Author Topic: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle  (Read 3207 times)

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Offline bohai

  • Posts: 2
Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« on: April 29, 2019, 06:01 PM »
So I have  a few tools , Rotex 150 and finish sander along with a dust extractor and a drill.  I generally work in my smaller shop and never on the road.  I have a SawStop Cabinet saw, Bosch SLCMW, minimax `16" bandsaw, 3 hp table mounted router from  and a Clearvue Cyclone.  Future wants are a Domino, Kapex miter and a TS55 or 75.  Not really sure I need the last two with some of the equipment I have.  The TS would be good for breaking down sheet goods but I find myself using more rough cut boards.  That being said, we are building a new house and I will be designing and building my workshop cabinets myself, so will be doing a lot of sheets of ply.

Comments or suggestions?

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Offline AIPDX

  • Posts: 118
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 06:18 PM »
Festool brought to mass market many innovative tools. Festool may not be the one who invented many of them, but Festool made many of these ideas popular. Other tools suppliers came up with their own versions of similar tools. There are third party tables which  resemble MFT-3, there are many more offers of track saws, just to use those as examples. Not everything that Festool offers has great design. There are ingenious tools, but there are also tools which are just OK or even somewhat weird. I think you should not start with the assumption that everything that Festool offers is best in class. Oftentimes, you can get better solutions from other brands. The downside of mix and match is lack of "ecosystem" - which affects primarily dust collection (different diameters of connectors on vacuum hoses). Therefore, there is no black and white answer to your question.

Building cabinets requires a lot of tools, a lot of workshop and storage space, and a lot of time. Time-wise and cost-wise, you will be better off ordering them rather than building them.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2724
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 06:24 PM »
The Domino is truly unique and a game changer. The 500 is good for cabinet work. You will invent reasons to use it.

The cabinet work using plywood suggests a TS55. I find the TS55 and track makes breaking down plywood easier and safer than using a table saw.

The reference to rough cut boards suggests a jointer and planer. I found a 6” jointer too small and traded to a 8”. Both my jointer and planer have helical head cutters are well worth the extra cost.

There are a number of Kapex competitors that do a good job far less than the Kapex, but for accuracy and dust collection, the Kapex excels.
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1292
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 06:29 PM »
Unless you are not happy with your Bosch cms, I wouldn't be in a hurry for the Kapex. In your shoes, my immediate purchase would be a DF500. Price increases start in a day or two!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 07:39 PM by ChuckM »

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5895
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 06:41 PM »
To answer your question, No you dont really need festools. You don't even need power tools. Power tools just make your life easier.

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 530
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 06:52 PM »
Unless you are not happy with your Bosch cms, I won't be in a hurry for the Kapex. In your shoes, my immediate purchase would be a DF500. Price increases start in a day or two!
Not to highjack the thread, but has there been any mention of price increases this year? FOG has been strangely quiet on the subject.

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 535
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 07:03 PM »
I recently had a new home built and built about 2 dozen cabinets for my shop/garage and nearly twice as many doors.   In addition I built a large full wall media center for the family room.  The TS55 and Domino DF500 were game changers since I had downsized and sold my Unisaw.  I wouldn't even think about breaking down sheet goods on a table saw any more.

My Bosch SCMS was perfectly adequate for what I needed to do and I wouldn't even consider a Kapex given what the Bosch has done so reliably for years.  The Bosch is considerably heavier on the gravity rise stand, but portability isn't a factor for me.

One thing you might consider is to take a look at the Euro style of cabinet building and possibly get the LR32 system which I adapted my Bosch router to.  It makes drilling for shelf pins and Euro style cup hinges easy and accurate.  It was another game changer for me.

The one thing I very much disliked was ripping narrow, long face frames with the TS55.  I wound up buying a portable table saw for those and didn't look back.

As far a Festools go, yes they are nice, and the Domino is a unique and wonderful machine that you will find many uses for.  But for miter saws and track saws, thanks to some very good recent additions by other competent manufacturers, there are some equally good tools in the market space from which to choose.

For your rough wood, it looks like you already have an excellent collection of capable equipment.

BTW.....welcome to the FOG [welcome]

« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 03:00 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1292
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 07:41 PM »
Snip.
Not to highjack the thread, but has there been any mention of price increases this year? FOG has been strangely quiet on the subject.

Not sure about the US market, here is the announcement:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/Festool/Index.aspx


Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1779
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 07:48 PM »
No, Festools aren’t necessary.  The domino could be useful, but if you’re doing a lot of cabinets, you might find it faster to only use it for alignment and to use pocket screws or regular screws for assembly to spare yourself a lot of clamping and drying time with glue.

You could get by without a track saw (I wouldn’t want to), but how are you jointing a reference edge on those rough cut boards?  How thick are they?  That might be your justification for a tracksaw.
-Raj

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 535
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 07:58 PM »
The domino could be useful, but if you’re doing a lot of cabinets, you might find it faster to only use it for alignment and to use pocket screws or regular screws for assembly to spare yourself a lot of clamping and drying time with glue.

@RKA That is an excellent point.  About half way through the process of building mine, I did exactly what you described.  The dominos made for perfect panel alignment and the pocket screws (which weren't readily visible after the trim) made for super strong and fast assembly.  Plus I didn't have nearly enough clamps for glue ups using dominos exclusively.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1922
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 08:52 PM »
I would say that the Domino, given its uniqueness, is a great purchase. There isn't much that you can't join easily with the Domino. It is a tool favorite for me.

Other than that, given what you already own, I would wait until you encounter a job you can't do with the tools you already own. There are a lot of great routers on the market today. It is true that Festool is somewhat unique because of its superior dust collection and the fact that you can line up the center of your bit with the marks on the base, but other than those, I'm sure most routers will do what you want them to.

Because you have a table saw, I don't think that a track saw necessarily adds that much to your shop. It would help break up sheet goods, but  there are other, less expensive, ways to do that.

I think that, given what I know today, I'd just wait until I absolutely can't do something with the tools I own and then decide what tool solves that problem.
Randy

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2724
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2019, 01:40 AM »
I’d add a few Lie  Nielsen hand planes, a set of Lie Nielsen chisels, a set of good water stones, and a few squares from Woodpeckers, and a 12” try square from Starrett. I’d also add a marking gauge from Veratas. I’d add a Bad Ax small tenon saw and a Bad Ax large case saw.

These tools, properly sharpened, will cut many hours off a project time line.
Birdhunter

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 804
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2019, 04:36 AM »
As a pro user of tools, when on site, the vast majority of tools I see are made by, Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Hilti, Panasonic and also a host of budget tools from the likes of Screwfix or Toolstation etc.

Yet many workshops and cabinet makers I know or visit have a lot of Festool, Mafell and even the few tools in the Lamello range. I think of Festool as more of a modular system, and each tool added makes that system more proficient.
Everything seems to fit and sit into place, the more you buy into it. Then as others have mentioned the DF-500 there is no other power tool like it, so if you need one, it has to be Festool. Also, Festool seem to do dust extraction better than most, and also very importantly, they have superb customer service.

Festool do make great and innovative tools, for me there’s no doubt of that but, there are a lot of other cheaper tools that will get the job done.

I think if I were a hobbyist, or somebody looking to build a nice workshop, or purely cabinet making with a good budget, I would almost certainly kit myself out with Festool, or Mafell, or even a mix of both with some Lamello too.

A contractor may well choose a cheaper option though.
If you want Festool, and can afford it, go for it, you could do a lot worse.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 07:19 AM by Jiggy Joiner »

Offline Chinski

  • Posts: 51
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2019, 07:30 AM »
I sold my big Dewalt router in order to purchase a Festool 1400 because I wanted to be able to use my Festool track as a guide for dado cutting and because I wanted improved dust collection.  It has not disappointed.  I also work in a small workshop where it is often easier and safer for me to move the saw along the wood (tracksaw) than the wood along the saw (tablesaw) - hence why I bought a Festool tracksaw and track in the first place. Likewise, I sold my Dewalt circular saw to help fund this purchase and have not looked back.  I still have and love my Dewalt job site tablesaw but do not use it nearly as often as I used to. The fence system particularly is good - and with the incra express cross-cut sled and mitre 1000HD, it is excellent for angled cuts - way more precise than I feel I could achieve on the mft/3 angle guide and tracksaw.  In fact, if I had my current knowledge back a while ago, I would have bought a bare second-hand mft/3 and 3 good quality bench dogs (or fence/track dog) setup.

The Festool bug all started for me when I bought a second-hand domino XL to add some large tenons to the legs of a workbench I was making.  Again, I haven't looked back - although I do now tend to use the domino sometimes when I know pocket screws would be quicker and easier. I just enjoy using it I suppose - especially since picking up the Seneca add-ons to enable use of the df500 bits and tenons... 

Similarly, when we were doing some home improvements recently (including floor block sanding), I sold my Dewalt orbital sander and picked up a second hand Rotex 150 and have found that sheet-life and dust collection are on another level completely - its hard to believe really compared to what I was using. 

Don't get me wrong - I still have lots of Dewalt kit either because its good enough or because there are no "system" advantages to changing over.  But that system thing can compound the benefits of switching across in a lot of cases.  All of my 18v kit is still Dewalt for example (drill, driver, reciprocating saw, multi-tool, finish nailer etc).  I see no compelling benefit or need to switch.  And my compound sliding mitre saw is also Dewalt - but I just can't afford to switch to a Kapex 120 - though I'd love the dust collection, angle guide and the laser. I also use a separate 4" hose shop vac for my planer/thicknesser as the CTL26 / 36mm hose would not cope.

I had to lose my rarely used floor standing band-saw to fit in the mft and thought that a decent jigsaw might suffice as an alternative (Carvex 420) - but it turns out I may have over or under thought that particular move as there have been a few times I've missed it and may have to get a small table-top band saw some time.

There's the money thing of course - but if you can find a supplier (as I have) who sells-on items that have been returned under Festool's 15-day money back guarantee, or, if you can find good second-hand online kit - then you can save $$$ and it can make more sense...


Offline bohai

  • Posts: 2
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2019, 02:28 PM »
Thanks all, great feedback and food for thought.  Looks like if I step up the Domino comes out on top followed by TS 55.  Birdhunter, have I think 5 Lie Nelson planes.  Great tool.

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2019, 08:04 PM »
Do you really need Festool? No. If Festool stopped making tools tomorrow you could still build your projects another way. But it sounds like you really want a reason to buy Festool. A track saw is great for breaking down sheets and I've had good success with my TS75, but many brands now offer them, compare to see if a Festool model is best for you. For me Dominos are probably the most unique Festool out there, but many cabinets are built with dowels, pocket screws, dados and rabbets or just nails and glue. Festool is generally pretty good at dust collection though, cleaner shop air might be a compelling aspect for you. Also Festool has a great return policy and warranty that can't be overlooked.

Edit: I would add the RO90 sander is pretty unique out there in the tool world, and the other sanders in general are well regarded.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 02:33 PM by Paul G »
+1

Offline MissionWB

  • Posts: 1
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2019, 12:58 AM »
I have no idea as to whether I need Festools or not.

But, since I have the TS75, probably 16 feet of track for it, a CT48 Extractor (which I understand is dis-continued), a MFK 700 EQ Module Edge Router, a Conturo KA 65 Edge machine, a RO 150 and an ETS 150-3.
I definitely use them.

The track saw is great for me when I am by myself, without a proper cabinet saw and helpers, it makes it much easier to make big unmanageable sheets (some of my raw material is 12 feet long and heavy) into pieces that I can at least pretend I can handle.

The CT48 is a great machine and works good in the shop and in the field.

Since I do a lot of Solid Surface work, the two sanders are fantastic and fast.  I had been using a Porter Cable but these two are much better.  Plus the dust capture is really good.

I have the MFK 700 specifically for use with the Contura.  Not much use there yet.  Soon.

Fact is that the Extractor is a really good system, but I was managing with a shop vac before.  My routers are all Bosch or PC.  They are fine.  Drills are others also. 

So, no you don't 'need' Festools, but, if you can use them, they are good, work well, and are recognized as good.


Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 14
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2019, 03:54 PM »
You have some very good tools already, so you understand the value of "investing" in tools.  Your Sawstop and SCM for example.  You could have gone less expensive, but you saw the value in "better than average" tools.

It's not a question of need.  But consider this - Buy a Festool (which I think is superior to many brands), you'll enjoy using it more and you'll buy it once instead of buying inferior brands two or three times.  So there's an argument that it doesn't really cost more...

I have several Festool tools and have very few regrets.  I always enjoy reaching for a Festool over others. 

In your situation where you anticipate breaking down a lot of plywood, the track saw will change your life.  You just can't get as consistent a straight cut on a cabinet saw.  A great accessory for the track saw is the TSO guide rail square (GRS-16).  Once you break down sheet goods, you'll find yourself taking smaller parts to your Sawstop.  And of course you'll run your solids there.  If you really plan to build a number of carcasses, take a hard look at the LR32 system.  I love using this system.  I use mine for the 32mm holes, but don't use it for hinge cups even though it's designed for that.  I prefer the Blum Eco Drill, as it's super fast and requires no setup.

Good luck.



Offline sprior

  • Posts: 445
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2019, 04:09 PM »
I agree with the others that for cutting up plywood a track saw (TS55) is a life changer.  "Breaking down a sheet of plywood" for me implies doing rough cuts and that you will do final cuts later - I disagree with this only because with the TS55 the initial cuts are final cuts.  Since the plywood doesn't move while cutting you need half the shop space (with a table saw you need 8 feet in front of and to the rear of the saw).  I also agree that if you're doing a room full of cabinets the LR32 system is a big consideration.  One tip though is that when you buy the TS55 most dealers will let you swap out the track (pay the difference) for the one that has the holes for the LR32 system - by all means do this, there is no reason to own the non hole track in the sizes that are available with the holes.

Since you already have a powerful router, if you're getting the LR32 system you might consider the OF1010 instead of the larger OF1400 - you already have a router that can handle 1/2" shank bits and the OF1010 is slightly more convenient with the LR32.  But if you hate the idea of buying a router that can't do 1/2" bits then by all means go with the OF1400.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 847
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2019, 05:24 PM »
There are other shelf drilling solutions like the Mafell DuoDoweler. Pricey, but easier to use and it joins too. I have never understood why everyone wants an LR32. It's overpriced and non-trivial to use unless you do so regularly. Part of it must be the "part of the system" mentality because it is certainly not price. I'd recommend that everyone lift their head occasionally and look around to see what is outside of "the system".

Offline Steven Owen

  • Posts: 443
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2019, 07:59 PM »
You don’t really need Festool.  Festool is something you “want” to make some projects easier.  The Domino and LR32 system, routers are the most unique items in the Festool line-up.

If you have a business and you can write off Festool purchases, it makes it easier.  Festool pricing gets more to be a more difficult pill to swallow if you’re a hobbyist or casual woodworker. 
Festool CT Midi, Festool ETS 125, DF 700 Domino Coming Soon

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1459
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2019, 04:26 AM »
You don’t really need Festool. Festool is something you “want” to make some projects easier.  The Domino and LR32 system, routers are the most unique items in the Festool line-up.
True. But it also makes things easier for the less experienced as it leaves with compensating the own shortcomings - instead of also having to compensate the shortcomings of cheap tools.

Also there is dust collection:



Health is priceless...

Quote
If you have a business and you can write off Festool purchases, it makes it easier.  Festool pricing gets more to be a more difficult pill to swallow if you’re a hobbyist or casual woodworker.
Festool pricing isn't fun, but resale value is quite good in comparison to cheap stuff.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 397
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2019, 04:32 AM »
I've only been doing woodworking (and mainly remodeling) for a few yeara and I bought a lot of cheap tools in the beginning, until I found the better stores and brands. I feel like I almost get MORE out of more expensive tools than a pro would, because the tool works the way it's supposed to and it's a lot easier to figure out what you're doing wrong. A seasoned pro knows what to watch for with bad tools.

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 83
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2019, 10:34 AM »
Aside from the "system" working very well together, I don't regret any of my Festool stable. While it might sound strange at first to some folks, they have been less costly than the "cheap" hand-held electric tools I used to own and also have provided more consistent results. Some of my Festool products have been with me since the mid-2000s thanks to my friend Bob Marino. Some have been game changers...the Domino is something I regret waiting so long to acquire.

I also don't really do much work outside of my shop, but I do appreciate that in those rare moments I do either head into my own house or install the occasional "built-in" something or another at a client's home, that the system transports well and works even better. This past week I did go out to install a 13' long by 6" wide by 1.75" thick shelf at a client's home. I only needed two of my drill/drivers for this particular task relative to power tools and I mostly used the CSX. The T15 only got the task of boring some really deep 7/16" holes. The client was "like wow" about how the tiny D/D worked so hard and wanted to know more about it. I suspect some Festool reseller will be getting an order from him real soon now...
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1741
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2019, 02:07 PM »
If you do woodworking for a living, the question is whether Festool will save you enough time to recoup their cost.  I see a lot of pro posters claim the Domino is a no-brainer in that area as well as a track saw.

If you are a hobbyist doing this for fun, then you need tools that will please you everytime you use them.  If you can afford Festool, get them.

Offline Fxfymn

  • Posts: 8
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2019, 09:43 AM »
Kind of late to the thread, but I was in your shoes not so long ago. I found some great buys on Festool items in the used market which really opened my eyes to what great tools they are. My $.02 is that Festool is worth every cent you pay for it. They are dead nuts accurate, have great saw dust control, and are just a joy to use.

One item not often considered is how much material will be saved by using superior tools like Festool. I do a fair amount of case work using pre-finished 3/4" plywood. I own a panel saw for breaking down plywood, but it will splinter sheets out if I am not super careful. I now use my TS-55 track saw for the job which never splinters the sheets and gives me an accurate cut every time. Net result: less waste of both time and material.

Last thought; no one ever regretted getting the best you can afford. They will last longer, keep a higher re-sale value, and make doing your wood working more enjoyable.

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 786
Re: Do I really need Festool - Newbie, be gentle
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2019, 10:10 PM »
There are other shelf drilling solutions like the Mafell DuoDoweler. Pricey, but easier to use and it joins too. I have never understood why everyone wants an LR32. It's overpriced and non-trivial to use unless you do so regularly. Part of it must be the "part of the system" mentality because it is certainly not price. I'd recommend that everyone lift their head occasionally and look around to see what is outside of "the system".

Have you ever noticed how many aftermarket accessories there are for Festool?  Some may think that's great.  In my opinion, it's due to entrepreneurs correcting some shortcoming in the original design.  Those shortcomings become noticeable and quite expensive and frustrating over time.

Look at Mafell.  More expensive up front for the tool, but probably much cheaper in the long run when you consider the accessories and all the little gimmicks you need to make or purchase to get certain jobs done.  With Mafell, you only need to buy a few rails and a few accessories to cover most of your needs.