We have received word of a new Festool sander promotion, where you can buy their latest ETS 125 REQ sander as part of a special limited time promo kit, for just $99.
If you’re looking for a general purpose do-everything sander, this might not be it. For that, check out our Best Random Orbit Sanders post.
There’s a lot that can be said about this new Festool PRO 5 LTD sander kit, model 201234, but I’m going to try to stick to the important bits.
First, this sander is said to be the same exact ETS125 REQ that is coming out at the $195 price point. They’ve basically slashed the price on a limited quantity of kits, in half!, in order to create a very reasonable entry point for contractors, woodworkers, and other potential Festool customers to try the brand for the first time.
In other words, if you have never bought a Festool tool before, this specially priced promo set is intended to lure you over to the green side.
The 125 part means this is a 5-inch sander. It has a stroke length of 5/64″, or 2 mm. This means it’s a very fine-action finish sander. You can pair it with coarse abrasives for greater stock removal, but the short stroke length is what I feel limits this as a general purpose sander.
I own a Festool ETS 150/3 sander, with 3mm stroke length. That’s also a 6-inch sander.
This might very well be the first Festool tool for many, and given the awesome pricing, existing Festool users might add a new sander to their toolbox, err… Systainer stack.
If our friends at ToolNut hadn’t already offered to send one of these sanders my way, I might have considered buying one. But to be honest, I’m not very eager to face having to buy 2 separate sizes of sandpaper. If I’m going to buy another Festool sander, I’m more inclined for it to be either Festool’s rectangular finish sander, or diamond-shaped edge and detail sander.
The Festool PRO 5 LTD sander kit comes with the ETS 125 REQ sander, which sports a new 250W motor. It also includes a pad protector, for sanding up close to adjacent surfaces, a 10-piece sample pack of Festool’s Granat sandpaper, a Plug-it removable power cord, and a special edition blue Systainer 2.
A Systainer 2 is typically priced at ~$74.
The hole pattern looks to be proprietary to Festool, which is typical.
I’m a big fan of Festool abrasives, but they cost a bit more money compared to what can find at the hardware store. For instance, a 50-pack of Mirka discs is around $20 on Amazon. Festool Rubin 2 paper is $30. Granat costs more, and Brilliant costs less – it’s actually very reasonably priced compared to other brands, but it’s not ideal for bare wood.
Here it is with a protective shroud, designed to help preserve the integrity of the soft foam backer pad. There are a couple of other pad options, but it doesn’t look like you could buy a hard pad, as you could for the ETS 150 series sanders.
You should also take notice of the dust collection hose. Festool’s sanders are designed to pair very nicely with their dust extractors, BUT they have also (recently?) come out with a dust container attachment that allows for vacuum-less use.
This part, model 201693, will set you back an additional $27. You might be able to use the sander with an ordinary shop vacuum, although you might require an adapter. Festool hoses have a rubbery part that fits over their tools’ dust ports.
PLUS, ToolNut, and possibly other dealers (although I haven’t seen anyone else mention it), are also throwing in a $50 voucher that’s good towards future purchases. Unless I learn otherwise, I’m going to assume this is a ToolNut-specific add-on promo, that’s good for future purchases at ToolNut of Festool Products, which are the same company.
Update: Readers Aaron and RLK (thanks, guys!) confirmed that every PRO 5 LTD sander should come with a $50 voucher, regardless of where you buy it from.
That makes this an even better deal, especially if you planned on buying more Festool tools down the road. From what I can tell, it might also stack with the 10% bundle savings you can often get if you buy a tool with a dust extractor or MFT table.
I have ordered from ToolNut before, and while one of my orders had a hiccup, they handled things perfectly. Unless their customer service had changed since then, and I haven’t seen any indication that it has, I can absolutely recommend them. I plan on ordering from them again. While I sometimes prefer ordering from Amazon, Tool Nut has a wider selection of Festool accessories, such as sandpaper, and know better about how to ship certain items damage-free, such as empty Systainers.
Shipping Starts 11/1/2016, your credit card won’t be charged until the order goes out.
Shipping is FREE at ToolNut and Festool products. There’s one other Festool dealer, possibly others, that are also offering this promo sander, but the one I checked is not offering free shipping, and their page made no mention of the $50 bonus promo.
Buy Now(via ToolNut)
Buy Now(Festool Products – same company as ToolNut)
See Also (Dust Bag via ToolNut) – probably required if you don’t have a suitable dust extractor vac
If shopping for abrasives at the same time, Festool Products carries what looks to be the full line. Sandpaper Finder.
Should You Buy This?
As a finish sander, possibly. The protector is said to help when using the sander on certain surfaces or for certain applications (more details here).
I don’t think it’s a do-all, because of the gentler stroke length, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable. Maybe you can use this as your one-and-only sander.
That said, Festool sanders are superb, based on my experiences with my purchased ETS 150/3 sander and the brushless ETS EC150/3 sample I’ve been testing out.
They do work best when paired with a dust collector, and you might have some success pairing them with a shop vacuum. But if its the choice between going with a shop vacuum and an adapter or the optional dust bag, I might go with the dust bag. The great thing about my Festool dust extractor, which I also bought with my own money, is that I can dial down the suction when using it with a sander. Too much suction and the sander might hug the workpiece too strongly, affecting performance.
I like Festool sandpaper a lot, but they can cost more than common alternatives, even those generally well regarded. That’s not really a downside, that you have to use Festool sandpaper with Festool sanders, although maybe you could buy no-hole sanding sheets and make your own hole punch, I don’t know.
I’m just saying this because this won’t be your first and only Festool purchase – you’ll likely be back to buy some consumables every now and then.
And with that $50 voucher in-hand, maybe you’ll be enticed into buying another Festool tool. Maybe a saw? (That was my first Festool purchase along with a dust extractor – their TS 55 track saw. Or maybe a router.
I read somewhere that the voucher is good through the end of 2017, giving you plenty of time to use it. Speaking from my own experiences, within the first few hours of using your first Festool tool, you’ll likely start planning for your next.
Try not to let the HOTNESS of this deal cloud your judgement. It should be with a clear head that you whip out your credit card to place the order.
That said, this is a $99 promo price for a $195 sander, and the newest version to boot. And you get a $50 voucher good towards your next Festool tool purchase. (Too bad it can’t be used on accessories!)
Buy Now(via ToolNut)
When I bought my ETS 150/3 sander, the decision was made based on the added benefits of the ETS 150/3 over the ETS 125 (the predecessor to this model). I wanted the slightly longer sanding stroke, the larger sanding pad, and have also benefited from the ability to buy a wider range of replacement pads, such as a harder one.
If I were faced with making the same purchased decision right now, I would absolutely go for the ETS 125 featured in this promo instead, based on price.
And just to repeat, everyone is saying that this is a limited quantity deal. You can always order first, and cancel later if you change your mind. ToolNut says:
We do not bill your credit card until the product(s) ship. Paypal orders will be billed when the order is placed.
Orders are expected to ship out starting November 1st, 2016.
Just bought my first Festool this month. An RO 90 rotex.
This is going to pair nicely with the R0 90 to smooth out stair risers.
At $99 I’ll be ordering at least a few even if I have to go through seperate dealers.
My father in law doesn’t understand the concept of a “$500 palm sander” so I’ll use this deal to introduce him to the line.
Btw they also updated the motors on the RTS 400’s as well.
And your next fes sander should be the RS2E.
The $50 voucher will be offered with every sander purchased, not just at the dealer mentioned.
I checked Acme, and they have no mention of the $50 voucher whatsoever.
Festool confirmed it on the FOG site. These systainers will be packed and shipped from HQ with the voucher so it’s not dealer dependent in any way.
It’s definitely a great deal of it meets your needs – small fine finish work or overhead/vertical work where a larger sander would get tiring. As a first and only sander, for most it wont be enough, but it will compliment what you get next (which would be their hope).
Great timing for this deal – my 10 year old Bosch RO sander seems to be on its last leg. Not sure how much Festool Kool Aid I’ll be drinking in the long run but this is a no-brainer for something I need to replace anyway.
The deal is pretty widespread, including the $50 voucher. Woodcraft is advertising it in-store, and FestoolProducts.com is as well.
That said, I just don’t feel the need. Perhaps because I’m moving away from machine sanding to hand-sanding and card scrapers.
I am buying them as Christmas gifts. Combine it with some nice Mirka Abranet woven sand paper and you have a premium product at a discount price. Now I am not saying the people I give the stand to for Christmas will get the Systainer too (insert smirk here). If you don’t have a hose that fits it, Rockler’s Dust Right small port hose kit works nice. Here is the link to the Abranet Sand paper: http://www.amazon.com/Mirka-9A-232-APRP-5-Inch-Abranet-Assortment/dp/B001BL1R2C
I ordered the sander yesterday. And was wondering what abrasives to get (other than Festool branded) thanks for the link to this mesh. I think I will give that a try.
Sounds like a great deal.
I have not paid attention to aftermarket sanding disks that have the Festool hole pattern. I guess you’re saying that Mirka (one of my favorite suppliers too) discs are available to fit Festool 5 inch machines.
The festool Granat paper is amazing. I’ve never had a paper so resistant to loading up. I’ve been using the Rubin and Brilliant Festool papers for years – the Granat is worth whatever they are asking for it as your one size fits all paper.
And while their tools are spendy and in some cases not worth the excess cost for most folks, I’ve never found their paper to be that much really – certainly no more than whatever the comparable size paper at Home Depot is priced at. Biggest issue is having to buy in 50 or 100 packs. But some dealers will do combos where they’ll make custom grit asst’s.
10 packs are available for $11 on some websites.
I ordered this last night, as soon as I saw it. I was planning on getting the track saw and dust extractor anyway, so the $50 voucher really edged it. I just have to wait until early November to pull the trigger. Another way to think of it, is it’s a $50 systainer with bonus sander 🙂
I have a ten year old Festool 125; I am ordering 2 of these, this is a great deal- Festool is the best 5″ sander I have used. I have a trio of Bosch 6″ sanders, they are very good but the Festool 125 is much better than the Bosh 5″
If you don’t have any Festools — DO NOT BUY THIS!
You will regret it. Your wallet will hate you. Your wife will be mad at you. You will shudder looking at your bank account’s balance.
As once you try one of the Festools (the aforementioned green kool-aid), you’ll want more. And more. And more!
On a serious note, this is a really good deal. I just recently finished a Marc Spagnuolo-inspired learning tower project in cherry and ash using 2 sanders: Bosch ROS65VC (6″, made in Switzerland, Mirka Abranet abrasives) and Festool DTS 400 paired with Granat paper for smaller pieces.
Let me tell you, there was a big (not huge) difference between using the 2 sanders. Festool’s is small, quirky and still more powerful than the Bosch in some cases. Bosch’s is huge, bulky, and doesn’t stop spinning for 5 seconds — really annoying when you are sanding a lot of parts from 100 to 220 and have to wait before setting the tool down.
In terms of power, DTS 400 EQ (200 W, not 250 like this new ETS 125) doesn’t really lag behind the Bosch, in some cases it delivers superior results, removing the material faster. Mind you, Bosch has a 6″ pad, Mirka abrasives, 3.3 amps of power (vs. 2.0 for Festool), but still has the same 5/64 (2 mm) stroke.
Also, Abranet paper doesn’t last as long as Granat, far from it.
If you go to Home Depot, DeWalt and Makita sanders have the same 2mm stroke, comparable power and no Systainer at $80 a pop. Milwaukee’s random orbit sander is also $80 and has a 1/8″ stroke, but I bet is much worse in use than this Festool.
Yet another thing to consider is that Festool has a proprietary hole pattern for a reason – the 8 holes on the perimeter are used to suck the air and dust in, while the innermost holes are used to blow the air out. This keeps the abrasive at a cooler temperature, prolonging it’s life, and blows out dust to the perimeter, where it gets sucked in, preventing the dreadful “pig tails” in wood that typically are a results of sandpaper going over sand dust. No other sander does that.
Regarding the almost mandatory dust extractor to pair with the tool — remember, sanding dust is the worst wood dust in your shop, it’s carcinogenic and settles on everything as a very fine layer that can be hard to remove. If you like your lungs, never sand without a dust extractor or a shop vac.
Seems like a great deal on a quality finish sander. I can see where a pro woodworker would want multiple sanders, even for finish work.
Festool stuff is too rich for me and the stuff I do, but I’m glad they’re out there and making quality woodworking tools, and it’s great they do promos every once in awhile to get their brand out there and the tools into the hands of people who might not consider them otherwise.
Not sure why all the debates about to buy or not to buy….I am wasted more on less. Bring on the Kool-aid. I am in for two ?
You’d better hurry up, see the update above.
I ordered 2 two days ago…….you are the best source Stuart….but not my only one! ?
Just making sure! The “in for 2” part wasn’t clear.
Do you have a compatible vac or vac adapter? Or did you order the dust bag?
I’ve seen lots of “BUY THIS NOW!!!” encouragements, but I don’t think anyone else went to the depths I did to actually talk about it.
I think a lot of people are going to be surprised that you have to use it with a vac, and that it doesn’t come with the a dust bag.
It might have been better to package this with a filter and no Systainer. Just talking about retail pricing minus $50 for the Systainer, plus $27 for dust bag, round up, and $80 would have been a fantastic price for something that could be used right out of the box.
You do a great job….no disrespect intended.
My point was I had heard Festool was no longer taking order from another source.
I jump on these deals as soon as I hear about them and am rarely disappointed. Thanks again for all your great content.
I know some of the other Festool sanders are quite nice but I haven’t seen a single review of THIS sander here. Seems like everyone is just assuming it is good since it is green.
It won’t b released in the USA for another 3 weeks.
I spoke with my contact at Festool about the sander, since I was concerned it was a cheapened version not unlike what some other brands do release less-frilled consumer tools around the holidays. He chose his words very carefully, but after a little back and forth I had a clearer picture and am very confident that this isn’t a compromised tool in any way.
There might be some differences – there must be – but it’s still said to be an improvement over the previous model.
There’s some risk in trying a tool like this, that nobody has had a chance to test and vouch for, but remember that Festool and all of their dealers have a satisfaction guaranteed policy.
I accepted ToolNut’s offer to receive a test unit for free, and I (ToolGuyd) am paying for a test unit for Benjamen.
If the purchasing opportunity opens up again, I’ll order a test unit for a local contractor as well, or I’ll pass along my sample.
There will be plenty of feedback soon.
Already out of stock. On day 1. Sounds like Festool was poorly prepared….
Well, it’s actually been a few days – I first learned about it on the 3rd, but it took me some time to work out the details. I didn’t rush it because I assumed there would be plenty of time before the ordering window closed.
I think that Festool underestimated the level of interest and sold out their planned limited quantities a lot earlier than anticipated.
I’ve also seen the sander mentioned on deal sites, which is going to be a problem, as nobody there mentions that a dust vac or dust bag are pretty much required for use. Well, they’re not “required”, as in they’ll still work, but you shouldn’t use the tool without either option in place.
I knew it wasn’t going to last long once it made it to the big deal sites, and past the tool bloggers
The limited is the quantity. 25,000 ordered by Festoolusa. Festool may have already sold more than that. They thought that amount would last till next year.
Anybody that knows Festool tools and sat on the fence on this should have known it wouldn’t last. Not surprised at all they’re gone.
Can someone point me in the right direction to get an adapter for my shopvac to attach to this?
This set from Rockler might fit:
Thanks! That looks like a great solution!
any word on when it will be available again or if its going to be available again?
They are still for sale on Pre-order on Festoolshop.ca … They are shipping out starting Nov 1st on pre-orders.
I just ordered one for me and one for my father as a gift.
I received an email from the toolnut saying I would not be getting one of the first batch to go out Nov 1, but would eventually get it. No ETA, unfortunately.
If it makes you feel better, so did I.
Update: ETA is March 16th.
Just picked up my 3 sanders yesterday, they all came with a rubber vacuum hose adapter, a pack of about 10-12 sanding discs, and the $50 voucher each. Picked them up at LeeValley store in Winnipeg.