I had a Roadshow meeting at Festool a few months ago, and couldn’t help but take a peek around their workshop. They usually have something new and exciting going on, a new tool or accessory they’re playing with. I was pretty surprised to find a bunch of new things.
By now everyone knows about the new CT 26 dust collector. It’s a vast improvement over the CT 22 I’ve been using. The capacity is greatly increased, so you don’t have to empty it so often, and emptying it is much easier: instead of hinging the top back—which always meant you had to uncoil the cord completely out of the way—the top of the vacuum comes right off.
Even though the dustbag is bigger, the footprint of the collector is nearly the same size, and it comes with a built-in hose garage, so you don’t have to buy another accessory. And long-term Festool users will be shocked to find that you don’t need a plug adaptor for the cord!
On one of the workbenches, I found a brand new sander—a small Rotex detail sander that can be held with one hand.
The pad on the sander snaps on and off, making it easier to switch from a triangular to a round pad. I was recently sanding some pretty big tenons for my new gates and would have appreciated a sander that could reach right up to the shoulder of a tenon—with nearly the same stock-removal power of my 6-in. Rotex sander—or delicately sand right to the inside corners of a drawer.
But the tool I really wanted to tuck inside my shirt was their new cordless jigsaw. First of all, it has a light! Personally, I think every power tool should have a light. Before long, some forward-thinking toolmaker will offer surgical implants for our foreheads, too, with “thought-directional” lights. If my eyes keep getting worse as I get older, I might consider it, as long as the batteries are easy to change.
The new jigsaw has a sweet dust-control feature, too. There’s no more little snap-on caps to lose. Similar to the 2200 router (which, in my opinion, has the best dust-control of any router: a plastic shroud that drops down and envelops the entire bit area without interfering with “the view”), the PSBC 400EB has a plastic shroud that slides down the face of the motor and covers the blade area, without blocking a clear view of the cut line.
The jigsaw also has some cool accessories. You can remove the base of the saw with a single lever, then snap on an alternative base, one that’s molded to ride a guide rail—in both directions.
For more information on the new CT 26, go here: http://hepa.festoolusa.com