If it was me, or only me and a trusted assistant I would buy Festool for al
most all my needs. And yes, under those conditions I would take them out t
o a job site when needed. The only tool I wouldn't buy that they make is th
eir drills. Too much value these days in the lifetime warranty (and recent
brushless models) for me to buy something else.
I have multiples of all the tools I use, and most are of different models f
rom different manufacturers. Over the last 40 years of doing this as a con
tractor for myself I look for value, durability, and repeatability in use.
NO manufacturer makes all their tools in all their models to that standard
. I have had DeWalt tools that are garbage. Had DeWalt tools that are grea
t. Bosch has a pretty good track record with me and their oscillating tool
, the old American made circulars saws were great. PC was a good brand, ne
ver great, but they turned out some real crap and have now fallen off the r
adar. Makita? Depends on what you are buying. The list goes on.
Festool, and probably Fein are the only commonly available tool that you ca
n buy with complete confidence. For those that take care of their tools an
d rely on them to make their living, I think in most cases Festool is unmat
ched. Personally, I say all that bullshit about "contractor rated" or "ful
l time use" and all the other marketing crap is just that. I watch some of
the videos out there and always remember that 99% of the uploaders don't a
ctually use their tools to make a living. They use the videos to supplemen
t their income so it is important to say or do something that attracts atte
ntion to their videos for the almighty "click".
I first saw the Festool track saw in use when visiting Swingman and Leon.
Swing took out the saw and showed me the setup, cut a piece of plywood, and
we talked about the strong points and weak points. For those of us that k
now Swing (bless his heart), he is blunt and proud of his opinions. He was
enormously impressed with the track saw, and after seeing it in use and its
ease of setup, I was too. The cuts would rival or exceed most table saws,
and the blade should (literally) last for years.
Leon's opinions concur, and again, having seen the saw, the setup and the f
inal product I think it is a winner. If I needed a track saw, I would get
So why don't I have all Festool? What is the place of Harbor Freight and o
ther discount tools? Employees that don't take care of your tools as you d
o, employees that don't know how to use tools correctly, the very real poss
ibility of job site theft, and for almost all the needs on a construction s
ite there is no need for the kind of quality work that their tools are capa
ble of doing.
Comparing HF, or others to Festool has to be with a grain of salt. I only k
now of two other contractors that use Festool out in the field (and one lov
es those damn drills) and neither of them have ever had a failure. One is
a cabinet installer that specialized in remodeling projects, so Festool's K
apex miter saw and his dust collector is his weapon of choice. He is one
of the very few craftsmen I trust, and he tells me that the Kapex is as acc
urate now as it was 5 years ago when he bought it, used over countless jobs
. So what is "job site rated" or the opinion it might not stand up to long
term use worth? Festool seems to do just fine with full time professional
use. He has small Festool track saw at his shop and since he hates the me
ss of his table saw, uses it for all his "one off" cabinet builds, from car
cass to shelving, not just breaking down sheet goods.
HF tools have their place. Good for rough work, some good for rough treatm
ent, and the thought that you live with varying quality depending on the to
ol. No real tears when you see them thrown in the bed of the truck for tra
nsport, when one of your idiots is using your miter saw to cut job site tra
sh into smaller chunks, and no real fear of lending them to a worker to fin
ish up a job, and no undue screaming at your workers when they leave them o
ut in the rain while they huddle under the eaves of a roof so THEY don't ge
t wet. They are adequate and affordable. They have their place.
Comparing HF to Festool in just about anyway is just stupid. One is a tool
designed and manufactured to the highest tolerances for dedicated woodwork
ers or exacting professionals, and one is a utility tool that fits a certai
n need. I have never heard of a professional saying, "man, one day I would
really like to have one of those HF miter saws".
Don't get this one...