Author Topic: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......  (Read 5099 times)

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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 920
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 01:54 PM »
On the inventory of Hammer vs. MM...I think Hammer keeps more inventory on hand now than they previously did, so this may be less of an issue depending on your timing and what you're looking for.  In my case, I purchased a machine from each company, the Hammer was in stock, the MM was being conceived at the factory in Italy.  My point being, I wouldn't use this as a differentiating factor until you've asked for a delivery timetable and determined it's an issue for you. 
-Raj

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Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1181
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2017, 02:27 PM »
Part of the silent power design is a very large gullet behind the cutters to enhance the dust collection and keep the cutters from pounding the chips into the wood. There is a noticeable difference in the cut quality between the silent power head and aftermarket heads, including the Byrd.

Don't just take my word for it - google the reviews.

I just want to emphasize this point.  The Silent Power cutter head produces a much better finish than your average helical cutter head.  Zero scalloping and no tracks at all.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 09:34 PM by RobBob »

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 02:43 PM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1181
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 03:07 PM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

I thought the same thing.  Almost crude looking finish.  One youtube video of a Minimax bandsaw, mentions sticking issues with the rack and pinion mechanism and sawdust raining down on the user.  Also, while the fence may be cast iron, it just looks crude and I don't think it has a high/low capability.  The same video shows the underside of the fence is rusty on a brand new machine.  Maybe the performance makes up for a few peccadillos?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 03:40 PM by RobBob »

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 822
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2017, 08:41 PM »
Wasnt even convinced from the images I found online that the Minimax stuff was built better than the Hammer/Felder stuff. I am fortunate enough to live near the Hammer/Felder location in Sacramento and have been there a couple times to check out their tools. Everything looks amazing and the build quality it top notch. They had quite a bit in stock when I picked up my N4400 a few years ago and they have even more now. Cant wait to bring home my A3-31 from there someday.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 570
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2017, 09:00 PM »
Wasnt even convinced from the images I found online that the Minimax stuff was built better than the Hammer/Felder stuff. I am fortunate enough to live near the Hammer/Felder location in Sacramento and have been there a couple times to check out their tools. Everything looks amazing and the build quality it top notch. They had quite a bit in stock when I picked up my N4400 a few years ago and they have even more now. Cant wait to bring home my A3-31 from there someday.

Is the Sacto location a retail store that you can just walk into or do you need an appt? 
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 822
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2017, 09:08 PM »
Wasnt even convinced from the images I found online that the Minimax stuff was built better than the Hammer/Felder stuff. I am fortunate enough to live near the Hammer/Felder location in Sacramento and have been there a couple times to check out their tools. Everything looks amazing and the build quality it top notch. They had quite a bit in stock when I picked up my N4400 a few years ago and they have even more now. Cant wait to bring home my A3-31 from there someday.

Is the Sacto location a retail store that you can just walk into or do you need an appt? 
Its in an office complex with a small warehouse attached to the back and last I was there they had machines setup in a small showroom setting. And yes, last time I was there its a walk in atmosphere, no appointments needed. If you go, try and meet Liz, she's awesome and has been there for years now.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 570
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2017, 10:26 AM »
Cool, thanks Ben.  Now I can stop by the next time I'm in the area.  I'll be getting an A3 at some point from them and maybe a bandsaw so it definitely makes the purchase a little easier when there's a place to look over the machines, pick up, etc.
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline escan

  • Posts: 25
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2017, 11:07 AM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

Usually I hear the exact opposite about MM, in comparison to the Hammer line. But then again, those forums did have a strong MM presence via sales reps.

Besides old American and top of the line German, would you prefer Felder/Format J/Ps to SCMI/Nova J/P? Curious to hear your insight Warner. 

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2017, 11:24 AM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

Usually I hear the exact opposite about MM, in comparison to the Hammer line. But then again, those forums did have a strong MM presence via sales reps.

Besides old American and top of the line German, would you prefer Felder/Format J/Ps to SCMI/Nova J/P? Curious to hear your insight Warner.

The only combo machine I have messed with is a wadkin fm.  My customers don't really have a use/need for a combo machine, they want stand alone stuff.

Scmi makes good stuff, my only issue with any of their machines are the electronics and the metric frame motors. Those motors just don't last that long, talking  3phase motors. I have American made nema frame motors that are over 100 years old still running strong.

I do despise all the plastic knobs and handles, they are always broken. Metal and cast ones don't break with normal use.

I am just use to a machine being used hard for 60 years, being rebuilt and ready for another 60.  I don't see these felders, hammers, MM, or even the newer italian/ German stuff lasting that long. Lot of that has to do with the electronics in this new stuff.

Offline escan

  • Posts: 25
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2017, 11:58 AM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

Usually I hear the exact opposite about MM, in comparison to the Hammer line. But then again, those forums did have a strong MM presence via sales reps.

Besides old American and top of the line German, would you prefer Felder/Format J/Ps to SCMI/Nova J/P? Curious to hear your insight Warner.

The only combo machine I have messed with is a wadkin fm.  My customers don't really have a use/need for a combo machine, they want stand alone stuff.

Scmi makes good stuff, my only issue with any of their machines are the electronics and the metric frame motors. Those motors just don't last that long, talking  3phase motors. I have American made nema frame motors that are over 100 years old still running strong.

I do despise all the plastic knobs and handles, they are always broken. Metal and cast ones don't break with normal use.

I am just use to a machine being used hard for 60 years, being rebuilt and ready for another 60.  I don't see these felders, hammers, MM, or even the newer italian/ German stuff lasting that long. Lot of that has to do with the electronics in this new stuff.

Makes sense, conveniences does heavy up front and back end cost. Thanks.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 822
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2017, 08:27 PM »
The minimax stuff looks cheap. Handle, knobs, clamps, etc were kind of pathetic for what the price of the machine was. Grinds on the tables were not very pretty, thin sheet metal, etc.  I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on that kind of machine.

Usually I hear the exact opposite about MM, in comparison to the Hammer line. But then again, those forums did have a strong MM presence via sales reps.

Besides old American and top of the line German, would you prefer Felder/Format J/Ps to SCMI/Nova J/P? Curious to hear your insight Warner. 
That was actually my first major turn off to MiniMax. Their reps in forums were helpful but kinda sleazy in talking down Hammer/Felder and even giving misinformation to make their products sound like they were the only/best game in town and the others were chinese junk. I can't stand that kind of sales tactics.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 649
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2017, 12:04 AM »
Based on my personal experience, I am going to have to disagree with your characterization of the MiniMax rep as sleazy.  As I understand it, the sole US rep is Sam Blasco in Smithville, Texas.  I've met Sam and toured his shop.  He's a talented furniture maker, hardcore cyclist, Festool enthusiast and in my judgement a stand up guy.

Sam knew I was also seriously considering Hammer but did not disparage their products at all.  I asked him some tough questions and he answered everyone in a straightforward manner even if it was not flattering to MiniMax.  I have a number of friends in the business that know Sam and use MiniMax and they all vouched for his integrity.  In the end, Sam won my business and has been patiently supportive knowing that he will have to wait months for me to have enough funds.

I understand a MiniMax J/P is not the ultimate tool and there are other makers in a higher price range that exceed it.  The truth is for those with plenty of space, separate machines are a better choice.  I also appreciate that there are "old iron" machines from the past that were built to last a lifetime and with a little elbow grease can be refurbished to last another.

It is, however, a good fit for me given my very limited floor space.  The 16" FS-41 will be a nice step up from my 6" jointer and 13" lunchbox planer.

p.s.  I stand corrected regarding country of origin.  It is, of course, made in Italy by SCM Group.  Must have been the mad cow disease acting up again.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 12:09 AM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 822
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2017, 12:27 AM »
Based on my personal experience, I am going to have to disagree with your characterization of the MiniMax rep as sleazy.  As I understand it, the sole US rep is Sam Blasco in Smithville, Texas.  I've met Sam and toured his shop.  He's a talented furniture maker, hardcore cyclist, Festool enthusiast and in my judgement a stand up guy.

Sam knew I was also seriously considering Hammer but did not disparage their products at all.  I asked him some tough questions and he answered everyone in a straightforward manner even if it was not flattering to MiniMax.  I have a number of friends in the business that know Sam and use MiniMax and they all vouched for his integrity.  In the end, Sam won my business and has been patiently supportive knowing that he will have to wait months for me to have enough funds.

I understand a MiniMax J/P is not the ultimate tool and there are other makers in a higher price range that exceed it.  The truth is for those with plenty of space, separate machines are a better choice.  I also appreciate that there are "old iron" machines from the past that were built to last a lifetime and with a little elbow grease can be refurbished to last another.

It is, however, a good fit for me given my very limited floor space.  The 16" FS-41 will be a nice step up from my 6" jointer and 13" lunchbox planer.

p.s.  I stand corrected regarding country of origin.  It is, of course, made in Italy by SCM Group.  Must have been the mad cow disease acting up again.
Never communicated with Sam. Probably never will as I'm pretty set on the Hammer/Felder tool offerings. That said, the rep I was referring to used to hang around SawmillCreek and is no longer selling MiniMax.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline escan

  • Posts: 25
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2017, 10:43 AM »
Besides the cutter head, I would look into the rollers and how distribute pressure. Segmented pressure bars don't seem to be offered with any of the entry level J/P s, regardless of brand. That's an important factor for my style of work and why I'm looking at the bigger units. If you have time and patience, great but if you need to feed a stack of thin stock on edge or edge-banding, you'll get anxious to feed multiples and then stalls happen.

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1181
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2017, 10:21 AM »
Cool, thanks Ben.  Now I can stop by the next time I'm in the area.  I'll be getting an A3 at some point from them and maybe a bandsaw so it definitely makes the purchase a little easier when there's a place to look over the machines, pick up, etc.
@live4ever

Fyi...
Felder California Open House

Offline micknm

  • Posts: 19
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2017, 11:13 AM »
Tersa has and continues to be the hallmark of Italian and the best German, (Martin) J/Ps, which typically cater to larger, industrial use clients. Has anybody worked with a Tersa equipped J/P using 7.5+horsepower and compared results to a spiral cutter? Just wondering if smaller HP units benefit greater from using spirals and yield better results.

Looking at the griggio fs 530 which martin uses for their compact model.

My guess is that lower HP units would benefit more from spiral cutters for the same reason that skewing a hand plane reduces the amount of force required to push through the material by effectively reducing the sheer angle.

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 570
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2017, 01:01 PM »
Cool, thanks Ben.  Now I can stop by the next time I'm in the area.  I'll be getting an A3 at some point from them and maybe a bandsaw so it definitely makes the purchase a little easier when there's a place to look over the machines, pick up, etc.
@live4ever

Fyi...
Felder California Open House

Sweet, thanks!  Field trip!   [thumbs up]
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline Brandon

  • Posts: 214
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2017, 08:58 PM »
I have 2 Minimax machines, S315 Elite S slider and S400 bandsaw. Also recently got a Hammer A341A 16" jointer with silent cutter. A friend of mine has a Felder slider. Having said all that, in my opinion the Minimax machines are more on par with Felder quality and exceed Hammer quality by a good margain. My Hammer jointer is very nice and does what I need very well but the overall build quality doesn't compare with either of my Minimax machines.
Either way you'll be getting a good machine, I just don't agree that Hammer is near the quality of Minimax. Different price point, different quality

Offline Trevin

  • Posts: 70
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2017, 02:11 PM »
I have to agree with @Brandon.  When I was looking for a J/P combo I looked at Minimax, Felder and Hammer.  The Hammer was not as "heavy" duty as Minimax or Felder machines.  I ended up going with the Minimax FS41 elite due to pricing and dust collection.  I did not like how the Felder machine dust collection went from right side/left side during different operations.  Not a biggie but preferred it all on the right side like the Minimax machine.  I am really happy with the Minimax machine.  I really like the Tersa head and the SIMPLE blades changes.

Trevin
Festool: MFT3 (x2), OF1010, OF1400, LR32, Domino DF500, Domino XL DF700, Kapex KS120, TS-75, Carvex 420, CXS, C-18, Vecturo OS 400, DTS 400, Pro 5, Rotex 125, VAC-PMP, VAC-SYS-1, VAC-SYS-2, CT-26 (x2), CT-SYS, SYS Light DUO, SYS-ROCK
Other: Minmax FS41, Sawstop PCS (3HP, 52"), Laguna BX14, Jet 17" Drill Press, Rikon 70-220VSR Lathe, Incra LS Router Station, Laguna P/Flux 3 Dust Collector