According to Matt Howard, Vice President of Marketing at SawStop, the Tualatin, OR power-tool company is being purchased by TTS Tooltechnic Systems, the owners of Festool.
“We are proud to join a company with a shared passion for customer safety, product quality and meticulous engineering,” said SawStop’s President, Dr. Stephen Gass. “Speaking for our entire team in Tualatin, Oregon and across North America, we are excited to join with TTS to bring safer woodworking to more people through new tools and in new markets around the world. With a family like TTS at our side, I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together.”
The excitement at SawStop couldn’t be more deserved.
While some might speculate—given long-running legal issues regarding patent infringement—that a marriage with Bosch would be in SawStop’s best interest, the small privately held American company shares far more in common with Festool. Both brands are known for innovation, for superlative engineering regardless of the final retail price. Both companies have proven that there are enough carpenters and woodworkers in the market who put quality and safety ahead of cost; craftsmen who appreciate a ‘system-based’ approached that enables them to work faster and smarter.
Ironically, once known as a manufacturer that eschewed table saws entirely (some woodworkers proudly say that it’s more accurate to push a tool through a workpiece than to push a workpiece through a tool), we can expect to soon see a dramatic change in the German manufacturer’s tool lineup. Surprisingly, that change has been a long time coming.
According to folks once associated with Festool and Bosch, for nearly a decade Festool has explored the North American table-saw market, and even considered developing their own table saw (there is a European model!). Patent and approval issues were no doubt a major hurdle; Festool must also have decided that licensing SawStops’ technology was not nearly as attractive as purchasing the company and owning that technology.
But for carpenters, contractors, woodworkers, hobbyists, and students, the combination of Festool and SawStop is a far more compatible fit between complimentary companies with no overlap or product conflict. Woodworkers can expect to see even more innovative tools coming out of Oregon, supported by the robust and global marketing strength of the TTS.
As a one-time executive of Festool put it: “This is a fantastic match of two brands that truly belong together: Festool will learn from SawStop’s innovative manufacturing—their fine fit, finish, and engineering; SawStop will benefit from Festool’s customer outreach and commitment to outstanding and unequaled products.”