If you are building an arsenal of power tools and outdoor equipment, there are probably some specific brands that you are looking into.
Two very popular ones that often come up in comparison to one another are Festool and Bosch.
In this article, I will dive deeper into each brand to help you determine which of the two – if either – is the best one to go with. After all, there is a lot of value in sticking to a single brand, especially if you are looking to get cordless tools.
A Brief History of Festool & Bosch
First off, Festool is a German brand, with headquarters located in Wendlingen, Germany. It was founded back in 1927 by Gottlieb Stoll and Albert Fezer, at which time it was called Fezer & Stoll. The company’s name was then shortened to Festo in the year 1933, and the Festo company then founded the Festo Tooltechnic subsidiary in 1992.
The power tool division of this company was created in the year 2000 and is now an independent company, which is still owned by the family of Gottlieb Stoll and is now known simply as Festool.
What is interesting to note is that Festool was the first company to manufacture a portable chainsaw, something that took place in 1927. Today, the company is best known for its power tools and dust extraction equipment. It operates in nearly 30 countries and has close to 1,000 employees.
It’s not the largest toolmaker, but it certainly is known for being one of the best in terms of quality.
Moving on, we have Bosch, formally known as Robert Bosch GmbH. This is a major multinational engineering and tech company that was founded all the way back in 1886, in Stuttgart, Germany, and now has its headquarters in Gerlingen, Germany.
As you can tell by the name, the founder of the company is none other than Robert Bosch.
This is such a massive company with such a huge and diverse history and product offering that we cannot possibly tell you everything. However, an important thing to note here is that Bosch employs over 400,000 employees, and it operates in many countries around the world.
The company is involved in mobility solutions, industrial tech, consumer goods, energy and more. Of course, today we are here to focus on their tools. In that regard, Bosch is known for producing high-quality construction, carpentry, and metalworking tools. It also makes lawn and garden equipment.
Festool vs Bosch: Which Offers Better Quality
As mentioned earlier, although Festool is not as large as some of its competitors, its quality is unparalleled. One of the reasons for this has to do with the location of manufacturing. The vast majority of Festool tools are produced in Germany, the Czech Republic, and now in the USA (Indiana) as well. The fact that production is not outsourced to the Global South can be taken as a good sign.
What can also be said about Festool is that the brand is highly regarded by industry professionals. Now, it is a lesser-known and not quite as popular of a brand name as some of the other big competitors out there, but the reason for this seems to be due to a combination of high cost and limited availability.
Simply put, Festool tools are very high in quality, particularly their dust extraction systems, but due to this, they also tend to be very expensive. This is the kind of brand name that a professional tradesman would go with, the kind of brand for people that need reliable and high-quality tools for heavy daily use.
On the other hand, something that Bosch is known for is for producing massive quantities of tools, with over 50 million power tools produced in 2018. That said, in spite of the high volume, Bosch manages to maintain great quality across the board.
Unlike Festool which does not outsource to the Global South, Bosch makes a lot of its tools in Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, and China, with a select few products being manufactured in Switzerland, Germany, and the USA.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Festool does offer some pretty good warranties on their products. Festool features a 30-day money-back guarantee, and three-year comprehensive wear and tear coverage warranty consisting of a one-year included warranty and extra two years upon registration.
Bosch products usually feature a one-year limited warranty on most power tools offering repairs and exchanges for tools that are defected. The warranty can be extended to two years upon registration.
As such, in most cases, the warranties of these two brands are comparable.
Festool vs Bosch: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio
One aspect where Bosch is the clear winner is in the product portfolio department.
Simply put, Bosch is a much larger company that manufactures way more products. It offers a wide selection of power tools, both cordless and corded, for many different types of users including woodworkers, metalworkers, and those working with masonry and concrete.
It also manufactures garden and lawn equipment, home appliances, mobility devices, and so much more.
Festool on the other hand focuses on power tools, especially those targeted at woodworkers, and dust extraction systems.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Saws?
Festool does make a good amount of saw types including all major varieties like circular saws, jigsaws, miter saws, and more. However, Festool only makes a few models of each type of saw, which pales in comparison to the large selection of saws that Bosch has to offer.
No matter what type of saw, Bosch will generally offer at least a few different models.
That said, quantity is not everything, and Festool’s saws are generally regarded as some of the best in the world.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
If you need extremely high-quality products that come with a great warranty, and you are willing to spend a considerable amount of money, then Festool is for you. Their tools are designed for heavy and daily professional use.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend quite as much money, and you want a large selection of reliable tools that can withstand the demand of most applications, go with Bosch.
When all has been said and done, both of these brands are highly regarded.
The difference is that Bosch is made more for the everyday man and tradesmen, whereas Festool is a high-end company that makes products designed for the highest-end professional use.