We have received word from our friends at Tool Nut that Festool USA will be selling their new STM 1800 folding workbench in the USA, but there is a catch.
The new Festool STM 1800 “mobile sawing table” will only be available for pre-order, and will NOT be available for purchase after that time.
You have until 4/12/2020 to place an order for the Festool mobile sawing table, and it is expected to ship around 10/1/2020.
This is somewhat surprising, but makes sense. Step 1, collect a batch of orders. Step 2, produce product in sufficient quantities. Step 3, ship to customers.
Something like this is almost definitely going to be a direct-from-Festool product, at least if it requires freight shipping.
What’s the demand going to be like in the USA? Will any retailers be interested in carrying it?
I’m sure there are good reasons for having a pre-order limited-time offering like this, similar to what some brands do with Kickstarter – and not just new companies but established ones too – or what Woodpeckers does with their One Time Tools, or what some other brands do in slightly different ways.
As a consumer, it always bugs me to have a limited-time purchase window and then a several-month wait until I get my tool or other type of product. But let me ask you this – if this is something you’d be looking to buy, would you rather have a limited purchase/pre-order window, or not be able to purchase it at all?
Price: $995 with free shipping
Read More: Festool STM 1800 Workbench Preview Post
The STM 1800’s USA specs says that it has an up to 71″ x 71″ support area. It’s also height adjustable from 27-5/8″ to 35-7/16″. When it was launched in Europe, it was said to be able to support sheet goods up to 3100 x 2150 mm in size, or ~10.2′ x 7′.
Festool USA has not yet announced the STM 1800 mobile saw table or released any other details; the specs come from Tool Nut’s new product listing.
Also, all sales are final. So to recap, you have to place your order by 4/12/20, your order should ship out around 10/1/20 (but is subject to change), and once you place your order you can’t change your mind (although you might be able to cancel before the 4/12 ordering deadline passes).
Here’s the intro video again if you’re interested:
There is one considerable design quirk that many owners won’t realize until they use it. You need way more support underneath sheet goods to prevent cut pieces falling through than those few poorly placed wood supports they supply. There is more to building things with plywood than just a single rip or crosscut.
The only immediate benefit of this design is that it folds up for storage or transport.
I regularly use 2 folding steel sawhorses, multiple 2x4s and a 4×8 sheet of rigid insulation for a cutting table. That provides 100% support under the sheet good regardless of direction of cut, size of cuts or quantity of cuts.
I would not own this Festool item. It’s inadequate for real world daily use as is. So if you need to put a sheet of rigid insulation on top for improved support, you might as well use some sawhorses and a few 2x4s at a 1/10 of the cost.
I was thinking $1000 is actually less than I thought it would be. Not that I would spend $1000 on it, but still.
$1000 for some steel tubing and casters.
Yeah, but FESTOOL tubing and casters 😉
Well in that case, Ill take 2!
Steel tubing with some wheels, two pairs of hinges and some small brackets to hold wooden standoff scraps …
Koko the Talking Ape
_A_ catch? There are several catches (and not the good kind, that hold the swing arms out, etc.): pre-order only, limited purchase period, six-month wait, ALL SALES FINAL? It’s like a Gofundme, except we know the product will never actually be produced in volume, and we are being charged a premium up front, instead of a discount.
You sure can buy a lot of saw horses for $1K. And they get here immediately. And you can return them. Etc.
Another point to consider is the availability of parts for this contraption. Festool has sold accessories in limited quantities before and getting replacement bits is not generally possible. I’m thinking of the centrotec kits or imperial Zobo’s which contain consumables like drill bits. Now this bench is not an “accessory”, it would likely classify as a “tool” based on how I’ve seen them classify things before. For tools they commit to making parts available for 7 years after it’s been discontinued I think. But a limited run tool like this is a first to my knowledge…I would have no faith they will have parts on hand beyond the 3 year warranty period. And even within the 3 year warranty period, you may be looking at excessive delays. Maybe they could obtain them from Germany, however, you’re looking at at least an 8 week wait by the time it’s gets through their distribution channels. That’s probably your best case outcome.
This approach to selling “tools” has so many red flags it’s hard to believe someone in the head office thought it was a good idea. I generally like their tools and am willing to pay the extra for them.
Tool Nut’s Shane Holland posted already on Festoolownersgroup.com forum that this is not a tool, it’s an accessory.
Yeah, I just saw it. That’s not good at all. I’m not sure what the warranty on this would be (if anything). I’m sure Festool and dealers would make good if it arrived at your doorstep broken. But a year out, a broken wheel or weld turns your table into an ornament.
There is speculation that this may be their way of offering something to the North American market that previously would not have been available at all on this side of the pond. That’s entirely possible…but it doesn’t change my thoughts on the whole bizarre scheme.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. When we build cabinets on site I use a 4×8 centipede, and a carry the same sheet of sacrificial plywood to put on top. If you need a mobile cutting solution it’s the only way to go.
Thanks for bringing that Centipede up. I’ve never seen that before and that is super cool. Plus folded up, it will fit way better in my garage than most of the other contraptions out there.
I like festool, but to me this is a complete waste of money, what are they thinking it doesn’t support the material every were, I’ll stick with my home made saw horses.
To suggest this wouldn’t be super helpful onsite is silly. The ability to tilt up 90lb sheets of mdf or Melamine alone takes all the comparisons away from any other cutting station. So hell yeah, I’d use the heck out of it.
For the majority of cutting platform needs do not require 100% surface support. And who wants to drag a beat up sheet of insulation to job sites and leave little specs of pink foam all over someone’s lawn or driveway?
I’ve seen those centipede units, but they look like the cheap folding chairs who’s Achilles heel is the plastic interconnecting pieces that will degrade, crack or break after a year or two.
I currently use the very simple but well designed smart table system made by EZsmart which is really just a set of abs plastic cleats that accept a rip of sacrificial 1×2 material and they slide into shallow channels that you mount to a 3×4’ chunk of 3/4” plywood. You can extend them out to fully support a 4×8’ sheet and then as you cut the sheet down into smaller pieces, you retract the channels to reduce the overall size. I have no idea if they’re still in business or they still sell this simple cutting table solution (was about $60? For the plastic channels). But I’ve used it for the last 10 years, occasionally changing out the 1×2 strips. Setup onto two sawhorses it’ll easily support 3-4 sheets of melamine even.
I’d buy this Festool solution at $400 or so in a heartbeat, but certainly not at $1k
I like your enthusiasm.
If you watch carefully the very minimal video demo then what you’ll notice is that the one person tilt with a very large Euro sized sheet is balanced nicely to tilt from an angle to flat. Science is working here with a good mechanical pivot point. What they appear to leave out is the exact same movement for smaller 4×8 sheets common in the U.S. They show what looks to be a heavy sheet of clear polycarbonate but they don’t show a single person actually tilting that back over and then moving it to a centered location. The mechanical pivot point becomes crap in that setup. When I see such an omission, I know there’s some questionable marketing going on in maneuvering certain sized sheets solo.
We won’t see real world use until these are delivered in October at which point there are no returns and no further purchases. I don’t believe this will perform to the extent the marketing is pushing for individuals.
I use multiple 4×8 rigid insulation boards at different locations, 1-2″ thick. They only get cut less than an 1/8″ into and no foam pieces are breaking off or cut off. No minimal undermounts have to be moved around just to make a cut as a sheet is reduced.
A very real world issue with minimal support under panels during cuts is blade binding, happens with circ saws or track saws, with and without riving knives on track saws. I’ve experienced it all. Safety can be an issue but cut quality to me is the real concern. Good enough is not the kind of work I do.
There are people who do rough work and some who do fine cabinetry. Same goes for the materials being used, cutting OSB or very expensive A1 or B1 walnut panels. No way in hell I would use this Festool accessory on expensive panels the way it’s designed. As is, it’s an expensive accessory for rough to middle of the road work from a company who prides themselves on precision tools for precision work.
The arms adjust, you’d change the pivot point just by changing the arm length.
The concept of selling and only then going into production leaves open a great opportunity for an enterprising and aggressive Chinese manufacturer to knock-off this simple accessory. Since it folds flat and would be cheap to ship via ocean freight, they should be able to retail it here for about $300-400 – like a big version of the Rockler “Material Mate” or the “centipede”.
Festool stuff is, almost uniformly, high quality, and always high dollar. Some of it is, or was when it was developed and first released, near-genius stuff – reliable and accurate track saws, for one, domino cutter for another.
That high price has attracted the attention of competitors so now several companies make versions of track saws; none seem quite as refined and polished as Festool, but they’re available (I’m waiting for a $500 domino cutter from Makita or Milwaukee, myself).
John’s response (above) to Julian touches on something I’ve wondered about – how come no one has combined the functionality of a drywall panel lifter with the portability of a Centipede? That I’d consider paying the big bucks for, especially when wrestling 4X8 sheets of 3/4 MDF.
Though apparently I cannot be trusted to know fine carpentry from rough carpentry, for those looking for a sheet goods cut station that have no interest in lugging around a beat up crumbling sheet of insulation might have a look at this: https://www.eurekazone.com/product-p/ezt2300.htm
Not sure if it’s still actually available, but it’s simplicity belies it’s usefulness, the channels slide in to the 2×3′ footprint of the 3/4″ flat “base” and when you need to set up a full 4×8′ sheet, they expand out in the middle, and angle out at the ends to offer near full support. As you cut your sheet down, you keep closing in the supports to accommodate the size of your sheet as you go.
If you cut 1×3′ or 1×4′ to give a bit more height, you can keep your tape measures, pencils, squares, etc, in the gap. ( though care must be taken with the blade depth: for plywood or mdf, you can keep the blade just under the surface of the sheet goods, but for melamine materials, you’ll get the cleanest cut underneath with the blade a lot lower due to the angle of approach of the blade’s teeth)
The golden egg of either sheet goods cutting (or setting up the Festool MFT) is the elusive perfect 90 degree cross cut. (That’s about the ONLY reason to buy the Festool MFT, it’s not that great of a general work table for the $$$)
Previously, the Woodpecker’s large square was the only game in town; now there are a few after market clamp on 90 degree guides to help hold your saw track square.
But a nice cheap option developed with Milwaukee’s much thicker square they sell at Home Depot for about $24. I added a rabbited Maple edge that’s clamped onto the square’s leg with brass nutserts and stainless screws along with an adjustment screw at the bottom to tweak the accuracy if needed, also in a nutsert with some threadlock on the threads. Gives you the length needed and the ledge to allow it to lay flat on your surface and is instantly and easily brought back to perfect accuracy need be.