I used to advocate the Festool Owner's Group website, but I believe that the culture there has changed, so I now frequent Talk Festool. There's also the Festool USA website. Over at John Lucas's Woodshop Demos there's a bunch of Festool articles.

Charlene's brother had Rob mentioned the products. To see them in action, we went to Ideal Saw Works. If you're a tool geek, you'll find it amusing that it (or at least the now-closed smaller north store) is carpeted, because it must be a pain to mop up all the drool. Lots of beautiful high end tools, lots of interesting discussion.

Anyway, the Festool display is right up near the cash register, on a carpeted floor, with all the tools on the shelf, a dust collector underneath the table, and a couple of blocks of scrap wood for you to play on. The dust collector has a mode where it turns on automatically when anything plugged into it turns on (yes, it has an adapter for pneumatic tools, and the sockets are standard 110v U.S. fittings). Put a block of wood on the table, lay the rail across it, drop the saw on the rail, make a cut.

Better yet, the edge of the rail is a rubber strip that's trimmed the first time you use the saw on it, so wherever you lay the rubber strip is ''exactly'' where the cut will be. Pull the saw back, change the angle, make another cut, and the top of the cut lines up perfectly with your previous cut. The rails come in a variety of lengths, and if you buy a table (with the handy angle guide) and a saw, two joiner plugs will let you have a rail that can rip a 4x8 sheet of plywood, on a straight line that's as accurate as you can line it up, with no tearing on the side under the rail, moving the tool and not the plywood.

And did I mention that this is right by the cash registers? On a carpet? The circular saw doesn't wail and hurt your ears, and the dust collector sucks up that sawdust.

A number of people have emailed me asking about ripping. Here's a Festool Rip Jig I built.

The rest of the tools are similarly engineered, and I'll be raving around each one as I use it (and acquire it).

My dealer for Festool products in Petaluma is Fred Fritz electronics.

Tools we have

Charlene and I currently have (serial #s included here to dissuade thieves):

NameFestool #Serial #Description
PS 300 EQ Jigsaw 564178 10624272 Jigsaw
C 12 Cordless Drill 561097 13045449 Cordless drill with brushless motor
ETS 150/5 EQ Sander 571541 119586 6" pad random orbital sander with 5mm stroke
CT/CTL 22 E dust collector 583366 00015177 dust extractor/vacuum (we also got the vacuum tools)
TS 55 EQ circular saw 561174 12159383 circular saw which clips to rails
55" guide rail FS 1400/2 491498 55" guide rail
OF 1010 EQ router 574240 106691 small router
DF 500 Q Domino Joiner 574258 10457313 Mortiser, kind of like a biscuit joiner, but with loose tenons
MFT 1080 table 492652 multifunction table with index arm and guide rail

plus assorted clamps and accessories.

Justifying the price

Greg Mann has a good little essay on why he likes fixed pricing

Category: Woodworking