Author Topic: What gives?  (Read 7073 times)

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Offline mino

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2021, 05:57 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.
I would say this one-time-tool or once-a-decade-tool thing kinda works for the DYI/Hobby/Artist market where once a specific tool is introduced, people who need it buy it within a year-two and then the sales drop to easily 1/10 and are sustained.

This means while the tool may be (even very) profitable at original prices for the first year or two, it becomes impossible to sell it at a profit at the initial price as the fixed costs to keep opened a production line/tooling and maintain inventory simply overwhelm all the other costs. Raising prices is not an option - people expect the prices to drop, not increase when demand drops. Setting initial price high-enough to allow long-term availability will kill the TAM drastically. Basically pricing the tool out of the market.

The Companies then decide instead of going through that headache to simply produce a certain tool for a limited time, while the demand is high-enough to be profitable at the initial price and then drop the tool. This allows the tool to be sold at a lower price than would otherwise be possible but only for short period of the initial demand spike.

I would absolutely agree that this model is anti-business, hence a comment it being more DYI-oriented.

I would say the companies are underestimating peoples ability to use brain here.

I believe Festool should move from "limited offering" to "limited price offer for initial purchases" and bluntly state what the price will be after the initial sales period - which will be defined - for sustained availability. E.g. state, openly, that STM 1800 is a $1500 tool (or even $2000, whatever the break-even for sustained-but-low sales) but there is a limited introductory price of $995 which will be valid for <enter time/till/etc.> and switch back to "normal" price afterwords.

An over-priced tool one can buys is always better than a tool one cannot buy but needs. I do not see a reason why this could not work with today prevalence of e-commerce where there is no need to have stock across your retail network. There is such a thing as catalog-ordering after all. Kinda how the B2B side works across the board.
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2021, 06:05 PM »
...
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.
Even better, officially define a range of SKUs as specialist-tool/component-with-long-lead-time (say 2 months) with an OPTION of expedited delivery at a significant premium - say $200 for across-the-globe shipping to you when you NEED it. The Global delivery would be again, optional for tools/accs. which are sold worldwide and would cover them shipping it from their warehouse in South Africa, should that be the only place they have it.

These days, there are global shippers which can support such a model. This was not so a decade ago, so may need some out-of-the-box thinking but can be done if there is a want.
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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2021, 06:25 PM »
I'm sure some customs and import stuff comes into play.  Thus if it comes down to doing 1 batch once a year, that could be an option if it makes things any easier for them. 

On non-electrical stuff, it's just hard to understand why they don't just make everything available everywhere. If it is stuff that they don't expect to be big sellers, just have Festool USA (or insert country here) version of Festool sell it direct. Don't force dealers to stock something that they might sell 2 of.

On electrical stuff, I think we all get there is certifications. But they make this stuff every day and sell it in all these countries. There is no way they don't design all their stuff to the same common safety laws. Getting approval in different countries should be very straightforward for them. Thus if they want to sell 230V tools here, it's hard to see how it is any more than a cord change and a quick review from UL. Looking it up, the approval would cost less than 10k, so it's not like they need to sell many tools to cover that.

Think of a few years ago. If Festool USA put out an offer to sell 230V Kapex and a Matching CT, with something like "if we get 100 pre-orders, we will do it".  Pretty sure they would have had no issue selling those here.

Offline Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 51
Re: What gives?
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2021, 06:33 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.

I can't disagree with either of you, but I'll defend Woodpecker's here a little bit.  They are going after the DIY market - their one time tools aren't really designed to be things that contractors use hard day after day.

A good number of their OTT's repeat somewhat frequently, and a decent number have turned into permanent offerings.  I think that is them testing the market and then deciding to continue to offer a popular tool. 

Quite a few of those that haven't become permanent are just variations of something that they or someone else has available all the time (a square in a different color, or a straight edge made of different material).  Then there are a bunch of borderline toys that are as much collector's items for enthusiasts as anything.

Woodpecker's isn't Festool or Milwaukee, where the tools are beaten up by professionals every day and need to be able to be replaced or maintained. As you point out, it's largely just CNC'd aluminum - there mostly aren't motors or parts to break.

But I completely understand the aversion to something you can't replace or expand upon.  I certainly wouldn't buy a one time tool track saw, but I don't have a problem with a set of gauge blocks or a precision triangle. (Disclosure: I've never purchased a Woodpecker's One Time Tool).

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2021, 06:52 PM »


Think of a few years ago. If Festool USA put out an offer to sell 230V Kapex and a Matching CT, with something like "if we get 100 pre-orders, we will do it".  Pretty sure they would have had no issue selling those here.

Respectfully, I think you are mistaken on this.  I can say that I have been in construction and around construction since 1983 and when 230 volt came into play it was usually the hardwood floor sanders who then had to do their magical pigtail connection for their sander.  Other than that, 230 volt is the kiss of death for tool offerings in the arena that the Kapex and CT operate in here in North America. 

Again, respectfully offered.

Peter

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2021, 08:01 PM »


Think of a few years ago. If Festool USA put out an offer to sell 230V Kapex and a Matching CT, with something like "if we get 100 pre-orders, we will do it".  Pretty sure they would have had no issue selling those here.

Respectfully, I think you are mistaken on this.  I can say that I have been in construction and around construction since 1983 and when 230 volt came into play it was usually the hardwood floor sanders who then had to do their magical pigtail connection for their sander.  Other than that, 230 volt is the kiss of death for tool offerings in the arena that the Kapex and CT operate in here in North America. 

Again, respectfully offered.

Peter

For taking it in the field, I agree.  But for in shops, whole different story.  I think the large high power tools would have had a market.  Kapex, CMS, OF2200, a CT to go with.  There would be takers. There a lot of folks all ready have a shop of 240V tools, so those would fit right in. I know Mafell isn't always the best parallel, but in many respects for this, they are. They sell a lot of their stuff that they sell in the US in 230V. A lot of their tools I would think of as field tools (timber framing stuff), and those are 230V, of course a lot of that is there just is no way to have them in 120V.

When a company all ready has the tool, and it basically comes down to a different cord and stickers. The cost to give it a go is pretty low. And if it means you get to test out the market, without having to spend the money to make a 120V version, it could be worth it.  And hey, could always give Festool a reason to create a really nice systainer based transformer  [big grin]

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2021, 05:40 PM »

I can't disagree with either of you, but I'll defend Woodpecker's here a little bit.  They are going after the DIY market - their one time tools aren't really designed to be things that contractors use hard day after day.

A good number of their OTT's repeat somewhat frequently, and a decent number have turned into permanent offerings.  I think that is them testing the market and then deciding to continue to offer a popular tool. 

Quite a few of those that haven't become permanent are just variations of something that they or someone else has available all the time (a square in a different color, or a straight edge made of different material).  Then there are a bunch of borderline toys that are as much collector's items for enthusiasts as anything.

Woodpecker's isn't Festool or Milwaukee, where the tools are beaten up by professionals every day and need to be able to be replaced or maintained. As you point out, it's largely just CNC'd aluminum - there mostly aren't motors or parts to break.

But I completely understand the aversion to something you can't replace or expand upon.  I certainly wouldn't buy a one time tool track saw, but I don't have a problem with a set of gauge blocks or a precision triangle. (Disclosure: I've never purchased a Woodpecker's One Time Tool).

The only Woodpeckers tool I have is the track saw square. Theirs is the only one that I know of that is angle adjustable. I have browsed through the catalog a few times and there are some interesting things, but the "One Time" thing puts me off in general. I really don't get the listing of retired tools? If it's gone, quit teasing. If it's not gone forever, it's not really "one time" then is it?
I just don't like the idea of having to pay such close attention to what's going on, just to keep from missing something, then never being able to replace it if something happens?
I may not have the need of a "one time" tool when it is being offered, but 2-3-6 months later? Maybe, then what?
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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2021, 07:09 PM »
I just don't like the idea of having to pay such close attention to what's going on, just to keep from missing something, then never being able to replace it if something happens?
I may not have the need of a "one time" tool when it is being offered, but 2-3-6 months later? Maybe, then what?

Ding!   Exactly.  Many/Most/Nearly all folks who use tools don't track this stuff all the time.  When they need something or are looking to a solution, they look for it. If it doesn't exist then, it doesn't matter.

Maybe they think they are making collectables.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2021, 09:00 PM »
I just don't like the idea of having to pay such close attention to what's going on, just to keep from missing something, then never being able to replace it if something happens?
I may not have the need of a "one time" tool when it is being offered, but 2-3-6 months later? Maybe, then what?

Ding!   Exactly.  Many/Most/Nearly all folks who use tools don't track this stuff all the time.  When they need something or are looking to a solution, they look for it. If it doesn't exist then, it doesn't matter.

Maybe they think they are making collectables.

There must be some kind of market for this business model, because it is apparently working? It's just not for me.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2378
Re: What gives?
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2021, 09:58 PM »
I just don't like the idea of having to pay such close attention to what's going on, just to keep from missing something, then never being able to replace it if something happens?
I may not have the need of a "one time" tool when it is being offered, but 2-3-6 months later? Maybe, then what?
Ding!   Exactly.  Many/Most/Nearly all folks who use tools don't track this stuff all the time.  When they need something or are looking to a solution, they look for it. If it doesn't exist then, it doesn't matter.
Maybe they think they are making collectables.
There must be some kind of market for this business model, because it is apparently working? It's just not for me.
Yes, the market is hobbiests with means. People who do woodworking for fun and like to leaf through catalogs. Limited time gives a sense of exclusivity. Nothing wrong with that, different things make us happy. Similar niches exist in automotive, photo, etc. industries.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 10:09 PM by Svar »

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 914
Re: What gives?
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2021, 10:45 PM »
Well, Festool could do more to market some stuff. I get emails about all kinds of new stuff from them... but some new items are never promoted. Plus would appreciate a 'soon to go out of production' notice.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2021, 11:04 PM »
There must be some kind of market for this business model, because it is apparently working? It's just not for me.
Yes, the market is hobbiests with means. People who do woodworking for fun and like to leaf through catalogs. Limited time gives a sense of exclusivity. Nothing wrong with that, different things make us happy. Similar niches exist in automotive, photo, etc. industries.

Yeah, there is always a market for those with money to burn. Different hobbies and interest of mine all have the same basic patterns. I don't blame these companies. There is a market for it, and some folks enjoy these sorts of bits.  Where the disconnects come from is when people buying it think you have to have these things, or that they are somehow massively more accurate than other solutions, or somehow work way better.  In the end, far cheaper and less fancy options exist that to it just as well, maybe better. But if having/using these items makes a person feel better about it, have at it. 

I'm like probably the majority of Festool owners (at least in the US market) and don't make a living from my tools, Could I do with much cheaper options, sure. And for a long time I did use basic tools, cheap tools, minimal tools.  But like probably most folks on this board, I can afford the stuff, I appreciate various aspects of it. But I'm also not insane to think Festool and similar brands are the only way, and I won't buy something just because. It's always good to think about how you can do something well, with no or minimal tools.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2021, 09:27 AM »
DeformedTree, do you really think that the majority of US users don't make their living with their Festool equipment?  Why? is there some statistical evidence of this? or is it just the feeling you get from people you know or even from here on the forum?

I'm not disagreeing, just wondering, because I actually do. Also, several guys I work with either now or in the past do too. At least two subcontractors/installers have bought DF500s, RO150s and one got a TS55 based on my experiences and recommendations. Maybe because of my involvement in the trade, but I don't personally know any hobbyist woodworkers.
Certainly, in my retirement, I will keep them and use them. This would make me a hobbyist at that point, but I will still have acquired them as a professional?
Maybe this is why so many people complain about the cost? But even then, I see pros who do not see the value or have the willingness to invest in themselves.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2021, 09:11 PM »
@Crazyraceguy

I believe the point is that Festool addresses both markets and that they have different dynamics. As in, I right now the shortages are DYI-generated while normally during an economic crisis the DIY market would be bad while the professional one would be more steady.

As for volume, I would dare to say it is easy to underestimate the size of the Festool DYI sales. Most folks who buy Festool for DYI use would not be advertising it. If anything to avoid being "former owners" ...
Also, I would expect the folks who get Festool kit for home use to not be the folks who casually hang out with folks from the trades. Think more of the Lawyers/IT crowd/Doctors/Engineering folks etc. Basically folks for whom $1000 for a Domino is monthly pocket change. Give or take.

If you wanted to "size" this market, just look at the amount of top model iPhone sales ... I would guess that would be a way bigger demographic than the trades folks. And much more profitable one at that - these folks would rarely run a tool down, so likely very little RMA costs. Ideal customers for a tool maker, basically.
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2021, 10:19 PM »
DeformedTree, do you really think that the majority of US users don't make their living with their Festool equipment?  Why? is there some statistical evidence of this? or is it just the feeling you get from people you know or even from here on the forum?

I'm not disagreeing, just wondering, because I actually do. Also, several guys I work with either now or in the past do too. At least two subcontractors/installers have bought DF500s, RO150s and one got a TS55 based on my experiences and recommendations. Maybe because of my involvement in the trade, but I don't personally know any hobbyist woodworkers.
Certainly, in my retirement, I will keep them and use them. This would make me a hobbyist at that point, but I will still have acquired them as a professional?
Maybe this is why so many people complain about the cost? But even then, I see pros who do not see the value or have the willingness to invest in themselves.

Obvious I, like anyone else has no idea what the market split is. But I 100% expect it to be like other similar markets. Where the products are designed for pro's but mainly bought by hobbyist.  Like Mino hits on. The prime market for stuff like Festool sells are folks with disposable income. Or as you also will find, the people who think they need this stuff, or don't want to be seen not having it. The later are the folks who complain about the cost the most. They convince themselves they need some 3000 dollar tools, computer, thing, etc, and then complain about the price.

Never seen a contractor or such around with any Festool stuff.  But I do know there are people around working in their garage with Festool gear in there.

I think most contractor just are not keen on buying very expensive gear, they buy stuff where it if gets destroyed that day, they can run to the big box store and be back in business.

If you are custom cabinet/trim person working in homes. I can see that person having Festool gear. There just is not a lot of those people. But there is a whole lot of folks who do woodworking as a hobby. Folks who will buy 1000s of dollars of gear just to make a few things.

I would guess most pro's in the US with Festool gear are shop based people who use tools like Dominos a lot, the routers, a CT. I'd wager if you asked a dealer, how much is sold to Professionals, they would tell you it's not much. A Pro needs to make a business case or a cost justification for the tools. A hobbyist does not.

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 181
Re: What gives?
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2021, 10:53 PM »
I think most contractor just are not keen on buying very expensive gear, they buy stuff where it if gets destroyed that day, they can run to the big box store and be back in business.

snip

A Pro needs to make a business case or a cost justification for the tools. A hobbyist does not.

Many hobbyists on a budget make cost justifications, too, especially if the original tool is a project-based purchase.  Hire out the job or buy the tool that will allow you to do the job yourself?  If you can justify using it for more than just that project, the case makes itself.

The irony is that the mindset of "I'll just buy the cheapest thing I can get my hands on and if it breaks, I'll buy another one" lives on in the hobbyist world just as much as the professional world.  If it didn't, places like Harbor Freight wouldn't sell through as much as they do.

I think that there are at least a few people on here who have a Festool tool because they were tired of replacing their mass-market Black Friday Special halfway through jobs.  For that matter, there are at least a few people on here who have a mass-market version of something that Festool makes because their Festool tool failed too many times or at the least-opportune time, or they tried a few options and found the added benefit of the Festool version wasn't worth the price differential.

If you're in a trade where you get into the specialty tools or some of the specialized ways that the Festool "system" works, the time and hassle difference may start to make up for the price difference.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2021, 11:11 PM »
I think most contractor just are not keen on buying very expensive gear, they buy stuff where it if gets destroyed that day, they can run to the big box store and be back in business.

snip

A Pro needs to make a business case or a cost justification for the tools. A hobbyist does not.


Many hobbyists on a budget make cost justifications, too, especially if the original tool is a project-based purchase.  Hire out the job or buy the tool that will allow you to do the job yourself?  If you can justify using it for more than just that project, the case makes itself.

Yup, it's not hard at all to justify the cost of a lot of tools even with one project if it means you are not hiring someone for it and don't put a cost to your time.

The irony is that the mindset of "I'll just buy the cheapest thing I can get my hands on and if it breaks, I'll buy another one" lives on in the hobbyist world just as much as the professional world.  If it didn't, places like Harbor Freight wouldn't sell through as much as they do.

Harbor Freight has it's place, I'm sure many folks with lots of Festool stuff also buy some HF stuff, sometimes you just need something cheap for one task once.


If you're in a trade where you get into the specialty tools or some of the specialized ways that the Festool "system" works, the time and hassle difference may start to make up for the price difference.

Yeah, I think some tools make a lot of sense, but a lot is a hard sell. The vehicle the pro uses to get around is very important to their livelihood. But clearly the majority of them do not want to put any money into their van/truck. If it rust in half on the way to a job, they just buy another vehicle that has 1-2 years before it fails state inspection.

Offline Alex

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Re: What gives?
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2021, 02:15 AM »
Over here Festool is 98% bought by professionals.

On this forum I see a lot of theorising by people who hardly see any Festools around them.

Offline Joebuck

  • Posts: 31
Re: What gives?
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2021, 10:42 AM »
Over here Festool is 98% bought by professionals.

On this forum I see a lot of theorising by people who hardly see any Festools around them.

Over here in the States (Southern California at least), the Festool brand seems to be entirely geared towards woodworkers (furniture makers, cabinet makers etc,) which by its very nature is an area in which a lot of “hobbyists” occupy the space. I can’t claim to have been in many professional cabinet shops lately, so I don’t know how much penetration the Festool brand has in these settings, though I suspect it’s pretty substantial. Track saws and Dominoes would be attractive to any professional who calls him/herself a woodworker by trade. In the construction trades, seems every pickup or van is filled with red or yellow “Max Volt/Fuel” cordless tools of the variety you buy in bundles.

We are surrounded by big box lumber yards, which is the main tool source for many in the construction trades, and none of them sell Festool. Here in Orange County, we have a pretty decently sized Professional lumber yard that carries Festool, though even before the pandemic, their inventory was pretty lacking which probably indicates lack of sales. It’s the Woodcraft stores and now Rockler that remain the only reliable source for buying these tools off the shelf.

I think Alex is right, here in the states, we don’t see Kapex’s and HKC’s on the trucks of the “Pros”.


Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2021, 01:08 PM »

Over here in the States (Southern California at least), the Festool brand seems to be entirely geared towards woodworkers (furniture makers, cabinet makers etc,) which by its very nature is an area in which a lot of “hobbyists” occupy the space. I can’t claim to have been in many professional cabinet shops lately, so I don’t know how much penetration the Festool brand has in these settings, though I suspect it’s pretty substantial. Track saws and Dominoes would be attractive to any professional who calls him/herself a woodworker by trade. In the construction trades, seems every pickup or van is filled with red or yellow “Max Volt/Fuel” cordless tools of the variety you buy in bundles.

Agreed, and soon as you are doing that of any size/scale, you probably are not using a track saw but have bigger machinery. I think there is a small size window for a business that would be all Festool stuff, but not yet shifted to bigger panel saws, cnc routers, etc.  Thus why the domino is probably one of the tools that does work across all groups (hobbyist, small shops, big shops).

Just looking at folks here who do stuff for a living, they all look to be small (1 person) outfits.

We are surrounded by big box lumber yards, which is the main tool source for many in the construction trades, and none of them sell Festool. Here in Orange County, we have a pretty decently sized Professional lumber yard that carries Festool, though even before the pandemic, their inventory was pretty lacking which probably indicates lack of sales. It’s the Woodcraft stores and now Rockler that remain the only reliable source for buying these tools off the shelf.

Right, far as in person sales, the places that carry festool are places that are for hobbyist. I'm sure there are shops that are for pro's out there, and dedicated tool shops, but not a lot of those around.

Mean while, most trades general have little money, the fancy fitted out van is a real rarity here. There are always a few "high end" guys around in areas, maybe even with some form of shop. But the bulk of people are the rusted truck/van with a bunch of tools from the big box store tossed in the back rolling around. If they work for a bigger company like the plumbing and hvac trades, they will have a nicer van, but everything inside is just tossed in.


Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2021, 04:11 PM »
I do not understand the conflict here folks.

Does Festool TARGET both demographics (unlike Maffel)? ABSOLUTELY!TM

You only need to look at the Festool offering - the "Set" bundles are a prime example of targeting the hobby market. It is shooting for the opportunistic buyer with a disposable income. I.e. shooting for "can buy even what do not really need". That is the prime anti-thesis of a commercial buyer.

Now, what is the split ? No one (even Festool) does precisely know. And it will change in time as well as in location.

Some countries it can be 80/20 even, some 20/80. Some part of year it can be 90/10, other 10/90. E.g. x-mass sales are almost pure hobby while feb/march would be heavily in the pro direction. Some will buy while hobby and then get into the trade. Etc. But the strong statements "here it is 98% that or that" are just that - strong statements.

Just get on with the fact both demographics are interesting for Festool. And as for profit, a hobby user is always more profitable per given sales volume, so even if it was 30% sales it can easily tie-in 50% profits. That should not be forgotten.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 08:20 PM by mino »
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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2021, 07:36 PM »
This has accidentally turned into a quite interesting discussion.
For me, if I was a hobbyist DIY person, I would really struggle to see the value. But as a pro who builds reception desks, bars and things like that for a living, the speed/simplicity of the system make a big difference.
With most forms of woodworking, there are several ways to do things. Of course there are exceptions like turning and scrollsaw work, but for most tasks you have choices. Most of those choices are based on the tools available and one's skill with them (experience) and imagination.
The main factor I see in this is speed. Pros need to get things done efficiently to make money and move on to the next job. The end product is what matters.
Hopefully, for a hobbyist, the journey is as important as the destination. So speed is not necessarily a goal, or at least a top factor.
Certainly money plays a role here too. It doesn't matter how important that speed factor is to you if you don't have the money to buy the tools that will get the job done faster. I would think that this is the point of up-grading over a period of time. You deal with what you can afford and move up as needed when the money is there.
That is what I have done over the last 17 years. I started with the bare minimum to get the job done. I up-graded to Makita LXT when the Lithium Ion battery concept was just getting going. Then I added the things which would be the most helpful as I went. I was 10 years in before I ever bought any Festool gear.  The Domino was a game changer for me and after using it for just a few minutes, I wished I had done it much sooner. RO90 came next and I used them both with a cheap shop-vac and a tool triggered switch. This served my needs for quite a while. A devastating fire and moving to a new building gave me the opportunity to go down the rabbit hole. It is a whole lot easier to justify up-grading when you "have to" buy something, because you lost it, than it is when you still have something functional in your hand.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2021, 08:37 PM »
For me, if I was a hobbyist DIY person, I would really struggle to see the value. But as a pro who builds reception desks, bars and things like that for a living, the speed/simplicity of the system make a big difference.
For me, being a hobby user, it is actually the opposite.

With little experience depth, the problem is I usually *do not know* what is a "good-enough" tool for the task at the quality I need (at my skill of using the tool).

In the end, there are two strategies I used which I find also quite common:
1) If I need a new tool-type, get a cheapo version then once a bit familiar, buy better depending on need.
-------------
The problem with this strategy is that with little experience it can provide false information. A cheap circular saw with a crappy included blade can be near useless for furniture cutting. But in reality, the issue was with the particular saw + blade combination, NOT with the fact circular saws are junk for the task.

Result: I wasted money on tool AND wasted money on (destroyed) material AND was not able to do the project AND my girlfriend was ticked what a useless guy I am. Thanks, but no thanks!

IF I was a pro, I would KNOW I need a quality blade and KNOW how to use even the crappy saw. So the cheapo piece would be the optimal choice for that one job actually.
But as a hobby user, I would have been much better set getting a HK55 at the time. And it would be cheaper that the $150 I wasted on saw + material AND I would still have a GF ... Slam dunk deal for me here.

In other words, sometimes it is cheaper to pay for the tool INSTEAD of paying for the skill (either by hire, by paying a course, or by paying by hours on youtube, none are for free).

2) If I need a new tool type, consider if I can justify a Top-of-the-line tool AND the project(s) will still be worth it OR simply do not go along with the project/approach that would require the tool.
-------------
This means that at times I over-pay, relatively speaking if someone from the trades was judging the buy. BUT I paid as much INSTEAD of having to invest man-weeks which I do not have (and if had are worth $ thousands) so that I can complete the task with confidence of the result.

Are there people who buy high-end tools just for posh? ABSOLUTELY. But the cost/benefit calculus for a hobby user is very different to a pro as a higher-quality tool can compensate (partially, of course) for a lower skill level. And it may not be economically viable for the hobbyist to actually go the other path of improving the skill - as it will not repay itself in most cases.
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 DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2021, 09:11 PM »
I would add to the points be made with a few more things, and I suspect many of those here fit in with some of these in some ways.

A lot of folks are working thru gradual improvements in tools, this drives home to people that it's cheaper to just buy the good tool from the start, but that just always isn't practical/possible. And sometimes you want to have something before going all in.

Some of this cycle for many folks may be one that started with a parent, who they watched tool evolution, so then they carried on from there. They learned not to buy the cheap crappy tool, they started with better quality tools. Still big box offerings, but they bought the Milwaukee saw, not the ryobi.  Now they continue to work up this path. And of course many of those red tools are not what they were 30 years ago, they went mass market as everyone learned those were good tools to buy.

I find most tools are easy to justify the cost simply because I'm the labor. Of course no tool buying is even cheaper. But I know how long and frustrating trying to do work without the right tool is.

Like other "hobbies" you have the resale factor. If you buy high quality stuff, you know you can always sell it and get a large chunk of the cost back. You can't do that with cheap tools. Maybe you plan to buy a tool just for a job, then re-sell it.

In the case of Festool, there are other factors too. I found them because they were metric, so they have that going. But also things like dust collection. More tools are getting there, but for the most part they have nothing. That is a huge aspect. Some aspects like being a track saw just don't have much competition. Want a track saw in the US?  Festool or Mafell.  Some options exist now I. A Kapex may have nice features, but the only thing that ever attracted me to it at all is it possibly being the one miter saw with working dust collection.

I don't know that I have found Festool stuff any easier or faster to use. But when it comes to dust collection or features that don't exist on other tools, or the ones that to are as expensive or more.

Also coming in systainers is a big benefit to people who may not have full time shop, they work in their garage on the weekend, and then they need a way to put it all away.

In a different thread, the foam cutter not being for sale in N.A. came up. Best reason I can see is that is really a specialty pro tool with almost no market for hobbyist, thus they don't sell it here. Hard to see any other reason for not selling it.

The Mafell examples show what things would be if Festool was only targeting pro's and only selling to pro's.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2021, 07:24 PM »
The idea that better tools will somehow make a beginner DIY person automatically better, I just don't see. There may be some validity to junk tools leading to bad results, but it can't be that big of a deal, can it?
Since I lost the old one in the fire, I have not replaced my circular saw. Personally I find them to be very crude, somewhat like a reciprocating saw (sawzall). There are guys who use them every day. framers, carpenters, etc. but not me.
A track saw is a totally different thing. A guy could very well get by with a TS55 when working with sheet goods and never need a table saw.
I see so many Youtubers use the track saw to break down material into smaller pieces, yet leave them over-sized and run them through the table saw after? This makes absolutely no sense to me. You can easily cut parts to exact size with the TS55, straight from the saw.
The DF500 definitely speeds up joinery and I'm sure sanding is faster than any other way too. Once you are into the track "system" it only makes sense to have the ability to use a router with them. That is faster than the way I did it before too.
Sure, there are things that can't really do anything any faster than any other way. Drills, jig saw, impact driver, are in that category. But even if it is just the superior dust collection, the routers are faster because of the clean-up factor.
It may just be me, but if I was a DIYer, I could never justify any of it. There are other ways, they just might be slower, which wouldn't necessarily matter to me. Then the lower amount of use factor would enter into it.
I don't use every one of my Festool tools every single day, but many of them see that much work. Some can go several days between uses, but those are usually the most unique, which makes them the most valuable when they are needed.
As I have said before, I am in a large cabinet shop that has pretty much every way to cut material available. Everything from a computer-driven beam saw, 2 different 5' x 12' cnc routers, 3 vertical panel saws, a sliding table saw, and 2 52" Sawstop table saws, but I still use a TS55 frequently. First because it is sometimes just better to take the saw to the work. Other times it is just because it is closer. I have a 4' x 9' cutting station just 5 feet away from my main assembly table. Cutting lists and cnc cut parts are all well and good, but often "cut to fit" comes into play. The TS 55 solves that issue, which is also why I have the Woodpeckers track square. It makes random angles easy.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)

Offline Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 51
Re: What gives?
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2021, 07:57 PM »
It may just be me, but if I was a DIYer, I could never justify any of it. There are other ways, they just might be slower, which wouldn't necessarily matter to me.

Replace “DIYer” with “hobbyist”, and you’re more in Festool’s non-pro market. These aren’t people whose goal is to fix or build something in their house as economically as possible. These are people that enjoy the process and enjoy using nice tools.

You sang the praises of the track saw very well, and I do think a DIYer (non-hobbyist division) could make a pretty good case for one of those being worthwhile, but by and large, the non-pros that would visit a place called Festool Owner’s Group do this for fun.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: What gives?
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2021, 09:32 PM »
It may just be me, but if I was a DIYer, I could never justify any of it. There are other ways, they just might be slower, which wouldn't necessarily matter to me.

Replace “DIYer” with “hobbyist”, and you’re more in Festool’s non-pro market. These aren’t people whose goal is to fix or build something in their house as economically as possible. These are people that enjoy the process and enjoy using nice tools.


Correct,   when it comes to non-pros, there are many versions of these people, from the standard idea of a DIY'er who has decided to attempt a project themselves instead of hiring someone, often fairly simple task, repairs, basic projects that are basically supported with everything the need in the local big box store.  Then you get more into hobbyist (woodworkers), who could do basic stuff to work that is beyond anything a pro ever does. And then you also have people that just do all their stuff, it's just how they are. The build/rebuild their own homes, they build everything on their property, they only hire people for stuff they just can't do. These folks tend to come from families where the whole family is that way. Also where you live is a big indicator, get more rural, get more folks who do everything themselves, not for any reason on than that is how they do things.

Seeing folks post here over the years, you see the spectrum.  Some folks come and ask tool questions and explain they have some project they want to do, and they talk about a couple grand worth of tools they are looking to buy. The thing they say they want to do might be something you could buy for far less money. It's not the point, they either just want to do it, or want the tools and need something to justify, etc. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or not. It's what they want to do, so be it.  We clearly have a lot of folks who are full blown artist with wood who just enjoy doing it.  And then there is a lot of folks who are more the later category, they clearly have just done stuff their whole life, they build/rebuild the homes they live in and have often done it a few times.

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 181
Re: What gives?
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2021, 10:10 PM »
Replace “DIYer” with “hobbyist”, and you’re more in Festool’s non-pro market. These aren’t people whose goal is to fix or build something in their house as economically as possible. These are people that enjoy the process and enjoy using nice tools.

This meshes (or 'dovetails', if you will) nicely with the "who the heck is buying all of these one-time-tools from Woodpecker" part of the conversation earlier, IMHO.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 10:13 PM by squall_line »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 337
Re: What gives?
« Reply #58 on: April 07, 2021, 06:29 AM »
The idea that better tools will somehow make a beginner DIY person automatically better, I just don't see. There may be some validity to junk tools leading to bad results, but it can't be that big of a deal, can it?
It is a huge deal in practice.
A Pro CAN get a good result even from a crappy tool in many cases.

A novice generally cannot. He does not have the skill to compensate for the tool limitations. And for a hobby user acquiring the required skill to be able to use a crappy tool effectively is often not economically not viable. Even if you net just $20/hr at your day job, wasting 20 man hours (and this two weekends!) to acquire a skill to be able to use a $50 tool instead of a $300 one just does not compute ...
If you are barely making ends meet, it can be different. But then you will not be the demographic here to begin as then you would not have the budget for the material either.

Example:
I would need to make 20+ carcasses to be able to reliably make one using just a simple $50 drill jig and dowels.

The problem:
Over a 10-year time span I will ONLY ever need to make these 20 or so carcasses.

...

Now, 20 carcasses worth of material is easily $1000, not counting the time (another $1000 or more). This means I will either end up having crappy/not-fitting furniture in the house (bad) or waste $2000 (worse) to save $1000. And counting resale value more like $200 actually). End result: One unhappy hobby user. :(

Here goes my $1000 budget for Domino right there! End result: One happy hobby user. :)

Now, if I was a pro, there is no way I could justify the $1000 Domino just for 20 carcasses ... when my *already-paid-for-by-time* skill allows me to make them reasonably fast and precise just with a simple dowel jig and a drill.


I also second the "DIY" /which to me always seems almost derogatory/ versus "hobby" demographies.

Here in Czech republic, we have this term "kutil" which is hard to translate.
The concept came about during the communist times where trades were centralized and hard to get. It assumes a concept of doing/making stuff at a better-or-at-least-equivalent quality than a tradesperson would.

It is not really "DYI" (the goal is not to save money) and neither it is "Hobbyist" (the primary goal is not fun) in the US/West sense. Is kinda an amalgamation of both with a bit of "what-if" lets-learn-some-trade aspect when economy goes really bad.

The itch there is to do stuff as efficiently as possible at as high a quality as feasible (so wife/partner will value the work instead of seeing it as a cheapo alternative). This brings it close to a one-man-band pro use case but not quite. The volume is not there and the time budget neither. But capability-wise many such folks are able to produce stuff of an artisan quality, even if not economically.
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 Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 320
Re: What gives?
« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2021, 06:48 PM »
I could have worded that better. I was really meaning hobbyist woodworker when I wrote DYIer, there definitely is a difference.  I guess DIYer seems more like someone who is working on home projects like repairs and maybe remodeling.
As has been discussed above, woodworker is very broad term. It covers everything from marquetry, scroll sawing, chip carving, and turning to cabinet making and furniture and/or built-ins.
Some of these things overlap, some people do more several of them.


The one thing I would add though is about the example of the pro not justifying a $1000 purchase over "only 20 carcases"......why would a pro ever only do 20?
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)