Festool has come out with new “Hybrid” sanders that can be powered by a new battery pack, or AC cord and adapter.
The battery pack looks to be specially made for these sanders, and presumably won’t work with other Festool 18V cordless power tools. The same goes for their AC adapter – it looks to only fit these tools, and presumably won’t fit other Festool cordless tools.
There are 3 new sanders:
- ETSC 125 random orbit sander
- RTSC 400 orbital sander
- DTSC 400 delta sander
ETSC 125: A one-handed sander for working on shaped and curved parts.
RTSC 400: An ergonomic one-handed orbital sander for working on small and narrow surfaces.
DTSC 400: A one-handed sander for working on small surfaces, edges, and tight corners.
There will be several different kit options:
- Basic: just the sander, edge protector, dust bag, Systainer, soft sanding bag
- Plus: everything in Basic, plus (2) 3.1Ah ERGO battery packs, and a rapid charger
- Set: everything in Plus, plus an AC adapter and Plug-It cord
|ETSC 125||RTSC 400||DTSC 400|
The AC adapter looks to also be available separately.
Marketing materials mention that you get 30 minutes of runtime on cordless battery power. Additional features include a balanced design and rubberized hand grip, “integrated Jetstream dust extraction technology,” a pad brake, and plastic protector guards for protecting work surfaces from accidental damage.
For someone that’s agreed with many of your wishes for cordless tools that can also be operated by AC power, I find myself a little let down by the announcement of these new sanders.
A new battery pack that can only work on sanders? That’s a little disappointing, unless these tools will spearhead a new category of Festool Hybrid cordless power tools.
The prices are a bit high, but we’re talking about Festool, so that’s expected.
I own a Festool sander and have 2 other similar styles ones that were provided as test samples. And I can tell you in no uncertain terms that they are excellent, even superior tools. My Festool sander is simply beautiful in how well and comfortably it works.
But part of that equation is the excellent dust control when paired with my Festool dust extractor – another pricey investment, but a worthwhile one to be sure.
How do these cordless sanders work with dust extractors when they’re on cordless power? They don’t seem to – that’s what the dust bags are for.
I’ve seen on-tool dust bags advertised as being “virtually dust-free” before, and have never been terribly impressed. Will these do better? Forgive me if I’m skeptical about the “virtually” part.
Festool deserves a pat on the back for doing something different.
But I nonetheless find myself with little personal interest in these sanders. I do have an interest in cordless sanders, and I do love my Festool sander. But I could probably buy a good pro-brand cordless sander – one that’s powered by a less specialized battery pack – and also a Festool corded sander, and have extra money left over for some quality sanding sheets or accessories.
Perhaps I’m dwelling on the Hybrid aspect too much. I’d probably be less hesitant if they were simply cordless sanders powered by Festool’s current 18V battery pack form factor.
$135 on top of the price of the cordless kit, for a power cord and AC adapter to turn a cordless sander into a corded one? That actually doesn’t seem too bad.
By the way the kits are configured, it looks like maybe the tools are optimized for cordless operation, with the corded accessories being more of a “this is what users have really asked for” type of bonus.
And I guess the new and specialized battery pack form factor was designed with ergonomics and an optimal sanding experience in mind. Maybe? Still – another charger and battery platform to work around? How many people really look forward to that?
The lack of cordless dust extractor activation seems to be a missed opportunity to make these sanders bigger game changers.
What other tools, by Festool or another brand, would you love to see given similar “Hybrid treatment?