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To Festool or not to festool…

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Blog entry by thiswoodshop posted 03-05-2012 05:10 AM 6118 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The question on my mind the last couple of weeks is the one of sanders. Sanders sound like such an easy thing to go out and get. Don’t get me wrong, the Ryobe sanders that I have is just awesome and they do a great jobs for the price I payed for them. But Dust is becoming my enemy and it is winning the battle at this present moment.

So many a little inside to my insane obsession with dust, it was never a real problem, I just grew on a respirator and i was good to go. Lately the little ones what to help in the shop and i want them to show interest in a craft that will bring something to life from nothing. Now you try to persuade a little one to wear one, that is somewhat an unachievable task. So now there is 2 3 HP dust collectors and a roof filler to collect more loose dust and now the hand tools need to be improved also.

So the question is does festal really work the best, I would hate to make this investment to no avail….

-- Mo... For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. ~ "Eleanor Everet" - www.thiswoodshop.com



22 comments so far

View roundguy's profile

roundguy

61 posts in 1439 days


#1 posted 03-05-2012 05:23 AM

I’m sliding down the slippery green slope. Started with a Domino, bought a RO-90 sander, then a TS-55 track saw. Love them all. I’m eyeing a larger sander, and maybe a router.

They gave a 30 day guarantee. If you don’t like it, return it.

http://www.festoolusa.com/support/guarantee.html

View thiswoodshop's profile

thiswoodshop

140 posts in 1311 days


#2 posted 03-05-2012 05:31 AM

I have a Makita SP6000 track saw and that thing is just awesome, it dust collection is from out of this world. not a drop and i mean not a drop of dust escapes. it uses the same tracks as the festool I think. I have been on the fence for a while now mainly because of the price. The are fairly expensive and it will be a long build to replace all my current sanders.

-- Mo... For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. ~ "Eleanor Everet" - www.thiswoodshop.com

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1945 days


#3 posted 03-05-2012 07:39 AM

I have the 2 HP harbor freight dust collector, it has 2 ports one 2” and 1 4”. I connected 2”
wet vac hoses to the dust collector, and I connect it to the dust port on my porter cable
sander. If you have a wet vac you can easily fit it to the dust port of your current Ryobi.
Also wood magazine compared sanders for material removal and your ryobi came in as one
of the top 3 sanders. The festool came in among the least aggressive and did not score high
with the reviewers considering the high price.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Laurence's profile

Laurence

3 posts in 1043 days


#4 posted 03-05-2012 07:47 AM

Hmm, depends on what you would use it for. If you are working on medium to small projects I’d be thinking of a different direction – very sharp planes instead of sanding. Tons less dust and much more quiet, not to mention pretty darn fast. That said, the festool ( got one of there saws and it’s great ) are very good products.

View thiswoodshop's profile

thiswoodshop

140 posts in 1311 days


#5 posted 03-05-2012 01:52 PM

Thanks Bob, ill try to find that article. I’m not going to jump into this just because of the festool name, it need to do the job that i need it for.

-- Mo... For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. ~ "Eleanor Everet" - www.thiswoodshop.com

View Shane Holland's profile

Shane Holland

20 posts in 2200 days


#6 posted 03-05-2012 02:09 PM

Mo, my name is Shane and I work for Festool. I saw your thread and thought I’d offer my assistance if you have questions or need help.

First, the article that Bob’s referring to in Wood Magazine gave the ETS 125 a rating of 4.8 out of 5. The editor said “The smoothest-running and quietest sander in our test of 12, the ETS125 delivered immaculate surfaces when sanded to 220 grit”. The ETS 125 is designed to be a fine finish sander, not aggressive with just a 2mm (5/64”) stroke.

If you need a sander that’s mildly aggressive, consider the ETS 150/3 which has a 3mm stroke or the ETS 150/5 which has a 5mm stroke. Those two sanders will offer more aggressive material removal.

If you really need to be able to hog off material like a belt sander, consider our Rotex multi-mode sanders.

You’ll get the best results when using a Festool dust extractor. For the ETS 125 sander, you’ll want the suction turned all the way down for the best results. You can save when you purchase a tool and dust extractor together as a package at participating Festool dealers. See dealer for details.

As was already stated, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all of our tools. So, you can get one and try it risk free for 30 days. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t perform to your expectations, whatever, just take it back for a refund. Completely risk free.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask them here or email me at sho@festoolusa.com, thanks for considering Festool.

Shane

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5283 posts in 2063 days


#7 posted 03-05-2012 02:11 PM

Festool is the bestool. I own several of their tools and sanders and am highly satisfied. I have owned many different brands over the years and realize that quality always wins and the extra money is quickly forgotten when you are completely satisfied.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View PCTNWV's profile

PCTNWV

99 posts in 1558 days


#8 posted 03-05-2012 02:40 PM

Mo,
I also have a little one that spends a lot more time in the shop w/ me these days. After doing a lot of research and trying out a LOT of different combinations I took the Festool plunge. I now own 3 of their sanders (RO-90, ETS 125 and Rotex 125) with a CT33 Dust Collector. Out of all the sanders / dust collectors I have owned I will rank the Festool at the top. They are lower in vibration, the paper lasts longer (including aftermarket) and the dust collection is amazing. I can sand for long periods of time and there is virtually no dust in the shop. I would highly recommend their sanders and dust collection.

Hope this helps.

Troy.

-- Troy, Virginia

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 03-05-2012 02:41 PM

I am at this very dilemma. Having had all my Lowes/HD powertools stolen, I’ve got a check and a decision. Best I can tell, you can get the 48 extractor, the plunge saw, the BIG router, and the Rotex for around 3 large. Problem is, 3 large will get you in a Uni or PM2000. On the other hand, $3000 at Lowes with a 10% off coupon using a Chase Freedom online goes a LONG, LONG way. I had the Rotex and it is indeed a fine sander. Whether it’s better than 5 DeWalt sanders or 50 Harbor Freight pneumatic sanders, I can’t really say. In my experience, though, the extractors are outstanding. I also like that new workstation that holds the extractor. When I decide, I’ll let y’all know if I made a mistake:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2778 days


#10 posted 03-05-2012 06:15 PM

I’ve had quite a few sanders over my 40 years of woodworking. About 5 years ago I was updating some old worn out tools that had served me well. Looked at the Festool line and decided to give it a try. Started out with the plunge saw and middle extractor. Wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. I then went on to purchased 3 different sanders and again I was more then pleased. Domino arrived on the scene and since I was already hooked I bit again. My poor Jet mortiseing tool has had a vacation since. Jigsaw came next and it is the greatest. Absolutely no flex in the blades and superb for cutting in thicker stock.

Back to sanders. One of the reasons I went with Festool was to minimize my exposure to saw dust due to COPD. When I started using the sanders with extraction I was absolutely amazed that I didn’t have dust all over the place. I expected it to pick up some but not 99% that it did.

I’m retired now and have never regretted for one day buying any of the Festools that I have purchased to this date. My grandkids will have some fine tools to go into their shops once mine is no longer running. About the only tool I haven’t replaced is my chop saw. The festool model looks fantastic and should my Dewalt 12” slider bite the dust it’s spot will be filled with the Kapex.

I was diagnosed with asthma in 1987. Since that time because of all sorts of exposure during my working life I developed COPD. All woodworkers are susceptible to this as well as former smokers, shipyard workers, sailors on old ships and even extreme paperdust environment in many working situations.

I’m telling you this not to get sympathy, I don’t need or want it. It’s to get your attention to prevent somethig like this from occuring as a result of your woodworking. Dust collection is an absolute must. Personal protective equiptment (dust masks, respirators, full face shield with air filtration) will provide a level of protection that will allow you work comfortably for a long period of time. Most of us have never been able to control our work environments as well as we would have liked to because we need to work and bring home a paycheck. We CAN control our shop environment. I know this stuff is expensive for most (me included especially that now I am retired), but I say what are your lungs worth. I had dust collection and air cleaning in my shop before I started purchasing Festools. Now I’m even more protected.

Ok I’ll get off my soapbox. By Festool as someone said earlier it’s the best tool for woodworking and protecting your health.

P.S. I don’t work for Festool, I’m just a Festool fanatic.

Ken

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1723 days


#11 posted 03-05-2012 07:02 PM

I have used a Festool 6” ROS attached to a Festool Vac, run my fingers over the silky smooth piece of wood I’ve just sanded and been unable to detect even a speck of dust.
I have also used a Dewalt sander, a Makita sander, and a Metabo sander attached to a Bosch Vac, run my fingers over the silky smooth piece of wood I’ve just sanded and been unable to detect even a speck of dust.

The Festool owners will tell you their equipment is superior to anything else out there, it probably is, but I really can’t tell that much of a difference.

One thing you didn’t mention was whether you had those Ryobi sanders hooked up to a workshop vac. (Or is that what you mean by 3hp dust collector) If you don’t have, that would be the first thing to look at before a new sander.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#12 posted 03-05-2012 07:10 PM

^crap, Renners, you’re not helping me! :) Kind of like Renners said, I think they all do a great job if the air’s flowing well. The Rotex is a VERY comfortable unit IMO but how much is that worth? I needed to hear your comments, Ken. We always worry about acute accidents but ignore chronic exposures. I’m probably the most guilty on this site…and I should know better. I don’t have a cannister filter, rarely turn on my ambient filter, leave the respirator hanging on the wall, blow out my shop with a gas blower, and heat with kerosene. I’m embarrassed to see that there….and that’s what I needed.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2778 days


#13 posted 03-05-2012 08:54 PM

Bertha,

Don’t be too hard on yourself, but please do use those protections that you already have. When making further changes try and keep it in mind. I come from the generation before the surgeon generals report. I smoked for 20 years giving it up in 80. We weren’t warned. Realized it wasn’t smart by the time I quit. I spent two years in a Naval Shipyard while my world war two vintage ship was being converted for a new use. Walked around without masks or anything for that matter in lead and asbestos infested air. Uniforms, hair and any exposed skin covered with the junk. Had to shower before I left the ship for the day. That was in the early 70’s and no one wore protective equiptment for what was considered everyday work. Worked for twenty nine years in a paper dust ladened atmosphere where only in the last 10 years did they start worrying about cleaning HVAC ducts and replacing filters. The odds are stacked against us. We have to be our own advocates for our health. OK I going off again so I’ll quit while I’m ahead. Think about this exchange every time you fire up some dust making tool in your shop and you will eventually make it a habit to protect yourself.

Back to the sanders. I’m sure there are some other good tools out there. When I went looking Festool and Fein were the only two I was aware of that had a heppa filter option available limiting the size of dust particles in the exhaust. Festool had a significantly broader product base so I chose them.

Someone in another forum said that a lot of products out there are copying what Festool has done to improve their own products. From what I can see Dewalt is trying as well as several more. So no matter how you look at it we have to thank companies like Festool and Fein for paving the way.

The 190 and the 125 are my two favorites not only for dust collection but performance. No effort, just let them do the work they are meant to do. No forcing or holding back. I have another Festool in line sander with a base
that can be modified to accomodate molding. On this one I would have to say the sanding is remarkable but the dust collection is somewhat less than all the others. I believe this is due to the variations in the thickness of the base after you make a template of your moulding. The bottom line is that even with less pickup than the others in the family it does an acceptable job.

Ken

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#14 posted 03-05-2012 09:09 PM

^I’m too young to have lived through that period but as a physician, I’ve seen the results of it. I’ll do my best to stay clean.
.
I kind of feel like once you buy the extractor and one tool, you’re destined for all of them. I’ve yet to hear a bad thing about the plunge saw. The sanders rarely get any complaint. I don’t hear a whole lot about the big router but I sure like how the dust chute goes vertical. My 3hp+ Freud (stolen) got really tippy and awkward with the hose attached. $800+ for the Festool is a wallet zapper:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View thiswoodshop's profile

thiswoodshop

140 posts in 1311 days


#15 posted 03-05-2012 10:24 PM

Thank you all for all the good advice.

-- Mo... For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. ~ "Eleanor Everet" - www.thiswoodshop.com

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