By the way, that saw really is something, I'll bet that Porter Cable will, at this very moment be attempting to copy it without infringing patents!
I doubt that very much, Harry. P-C are owned by B&D, who in turn also own deWalt, who make this
Festool invented the plunge saw and Makita copied it. Festool invented the rail system and Makita copied it. Festool invented their systainer system and lo and behold the Makita plunge saw comes in a systainer type case with Festool type clamps a Festool type rail, protractor, stops, bars to join rails together. The Makita rail has been made compatible to the Festool rail in order to steal customers from Festool.
Hold on there, Marcel. The plunge saw idea isn't new - and didn't Holz-Her Mosquito plunge saws appear before Festool plunge saws? The Festool rail system certainly goes back to 1964, but I don't recall seeing a Festool (Festo) plunge saw until the 1980s - I believe the Holz-Her Mosquito appeared some ten years earlier and Elu were making a small one-hand plunge saw for sheet materials (the MH25) as early as 1960. In any case Hilti (plunge) saws have shared the same rail profile as Festool since the mid 1990s - whilst Elu (late 1980s) and Bosch (late 1990s) chose incompatible rail profiles meaning that back then you were locked-in to that manufacturer (at least for saws) for ever more unless you were willing to take a major financial hit and replace everything at the same time. "Standardisation" on the Festool rail profile by several makers means that my Festool saw will happily run on rails made by Hilti, Makita, Protool and Metabo as well as Festool (all of which interconnect - I have one Protool rail and one Makita rail as well as three Festool ones) and allows me in addition to purchase a new/replacement plunge saw in the future from Mafell, Bosch or deWalt (all of whose plunge saw products have their own rail systems but are double compatible with the Festool rail format) should I opt not to buy Festool again. That's the power of the free market economy at work - and as consumers we can all benefit from that!
BTW the Systainer is actually made Tanos, a subsidiary of Festool's parent firm and has been/is used for tools by firms as diverse as Lamello, Metabo, deWalt and even (for a short time) Bosch. That Makita opted to buy-in Systainers from Tanos is no surprise, although Makita also make a sort of "lookee-likee" pseudo-Systainer for some of their tools which is definitly NOT a Tanos-compatible box. At the same time some of my Bosch tools travel to work in Systainers boxes. Gasp! Shock! Horror! It shouldn't be allowed.......
Probably the high cost of the Festool products has to do with Research & Development which is quite costly.
All of which is why Festool and others patent their products which gives them 16 years in which to recoop their original investment. Festool have had their money's worth out of their original investment and it's now become a de facto
standard, just like the M39 threaded lens mount was on early Leica cameras. Properly managed it means that someone who buys a 165mm blade Makita (the SP6000K - or the Virutex version of this same saw) will be quite likely to consider the Festool TS75 should they need a large plunge saw in the future partly because it will run on their existing rails!
Makita does not have to expend the capital for R&D teams if all that they do is reverse engineer other companies innovations so overall costs are less for Makita. Makita is into evolution and not revolution
Really? Why is it then that Makita were one of the first tool firms to come out with a full range of 18 volt lithium-ion cordless power tools, quite a few of which can only be obtained from Makita or where they are available from others are incompatible with other parts of a tool kit (think chain saw, concrete vibro-poker, drywall screwdriver, etc). Makita have also been innovative in the design of the sliding compound mitre saw (first SCMS produced by Elu in the 1970s) - see the LS1016 and LS1216 models. By the same logic you use nobody except Fein should be allowed to make multitools, Lamello would be the only maker of biscuit jointers whilst Bosch should be the only company to make the jigsaw. What a dull world that would be!
The entire power tool world copies each other - Festool have sold a number of the old Holz-Her designs as theirs for a few years (laminate trimmers, belt sanders) and certainly bought-in their first two or three generations of dust extractors from outside firms such as Wap, whilst their first 1/2in plunge router (the OF2000) was actually designed and made for them by Mafell. Naughty Festool!