I was surprised to learn that Festool’s parent company, Tooltechnic Systems (a/k/a TTS), purchased SawStop earlier this year. On the one hand both brands are focused on worker safety: Festool was a pioneer of both dust collection and the guiderails that make kickback from circular saws virtually impossible, and SawStop’s table saws practically guarantee you leave the shop with all ten fingers. But Festool is known for making portable tools for jobsites, whereas SawStop’s bread and butter was traditionally shop-based cabinet saws.
It’s true that SawStop now makes jobsite/contractor table saws that can be hauled around…
…so perhaps we’ll see a Festool-branded version? Or could SawStop’s flesh-sensing technology somehow be integrated into a handheld power tool? For their part, TTS states:
“For TTS and the company’s subsidiaries, it has always been a top priority to deliver precision results with maximum operator protection. The newly acquired technology, which TTS will continue to develop together with the SawStop team, supports these priorities and prepares TTS to face stricter safety requirements that are likely to be imposed on power tools.”
I’m not sure what those “likely to be imposed” new requirements are; maybe they’ve got a line on something brewing at OSHA?
In other Festool news, the company has also announced that they’ve begun producing their guiderails in the U.S.A., at the company’s facility in Lebanon, Indiana. This makes good business sense, should certain protective trade policies come into existence; producing the relatively low-tech guiderails here allows them to dip their foot in the U.S. manufacturing pool, perhaps with an eye on future expansion of capabilities.
We know what you’re thinking: If they’re producing the guiderails here and not having to pay to ship them across the Atlantic, will they be cheaper for us U.S. customers?
Probably not. But we’ve already told you where you can buy Festool stuff on the (relatively) cheap–on their recon website. One of our readers already wrote in to say he’d scored a Kapex there at a steep discount.