It was a cold and rainy night, but our intrepid members braved the elements for love and glory (and cool toys). This week, we were lucky to have the super-knowledgeable tool-monger-in-chief of Tools For Working Wood, Joel Moskowitz, walk us through a selection of their Festool line.
As just about any woodworker in the NYC area knows, TFWW is THE place for fine hand tools in New York City, but they are also the only authorized Festool dealer in the area. For the uninitiated or unfamiliar, Festool is the counter-example to the phrase “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” In Festool’s case, they make them better. Few who take the plunge into the world of Festool it seems ever come back. Once you become accustomed to having a tool that is not only engineered with precision but anticipates your needs as a user, it can be very hard to get used to anything else.
Yes, their 45 degree tilt on their saws is actually 45 degrees and the finish of the cut barely requires sandpaper, but that’s just the beginning. It’s the little touches that make all the difference. All of their tools plug directly into the vacuum so that it automatically starts and stops with the tool. The boxes are all stackable, and interlock for easy transport. The jigsaw even features a tiny LED that flashes perfectly in time with the movement of the blade so that when you are cutting, the blade appears absolutely motionless allowing you to see your cut more clearly. The designers of these tools have clearly thought long and hard about every single detail of these tools.
At this point, the reader will be forgiven a certain amount of eye-rolling at the obsessive luxury afforded to something as banal as a jigsaw. However, for the working contractor, these things are no mere trifles. For those catering to a certain clientele (or hoping to), the ability to wheel in a neat stack of tools that work flawlessly and without spewing sawdust throughout the customer’s home is not a luxury, it is part of their brand identity. These are not the tools of the day laborer, they are the tools of a craftsperson who takes their work seriously. And, as Joel points out, while the initial cost of the tools may seem prohibitive, the up-keep is no more expensive that a Makita, Bosch, or DeWalt. Replacement blades, sandpaper, filters all cost about the same as they would for other brands. What you get though is a tool that works and is guaranteed to last.
For more about Festool, check out the TFWW website or stop by their store where you can check out these beauties in person.