After 11 years, it’s finally happened: Festool officially announced last month that it has begun to make its aluminum guide rails for track saws, routers and jigsaws in its Lebanon, Indiana, headquarters. This marks the first Festool products that are made in America.
“There’s a press release from 2006 announcing our move to Lebanon, Indiana, that also includes a statement regarding our intention to begin production in the U.S.,” says Rick Bush, Festool USA’s director of product marketing. “We are very proud to say that we have progressed in our plans and are true to our word in (that) announcement.”
Festool has been a popular brand of precision woodworking and contractor tools here in the U.S. since 2000, but its roots as a tool manufacturer in the European market go back much further than that: it was founded in 1925 by Albert Fezer and Gottlieb Stoll as “Festo” — an amalgamation of their last names. The two men designed the first transportable gas-powered chainsaw that year, and their company has followed with many other stationary and portable power tools in the decades since. But, up until this year, Festool has manufactured its entire tool and accessory line outside of the U.S. in just two global locations. Its main production facility is in Niedlingen, Germany, which is located in the manufacturing and engineering hub of the Stuttgart area of southern Germany. The company also builds products in the Czech Republic. It owns that plant there, too, which is staffed