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Once you see Festool’s new parallel guide system, you may start to question whether you really need your table saw.  The system works in conjunction with their guide rail to give you consistent rip cuts.

The guide has a pair of stops that hold the edge of the material parallel to the rip guide — you can adjust them to make cuts up to 25-19/32″ deep.  A separate extension attaches to the parallel guides with a thumb screw and allows you to make repeatable narrow rip cuts from 1/16″ to 7-11/16″.

Festool sells just the parallel guides for $230, the parallel guide extensions which can only be used in conjunction with the parallel guides for $130, and a set combining both the parallel guides and the extensions for $325, saving you $35. They sell the guide rail separately or packaged with other tools.

Festool just released their parallel guide March 1, 2009, so watch for the usual retailers of Festool products to carry them any day now.

Parallel Guide System [Festool]
SysNotes [Festool]


9 Responses to Festool’s New Parallel Guides

  1. Shopmonger says:

    Festool = FesDrool = FesCrack = way expensinve but great inovation and fantastic quality….a life time tool

  2. fffish says:

    If the tool does what it claims, without a lot of fuss and with accuracy, it should be price-competitive with a tablesaw or radial arm saw system.

    *If* it works as slick as it should. Easy to plop a sheet in, easy to dial in a true cut along either dimension, and easy to be dead accurate — I’d be sold. It makes *way* more sense to hold the sheet still and move a lightweight saw. $325 for a tool that’s a joy to use, and used so often, sounds like a deal to me. *If.*

  3. Thomas says:

    get a straight board.. fasten to sheet of hardboard.. cut off w/ circular saw.. instant saw guide.. 10 bucks.. (at most).. as accurate as your board.. as cheap as your empty wallet..

  4. Gary says:

    I’d love to have Festools in my shop. Can’t afford them for now. Maybe some day. There are other options though. I bought guide rail from http://www.eurekazone.com 4 or 5 years ago. It works really well. They have other attachments now to ensure square repeatable cuts. No affiliation, just like their stuff.

  5. fred says:

    I think that there are several tasks and related issues that we deal with using saws.

    There is the issue of breaking down sheet goods into manageable sizes. In our shop we do this with a sliding table saw or our 1 panel saw. In the field, this task is more amenable to using a circular saw with a guide. I have yet to purchase the Festool tools for this – but I am contemplating such a purchase – or perhaps the Makita or Dewalt newcomer tools. Arguably, plunge saws with dedicated guide rails may be more repeatable and safer than our use of clamped-on straight edges with regular circular saws.

    Then there is the job of cross-cutting panels that are of a size that doesn’t fit with using a sliding miter saw. We bring table saws (either Makita or Bosch portables – or on big job-sites a Unisaw) with crosscut sleds to the job site to accomplish this task. This seems to produce repeatable good results while minimizing setup time – especially for multiple cuts.

    Finally there is the issue of ripping panels and stock. For one-off rips in the field – if the stock is too large for the table saw, we’ve used circular saws. We have some aluminum alloy small box girder that we picked-up some years ago that works great as a dimensionally-stable – adequately-straight saw guide. Again, we might give a Festool saw or one of the others a try for this task. In the shop – we have the luxury of having an old Oliver straight line rip saw – a tool that is highly recommended if you have the space and do lots of repetitive ripping (e.g. to create face-frame stock)

  6. fffish says:

    “Arguably, plunge saws with dedicated guide rails may be more repeatable and safer than our use of clamped-on straight edges with regular circular saws.”

    I started thinking about how I could rig up a true guide system using stock extruded aluminum. Sturdy aluminum rail is easy to get; patio rails, window frames, tracks, etc. It should be easy to rig up a set of sturdy, square frames that can slide along one another.

    Best of all, it’d be all of 6″ deep and could hang on a wall.

  7. david says:

    a bad copy of the eurekazone repeaters.

  8. FB says:

    While I only buy quality tools, I have to draw the line south of Festool. Today, we can’t even come close to the quality of the pieces built three hundred years ago – without electricty, carbide, colbalt, etc. No, I feel guilty enough with my Bosch’s, DeWalt’s, Makita’s – there won’t be any Festools in my shop. There comes a point when no amount of dollars is going going to improve your output.

  9. Ben says:

    This is our next buy. I haven’t used it personally, but a respected colleague swears by it and I’ve seen it in his shop and know it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

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