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EC 125/3 EQ

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Review by agallant posted 08-09-2017 07:11 PM 1102 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
EC 125/3 EQ No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

There was a point in time when I thought Festool was the most ridiculous thing out there. I mean who can justify a $385 sander that requires its own special sandpaper which also has a premium price. I loathed Festool and thought anyone who bought them were either Tom Silva or a Rhinestone Wood Worker.

Then I needed a track saw. Looking at the three options in the US I eliminated the Dewault due to design and was going to go with the Makita until I read about all of the people who said they wished they spent the $200 more on the Festool. I figured What the hell, spend the extra cash on the Festool. It was a slippery slope from there. Once I learned how everything works together Systainers started to accumulate in my workshop.

The latest Systainer that showed up contained an EC 125/3 EQ. As with everything else Festool, it showed up in a neatly organized container. I know this is a “Finish Sander” but it’s the strongest finish sander I have ever owned. I bought it to be an addition to my Ridgid R26111 figuring I would use the Ridgid for rough sanding and the EC for the finish but the EC is way more of a sander than my Ridgid will ever be.

First off I can not get this thing to bog down, it will keep on going and just stop when it reaches its limit. I can program it to turn off if it detects the hose coming off and if it does turn off its a near instant off which insures you don’t damage your surface. The dust collection is impeccable, nothing is in the air and nothing is left on the surface. I don’t know how Festool did it but the amount of vibration transferred to your hands is pretty much none which makes using it for a longer period of time and putting the effort into having a very nicely sanded surface that much easier.

Also just to touch on the sand paper, for years I have been using the Diablo sandpaper, which I thought was pretty good. It can’t hold a candle to the Festool paper. The paper lasts longer than you can imagine it lasting. I bought a 100 pack each of 60,80,120,220 and 320 thinking it would tide me over for a year or so but after using it and seeing how long it lasts, how it gums up less and is very difficult to rip I may have bought my self a 5+ year supply of sandpaper.

With Festool, the debate over price to value always comes up. Is the sander worth $385? No, I can’t imagine a 5” sander costing that much to make and sell so I don’t view it as paying $385 for a sander. I view it as paying $385 for a group of high salary engineers to design a well thought out product that has its own ecosystem where everything works together. I pay for the thought that went into the product, not the plastic and steel its made of.




View agallant's profile

agallant

551 posts in 2607 days



13 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7921 posts in 2297 days


#1 posted 08-09-2017 11:31 PM

Congratulations on purchasing value over price and thanks for the thorough review.

View JPCruising's profile

JPCruising

10 posts in 65 days


#2 posted 08-10-2017 12:21 AM

I recently purchased the EC 125/3 EQ and instantly fell in love with it and the systainer system. That led to many other Festool purchases that I have no regrets with.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1565 posts in 2529 days


#3 posted 08-10-2017 12:55 AM

You are right on about festool sanders

They are pricey, but when you do this stuff for a living…..its a bargain….especially the sandpaper

The festool paper lasts about 5 to 1 of the abrasives I’ve used in the past.

You like the 125 ? Wait till you use the 150 !

#4 posted 08-10-2017 11:08 AM

I reserve my festool purchases for tools that only they do. Like the full rabbet plane, domino ilk. And I will buy mafell for the work items. I don’t know about their sanders (besides that planeX which is a beast). I will keep this review in mind. Thanks for the write up.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2632 posts in 1709 days


#5 posted 08-10-2017 11:12 AM

There are some very strong opinions about Festool….pro and con. You wrote a thoughtful review and I agree. I like mine for the dust collection and more for how easy it is on my hands and wrists. This is a product which simply fits my hands.

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2672 posts in 2736 days


#6 posted 08-10-2017 01:27 PM

it’s a hate /love tool. I adore my festools. But I cannot pay 400.00 for a sander. I got the finish sander for 99.00 last year, and I do like it. One can buy 9 hole festool sized sandpaper from klingspor wwkng shop. thanks for the review.

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

273 posts in 1826 days


#7 posted 08-10-2017 02:17 PM

Nice review and it made me think about my own experience in the personal computer realm. Festool is to tools what Mac (Apple) is to computers. Top notch fit and finish, highly efficient, and just plain works especially when combined with other of the same brand. Sure, you can buy a Windows PC with the same “specs” as a similar Mac model for less money but there’s just something to say about ease of use and build quality, not to mention longevity and resale value. And if your livelihood depends on things just “working” then the value is much higher with a brand like Festool that allows you to put your time, effort and creativity into your craft rather than into your tools.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2206 posts in 1565 days


#8 posted 08-10-2017 03:37 PM


it s a hate /love tool. I adore my festools. But I cannot pay 400.00 for a sander. I got the finish sander for 99.00 last year, and I do like it. One can buy 9 hole festool sized sandpaper from klingspor wwkng shop. thanks for the review.

- michelletwo


I have the $99 special as well, last week I was finishing a white oak desk top for my wife and she helped sand it (she helped with all of it as well) she used the Festool with Festool paper and I used my ridgid with diablo and several other types (Merka and abranet) up to 600 grit. I went through 3 pieces for everyone she used. The side by side comparison was eye opening to me.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1565 posts in 2529 days


#9 posted 08-10-2017 11:26 PM



Nice review and it made me think about my own experience in the personal computer realm. Festool is to tools what Mac (Apple) is to computers. Top notch fit and finish, highly efficient, and just plain works especially when combined with other of the same brand. Sure, you can buy a Windows PC with the same “specs” as a similar Mac model for less money but there s just something to say about ease of use and build quality, not to mention longevity and resale value. And if your livelihood depends on things just “working” then the value is much higher with a brand like Festool that allows you to put your time, effort and creativity into your craft rather than into your tools.

- smitdog

Great analogy …....We went mac 8 yrs ago…..never going back

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

310 posts in 1720 days


#10 posted 08-11-2017 01:37 AM

Definitely not for me. There are two type of people Festool is for. Professionals who can justify hundreds of dollars more for something just a tiny bit better, if you use that tool dozens of times each day for decades the ,tiny bit of better’ adds up. This user I understand and makes sense to me. The second are simply hobbyists who like having the best of the best, and are able to afford it. The later group is fine too if they are willing to admit it. When the later group claims their purchase really is the most sensible, and economical way to do things in the long run blah blah blah, that’s where people start to irritate me. There is a lot of placebo effect in play as well, people assume the most expensive thing must be the best. Often it is, but not as often and people think.

-- Ted

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2632 posts in 1709 days


#11 posted 08-11-2017 11:10 AM

There are two reasons I have the Festool sander..

1) The dust collection is excellent and better than any other. As I get older, I need better dust collection.

2) The ergonomics is better than other sanders with respect to how it fits my hand and vibration. I have arthritis and have had surgery on both wrists.

I am a hobbyist but the Festool sander makes sense to me. I do not need the best of the best but do need tools that work for me.

View agallant's profile

agallant

551 posts in 2607 days


#12 posted 08-11-2017 02:52 PM


The second are simply hobbyists who like having the best of the best, and are able to afford it. The later group is fine too if they are willing to admit it. When the later group claims their purchase really is the most sensible, and economical way to do things in the long run blah blah blah, that s where people start to irritate me. There is a lot of placebo effect in play as well, people assume the most expensive thing must be the best. Often it is, but not as often and people think.

- Ted78

I will admit that Festool for myself, a hobbyist is a luxury, not a necessity. With that said I will also throw in that due to the way the system works it yields great results therefore making up for a lack of skill you would need to have using other tools.

As for the most sensible, that can be debated. My Festool venture started off with a track saw. After looking at the dated Dewalt, and questionable quality of the Makita (read the reviews on Home Depots website) the Festool was the sensible option as I was pretty much guaranteed to not get burned for $200 more than the Makita cost.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9925 posts in 2100 days


#13 posted 08-12-2017 03:39 AM

I laughed at Rhinestone Woodworker.

I love my Festool sander but am less enamored with the sandpaper. It does last longer and at first I loved it but not that much longer to justify the extremely high price. Lot of local guys swear by Klingspor. I’ve used their roll paper in the past and they make a high quality sandpaper so when I run out of Festool paper I might give them a try.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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