Festool Connect 2018 | Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement

Festool Connect 2018

Festool Connect 2018

Steve highlights the main events at this years Festool event

By Steven Der-Garabedian

Nothing is done without glitz and glamour in Las Vegas, and Festool Connect 2018 was no exception. Usually held at their North American headquarters in Lebanon, Indiana it’s the first time it has been hosted this far west.

The free-for-everyone event is a chance for customers and fans of the tool company to mingle with staff, get tips, ask questions, and put their hands on all the tools they want. Sister companies of Festool were also on hand including SawStop table saws, Tanos, maker of systainers, and Shaper Tools, the hand-held CNC machine.


Other news included adding a third warehouse, sized at 44,000 sq/ft, to their already large footprint in Lebanon as well as moving their current west coast training facility in Henderson, Nevada to a new, larger building. All of this points to Festool keeping their feet in North America.

There were a few big announcements made by Chief Sales Officer Aaron Brading, with one of particular importance to Canadian customers. The company is setting up shop in Ottawa with offices and a new repair centre. Their current Canadian repair facility in Alexandria, Ontario will be moved to the new location early in 2019.

Kevin O’Connor and Tom Silva, both of This Old House fame, were on hand for a presentation, as well as a question and answer session for all attendees. A formal announcement was made about a sponsorship deal, even though the show has been using Festool brand tools for some time. Prior to the Festool event, the long running TV show held a contest where 30 lucky winners, selected from their insider fan group, were flown in and had a private lunch with both stars of the show.


It is an interesting dynamic that exists between attendees and staff. It is more of a fanfare, a Comic Con of the woodworking world. The attendees ranged from the hobby woodworker to full-time contractors and those in between. There was plenty of green coloured Festool swag that was handed out, ranging from drink coasters and stickers to a Systainer with a plug-it power cord, sleeved hose and a cheese board complete with knife. Lunch was served outdoors under the sun in the warm and dry desert air.


The tool demonstration area, showcasing their complete system, where everyone could pick up a tool and use it under staff guidance, was definitely the busiest spot at the show. Just walking around, listening and looking you could get a range of tips and tricks that while aimed at their own line of tools, could be used for many styles of woodworking. The Shaper handheld CNC area was consistently busy with fans trying the machines out, again under the guidance of staff. Festool’s Brian “Sedge” Sedgeley (@festoolsedge), with his iconic “hope this helps” Instagram postings demonstrated the company’s revolutionary Domino system, helping those with questions or concerns.

We will have to wait and see where next year’s event is held. If you can make it you’re not going to be disappointed.

Visit Festool Canada for more information about the company and their products.

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