Catching up on Festool

Seems that a few things have come out from Festool recently that I haven’t been across.

First is a high speed oscillating tool, the Vecturo, akin to the Fein Supercut.  It also has a Festool style price tag, but also includes some interesting developments as well, depth stops and blade stabilising.  I haven’t looked into it too far as yet, particularly any side-by-side comparisons with the Fein.

down_os_vecturoos400_563000_p_01a-setdown_os_vecturoos400_563000_a__10aOne of the interesting things in the photo above, is the plate that the blade is resting against is actually magnetic, keeping the blade from vibrating perpendicularly to the cutting oscillations, helping establish a cleaner entry slot.  This also is a depth stop for the blade.  There is another depth stop for circular type blades.

down_os_vecturoos400_563000_a__11aThese can all be removed if you want a more traditional oscillating tool setup.

The next is a redesign to the ETS 150/3 and 150/5, now the ETS EC 150/3 and 150/5

down_se_ets1503a_571870_p_07b-with-systainerThe EC refers to the EC-TEC brushless motor, so it has even more power and runs quieter. At least that would be my expectation if I get to play with one.

A new version of the dust hose, that includes a plug-it cable.  I have the older version, which I find keeps things neat when both powering the tool and extracting dust at the same time.  This version also has a material shroud for extra protection of the hose.  Interested to know if this helps with tool movement, where the external spiral of the hose can catch edges occasionally.  I’m sure the shroud wouldn’t help in the situation where I did damage a hose – doubt the shroud is designed to protect against a few hundred degrees of local heat when my hose got too close to a space heater!

down_s_d2722x35asgq_500269_z_01aFinally, although this isn’t new as such, it is an interesting storage for the various tools.  I keep dropping my sander onto the floor when I catch the hose, so the sander storage would be invaluable!

ae_ucr1000p_498966_a_04a ucr-1000And a small CT17 Cleantec, which would be quite handy connected to the Torque CNC (and overall quite a portable extractor).


There is another small driver, called the TXS, which is seemingly replacing the CXS.  There are always so many new drills and drivers I can’t keep up!

If you are looking for more info on any of the above, have a chat with Anthony over at Ideal Tools – he’s always right across the latest developments in the Festool camp.

Festool Vecturo OS400

Had to happen one day! Festool have entered the high speed oscillating tool arena with the Vecturo.

I find high speed oscillating tools exceptionally handy, but as mine have been at the budget end of the spectrum, they have developed issues (specifically around the retention bolt in each case- vibration will do that to you!)

Saw this on YouTube. Now on my “must get” list!

No idea if and when available down under- may be here already, may be 6 months away!

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.

Cutting at 20,000 strokes a minute

Had yet another task tonight that resulted in me picking up the cordless Sonicrafter, and jumping straight into the job at hand.  This time I had a couple of bolts that needed to be cut short, and the idea of picking up a hacksaw, or an angle grinder with cutoff wheel did not appeal.

Cordless Rockwell Sonicrafter

I went to fit a blade, and realised the only blades that came with the Sonicrafter were for wood (only).  However, I do have some dual purpose blades from Fein, so it was time to try out the adapter that is supplied with the Sonicrafter, that in theory allows all other brands of blade to be fitted. (Fein, Bosch, Dremel)

Original Sonicrafter Blade drive

Universal Adapter

When I first saw its studded surface, I had the idea that somehow the placement was designed to just manage to engage in the design of all different brands of blade, but when I then tried it out, I found that where the back engaged perfectly on the hex drive of the Sonicrafter, the studded design was only intended to be a friction transfer. I’m sure they could easily have made one to fit each brand individually, but then I am equally sure they would have run into a lawsuit or two.

So armed with what was provided, I picked up a metal (and wood) cutting Fein blade, attached it and gave it a try.  The washer (which has a raised core area) neatly fitted the blade, centering it on the tool.  I tightened it up (normally) and gave it a crack. Then, after cutting through the first bolt, I did the second.

It may not be an adapter that engages into the blade mounting slots, but it proved itself tonight as effective anyway.

An Open Door

Now the door is open to the massive range of blades, sanders, scrapers etc available across the range of brands (a just a small collection of Fein blades is shown here).


While on the subject of adverts, this is the current one on the Rockwell Sonicrafter

Monster Demo Day – Carbatec

Carbatec are having what they are terming a “Monster Demo Day” at their Melbourne location on Friday 17 October that might be of interest to some:

From 10am until 2pm, the Tormek T3 (which is the replacement model for the 1206) will be shown, and

From 12pm until 4pm, the Fein Multimaster will be put through its paces.

There is an obvious overlap in the times, so 12 until 2 gets you “two for the price of one” 😉

I might head down myself for a peek if I can sneak away!

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