If you are looking to fill up that tool shed with some really high-quality tools, two brands you may be considering are Festool and Metabo HPT. Yes, both brands are German, so you know that this is going to be a battle of superior craftsmanship and good old German engineering.
That said, if you had to pick only one, which of these tool-making powerhouses would you go with?
A Brief History of Festool & Metabo HPT
Starting with Festool, this is a German company that is headquartered in Wendlingen. Gottlieb Stoll and Albert Fezer founded the original company in 1927, but it was at that time called Fezer & Stoll. In 1933, the name of the company was shortened to Festo, a combination of the names Fezer and Stoll.
In 1992, the Festo brand founded the Festo Tooltechnic subsidiary, hence the name Festool. The power tool division of Festool was not created until the year 2000. It is important to note that the tool division is now an independent company known as Festool, and it is still owned by the Stoll family.
One of the biggest achievements is that Festool was the first company to create a portable chainsaw, which was introduced in 1927.
At this time, Festool is well known for its power tools, as well as dust extraction equipment. The company currently operates in roughly 30 countries and has just under 1,000 employees, with estimated annual revenues of roughly 340 million Euros. That makes it a relatively small company in the grand scheme of things.
On the other hand we have Metabo HPT, which is also a German company, one founded in 1924 in Nurtingen. It was founded by Albrecht Schnizler, and the company is now officially known as Metabowerke GmbH. The name originates from the fact that Schnizler built a hand drill of which he sold 50,000 units, a metal drill, which in German translates roughly to “Metallbohrdreher.”
After the introduction of this drill, Schnizler GmbH was founded, and was renamed Metabowerke Closs, Rauch & Schnizler KG in 1932. The main focus of Metabo HPT is the manufacturing of high quality power tools for professionals. In 2016 Metabo was purchased by the Hitachi Group, and in 2017 was sold to HK Holdings, which is a part of the KKR investment firm.
At this point in time, Metabo HPT features estimated annual revenues of 400 million Euros, and has roughly 2,000 employees.
Festool vs. Metabo HPT: Which Offers Better Quality?
One thing that can be said about Festool tool quality is that none of the manufacturing is outsourced to the Global South, a very good sign. Festool has production facilities located in Germany, the Czech Republic, and now in the USA (Indiana to be precise) as well. The US location is quite new but is quickly growing in size. That said, the vast majority of the company’s tools are still being produced in Germany.
All of Festool’s factories are known for their high production standards.
In the grand scheme of things, while Festool might not be a very popular or well-known brand in North America, the fact that it produces very high-quality tools remains the same. People who have purchased Festool products, particularly the power tools, have all been quite pleased, with the consensus being that although the tools are limited in quantity, they exceed all possible quality expectations.
These are high-end tools designed for and marketed towards industry professionals. Yes, they are also known for being quite expensive, but most agree that the high cost is well worth it.
On the other hand, we have Metabo HPT, with the story being very similar to that of Festool.
Metabo HPT makes the vast majority of its tools in Germany, and yes, the standards are very high. Just like with Festool, the consensus on Metabo HPT is that this brand produces some of the very best and highest-quality power tools in the world.
Across the board, people are extremely pleased with the durability, longevity, comfort, and overall high functionality of Metabo HPT tools. Some even say that Metabo is the number one brand of power tools out there, particularly for people who need long-lasting products.
Of course, just like with Festool, these high-quality tools also come at a high cost to the consumer.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Festool has some pretty good warranties on their products. This brand features a 30-day money-back guarantee, a three-year comprehensive wear-and-tear coverage warranty. Its tools also generally come with a one-year limited warranty right off the bat with an extra two years provided upon registration.
In terms of Metabo HPT, this brand offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all products, with all tools being covered by a five-year professional warranty, a two-year warranty, or a one-year warranty.
As you can see, Metabo HPT does seem to offer slightly better warranties overall. That said, the specifics will depend on the exact product you choose to purchase.
Festool vs Metabo HPT: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Right off the bat, Metabo HPT, besides producing power tools, also produces outdoor equipment, which Festool does not. It appears as though neither brand produces hand tools, at least not many of them.
In terms of the selection of power tools, let’s go over a few examples. When it comes to drills, Festool has under 30 options to choose from, with Metabo HPT having nearly three times as much. Metabo HPT also has a much larger selection of grinders. On the other hand, Festool has many more sanders available for purchase than Metabo HPT.
As you can see, although Festool might be the winner in some product categories, in the grand scheme of things, Metabo HPT has a much larger selection.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
In terms of quality, both brands are about equal, with both Festool and Metabo producing super high-quality products. That said, Metabo has better warranties on their products, plus a bigger selection too.
With that, the ultimate decision-making factor will be the type of tool you need to buy – and which of the two brands offers a model that you like more. In other words, you can’t go wrong with either of the two.
The bottom line is that both brands produce products designed for professionals and tradesmen. Both brands produce fairly expensive yet super high-quality tools.
If you are a professional, either brand should work great for you, although neither is ideal if you just need basic and affordable tools for occasional use.