WSE Oscillating Blades

The other thing we were introduced to was the WSE oscillating blades. Festool don’t make an oscillating saw (sadly), but for some reason have decided to market WSE blades as part of their range.

I say for some reason – a number were given, but it seems strange to me for a company such as Festool to market consumables for a product they do not make or sell. The blades are not branded Festool or Protool either.

WSE Blades

There are two parts to the WSE blades – there is the mount, of which there are a number to suit the different brands of oscillating cutter now on the market, and the blade itself.  One of the justifications given was that you could own a bunch of blades, and fit them to an assortment of machines.  Another was that the ‘expensive’ part of the manufacture being where the blade mounted wasn’t required for the consumable part of the blade itself, so there was a cost saving.

Consumable part of the blade

However, these many be good reasons for the manufacturer, they appear to offer the end user very little realisable benefit.  The manufacturing cost difference between this blade, and these:

Fein, Bosch, Worx, Dremel

wouldn’t seem to offer much of a cost saving, and it would be rare indeed for someone to own more than one type of machine to want to swap the blades from one to the next.  Keeping in mind too, these are consumables, not something intended to last for years.

On the other hand it is not all bad, there is a good justification for considering these blades – it is a pity that it isn’t this aspect that isn’t being pushed.

Instead of pushing the (debatable) cost savings, what should be pushed is the quality benefits of the WSE system.  By separating the blade from the mounting system they can be sold separately, meaning you can get a much more substantial mount that you don’t pay for  every blade.  Have another look at that first photo – it is a good mount compared to a basic (cheaply produced) punched hole.

The blades themselves are also quality, using a bimetal construction to get the benefits of durability/fatigue resistance/flexibility as well as maintenance  of the cutting edge.

There was some mention that there is a benefit to blade changing, but when you take the toolless system of the Fein and make it so tools are required, that really defeats the purpose.

Mounting to the Fein

(There is something rather backward about that photo from Festool marketing!)

So what we have here is potentially an interesting blade system, that just needs to be marketed in a different way.  I haven’t had an opportunity to try these blades out, so can’t speak for their quality from an operator’s point-of-view.  They only have this style of blade at this stage – it will be interesting if they start offering some other blade types.

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