While at a Festool Germany media event, the company revealed a new line or orbital sanders using new brushless motors. The Festool ETS EC 150 brushless random orbit sanders come in two “flavors”, a 3mm orbital pattern and a 5mm orbital pattern. The big gain, aside from the durability of brushless motors, is that these sanders are remarkably thinner and lighter than current ETS 150 models. They aren’t replacements, however, as there are times when a heavier sander will make the job of taking down material a much easier process. As such, expect to see both models on the market for quite some time.
The new Festool ETS EC 150/3 and ETS EC 150/5 orbital sanders really fit well in your hand. Being nice and compact, they’re about the closest thing I’ve yet sen to pneumatic sanders in an electric system. This is going to be a really big deal when you’re ding overhead work or having to lift the orbital sander off the workpiece repeatedly throughout the day.
Festool ETS EC 150/3 and 150/5 Brushless Motors
Because the new Festool ETS EC 150/3 and ETS EC 150/5 sanders use brushless motors, they’re going to hold up really well to eat is inarguably one of the most trying environments for an electric motor. Since the motor is brushless you have less wear on the motor and you forgo having to replace carbon brushes over time. You also get the added advantage of a computer controlled system which is al but mandatory in EC (electronically commutated) motor systems.
Electronic Extractor Detection System and NFC
This computer controlled system brings us to an interesting aspect of the new Festool ETS EC 150 sanders—they feature the first ever extraction detection system. These Festool sanders can literally be configured to only turn on when a dust extractor is connected. In this way, business owners can ensure their employees are using the tools properly—or simply have a failsafe in the event the hose slips off the sander’s collection port. The electronic extraction detection system can be manually activated and deactivated on the device by powering up while holding down the power button. A green LED indicates when the mode is activated, placing the unit into a sort of “forced” dust extraction mode. But that’s not the only way you can activate it.
Festool revealed that these sanders have NFC (near field communication) capabilities that can work with a Festool Android or iOS app to turn the extraction detection system on or off. NFC on an orbital sander? We were surprised as well. The app can also deliver information such as hours used, lifetime hours, and the date of last use. Festool is still figuring out how to configure the software and apps for these sanders, so don’t look for an app to be available (or fully featured) right away. The technology is there, however, and it presents some interesting possibilities for professional tradesman and shop owners.
Festool ETS EC 150 Vibration and Dust Extraction
The new Festool ETS EC 150/3 and EC 150/5 orbital sanders are well balanced, and speed is reduced automatically when vibration gets excessive. The sanding pad brake (which offers better control and less swirling) also has carbide pins that extend the lifetime of the brake. It also lets you start and set down the tool more quickly without damaging the work surface. The counterweight can be also adjusted, although it comes pre-balanced as an individual unit (it’s not really intended to be adjusted by the user).
Festool FusionTec pads allow air to be fed from four openings around the perimeter of the pad. This air feeds through to the middle hole, drawing more dust to the collection holes (due to the creation of air flow). This cools the surface and also removes more sanding dust. Without this design, a simple vacuum could be created between the sanding pad and the work surface—at which point the restricted airflow can stop carrying dust from the work surface through to the extractor. These FusionTech pads are a Festool patented design.
Festool ETS EC 150/3 and ETS EC 150/5 Models
Festool offers two models in the new brushless ETS EC series, each with a different stroke and sanding pads for various applications. The ETS EC 150/3 has a 3 mm sanding stroke and is designed for use with an included super-soft sanding pad. This is perfect for ultra-fine sanding to get a truly glass-like finish. The Festool ETS EC 150/5 comes with a 5 mm sanding stroke and includes the soft sanding pad, but is also suitable for “between coat” sanding to achieve a bit more material removal with the same effort.
Festool Friction Reducing Combination Suction Hose
Festool came up with a brand new suction hose to correspond with the ETS EC 150 orbital sander launch. The new hose is fits within a protective material sleeve which then allows the hose to move over surfaces and edges without getting hung up or damaging the work area. The hose is also anti-static and the sleeve also contains an integrated plug-it cable for a truly all-in-one suction/power solution.
Festool ETS EC 150 Series Specifications
|Model||ETS EC 150/3||ETS EC 150/5|
|Power consumption||400 W||400 W|
|Eccentric motion speed||6000 – 10000||6000 – 10000|
|Interchangeable sanding pad diameter||150 mm (6’’)||150 mm (6’’)|
|No. of strokes||3 mm (1/8’’)||5 mm (3/16’’)|
|Pad||FUSION-TEC SW (super-soft)||FUSION-TEC W-HT (soft-HT)|
|Motor||EC-TEC motor||EC-TEC motor|
|Connection Ø d/e||27 mm||27 mm|
|Height (incl. pad)||116 mm||113 mm|
|Weight||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs.||1.2 kg /2.65 lbs.|
Festool offers its SERVICE all-inclusive package with this tool, and the new ETS EC 150 sanders should be available later this year at authorized Festool dealers—like this one: