Rockwell Sonicrafter Professional Kit, Variable Speed, 37pc vs Fein Multimaster

Rockwell is 139 bucks and Fein is 300 bucks plus. What is the difference between these 2, other than the price? They both seem to do the same thing. The Fein can't be that much better in my opinion. What is you folks opinion of the 2? Thanks for your help.
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Dave wrote:

The Dremel is $99 and the Harbor Freight version is about $35. Rockwell and Boesch also make 'em.
As to the difference, other than price, well, there's brand loyalty, color matching with all your other tools, snob appeal, and, er, ....
Let me think...
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Don't strain. Have you ever encountered anyone that regretted buying the Fein? There was somebody who posted recently about his "love" of the $35 HF knock-off. Adjusting a tool repeatedly while using it quickly loses its cachet. Having a non-variable speed multitool is probably akin to having a tablesaw with a fixed height blade.
The Rockwell has variable speed and gets good reviews on Amazon. The price is also attractive, but the blades don't seem to be interchangeable with other tools or the HF disposables.
R
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A few weeks ago I was in a Woodworking store that had nearly all the Fein tools in the world. A sales guy gave me a tour of the stuff. A cut up router showing the internal construction made a believer out of me. Next he put a little toy in my hand- a small cordless drill with a huge bit in the chuck and pointed me a 4 x 4 on the bench. You haven't seen power!
I have no relationship with Fein at all.
If I were a professional and could possibly afford Fein tools I wouldn't have anything else.
The highest quality tools will never make a poor craftsman better but I believe cheap tools can affect a good one. Not me of course- I mean a good one.
Richard
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RicodJour wrote:

Your point is well-taken.
My comparison is, frankly, based on the cheap tool vs. no tool. For example, I've undercut doorways with a Dremel, an under-cut saw, and so, on up to (but not including) a propane torch.
The HF tool makes the job trivial. I'm sure the Fein or Rockwell tool would elevate the satisfaction level another 2.3%.
For me, though, if I had to choose between a $300 Fein vs. a $35 HF + a lot of beer .... ?
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That equation leaves out one factor - time. Maybe you value yours at zero, others might not. You'll drink that beer once, the tool will probably be used hundreds of times.
Let me ask you this, what is the most premium tool you bought? Why was that worth the money?
R
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RicodJour wrote:

I do value my time; that's why I bought the tool!
You try undercutting a door-frame with a Dremel or angle-grinder! If I EVER use the HF tool again, I'm ahead of the game. And I won't use it hundreds of times - I don't have that many doors. (Fact is, I did use it this morning to chop down some trash trees that were too big for pruning shears and too small for the chain saw.)

Hmm. Another good point. I recently bought a fiberglass handled, 16-oz claw hammer. $2.79 from HF (regularly $3.99). Worked swell after scuffing up the head a bit. Oh, wait! I did buy a one-pound rubber mallet from the same place for, I think, $1.99. Didn't need to scuff its head.
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HeyBub wrote:

I'm on both sides of the fence on this matter, so I'm not pointing fingers, when I say this.
I think there's a part of us that is a bit jealous when someone buys a POS tool that works great for them, when we've spent 10x the money on a name brand. Is the name brand a better tool... quicker, stronger, last longer? In almost every case, yeah.
There are other advantages to buying the cheap knock-off for the person for whom it works. There are advantages to buying to top-of-the-line tool right off the bat. To each his own.
But the whole "what's your time worth" argument is BS to me. If you're on a job site and you have spend job-time to modify something just to get it to work, then yeah, it's a waste. But if you're at home and messing with it to improve its performance? I'm mean, some people love to tinker. I'd rather be in the shop modifying a tool than on the couch watching television. I get a thrill out taking a 1/10-1/4 cost tool, spending a few bucks and hours on some mods, and ending up with a great tool. No one's paying me to watch TV. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Gee, where's the fun in that?! ;)

I have bought higher end niche tools that I have regretted buying. Some were just oddball tools, and some I just didn't use enough to make it a worthwhile investment. I didn't consider it to be pissing away the money at the time, but in retrospect I would tend to think it was just feeding the tool addiction and believing the advertising about the tool's utility. {Anybody want to buy a Bosch edgebander? :) }
I've earned money with my hands since I was about 12, and I do get people to pay for my tools (one way or another). Every contractor has been in the position where they have had to buy some equipment to simply do the job. There's a rule of thumb that if you are likely to only have to use a tool one or two times, rent it, if it will be more than that buy it.
I am a relatively recent convert to the multitool - when I bought it there was the one tool. Now with the patent having expired there are plenty of knock-offs coming out. Some like the Bosch I expect are pretty good. If I had to buy the tool now I would certainly investigate the options. But I don't expect the Fein to wear out or need to be replaced for decades.
I have bought cheap tools, and I have regretted it - many times. Too many, in fact. At this point in the game I will sell some of the other stuff I have so I can buy a tool that meets my requirements. My requirements are not necessarily the same as someone else's and my view on tool quality is also not necessarily widely shared. Since people buy Festool stuff, there's obviously a market and I've never heard a complaint (other than the price of the tool and/or accessories).
BTW, I bought my Fein used on eBay with a full assortment of blades and extras and didn't pay full price. What do you think the HF multitool fetches on eBay? Probably a buck three eighty.*

Some people like donkeys and raise them and think cleaning up after them is all in good fun. To me it's still just dung. I'm with you all the way on loving to tinker and improve tools, but I'm not going to spend hours lapping the bottom of a cheap Chinese plane to make it a passable tool. I'm much more likely to resurrect a quality tool that has been poorly treated. I like garage sales and it seems people do pay me to go to them. I am always picking up something or other that people have no idea what it is worth. Within the last couple or three weeks I picked up a nice infill jointer plane, an oddball but expensive new pepper mill (Google Perfex), a gorgeous Stanley Everlasting chisel and a pretty much full set of FWW magazines. I'll rehab the first, have sharpened and use the second, will give the pepper mill to my nephew who is graduating from culinary school this month and will sell the magazines.
However you value your time there's a limited supply. However much time you have, it's all about leveraging it. If I am trying to do something and the tool/car/whatever is fighting me the whole way, I'm going to be looking for a new one. If it is something that I can fix with a reasonable amount of effort, I may do it, or I may sell it and start with something that has better "bones".
Anyway, it's all good as long as you're having fun.
R
* A Little Rascals reference.
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RicodJour wrote:

First place I look is ebay. And, I grew up on TLR. :-)

If I'm not captain of that ship, I'm an officer. :-)
A couple highlights... $50 RAS that gets a ton of use, and a $100 14" Jet bandsaw. Keeping my eyes open for a tablesaw upgrade. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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It still bothers me that Bill Cosby basically took the show off the air after he bought the rights. He said it made black kids look stupid. Huh? It made _every_ kid look stupid! Now, that's equality!

Bought a 1940's Walker Turner tablesaw at a _terrible_ garage sale. All they had were chipped glasses and plates on the tables outside As I was leaving the lady asked me what I was looking for, "Old tools", I said, and she took me down to the basement, showed me the saw, and said she really just wanted to get rid of it, "How does $25 sound?" The saw was the quietest tablesaw I had ever heard. It was almost dangerous because you didn't really know it was running.
Bought it, sold it on eBay for $865.
R
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that gets their attention is if you drive up in a pickup truck.
I was needing to build a lumber rack in limited space in my garage. I spotted a garage sale and located a very nice lumber rack. It was double sided so I cut one side off. But it fit perfect into the spot I had for it. It would have taken me at least two hours to build. And I would have had to purchase $50 worth of materials. And I would have had to design it and drive to purchase the materials.
Cost?? $15! Loaded it up in the truck. Drove it home. Measured and cut off one side. Ta Da!! Instant lumber rack.
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Obviously build quality is the major difference.
I have had the Fein for about 3 years and have not replaced any blades yet. I don't use it often but it certainly makes difficult problems go away when I use it. When I bought it was pretty much the only brand available.
Today, knowing what I know I think I would go the cheaper version, the Rockwell or Dremel. If I used the tool daily or even weekly I would certainly go for the Fein. For monthly use, I'd go the less expensive route. I did use it for a kitchen job on Tuesday, it saved a lot of time for me.
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