Author Topic: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?  (Read 1535 times)

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Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 34
Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« on: May 18, 2020, 08:44 PM »
Has anyone used both and have an opinion?  (I’ve read through some old posts, but couldn’t find anything in the last year or two)

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Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 70
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 09:11 PM »
I used the Festool ones when I attended Greg Pasolini’s Festool cabinet-making class two years ago and they were okay.  I looked at Woodpeckers but ultimately waited and purchased the ones made by TSO as soon as they went up for sale.
I am glad that I waited as they are well made, spot on and simple to use.

Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 34
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2020, 09:58 PM »
I hadn’t considered the TSO version, mostly because it looks like it would cost $660 (I don’t own their edge guides and would need to buy those).

It’s interesting you weren’t impressed with the Festool version? Portability is also important to me because I’ll need to pack them in my small van, and the FT version seem to be the least portable?

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 693
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2020, 11:12 PM »
The Festool ones are clunky because of the way they hang off the material. The Seneca and Precision Dogs are a nice step up but still a bit fussy. I owned the Seneca for a while before switching to the TSO parallel guides. They're great to use. Everything they make is well thought out and engineered to the point that I see if they make something first before I look at other options.

What's nice is that we have options. If you're just doing the occasional rip here and there then either the Seneca or Precision Dogs will suit you just fine. If you want the best there is, then that would be the TSO IMHO. The Woodpeckers seems okay if you really can't be bothered to store one of the other options. Personally I don't see the need to join all those pieces together as worth it for the systainer storage.

Then there's the cheap option: if you're only making certain rip sizes over and over you can throw together your own parallel guides with some scrap MDF for fixed dimensions. 10 Minute Workshop (Peter Millard) over on YouTube did some videos on the process.
Instagram @matts.garage

Online vkumar

  • Posts: 483
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 11:15 PM »
I have used all three of them, I find the TSO the most refined, followed by the Festool and the Woodpecker though quite blingy not so great in actual use.  I sold my woopecker, still have the Festool set with extensions to sell. PM me if you are interested.

Vijay
Vijay Kumar

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 213
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 07:49 AM »
For portability, I think it would be hard to beat Ron Paulk’s design, but they aren’t available pre-made.


I have the Festool guides because I found a used set at a good price. They are kind of clunky to use, as stated, but work well and address the problem of doing narrow cuts better than most of the others, from what I’ve seen.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1296
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 11:17 AM »
I've tried the Festool, Woodpeckers, Seneca and Precision Dogs. To be honest, parallel guides are such a simple task to do, you can easily just make your own, and after playing with all those options I stuck with the cheapest one (Precision Dogs). It just didn't make sense to spend more on solutions that really didn't offer any major functional difference.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 41
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2020, 12:28 PM »
I originally bought the Festool guides and found them to be clunky as others have mentioned.  I subsequently sold them.  In my experience with buying lots of Festool products, the parallel guides and the angle guide were my least favorite.

I bought the TSO Products parallel guides when they came out and have been very happy.  Eric and Hans just seem to nail it with every product they engineer and manufacture.  I just need to build a case for my TSO parallel guides so I'll reach for it more often.

Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2020, 12:32 PM »
I have the TSO set.  They work flawless for me.
TS-75, LR32, OF-1400, TSO GRS16PE,  TSO TPG-20, TPG-30, TPG Adapter

Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 34
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2020, 12:39 PM »
I'm sensing a common theme here...unfortunately, TSO is currently out of stock on PGs.

@DynaGlide : It is nice to have all these options for sure.

@pixelated : I thought about Paul's version too - nice and compact. Maybe if I get time I'll try to make those, but I really like the off-the-shelf options that @DynaGlide referenced.

I really appreciate everyone's input!

Offline Cochese

  • Posts: 322
    • The 144 Workshop
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 01:01 PM »
ShopFestool has them in stock, I just ordered a set of the right hand version.


Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 98
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 01:54 PM »
can the TSO guides be used for repetitive short cuts like with the festool extensions?

how do you measure if you want the cut from the off-side?


edit: the only video i can find of them in use is by the poplar shop. it's comical how he craps on the festool ones like a bad infomercial.

what i find interesting is that he doesn't seem to actually use both TSO tracks. looks like i can just use one as you're just referencing with the edge guide anyway.


« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 02:08 PM by usernumber1 »

Offline Joelm

  • Posts: 59
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2020, 02:18 PM »
I have the Seneca guides and Woodpeckers now. I really did not like the Seneca guides as it was too easy to bump the t-tracks out of square and I was always misplacing parts. I decided to replace them with either the TSO guides or Woodpeckers.

The things Woodpeckers has going for it is it is the tracks are short (not sure actual length) but can be combined. So when I do thin rip cuts I don't have any large tracks hanging out and getting in my way (my shop is very narrow). They also can be neatly disassembled after use into a systainer.

I was leaning on getting TSO guides but needed them for a project and didn't want to wait for them to be in stock. So far I'm very happy with the woodpeckers and am going to get rid of the Seneca guides.

Online vkumar

  • Posts: 483
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2020, 02:31 PM »
can the TSO guides be used for repetitive short cuts like with the festool extensions?

how do you measure if you want the cut from the off-side?


edit: the only video i can find of them in use is by the poplar shop. it's comical how he craps on the festool ones like a bad infomercial.

what i find interesting is that he doesn't seem to actually use both TSO tracks. looks like i can just use one as you're just referencing with the edge guide anyway.

I think really small rip cuts are difficult with the TSO, even they say that a tables saw would be better. The Festool parallel guide with extension would be better. IMHO/
Vijay Kumar

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 693
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2020, 02:52 PM »
For thin rips, get a small table saw. It will make life a lot easier than trying to use any parallel guides.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 34
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2020, 02:56 PM »
For thin rips, get a small table saw. It will make life a lot easier than trying to use any parallel guides.

Not having used a PG yet, if I had to make a thin rip (& didn't have my table saw) I would use my Paolini rule to put a tick mark on each edge of the sheet, then just line up my track to that.  Should be parallel I would imagine?

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 693
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2020, 03:00 PM »
When I said thin rip I should have said narrow rips, i.e. narrower than the width of the guide rail. The guide rail does not have enough support so you get into weird situations of trying to place another piece of material the exact same thickness under the rail and hoping it doesn't skew your cut.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 34
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2020, 03:02 PM »
When I said thin rip I should have said narrow rips, i.e. narrower than the width of the guide rail. The guide rail does not have enough support so you get into weird situations of trying to place another piece of material the exact same thickness under the rail and hoping it doesn't skew your cut.

Gotcha - that makes sense.

Offline Df1k1

  • Posts: 104
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2020, 07:55 PM »
I have the Woodpeckers.  Not super thrilled with them but TSO wasn’t around then. They do the job

Offline tofu

  • Posts: 10
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2020, 08:52 PM »
When I said thin rip I should have said narrow rips, i.e. narrower than the width of the guide rail. The guide rail does not have enough support so you get into weird situations of trying to place another piece of material the exact same thickness under the rail and hoping it doesn't skew your cut.

Rip from the other side of the rail. Add the width of the kerf to your cut.

I use a combo square with the rule side butted up against the rail guide hump to get parallel spacing down the entire length of track (8ft rips)

This is how I do 2" strips for rail and stiles from MDF sheets. You'll never get everything to be perfectly the same size by using pencil lines. Althought I'm not sure if being off by 1/64 would even matter in cabinetry.

Offline elliottandnolan

  • Posts: 16
    • Link to my MFT plans etc
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2020, 05:54 AM »
If I was doing site work I would probably go with the Precision Dogs system. I'm too old to go on site now so in the shop I use a large MFT and a system that allows me to cut wide or narrow strips by using the MFT dogs and a system of fixed and variable spacers to leverage the information built into the dog hole spacing on the MFT to give me the accuracy and speed I need.

Offline Joelm

  • Posts: 59
Re: Festool vs Woodpecker Parallel Guides?
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2020, 01:45 PM »
I have the Woodpeckers.  Not super thrilled with them but TSO wasn’t around then. They do the job

Out of curiosity,  what do you find lacking in the Woodpeckers parallel guides?