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Festool is overrated10/20
When I started my business back in '02, I invested in a bunch of Festool equipment. We've grown now to the point where we rarely use any of it, and frankly, that's a good thing. To date, the 5" sander has been back a number of times for various items, brushes (to be expected), new plug, etc. The 6" Sander has been back many times also. Most recently it needed a housing replaced. Seriously? The housing failed? Yup. It's also had the plug replaced along with some bearings.
Yesterday, the rarely used jigsaw broke. Unbelievably, it's a cast or forged aluminum component, again a part of the housing.
To make it worse, our dust extractor is now shutting itself off after 30 minutes.
The routers have all been good, but they only have a few hours on them. The CNC now does all the heavy lifting. The one tool that has performed without problem has been the track saw.
I say all this for the new guys here, or anyone considering new hand tools. Their advertising and marketing are great, and the tools work beautifully. They are not as durable as claimed.
Sorry, we have been using festool products for the last 10 years and have had nothing but great luck...would never go back to anything else. We have 3 sprinters with pretty much nothing but festool...not a casual user at all
The couple times there was an issue, it was with a drill and/or impact driver...sent back to festool and they returned good as new, no charge and no questions asked
Did you consider the fact that Festool was even willing to repair the tools? Try getting that from any of the other lines. You'd throw them away and buy another. If you are using electric sanders in a cabinet shop environment, air driven tools would be a better choice. I believe Festool to be a very good grade of contractor tools but not necessarily and industrial tool. Your application might need a more robust tool.
We are not a high production shop but have used Festool for years. All our Festools have performed well and makes doing this for a living a lot easier. Only issue we ever had was with our dust extractor years ago. Festool had us send it to them, they fixed it free of charge and even asked us if we wanted a loaner during the repair. Now that's customer service! Just wanted to put in my two cents...
It's funny I saw this. I just used a festool chop saw today for the first time. The $1500 one. What a piece of plop! The plastics were obviously cheap, the action was difficult. The blade spun so slow my hair turned gray while using it. The guard can't be manually held out of the way like a Dewalt. What else, oh yeah I needed a tutorial on how to even start the thing and I have been using saws for 20 years. You can have that piece of sh&t!
Im always dubious of any post on any forum, where any line of tools is completely either lumped together as "cr@p" or praised like it is the only thing to get.
I have been in the woodworking business full time for 20+ years, and our company is approaching 50 years in existence.
Over those years, we have bought and used a lot of tools...an awful lot of tools! Some good, some great and some I gave away after less than an hour of use. Electric and pneumatic.
As far as Festool - I have been using 4 of their sanders on a pretty much daily basis (with three of the vacuums) in the shop for several years. I think they are decent. Also one router, a 55 track saw, the Domino machine, and a few drills and driver. I'm not attached to the brand, but I really like what we have. No regrets and so far we have had zero issues with anything (nothing broke yet). When it does, and anything will wear and break if used daily for years - I wont think any less of the brand. No more so than the other tools we wore out from use, of damaged from some misuse, etc.
My feelings are similar to Andrew's. Vague claims about tool companies as a whole are usually to me not so helpful.
I like Festool and find them to be very well designed and usually work significantly better than the other brands they replaced. That's not to say they are perfect, just better than most. However I wouldn't want them as much for a production shop where some guys don't give a crap and abuse everything they touch. In that case there may be beefier, (though less refined), tools to do the job. In a small shop of craftsmen they should hold up pretty well.
It should be mentioned that not everyone treats their tools the same.
I can make a power tool last forever. Some workers can ruin a great tool in no time. I remember making some workers put their tool on the ground because I got tired of paying for them carelessly kicking or knocking a tool to the ground.
Festool overrated? I hope you aren't going to go on to claim that Apple products and Volkswagens (cough cough) aren't made with unicorn powder, either...
Agree. I bought a 5" ROS and had to send it in for repair soon after I opened the box. I'm not sure it still works as it should. It's hard to tell because everyone raves so much about them, but this thing is worthless...puts the worst swirl mark scatches I've ever seen. I've tried everything....different papers, different speeds, vac/no vac..nothing matters. I prefer a cheap dewalt or makita to this pos!
Someone please comment on the swirl marks that have experience and do quality finish work.
I have a track saw from Festool I use when I need it. It is weaker than my regular circular saw.......But It gets the job done nicely and the track and dust collection are really nice.
I don't use it for final dimensions unless the piece just can't go to the tablesaw.
I have a Domino as well, handy tool. If you need that sort of thing. The domino works well and is very clean when hooked to the vac.
I have a 3" rotax sander. I still use my DeWalt 5" more. I modified the DeWalt so the festool vac hooks to it.
The festool vacuum it really handy IMO. I have a hepa filter on it. I really kills any sanding dust.
I'm not sure the Festool sanders are worth the money. The rotax might be, if you need the direct drive option much.
You can hook a shop vac or festool vac to just about any sander and get pretty good dust collection.
Some of their stuff seems gimmicky, but it is all designed to work together which is a nice touch.
The black and decker jigsaw I bought in a pinch when nothing else was at the local hardware store........ Now that is a piece of junk. I would have been better off with a coping saw.
I have a bunch of Festool stuff. Some of it is awesome (track saws, screw gun, vacs, routers), some of them work no better than other brands, and some I didn't like using at all. I also experienced the problems with their 5" sander - swirl marks, rough sound and feel, and replaced it with a $70 DeWalt sander. They've released several updated versions since then, including a completely redesigned model. Waiting to hear what people have to say about it, but I'd be interested in trying it.
That said, all have proved to be very durable, and their service is top notch.
I started in 01 with the track saw , since then we have burned through a few of those . The sanders are good . We have both dominos , and use them more than I thought we would . We have two jigsaws , the new one is great . I bought the Kapex two years ago , that is the only tool I can't stand behind . Never could get the thing to cut square , the thing burned out in a few months . I sent it back to festool they put a new motor in it , they could not make it square . So I got rid of it . The track saws are the best thing they offer . We have a couple of the Cxs drill drivers , those are light and strong . I have some other cordless drills I bought in 05 , the drills work good , the batteries died years ago , had them rebuilt and they're now dead again sitting on the shelf.
We are an official partner / distributor of Festool in Ticino (Switzerland) and I would like to disagree with that.
Unlike other brands we also sell (Flex Tools and Bosch), Festool products offer high quality professional tools with proven satisfaction warranty.
Festool Products in Ticino, Switzerland