FESTOOL complaint unrelated to price

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Forum topic by rhett posted 07-01-2010 10:09 PM 3199 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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742 posts in 3660 days

07-01-2010 10:09 PM

This may be the only place you will ever hear a bad word said about a festool other than that they are expensive. I have a ROS that has been in use in the shop for little over a year. In the past year, I have had to replace the velcro pad, and now I need to again. Paper will not stick at all.

Granted I put this little guy throught the paces, but I am under the impression that this is what they are made for, small one man shops. I believe they have tried to make the “hooks” which grab the paper too fine and it is causing them to wear out prematurely.

I have only had to replace the pad on one other sander, and that was after more than 5 years of use.

Oh yeah, I probably don’t need to mention that the replacement pads aren’t cheap.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

13 replies so far

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3137 days

#1 posted 07-01-2010 10:15 PM

Have you contacted Festool customer service? This isn’t a Black and Decker sander or an Irwin Tap (just had one snap off in 1/4 aluminum last night, brand new out of the package!) and they should provide some quality assurance on their premium product.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3660 days

#2 posted 07-01-2010 10:43 PM

Yes, apparently I am not operating the sander correctly and I am causing premature wear to the pad. A part not covered in the “best in the industry 3 year warranty”.

I was hoping that in the last 20+ years I could atleast say that I had learned how to sand.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3010 days

#3 posted 07-01-2010 10:44 PM

This can’t be. On a Festool? (sarcasm alert) Sorry to hear of your experience, but I’ll be NathanAllen is right about contacting Festool, they will probably make it right.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3569 days

#4 posted 07-01-2010 11:12 PM

You mean they didn’t send a limo over with a new part sitting on a silk pillow in back?
And a white jump suit clad technician to install it for you?
That Festool stuff is nice, but it just ain’t worth that much dough.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3137 days

#5 posted 07-01-2010 11:17 PM

Hmm, if that is their response I would no shame doing a photo summary and posting it on festool owners group, from a quick look over there it seems there is an unresolved heat issue with the Rotex that could in theory melt the plastic hooks on yours.

For the price you paid there frankly shouldn’t be an improper way to use the sander, they should have a miniumum of 3 year no fault warrenty.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3279 days

#6 posted 07-01-2010 11:30 PM

rhett, you have a very valid point. The Festool pads are bad about that. The way they are designed, they will not hold up to really bearing down when sanding. Basically, the “velcro” melts. We have seen this over and over. The problem is, most of us sand with the attitude that if I really put a lot of weight into the sander, it will certainly sand faster. I have been guilty of the same thing. I constantly fight with my employees over this issue. Years ago I even posted the page from Porter Cable’s manual making it clear—-don’t do that. It’s sort of like using a jack-hammer—let the tool do the work. I have found I can sand faster by not pressing down so hard. I understand your feelings well, though. After 45+ years I certainly don’t like anyone telling me I need to change anything that has worked for me.

What Festool has done is design a pad that will not allow you to sand that way. I don’t know about your dealer, but we make it very clear up front with their sanders what will happen. With several guys, it took buying multiple pads to change their mind. One really aggessive guy didn’t buy the sander because of that.
At least he had the choice up front.

I guess I have mixed emotions about the whole issue—-from Festool’s standpoint, do you go with what you feel is the proper design and hope to change people’s work habits, or do you give up and go with the flow, making your pads like they have always been made? I would probably lean towards the latter.


View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3068 days

#7 posted 07-02-2010 12:09 AM

I recently discovered that if you attempt to sand with a ROS without any sandpaper in place (1) it does not sand very well and you will soon notice that nothing is happening and (2) you can wear out the velcro pad very quickly.

rhett – I am NOT implying that you are this stupid. I am only sharing an experience based on my own stupidity. In my case, this happened with a Bosch ROS but I think it could happen with any ROS, including my Festool.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4015 days

#8 posted 07-02-2010 12:14 AM

I had to replace mine too. Apparently they are aware of the problem. —No charge, but who needs bad engineering at these prices?
Bob ( tiired of being the lab rat for corporations)

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4118 days

#9 posted 07-02-2010 03:31 AM

I’m on my second pad, about to go to my third. Each time, the final straw has been when I’ve been really bearing down on a fine pad long after I should have switched it out, that caused the outer part to wear such that I got a pad folded under, and I ended up burnishing my wood with the hooks on the base of the pad. That wore ‘em out fast.

So, yeah, there’s definitely some technique involved. And, yeah, I’d like it if those were a little less fragile.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Ryan Corrigan's profile

Ryan Corrigan

70 posts in 4077 days

#10 posted 07-02-2010 01:04 PM

Rhett, I use an interface pad between the pad and paper and it works great. I used to burn through pads as well but after i put that interface piece on there the problem stopped. By the way I have a rotex. If you are really unhappy festool has a three year waranty on their tools. If it is faulty they will fix it.

-- Ryan Corrigan Sadieville, KY

View Ryan Corrigan's profile

Ryan Corrigan

70 posts in 4077 days

#11 posted 07-02-2010 01:08 PM

I think the interface piece is from mirka and I got it at woodcraft in Lexington.

-- Ryan Corrigan Sadieville, KY

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3660 days

#12 posted 07-02-2010 06:55 PM

Rick Bush from FESTOOL contacted me via e-mail and is sending me two new replacement pads for free. One is normal and the other is one he suggested I try called a supersoft. Guess it all depends on who you talk to in regards to the service you get.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3263 days

#13 posted 07-02-2010 07:17 PM

Great to hear they are taking care of you. Festool has been at the top of my list for small tools even though they are expensive. I find that the expense is only high if you do not consider the very high quality and the customer support.

I have the Rotex 150 and the ETS 150’s and they are both excellent machines. Like you, I use the heck out of them. I have not burned up a pad…but I do change them out for different applications (I have the soft pad on right now).

My only issue(this is certainly not a festool issue) is that my last few projects – redwood chairs – has gaps between the staves …and this has a tendency to rip up the edges of the paper (even after I chamfered the edges)....I am careful to make sure though that it does not impact the pad. I also use the festool dust collector and that has saved me a lot of paper.

I have just started using the industrial abrasives paper – made for the festools….and I find it works very well on them…a bit cheaper too.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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