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Festool and BMI Tapes

A few months ago in their SysNotes Newsletter, Festool announced the launch of their Imperial-Metric tape measure. The tape reads in both imperial and metric units, incorporates a window in the top of the case for reading measurements against a wall, and creates arcs or circles with a flip-out tab.

Just yesterday I spotted a tape measure from BMI that looked very familiar and matched the Festool tape feature for feature. I’m not the only one who noticed the similarity — after digging I found some Festool owners had already commented on it in the Festool Owner’s Group forum.

Apart from the color, there’s only one difference: The BMI tape measure retails for half the cost of the Festool. I’m not sure whether Festool manufactures the tape measure for BMI, BMI manufactures the tape measure for Festool, or some third party manufactures the tape measure for both companies, but one thing is certain — if you buy the Festool version you’re paying a lot more for the prestige of the Festool name.

We’ve seen companies re-brand tools before, but it just makes you wonder if someday you’ll find a Kapex re-branded for $700.

BMI Tape Street Pricing [Google Products]
Festool Tape Street Pricing [Google Products]


4 Responses to What’s In A Name? Money

  1. Baron says:

    Same thing happens in every industry. You are paying a lot for a brand name. In one of my marketing classes, we looked into a case about beds. The main component (springs) of many of the leading brands, each of who claimed to have better springs than anyone else, all got the exact same springs from the same third party plant. Now, that class was a while back, but I imagine it is still similar. Also, many of the store food brands, that are half the cost of the name brand, are made for the store by either the name brand or again, the name brand and the store brand are both made by a third party.

  2. richard says:

    BMI manufacture tape and they offer as a service to “rebrand” it to anyone.

  3. l_bilyk says:

    Toolmonger brand tape measure anyone?

  4. Gaston says:

    We are agents for BMI in New Zealand. BMI makes the Festool tape and without the belt clip. We sell the BMI tape called VISO with the belt clip in metric and metric/imperial. BMI offers the printing service for anyone willing to have its own colour and logo.

    We sell hundreds every year because they are way cheaper than the Festool one.

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