Author Topic: Decisions on Hammer A3-XX......  (Read 4641 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

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!!

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1139
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: 84
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: 777
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: 52
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!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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: 21
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: 777
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: 21
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: 777
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: 1937
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 528
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: 21
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


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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: 1536
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


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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: 84
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: 77
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: 21
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: 143
    • 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: 637
    • 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: 733
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: 77
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 »

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 909
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

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1139
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: 1139
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: 777
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: 528
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: 777
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: 528
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: 21
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: 21
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: 777
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: 637
    • 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: 777
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: 21
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: 1139
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: 528
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: 66
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