Author Topic: What gives?  (Read 7071 times)

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Offline SDWW2019

  • Posts: 54
What gives?
« on: March 24, 2021, 09:36 PM »
To make it clear I am not a crazed fanboy, but I have followed this site for the past two years and have receive much great guidance from many experienced Festool users. I have also over that time acquired many Festool products and, while some did not live up to some of my  (unrealistic) expectations, I have really been impressed with the quality and how enjoyable they have made my work. Typically, I research all purchases and have read many-many positive reviews from experienced users and have experienced amazing customer service from Festool. So all around – very happy camper. Overall the claims and positive experiences are legit and many of the products have revolutionary or just a pleasure to use (vs. comparable products).  To me Festool is a producer of high-quality tools with superior engineering, usability, and quality. And they also offer superior customer service and warranty coverage. Are they perfect? No, but name another company that can compare and offers something similar (not DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc.). Afterall, there is a reason we are all on this site.

However, I have noticed quite a few new users making claims of recalls, panicked claims of discontinued products, freaking out because items are not immediately available, things be too expensive, shipping issues, or aggrieved because product X did not live up to their expectations or they are in disbelief that they are potentially experiencing some user errors.  On top of this, many are quick to publicly bash a company, sensationalize their situation, or freak out because we are currently in a pandemic fueled supply shortage made worse by a huge increase in demand for tools and building materials. I would be more interested in hearing these stories if you had a problem and Festool did not address your problem or if you received horrible service from Festool or if Festool actually sold you a defectively dangerous product. In regards to supply shortages – it’s the reality we live in right now. Everyone is struggling. So no, the TS75 is not discounted and yes, your plywood and board foot of white oak is more expensive. Yes, UPS is sloppy and it sucks not to have tool X shipped to me overnight. So what gives? To me many of these new topics and claims strike me as odd.

Maybe I’m having a bad day, so I’ll add this, if you can’t build a basic cabinet or drawer go check out youtube (there are a million excellent free videos) or buy a good reference book. You are going to get much better advise elsewhere. I apologize if I offended anyone…now I’m going to go drink a few beers and enjoy the sunset. [smile]

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 180
Re: What gives?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 09:46 PM »
FOMO can go a long way to explaining a lot of that.

Going to retailer websites and seeing 26 week lead times on certain tools, and not many lead times shorter than 8 weeks can give a person a bit of a fit.

I'll add Cabin Fever on top of FOMO, with a side of 2020 fatigue.

Offline madjalapeno

  • Posts: 25
Re: What gives?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 08:30 AM »
I'm a new member, but am very happy to have discovered Festool and this group.

I got a TS55 late last year, as hauling full sheets of plywood into the basement was getting too much like hard work and I wanted to cut them in the garage instead. But the dust got everywhere, so then got a CT15, which has been great.

Finally had a project that would be perfect for a Domino. Went to buy one, and they're gone. Phoned and checked everywhere locally and online. [sad] No luck, but I did discover Festool Recon. Got a Kapex instead. [big grin]

Still want the Domino, but the world has changed. Will wait patiently, and get one when I can.
TS55C ◉ CT15 ◉ Kapex KS 120 REB ◉ Domino DF500 ◉ PS 420 EBQ ◉ RO 125 FEQ

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: What gives?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 09:09 AM »
I’m just starting my 2nd year with Festool, fortunately haven’t had any issues w shipping/quality. I should also say I feel like I am Mr Impatient! We’ve come to expect anything in 2 days. I experiencing my first waiting period now(got my PM jointer, waiting on the planer 5/26). Shockingly it doesn’t seem to be bothering me to wait?

I do think some may be age related and there is definitely some of what I call keyboard courage w bashing. I read this forum daily and sometimes heck multiple times a day. Overall it seems like Festool does a very good job.

This is a wonderful forum and it shocks me the amount of tools(and multiple duplicates)guys have and the level of knowledge they have.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 09:43 AM »
Some people are in a de-facto prison for a year by now. Some, actually many, had their primary income pretty much eliminated overnight with no light on the horizon. Some end up in month-long solitary confinements in their homes. Etc.

This will affect your psyche in one way or the other. Saying it does not is just a pretense. It does. Even if you were not hit directly, people around you were. And I am not even starting with the health stuff.

Having no venting options with pubs closed, visiting friends forbidden etc., people will vent wherever they can just to not get crazy. They may not even realize it but they do.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
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AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2520

Offline Mr.Scrappy

  • Posts: 4
Re: What gives?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 03:10 PM »
I'm a new member, but am very happy to have discovered Festool and this group.

I got a TS55 late last year, as hauling full sheets of plywood into the basement was getting too much like hard work and I wanted to cut them in the garage instead. But the dust got everywhere, so then got a CT15, which has been great.

Finally had a project that would be perfect for a Domino. Went to buy one, and they're gone. Phoned and checked everywhere locally and online. [sad] No luck, but I did discover Festool Recon. Got a Kapex instead. [big grin]

Still want the Domino, but the world has changed. Will wait patiently, and get one when I can.
I ordered a DF500 in January knowing expected ship date was 5/21/21, it actually arrived last week out of nowhere! Pleasant surprise. So maybe they are slowly getting g caught up (at least on the DF500)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline madjalapeno

  • Posts: 25
Re: What gives?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 04:15 PM »
I ordered a DF500 in January knowing expected ship date was 5/21/21, it actually arrived last week out of nowhere! Pleasant surprise. So maybe they are slowly getting g caught up (at least on the DF500)

I do hope so - would make this upcoming project much easier. There was one on here in classifieds, but the seller didn't want to do business as I had a non US email domain.
TS55C ◉ CT15 ◉ Kapex KS 120 REB ◉ Domino DF500 ◉ PS 420 EBQ ◉ RO 125 FEQ

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 180
Re: What gives?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 05:13 PM »
I commented in another thread where it was mentioned about DF500s shipping again that someone needs to tell the secondary market, but that I was sure the market would fix itself on its own in due time.

As of writing this, there's a DF500 and 1060-pack pairing up on eBay US for $1900 Buy It Now; only about $500 over full retail...  [eek]

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 914
Re: What gives?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2021, 12:10 PM »
Well, people selling their used Domino when new supplies are non existent actually decrease the price  [tongue]

If someone offered me 500 bucks above new I would sell mine too.

Offline JonathanJung

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 11:09 AM »
Add in to that list that all new model Festool cordless machines are made in China.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2021, 11:12 AM »
Add in to that list that all new model Festool cordless machines are made in China.

And you got this information from where?

Peter

Offline JonathanJung

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 11:20 AM »
Add in to that list that all new model Festool cordless machines are made in China.

And you got this information from where?

Peter

Product manager at my dealer, PMC tools / Festool Superstore. He said all new cordless product arriving, which customers have been waiting up to 6mo for, is made in China. Not just the batteries, but the tools themselves.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2544
Re: What gives?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2021, 11:30 AM »
Snip.

Product manager at my dealer, PMC tools / Festool Superstore. He said all new cordless product arriving, which customers have been waiting up to 6mo for, is made in China. Not just the batteries, but the tools themselves.

Anyone from Festool who can confirm this?

If true, older versions of Festool cordless tools (just like the US version of Bridge City Tools) will see a new demand.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 11:35 AM by ChuckM »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2021, 11:32 AM »
 [popcorn]

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2021, 11:32 AM »
Add in to that list that all new model Festool cordless machines are made in China.
Sorry, but I personally take issue with this FAKE statement as I certainly do not live in China nor plan to.

The just announced TPC/TDC drills are made at the TTS plant in Ceska Lipa in Czech Republic.
The same place the older PDC/DRC and lots of other Festool/Protool/Narex stuff was made for the last two decades. (And the Narex stuff before that for half a century.)
https://www.narex.cz/en-GB/kdo_jsme

As far as I am aware, the Narex Ceska Lipa plant is the only non-German plant Festool uses for in-house tool production. They have a couple smaller installations in Poland for accessories and in US (rails etc.) and maybe some other. But that is about it for tools themselves.

The only non-OEM thing I noticed being not EU-produced lately are the SCA8 chargers - mine are made in Taiwan. Taiwan is probably the best place to have /quality/ electronics stuff produced these days so I have no issues with that.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2520

Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 30
Re: What gives?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2021, 11:40 AM »
Add in to that list that all new model Festool cordless machines are made in China.

And you got this information from where?

Peter

Product manager at my dealer, PMC tools / Festool Superstore. He said all new cordless product arriving, which customers have been waiting up to 6mo for, is made in China. Not just the batteries, but the tools themselves.
And you've personally seen evidence that proves the product manager's claims? If not, please don't spread mis-information.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2021, 11:41 AM »
Product manager at my dealer, PMC tools / Festool Superstore. He said all new cordless product arriving, which customers have been waiting up to 6mo for, is made in China. Not just the batteries, but the tools themselves.
I would make sure he did not mix up "Czech Republic" aka "CZ" with "Peoples Republic of China" aka "CN". It is possible he noticed there is not "Germany" and implied China automatically...

This would make sense as far as I am aware a lot of the battery tools are now made at the Narex Ceska Lipa plant even some which were not before.
There was an investment for retooling and capacity there recently, the new industrial 60V range by Narex was the main benefactor but I presume not only ...

/not insider, just following a bit/

EDIT:
For context why I consider above pure FAKE:

Recently Narex Ceska Lipa (part of TTS) introduced under its own Narex brand a couple tools which *are* made in China. Indeed.
BUT.
These tools are offered as completely new models ALONGSIDE the higher-end Czech-made tools and are primarily designed to compete on price with the cheaper Makita/Bosch/Metabo/etc. tools which are also made in China universally. The new models do not have full-wave electronics nor other advanced features their in-house models have.

Given TTS did not "move production" of even their industrial/cheaper brand like Narex but instead chose to expanded the line with lower-end products in addition to the in-house ones, I cannot imagine them *moving* their flagship brand products. This just does not make any sense whatsoever.

ADDENNUM:
It is  now about 25 years after the Narex acquisition by Festo. The Wendlingen and Ceska Lipa plants should be pretty much aligned tooling/process/capability-wise. I would expect TTS to be able to seamlessly migrate production of individual tools between plans depending on the need. Reacting to the unprecedented demand/production issues during last year by moving some lines to their Ceska Lipa plant so the Wendlingen site can focus on a lower diversity of tools and thus increase production would make  a lot of sense. This would also match the temporary unavailability of the TS75 etc. and would have nothing to do with costs but everything with optimizing available production capacity.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 12:02 PM by mino »
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2520

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2021, 12:11 PM »
The CZ/CN confusion is what was coming to mind as well.  It's not like we get a lot of stuff here from Czech Republic.

If these are new and people are waiting for them, I'm not sure how the person would have been able to see them to know what is coming.

Still, there could be a chance Festool is setting up a 2 source path, with tools for the US market coming from a different plant (china).  They all ready "make" the Rails for the N.A. market over here.

Still, folks should wait till they see the tools in person before making absolute statements. In this case, I'm guessing to many people have told the next person something with no one going back to the source.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2021, 01:38 PM »
Still, there could be a chance Festool is setting up a 2 source path, with tools for the US market coming from a different plant (china).  They all ready "make" the Rails for the N.A. market over here.
Do not believe that is feasible. Not in the short term for sure, and even long term (think 5 years) you would still face major logistical headaches with plants (and their special assemblies suppliers) located across the globe.

It makes sense (not for Festool, in general) to expand your portfolio by additional product lines which would be designed from the ground up based on local (chinese) supply chains. But it makes little sense to truly attempt a "second-source" for one product.

It CAN be done, but not economically.
The logistical issues, the cultural issues together mean it would cost more to produce a "china DF500" at same quality and consistency. The biggest problem is cultural - you cannot apply the same peopl-based process in DE/CZ and in CN as the cultures are too different - the same process will produce different production quality results. To different to make it unusable. And by different I do not mean better/worse. Simply different. The products will be borked in different ways so your statistics will be non-transferable. Many tried but everyone gave up. The local culture is part of the product. You can make great products in China, but you have to establish the production for them from scratch, maybe even adjust the design leeways, taking into account the cultural context. That is, if you want the quality Festool needs...


But even then, the logistics will kill any economics as you will be able to move the final assembly, but you cannot "move" your suppliers.
Festool uses predominantly local/European subcontractors for the specialty parts and materials and they would have to ship these across the globe to meet the same-product requirement. Things like special steels are often unique to a specific mill and are non-transferable often within plants of one company of one country, not to mention across countries.

I do not see Festool setting up a plant in East Asia for tools production. Accessories, things like the MFT, possibly. But not tools.
In their market they can absorb the slightly higher production costs reasonably well and the savings on labor would be wiped by logistics costs so is a no go.

I can see them expanding their accessories plant in Poland but again, no real advantage to Ceska Lipa as the wages are similar, culture is similar and while there is a labor shortage in CZ long term, Festool is not needing thousands people to expand production significantly even. Same for their Wendlingen plant.

I see more likely they invest in automation and streamlining production, to make labor costs even less relevant and increase production at same headcounts.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2520

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5132
Re: What gives?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2021, 01:57 PM »
Snip.

Product manager at my dealer, PMC tools / Festool Superstore. He said all new cordless product arriving, which customers have been waiting up to 6mo for, is made in China. Not just the batteries, but the tools themselves.

Anyone from Festool who can confirm this?

If true, older versions of Festool cordless tools (just like the US version of Bridge City Tools) will see a new demand.

I bought a bunch of BCT “squares” of various angles nearly 30 years ago. All made in the good ‘ol USA. Brass blades, rosewood handles. Nearly all the brass blades are bent. Not necessarily unusable but not the quality of the BCT stuff coming from Harvey (in China) these days. I’d gladly swap for the new.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2544
Re: What gives?
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2021, 02:19 PM »
No brass stuff in my possession, but someone has to pry the American stainless steel BCT ware from me! [tongue]

By the way, anyone who knows any source where the old marking gauge (MG2) from BCT can be had, please PM me. [big grin]
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 02:26 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Greg Powers

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2021, 08:05 PM »
The LIMITED TIME AVAILABILITY of some products is very frustrating. It was not too bad with the installer kits. BUT now the STM 1800 work/cutting table is a limited production product. I would think if it is good enough to produce and sell a new product then make it a permanent addition to the catalog. Especially when it enhances the Festool System.

This limited availability of a product during COVID is just adding insult to injury. It is hard enough just buying norml things let alone LIMITED TIME AVAILABILITY products.

Come on FESTOOL keep making the STM 1800. PLease!
Greg Powers
Size:XL

Online Peter Halle

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2021, 08:19 PM »
The LIMITED TIME AVAILABILITY of some products is very frustrating. It was not too bad with the installer kits. BUT now the STM 1800 work/cutting table is a limited production product. I would think if it is good enough to produce and sell a new product then make it a permanent addition to the catalog. Especially when it enhances the Festool System.

This limited availability of a product during COVID is just adding insult to injury. It is hard enough just buying norml things let alone LIMITED TIME AVAILABILITY products.

Come on FESTOOL keep making the STM 1800. PLease!

I would hope like you that they continue offering the STM in North America.  In their defense they did market it as a limited time offering.  I bought one earlier than I normally would because of just that fact.

Peter

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2021, 09:08 PM »
Right, many of us ordered early and had that long wait of having a big chunk of money just hanging out there for something to come some day. Festool was very clear about it.

Like others, I hope it becomes a regular product. I don't know that I can justify the cost of buying a second one, but I know owning 2 of them would be great, one for storing sheet goods on, and one to slide them on to for cutting.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 596
Re: What gives?
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2021, 11:16 PM »
The LIMITED TIME AVAILABILITY of some products is very frustrating. It was not too bad with the installer kits. BUT now the STM 1800 work/cutting table is a limited production product. I would think if it is good enough to produce and sell a new product then make it a permanent addition to the catalog.
...

Festool is taking a page from the Woodpeckers’ playbook. It’s “limited” now, until they see how much people really want it.

Offline Greg Powers

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2021, 11:22 PM »

Festool is taking a page from the Woodpeckers’ playbook. It’s “limited” now, until they see how much people really want it.

Except the Festool products are available in other countries, just not in the USA. 
Greg Powers
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2021, 04:04 PM »
Guys, ref. STM If I remember right, it was sold for $999 at the pre-order, so about a 40%*) discount in the US compared to the retail in Europe.

If Festool were to make it permanent - I agree they should - the US cost will need to be in the $1500-ish range (pre-tax).

Not sure how big a market there would be at that price. I always get the feeling US is more cost-sensitive on these "metal things" than Europe.

What I see more practical is Festool finds a local supplier in US who is willing to make it so it can be sold at closer to $1000 than to $1500 with only small parts shipped from Europe.

My 2 cents.

*)Err, 30% ... slapping myself for failing 3rd grade math ...  [scared]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 04:51 PM by mino »
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2520

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2021, 04:40 PM »

Not sure how big a market there would be at that price. I always get the feeling US is more cost-sensitive on these "metal things" than Europe.

What I see more practical is Festool finds a local supplier in US who is willing to make it so it can be sold at closer to $1000 than to $1500 with only small parts shipped from Europe.


They might, there is probably a fair bit of fixtures for it. It's pretty dense when it comes to shipping, so it's not like it's the problem of shipping a big box of air.

They make rails here, but that sorta makes sense as it avoids shipping damage across the ocean. But the rail is also really easy to make.  Not sure if the setup to make the STMs would be worth it.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2021, 05:09 PM »


Festool is taking a page from the Woodpeckers’ playbook. It’s “limited” now, until they see how much people really want it.
That is the exact reason that I don't have a bunch of their stuff. I hate the concept of "one time" tools.
It seems fishy to me, like they are artificially generating sales? I can't be the only one who is put off by this tactic. Things happen. I have lost everything due to a fire and if I couldn't replace the things I had been dependent upon?
Sure, it is kind of going on now, but that is not intentional. Supply chains are disrupted, shipping is slow, etc.
"Limited" edition that is only produced once a year or something might be acceptable, but one time? No, not for me.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2021, 05:51 PM »

That is the exact reason that I don't have a bunch of their stuff. I hate the concept of "one time" tools.
It seems fishy to me, like they are artificially generating sales? I can't be the only one who is put off by this tactic. Things happen. I have lost everything due to a fire and if I couldn't replace the things I had been dependent upon?
Sure, it is kind of going on now, but that is not intentional. Supply chains are disrupted, shipping is slow, etc.
"Limited" edition that is only produced once a year or something might be acceptable, but one time? No, not for me.

No, you are not alone.

I get if business want to have "test products", where they make clear they are putting it out there and if it sells well, it will become a long term product.  But the woodpeckers model, no thanks.  Plus their stuff is basically all CNC'd bits. They could almost just manufacture on demand.

Really with anything, I want to be able to buy the same thing again, any time and long into the future. Like you say, you might have something happen and need a replacement.  Thus why I don't want a discontinued tool, I could care less about 10 year parts/EKAT/etc.  thats great and all, but the point is I want to be able to go out and buy one 4 years from now, or this afternoon.

I think the STM1800 was a test product, or test for the market. Which I'm glad to see Festool do. I'd like to see them do it for more stuff. Offer more tools from other parts of the world, maybe they have to have similar special orders to justify it. It's understandable they might not think there is a market, but they won't know till they try.  Or if it's a low volume product, just have a window to buy every now and then so you do one shipment, and that covers everyone for a bit.  Say MFS, do a bulk order once a year.  The sorta doing that with the clamping set all ready.