Author Topic: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......  (Read 4946 times)

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Offline estley

  • Posts: 94
Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« on: September 10, 2017, 08:22 PM »
I'm starting to seriously look into a Jointer/Planer. Since all the reviews are stellar, and I have a hammer bandsaw I love, I'm looking at one of the A3 machines. Here's where it gets sticky, the cost difference between the 3 knife and the spiral cutter block machines is not small. A3-26 with the spiral block is $4100, A3-31 with 3 knife is $3200, A3-31 with spiral $4800.... if Money wasn't a factor I'd go for the 31/Spiral, but I think realistically the question is:

"is the spiral cutter block worth an extra $900, and sacrificing 2 inches of width?"

As of right now I mostly deal with 8-10 wide boards, walnut, cherry some soft maple, but as I get more into using rough lumber instead of 4s, that may or may not change. I know that at the end of the day the answer is "it depends on _____", I guess what I'm asking is "if it were you...". Thanks!!

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Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1164
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 09:17 PM »
I've got the A3-31 with Silent Cutterhead.  If noise makes any difference to you, get the Silent Cutterhead.

I live in a townhouse, so the Silent Cutterhead was worth it to me.  Hammer has sales quite regularly.  I bet they will have one this fall.  Call and ask.

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 91
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 09:37 PM »
Absolutely go with silent power

Besides noise it's a smoother cut

AND if you nick a blade you just rotate that one blade 90 degrees instead of changing 3

They go on sale a couple times a year

Wait for the sale and get the right equipment

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 791
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 09:42 PM »
I am currently saving up for the A3-31 with Silent Cutter. From everything I have read from owners online the Silent cutter is well worth the additional cost both for the noise reduction and the finish quality. There is also the other bonus of blade longevity as the helical cutting heads have tons of individual square blades that last a long time and can each be rotated three times to a fresh cutting edge when they get dull or get nicked.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 55
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 10:03 PM »
Get the silent cutter head. I hit a hidden nail this weekend and wrecked 3 carbide inserts. Was back up and running again in a few minutes after a quick rotation.

I'm very sensitive to noise, and wear hearing protection when hammering nails, or using an impact driver. But the AD941 silent cutter head is quiet enough that I typically don't bother for a board or two.

Offline estley

  • Posts: 94
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 07:57 AM »
Spiral cutter head it is... I'll give them a call see what the actual pricing is. I remember when I bought my bandsaw, the price the sales guy gave me was lower than the online price, even with the sale, so they 31 w spiral head may not be that far off, thanks for the suggestions!


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Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 08:17 AM »
I am a straight knife guy.

Do they offer a tersa option?

Offline escan

  • Posts: 22
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 08:40 AM »
i went with 12" striaght blade for my hammer. My though was, they wanted $1000+ for the spiral head so they're saying that silent head is worth the cost of the striaght knife plus $1000...I could always pick up an after market spiral head for a 1000 and I still had the straight knife if ever needed. 

I just picked up a bigger band saw saw, over 12" re-saw, so I'll be putting the hammer in the classified when I came across a bigger jointer.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 791
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 11:55 AM »
I could always pick up an after market spiral head for a 1000 and I still had the straight knife if ever needed. 
Who makes an after market spiral head for the Hammer A3 series?
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline escan

  • Posts: 22
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 01:35 PM »
I could always pick up an after market spiral head for a 1000 and I still had the straight knife if ever needed. 
Who makes an after market spiral head for the Hammer A3 series?

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?125251-Byrd-Spiral-Head-for-Hammer-A3-31

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 791
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 04:21 PM »
I could always pick up an after market spiral head for a 1000 and I still had the straight knife if ever needed. 
Who makes an after market spiral head for the Hammer A3 series?

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?125251-Byrd-Spiral-Head-for-Hammer-A3-31
Ah, Byrd. Didnt know they made one. Good to know. Think Id still rather go with the factory installed one though.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline NL-mikkla

  • Posts: 216
  • www.m144h.com
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 06:05 PM »
Same here!

I am currently saving up for the A3-31 with Silent Cutter. From everything I have read from owners online the Silent cutter is well worth the additional cost both for the noise reduction and the finish quality. There is also the other bonus of blade longevity as the helical cutting heads have tons of individual square blades that last a long time and can each be rotated three times to a fresh cutting edge when they get dull or get nicked.

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1939
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 07:28 PM »
I am going with the silent power head as well.  I am deciding on the 41 right now, or maybe the fielder, or a Format!?!?  ;^)

Cheers. Bryan.


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People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 553
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 07:33 PM »
Saving for a 41 with silent power as the noise is an important consideration for me.  Will probably be saving for a while, lol.  Truth is I'd probably be okay with the 12" but right now I'm on 8/15" separates and don't want to feel downgraded on the planing width. 
"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: 22
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 08:33 PM »
I could always pick up an after market spiral head for a 1000 and I still had the straight knife if ever needed. 
Who makes an after market spiral head for the Hammer A3 series?

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?125251-Byrd-Spiral-Head-for-Hammer-A3-31
Ah, Byrd. Didnt know they made one. Good to know. Think Id still rather go with the factory installed one though.

That can of worms could be the most expensive.

Offline estley

  • Posts: 94
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 09:16 PM »
Yeah, I'm also a fan of getting factory vs after market


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Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 10:27 PM »
No difference in factory vs. Aftermarket, most of those similar style insert heads are made in the same factory somewhere in Asia. 

Bunch of companies make insert heads and Byrd would be my last choice. I am having a couple made for direct drive jointers and planers, hermance, Gladu, global tooling, etc. Will all make a head designed for your specific machine. 16" for a direct drive Yates jointer is about 2500 bucks.

Offline Eduard M

  • Posts: 71
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 03:33 AM »
HelixHead cutterheads  Build by Hermance Machine company are really good cutterheads
I oder one for my Formad4 Exact 63 planner over a year now, it works really good.
 I am really happy with it.
I have not had any issues at all,
In few months I am upgrading my 20" jointer,

If you want one talk to this guy 
Matt Strouse
General Manager
Hermance Machine Company
570-326-9156
www.hermance.com

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1551
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 07:20 AM »
Hermance is a great company that has been in machinery manufacturing and sales since the early 1800's.  They also have a Rockler store and they sell Festool.  They sell everything for DYI, to small shop, to major manufacturing equipment and carry all the major brands...PM, Delta, Jet, etc.  Best of all they are only 40 minutes from my shop and I work in Williamsport regularly.

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 10:31 AM »
Does the V set up work well for directing the chips towards the middle? Looks like it would eliminate blow out on the right side of lumber, which is common for most helical, insert style heads.

Offline estley

  • Posts: 94
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017, 08:44 PM »
called hammer this morning, they're running a "special" i'll have a full quote tomorrow, but off the top it looks like 20-ish% off


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Offline Eduard M

  • Posts: 71
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 12:38 AM »
Does the V set up work well for directing the chips towards the middle? Looks like it would eliminate blow out on the right side of lumber, which is common for most helical, insert style heads.


That is the general idea on the V set up
I have not had any major blow outs or tear out on new cutter head
One side of inserts lasted me one year

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 91
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 09:18 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.

Offline J0hn

  • Posts: 103
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 09:52 PM »

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 10:18 PM »
I saw some new minimal stuff today for the first time, short stroke slider and sliding table shaper, defiantly unimpressed, especially when I was told the price.

Offline escan

  • Posts: 22
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2017, 09:57 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.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 145
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2017, 10:12 AM »
I've had the A3-31 for about 3 years now. The silent head is amazing. Not only is it quiet enough to have a conversation while it is cutting (the DC is louder), but the quality of the cut is truly excellent. I have only just turned the carbide inserts for the first time to a second face. The wood I work with is hard and abrasive, so the longevity of the cutters is clearly in the superior category.

I bought mine with the spiral head fitted by the factory. I recommend you do the same. Save a bit longer. It will be worth it.  Having the factory do it is less hassle and will be done correctly.

Add in the cost of the digital gauge as well. This is a necessity not a luxury.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 646
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2017, 10:32 AM »
I'm saving my pennies for a Minimax FS-41 with the Tersa head.

Very impressive engineering and true German build quality.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 735
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2017, 11:20 AM »
I'm saving my pennies for a Minimax FS-41 with the Tersa head.

Very impressive engineering and true German build quality.

Minimax is entry level SCM made in Italy.

Offline J0hn

  • Posts: 103
Re: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2017, 01:42 PM »
Yes, I believe you are correct

Just like Hammer is entry level Felder

For me the three of biggest differences between Hammer and MiniMax are that MiniMax does not spend the $$$$ on fancy catalogs, website, advertising, etc.  (just take a look at their website and you will see)

They usually sell their machines fully equipped as most people would use them versus Hammer starting with their very basic, stripped down version and you go up from there.

MiniMax usually stocks their machines somewhere in the U.S. versus Hammer having to order it and you it takes several months to get to you

Keep in mind we are in the Fall season now and both of these companies usually have some great 'end of the year/Christmas' sales.

Lastly, if you are in the market for a jointer, planer, combo or sliding table saw and you have not heard or at least looked into MiniMax - you should
https://www.scmgroup.com/en_US/scmwood/products/joinery-machines.c884

I forgot to add that supposedly the 'silent cutter-heads' greatest feature is...... it is quiet.  As others have noted, a typical dust collection system is loud enough to require hearing protection so for me, the fact that the jointer is 'quiet' is a mute point.

I will mention that it is nice to be able to quickly change the knives depending on the material you are working with.  Tersa knives come in chrome steel, high-speed steel, and carbide.  I believe the silent cutter-head is carbide?

Carbide
Very durable but gives a reduced finish quality, recommended for hickory, teak, exotic hardwoods, man made materials, glue lines

High-speed steel
Better for all around use. Recommended for softwood and occasional hardwood use

Chrome steel
For hardwood applications. Less likely to chip the cutting edge than HSS

https://www.simantechinc.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=2



« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 01:53 PM by J0hn »