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 drink the green KoolAid.
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: Our buddy Keifer (Toolaholic), and 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.
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.