Friday of last week, Festool Product Manager, Rick Bush stopped by the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop with information about new tools coming from Festool. We got a look at the new systainers, we got up close and personal with a CXS (a new drill coming later in the year that may become your daily driver) and watched as a WCR1000 workstand was assembled.
And since the company unveiled the newest Rotex, the RO90FEQ, at the big tool show in Atlanta last August, everyone is writing about it as it comes to market. But the bigger news, and another chapter in the innovative tools from Festool book, is a new jigsaw. In prototype form, we played with the tool and got a firsthand look at some very cool features that are sure to turn heads. We’ll share features and photos of the new Carvex – coming in both corded and cord-free versions – later in the week, so you’ll want to check back. In fact, this may become Festool week on the blog as I write about the company’s new offerings.
Let’s begin with the new T-Loc systainers. When I got my first look at the new boxes in which every Festool product arrives, I thought the improvements were nice, but how would the new design work with the old (now known as “classic” in Festool speak) since the look was totally different. The short answer is that the new systainers easily clip on top the old systainers, but the two are not designed to attach in reverse positions.
The big change is the latching mechanisms. Gone are the latches at the four corners – no more bummed up fingers as the latch releases under extreme stress. In its place is a simple to operate latch. Twist the latch 180º to open individual cases, or stack the T-LOC systainers and, after you’ve slipped the two bottom rear cleats under a recess at the back of the case, twist the latch 90º to secure the connection.
What makes this a better improvement is what you do if you need something from one of the middle systainers in your stack. With the classic design, you had to unlatched all the connections, separate the two boxes then open the lid to expose whatever you needed inside the systainer. With the new design, you simply turn the latch and … Let’s let Rick Bush explain the process (watch the video!)
Another point of interest is how Festool chamfered the corners of the new systainers. According to Bush, if a systainer came back damaged, it was most likely because of a hard knock on a corner – the classic corners were squared with a slightly eased point. By chamfering the corners, the systainer gains strength at what until now has been the weak spot. Festool watches its products closely. It’s not just a “launch and let go” process.