My 10+ year old Bosch jigsaw seems to have given up the ghost. I
could send it off for repairs (Bosch says $89.00 max charge). Add
shipping and I'm around $130. Festool's PS300 Trion seems to be fixed
at $280 everywhere on the web.
Just wondering if something has come out that is really better than
that good old Bosch?
I have the Festool jigsaw and while it's a well-made saw, it has one major,
IMO, drawback. The blade is so deep, or back from the front of the tool,
that it's very difficult to see where you're cutting. I have to lean way
out in front if it and peak in to see where I'm cutting. I removed the
clear plastic guard to make seeing easier. I'm not sure I would recommend
this saw to others.
I should have done more research before posting this. I think I found
my answer at "Fine Woodworking.com" where a lengthy thread on Bosch
vs. Festool jigsaw was archived. Someone I respect wrote -- I might
be paraphrasing--that ". . . the Bosch was always better than any
other jigsaw made but the new Festool is as much better than the Bosch
as the Bosch was over all the others.
Now, I am not a tool snob. I buy very carefully and probably use some
tools people in this group would consider crap but I have to say I
have never had a single misgiving about any of the really expensive
tools I have bought. I remember years ago when I bought the Fein
detail sander and the Fein vacuum cleaner. I thought I was crazy to
pay that kind of money for something that I could buy for so much
less. I have never regretted those expenditures.
OTOH I keep a box filled with junk (mostly gadgets) as a reminder of
all the stupid purchases I have made. They are worthless and should
be thrown out but I just keep them as a reminder.
I believe we are living in a golden age of woodworking tools. I can
not believe how many quality innovative items are on the market. Some
of the younger woodworkers probably take all this for granted. But it
is a fact that we can get better hand planes than we could prior to
WWII or at any time in history for that matter. It used to be only
an affluent home shop that had a thickness planer. Now anybody can
afford one. I could go on and on.
Now I know about and agree with the Heavy Iron lovers. I actually own
and use an Oliver pattern maker's lathe made around 1910. I think it
is the finest wood lathe ever made. True, the beautiful machinery
that Oliver, Bridgeport, Crescent et al used to produce are no longer
being made. Even the venerable Powermatic 66 is lighter than it was
30 years ago. There is nothing on the market today to equal an Oliver
12 or 16 inch joiner or an old Oliver sliding table saw. Companies
like Oliver would still be around today producing high-quality
machinery but their devotion to quality was their undoing. Their
machines, which were produced long before some of the modern notions
of safety even existed, lasted so long, especially in vocational
school settings that the lawyers had a field day. They simply drove
them out of business with lawsuits charging them with safety
deficiencies that were not even dreamed of at the time the machines
So, I have decided to buy the Festool jigsaw. Thanks to those who
have offered advice.
Now it's a question of barrel grip or D grip
I got the festool barrel grip figuring gripping closer to the
cut is better than higher like the D grip. That turned out
to be right. BUT on the Festool, the on-off switch is a
slide - and not where you can easily get to it with your
right, gripping, hand and is a kind of stiff slide foreward/
back type switch rather than a rocker. Being able to
turn the saw off while maintaining control of it is not
the Festool barrel grip's long suit.
The dust extraction on the festool is good - IF you have
the clear plastic gizmo on the saw. BUT - if you do have
it on then your view of the cutting location is hindered
and becuase the plastic is curved, distorts what you're
trying to see.
The replaceable clear plastic zero clearance inserts do
essentially eliminate chip out.
The plastic base won't scratch the work and helps
if glide nicely as you cut.
Saw is kind of heavy and unless you have large hands,
the barrel grip is a bit fat.
I too am looking to replace my older Bosch(4201). I bought a barrel grip
1584 for as a Christmas present for one of my helpers. When we tried it in
the shop the vibration of substantial, significantly more than the 4201. I
took it back. FWIW, this model is now made in China. strangely enough the
display model was made in the US.
My friend said that I should buy a new one for myself as I use one much
more than he does and that he would be quite happy with my old unit.
So now I am looking at the 1590/91 series and the Festool. I have read that
the Festool is a pound lighter than the Bosch and considered a bit better
overall but the visibility issue has me concerned. As there is no local
dealer for Festool I would have to buy one without trying it. So does anyone
else consider the visibility issue a problem? Thanks, JG
Newer Bosches. Assuming it's the blue barrel body, my new GST135 has
twice the power of the GST2000 (millenium model) I used before. Makes
a difference on big stacks of birch plywood.
The Makita isn't bad, but not quite as good. I haven't used the Festool
Well, yeah, something better than the good old Bosch _has_ come out.
The good _new_ Bosch. My 25 year old Bosch died the death and the
part I need to fix it isn't available from Bosch USA (it might be
available from Bosch UK though), so I got a new 1590. Every
criticism I had of the old one they've fixed--ten years ago Fine
Woodworking described their ideal jigsaw and apparently Bosch
The 1590 that I have was made in Switzerland, just like the 25 year
old model that it replaced. It works accordingly.
The Bosch with the right blade rips and crosscuts almost as smoothly
as a Woodworker II--the only thing that keeps it from being a glueline
rip is that it's difficult to make any jigsaw cut a 100% straight
line. I can't imagine the Festool doing better--as good, yes, but not
better. I do find myself wondering what blades the people doing the
various tests that found that the Festool cut more smoothly were
using--Bosch makes a huge range of them and if they did not make the
right blade selection they might have gotten a misleading result.
I've seen a number of people say that they prefer a barrel-grip saw.
I've never had any trouble holding either of my top-handle Bosch saws
by the barrel--if you have big hands then the top handle might get in
the way though. On the new one there's a variable speed trigger (with
upper limit set by a dial) on the top handle--that makes the top
handle worthwhile in my book, and latching the trigger on isn't really
any more awkward than the switch on my old one.
Bosch's new blade change is just lovely. Slide a lever on the front
and the blade ejects. To insert the new blade, just insert it and
push until it clicks.
I haven't found the side blade guides to make any real difference but
they are there, and don't seem to need the kind of adjustment that the
Festool guides need.
Personally I wouldn't pay a hundred bucks more for the Festool unless
there was compelling evidence that it did something significantly
better than the Bosch, and I haven't seen such evidence.
A qualified YES.
I have a Bosch, and had the opportunity to try a Festool belonging to
one of my wood dealers. My Bosch (with Collins Coping Foot) is great,
the Festool is fan-freakin'-tastic.
If I were coping all day, I'd buy the Festool, but for the work it gets,
I'm still happy with my Bosch.
Am I the only one who thinks Festool makes nice tools with good features but
that they are grossly overpriced. I would get the Bosch which as so many
have testified is no slouch (it is not like you are comparing a Mercedes to
a Yugo but more like a Mercedes to a BMW).
I definitely think that the Festools are very grossly overpriced.
After looking very carefully at all the info I could find and holding
both the Festool and Bosch in hand I decided that I really liked the
Bosch better (ergonomics and features) and even if I hadn't I would
still have bought the Bosch because the Festool's price is
On Feb 7, 9:34 am, email@example.com wrote:
I make my living with power tools. I have said this in here before,
and I'll say it again: "not ONE manufacturer makes tools that are ALL
great and good value."
I assure you that companies like Fein and Festool don't make crap.
Makita, Bosch, Milwaukee make good tools, but not necessarily across
their whole line.
As someone posted, the Milwaukee Super Sawsall..best for the money.
I think Makita's beltsander fits that category, simply because it
seems to take my abuse rather well. Bosch makes a fabulous jigsaw, but
I'm really happy with my Milwaukee jigsaw (Swiss made, btw), and there
is NO doubt that the Festool jissaw is a good piece as well.
But is it a good value? If all you got is $ 200.00, it isn't for you.
I am quite fond of the old style Bosch barrel-grip jigsaw (other than
the fact that sometimes you get caught with the switch between the
body of the saw and a wall (sink cut-outs). But thye new barrel grip
sucks, because it is too fat for my hands to grip it comfortably.
My dream tool is a 2000 watt Festool router. Almost the same price as
two Milwaukees. I love Festool, but not that much. BUT!!! it is a
You think the OP's choice is hard? Try justifying the price of a Fein
Suck in your gut, swallow hard and never look back.
Buy the Festool jigsaw...you know you want to......
Undoubtedly on some tools they are very overpriced. The Festool tool
does not do a job much beter than any other tool on the market for
half the price. Routers for example. And jigsaws too. But for
others such as the circular saw with guide rails, it may be a good,
great value for many people. No other saws short of a European
sliding saw with scoring blade has comparable performance. And ease
of use. Sanders may fall into this category too since they have a
minimal vibration and leave a good surface in less time. Shop vacs
probably don't fall into this vlaue, better category since all vaccums
work pretty similar. Not enough advantage to the Festool model to
justify the increase. But it does work well with Festool tools so
maybe this justifies the extra cost. A non Festool tool that could
justify its double the price for many, many years was the Milwaukee
Super Sawzall. If you ever had the chance to try the Super Sawzall
and any other Milwaukee or other brand reciprocating saw selling for
half the price, you would immediately volunteer to pay the double
price for the Super Sawzall. The minimal vibration on the Super
Sawzall justified the double price.
I bought the Festool jigsaw. I have a Bosch jigsaw too. But it let
me down on a job. Would not cut the bottom off a hollow core door
straight. Blade cut at about a 45 degree angle instead of anywhere
near 90 degrees. After Bosch failed me on that job I will never buy
another Bosch tool again. The Festools double price was more than
justified for me to never again use that piece of junk Bosch jigsaw.
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