Author Topic: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America  (Read 71810 times)

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Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 409
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #90 on: June 22, 2016, 03:21 PM »

Canada is metric. All stength testing and certification of lumber fabricated and sold in Canada is done using metric units. Try to find a 3/4" thick of plywood made in Canada. Impossible. They are fabricated using metric sizes.

I remember when I did my thesis for my Structural Engineering degree, 25+ years ago, that all lumber, trusses, gusset plates etc, were metric and all findings were published in metric.

Cheers
JC

 I started building my dream house 6 months ago. Clearly, I'm no expert. But I did go to a engineering school too.

 My House plans dimensions where imperial, center to center measures in inches

 Concrete thickness in inches (but strength in megapascals)
 
 LVLs and I-Joist specifier sheets where in inches. Same with the I-joists web hole cutting instructions.

 Plumbing: Imperial

Garage doors : imperial sizes, and so on.

 Not once did I order something using the metric system, except for the concrete. The fact that lumber is cut using the metric system is irrelevant, simply because 19mm plywood is made to replace the real 3/4 inch plywood and nobody cares for the .05 mm difference.(except engineers :P)

 A lot of lumber sold in Canada is still named after the old imperial sizes. Contractors and framers still refer to these sizes & lumber yards employees are familliar with them. So no, Canada is not metric at 100% yet.

When you order your cabinet hardware you will be working in metric, no way around that and I think a lot of the Festool lineup is directed towards cabinet construction. Trying to build cabinets in standard with metric based hardware is a PIA!
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Offline vkumar

  • Posts: 483
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #91 on: June 22, 2016, 04:01 PM »
Just to get my voice heard.  I prefer metric.  I do hope @TylerC that you will offer metric stickers for those of us that prefer it.
Vijay Kumar

Offline danbox

  • Posts: 70
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #92 on: June 22, 2016, 04:16 PM »
Well you have to love our American friends, why is the imperial system still being used anyway. Who needs a coherent system of measurement that unifys area volume weight mass tempurature and time anyway.

Im guessing it's because it's a European system (French & BAAS), I remember reading somewhere a few years ago about the metric system in America that in the early 1900 a bill was put forward to make it mandatory across the country as it was being widely used across the Britsh and French empire, 40 or so top American business/Science guys where invited to give their opinion and all but 3 or 4 where in favour of the bill being passed as they understood the advantages that the system had, the government however didn't and rejected it, the article also stated that other bills had been presented with similar support but again get rejected each time?

If it's the system of measurement that is used, even if it is outdated, I don't really understand the hate towards Festool for selling tools in that market, especially if it's what their competition is doing.




Offline GhostFist

  • Posts: 1556
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #93 on: June 22, 2016, 04:18 PM »
I'm happy for imperial measurements for construction, i think festool shouldn't eliminate metric products however. It's nice for those that think they know better to have choices.

Seriously you should have the option, Im sure more imperial will sell, but theres those who want to be weird and they have the right

Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 838
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #94 on: June 22, 2016, 04:20 PM »
Metric measurements are not the impediment or hurdle to more U.S. sales, price is. When most Festool tools increase 2-4% annually every April 1, at some point (just like private education which is more like 5-6% annually) you will push away more people from buying into your ecosystem.

Best path forward is to offer as many add-on stickers for imperial scale and also the detented adjustment parts too for a true alternative. Both measuring camps will be happy.

I have a lot of tools from many, many brands and price is always a factor. Sure I'd like to have an OF1400 router but my 3 Bosch routers work perfect and as a whole cost the same. My drill/driver/impact tools cost together what one Festool battery drill costs. I buy tools that solve a problem not blindly buy a brand. My 5 Festool tools are it for a good while (each is unique to me), metric/imperial doesn't matter. I do want quality and precision but that is provided from many other brands. We humans are the main precision tools in the shop, and money doesn't grow on trees.

Sales/marketing 101, don't sell your product based on price, sell it on what it can do for the customer, even when price is the elephant in the room, preventing greater market share.

Come up with a clever marketing campaign or in this case switch to imperial as the excuse for why sales aren't where they need to be, even if you're wrong, at least it bought you sometime to think up the next brilliant idea to avoid admitting you're too overpriced and boutique to get a larger market share with the wider market. In the meantime spend your lunch hours looking for a new job that takes you out of the firing line hopefully before management realise the latest bright idea wasn't actually the answer.

The last thing management ever wants to hear is "maybe we're too expensive, we should cut out prices". I suspect this move to imperial is just the upshot of dancing around the truth that nobody wants to admit.

Offline AIPDX

  • Posts: 119
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #95 on: June 22, 2016, 04:28 PM »
Well you have to love our American friends, why is the imperial system still being used anyway. Who needs a coherent system of measurement that unifys area volume weight mass tempurature and time anyway.

To be fair, US is gradually moving towards introducing metric units wherever possible. Nearly all food items are now labelled in both imperial and metric units. Kids at school learn how to use metric. Electronic gadgets increasingly often can be switched between imperial and metric. However, it is very difficult to make this change happen because of costs, habits, established production routes, etc. It will happen, but it will take a long time. Someone was too conservative in the past and decided to stick with the imperial, now we have to live with that.

The same applies to countries with left-side traffic. Not very convenient (especially for UK folks who want to drive to the rest of Europe) but how would you change it?

Sorry about the off-topic.

Offline TylerC

  • Posts: 1084
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #96 on: June 22, 2016, 04:44 PM »
If it's the system of measurement that is used, even if it is outdated, I don't really understand the hate towards Festool for selling tools in that market, especially if it's what their competition is doing.

Bingo. Personally, I think that the US should have adopted metric one hundred years ago. However, they didn't. For better or worse, imperial is the standard here. Who are we to fight it?
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Offline cred

  • Posts: 9
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #97 on: June 22, 2016, 04:52 PM »
If it's the system of measurement that is used, even if it is outdated, I don't really understand the hate towards Festool for selling tools in that market, especially if it's what their competition is doing.

Bingo. Personally, I think that the US should have adopted metric one hundred years ago. However, they didn't. For better or worse, imperial is the standard here. Who are we to fight it?

Again, this appears to be showing little regard to your existing customers.  Festool chose the "wrong" side in NA initially, so now they'll switch midstream, leaving current users by the wayside?

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 804
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #98 on: June 22, 2016, 04:53 PM »
The better question is are the metric versions going to be offered at a good sale price?

In some ways it is a good push for those like me that have been holding back on buying tools (OF1010 router in my case) to make the purchase soon. As always a sale will drive sales.

Offline danbox

  • Posts: 70
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #99 on: June 22, 2016, 04:57 PM »
Well you have to love our American friends, why is the imperial system still being used anyway. Who needs a coherent system of measurement that unifys area volume weight mass tempurature and time anyway.

To be fair, US is gradually moving towards introducing metric units wherever possible. Nearly all food items are now labelled in both imperial and metric units. Kids at school learn how to use metric. Electronic gadgets increasingly often can be switched between imperial and metric. However, it is very difficult to make this change happen because of costs, habits, established production routes, etc. It will happen, but it will take a long time. Someone was too conservative in the past and decided to stick with the imperial, now we have to live with that.

The same applies to countries with left-side traffic. Not very convenient (especially for UK folks who want to drive to the rest of Europe) but how would you change it?

Sorry about the off-topic.

Well we still carry swords over here so we need to keep left...

Offline ear3

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #100 on: June 22, 2016, 05:07 PM »
 [thumbs up]

Maybe the MFS will be reborn in imperial?  [wink] [wink]  [big grin]
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Offline clark_fork

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #101 on: June 22, 2016, 05:08 PM »
Festool appeals to the elitist user; cabinet makers who seek a competitive advantage, mainly in productivity. Read any woodworking magazine about shops and  shop machine layouts. All have the "Norm Abrams" look with none showing a MFT, LR32-system, Parallel Guides.  This decision is not going to turn the average American framer/finish carpenter into a Festool customer. These are "Skil-Saw" users and always will be.  It took 79 days for "Old Coke" to be put back on the shelf. Start counting...

It is a good exercise, though, "an intelligent risk".

"The Coca-Cola Company introduced reformulated Coca-Cola, often referred to as "new Coke," marking the first formula change in 99 years. The company didn't set out to create the firestorm of consumer protest that ensued; instead, The Coca-Cola Company intended to re-energize its Coca-Cola brand and the cola category in its largest market, the United States.

 That firestorm ended with the return of the original formula, now called Coca-Cola classic, a few months later. The return of original formula Coca-Cola on July 11, 1985, put the cap on 79 days that revolutionized the soft-drink industry, transformed The Coca-Cola Company and stands today as testimony to the power of taking intelligent risks, even when they don't quite work as intended."
Clark Fork

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Offline ear3

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #102 on: June 22, 2016, 05:12 PM »
 I think tempest in a teapot is going to sue this thread for copyright infringement.

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Offline JD2720

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #103 on: June 22, 2016, 05:48 PM »
[thumbs up]

Maybe the MFS will be reborn in imperial?  [wink] [wink]  [big grin]

I would replace my metric MFSs with an imperial version.

Offline TylerC

  • Posts: 1084
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #104 on: June 22, 2016, 06:10 PM »
Festool chose the "wrong" side in NA initially, so now they'll switch midstream, leaving current users by the wayside?
Launching in the US with imperial was never an option. If we were holding out to get imperial tools, we never could have come stateside.
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Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2016, 06:27 PM »
@clark_fork  Have you watched a current season of "This Old House" recently? It would appear at least these guys aren't so locked in anymore. At least the rest of the people involved in the show seem to have moved heavily to Festool. Just making an observation. I don't think the Festool line is so elitist anymore or the company wouldn't be expanding as rapidly as it is in North America.
Randy

Offline TylerC

  • Posts: 1084
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2016, 07:11 PM »
I just wish I'd waited until today to announce the CXS sweepstakes winners. I was much more popular yesterday.

// logging off for the night //
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #107 on: June 22, 2016, 07:33 PM »
Shocked is the most polite word that I can use here.

I will refrain from further comments.

Peter

six-point socket

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #108 on: June 22, 2016, 07:34 PM »
Hi!

I'm deliberating for quite a while now if I should write a little more than in my previous post in this thread or not. Mainly because it doesn't affect me, at least not as imminently as I honestly wish it would (but that's a different story and not for the FOG) and because I have no clue how many North American craftsmen of all trades still use imperial over metric.

But what I learned from years actively using forums and some facebook-groups is that no matter how big/how active/how frequented a forum/newsgroup is it's still just a small lake compared to an ocean (the real world). And in every lake there's only a handful of different "sea dwellers" whereas in the ocean diversity is a lot bigger. So just looking at the lake to make a representative statement about "sea dwellers" isn't going to hold up in the long run.

I wrote it in another thread, albeit a little different, the real elitist group are the users of such forums/newsgroups because they are far more educated on the respective topics than the general public and use far more different resources than any Joe Average ever would. And "Joe Average" is definitely not meant to reflect on the quality of work they deliver.

I shop online almost all over the world for stuff that I want, be it for hobbies, general goods or whatever. I did so before PayPal and before Sak's and so many others started to use international shipping/e-commerce solutions like borderfree - so I have quite some stuff that only later was introduced to the European/German market, if introduced at all. Meaning I use 110V converters or had to go through other hassle to make it work. For some I could get 230V models nowadays or slightly different variants that maybe appeal a little more to the European/German market. So I do understand when Festool wants to advance from kinda serving the "true connoisseur" that will make it work despite hassle/conversions *whatever* to serving more "Joe Averages" who want to stay in their natural habitat and surroundings.

The big question is if that will harm the relationship with existing customers. And if it does, if all those "Joe Averages" being counted on right now will make up for the eventual (purely speculative) loss of earnings from existing customers.

Also it's not so much the hobbyists or one-man-shows among the professionals that will "suffer" from this and maybe leave "the green" - but the larger companies to which tools are also a kind of consumable and who regularly buy new machines that go in the loop.

And I surely wouldn't want to see the faces of employees that (maybe) learned metric on behalf of their job or their bosses that made the move after seeing what fantastic products Festool offers, and when the next turnover is due they unpack new, imperial Festool(s). ...

But then again, this is just my personal opinion, my thoughts on this. They are worth nothing, not even two cents, because I don't work for Festool and I have no clue about what their numbers, surveys and in the end their leader's instincts predict for the future.

I only hope that Festool did think about their relations to existing customers and their Fan, err. FOG-Base ;) Because those are the people that, albeit not solely, spread the word to the world's "Joe Averages".

I'm gonna say what I have said before - I like Festool and I wish them the best of luck with this business decision - I'm pretty sure there were enough employees involved that pondered for quite a while about this before the decision was made and announced.

Best of luck Festool!

Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 09:26 PM by six-point socket »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4726
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #109 on: June 22, 2016, 08:04 PM »
I read the Festool Blog announcement and I scanned this entire thread and have not found any mention of what the new increments will be other than "Imperial".

I view this development with alarm. I moved to Festools to gain precision and true adjust-ability. The 1010 router for example has 1 mm increments that can be subdivided 10 times and even finer positions can be readily interpolated.

How much precision will be given up by using Imperial?
What is the finest increment that will be readable on the 1010 depth adjustment scale?


I'd like to see an example of the Imperial 1010 depth adjustment scale please.

Offline shaun.mcc

  • Posts: 100
  • DIY, Chronic Tool Addict.
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #110 on: June 22, 2016, 08:37 PM »
Been busy and haven't been on the forum in awhile, but saw this announcement on facebook. While I understand this is a way to increase sales, I've spent thousands on festool and woodpeckers in investing in metric. Now, adding any tools in imperial will bug those of us with ocd that obviously pay a premium to have a system. This is poor. The first tool your potential carpenters will buy would be a ct and a track saw...perhaps you should start by offering just the track saw in both metric and imperial (despite the sticker) to see the interest and perhaps some educating on the merits and method to switch to metric, cheat sheets, etc. I have a feeling price will be the barrier. 

Btw...no shame on festool changing their mind.

Shaun


@RVHernandez it would seem that the current loyal Festool NA customer base is not a major factor in their planning. Obviously speculation on my part, but the points you've made would make anyone in the middle of investing in Festool potential collateral damage of their changes.

We're trying to find a balance. If our current customers didn't matter, I wouldn't be responding to this thread. However, growing and reaching new craftsmen matter as well.

The reality is that most of our NA customers already have lots of imperial tools. Even if they prefer metric, imperial is hard to avoid in NA.
 
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Offline Gjarman12

  • Posts: 98
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2016, 08:40 PM »
I'm torn. Being in Canada we kind of have to work in both. As I prefer and feel like I have converted some to metric and it was part of my expensive jump into festool, my biggest concern is that potentially my tools only have seven years left of guaranteed service.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7652
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2016, 08:53 PM »
I read the Festool Blog announcement and I scanned this entire thread and have not found any mention of what the new increments will be other than "Imperial".

I view this development with alarm. I moved to Festools to gain precision and true adjust-ability. The 1010 router for example has 1 mm increments that can be subdivided 10 times and even finer positions can be readily interpolated.

How much precision will be given up by using Imperial?
What is the finest increment that will be readable on the 1010 depth adjustment scale?


I'd like to see an example of the Imperial 1010 depth adjustment scale please.

@Michael Kellogg this is a classic example of Festool not innovating effectively in a marketplace that is demanding more. You are so rightly pointing out that we're talking about a lot more than a label here.

Bosch (ignoring quality or effectiveness) have stepped in with digital displays for their routers and the idea is extremely appealing to me. More improvements will be made with electronics and accuracy will be more dependent on these innovations.

Probably ironic, but I'd imagine other tool brands pay more attention to sites like the FOG than Festool does itself. Pretty obvious that a cordless tool with a dual mode digital measurement system and throw in multilingual, just because it's easy ... and you are making a tool you can sell world wide.

The flagship product for Festool is, without doubt, the track saw. At one point Festool owned the space .. now (locally in Oz) I can buy a cheap track saw and track for less than a third the price of Festool. If I want spend more than Festool, I can buy Mafell ... and if I want a familiar brand I can buy Makita, Dewalt, etc.

six-point socket

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2016, 09:01 PM »
I read the Festool Blog announcement and I scanned this entire thread and have not found any mention of what the new increments will be other than "Imperial".

I view this development with alarm. I moved to Festools to gain precision and true adjust-ability. The 1010 router for example has 1 mm increments that can be subdivided 10 times and even finer positions can be readily interpolated.

How much precision will be given up by using Imperial?
What is the finest increment that will be readable on the 1010 depth adjustment scale?


I'd like to see an example of the Imperial 1010 depth adjustment scale please.

@Michael Kellogg this is a classic example of Festool not innovating effectively in a marketplace that is demanding more. You are so rightly pointing out that we're talking about a lot more than a label here.


I agree in a heartbeat that this is a very important and intelligent question on the subject of changing to imperial measurements.


Probably ironic, but I'd imagine other tool brands pay more attention to sites like the FOG than Festool does itself.

And this makes me lol  [big grin]  [big grin]  [big grin] I'll explain why, NO OFFENSE: this exact statement can be read numerous times on a German forum of a competitor in regards to Festool seen as "other tool brands"

Made my day! :)

Kind regards,
Oliver


Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2745
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2016, 09:02 PM »

A couple of things here:

1. While Festool is growing very rapidly in North America, our market share is still really small.
4. It's interesting that many of the harshest responses have come from people outside of NA. Obviously, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but it will be interesting to see how the majority of craftsmen in imperial-dominant countries respond. The non-FOG response to this so far as been largely positive.

Further thoughts from one of the 'people outside of NA' -
. 15 non North American replies out of 112 at time of drafting this and the majority of these by @Kev. Vast majority of Nth American replies not positive about this decision.
. Obviously Metric  Canada was not fully considered. [Imperialism!  [smile]]
. The Festool 'System' is Metric, now in Nth America this strength and unity will be compromised.

@Peter Halle  is 'shocked'. Not sure if this shock is from this decision, or the overwhelming strength of negativity to this decision by NA members. Must say if it is the latter, I too am surprised. I certainly expected there to be a backlash, but given the strength of debate in Threads discussing measurement systems, I did expect more posts in agreement. Given this FOG history, the overwhelming objection rate of replies from NA members is surprising.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 03:59 AM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #115 on: June 22, 2016, 09:06 PM »
A couple of things here:

/snip/

2. Providing two versions of the same tools simply doesn't make sense. It would be far too expensive and complicated to simultaneously provide both tools. Other power tool manufacturers don't offer both metric and imperial versions of their tools either. It's easy to say, "Just make both." It's much harder to actually pull off in a financially feasible way.

/snip/

Actually it makes a lot of sense. We're not saying "just make both", Festool said they are making both. We're suggesting to sell both. Perhaps make the imperial standard and offer metric as a special order. Some more products in the supply stream adds a little more work but it provides greater consumer choice and avoids alienating all the customers who over these several years have changed to metric and want to continue doing so, not to mention the newcomers who would prefer it due to other Festool products remaining metric. And as for the other tool companies not doing it, really? If that were the Festool MO we wouldn't have tools like the domino, RO90, conturo or the many other improvements or better warranties over the other makers. Or the other way to look at it are the other makers selling imperial only saws with metric hoses as well as other metric only tools like joiners and work tables? Either way it's not what all the other guys are doing so which is better for the customers? And which sets Festool apart from the competition?

Again, don't get me wrong, I'm glad the tools will be made available in imperial and will prefer them personally, and I agree it will broaden the appeal here. But why leave the current customers who adopted metric in the lurch on their future purchases? IMO that simply doesn't make sense.
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Offline Mort

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #116 on: June 22, 2016, 09:12 PM »
There sure is a lot of ire coming from people who won't be effected about a sticker on a track saw and a knob on a router.

I'll bet you can get yourself a sticker and knob from England for pretty cheap, warranty intact.
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Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2745
Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #117 on: June 22, 2016, 09:14 PM »
@TylerC

Get some sleep.  [smile]

There sure is a lot of ire coming from people who won't be effected about a sticker on a track saw and a knob on a router.

I'll bet you can get yourself a sticker and knob from England for pretty cheap, warranty intact.

You might get the knob, but from my FOG experience UK tools like in Australia already have a metric guide.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 09:17 PM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline Kev

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #118 on: June 22, 2016, 09:20 PM »
@TylerC

Get some sleep.  [smile]

There sure is a lot of ire coming from people who won't be effected about a sticker on a track saw and a knob on a router.

I'll bet you can get yourself a sticker and knob from England for pretty cheap, warranty intact.

You might get the knob, but from my FOG experience UK tools like in Australia already have a metric guide.

I doubt @TylerC made the decision and was probably hoping for a positive response.

Offline Mort

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Re: Festool is (partially) moving to imperial in North America
« Reply #119 on: June 22, 2016, 09:21 PM »
I'm also curious when Australia and the U.K. are going to start driving on the right so we can stop producing cars in right hand drive?
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