Festool: 90 years of motivation for the future

Successfully combining tradition and innovation


2015 sees Festool celebrate its 90th anniversary. The German premium manufacturer's system products regularly set the highest standards in woodwork, painting and varnishing, as well as in renovation and restoration. Festool is using innovations to tackle issues of the future, such as energy efficiency in trade, today. The latest new development is the unique system for a perfect edge – the first mobile CONTURO edge bander. The German medium-sized business aspires to continue working in close cooperation with workshops to develop professional solutions for the future in accordance with "Made in Germany" standards.

"For Festool, tradition and innovation are two sides of the same coin," explains Barbara Austel, Festool Company Partner. "For more than 90 years we have proven to our customers in trade that tradition and innovative strength are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other perfectly. Because Festool develops tools on the basis of its long-standing expertise in the industry and in technology, which aim for the best results in terms of precision, durability, ergonomics and design. More than 350 patents so far testify to the company's innovative strength." 

Innovation right from the start
Even back in 1925, when the company was founded under the name Fezer & Stoll, it was associated with a technical innovation – the first transportable chain saw. The brand name Festo was introduced for the first time in 1933, and became a specialist trade brand as of 1951. As early as 1964, Festool made precise cutting possible – with the first combination of a portable circular saw and a guide rail. In 1982, it succeeded in developing the ROTEX geared eccentric sander, the world’s first tool to combine three functions in one unit. In addition, 1993 saw the first award for an innovative product design: The SYSTAINER system highlight which brought more order to workshops and transport. Finally, in the year 2000, the brand name was changed from the Festo Group to Festool because of outsourcing under company law. Since then, alongside numerous product innovations, the manufacturer has solely expanded the ROTEX family with unique models. 

Close association with workshops
With 2500 employees worldwide, Festool turns over more than 440 million euros and is the leader on the global market for professional users when it comes to eccentric sanders, plunge-cut saws and routers. The research and development site is based at the company's headquarters in Wendlingen, near Stuttgart. To tailor product features precisely to specific requirements, the teams at Festool establish close working relationships with professional tradesmen, in which they continually look for solutions to their most important day-to-day needs. Barbara Austel explains: "Our customers are right to expect a great deal from their tool, because the result of their cooperation depends on the tool quality. Festool power tools aim to complete every task in the best way possible. Our ability to deliver this quality is a direct result of many years of specialisation in our industries. Another factor for success is the continual exchange with tradesmen – starting with carpenters, joiners and woodworkers, then painters and varnishers, through to tradesmen in specialist industrial operations, such as manufacturing mobile homes and yachts."

Compatibility and investment security
Festool quality tools stand for optimum functionality and thereby provide tradesmen and companies with maximum investment security. Another important advantage of the range is the compatibility of machines and components. This also applies to all new developments, such as the current "unplugged" cordless tool range. "Our battery packs and tools have all been compatible for many years now. This even applies across systems for older battery packs, which can be used in current-generation Li-ion tools," confirms Barbara Austel. Festool's all-inclusive SERVICE also provides investment security: 36-month cover for repair costs, theft protection, 10-year spare parts availability and a money-back guarantee.

Quality for the toughest demands
The Festool quality management system, designed in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001, is compulsory for more than 14500 different parts and components. Barbara Austel reports: "At Festool, tradition and quality also mean having a close relationship with Germany. We have been manufacturing in Germany for 90 years and most of our products come from the south of the country, in Neidlingen. The expression 'Made in Germany' thereby specifies the quality standards throughout the entire manufacturing process – even at our additional factories in Illertissen, Swabia, and Ceska Lipa in the Czech Republic." Before being introduced on the market, every tool undergoes extensive quality and stress tests, which go far beyond the usual operational stresses. The products are only brought to market once their robustness, reliability and service life have been clearly proven. Furthermore, quality at Festool also means encouraging a healthy and safe working environment using ergonomic, economical tools, which, along with comprehensive safety equipment, also have devices to clean your workplace in an instant. 

Award-winning product design
Since Festool also works in close consultation with customers on product design, Festool power tools are matched entirely to the user with regard to the haptic qualities of the materials used; grip strengths, weight and the distribution thereof, as well as function switch operation. Numerous product and design awards prove repeatedly the exceptional production quality: The TSC 55 cordless plunge-cut saw and the BHC 18 cordless hammer drill were recently awarded the coveted iF Design Award. As an environmentally oriented company, Festool provides a ten-year spare part guarantee, offers an energy-saving concept developed with EC-TEC and uses photovoltaic systems across all its sites. 
Barbara Austel sums up: "Festool develops tools that are lightweight yet robust, that sit comfortably in the hand and are easy to operate. And for good reason: We want our customers to enjoy working with our tools." Festool's success is clear to see all over the world: The company's products are currently available from specialised dealers in over 80 countries.