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JoeNovack
Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2009 2:00:11 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/16/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Madison,VA
I have a possibility of snagging some extra money next year and with Festool's policy of selling to schools at half retail price I'm wondering if anyone out there uses Festool and can recommend a 'starter kit'...
Thanks,
Joe
klandin
Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:25:56 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
I don't have extensive experience with Festool products but I will say this. EVERY time that I have ever had the opportunity to use one - be it a router, a drill, or a circular saw - it has ALWAYS been the best example of its species that I have ever laid my hands on. These tools are the Rolls Royces of the portable power tool world. They are comfortable in the hand, well balanced and highly ergonomic. In my experience they are deceptively powerful for their size, and they are insanely well engineered. The saw will cut the cleanest line that you've ever seen from a circ saw. The router that I used was easy to dial in for highly exacting depth control and it had near perfect dust collection. The only reason that I don't own one of these tools myself is the Gates-like price tag. Top quality don't come cheap and these babies are no exception. For the typical cost of a Festool you could own almost two of anything else. The one thing that I don't like about these tools is that everything seems to come as a part of a modular system. Every tool comes in a fancy white plastic modular drawer/case which is destined to accomplish nothing other than taking up way too much storage space in your shop. In keeping with Festool's high tech image, this storage system looks more like something that you would expect to see on the international space station than in a working wood shop.

Call me old fashioned, but I wouldn't put these tools in my school shop even if they were given to me (well, maybe if they were free). Just as I don't start my students on Pink Ivory wood, and I wouldn't give a new driver the keys to my Ferrari, I can't imagine the justification for spending that kind of money on high end tools which are destined to be abused by a bunch of knuckle headed teenagers. With the possible exception of the "Domino" joiner machine (which looks like a great idea)I just wouldn't do it. It can't possibly be worth the stress.

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
Bill67
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 8:33:05 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/8/2008
Posts: 0
Location: rockaway NJ
Joe, We have a Fesstool circular saw TS55? equipped with a guide rail at school. We use it for cross cutting plywood that we cant fit on the tablesaw, its great. The saw replaced our beat Makita circular saw with a homemade straight edge that I never felt comfortable with the kids using. For the safety features alone, buy it. Like Keith says, these tools arent for everyone. Only my best get to use it!
craigp
Posted: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 6:09:21 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 2/6/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland
I purchased the Festool's Kapex sliding compound miter saw, and at $1,300.00 it was not cheap, but it is an amazing piece of machinery. The only reason I purchased it, was because we received a large donation. The safety is very good and it cuts better than any other sliding compound miter saw I have used. Making adjustments are easy and uncomplicated. It seems as if they have thought of everything.

I would argue that if you want fewer headaches and less equipment down-time, and equipment that can take the abuse from students and keep going, you gotta be willing to fork over some large amounts of cash. You definitely get what you pay for. Yes, I could have purchased 2 cheaper sliding compound miter saws, but I am certain that they would not last as long as the Kapex will, nor will the quality of cut be as good.




Craig R. Patterson, CD
PLTW Teacher
Elkton High School
Elkton, Maryland
JoeNovack
Posted: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 11:31:12 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/16/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Madison,VA
Thanks for all your input...
It is important to note that as standard policy Festool sells their entire product line to schools at 50% of their MSRP which brings their tools very close to the price of other high quality power tool lines...
I still won't let my newbies near them but I am a firm believer in quality tools (and responsible use) for my students...
Joe Barry
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009 8:09:10 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member, Moderator

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Randolph,Vermont
I have deleted the out of context posting about building furniture and the associated replies.

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