Festool USA is bringing their cordless table saw to the USA, and it’s going to cost a huge amount of money.
Festool has not provided any press materials, and have not yet responded to any of ToolGuyd’s recent inquiries.
Because of this, I have not been able to confirm official details or USA pricing. However, Festool tends to maintain comparable pricing across different regions, and so their UK and EU pricing can serve as reasonably reliable indicators of what the USA pricing will be for the same tools.
For instance, the new Festool cordless dust extractor (without charger or batteries) is priced at £327.73 excluding VAT in the UK, which converts to $395.37, and €364.14 excluding VAT in Europe, which converts to $389.72. The vacuum sells for $399 in the USA.
The new Festool cordless table saw kit, CSC SYS 50 as shown here, is £1,811.06 excluding VAT in the UK, or $2,184.86, and €2,012.29 excluding VAT in the EU, or $2,153.65.
Currency conversions fluctuate and were accurate as of the time of this post.
This strongly suggests that the new Festool cordless saw will cost more than $2000 in the USA! I would guess that the USA pricing will end up being $2199 or thereabouts.
If you want the full kit with the roller stand, the UK price is £2,111.77 excluding VAT, or $2,547.64. The EU price is €2,346.41 excluding VAT, which converts to $2,511.25. If I had to guess, I would say that the USA price will be close to $2599, or maybe just a little lower.
The new cordless mobile dust extractor has very specific battery size requirements, and it’s unclear if the same is true for the new table saw. Either way, most users will probably want the kit, to ensure they can experience the optimum cutting performance and runtime.
Features include “exact height and angle adjustment by means of electric stepper motors” – basically motorized blade height and bevel adjustments.
Festool advertises that their saw’s “unique digital operation” is “more exact than with any yardstick.” Perhaps, but will the calibration hold during transport? Bring a square and angle gauge to your jobs to check.
Additional features include “IoT” where users can connect with the Festool Work app for data readouts and individual tool setting options, and MMC digital electronics – “processor controlled Multi Material Control power electronics” for “adjustable and constant speeds as well as temperature monitoring for work on all types of materials.”
Most premium brushless cordless power tools have similar electronic controls and monitoring.
The saw can make rip cuts of up to 280mm “with a secure support on the integrated fold-out table.” That’s about 11 inches.
Here’s the saw with its “fold-out table” lifted and secured into position.
For context, you can get the Dewalt 60V Max cordless table saw kit for under $550 at Amazon and other dealers, or the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless table saw kit for $599 at Home Depot and elsewhere. Both prices include a battery and charger.
The Dewalt has a rip capacity of 24 inches, and the Milwaukee 24-1/2 inches.
The Festool cordless table saw doesn’t look much more portable than other brands’ cordless table saws, although the fold-out table makes one-handed carry impossible.
Festool says the saw “can be transported with one hand in the practical Systainer format.” In other words, if you pack everything up in the tool case, then you can move the saw around one-handed.
The CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw is so compact that it fits into a Systainer.
But to be clear, it doesn’t fit into a regular Systainer, it looks to have a much larger custom-made Systainer tool case, which naturally adds to the cost.
Festool advertises a “quick-acting brake” for “safe work when planing, sawing, and routing,” but they’re talking about a motor brake.
Disappointingly, even with its modern electronics package, the Festool table saw lacks SawStop-type active injury mitigation and blade brake technologies, despite both brands being part of the same company.
Don’t think that Festool cannot integrate SawStop tech into one of their portable table saws, because they did just that a few years ago.
The rolling cart and work stand looks to solve some of the limitations inherent in the table saw’s small size, similar to how the custom Systainer enables one-handed carrying.
The optional “underframe” aids mobility, and also provides added workpiece support. But, the workpiece rides along the front lip of the hand cart platform. What happens if or when that edge suffers even the smallest amount of wear – is it going to scratch up whatever workpiece slides against it?
Festool’s marketing photos strongly suggest the cart is less of an option and more a must-have for workpiece support.
This tool is described as being “made for interior finishing.”
Festool also says that this saw is as powerful as corded saws and that “you won’t notice any difference in power.” Perhaps, but I would say users will notice the saw’s much smaller table top and cutting capacity before power becomes a concern.
Their marketing materials also say things like “uncomplicated spacer wedge (riving knife) changes – for hidden cuts and rebates (rabbets).”
Product images do show a riving knife, but it’s unclear if there are anti-kickback pawls.
Festool has an accessories section where they show off 5 compatible blade types, but they haven’t done an adequate job demonstrating the types of workpieces users can expect to be able to cut with the saw.
I have had good and bad experiences with Festool products. Some of my purchases have worked out well, but I have had serious buyer’s remorse over others. Festool has gradually lost much my trust and confidence over the past few years.
My testing and review experiences have been similar, with some tools being especially recommendable, and others equally as avoidable.
I can absolutely see the appeal of the new cordless table saw, especially if it excels at dust collection. But it also looks like it would fall short – literally – for many interior carpentry and finishing cutting tasks.
Surely a lot of hard work went into developing the saw, but it also exhibits the same overly complex and “part of a system” nature that I greatly dislike about some of Festool’s tools. But, that’s the way they do things, sometimes for the better.
I estimate that $2199 will be the minimum buy-in for the kit in the USA. I can’t imagine that it would be any less than $2000, given Festool’s pricing patterns and the saw’s known pricing in UK and European regions.
How essential is the “underframe” that Festool describes as a 3-in-1 solution that “demonstrates its full ability in combination with the CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw”?
From Festool’s pricing patterns, I estimate that this “optional” add-on will bring the price of the complete kit to at least $2500.
I think it will be closer to $2599, for cordless table saw, one set of batteries, chargers, the included Systainer tool boxes, and the mobile work center cart.
Factor in another $270 if you want a backup pair of batteries.
The saw retails for more than $2000, and they couldn’t find a way to add an AC power option?
Frankly, I might have entertained the idea of buying one if this was a corded tool at a fraction of the price, as I do see appeal in a small saw with fancy features and hopefully the same level of efficient dust collection the brand is known for.
But, not to mince words, I have not had great experiences or positive opinions about Festool’s 18V cordless power tools, and this skews my expectations about this one.
In my opinion, most users will probably need the full kit with the work support stand, which I estimate will end up retailing for at least $2500 in the USA, and likely closer to $2599.
I don’t even want to think about how much a larger version of this saw might cost.
With its modern and sophisticated design, which includes digital technologies, Festool’s new CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw redefines industry standards.
The question to ask is this – are there better ways to spend the same amount of money – or considerably less – on other tools that can perform the same cutting tasks?
For instance, you can shop other professional tool brands for a cordless table saw, cordless track saw, dust extractor, extra batteries, and still have money left in your pocket for more tools or accessories. There might even be enough of a price difference for a cordless miter saw and rolling stand.
Such a collection of alternate tools can do everything the Festool cordless table saw can do, albeit not in the same way. For the tasks the Festool saw can handle, will it perform easier, faster, or better than other tools?
That is exactly what Festool will have to demonstrate, and I don’t think they’ve done a good job of this so far.
I don’t care about “IoT” (internet of things) features for tools like this, I’m concerned about how often the motorized adjustments might need to be calibrated, checked, or maintained, and most importantly the table size looks impractically small to where it might necessitate having other tools or a larger table saw on-hand.
It also looks like users will have few options but to rely on Festool for compatible 168mm saw blades.
Festool’s social media and marketing hype machine will try to convince you this is an unbeatable solution. Is it?
I don’t think so, and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before there’s even a chance of changing my mind. Unfortunately, Festool stopped providing us with press resources nearly 2 years ago, and I haven’t heard from the last person who reliably answered hard questions, ever since last fall when I told them I traced “reader” comments to their USA headquarters.
What do you think – will this compact table saw “redefine industry standards” as Festool boasts?
Brilliant! First, SawStop creates machines with wonderful new Flesh Sensing technology, and not to be outdone, Festool showcases their new Money Sensing technology. Outstanding!
40 year retired cabinet maker, I bought the Rigid table saw with stand needed something in a pinch only saw available. Figure I just sell it, was 379. on sale. Still have it 6 years later, I’ve learned to like some of the nice features, others not so nice but generally a good saw. If your skilled enough you can make almost anything work, as you get older you seem to be able to do a lot more with much less. I was at a job last week doing high end cabinetry work and this saw kept up with me fine.
My point is people will run out and buy this because it the newest kid on the block or there just festool junkies that’s OK but 2500 with stand (you need the stand to rip any kind of material) for the support bar and like my Rigid I love that out bar. I think the price has no justification for a portable saw. I used the first generation Bosch table saw as my dado table for years and worked perfectly for about 6 years until I bought my 2nd Delta table saw one for ripping.
Some people think that if they have the newest and/or best tools that by itself will make them a better craftsman. Some people may buy this saw on that basis – only to be disappointed that they suddenly have not been transformed into master carpenters.
While a new or great tool might inspire craftsmanship it is usually not a substitute for training, talent and dedication. A really bad tool might never allow you to do good work – but a really good one does not insure it.
I live in England, this saw is available now it’s around £2000 with batteries I think it’s ridiculous it’s quite small around 16,, x 20 inches it has a sliding table I think it’s over engineered, and I can’t see how theirs a market for it in America theirs so many other cheaper options.
Is anyone on this forum in a trade that needs something like this. I don’t see the need for such precision in a motorized blade height. One job I had used a Felder Shaper/Router that had a motorized cutter shaft that you could set digitally to the thousandths of an inch and that was great to replicate a cut at another time. But a router needs that precision. Maybe the precision is for Rabbets (Rebates to the Ffolks across the pond). Is that the reason for motorizes height adjustment? Does the fence have micro adjustments? Maybe the (cool) sliding table makes getting extremely tight, repeatable miter cuts possible?
The tip of the front of the cart WILL get schmutz (dirt) on it. Will it need painters tape or something covering it when transported? A piece of grit will scratch wood, but maybe if it’s the underside it won’t matter?
If I had a high end business that had a specific use for this, then $3,000ish is a cost of business machine, and if it speeds up work, or gets you a better end product, then it’s worth it. When I had my Cafe/Juice bar, I started with a $30 blender, but as business grew, I went for a $400 Vitamix. After six years of daily hard use, it still works fine. $400 for a machine that is now 22 years old.
So, if there is a need for it, why not? I love tools, even ones I don’t need, but this does nothing for me.
A top of the line Sears Craftsman table saw in 1969 was $330. Considering inflation, in 2022 that $330 is now the equivalent of over $2700.
Quality and innovative tools are often expensive, nothing has changed.
Yet, the amazing thing is that you can get many modern tools that are superior in multiple ways, for a fraction of the inflation adjusted cost of their equivalents from times past.
Give it time and one or more of the larger manufacturers will mimic Festool’s features and bring competition to market at a lower price.
I wasn’t around in 1969 to have first hand knowledge but as pricey as tools have gotten the last 5 years, comparatively they’ve gone down in price similarly to TV’s. Years ago flat screens sold for $10k now you can get a smart tv for a few hundred bucks. We found some newspapers from the 60’s in a wall during a remodel and I was blown away by how expensive a lot of items in a Sears ad were such as appliances and tools. Others like cars and trucks in the same newspaper were more realistic to what I would think for the timeframe like brand new trucks for less than $10k
That’s funny we have definitely ran into old newspapers stuffed in the walls for insulation. I tried saving one from the 1860s but it crumbled the second it was touched. I can only imagine what one spark would do!
Another thought about prices being higher is quality levels on average were a lot higher too. The tablesaw from Sears from the 60s is probably still running today. How many of us remember mom or grandma having a fridge or washing machine last for 30 years?
I agree with your comments Stuart. Awful pricy for a platform you don’t see a whole lot. I have the Milwaukee table saw and it’s just fine for my use. I understand premium and will pay for that as needed, but this seems to be way out there…
This seems like a Table Saw that would be portrayed in a far off Star Trek like future where all dust and particulates are sucked out of the air by an AI Vacuum leaving everything pristine. Given the fragility of Festools vacuum shrouds and the Systainers, I can imagine this would be a more stationary shop offering (despite its pirported mobility), or only the finest of finishes where the carpenter has the run of a mostly clean almost finished workspace. This is for ripping stain grade end paneling, not OSB. I’m sure it has its place, and I’m sure for those who can afford it they’d really like it, but it’s hard justifying a saw that expensive and delicate looking for a normal tradie.
I agree I don’t think it’ll be very good, it’s way too expensive and over engineered for a portable table saw , you could buy 4 Dewalt table saws for that money, or the small portable sawstop for half that.
I don’t see myself getting this, despite really liking the Domino, sanders, dust extractors and my track saw. Especially when this will end up being within striking distance of Sawstop PCS. When I do cabinets or built-ins for someone, I usually end up using my shop table saw and the transporting the carcass or unassembled dimension cut components to the site.
Considering how table saws are used on job sites this is a niche tool that those who need it will love it. Otherwise it needs to be able to cut plywood, wet 2x12s, hardie board, mdf and whatever else all on the same universal construction blade.
Unreal that they wouldn’t spend the time and effort to put sawstop tech into this saw. I guess it will have to wait until version 2.0
Sawstop requires and earth grounding to work so I double we will see a sawstop cordless table saw for a long time untill the right trickery and witchcraft comes along.
If you want a festool with sawstop, the tks 80 is available this side of then pond😁
Reading Stuarts review and some of the other comments who don’t see a fit for this saw I think I may be in the minority here in regards to this saw. Personally I have been watching this saw in europe for the past few months on social media and have been anxious to see it brought here. I can honestly say it will likely be a day one purchase for me once we are able to buy it. I can give a few reasons that will maybe give some insight into why it appeals to me and my use case.
First the price isn’t really an issue for me since i have a custom cabinetry business so any tool costs are just write off. We spend roughly 10 to 15k a year on tools. The cost of this saw will probably be less then we spend a year on sandpaper.
In our install trailer we have largely changed everything over to festool, and as we all know it is easier to stay in one battery system. At least in the case of a mobile set up. Currently the only thing that we have to carry non festool batteries for is a dewalt cordless table saw. The trailer also has a lot of built in systainer storage and the current saw while a great tool doesn’t store as easy as i expect this too and also requires different batteries and charger then everything else.
The system approach really has been a time saver for us. Their tools are expensive up front and while they are not all at the very top of their field the system approach has streamlined our install process which saves us time. All of our work is fixed price so faster work means more profit margin for us.
I disagree with the comment that festools are not durable or don’t hold up. Tools break to be sure but we have found them to be slightly better then average as far as motors and calibration. We have sanders that have been running at least ten hours a week for over a decade and are still going strong and used every day. We still have plenty of dewalt and milwaukee in the company but they are used less and less, as we have expanded our festool purchases.
The fact that the new cordless chopsaw and new larger tracksaw they just announced all take the same size blade as this table saw is also very appealing. Streamlining our blades across our trailer would be really nice as personally that has always been a negative with their system in my mind. Glad they are taking feedback and addressing that.
Anyway it was put forward who would buy this and is it worth it. I hope that give some an example on why we plan yo buy it.
Do you anticipate this saw completely taking the place of your existing cordless saw, or will you need to improvise with other tools for certain cuts?
Regarding durability, the plastic look and feel of Festool tools have never bothered me. I’ve damaged Systainers, but my tools have held up.
However, I have heard enough stories about certain tools that simply don’t hold up to typical use. A few years ago, two contractor/pro users told me about their Kapex miter saw motors simply giving up and burning out over time, something I have heard repeatedly in web reviews. Apparently that was a years-long issue. I kept checking back periodically, as a miter saw with high dust collection efficiency was on my shopping list (and still is), but a tool like that costs way too much to be considered consumable.
When I hear complaints about durability, it’s sometimes hard to say if long-time users are talking about things like that, or if a non-user or newcomer to the brand is referring to videos they’ve seen on the internet where a sensational reviewer lambasts Festool products in a teardown rather than with real-world assessment.
I have been using Festool professionally for 15 years and I have noticed no difference in durability vs other brands. I purchased the Kapex when it first came out in 2009 and am still using the same saw today. It has been sent in once for the motor issue and they fully recalibrated the saw at the same time. Ergonomics, superior dust collection and low vibration make these tools worth it. As far as their batteries, I switched over to Milwaukee from Makita in 2016 with my cordless tools. I also purchased my first cordless 18v Festool at the same time(HKC) and have used the hell out of it. Those Festool batteries are still as strong as they were new, however I have had 3 Milwaukee red lithium batteries crap out on me in the same length of time.
All that said this table saw would have to have far, far better dust collection than my cordless Milwaukee to even consider spending this much. And unless you are doing a bunch of tiny cross cuts for arts and crafts projects that little sliding table seems like and expensive add on for a professional trim/cabinet carpenter. It also ruins the ability to run the fence on the opposite side of the blade for the off occasion that you need to bevel on that side anything over the 5 degrees built in to the saw.
I think for us Stuart we will simply replace the dewalt cordless in the trailer since it is the last tool we are carrying special batteries and a charger for. It would be a direct swap for us, take the dewalt out and put it in the storage room and put this in its place since we already have prob a dozen of their batteries in the install trailer. One less thing someone can forget. Some of our jobs are hours away so making sure you have everything you need with you is a major thing for us.
Like James mentioned below we also don’t us a table saw for very much on site. We mostly use tracksaws or the HK for everything. We build our finished end panels and backs oversized and then size them onsite with tracksaws. We do sometimes use the tablesaw for resizing kickbase. And we typically do hardwood stringers under farmhouse sinks and we use a table saw for that as it is easier for thinner strips in my opinion. We don’t use it often but there are times it is the best tool for the job and something I prefer to have with us. We really just rip thin stock with it. I would have less interest in it if it were corded, we don’t carry any corded tools for what we do anymore.
As for your question about durability, I tend to be in the same boat as Ryan below in that I have not noticed any durability issues in real contrast to other brands and have found the batteries to have a much longer life span, though that is not to say that our other brand batteries have not lived up to our expectations.
I looked at our kapex in the shop and it says it was built in 2012. We have never sent it in for service or done anything aside from changing the blade. It gets used 5 days a week by several people. I followed some of the online comments about motor issues and I do think that was an issue at one time. However we never experienced it. It does not have the best dust collection in my opinion. We used to have a great makita chop saw that we used for years that certainly had better dust collection. But when it died I found makita had discontinued the model so I tried the kapex. Where I have found the kapex strength is that is almost never burns the cut, even when there is tension in the wood. We use hard maple for all our face frames and door parts and all of those are cut on the kapex, thousands of cuts a year, and it almost never binds and burns its way through the back or start of the cut. Never had a saw as good at that. We use one with the ug stand and wings in the trailer and that is great, particularly since we can get the wings in metric which is what all our cabinet work is in.
I have burned up plenty of tools by all brands over the years but I can say so far festool stuff seems to stand up to use pretty good. I did have a guy burn up a ts55 motor. But he was ripping 6/4 white oak with a finish blade and not a ripping blade. Plenty of stationary table saws couldn’t handle that so I blame the operator not the tool. We replaced the motor and the tool is still running in the shop to this day.
The one gripe I can say I have with them is the proprietary accessories and consumables. We spend a lot each year on their consumables and that is a steep price. But they are of a high quality and deliver on performance so I feel it is worth the added cost most of the time. Vacuum bags are and example but it does keep our work site clean and look professional. If festool didn’t work better I wouldn’t spend extra to use them. I am not in the business to buy tools, I am in the business to make money.
You brought up broken systainers and that is an interesting one for me. We bought dozens of tough system when gen one came out and at least 8 packout. Also have prob 10 or so of the lboxx by bosch. We have tried to standardize on all of these. To be honest we keep coming back to systainers but it is not the durability that brings us back it is the size. Most of the time when we are coming to put in kitchens it is in finished space. The trim is painted, the floors are finished and such. The systainers are small enough that you are not banging door frames and dinging the trim. I love the packout system but it is too rough for the spaces we work in. Perfect if you are on a framing site but the packout will scrach finished floors and the bigger ones are tricky to lug up finished stair cases without scratching anything. The systainers are the perfect size for the work we do. And now that we have invested into built in racking for them in the install trailer they pay for themselves.
I think you check all the right boxes on what a Festool complete system is designed for.
For the average contractor or DIYer, both the initial and long term expense are hard to justify.
The only large group of Festool users I know of are fine woodworkers.
Also own a cabinet shop. We use a Mafell track saw to cut extended stiles in the field as they are part of the face frame already. The track saw is also better on cutting any panels as it’s never a 90 deg cut. All panels are scribed cut rough w/ track saw and then sanded or block plane to scribe line.
We use a cordless DeWalt or a side winder cordless saw to rip or cross cut any 2x blocking if needed. I just don’t see any need for this cordless saw.
It’s not a table saw, it’s a very expensive toy with no mains power, Festool must think we’re suckers with money to burn, if I was buying an expensive portable table saw in America, I would probably buy the new small sawstop, that looks very good, and it’s half the price.
Not having SawStop technology is an easy explanation. SawStop technology uses an earth ground… cordless tools don’t have an earth ground.
Not for me – but it will probably find its niche. Let’s see if we see it on a future episode of TOH – with Tom Silva using it. A recent episode had him using a Mafell (looked like a KSS 60 18M) cordless cross-cutting saw that sells for close to $2000 – but IMO that has greater appeal than this small table saw.
Let’s hope that the step-motor adjustments can be locked down and don’t creep during use. I found height creep frustrating when I first started using my Festool Domino machine when trying to make lots of repetitive mortises for plywood cabinet carcasses. I expected repeatable precision from Festool. No problem with the first few cuts – but after maybe 20 or 30 you were a bit off. For me the solution came with sole plates from Seneca that set a single height insuring no-creep centering on the plywood edge.
Even that larger Systainer case doesn’t look large enough to hold the table saw. Maybe it’s extreme parallax in the photos making the Systainer behind the table saw look disproportionately small.
the saw has a small folding extension table, so it can fit in the systainer case.
What makes Festool special? Is it the contractor service like Hilti? Are their tools built better than Milwaukee, Dewalt, Bosch and Makita? Do they function more precisely? Is it warranty? Are they uniques?
What makes them worth the premium? Serous question not just stirring the pot?
(Tom Silva likes them but is he paid to?)
The service, quality and warranty speak for themselves. All exceed industry averages.
Are they better? I think that’s a subjective opinion best left to the end user. Are they different? Yes…..
ADMIN NOTE: This commentor is affiliated with Festool USA.
Slimy sales guy language, barf.
Service, quality and warranty, huh? I’ve owned pretty much every Festool and still have a few and have a ton of systainers, kapex etc.
But my 4-5 year old Midi vac has had a loose socket connection for plugging in tools for the last 3 years and finally I called Festool and they told me a new socket was $59 for single socket? I mentioned it is not really a user wear item and in no way should it ever wear out in the span of 2-3 years of single user use. She told me there was nothing she can do. So I asked to speak to a manager and got someone’s voicemail – left a detailed message with my contact info and no one ever called back.
Finally took the damn thing apart myself and that single socket was made in Mexico! So much for made in Germany quality…. Anyways – managed to take the socket apart and bend the contacts tight, but that little bit of Festool “service” was enough to put a real sour taste in my mouth, not too mention the stupid $$$$ price for a made in Mexico simple single socket.
It’s all marketing. There are tons of YouTube videos taking apart festool and see in the insides are low quality.
I am not a Festool fan. Fans of Festool will give you a variety of reasons they like the brand. Some are valid and some are not.
The one area that just about every Festoolian and even non Festoolians agree upon is their superior dust collection.
Festool in the contractor world is a very small percentage. The few that do use Festool, will usually cite dust collection as the #1 reason.
The saw does not have much to directly compare it to. It remains to be seen how well it performs, but the promise is that it’s pretty much a game changer. Also, Its price is pretty much in the same range as shop saws.
Jobsite saws just do not have very high precision (simply due to them being light), nor great dust collection. Generally a shop saw you could expect both to be very good.
For cutting 2×4 and osb there’s no question this is un-needed, and maybe don’t even want to bring it into that environment. But if you do a lot of finish work, and you need as close to a shop table saw as possible and you need it on site, this could be the solution, assuming that it lives up to its promise.
I own a couple Festool tools and absolutely think they are worth the price, but this saw is a bit too deep into a specific size niche to consider at this price point.
I’ve never judged a car before I drove it. I‘ve never compared a hammer to a finish nail gun, and I’ve never challenged the quality of brands with such a strong following and long history of quality. Most importantly, no one ever said that internet bloggers have journalistic integrity.
ADMIN NOTE: This commentor is affiliated with Festool USA.
You’re a Festool USA corporate associate who has pathetically hidden their identity and affiliation in order to anonymously and repeatedly antagonize other commentors, and now me.
Yes, we know exactly who you are.
Is this what Festool has become? Instead of explaining or defending your brand’s products, you go on the attack?
That’s the approach brands and execs take when they’re peddling hype and don’t have any ground to stand on.
How shameful. How desperate. How sad. It’s laughable that you have the nerve to talk about integrity.
Well said Stuart
Thank you for calling this out. I have noticed you have been very patient over the years and have rarely called out a specific brand or its official representatives, but instead have left the brand anonymous.
I very much respect your patience and intentionality in being respectful so as to not bias your readers. I believe I am not alone in having wished you would call out brands by name in the past. But I will state that your approach has also given me greater respect for you and your integrity. This integrity over the years has caused me to take extra notice this time.
I also want to state that the integrity of an individual person is important to me. In this case it appears that a brand representative has attempted to deceive your readers (which includes me). Similar to you, I find that behavior to be shameful. I appreciate you making the decision to call out this behavior candidly.
For this reason alone, I am much less likely to consider this brand in the future. I also know that this is the sort of behavior that I would share with others who ask me my opinion.
So to “Bob” (if you truly are an official representative), please take note that this causes you to lose business now and in the future.
And also to “Bob”, if this is not an accurate representation of you, I apologize. I do not wish to “attack” another commenter and do want to be respectful of others opinions (wether I agree or disagree, you do have the right to respectfully present your opinion).
I hope this comment comes across respectfully to all. I do not wish to be antagonistic but merely to share my perspective on this.
Thank you Stuart.
Thank you Stuart, for your consistent honesty and integrity.
For someone from a brand with the quality and reputation of Fedtool, this is ridiculous.
Well that’s sad. I have been sometimes impressed, sometimes underwhelmed with the Festools I’ve used. I would say most often they’re simply designed for a use different from my applications, but I can appreciate that others have different needs, and respect the sometimes absurd level of engineering invested. This saw doesn’t make sense for me at any price, but I’m happy it exists for those who could use it.
Learning that the sales/marketing/”media engagement” people at Festool USA are playing games (and apparently don’t know what a VPN is) makes me much less likely to consider their products even when my needs do align. On one level that’s disappointing about the brand, but on another, thanks for saving me some money by encouraging to buy elsewhere!
Update: I spoke with a Festool USA representative today who assured me that “Bob”, although affiliated with the company, does not speak for them in an official capacity here or in the other comments they have left here in the past.
I’m not one to knock Festool in general. In my limited experience many of their tools are excellent and well worth the money if you are using that tool a lot (sanders, dust collection). But I just don’t see how this saw is offering $2k or more worth of value. If it had a Sawstop-style safety brake then the situation would be different but I just don’t see what this saw offers over competing models to justify it’s much higher price. I’m not averse to buying high-end tools but this is one where I just don’t see what that extra money is getting me. And I’m especially leery of spending that kind of money on a fairly obscure battery system which will at some point be unsupported. If I needed a high-end portable table saw I’d much sooner look at a Mafell Erika. Those are even more costly but I think you’re actually getting a lot more for your money in terms of capability.
I honestly don’t get this opinion. Is the kapex really worth 1500 more as a miter saw because it collects more dust (but only when you use more featool products)? My Dewalt miter saw connected to my cheap rigid vac, with 10 bucks in mods, gets 90-95 of the dust. So festool is worth over 1500 for 1-3% of dust? Connect a good sander to a vacuum and the dust collection is the same as festool.
I personally don’t feel the Kapex is worth it. I’ve used them, I’ve helped set up a brand new one; I don’t feel they offer any better precision or performance than many others on the market and I don’t like that they take an oddball blade size. I am very happy with both of my Dewalt miter saws, a 12″ corded and a 7 1/4″ cordless.
The specific products I’ve liked from Festool when I used tools belonging to others are random-orbit and fractional sheet sanders, and their dust collectors aka vacuums. Oh, and I used their “Planex” drywall sander exactly once. I don’t own any of those tools, I don’t do enough of fine woodworking or drywall to justify buying either. That said, I could see the benefit for those specific tools for the right kind of user, just not me. But I don’t see how the $2000+ price of this saw pays off for anyone.
I own three festool sanders and a festool ct36 vac. Your sentiment holds water.
I’ve found the dust collection of the sanders is identical on a similarly spec’ed vacs from other manufacturers, so if you want just excellent dust collection for sanding on a budget, start w something like the ETS 125 paired within any dust extractor vac. You might save a grand.
I had a project refinishing a 3000lb conference table in a conference room. I went full Festool for that— their reputation for dust control was a key part of the proposal.
Through some experimentation, I also found the granat paper is also not quite the fastest on hardwood but holds up longer, allowing for a good value on price per sq ft and a good workflow —for me.
My Makita 36v 10” mitersaw had much better dust collection than my current Kapex does, both had been hooked up to the same vacuum.
The Kapex I had was bought used from a guy that had to send it in to Festool as the motor burnt up. He paid Festool $550 to fix is and then sold it to me for the $550 to recoup some of his money back as he had already bought a new saw while the Kapex was being fixed.
I will say, that the Kapex is extremely accurate and generally a pleasure to use and very easy to carry and transport, but I did take the head apart to disable the absolutely annoying switch/guard interconnect which required you to half press the trigger button just the lower the saw head and have the guard retract. Was super cumbersome when working as designed and even worse when the internals would get a bit gummed up and start sticking.
And I make very very sure to only use extension cords if absolutely necessary and even then only to user 12ga or thicker and make sure they are only as long as they need to be.
Can’t imagine having to baby a Dewalt miter saw like that, but damned if I’m going to let this fragile Kapex get smoked on my watch because I will certainly never buy another one.
I think the problem is how people are looking at this table saw: It is probably small because it is intended for smaller pieces. The big stuff is cut with a track saw. The little stuff that is unsuitable for a track saw (or miter saw) is cut with this tiny table saw.
You have a lot of options for job site saws that are larger, but not many that are like this.
When I worked in a frame shop, we almost never ripped anything 11” wide. It was all about the planer, the miters, the jointer, the routers. I could see something like this paying for itself cutting profiles but paired with a huge outfeed table, but still not for us —95% of our work was done by finishing precut profiles. It would have to be a very specific and frequent use case to justify the purchase.
Perhaps the problem with this saw is a philosophical one. It’s called a table saw by its format but is not what we consider to be a table saw by function.
There is a waiting list for this saw in Europe other company will follow whatch this space it won’t be long before Milwaukee make there own version and others will follow it is expensive because frstool can. It is amazing how people like to slag of frstool the most inavotive company
Festool sells a “system” which includes darn good dust control.
SawStop sells a saw blade which will not cut you.
Separate brands, separate marketing pitches. I can see adding that safety feature to the Festool brand once the patent expires, until then sell as much as possible by keeping it separate.
But they are owned by the same parent company so it isn’t unrealistic to see them share patents.
Just my opinion, I think they will not share patents. Keeping SawStop’s safety feature separate is an attempt to maximize profits.
When the SawStop patent expires then Festool will do what they think will maximize profits at that point.
Festool already has a different table saw with a sawstop blade brake in it.
I am far from a festool fan boy, or a fan of any brand.
We have 8 Festool sanders,domino, Kapex,edgebander and 3 midi’s in a 10 employee cabinet shop.
I’ve sent off 6 of the sanders for repair in the 3 years I’ve been with the company, and we keep 2 different festool return cardboard boxes because they fit the sustained (from Ga they go to Indiana to be repaired btw).
That being said,if it collects that 1-5% more dust in a finished home…the price is worth it for high end trim guy who needs to work while it’s raining outside.
The capacity seems very suspect.
Digital angle,and height I could see being useful on long angles like skirt board on stairs for an example.
I don’t see a huge market for anyone other than FOG members,and a few unique trades.
It would be to small for our cabinetry installs.
90% of people using sockets never need a 1/4 drive snap-on 7/16 chrome short chrome socket.
But I use one for tightening j-bolts on laminate countertops.
Same with cordless lighting ,mitersaw,tracksaw,and vacuums.
Sure I could run 200ft of extension cord,but Friday it rain and would have taken 200 ft to reach shelter….. and an additional 200 more to reach the apartments we were working in.
I have a large variety of tools. The only Festool I have is a fine finishing sander they had a big rebate on when they introduced it a couple of years ago.
I know their dust collection is superior than just about any other brand in the same market. They also have some innovative tools like the Domino, that many owners swear by.
My issues are that the majority of their tools are average or maybe slightly above average, but cost exaggeratingly more than what you can buy from the other brands, which offer the same or even better at times.
You rarely or maybe never hear someone say, “wow, this tool is powerful”. You never hear people lauding the fact that it fell off a table, a ladder or just treated like crap and still works like the day I got it. They are almost like heirloom tools.
They have their yearly price hikes, which I suppose all brands have prices go up. But with Festool it is different. Competitors have price increases when they deem it is necessary. Sometimes holding off when it is a slow market or they can hold off for another 6 or 12 months. Festool has their yearly price hike, you can almost set your watch to it, and the increase is always the same percentage, regardless if it is warranted or not.
They make so many of their tools with different arbors, different sanding hole patterns, and anything they can make “proprietary”, so that you need to buy their accessories.
Not sure if this is rumor or true but they won’t warranty if they find out you were using a non Festool accessory on a tool that fails.
They have a strong cult following and in reality, their business model is about as close to being a cult, without actually being a one.
If their prices were at the same level as Dewalt, Milwaukee and Makita, about 50% of those who rant about Festool (like me), would probably stop griping and use more of their products. The other issues would remain but at least there would be more value in the money spent on their tools.
Anyway, for me, there is such an abundance of tools and choices, I don’t care to get sucked into their world.
This table saw pretty much encompasses more of what is wrong, than what is right, with the whole Festoolian universe.
Rather like Apple
Whoa. We dumped all our remaining PCs (and MS was a client at the time) in maybe 2000 and have never once looked back. We simply have nearly zero issues with Macs. OS and iOS. Though we’ve never used their bespoke monitors. (Except on some now long gone iMacs).
Thank you. My thoughts exactly. I’m not saying that Festool doesn’t make an exceptional product, but all of the proprietary nonsense is what drives me nuts. Similarly, I might be more inclined to buy an iPhone if it wasn’t for the proprietary Lightning charger. It does the exact same thing as a USB, but costs more.
Yes, pretty good analogy.
I’m baffled that if the form factor is in practice the entire handcart, that it doesn’t have a travel-guard on the toe plate and that it isn’t a wide continuous table when deployed.
The handcart honestly seems like a kludged-together afterthought. The whole idea of using the toe of the cart as a work support without some kind guard or attachment in order to make sure it’s clean, straight, and smooth is silly. Also, it might just be me, but from looking at the pictures I don’t think that anything actually locks to the handcart. It appears you are meant to stack the systainers and the saw on the cart like any generic dolly, and there’s some kind of a strap in use to keep the systainers on the cart. So, from what I can tell, you have to do the following to use the saw:
1) wheel the loaded handcart to your work area
2) remove the strap and the systainers and the saw from the handcart
3) re-configure the handcart into stand mode
4) place the saw on the stand
5) unpack the various attachments from the systainers and install them on the saw
That seems a bit clunky, especially for a premium product. Surely they could have designed a better stand/cart that was easier to deploy and had a superior work support option compared to using the toe of the handcart. For a fraction of the price of this one could mount the saw of their choice to a miter saw rolling stand…just roll it wherever you want to go, and raise the stand to working height. These days that’s just one simple lever push with most brands of stand. And there is plenty of room in such a setup to store accessories or have fold-out work supports. In my opinion it would have made more sense to make a better stand/cart which has storage for the accessories integral to it.
This will be a seriously niche tool, and is priced accordingly. 90% won’t need it, but for professional finish carpenters who are already invested in the Festool system- if it holds up and performs as advertised, it could pay for itself within a few jobs.
Complaining about tool prices is an amateur pursuit for those who can’t write off the cost, work it into their pricing structure, or break even with higher productivity. $1500 is nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, rack and pinion fences have seriously improved the functionality of job-site saws. I love my Skil SPT99, but it’s nowhere as good as a cabinet saw. It still cost most of a $1000 with tax and a good blade, and definitely didn’t come with batteries, charger, sliding table, a storage case, or fancy servo-activated mechanisms with DROs.
So when can Bosch starting selling the reaxx again???
The Reaxx was a really nice saw. Mine ate 6-7 cartridges on false fires though. I finally gave up on it…
Simple answer, no, it’s not worth it. But humans buy all kinds of dumb things that cost way too much money, when a equally, less expensive option is available. Watches, purses, shoes. This is just that for snobby woodworkers. I’m sure they will sell plenty.
You’re not wrong- There are lots of luxury items out there that cost more, with the same or sometimes less functionality than the budget equivalent.
However the inverse is also true- You can only do so much to add functionality to a budget product without increasing the price. Eventually you have to pay more if you want something better.
It’s up to the buyer to determine the difference between expensive (but worthwhile) vs. simply overpriced luxury items.
Outside of gold-plated hammers and other exotic items of that nature, I don’t believe there are many true luxury tools. Just expensive ones for niche tasks. If you find your self in a situation where you have the work to justify a premium tool, why deny yourself?
Virtue signalling ‘I can do the same with less’ is only worth macho points among friends- Not something that moves a business upmarket or builds customer’s respect in the long run.
I totally agree, I like Festool I have a sander and two routers but this portable table saw, is made for tool snobs with money to waste.
Stuart, one feature that I missed in your review, but I noted in the Festool UK video (later in the episode) was the sliding table to the left of the saw blade.
I had one in the past on a Felder Table saw and they are a huge factor for some people and not found on any run of the mill job site saw. I know the Felder ones ran on ball bearings & the extruded table was a key cost factor. A lot of woodworkers feel that they don’t need the Sawstop tech when using a sliding table. I would also expect that the space it takes up to the left of the blade would impede the addition of the mechanism/cartridge by Sawstop to this particular saw.
This would be a nice feature; however, the cost over a portable Sawstop would not prompt me to consider purchasing it.
This isn’t a sliding table saw, it’s a table saw with a small integrated sliding sled.
Sliding crosscut sleds aren’t a substitute for blade guards or flesh detection tech.
Stuart, just curious, did you see the email I had sent you with the table, that comes with a sliding table and 2 cameras to detect possible finger injury?
That saw is more a commercial saw, both size and price(did not see price, but must be way up there), compared to what you normally discuss on ToolGuyd. I just thought the camera detection system was cool. After executing, the saw blade pops back up and is ready to use again, no $100 cartridge to change.
Also curious if you know this type of system to be somewhat unique or in the commercial space, these kind of safety items are semi common.
Interesting safety approach, but from a glance it doesn’t meet industrial safety requirements — I wouldn’t trust “hand recognition” software to be 100% accurate, and don’t think there’s enough distance between where your hands need to go to operate normally and where your hand is in danger.
What happens if you slip, and your hand moves forward very quickly? If you use the OSHA-recommended hand speed of 63″/sec, the saw needs to detect the hand when it’s about 16″ away from the blade (assuming 0.25 sec to lower).
So, yes, it’s a good idea, but should be viewed as a backup when you screw up, not as a fail safe.
What you say may be very true, but is finger sensing that SawStop uses more trustworthy?
This is German tech, so you know they did their homework. They have a video on their website that states up to 2 meters per second (78″). It also shows that it is monitoring an area, front to back of 1.5 meters. I am assuming the saw uses a 14″ blade but even if 16″ blade, that leaves at least 22″ before the blade.
It must be pretty fancy tech, it states it works even if you wear gloves. I don’t get how the software, through cameras, can sense wood coming as OK, but can tell that a hand is not.
It also states that it starts at $45,000! Yikes
We’d have to know a lot more details. My impression is that they are using two regular cameras with software (probably some kind of AI/Machine Learning) to detect hands. Too bad I can’t understand German.
I’d trust a safety light curtain a heck of a lot more, but those cannot tell the difference between a hand and wood. You could potentially use infrared camera, but gloves would probably cause problems for IR.
Based on the videos, you can get your hands fairly close (green zone, to push the wood), but if you get too close (red zone), the blade retracts. So a quick movement could still be a problem. So it appears to me as a good idea, but you’d still want to be very careful.
I get the impression that a hand enters a zone and the system is now aware of it, but will not go off, because it is still far enough from the blade. Then (supposition here) will deploy either when it gets too close to the blade or maybe a quick movement, but the system was monitoring what was going on.
Anyway, deploying too early is not a problem like SawStop where you need to change a cartridge + cost. Rather, you don’t want your work constantly delayed because the blade is hiding on you prematurely, constantly.
It definitely looks like a sophisticated system
Not yet – thanks!
Felder has one too – a PCS, preventative contact system.
So far these features are only found on European commercial table saws.
The sliding table saw we had in our cabinet shop was our go-to tool for cutting sheet goods. We sometimes broke down really large sheets (once in a while we’d get a deal on sheets lager than 8×10) using our vertical Safety Speed Cut panel saw. But the added (separate motor) small scoring blade on the sliding table saw helped with preventing tearout and added work when using hardwood plywood.
On this Festool saw – as Stuart says – you have a sliding sled that perhaps helps if you are doing things like mitering or crosscutting moldings.
The size of the Festool; it has to be for small miters or similar. Anything resembling a sheet of plywood would be next to impossible to keep flat and maneuver, or the saw would tip over, being this small.
I just watched Peter Millard’s video on why he chose this table saw. His perspective is a bit different in that the UK has other choices than we do over here, but I can relate to many of his concerns. I used to live in a lower COL area and had a 3hp cabinet saw. Now I live in a HCOL (bay area) and have a SawStop JSS. I am very intrigued by this. I use my Mafell track saw to cut down panels, but still find myself using the SawStop regularly for repeatable smaller cuts. Space is at a real premium as I work out of a single car garage, and sometimes I do take the table saw to the job site. This is really intruiging to me. Precision, dust collection, portability, small sliding table, etc. I will definitely be taking a close look at this to replace the SawStop. I do wish this one had flesh sensing, but it’s not necessarily a deal breaker for me.
One aspect of Festool that I rarely see mentioned when people talk about how expensive they are is how well they retain their value. I am getting ready to sell my Domino 500 from 2011, and I know I’ll get more than I paid for it. I now have a Domino 700 and a Lamello Zeta P2 and just don’t need the DF 500, but the fact that I can get all my money back for something that I used regularly is amazing. I can’t say that about my Milwaukee or Dewalt tools.
“One aspect of Festool…..is how well they retain their value”
One aspect I mentioned in a previous post is their yearly 10-15% price hike. Festool is not unique to this. Rolex is known for this yearly price hikes, and like Festool, you can find so many debates on value, are they worth it, and so on.
But, Rolex watches can often be sold 10 years later for what was originally paid or sometimes more.
Another aspect, and I could be wrong here, but I get the impression that Festool owners will, not necessarily “baby” their tools, but will take care of them much better than your average red, yellow and teal owner. I have seen tons RY&T tools for sale that are beat up pretty good, but get the impression Festool owners do not beat them up in the same way.
Some of that would comport with hobbyist use. I have a Unisaw purchased new and used for hobby/home woodworking for over 50 years. But during the years that I was engaged in running a business, it was used mostly on weekends. I compare that to the Unisaws that we had in the business – which were used 5 or even 6 days per week. Lots of the tools that I have bought fit in the same category. The Lamello Zeta P2 – I have as a 2021 acquisition was used to build 2 sets of custom knockdown furniture. Even if I continue to use it – at 1 set of furniture per year – it should outlast me and everyone now alive in my family.
I admit I didn’t read every comment, but this looks like it’s made to appeal to Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest woodworking channels/users. I don’t see many real world users buying something like this.
Yes, there are many (fine) woodworkers that buy into the Festool system, YT is full of them. The Festool MFT table and expensive guides that work with the MFT, they definitely sink big money into their tools, and a lot of it is Festool.
This saw will find a home with some of these woodworkers. I am just wondering if trying to rip Maple veneers, or similar function on 2″ hardwoods, how many passes before the batteries die…or would it just bog down in the middle of the first cut?
Like Stuart said at the outset, not having the foresight to allow this saw to also be plugged into a wall outlet, for this price is really cheap. Or as innovative as Festool is, they are also shortsighted.
I love my Festools AND as a business owner am confused about the company’s design choices here…
Festool has great build quality, longevity, and unmatched repairability that makes them a sensible investment. Domino is a unique and superior solution. 20 years into using their track saws professionally I’m still excited by their elegance.
Even given European pedigree, where portability and a premium on space are drivers, the cost of producing a tool with these features and without so many fundamental others seems like really poor decision making from the company.
For job site use, producing a tool with this much power consumption that can rely only on battery, without adapting to line voltage, is impractical.
Also on jobsites, the track saw is superior for breaking down larger scale parts, and so why introduce a tool competing with your own more flexible CMS system?
Automated blade settings are great for big manufacturing spaces to augment lower skilled labor in repetitive processes.
For the economics of return on investment, why choose to engineer and charge for the cost of sophisticated functions that don’t match a tool’s intended place of function ?
I like the digital height and angle controls in theory. But agree, concern on how to calibrate. It’s also just another thing to break. Are there back up manual controls? I don’t see any.
I admire their innovation and I understand their systems approach but all these things cost money and it comes down to a cost vs benefit equation for me. Some of their tools I think are definitely worth it. Not sure this saw is one of them. I would have to run it through its paces to be sure. Festool if you’re listening please send one to me and Stuart for evaluation 🙂
The digital control for angle and depth of the saw blade seems to me the answer of a question nobody asked.
Those controls are great on a big panel saw, to be able to cut multiple parts at exactly the same size, but on a cordless job site saw, I don’t see the point.