Starting my Journey down that slippery Green slope

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Mike Camp

New User
Mike
Last week a guy at my company posted on our internal classifieds this 4.5 year old, lightly used Festool TS55 with a 42" rail, 55" rail, rail connectors, CT Midi, 48T blade and panther blade all in like new condition for about 60% of retail (translated: still pricey IMHO). I was only a few weeks away from pulling the trigger on a Makita SP6000 tracksaw (it's about $150 cheaper) but when this deal popped up I couldn't let it pass. My bride graciously let me buy it as a combined Father's/Birth day gift. Most of the work I do is finish carpentry, cabinets and built-ins so the tracksaw will cut my time breaking down sheetgoods considerably compared to a circular saw and homemade guide. After just playing with it for a little while I have to say I see why people dump all kinds of cash on Festool they are really well made and precise. The FastFix blade changing system alone takes blade changing from an exercise in controlling my temper (as with an arbor lock button) to painless and almost enjoyable.

I'm already eyeing a Festool jigsaw to replace my abused B&D one, I see how these things can multiply.

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KenOfCary

Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Welcome to the club. Superior engineering and great dust collection are worth some extra bucks. I've always agonized over the price, but never been disappointed once I made the plunge.

I have the PSB 300 Jig Saw and love it. Get some extra little plastic zero clearance inserts so you can make a new one when changing blades. They are actually fairly cheap.

Enjoy,

- Ken.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Nice score. I have picked up a few Festool sanders on craigslist. I also got them in the 50%-60% of retail range. While I do think they are nice and I enjoy using them, the price is still hard to justify. I have been eyeing the dust extractors for a while now.. :)
 

BillPappas

New User
Bill
Mike - You will love it! As you can tell by the classifieds I am selling my shop because we are downsizing and the new place won't have but a small garage. I am keeping most if not all of the Festools!

Regards,

Bill
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
I love my TS55 and CT26 dust collector. The collector coupled with the Rotex sander means no dust in the air. It's been great.
 

Mike Camp

New User
Mike
Welcome to the club. Superior engineering and great dust collection are worth some extra bucks. I've always agonized over the price, but never been disappointed once I made the plunge.

I have the PSB 300 Jig Saw and love it. Get some extra little plastic zero clearance inserts so you can make a new one when changing blades. They are actually fairly cheap.

Enjoy,

- Ken.

Thanks for the recommendation, Ken. I would really like to get a Carvex, but it looks like those will not be released anytime soon if ever in North America.

Nice score. I have picked up a few Festool sanders on craigslist. I also got them in the 50%-60% of retail range. While I do think they are nice and I enjoy using them, the price is still hard to justify. I have been eyeing the dust extractors for a while now.. :)

Definitely get the dust extractor. Saves me having to reach down to turn on the shopvac, seems to work better and it is noticeably quieter. The bags are a little pricey, but I plan on putting a 5 gallon thien separator inline with it to save on the bags.

Mike - You will love it! As you can tell by the classifieds I am selling my shop because we are downsizing and the new place won't have but a small garage. I am keeping most if not all of the Festools!

Regards,

Bill

Thanks Bill! The small footprint of the system is what impressed me the most, and still how functional it is.
 

Mike Camp

New User
Mike
Congrats on your Festool.... I just wondered why you were going to go with the Makita and not the Dewalt ? ?

I think I was leaning towards the Makita because:

- The anti-tip feature (you must use their rails though)
- The Makita rails will join to a Festool rail
- Makita comes with a Systainer style box
- Found a refurb Makita for $280 (just the saw) on @ wholesalepowertools.com. If I went this route I was considering purchasing the Festool rails with the money saved on the refurb (so I could buy into the system); however, then I would lose the anti-tip feature.
- Also with the Makita I found on some forums that with just a few shims purchased from mcmaster-carr you can use 6-1/2" blades bought at the BORGs (5/8" arbor) rather than the pricier blades (20mm arbor). I'm not sure if this is possible with the DeWalt.
- The DeWalt rails I read are good because you can cut on both sides of them; however, I also read they tend to slide more than the Makita or Festool rails because instead of an extra area of anti-slip strips it has another anti-splinter strip on the cutting edge.
- The Makita is made in the UK and I figured I would help the Queen out (it being her diamond jubilee and all) ;)

There are still many plusses to the DeWalt (riving knife for one) and if I had found a good deal on it, I would have jumped on it. Honestly I think this is one of those few cases where you can pick any of the three and have no regrets. They are all great saws and will make nice table saw quality cuts. I'm very glad I found a good price on the Festool and it took the choice away.
 
Thanks for your detailed reasoning... I did not find a good deal on the Festool so I bought the dewalt... I have been happy with it so far... it was a toss up trying to choose
 

Mike Camp

New User
Mike
Thanks for your detailed reasoning... I did not find a good deal on the Festool so I bought the dewalt... I have been happy with it so far... it was a toss up trying to choose

My pleasure, and don't have any regrets. The DeWalt is awesome, I personally think the DeWalt has the most comfortable plunge action (not a wrist twister) of the lot.
 

Scott Meek

New User
Scott
The TS55 is what got me started on my Festool addiction. I predict you will own at least three more green tools within a year. :)

One thing with Festool vacuums, especially the older ones (newer ones have a sensor that stops them when full): if you don't remember to check the bag periodically, it will keep sucking until the hose fills up. I'm not kidding. Then when you open the vacuum up, you will find a brick of hard packed sawdust. Fun times. :)
Also, if you are REALLY careful, you can reuse the bags a couple times.

You got a great deal on everything by the way. Used Festool stuff regularly sells for 80% of new price. I've sold 5 year old Festool products at that rate, no problem. They definitely hold their value better than any other power tool I know of.

Scott
 

thsb

New User
Tim
i posted a few months ago regarding trying to set up a shop. When i really looked into all the details, i honestly felt that the Festool Domino and the sander and dust extractor were actually good values. They cost a lot of money but seem very worth it in the long run. That said, it is clear that if one doesn't have the cash for it there are other less expensive and equally effective ways to accomplish things. But the tools help make things easier. In order to do mortise and tenon I was going to have to buy a bunch of different things that would cost hundreds of dollars and would probably want a biscuit joiner too (i actually bought one and returned it when i got the Domino). It started to get where the savings wasn't going to make up for the convenience of the Domino to me-and with three young kids at home i wanted something that I could use quickly and effectively.

In addition, my shop is in my basement and I didn't want a lot of dust flying around. The dust collection is great. It is harder to justify the Kapex saw but again the dust collection made it worth it because i can make cuts at night instead of having to move my saw outside (I still have to move my table saw outside to use it and delayed buying a better one because I bought the Festool stuff instead) . The cuts on the Kapex are precise. I bought a really nice Bosch Compound Miter Saw and was horrified at how it handled dust so I returned it and bought the Kapex for twice the price. I bought the bigger hose for it so when I switch from the saw to sander i just change out the connection to the dust collector.

After two months of spending a lot of time in the shop I am very glad I bought the Festool stuff.

My next Festool purchase is going to be the little detail sander.
 
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