Author Topic: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?  (Read 2329 times)

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Offline bwehman

  • Posts: 70
Perhaps a stupid question, but I've always wondered... why would Fein license one of their most popular tools to a competitor? I feel like that's the same as if Festool let Fein make a version of the Domino.

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Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 606
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 11:28 AM »
Festool may have distributors in areas where Fein is weak?

There are a lot of much cheaper similar tools, and a more sophisticated answer might be that having two top-end products might make Fein look less "out on their own".

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 786
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 12:01 PM »
Another question would be "why would they not make the Vecturo for Festool?"  Perhaps there are those who wouldn't purchase or upgrade their Multi-Master or Supercut under normal circumstances.  But make a Festool Supercut, with some fancier accessories, and you've opened up a new market for a product you're already producing.

Other product-related costs such as Marketing, Warranty and Repairs are most likely passed off to Festool. 

Why wouldn't a company enter into a partnership where they manufactured a product for someone else and passed off the support and sales costs?

Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 106
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 12:19 PM »
Because Fein is in the business of making money. Why wouldn’t they make a sale of hundreds to thousands of units in a single sale. One large client is way easier to deal with than hundreds of little customers, even if you profit per unit is a little lower.


Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 12:30 PM »
Many of the European tool manufacturers are on a friendly business basis.  Yes they are competitors with each other but they aren't necessarily ruthless.  Cooperating and licensing is more common than elsewhere.

Take the Systainers for example.  Made by a sister company of Festool under the same umbrella, they have been supplying cases to competitors in Europe and all over the world for years.

Peter

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 554
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 01:48 PM »
If the spread sheet comes up with a positive number for Fein, they go for it.

Beyond that, Festool is not a well known company, Fein even less.  It's a case of "if you known them, you know them", for those who don't know of these companies which would be most humans, you have no clue who these companies are or who is legit verses who is some knockoff company selling wonder tools on infomercials.  I didn't buy a multi-tool for the longest time, I just saw them as infomercial tools, not serious tools.  A Festool branded one removes a lot of that image. This isn't a bash on Fein, it's just simply they have a near zero brand awareness at least in the US.  If rebranding for a slightly more known company moves more units/makes more money, most companies are going to do it.

You could also look at it as "if you work with your competition you're not working against them".

Still, companies selling rebranded versions of their products to others is everywhere.  If you don't have a place in that market, it's a way yo sell there. Maybe a company hit hard times and couldn't continues to produce products themselves, but has the brand name in that region. 

A big part is NRE (non recoverable engineering),  one company knows it won't sell enough of them to cover the development cost, so you go in it together.  We have no idea how much Festool may be involved in the design at this point, they may be more involved than we know.

Just look at cars.   A Fiat 124 is built by Mazda as it's just a MX5/Miata.   The new Toyota Supra is a new BMW Z4 under the skin.  Car industry is full of these, not just in-company re-brands.  Ford and GM co-design 9-10 speed transmission together.

This basic situation is everywhere.  And then of course you have stuff that is never sold under the manufactures name, they just brand it for anyone who comes knocking.  All the same  product, but every store has it under a different "brand" name.

Development/Tool up cost is going to be the biggest basis most the time.  You got an idea for something but can't afford to do it, getting a partner on it is a great solution.  Powertools is not a big industry, once you leave the more commodity tools sold at big box stores, you aren't selling many units a year. And those big box stores are high volume/low margin situation verses  low volume/acceptable margin of companies like Festool.  The design of powertools doesn't change a lot as the development cost are going to take a long time to sell enough units to cover those cost. Die casting, Injection Molding, gears, etc are all expensive things to tool up for, having partners is going to be a huge help.  If Festool approaches them and says we will cover X percent of the development cost on the tool, that X percent less risk Fein took on.  If sum of 2 companies sales is the same as what it would have been if just Fein, the profit is the same but the risk was lower. 

Offline wpz

  • Posts: 32
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 03:01 PM »
The German tool producing companies have a long history of working together and producing tools for one another.
Some of their owners or CEO's actually have family ties (which I believe is the case with Festool and Fein)
Festo/Festool/Protool also bought a lot of companies or divisions of companies and their know-how over the years. (Holz-her for example)
Mafell used to make the of2000 for festool and festool used to make the lo50 for mafell if I'm not mistaken.
So a lot of tools are very similar or actually identical except for the colour and brand.

some examples:

kraenzle ventos 35 and festool CT33 vacuums
292660-0292662-1

kraenzle ventos 20 and festool CT17 vacuums
292664-2292666-3

Holz-her/aeg/metabo/festool belt sander
292668-4292670-5

some of the older Holz-her tools look very similar to current Festool products:
this 2350 router reminds me of the mfk700
292672-6
this plunge saw of the ts 75
292674-7

my old Protool WCP50 wall chaser is nearly identical to the Paslode/Spit D90 or the "new" Carat SL-1505
292676-8292678-9292680-10


Cheers,
wpz

Offline Kodi Crescent

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Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 07:12 AM »
Another possible reason - They have a production line for Supercuts (not the hair cut place) that is not fully productive or well-balanced.  There may not be enough demand for Supercuts to justify running the line to full capacity.  Hence, they would have capital expenses (tools, parts) that are not fully productive.

As an example, a Boeing 737 sitting at the terminal is not a productive use of an airplane.  The airplane still costs the airline money, however.  When the seats are filled to capacity and the plane is airborne, then it is being fully productive, at least for that moment.  Or as another example, my local HVAC contractor sells and services a lot of HVAC systems in the winter and the summer.  He also sells a "maintenance program" that keeps his people employed and productive during times when they aren't installing or servicing equipment.

So the Vecturo sales could assist with line balancing and maintaining full productivity of the Supercut production cells.

Offline Terry Fogarty

  • Posts: 401
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 07:31 AM »
The German tool producing companies have a long history of working together and producing tools for one another.
Some of their owners or CEO's actually have family ties (which I believe is the case with Festool and Fein)
Festo/Festool/Protool also bought a lot of companies or divisions of companies and their know-how over the years. (Holz-her for example)
Mafell used to make the of2000 for festool and festool used to make the lo50 for mafell if I'm not mistaken.
So a lot of tools are very similar or actually identical except for the colour and brand.

some examples:

kraenzle ventos 35 and festool CT33 vacuums
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

kraenzle ventos 20 and festool CT17 vacuums
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

Holz-her/aeg/metabo/festool belt sander
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

some of the older Holz-her tools look very similar to current Festool products:
this 2350 router reminds me of the mfk700
(Attachment Link)
this plunge saw of the ts 75
(Attachment Link)

my old Protool WCP50 wall chaser is nearly identical to the Paslode/Spit D90 or the "new" Carat SL-1505
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)


Cheers,
wpz

I always found it odd after buying Holz-her, Festool licensed out the bs75 but not the 105, and sell the 105 everywhere except North America
.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6077
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 09:49 AM »
If Festool wants a multi tool in their product line, they're gonna get it anyway. They'll design it themselves or license it from somebody else. So with that as a given, Festool's sales are going to cut into Fein's sales anyway, and this way Fein still profits.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 554
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 10:10 AM »
If Festool wants a multi tool in their product line, they're gonna get it anyway. They'll design it themselves or license it from somebody else. So with that as a given, Festool's sales are going to cut into Fein's sales anyway, and this way Fein still profits.

Correct, thus my "if you work with your competition you're not working against them" comment.  Even if Fein can more than justify development on their own, and so could Festool and everything else from an NRE side, all companies are going to ask if they can risk the loss of sales.

Question to those in Europe,  where do the 2 companies line up against each other? That is, if people walk into a store, do people go one way or the other the majority of the time, are they considered 2 completely different quality level of tools etc?   Neither company has much of any brand awareness in the US outside some niche areas they serve compared to other tool companies that everyone knows of,  I assume at least Festool is a much more well known name in Europe to the general population than here.  In a 100% same same situation between the 2 multi-tools (design/price/etc) would you have a 50/50 sales split or would it go more 3/2 Festool or some non-symmetric amount.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 554
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 10:17 AM »
They have a production line for Supercuts (not the hair cut place) that is not fully productive or well-balanced.  There may not be enough demand for Supercuts to justify running the line to full capacity.  Hence, they would have capital expenses (tools, parts) that are not fully productive.

They start selling to another company, say Rigid, and we can get the Rigid Great Clips.   I known the name overlap isn't their fault, but I think the hair cut place every time, and if not that it just sounds like some knock off brand.  Super-Saw, Mighty-Saw, Super Cutter, etc,  sounds way too Harbor Freight.

Offline promark747

  • Posts: 472
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 10:39 AM »
The German tool producing companies have a long history of working together and producing tools for one another.


I think some have also started using a common platform for batteries (Metabo, Mafell, etc).

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6367
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 10:57 AM »
And don't forget the long relationship between Milwaukee, AEG and Atlas-Copco. A lot of those older belt sanders, drills and percussion hammers were German tools just covered in red plastic or paint. Check out the Milwaukee serial number plate and on the bottom it will say "Made in Germany". 

Offline jonathan-m

  • Posts: 330
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 11:10 AM »
Question to those in Europe,  where do the 2 companies line up against each other? That is, if people walk into a store, do people go one way or the other the majority of the time, are they considered 2 completely different quality level of tools etc?   Neither company has much of any brand awareness in the US outside some niche areas they serve compared to other tool companies that everyone knows of,  I assume at least Festool is a much more well known name in Europe to the general population than here.  In a 100% same same situation between the 2 multi-tools (design/price/etc) would you have a 50/50 sales split or would it go more 3/2 Festool or some non-symmetric amount.

Fein has a heavy (if not sole) focus on metalworking.
The multi-tool is just about their only non-metal working specific tool they offer. By the way, Fein is the inventor of the multi-tool as far as im aware.
For multi-tools, Fein is the go-to over here, but now that other brands are offering their battery powered versions, you start to see them a lot more as well.

Fein has a reputation of being a very high end brand. More high end than Festool, which in my opinion has become just as mainstream as Bosch, Makita or DeWalt, at least here in Belgium.

So it's not really an apples to apples comparison.
Fein is traditionally for metal workers, Festool for wood workers.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 11:15 AM by jonathan-m »
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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 749
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 03:26 PM »
Fein has a reputation of being a very high end brand.

A few years ago, I bought two Makita cordless multi tools, although a Makita fan for many years, these tools didn’t initially over impress me. They seemed under powered even on number 6 setting. They were very noisy in operation, they sounded like somebody being chased by a swarm of bees, whilst carrying a bag of spanners! They both died very quickly and were replaced without question. The replacements didn’t fair any better and again were replaced, when they also started making the same noises, I’d got the hint.

A few told me I should have bought Fein, ok then, I hate being let down by tools so bought the Fein 18v Supercut, the model before the current Starlock version. I paid good money for it but, that was soon forgotten when I started using it. The power really was the same as mains, and it soon had me wondering why I’d not bought the Fein in the first place? Probably because of my vast collection of Makita batteries.

After just three months, although I rarely used the machine above setting number 1, I noticed the machine would get hot near the battery end of the casing, and batteries were becoming very difficult to remove. This got quite bad, and I realised that because of it’s immense power, and no shock absorber between the body and battery, the batteries were vibrating badly, and getting very hot.

I phoned Fein technical, and the guy said he’d not heard of it before, really? I replied.
Eventually one battery welded itself to the machine, and died. It went back to Fein, again I spoke to technical, and suggested the design was flawed, and why no shock absorber either between the battery and body, or between the head assembly and body? The reply was, because it’s not a problem sir. Even though mine had fried itself?
The machine came back with a new body casing, two new batteries, and was smothered in PTFE tape, and sticky pads, mainly around the battery housing. If there wasn’t an issue, why the tape and pads on such an expensive tool?

Ok, 4 months later and the same again, by now the tape and pads had worn away, and another battery welded.
Back it went again, and this time I managed to get the tech manager on the phone. I explained just like before, and gave my opinion on the design. This time, this guy was very honest, he told me he’d lost count of how many 18v Supercuts had been returned with the same issue. He went on to tell me that a new model will have the shock absorber added as well as a new blade change system. I thanked him for his honesty and asked if I could have the newer type machine for all the inconvenience I’d suffered? I would think you can guess the answer.

So, my machine comes back again, new body, batteries, tape and sticky pads. The problem has happened twice more, and repaired and paid for by me, as the warranty ended a while ago. When I ordered the parts, the tape and sticky pads were sent too as they are now a standard part???

I looked at the new model with the shock absorber, and on closer inspection, it also has the tape and sticky pads! Haha!

I still love my Supercut apart from the inherent issue, and although I also have a later improved Makita version, the Fein would eat it power wise.

The thing stopping me buying the current Supercut, is the fact you can only use Starlock Max blades with but, my real concern is that a supposedly top end tool with a price tag to match, still relies on bits of PTFE tape, and sticky pads, to prevent the batteries welding to the body? Really?
High end brand? In honesty I’m trully struggling to agree with you there. In reallity, they probably still do make the best multi tool but, it’s not quite high end, yet (in my opinion).

Offline Terry Fogarty

  • Posts: 401
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 06:33 PM »
And don't forget the long relationship between Milwaukee, AEG and Atlas-Copco. A lot of those older belt sanders, drills and percussion hammers were German tools just covered in red plastic or paint. Check out the Milwaukee serial number plate and on the bottom it will say "Made in Germany".
The original Holtz Her belt sander that became the BS 75 and 105 was originally designed and manufactured by AEG. 
On a side note, AEG along with Karl Reich machine factory who manufactured Holtz Her were the first to make all plastic motor and gear housings.
.

Online tallgrass

  • Posts: 866
Re: Big picture question... why would Fein make the Vecturo for Festool?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 10:07 PM »
nothing wrong with Mainstream. I have the several supper cuts and the festool and I love them.  Fein makes great tools, though their quality is high I have found their rate of innovation is not lacking. While innovation is not necessity, not taking advantage of improving trends is not a good sign. I point to their sanders. I have several, while of high quality they are dated. I think Fein is making tools for festool for a simply reason , sales. This increases the unit sales of a product that they produce to a high standard. It is that simple. This increases their unit sales. Which helps the profits of a small tool company in an ever competitive world.