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Thread: Anyone have experience with Felder Pneumatic Hold Down Clamps?

  1. #1

    Anyone have experience with Felder Pneumatic Hold Down Clamps?

    Hey guys I'm awaiting the arrival of my Felder K500s sliding table saw and I was looking for clamping solutions.

    I already have a Fritz and Franz jig and I was going to just buy 2 of the large Kreg hold down clamps. But I was thinking it might be worth the money for the pneumatic clamps. The Mac clamps are great looking but unfortunately just too much money for me right now and the Felder ones are half that price.

    I was hoping to hear from anyone that has used the Felder pneumatic clamps to see if they're any good.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Does anyone that hasn't used these clamps maybe know about these types of pneumatic tools? Like are you able to tell the difference in how these would perform vs the Mac models? Here are the links for both:

    https://www.felder-group.com/en-us/s...-hose-sp123936

    https://www.airtightclamps.com/

  3. #3
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    Hey Josh, I don’t have any experience with the Felder clamps, but have Mac’s airtight clamps. The price tag is a bit steep, but if you use them frequently they are more than worth it. They are incredibly well made, easy to adjust, and have stood up to pretty heavy use for the last couple of years. I would be interested to hear from folks who have used both.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John Pendery View Post
    Hey Josh, I donít have any experience with the Felder clamps, but have Macís airtight clamps. The price tag is a bit steep, but if you use them frequently they are more than worth it. They are incredibly well made, easy to adjust, and have stood up to pretty heavy use for the last couple of years. I would be interested to hear from folks who have used both.
    Hey John thanks for the info. Can you tell any downsides by looking at the Felder clamps? I'm just not even sure exactly what I'm looking at as far as differences. I asked Mac to tell me why his are better but didn't get a response, which was disappointing.

  5. #5
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    I can see a few differences. The Mac air clamps support system can be adjusted forward/back and up/down. There's even a swivel head type mount that allows for complex clamping scenarios. The Felder clamps are fixed, but you can rotate the base around (not as adjustable or flexible though). Felder clamps are also limited to a 3-3/4" material height.

    The piston geometry on the Mac clamps are at a slight angle. This means that the forward clamp will naturally try to pull the material back against the cross-cut fence. The rear clamp will naturally try to push the material forward against the cross-cut fence. The Felder clamps appear to come straight down in a perfect vertical line.

    The Mac clamps allow you to activate/deactivate the clamps from either the front clamp switch or the rear clamp switch. The Felder clamps can only be activated using the front clamp. However, a wireless remote model can be had for about $700 more.

    Mac's clamp design allows for the compressed air tube to be run inside the sliding table and fed from a roller on the front chassis. The Felder clamps will have the compressed air tubes hung in air (but I'm sure you could run it inside the slider.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Inami View Post
    I can see a few differences. The Mac air clamps support system can be adjusted forward/back and up/down. There's even a swivel head type mount that allows for complex clamping scenarios. The Felder clamps are fixed, but you can rotate the base around (not as adjustable or flexible though). Felder clamps are also limited to a 3-3/4" material height.

    The piston geometry on the Mac clamps are at a slight angle. This means that the forward clamp will naturally try to pull the material back against the cross-cut fence. The rear clamp will naturally try to push the material forward against the cross-cut fence. The Felder clamps appear to come straight down in a perfect vertical line.

    The Mac clamps allow you to activate/deactivate the clamps from either the front clamp switch or the rear clamp switch. The Felder clamps can only be activated using the front clamp. However, a wireless remote model can be had for about $700 more.

    Mac's clamp design allows for the compressed air tube to be run inside the sliding table and fed from a roller on the front chassis. The Felder clamps will have the compressed air tubes hung in air (but I'm sure you could run it inside the slider.
    Hey Aaron thanks for all the info man, it's a huge help. Sounds like the Mac air clamps might be a bit better. Do you think it's worth it from $1800 for the Felders vs $3500 for the Mac clamps? Just seems like so much money for clamps.

  7. #7
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    That's not to say that the Felder pneumatic clamps are a bad product. I'm sure they are a good quality item, just limited. Also, you can look at Mac Airclamps as a "one man shop". The price is relative to his cost for design, manufacturing, distribution, and a whole lot of customer support. It's very different for Felder, which is a corporation with a world wide set of commercial customers. I suspect that a very large percentage of Felder's commercial customers will never know that Mac's Airclamps actually exist.

    Ultimately, it's really up to you on how much the difference is actually worth and if you have a desire/budget to go that far.

  8. #8
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    Josh, I think Aaron did a great job of pointing out differences between the two, and I will wholeheartedly agree that either system is a lot of money! One more thing I will add is that Mac’s airtight clamps are pretty easy to adapt to use on multiple machines with either a T slot or a 30mm post. I happen to use my clamps on a bolt on shaper tenoning table that doesn’t have a T slot, and on another saw with a 30mm vertical post, so they pull double/triple duty. Looks like the Felder clamps might only be easy to adapt to machines with a sliding table T slot, but hard to say from just pictures and videos. It would be nice to have dedicated clamping setups at every machine, but I haven’t been able to justify the price tag yet, and the extra minute it takes to move a clamp doesn’t bother me too much. At the end of the day I think either option will get the job done by adding a whole lot of convenience and even increase margins of safety in the shop. I think you’ll have a great setup whichever direction you go

  9. #9
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    I also have the Airtight clamps from Mac. I use them all the time on my Hammer K4 slider. They were expensive, but they are built like a tank and worth every penny.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Inami View Post
    That's not to say that the Felder pneumatic clamps are a bad product. I'm sure they are a good quality item, just limited. Also, you can look at Mac Airclamps as a "one man shop". The price is relative to his cost for design, manufacturing, distribution, and a whole lot of customer support. It's very different for Felder, which is a corporation with a world wide set of commercial customers. I suspect that a very large percentage of Felder's commercial customers will never know that Mac's Airclamps actually exist.

    Ultimately, it's really up to you on how much the difference is actually worth and if you have a desire/budget to go that far.
    Yea I totally get that. I've been self employed for 20 years. However, it's very easy for me to "sell" myself as a premium product worth the extra money. To me if you can't explain why your product is double the price of a similar product then it's hard for me to want to spend that much. But we'll see if he responds back to my email. I still may go that route thanks to your explanation, but just wish I could find someone who has the Felder clamps.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by John Pendery View Post
    Josh, I think Aaron did a great job of pointing out differences between the two, and I will wholeheartedly agree that either system is a lot of money! One more thing I will add is that Macís airtight clamps are pretty easy to adapt to use on multiple machines with either a T slot or a 30mm post. I happen to use my clamps on a bolt on shaper tenoning table that doesnít have a T slot, and on another saw with a 30mm vertical post, so they pull double/triple duty. Looks like the Felder clamps might only be easy to adapt to machines with a sliding table T slot, but hard to say from just pictures and videos. It would be nice to have dedicated clamping setups at every machine, but I havenít been able to justify the price tag yet, and the extra minute it takes to move a clamp doesnít bother me too much. At the end of the day I think either option will get the job done by adding a whole lot of convenience and even increase margins of safety in the shop. I think youíll have a great setup whichever direction you go
    Yea I tend to agree that I'm sure either option works well. I guess I'll just have to decide if it's worth double the price. I'm not sure I'd use them on any other machines off the top of my head, but that's definitely something to consider. Appreciate the feedback.

  12. #12
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    I would guess the Felder clamps are just rebranded from another maker?
    Bill D

  13. #13
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    My advice is to use the saw for a while and then decide if clamps are needed at all for the work you are doing. The F&F jig is a very versatile clamping system and is all that I use, it costs about $2 to make one and at that price they can be considered consumable. The biggest issue for anyone going from a cabinet saw to a slider is trying to forget everything about how they used a table saw and developing the new techniques needed to use a slider. Have a look at these videos, some very advanced techniques are used including Sam's video where he shows the problems some clamps have. Just because a TS needs good clamping methods to prevent finger/hand contact with the blade does not mean that a lot of expensive clamping systems are needed for the same reason on a slider as your hands are nowhere near the blade and any clamping can usually be done with the F&F jig anyway.



    (1) Sam Blasco - YouTube

    (1) ExtremeWoodworker - YouTube
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    My advice is to use the saw for a while and then decide if clamps are needed at all for the work you are doing. The F&F jig is a very versatile clamping system and is all that I use, it costs about $2 to make one and at that price they can be considered consumable. The biggest issue for anyone going from a cabinet saw to a slider is trying to forget everything about how they used a table saw and developing the new techniques needed to use a slider. Have a look at these videos, some very advanced techniques are used including Sam's video where he shows the problems some clamps have. Just because a TS needs good clamping methods to prevent finger/hand contact with the blade does not mean that a lot of expensive clamping systems are needed for the same reason on a slider as your hands are nowhere near the blade and any clamping can usually be done with the F&F jig anyway.



    (1) Sam Blasco - YouTube

    (1) ExtremeWoodworker - YouTube

    Hey Chris so do you find that the fritz and franz holds a long piece steady enough to straight line rip the board perfectly? That's honestly the only reason I was thinking about the pneumatic clamps. I have the f&f made by Bedrosian Woodworks, so it's a super nice one. I was just worried about long rips. Thanks for the info and for potentially saving me a bunch of money! ha

  15. I have a Hammer B3 and use a combination of Fritz and Franz jig, and I use 2 6” Kreg bench clamps with bench bases in the slider track. When I want a perfect glue line rip on a board I use the later. The two clamps and the blocks for the track cost less than $200 total. If you want to see what that looks like check out Ramon Valdez on IG and you can see the clamps on the track.

    I’d love pneumatic clamps as much as the next person but it’s not in the budget. At least it’s wayyyy down the list from a lot of other things.

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