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Thread: Considering first festool

  1. Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    This is always an opinion that baffles me. That to me is like saying I don't own and haven't tried any Bosch, Makita or Dewalt tools but I can't imagine them being any better than Harbor Freight tools. While one tool being some percentage better than another can be highly subjective it is pretty clear that that rarely is any consumer product that is twice the money considered to be twice as good.

    The entire thing boils down to value and that is very personal. Different people (particularly hobbyists) place different priorities on woodworking tools. Someone that is very passionate may be willing to spend far more on a tool than someone that occasionally does woodworking, similarly, there are some people that have to save up for a HF tool and wait for a 25% off coupon and some who can skip Festool and buy Mafell by the truckload without even looking at the price tag. I completely understand the value argument and have known people that tried or bought Festool and for them the value proposition did not work, but I will never understand the I never used them but they can't be that much better argument.

    There is a cult-like following correctly associated with Festool but there are a large contingent of Festoolians that will quickly admit that other companies make better versions of some tools (usually at a higher price) and there are many tools that get to within (an admittedly arbitrary) 10% of them for much less money, the high-end European made Bosch is an example. The thing that really sucks people into Festool is the ecosystem, which is by far the best in all of tooldom. Honesty, I used to be in the "they are completely overpriced camp" but then I tried them.
    I think that one can rationally compare the overall performance and features of two tools, but comparing value is not possible, other than by an individual for him/her self. A tool (or any item) doesn't have to be twice as good to be a justifiable/desirable/good value purchase at twice the price - the value placed on one tool over the other just has to be more than the absolute difference in price. So a 5% better sanding experience/tool may be worth paying $500- more for one person and $5- more for another - depending on their own values (and to a large extent likely driven by their wealth as well). You don't see a billionaire making a decision to buy a Ferrari on the basis of whether it is x% better than a Hyundai at x% of it's price - they just like the car, know it's better than a Hyundai and $500,000 more is not really a lot of money in absolute terms to them.

    Cheers, Dom

  2. #32
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    Well, I’m not a billionaire but I find sanding with my ridgid ROS and Ridgid 16 gal shopvac attached to to be tedious and difficult to manipulate for any length of time. I do run a hepa. At in the shop vac but I’m sure there are better extraction options. But The ergonomics and the stiffness of the 2.5” hose make it a bear. Plus the vibration just kills my hands over time.

    I dont have the compressor power power to run a pneumatic with only a 20gal Quincy compressor and no room to add a larger one.

    I am also looking at the Mirka Deros system in comparison.

    So, I’m interested in the festool, or other, that would improve on ergonomics and dust collection for general sanding on everything from cutting boards to furniture to whatever.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 12-14-2018 at 8:54 AM.

  3. #33
    Like mentioned above one major advantage is vibration reduction. Compared to the Bosch 3275 I have, which I would have considered a pretty good sander, the Festool has much less vibration, much less. I can use it several hours and feel no ill effects. The balance is also much better making it easy to control all around.

    People that haven't owned these tools always comment on the high price and how they are not worth it. How can that even be?

    While you can use any old shop vac the quality of the hose (compared to my Bosch hose) is also much higher. It's more flexible, attaches easier, and is softer so it does not damage anything. Plus it is less noisy than my other 2 shop vacs. The price is high and hurts but it lessens over time while the quility and enjoyment using a fine tool does not. Life is too short to use cheap tools.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    It's a combination of ergonomics and how much vibration gets transferred to your hand. I didn't fully understand it until I'd spent some time using a Festool..
    Vibration reduction was the original reason I bought my Festool sanders...my hands and wrists were going numb...literally...from using PC and other ROS sanders. I started wearing gel-filled gloves when using them to "try" and mitigate, but it didn't work completely. Since acquiring my festool sanders "a long time ago now", zero numbness and great sanding performance. That alone "paid" for the machines but the fact that they last and last doesn't hurt, either.
    --

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

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    I was looking at the ETS 125 REQ-Plus. A combo like this: https://festools-online.com/festool-...r-ct-mini.html
    That's the sander I use 95% of the time, and love it.

    As I said earlier, I use the current generation of the Fein vac. Some claim the new Feins aren't as dependable as the old ones, mine's been going strong daily for a couple of years, zero problems.

  6. #36
    The only Festool I own is a 5" sander. Good tool but the sanding pad wore out (cracked and broken) and for the price of a replacement pad you can buy a new sander from someone else. I own and use 5 other ROS and can not justify the expense of the Festool part or even a Festool tool for the prices they ask. My favorite sander is a Makita ROS with the extension side handle, very ergonomic and comfortable.

  7. #37
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    Vacuum: Great

    Sanders: Great

    Router: Pretty good but needs an LED light.

    Kapex: Nope.

    Planer: Pretty good.

    Track saw: Great, buy the right blades for each type of cut.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zac wingert View Post
    Do not drink the kool aid... just my opinion, though. I have no festool products and have never tried out any, but I canít imagine when they are so much more than whatís availabile from Bosch, dewalt, etc.. Iím not a professional, but itís a whole whole lot more money that Iíd rather spend on wood. I just imagine that % the tools are better is not proportional to the % of the cost.

    As a hobbiest, it just seems silly. I have a 5Ē Bosch ROS ($70) dewalt 1/4 sheet sander ($50) and two old craftsman 3x21 belt sanders (given to me for free)and the idea of spending about $1k for a sander and basically a vacuum is unthinkable.
    Zac
    One of the benefits that you are reaping from Festool, is that you're now getting a better quality tool in the "lower tiered" product lines. Tool manufacturers aren't stupid, they have a product to sell and they study the market like a stock broker.
    In the 90's and early 2000's most of those companies made absolute junk.
    DeWalt in the late 90's was junk in a box. Just awful. Anything from Harbor Freight today is better than what DeWalt was selling in the late 90's. Bosch was slightly better, and Ryobi was just embarrassing in it's junk quality. It was absolute garbage. Makita was somewhere between Ryobi and DeWalt. Porter Cable was circling the drain and only their name continued to sell tool. Once the best routers you could buy, they were now just plastic and cheap aluminum wares. They were being offered at 1/2 price everywhere and they still couldn't sell them. I bought three brand new PC8529's of the blow out table at Home Depot for < $100 each. I have an 890 from that era that I'd give away for postage, but am afraid I'd still be taking advantage of someone.
    Festool entered the market and people bought their products. Not just professionals, but home owners and hobbyists. The other manufacturers saw this and realized just how much money a person was willing to pay for any given tool. It took them awhile to respond, but across the board they improved their product lines and now make a reputable product for sale. They keep the price point under Festool, but there are some good, reliable, tools in their product lines
    If Festool did nothing else, it aided in improving the quality of tools available to the "average Joe". Internet competition also aided this.
    It also isn't so much "drinking the koolaid", but folks found a product line that worked as advertised. You definitely had to pay for them, but they filled a vacuum created by the other manufacturers of the time, in their race to the bottom, putting profit over quality.
    I have 4 DeWalt sanders. I actually like them, bit some people hate them. Everyone of them was bought with a yellow "returned tag at Home Depot. I have 4 sanders less than 1/2 the price of one Festool sander. It works for me.
    My drills are Makita's, they've been great I really like them. They've taken a fair beating from me and held up just fine. They've also been left in the garage through numerous winters, with the batteries in them, and charged back up in the spring time and still keep working.
    For Festool, I have their TS75, two routers, and a Carvex jig saw. When I bought the TS 75, only Hilti was selling a circular saw of that size on par with the Festool. Makita had a 10" and a 12" circular saw, but they weren't cheap either, and neither company had yet to adopt the guide rail concept.
    Their routers though are a different story altogether. The OF2200 is simply the best router I have ever used, and I've used a lot of different routers.
    The Carvex is a system concept, and you have to have a use for a jig saw to really appreciate what it brings to the table. Bosch used to have nice jigsaws also, but I can't speak about them now. Milwaukee's are barely okay. I have two of them.
    If you haven't ever tried any Festool products, you should. If you use routers, give their 1010 and 2200 a whirl. They're both amazing just by themselves without any of the other accessories required.

    To the OP
    You can spend your $$$$ confidence on Festool sanders, and Vac's. We are now using them at work to remove epoxy and lead based paints. I'd have to ask the painters which models they're using. They like them, because it gets them out of full face respirators. I still like the FEIN vacs over the Festool vac's and it seems as if the Festool vac's have gotten a little louder to me.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 12-14-2018 at 11:34 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  9. #39
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    Dec 2006
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    I own 2 Festool sanders, the ETS 125REQ and the DTS 400EQ as well as 2 Festool Vacuums the CT26 and the Midi.

    The sanders are wonderful, they sand very well, the abrasives are long lasting, dust collection is excellent and my hand doesn't go numb using them.

    The vacuums are great, they are a true HEPA vacuum, they're quiet, have variable suction and auto start, and the systainer storage system is brilliant.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the above again..........Rod.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    I was looking at the ETS 125 REQ-Plus. A combo like this: https://festools-online.com/festool-...r-ct-mini.html
    OK this was what I was curious about. Be aware that the ETS 125 REQ is a short stroke finish sander and while I have them I never use them with grits lower than 180. It is an excellent sander but you need to be aware of its limitations and preferably try one out before buying. The better choice to replace a "standard" ROS is the ETS 150 in 5mm stroke. If you really want a 5" sander then the brushless ET series is the MUCH better sander, but only bears discussion if you are willing to pay the price.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post

    I am also looking at the Mirka Deros system in comparison.
    I own Festool (brushed and brushless which is EC in Euro lexicon), Mirka and Airvantage (which as best as I can sleuth is the company that makes Surfprep sanders) ROS.

    The brushless sanders are far superior in my view and my opinion of the three different versions I have is the Airvantage/Surfprep is the best with Mirka then Festool behind them. They are all excellent and the differences are far smaller than the difference between them and the brushed sanders.

    We had a discussion talking about pneumatics and electrics a few months ago. https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....ght=airvantage

    The biggest issue with brushless sanders is their price which in turn dictates value for an individual. I would say if possible try them out, that is usually pretty easy with Festool since even if you live in the middle of nowhere you can take advantage of their 30 day return policy but Mirka has them on display at some of their dealers so you can try before you buy.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  12. #42
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    Mar 2016
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    Florida
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    Thanks all. Sounds like I need to try them out before ordering anything so I’ll wait until I’m by the woodcraft store next time. I think there is a Mirka dealer or two near some of those woodcraft stores.

  13. #43
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    Mar 2008
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    SW Michigan
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    My Festool arsenal is not huge, I bought the Domino and 150 Rotex because I thought they would enable me to produce stuff quicker . My CT 36 dust "extractor" is nice but not unique like the two aforementioned tools, good dust collection can be had for much less money and the bags for the Festool extractors are ridiculously overpriced . I also have a Pro 5 sander , the one they offered as a promotional item a couple of years ago. I'm not enthralled with it although there is nothing wrong with it. The Rotex is truly a 2 handed beast and the two modes are very useful for me. The Rotex has several sanding pads available with different flexibility levels which makes light shaping and sanding difficult to reach areas much easier. I'm not a full time pro but I do make money on my woodworking "side hustle" and the Rotex and Domino have sped my workflow up considerably. I'm also a careful spender so I'm quite content to use other tools that are not green in my shop. I just don't see any justification for buying any other Festool at this time.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Zac wingert View Post

    As a hobbiest, it just seems silly. I have a 5” Bosch ROS ($70) dewalt 1/4 sheet sander ($50) and two old craftsman 3x21 belt sanders (given to me for free)and the idea of spending about $1k for a sander and basically a vacuum is unthinkable.
    Seems to me that being a hobbyist makes price a non issue. Isn't that the point of a hobby? Spending the fruit of your labor on stuff just because you like it.

  15. #45
    I wouldn't buy a Festool sander. Mirka are light years ahead in my opinion, I've used both.

    Domino is handy

    Kapex is a great install saw, but I'd never bolt one down in a shop.

    The track saw isn't a good value. The Makita is marginally less saw for a lot less money, both use a garbage track. Mafell makes the best in that department.

    I really like their vacuums, just haven't had a need for one.

    The rest? Some of it's really good, some of it isn't worth the premium. The one awesome thing about Festool is it's all made to work together. Not that influential in a shop, but pretty awesome on-site

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