My main priority would be access to technical support who have the personnel near enough to fix the machine. Phones and email work but sometimes hands on support is the only answer.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rick Atkins at Akins Machinery is New Hampshire is just about as helpful, willing, hard working and generally just a good guy as they come from what I have experienced so far. We purchased two new machines from him in the past two years and in all cases he has been great. He has even gone so far as to call just to check in and when I told him one machine was not working how I would hope I had a tech in our shop the next day without even asking, he just showed up and said I hear your having problems with the machine wanna show me what’s going on.

    Really really can’t recomend Atkins specifically Rick Akins anymore. I started my machinery buying with Felder. I have a whole shop of my own in my basement. Since I have been working full time as cabinet maker but in others shops. I’m not a huge scm fan either but I’ll say this. They are heads and shoulders aboive Felder imop. I will say my experiment has been with scm and their higher end stuff and not Minimax though. I do know others with Minimax that’s renhapoy but I have never used or seen the machines.

  14. #14
    For what it's worth, I only have one Felder machine and a couple of SCM machines. I'm not impressed with the Felder. It's a nice machine, it looks good sitting there, but I'm not impressed with what it cost and what I got. I feel it would've been wiser to spend money elsewhere.

    The SCM stuff isn't outstanding either, but it's nice, and I feel a better value.

    None of that is really based on anything other than opinion.
    Last edited by Martin Wasner; 02-13-2019 at 5:38 PM.

  15. Toby, did you but the Felder AD 941 or MiniMax FS 41E? I was contemplating the AD941 or the FS 41E-S and curious what you decided. Thanks, Rob

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