If I was a contractor,
Feel free to add to this or correct anything that I have stated. Like I said, I am just hoping to learn more about what makes Festool worth their steep price...
First let me say I don’t own any Festool. I’ve used many of their tools, but that is because many of my friends are contractors and that is why I Included that sentence from your post.
The contractors I know have one unpredictable line item in their world and that is time. If they can get a job done with the same results in significantly less time, then they usually make more profit.
What I’ve noticed about Festool is that, for the most part, they deliver excellent results in a short amount of time. Professionals are willing to pay the premium price for exceptional results. A good friend has a small contracting business and uses the Kapex on every job. He has never had to adjust it back to square cuts. He has, however, a weekly routine to readjust/compensate his other miter saws. Time wasted adjusting, but needed to get precise results. His brother and b-I-l have a cabinet shop. They use the track saw and MFT to save time making the carcasses and Rotex and direct drive sanders for perfect finishes in less time than using other similar power tools
There are other name brand good quality tools that can give just as good a result, but most take more time to set up and to adjust each time plus repeated excellent results are not a given, where they are with Festool.
There are other systems that give the same result as the Domino, but usually take more time to accomplish the same result.
For those of us where time to completion is not a factor, we can weigh the cost versus benefit. I have a good friend who is not a contractor but enjoys the precision afforded him using Festool and has the bank account where the cost is not that much a factor. I use INCRA systems because they are very precise. They come at a premium. With time and fussing, the ShopSmith fence width can be as precisely adjusted as the INCRA Wonder fence and the SS miter gauge adjusted to the same tolerance as the INCRA SE 1000. But with the INCRA tools, I can get very precise results in significantly less time.
So, are Festool tools worthy
of the significant extra price tag? For the repeatable superior quality they provide, yes. Are they worth that extra, depends upon the desires of the person (product fit and finish, time to complete the project, etc.)
Of course this is strictly my personal bias, but of my contractor friends, they believe the extra paid is paid back many times over. For them that steep price is actually a good investment. And I think thyat is where the crux resides. I have a different payoff and desired return on my tools. Festool doesn’t see me as a target audience. Though I did just get a survey from them. 😳🤔. Maybe they are thinking of lowering their standards or making some entry level tools?? But more likely I was selected because I already bought my ticket for the Woodworking show in Las Vegas in July.👍