About Bob Marino
Please allow me to introduce myself …
I am a 61-year-old Festool Dealer, hobbyist woodworker, born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently residing in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. In the last few years, woodworking has become more than a passing interest -- I do value my hobbyist stature greatly. I have completed several woodworking projects around my house most notably a Kitchen Booth, Mission Mantle, Bookcases, and an Arts and Crafts Sofa.
What is the Festool Connection?
About 15 years ago, I attended a Woodworking Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center – the same venue Festool has recently used for the annual Festool Connect Event. While there, I saw Festool products being demonstrated. I had read a few snippets here and there about Festool tools, and decided to take a closer look. I found that every Festool tool shown was more unique compared to other manufactures' tools. The overall quality of the tools was also better than what I was accustomed. The Festool Sanders were very, very smooth and they had this hole in the pad's center and 8 holes around the perimeter for better dust extraction. The Festool CT Vacuums had adjustable suction; I had never seen that before. The Router and Circular Saw (ATF 55 then – predecessor the TS 55 REQ) rode on a guiderail; I had never seen that before either. I owned a good jigsaw, but the Festool Jigsaw had these little carbide guides (similar to bandsaw guides) that solved a problem I had with my jigsaw and that was getting a true 90 degree cut while cutting thick and/or curved stock; way too much lateral deflection. I ended up buying that jigsaw and was so thoroughly impressed with the jigsaw and the other Festool tools I had handled, that I began mentioning my experience with these tools on the Woodworking forums. A few months later I acquired a Festool CT Dust Extractor and ES 150/3 Sander and was absolutely and totally wowed by their performance and began recommending them to friends and posting my very favorable findings on the Woodworking forums.
Well, after a while I decided that these were tools (and a Company) that I would be proud of representing and asked then Festool USA’s CEO – Christian Oltzscher, if I could jump on board and become a Festool dealer (at that time referred to as an ISA – Independent Sales Agent). The stars aligned, he agreed and so began my association with Festool. BTW, Christian has since been bumped up a few paygrades in Festool Germany for his outstanding stewardship in the States. Our loss, Festool Germany’s gain.
Besides the obvious high quality of the tools, I also was intrigued by Festool's marketing approach regarding selling these tools. All Festool tools and accessories are the same price, no matter who sells them. While certainly a very different approach to marketing as compared to most manufacturers, this approach offers many benefits for consumers. The customer doesn't have to spend time searching the web or making calls trying to find the "best deal" - you know where you stand without all the haggling and guesswork. A good Dealer comes to know their customers specific needs and requirements. Festool has set the game so their Dealers essentially compete on service rather than price. And isn’t that a better way to buy tools? I think so.