Festool vs Milwaukee: How Do They Differ? (Pros & Cons)

When you are purchasing power tools, part of the process entails getting wrapped up in what brand is better. If you are comparing Festool vs Milwaukee, it’s going to be an agonizing decision. Both brands are developed with high-quality craftsmanship to create high-quality craftsmanship, and the price isn’t always going to be the sticking point.

Take a quick look at the differences between Festool vs. Milwaukee:

• Festool began creating power tools in Germany, whereas the Milwaukee brand is born in the U.S.A. in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
• Both companies began in the 1920s as businesses designed to repair tools, with Festool focusing on repairing machinery while Milwaukee focused on making the workplace easier.
• Festool is a tool manufacturing company, whereas Milwaukee still looks for focused innovative workplace solutions today, calling it “disruptive innovation.”
• Festool offers a three-year limited warranty while Milwaukee offers one to five-year limited warranties depending on the product.
• Both brands are exceptional and highly coveted products, but Festool tools are significantly more expensive.

Why You Should Like Festool Products 

There are a number of reasons why customers love the Festool lineup. It offers a high-quality power tool line and accessory lineup, and products that are built to last.

• Performance 

Performance is the number one reason why people love Festool. Each product is designed with the human user in mind, and the humans that love the precision and performance that comes with every Festool tool.

• Innovation

It is clear that the developers and designers at Festool are thinking about how to make tools easier to use, easier to work with, and easier on the job at hand. Cordless tools and dust extractors show that Festool thinks ahead for the craftsman.

• Customer Service

Every tool master wants their tools to last, and Festool understands this. They offer a service plan with a 30-day trial period where you can try the tools and return with no questions asked. A dedicated support line and a three-year warranty make it more comfortable to use Festool.

Why You Should Like Milwaukee Products 

The name Henry Ford is enough to purchase Milwaukee products, and the company has seen some good sales that indicate financial infusions that lead to innovative products for the end-user. Innovation and quality tools are today’s leading factors in choosing Milwaukee when considering Festool vs. Milwaukee.

• Innovation

The Milwaukee line makes life easier in the tool shed, and their quality work means quality work for you. This is a company that is always investing in the end-user, with the goal to make their life easier

• Affordable

The Milwaukee brand is much more affordable than the Festool brand and will be the first thing you notice when comparing Festool vs Milwaukee. These are easy-to-find products that you will enjoy the price o

My Recommendation 

When I am considering what tools to purchase, of course, my budget comes to mind.  Doesn’t it with you? But how much does it stink when the one we love is too expensive. At the same time, I like to know that I am investing in a tool or accessory that is going to last. Sometimes I don’t mind paying a little extra for something that will have a lifelong shelf life, or close to it. Still, the affordable and American-made Milwaukee brand will be my first go-to.

Festool is an excellent company with top products that are hard to find. Many say that Festool products last longer and I agree. Their price tag comes from the fact that they are largely built overseas. I am still going with Milwaukee because the tools I find are more suited to my lifestyle and tool shop. A piece of Festool as a collector’s piece might be in the future though.

Festool Corporation

festool

The Festool Corporation began in 1925, founded by a German duo named Albert Fezer and Gottlieb Stoll. They began the company to repair machines for woodwork and to also perform modifications from plain bearings to ball bearings. Today, they are a renowned power tool company that develops drills, chainsaws, sanders, and more to tool aficionados all over the world.

Between 1925 and 1932 the company developed its first logo and set of tools. The tools were designed for carpentry specifically. By 1927, Festool’s first mobile chainsaw was born, making manual saw work so much easier. The portable circular saw came in 1930, and the company began to have a footing as a tool company worthy of acclaim. 

Everything at Festool was performed with high values and standards, even how they treated their employees. In 1933, Festool began the practice of visiting employees at home when they were ill.

The infamous orbital sander was developed in 1951 and is still an iconic tool in the Festool lineup today. By 1986, Festool was an award-winning manufacturer having been named the “Factory of the Year” in Neidlingen. Their cordless tools began hitting the shelves in 1996. By 2015 the company was celebrating its ninetieth anniversary. A primary claim to their fame as a company, outside of their highly sought out tools, is that they are one of the few power tool companies that do not outsource work to Asia. Festool does outsource some of its work, and now has a plant operating in the United States.

Festool Products 

Superior power tools are the greatest similarity when comparing Festool vs. Milwaukee. Here are some of Festool’s greatest hits.

• Festool 204844 Systainer 

Along with its power tools, Festool is known for its quality organizers and bins. This white Festool Systainer is 15.59 x 11.65 x 12.99 inches and is easily connected to other sustainers in the Festool line. Weighing only 5.3 pounds, you will find a corner for this organizer anywhere, and won’t have a problem moving it from one location to the next.

• Festool 494134 Angle Base for Carvex Jigsaw

The Festool angle base for any of the Festool Carvex Jigsaws will help you to work on corners both inside and outside and offers a simple base design. It weighs one pound with dimensions of 9.53 x 2.36 x 4.53 inches. Customers of this product call it a necessary add-on that works very well.

• Festool 489790 FS-Rapid Clamp and Fixed Jaws for Guide Rail System

The Festool FS Guide Rails Clamp System is made for clamping guide rails to any kind of sheet material. Use it to mount guide rails with its continuous t-slot. Weighing in at one pound, it features a trigger so that you can clamp with one hand easily and quickly.

• Festool 492636 Parallel Edge Guide With Fine Adjustment for OF 1400 Router

This Parallel Edge Guide will help you to parallel your edges perfectly with a precision level that you will be impressed with. Featuring a fine-adjustment control it enables dialing in for precision to 1/10 mm. Dust extraction is simply with its dust extraction hood to prevent messes. It is constructed with cast aluminum to experience a long life in your tool cave.

• Festool 496962 80mm x 130 mm Hand Sanding Block 

The Festool Hand Sanding Block features an ergonomic design with a handle that is said to prevent blisters and be safer for hands when sanding. It offers a bypass to adjust suction power and its integral adapter enables Festool extractor hose. With a weight of 5 ounces, it is very easy to use.

Milwaukee Corporation 

milwaukee

The Milwaukee tool company story began in 1918 just as World War I began to end. At the time, Henry Ford was seeking a light power drill to craft his own vision. A man by the name of A. H. Peterson stepped up to the plate, and a five-pound Hole Shooter was invented.

By 1922, Peterson brought Albert Siebert into the company, and the Milwaukee company was called the A. H. Peterson Company. Unfortunately, a fire in 1923 brought the business to the ground and Siebert sold some assets and rebuilt a new company called the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation.

Soon, the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation was humming. The Hole Shooter innovations did not go with the fire. Today, the Milwaukee company offers everything a craftsman needs including digital meters, leveling tools, lighting, temperature gauges, and tools to cut, clip, and drill to your heart’s content.

By the 1930s, Milwaukee was getting recognition from the federal government and was able to contract tools to the United States Navy. This would lead to more developments and innovations in their line that would include hammers, grinders, sanders, and polishers. 

After the Hole Shooter, Milwaukee would bring electric hammer drills into their lineup and began looking at the needs during and after World War II. This war would launch a manufacturing boom in the United States, and Milwaukee played a significant role here for the Navy.

Milwaukee would add spring clutches onto their sanders as WWII innovations, and this would reduce recoil from their circular saw line. By 1951, the Sawzall was the first of its kind to offer a challenge to the portable hacksaw. When the 1970s arrived, the company would undergo another series of sales to improve and grow on its existing success.

It was funded by a sale to Amstar in 1975 and again sold to Merrill Lynch in 1986. Atlas Copco purchased Milwaukee in 1995, and Techtronic Industries bought Milwaukee in 2005 and is the owner today. Today still, Milwaukee continues to manufacture and produce tools that are fit for visionaries such as Henry Ford.

Milwaukee Products 

When comparing the shopping for Festool vs Milwaukee, Milwaukee products are a little easier to find. They also are slightly more affordable than some in the Festool line. Featuring company colors of red and black, they are a smart look in any tool shop.

• Milwaukee 2719-20 M18 FUEL Hackzall

This is battery-Milwaukee FUEL Hackzall is a sight to behold and powered and is known to cut through some of the toughest materials. It offers a user-friendly intelligence that will optimize your work will reducing overload. At 4.5 pounds it also offers a brushless motor that will extend the life of the tool.

• Milwaukee 2724-20 M18 Fuel Blower

You are going to love blowing leaves, or anything, with the Milwaukee blower. Weighing in at just under 5 pounds, this blower has a speed of 120 miles an hour and an airflow capacity of 450 cubic feet per minute. It may not take you long to do the leaves, but you’ll want to be out there all day with this one.

• Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 Cordless 3/8″ Sub-Compact Ratchet

The weight of the Milwaukee Sub-Compact Ratchet is just under 2 pounds at 1.81 pounds, but it offers a 35-foot pound torque. The battery is sold separately and will power redlink intelligence and LED lighting so that you can work in any lighting condition. Its recessed forward and backward switch is a forward-thinking innovation that will prevent accidents, and prevent too much power from releasing along with preventing overheating and damage.

• Milwaukee Electric Tools 2997-22 Hammer Drill and Impact Driver Kit

This Milwaukee Electric Hammer Drill and Impact Driver Kit weighs in total 14.9 pounds and is an excellent starting kit for anyone looking to add inventory to their tool shop or garage. The hammer drill is battery powered and the kit includes two lithium-ion batteries and power tool combo packs and pneumatics.

• Milwaukee 2715-20 M18 Fuel 1 1/8″ SDS Plus Rotary Hammer

The Fuel line in the Milwaukee brand of tools is among its most popular. The Milwaukee Rotary Hammer is a battery-powered tool weighing 7.8 pounds. This is an easy-to-use rotary hammer that will make you wonder why you don’t use power hammers more often. It will come with a lithium-ion battery.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Makita and DeWalt Products 

It really depends on what you are looking for when you are selecting tools. Every tool shop has its own distinct needs. Do you think of quality or price first? Both companies offer high-quality products that are designed for any user, whether you are innovating yourself or need a new tool for the shop, but Festool is notoriously more expensive.

• Warranties

When comparing Festool vs Milwaukee for warranties, Milwaukee offers a wider range of warranties. Festool products come with a three-year limited warranty and Milwaukee offers one, two, and five-year warranties depending on the product.

• Battery Operated

How your tools are powered up is important. Today’s technology requires lithium-ion batteries for multiple products in both company’s lines. Some products do not come with batteries, which will be an extra expense. You’re going to see this more in the Milwaukee line than Festool.

• Affordability

The price point will always come up when comparing Festool vs Milwaukee. You’re looking at an imported product with Festool and that is a huge factor in the price. When I say expensive, I mean Festool can easily cost you over one thousand dollars for a drill. But you’ll brag about this drill for the rest of your life. At the same time, with Festool, you get the red carpet treatment in service. They are there for you with guaranteed service and repair and give you a chance to try the tools before you buy.

Summary 

In the end, with Festool vs Milwaukee, Milwaukee is my first choice, but I love to drool over Festool as much as any other tool lover. There is nothing to knock when it comes to quality on either of these brands. American-made is more appealing to me than affordability. And I don’t hate saying that Henry Ford might have purchased this tool that I have now if he were around today.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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