Festool has just come out with the Conturo KA 65 Edge Bander. They say that it’s ideal for any size workshop and is a simple, yet versatile portable edge banding solution. It can apply edges to straight surfaces, curves, radii, convex shapes, concave shapes, and internal corners. It can even handle glue application.
It can even handle beveled edges, although it looks like you would need to buy the MFT/3 Conturo package, or Conturo add-ons if you already own a Festool MFT/3 table, in order to do so.
The Festool Conturo can work with banding 23/32″ – 2-9/16″ (18 – 65 mm) wide and with thickness 1-32″ – 1/8″ (0.5 – 3.0 mm).
- Can band minimum inner radius of 2″
- Self-contained hot melt glue cartridge system with 8-10 minute heat-up time
- Silicon adhesive drip cup
- Digital display that provides guidance and tool info, such as glue level, temperature, and speed
- Weighs 17.4 lbs
Optional Add-ons and Accessories
- Edge trimmer router (MFK 700)
- Radius edge banding router bits (1m, 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm)
- Edge banding trimmer
- Edge trimming kit (included in trimming kit)
- Edge banding magazine/reel (included in trimming kit)
- Carbide scraper (included in trimming kit)
- Auxiliary roller (included in trimming kit)
- StickFix base for use on delicate surfaces (included in trimming kit)
- StickFix felt pad (replacement pack of 10)
- Polishing felts (included in trimming kit)
- MFT/3 Conturo edge banding station and Conturo table components
- Conturo edge bander adhesive discs (packs of 48 in natural, white, black, brown)
Pricing: $2800 for the Conturo edge bander, $3200 for the Conturo edge bander plus trimming kit, $745 for Conturo MFT/3 table and accessory package, $125 for (48) glue cartridges.
ETA: March 2015
Here’s a video of cabinet production guys talking about how much they love the Conturo:
And a 6-minute intro video discussing the new Festool Conturo edge banding system:
P.S. The Festool Vac Sys shown in their promo video is NOT available in the USA.
Seems to me that the Festool Conturo is a great option for woodworkers and businesses that do a lot of edge banding. It’s pricey, but it looks to be a very quick and efficient way to apply edge banding with minimal hassle.
I wonder how the Festool unit compares to the ones that have been available for years from Virutex; http://virutex.com/gluepotedgebanderportable-modelpeb250-withtempcontrol.aspx
I have used the Virutex hot air banders in the past and they were top notch units, but I have not had the opportunity to use one of their portables.
More info available at http://www.edgebander.com for the Festool CONTURO. As with all of our tools, we offer Service All-Inclusive which includes a 30-day money back guarantee, three year warranty including free shipping for warranty repairs, instructional product videos are more. Thanks for the post, Stuart.
Can your edge banders apply metal banding/trim? raw metal in 0.020″ thick steel, brass, copper, and/or aluminum?
Might be okay for high-production environments where cosmetics are paramount, but my experience with edge banding, even of the industrial variety put on by machines made for the task, is that it just doesn’t hold up, or rather, it doesn’t stay stuck to the edge after it’s been pulled and picked at over the years.
Obviously some wood trim and quality glue is going to be a better solution and more cost-effective for the DIYer, but even better is just using higher quality wood for the surface in question, so a smooth or beveled edge is just part of the surface, not something glued on.
Using real wood, as opposed to particle board that requires edge banding of some kind, is not always possible. Manufactured wood products are often more dimensionally stable, making them appealing for the construction of cabinets and other types of furniture built with large panels.
We have a small shop and we do mostly case goods. While there are times when a wood edge is put on products we do use a lot of edge banding. As Stuart mentioned the main reason for us is largely due to the movement of wood vs. the dimensional stability of the sheet goods which in our area is a very major factor with seasonal movement. It is worth noting that edge banding that is put on with hot glue like this tends to be far more stable that the iron on strips you buy. While I think it is essentially the same type of glue there seems to be a real difference in our experience, though that could simply be human error with the technique. We currently use a table mounted unit and don’t deal with curves too much. But a unit like this would have a lot of appeal to us as we do large sheets some times and the mobility of this unit could mean bringing the unit to the sheet instead of two guys wrestling the sheet on our table unit.
This looks to be aimed at small to mid-sized shop environments (no competition for large production edge-banders) – but might replace smaller machines (e.g. Virutex as others have mentioned) or the small table SMS machine that we used. Since being retired, I have eschewed edge-banding in favor of solid wood edging on the projects I’ve been making. I bought a Cantex machine (we had used a Hoffman lipping planer and I was also familiar with the Virutex lipper) and it produces great results – with finger-touch smooth transitions from plywood to wood edging.
Agreed. I spent 30 minutes on Friday edge banding my new garage cabinets. (Particle board core melamine FTW! Dimensionally stable, lighter weight than MDF and many solid woods, and far cheaper, plus ZERO other finishing work required and easy to keep clean.) I did this in my brother-in-law’s cabinet shop on his massive edge banding machine. I have previously used the machine he had before this one, about the size of a couple of cabinet table saws side-to-side. There are so many options on the market that I can’t imagine wanting to use a handheld one like this. They upgraded to the bigger machine because it’s faster and has a CNC-like interface with views of all functions, settings, temperatures, etc. on one screen, and it does thick edging as well as the thin stuff. But the old machine worked great and they sold it for less than $1,000. It was faster and easier to use than this Festool. It seems like a great idea and if it were priced closer to a Kapex or Domino/XL (I realize these are very different beasts, just considering the value to the end user, not the cost of production and margin) then I could understand its place in the market. As it is I think anyone with room for one of the smaller production machines and either a good, local classifieds site or a used equipment dealer would do much better with a real machine for far less money.
Personally I have never had any trouble with any of the edge banding I have done myself, or a couple jobs I installed for my brother-in-law’s shop. Real edge banding machines produce a MUCH better bond than any of the manually ironed-on approaches, and the trimming process is less stressful on the bond with an automated machine as well.
This seems like an extremely expensive way to replace a roller and a heat gun or iron. Perhaps it would be good for a production setting, but it seems like a rather niche market.
My one main concern is how contained everything is on this machine. My dad has a Freud edge banding machine and one of the biggest issues is that the guides for the banding get filled with glue occasionally. It seems like the Conturo could ultimately have similar issues, but it appears so closed in that it would be a real pain to clean.
No matter what type of edge-banding system you use, be it a high production cnc controlled unit or a low tech hot air contour bander, or a freud table top unit, maintenance will always be an issue. Keeping them clean is paramount to proper operation and for limiting mechanical failures. Using the correct type of manufacture recommended glue, for material type, is also a critical issue as well. The advantage of the glue pot type of bander over the pre-applied glue tape used in the hot air banders, while more intensive in maintenance, is that you have a better chance of good adhesion and less chance of melting, or burning, the banding you are attempting to apply.
Material substrates themselves can also be an issue when using hot melt adhesives. Some types of solid core wood panels do not work with these production methods and require the old wood glue and pressure method to retain an edge.
It all comes down to your target of production as to whether or not a bander is useful to you in your particular shop, and these hand held banders are definitely a niche market item. I can see them as very useful for the custom department of a high production manufacturing plant that needs to match existing product or customer specifications, or for a small custom shop that cannot afford the major expense of an automated bander that needs to bridge a gap in production methods.
At the end of the day, the customer’s requirements and choices of materials, balanced against volume, can determine if this type of tool is cost effective or not for your shop.
Our shop was never large enough to need a big CNC edge-bander – but I see that Biessse America claims that their AirForce edge-banding system creates a bond without glue.
There is a severe lack of information about that system in your link. It seems to me that there might be a limited amount of material types available for use with that particular type of bonding operation, leaving it in the extreme niche department, in my opinion.
While I applaud the “green” concept, I cannot help but wonder about the cost effective use of shop space, and possibly dedicating an entire assembly line to a specific material type.
I waited nearly a year for the Conturo to be available in the U.S. When the local dealer called asking to meet with the Festool rep, I raced over right away to watch and operate this machine first hand. There was almost no learning period required for me to get this tool to operate flawlessly. The impressive thing was that using the lowest glue coat setting, I totally destroyed the edge banding trying to pull it back away from the host surface. Try that with iron on/hot air applied edge banding! It took a month for me to deplete my existing stock before I was ready to run another batch of edge banded material, so today I finally picked up my new Conturo! What used to take all day now only took under 1 hour. I apply approx 1,250 linft. edge band per month and what may be considered to some a small amount in production terms, the tool cost easily offsets the time it saves me.
Worth the wait and very happy!
we bought the above 3 months ago . as a stand in while waiting for a table top curved edge banding machine. in the 3 months we have had only 10 hrs work out of this state of the art edge banding machine . The electronics keep blowing. So back to festool for the second time . Maybe it will earn a little money this time???
In considering the purchase of one, i started looking at acquiring edge banding material. Won’t do much without edge banding, right? So, in doing so and not real familiar with the materials available, it occurred to me that there is nothing on the Festool site that i can find that states what kind of material can be used. I am not talking about wood vs PVC, its the other details that are not mentioned like, Can it use Felt Backed edge banding, Paper Backed edge banding, what about edge banding that already has glue on it? i assume that’s a bad idea but i haven’t found anywhere that states that it is. A little info on what types of materials to use and what works best in different applications would be incredibly helpful for the less informed, new to this type of equipment.
I’ll look into this for you.
I believe that it’s only meant to work with non-adhesive-backed banding, given its glue application functionality, and don’t know of any limitations about what types of banding material you can use. Hopefully we can get it straightened out for you quickly.
I tried it with 0,5 mm pvc , result was horrible , buckling and uneven edge surface , completely disappointed ,what a waist of money .
Has anyone actually applied 3mm in manufactured wood or PVC etc with this machine?
I am looking to purchase either this one or the Virutex but have not found a single video of anyone actually putting these machines to the test (max material)
which way did you go? I demo the virutex last week seems nice but cant find any reviews on the virutex…Leaning towards the conturo as a result
I use mostly wood veneer edge banding. Most all manufactures of the edge banding, is what they call a fleece back wood edge band.
Is this ok to use with the conturo?
Can’t really get a straight answer from festool.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that.
Since you’re unable to get a clear answer from Festool, I can at least remind you of their 30 day money-back guarantee:
There’s less risk if you can buy it locally, buy having to pay the return shipping cost if it doesn’t work out should not be too bad.