Festool ETS 150/3


rodger.

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After putting it off what seems like a dog's age, I finally gave in and bought a very expensive finish sander - the ETS 150/3.

 

I decided on this sander with the help of the community.  I needed a high quality finish sander, and with the exception of pneumatic sanders, this seemed like the way to go.  I also burned through three other sanders (all ridgid 5" RO units) before I arrived at the Festool. 

 

I bought the ETS 150/3 in a combo with the CT26, which I will review in another post.

 

First, as expected, this sander came in a great case (sustainer).  It included the unit, a medium sander pad, ikea allen key, one 80 grit disc, plug-it power cord, user manual, dust bag and plastic dust bag retainer.  Everything was in perfect shape when I opened it.  Oh, I also got a free sticker (yipee!).

 

I was anxious to give this a try, so I put it though some paces sanding some white ash.  This sander is 6", which made a big difference over my previous 5" model.  Looks like sanding should be faster than usual for me. 

 

Creature Comfots

 

I really enjoyed the handle, and the trigger release.  Nice features I have never had on a sander before.  I also was impressed by the brake, which meant I could set the sander down sooner than usual (or at least avoid wearing a hole in my workbench as the sander gears down).  The cord was also very long, which is a nice feature. The VS is in a convient spot. I already mentioned the sustainer, which is a great storage tool (much nicer than the contractor bag or blow mold case one nornally receives).

 

Changing the sanding discs is nothing new.  Velcro loop the same as other RO sanders on the market.

 

The manual is one tick above useless.  Festool really needs to hire a new manual writer (paul-marcel maybe?).  I wanted to remove the OEM pad, but the instructions are lacking in how to do it (more on this later).

 

Performance

 

I was impressed with the performace of this unit.  The surface was very, very smooth (and felt very nice to touch) after running the gambit of 150, 180, and 220 paper.  It was a more comfortable sanding experience than I am used to, and it took less time.  The DC was awesome when connected to a shop vac.

 

Accessories

 

Part of the reason I bought this sander was for the hard pad option.  I bought the hard pad (also expensive) for sanding face frame parts and other items i did not want rounded over when sanding.  The machine screw that holds the OEM pad on is TIGHT.  So tight in fact, that I thought it may have been reverse thread.  In the end I used a socket wrench to loosen it and attach the hard pad.  The manual made no mention of how to go about this, so I turned to the interent to ensure the machine screw was, in fact, not reverse threaded.

 

Conclusion

 

I really like this sander and should have bought it two sanders ago.  Very expensive, but a well designed and thought-out product. 

Even though the accessories are expensive, at least they are available! 

 

I also broke my right hand a few years ago, and normally my hand gets sore after a long sanding session.   It didnt really bother my hand in the test, so hopefully this will continue.  This sander certainly offers a smoother "ride" than my previous sanders.

 

I also feel that for the price tag, a few more accessories should be included.  Adding a second pad, or including more than one disc would be a nice gesture to a consumer laying out big bucks for a sander.

 

I would certainly reccommend to any wood worker looking for a finishing sander.

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I have a Rotex 125 with a CT36. I have not gotten to use yet. Will the CT36 capture the dust produced by the sander or do I need to attach a 37mm hose to a adapter for my main dust collection?I am asking to try and plan layout of my shop.

 

The CT26 (same unit with a smaller tank) does an awesome job with the ETS 150.  I have the suction dailed in at about 1/2.

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I am just trying to figure out where everything is going to live in the shop. I have a CT36 with my Rotex and CT26 with 2200 router but did not get a unit with my Kapex KS 120 but got the MFT/3 instead.I was going to run the Kapex off the main DC. Was told to put all the storage units on each side at  side tables.

 

Are there adapters for the my other sanders(DeWalt, PC, and Bosch) to the CT units hoses?

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Kapex off main DC won't work...trust me, I've tried.  If you have to CT units, I'd hook one up to the Kapex and use the other one for everything else.

 

Adapting anything to Festool tools or hoses is a nightmare, but it can be done with a little ingenuity.  You'll usually end up with a bulky Frankenstein connection.

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Kapex off main DC won't work...trust me, I've tried.  If you have to CT units, I'd hook one up to the Kapex and use the other one for everything else.

 

Adapting anything to Festool tools or hoses is a nightmare, but it can be done with a little ingenuity.  You'll usually end up with a bulky Frankenstein connection.

Just the same as trying too hook up a non-festool vac to any festool dust port!

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==>Just the same as trying too hook up a non-festool vac to any festool dust port!

Well...

 

There are quite a few ways to accomplish interconnectivity... I’ve posted various methods here, on FOG and LJ… You can order connectors and lengths of hose from Oneida, Air Systems, Fein, FT, McMasterCarr and a few others. You treat it like erector set and assemble a hose with connectors to fit the tools… One thing, I frequently use a UDD and it provides a 2 ¼ / 2 1/2” connection which is fairly standard…

 

The Kapex-->DC challenge is different animal. There are numerous threads discussing airflow, make-up air, velocity, static pressure, etc. A central shop DC and shop vac are designed along different lines to meet different goals… It’s kind of a square peg into round hole thing… If you’re interested, you can probably find ten threads on WTO alone. If you have the right kind of central DC* you can tie-in a Kapex... For quite some time, I tied all my sedentary tools into the central DC -- worked well. As always, YMMV.

 

*Intake velocity of 4000FPM (or better), Hi SP and adequate make-up air…

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This is my Kapex to standard shop-vac connection.  Took like six trips back and forth to HD and Rockler to finally nail it down, but it's done.  Screw Festool for trapping us in their web of proprietary hell.

 

 

DSC_00092.jpg

Looks good!  Whats nice is that the kapex in a wood shop in probably a stationary tool and doesnt require the hook up and removal like some other tools do.  Hows the performace Eric?  Does it get the 91% they advertise?

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Works just as well as with the CT hooked up.  I tried it and couldn't tell the difference.  Hooked into my central DC, on the other hand...worthless.  Like Trip said...square peg in round hole.  The Kapex needs high velocity, not volume.  The efficiency is absolutely killed at the tiny port.  Doesn't work.

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==> These are flexible, and usually have worm-drive clamps at each end, allowing them a lot of leeway about what they can fit.
Works for sedentary tools (Kapex, et al). However, the plumbing-based configurations don’t translate well to portable tools (ETS 150/3, et al). Further, you need to rig-up conductivity…

 

 

==>Took like six trips back and forth to HD and Rockler to finally nail it down, but it's done.  Screw Festool for trapping us in their web of proprietary hell.
Actually, not all anti-static solutions are that expensive – I suspect commensurate with ‘six trips back and forth to HD and Rockler’ --- at $4/gal :)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fein-921072K13-Step-Adaptor/dp/B00005M1SW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416239643&sr=8-1&keywords=fein+adapter
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-VAC004-Inch-Hose-Adapter/dp/B0000AV781/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1416239643&sr=8-3&keywords=fein+adapter
http://www.oneida-air.com/inventoryD.asp?item_no=AHA000004&CatId={A34256DD-0599-4A53-B7BA-EB8FB4C63260}
http://www.oneida-air.com/inventoryD.asp?item_no=AKD000000&CatId={A34256DD-0599-4A53-B7BA-EB8FB4C63260}

 

PS: I’m not sure FT developed the 19/36/50mm connector sizes (which are almost de facto standards for Euro-sourced tools)... I seem to remember using a very early Fein that was 19/36/50... With a few notable exceptions, Mirka, Fein, Bocsh, and FT are interchangeable. Mafell is the real outlier -- just about every tool has a DC port diameter optimized for that tool -- so you can have 21, 25, 26, 29 hose ends -- now that's annoying...

 

PSS - apologies for hijacking the thread into the world of DC...

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Just the same as trying too hook up a non-festool vac to any festool dust port!

 

I used a Bosch hose to hook from my Thein to the Fezzies. All I had to do was buy a coupler to insert into the PVC on the Thein.

 

For non-Fezzie use, I bought an adapter numbered VAC003 and it connects to my Craftsman routers, MFN tool and jigsaw. The standard Fezzie port hooks up to my PC390K.

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