Author Topic: Makita vs Festool?  (Read 3259 times)

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Offline ejw1234567890

  • Posts: 3
Makita vs Festool?
« on: September 10, 2017, 04:55 PM »
I am a hobby woodworker and still building up my tool set.  have a good table saw, spindle moulder and P/T.  The question is what platform do i want to invest in for cordless power tools going forward.  I was all excited about festool but have recently been swayed by the Makita products, e.g. track saw, new trim/plunge router, pin nailer, etc.  They seem to be building out their range constantly as well.
 
Apart from the Domino, I'm not sure I can justify the Festool premium anymore.  It seems like compatibility was previously a big driver of festool but the cordless trend seems to make this less important IMO.

Interested to see if anyone else is thinking along the same lines.


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Offline mrB

  • Posts: 409
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 05:07 PM »
But Makita tools are generally great quality and value, and there range of 18v tools & appliances simply dwarfs that of any other manufacturer. Plus their tools and batterys etc are among the most widely available, which adds convenience.

If I hadn't fallen in love with the festool drills, and didn't have a general resentment of owning multiple battery platforms. .  I would un-questionably already be in the Makita 18v platform.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 183
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 05:09 PM »
Makita is a good, high quality brand.  Makita makes darn good tools.  Maybe in various reviews, the Festool will test a bit higher.  Maybe.  But the Makita will do the job 99.99999999% as well.  Does that extra .00000001 or whatever matter? Probably not.  And then when you figure in the extra $500 per tool the Festool costs over the Makita, ...  There really aren't any bad choices when you consider the various high end tool brands.  They are all about equal.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1373
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 05:48 PM »
Depends on what cordless tools you think you might be wanting in the future.

Makita is darn good and has a wide range of tool that fit their battery platform. Even a cordless sander.  Want to use your new Festool cordless sander's battery on another tool ?  [big grin] [big grin] [big grin]
Forget it.

Same if you buy a CXS drill that many guys like.

Want SDS drill down the line ?  Forget Festool.
Same with yard blower.
Want a cordless vacuum ? Makita , not Festool.

Festool's " system approach" falls woefully short when it comes their battery tool line. They decided to get serious a bit too late and they have decided to not have broad platform that shares batteries.

Unless you consider a couple of LED lights and wimpy radio broad offerings.

Another line  to consider would be Milwaukee. They have double the tools that Makita offers including trade specific items like plumbing crimpers and string trimmers.

That aside, as a hobbyist , I wouldn't get overly concerned about having a single battery tool lineup.  I'd buy the specific tools that fit my job and felt good to use. If that's five tools with four different batteries, so be it.  Sharing two/three batteries between 12 tool sounds good on paper, but is less so in practice unless you're mobile. 

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1551
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 06:19 PM »
I just ordered the CXS after a couple years of agonizing over whether I wanted to invest in still another battery platform, but that 90% adapter finally hypnotized my brain ...so now I have 12 and 18v Milwaukee, 18v Fein, 18v Festool, and now the 10.8v.  I have the Milwaukee 12v drill, hammerdrill, driver, impact driver, recip, oscillating, and rotary tools and at least 8 batteries.  I use the 18v hammerdrill, 1 1/8" rotary drill/hammer, 6 1/2" steel cutting circular saw, grinder, right angle impact driller, original impact, new hydraulic impact, blower, trimmer, and 3/8" drive impact...and the led lights.  I have the Fein cordless Supercut and the new drill driver.  I also have the HKC and three batteries. Trying to ignore the comments that say the TSC 55 seems more powerful than corded 55.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3592
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 06:49 PM »
Trying to ignore the comments that say the TSC 55 seems more powerful than corded 55.

Pssssst...it's true. [poke]

Just today I had to cut some 5/16" aluminum plate. Normally I'd haul out the corded 8" Milwaukee metal saw, grab an extension cord, grab a couple of clamps, grab a stick of 80/20, clamp everything down and then start cutting, but every 10-12" stop and clean out the aluminum chips that wedge themselves between the aluminum material and the stainless sole plate of the Milwaukee.

Today I tried something different.  I grabbed the TSC 55, changed blades, placed a guide rail on the aluminum and just pushed the saw down the rail. It was so easy it's now my method of choice.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 07:24 PM by Cheese »

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 899
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 07:42 PM »
Trying to ignore the comments that say the TSC 55 seems more powerful than corded 55.

Pssssst...it's true. [poke]

This seems to be the consensus in NA, with the 110v version but what do people in Europe and Aus think of the power difference, those who can compare the cordless to the 230v? Is there any difference I only have the TSC saw so I can't compare but we were always lead to believe that both saws were equal in power.
 So is the TSC only equal with the 230v TS?

Back to the OP's question, I'm presuming that you are in NA, you don't say (why do new members not include a rough location anymore) it would sure help with replies.

 Makita can be very slow at introducing some of their cordless range into certain countries the cordless router has been out in Europe and Aus since March but to the best of my knowledge still not yet released in NA but then NA get the 23gauge pin nailer before the rest of the world. So depending on where you live will probably make a difference.
 Maybe years ago there was some advantage in buying Festool but these days even for someone who makes their living with their tools it's a lot less and that's not because Festool have got worse it's because the competition has raised their game so much and offer much better value for money.

Offline ejw1234567890

  • Posts: 3
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2017, 08:34 PM »
Depends on what cordless tools you think you might be wanting in the future.

Makita is darn good and has a wide range of tool that fit their battery platform. Even a cordless sander.  Want to use your new Festool cordless sander's battery on another tool ?  [big grin] [big grin] [big grin]
Forget it.

Same if you buy a CXS drill that many guys like.

Want SDS drill down the line ?  Forget Festool.
Same with yard blower.
Want a cordless vacuum ? Makita , not Festool.

Festool's " system approach" falls woefully short when it comes their battery tool line. They decided to get serious a bit too late and they have decided to not have broad platform that shares batteries.

Unless you consider a couple of LED lights and wimpy radio broad offerings.

Another line  to consider would be Milwaukee. They have double the tools that Makita offers including trade specific items like plumbing crimpers and string trimmers.

That aside, as a hobbyist , I wouldn't get overly concerned about having a single battery tool lineup.  I'd buy the specific tools that fit my job and felt good to use. If that's five tools with four different batteries, so be it.  Sharing two/three batteries between 12 tool sounds good on paper, but is less so in practice unless you're mobile.


Thanks for the advice guys.  I think you are right about Festool and their cordless range. the lack of compatibility was what struck me early and what drew me to Makita ... other than the price.

Good comment below around other manufacturers really improving their ranges over the last few years to catch up to Festool.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2159
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 09:00 PM »
I have mostly Festool products but an older Panasonic drill that went south.  Batteries were going to be about $80-90 each.  I looked around and bought the drill / driver brushless small Makita for $239 with a third battery included.  Followed that with a Makita LED light.  Then a Makita right angle driver.  Then a Makita grass trimmer. 

My local Makita dealer said Makita has the broadest range of cordless tools, and he carries FT, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, etc. 

I've been happy with the Makita line thus far but I have not tried their track saw and have been really happy with my MFT / TSC55 / LR32.

But I think if you want cordless RANGE and AFFORDABILITY without sacrificing performance, Makita, Dewalt or Milwaukee are all REALLY good alternatives to consider. 

All are ahead of Festool in battery tool range.  All are ahead of FT in brushless.  FT might have the edge in quality or in a 'system' approach.

A new FT 18v drill kit is $630.  A Makita drill/impact driver brushless combo kit with better ergonomics, balance, speed, and equal or better performance is around $250 with 3 batteries.

I have realized that trying to buy everything on one battery platform might be a stretch for the range of tools you need.   Competition in the industry is good, and I hope we see continued innovation and faster releases coming from FT in the future.  I guess hoping for lower prices might not be in the cards, however.

Offline ejw1234567890

  • Posts: 3
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 11:46 PM »
thanks Neil

Offline Jmacpherson

  • Posts: 117
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 10:15 AM »
Makita can be very slow at introducing some of their cordless range into certain countries

I have to concur with @DB10, down here in SA Makita only release new tools or bring in new tools every 6 months. If Festool don't have stock locally can get it from Germany within 2 weeks.
Unfortunately their new Mitre saws (corded or cordless 2x18v) aren't available locally so I went with the Kapex instead otherwise I would have been very tempted by them.

I have a number of Makita 18v tools (impact drivers, drill, caulking gun, recip saw, chainsaw, line trimmer, wrench, leaf blower) which I use alongside my 18v HKC and PDC from Festool.

However I'm very happy with them and they have a very extensive lineup.

Their new cordless track saw seems to have more grunt than the TSC55 from the videos I've seen.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3970
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 06:08 PM »
For a nailer I went Grex, but in "wind powered" as the fuel cells are not available via airplane.

Makita, Milwaukee, etc are good.
Makita is pretty solid stuff - so it makes sense to gravitate to that platform.

I am going 10.8V in Metabo (but I do not think that they do North America).

Offline Woozal

  • Posts: 13
  • Lovin' the Festools!
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 09:57 PM »
I have to say you are not going to beat the cordless makita XPH07MB drill.  I have two of these to keep from changing drill bits/ drivers. This is hands better than any festoon or Milwaukee cordless drill. It is brushless motor and saves battery usage. You will pay about half the money as for a festool but this is a heavy duty drill, not a power screwdriver.  It is hammer drill and screw clutch.  Major torque and I got the 5amp hour batteries.  Highly recommended.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1958
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 11:42 AM »
Sounds like you're set with answers about Makita, but I'll add my 2 cents. I have both Festool and Makita Cordless tools. I just buy what works for me for the task or tasks I need to perform with the tools. Having said that, Makita DOES offer that huge line-up, so if you don't need batteries for every tool, buying bare tools does save you money. I move batteries between my 18volt 1/2" Impact Wrench, Blower, Cordless Saw and Recip. Saw as needed. I also have a 12 volt 1/4" hex impact and its larger 18 volt brother for assembly work. The small 12 volt size is great for tight areas that would be a struggle with the larger bodied 18 volt impact.
  The 1/2" drive Impact is just a beast in terms of power, REALLY surprised me once I bought it since I was experienced with Air Powered Impacts for decades and didn't realize how cordless impacts had caught up with them for power and small size.
 My older memories of 120 volt and cordless impacts were of fairly massive tools that didn't begin to match small air powered versions at all with regards to power output.... [embarassed] [eek]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline online421

  • Posts: 71
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 06:24 AM »
Festool power tools (except Domino)? its like Bentley Toilet paper. it make you feel better and thats about it.
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Festool DF700XL, CT36, LEX3
JLT 190BM2, JLT 79K10
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Sicar TOP6
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4 x Record

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3344
Re: Makita vs Festool?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 09:27 AM »
That is my experience as well.  I sold my corded 55 after trying out the TSC for a couple of weeks.  You may not notice the difference when cutting 3/4 material, but as you move up in thickness, and especially over 1 1/2", the TSC cuts noticeably easier than the corded version.  No strain on the motor and no bogging down.

Trying to ignore the comments that say the TSC 55 seems more powerful than corded 55.

Pssssst...it's true. [poke]

Just today I had to cut some 5/16" aluminum plate. Normally I'd haul out the corded 8" Milwaukee metal saw, grab an extension cord, grab a couple of clamps, grab a stick of 80/20, clamp everything down and then start cutting, but every 10-12" stop and clean out the aluminum chips that wedge themselves between the aluminum material and the stainless sole plate of the Milwaukee.

Today I tried something different.  I grabbed the TSC 55, changed blades, placed a guide rail on the aluminum and just pushed the saw down the rail. It was so easy it's now my method of choice.
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