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 Joel's Blog

Festool Package News and Some Long-Term Things You Should Be Aware Of

04/29/2015

Festool just released an official statement about packages. In the past if you bought a tool along with a vacuum at the same time you would be entitled to a 10% discount on the vacuum. Two tools, two vacs, two discounts. And so on. In the Festool catalog there were specific part numbers to deal with these discount packages. As the number of tools rose the number of packages got out of hand so Festool said "No More". The new policy is that if you buy a tool, any tool, including a drill, or a Vecturo, which don't even connect to a vac, you can get 10% off any vacuum or MFT/3 table that you want. It's the same discount as before but much easier to determine. So under all the tools we have added a drop-down which lists all the package add-ons. The discount is shown in the shopping cart. If you purchase more than one tool, or several vacuums the system will automatically give you the best discount it can. If you want a drill and a vacuum they aren't listed on the same page but you can add them separately and the cart will know how to calculate the best discount. I wrote the code for this feature last week. It seems to work, please let me know what you think.

While we are on the subject of Festool I want to talk about some issues that have occasionally come up with the line.

Sanding pads that wear out. Over time you might notice that the sanding pads on your sander seem to stop holding the sandpaper well. This is normal, pads do wear out, but there are a couple of things you can do to make the pads last a lot longer:

Turn down your vacuum to about 1/2 power. There is just too much suck going on for sander dust collection. What happens is that the suction from the vac pulls the sander to the work, making it stick to the work and therefore making it harder to move the sander and harder for the sander to oscillate and do sanding. So the extra friction gives you more heat, the heat softens and destroys the pad. Cure: turn down the vacuum to about 1/2 power, or actually the minimum level needed to get great dust collection. Your pads will last a lot longer, and sanding will be a lot easier.

Another reason sanding pads can wear out is if you use Abranet sanding mesh. Holes in the mesh mean that the hooks on the pad stick through the mesh and will be worn out. The solution is Mirka makes an inter-pad for Abranet (we don't stock it as we don't stock Mirka) that you should use between the pad and the Abranet.

Motor Brushes - If you use your tools a LOT. and I mean a lot, weekend warriors will probably never wear out the motor brushes on their tools, but professionals who use their tools a lot might. If you wait too long before changing brushes your tool might start operating irregularly, and if you wait even long you will damage the motor armature, requiring an expensive repair. Brushes are considered consumables and replacing brushes is a normal long-term care item. You can change your own brushes pretty easily. If you bring the tool in we will do it while you wait - it takes about five minutes. We do not charge except for the actual brushes, which are pretty inexpensive. We stock all the replacement brushes here. (we try to stock all the brushes for every tool but we probably are missing a few - give us a holler if we don't have what you need).

Tool sockets: The concept of detachable cords is great and convenient but in order for it to work you need to twist the cord in the socket on the tool a complete 1/4 turn. Otherwise you don't get a complete connection and inside the socket you get arcing. This coats both the cord and socket with carbon, reducing efficiency even further and causing even more arcing. And if you use a carbonized cord or socket with a nice clean cord of socket, the carbon layer will cause arcing and destroy the good cord or good socket. The solution: replace both the cord and socket as soon as you see carbon develop. We stock both sockets and cords for just about every tool and you can easily change it yourself. If you come to the showroom with the tool we can do it for you at no charge in about 5 minutes.

Vacuum sockets. The way the socket on your vacuum works is there are two leaf springs that form the connector to the plug of the tool. When you plug your tool into the socket on the vacuum the springs give a great contact and everything works perfectly. However over time as you move your tool back and forth, the cords sways back and forth in the sockets, and especially with sanders, those springs can wear and suddenly you get an intermediate contact. The solution is to unplug the vac and bend the socket prongs back together. This will work for ages although eventually you might have to replace the socket.

Finally, a few months ago Festool changed it's warranty. In the old days in the case of a problem Festool paid for shipping both ways in the first year of purchase, one way the second year, and you paid all shipping in the third year. The NEW and much improved policy is that Festool will pay shipping both ways for ALL THREE YEARS. You can either bring the tool to us and we will be happy to arrange shipping to Festool for you, or you can go to and create your own ticket and get a pre-paid return label. In either case Festool turns the tools around pretty quickly.

N. B. After writing this blog I reread it and I am hoping that you don't get the impression that Festool products aren't what their reputation has lead you to believe. The actual number of tools that come in for repair of any sort is tiny. With a three year warranty Festool simply cannot afford to make junk. But like any high end item the tools aren't meant to be disposable, and at some point some of your tools might need some assistance. What makes Festool a great tool company is not just that they make great tools, but also that support them in a professional way. Part of both our and Festool's job is making sure that if you do have a problem you aren't alone.
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