Author Topic: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD  (Read 4269 times)

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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Hi,

This is my “unboxing” of the two grinders, since I have not used either of them for anything besides comparing form and function. :)

I did not own an angle grinder up to now, since I am almost exclusively working with wood.
But in the past couple of years the odd jobs started to come up, where an angle grinder would be useful.

I thought about just getting a cheap corded Bosch or similar, but when I need it, I need it mobile.

The only other batteries I own are Fein (from the SuperCut) and a couple of low Ah DeWalt. So I looked at what these two had to offer...

Since Fein is supplying parts for the Vecturo, I was hoping that they would also be the ones to bring their cordless angle grinders to Festool, which was confirmed some months later with the AGC.

I checked specs and came to the conclusion that I wanted the ability to adjust RPM, so DeWalt was out.

When I worked in metal fabrication in my youth (during school holidays) I witnessed some accidents with the “on/off” type of power switches.
Since then, I have always preferred “dead man” switches from a safety point of view.
Initially I had some hope that Festool would carry over both versions of power switch from Fein, but unfortunately they stuck to On/Off only.

With the battery promotion in its last legs (for both Fein & Festool), I was pushing myself to make a decision.
I was unable to find a dealer nearby that carried both and so I ordered both online.

Here we are.

Differences:
- Length
- Circumference
- Battery-Orientation
- Standard orientation
- Power Switch
- RPM Range
- Handle
- LED (Fein)
- Color ;)

Shared parts:
- Housing
- Handle Mounting Points
- Arbor & Lock
- RPM Adjuster
- Guards

Guards are interchangeable.

So the differences are really only in handle, switch and battery orientation/connection.

The Fein is noticeably thinner in circumference and fits my hands a lot better.
In general the feel of the Tools in terms of balance is almost identical from the first couple of minutes handling them.



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Offline grobkuschelig

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Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2020, 05:22 PM »
Guards switched:


Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2861
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 12:04 AM »
Cool pics. Curious - why two cordless? Did you find one has an advantage over the other?

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2020, 02:36 AM »
Cool pics. Curious - why two cordless? Did you find one has an advantage over the other?
Hi Scot,

Two, since I could not decide on specs alone and wanted to have both in hands side by side to compare.

One will be sent back.
Currently it looks like the Festool will be returned .

I just thought I would share the comparison, in case anyone had a similar choice to make.
Since it looks like motor and tool attachments are the same, but ergonomics are different...

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 03:11 AM »
Grip Differences:

As shown in the pictures above, the Fein is a little slimmer on the main body around both, the motor housing and the grip portion.

Otherwise the general body design is roughly the same.
The slimmer grip portion is located in the same distance from the head on both grinders.

2nd Grip:
The optional 2nd grip is also thinner on the Fein.
The Fein is hard plastic, with a vibration damping insert around the screw.

The Festool “Vibrastop” is completely made from a soft/squishy material with only a solid core around the screw.

Main Dimensions:
The Fein is longer overall, but this is really only down to the area around the battery port.

Weight:
Fein:
- incl. 5.2 Ah “HighPower” Battery: 2560 grams
- Bare Tool: 1815 grams

Festool:
- incl. 5.2 Ah “HighPower” Battery: 2490 grams
- Bare Tool: 1780 grams


I would attribute the roughly 70 grams difference to the added plastics and the “work light” on the Fein.

Trigger:
The Festool trigger is easy to operate and clicks satisfyingly into place. It also is deactivated fast, with the brush of a finger.

The main interest in the Fein came from the “dead man switch” and I am also happy here with the balance of “spring load” vs ease of activation on the trigger.



Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2020, 04:07 AM »
For my decision, it looks like the Fein will be the one to keep.
Advantages over the AGC:
- dead man switch
- wider RPM with Feins 2500-8500 vs 4500-8500 on the Festool
- easier and thus safer to grip and handle (for me at least) on both, the body and the screw-in-handle
- Arbor-Washer (?!) is higher quality with O-ring

Additional plus points that make it easy to choose the Fein:
- LED light. ;)
- Fits into the AGC-Systainer insert
- Fein T-Loc Systainers available
- Festool parts fit, so it should be possible to build a Fein-Based CCG-AGC FH (with the Festool cutting wheel and the dust hood)


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8166
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2020, 10:05 AM »
Nice review...I'd probably also choose the Fein except for...

What is the rubber o-ring on the arbor washer used for and if it gets lost (which it will) will using the grinder without the o-ring be an issue?

Because of all the metal work I've done over the years, I've owned/used many RA grinders for over 50 years. The thing is you're always switching between grinding wheels, cut-off wheels, blending discs, sanding discs and wire wheels. Each has its own attachment method so the arbor washer is an important part of this puzzle.

For this reason to minimize all the switcheroo, I have 2 RA grinders, one set-up as a cut-off tool and one set-up as a grinder, and actually having a third grinder would be even better.  [smile]

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2861
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2020, 11:15 AM »
Does the Fein switch have a lock-on?

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2020, 02:40 PM »
Does the Fein switch have a lock-on?
No.
Since it is a dead-man switch, it is intended to shut the tool off, as soon as you let go...

But Fein also do a version with a normal power switch, like the Festool.

- CCG 18-125 BLPD (dead man)
- CCG 18-125 BL (normal)

Offline Maestronus

  • Posts: 17
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2020, 02:44 PM »
Nice comparison! Do you happen to know if the wired AG 125 is a Fein derivation as well? If so, which model and do you expect hoods/DC accessories to be intercompatible?
DTS 400 REQ — CTL MINI I — PDC 18/4 — AGC 18-125 Li EB

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2020, 02:45 PM »
What is the rubber o-ring on the arbor washer used for and if it gets lost (which it will) will using the grinder without the o-ring be an issue?
Since the o-ring is on the „consumable“ side of the arbor, I guess it is intended to make a better fit of what ever disk you use on the grinder.

The Festool disk would fit fine, so I see no issue at all with not having the o-ring.

My general observation was that this part is much nicer machined and a higher quality part on the Fein, when compared to the Festool.

For sure, if you regularly use angle grinders, multiple are best.
Since my use will boil down to a maximum of a couple of times per month, I will be all set with just the one for now.
...if the need arises, I can always add the Festool back into the arsenal. ;)

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2020, 02:47 PM »
Nice comparison! Do you happen to know if the wired AG 125 is a Fein derivation as well? If so, which model and do you expect hoods/DC accessories to be intercompatible?
Unfortunately I have not looked into that, so I can’t help you there.

The only thing I know is that Festool changed the parts/hoods etc. from corded to cordless.
So the old corded accessories will not for the new cordless.

Best of luck finding the old make. If you do, please share it here, if someone else is also searching for it... :)

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2861
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2020, 10:57 PM »
Thank you! I have a couple of Bosch corded grinders. I am welding and sanding a metal fence and I can see the appeal of a cordless for this application without getting cords tangled and in the way. Thanks for the pics and comparison.

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2020, 07:38 PM »
Thank you for the detailed overview.  Either the Fein or the Festool will end up with me sooner than later. 

EDIT for added commentary: 

I’ve got a grinder with an o-ring built into the spindle for the same intended purpose as the Fein: retention so that it doesn’t fall off.  What it actually does is frustrate the heck out of me when I’m changing between wire brush cups and cut off wheels. It’s always in one of two states: won’t come off or won’t seat properly.  The good news is that it’s already melting away because of obvious reasons, so, soon I can say farewell to that gimmick.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 09:28 PM by yetihunter »

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 09:22 PM »
I have questions.  In the US there are no Festool made dust attachments for diamond wheel cutting and crack chasing? The naina DSC shroud, does it fit to this grinder? Conversely can the DSC-AGC take a regular grinding shroud? It does appear that Festool wants people to buy two of the same grinder because the industrial designer absolutely had to turn the Fein body sideways.  I can see that the head is facing right on one and left on the other.  I’ve seen Metabo starting to do this when they moved the switch from the center to the side and then they want you to buy their diamond cutting package with included shroud and a super special grinder with the switch on the right so that it faces up in use.  But...Fein originally kept the switch in the middle on their cordless grinder.....



It was ambidextrous.  The switch was close to your thumb no matter which way you used it.

Is this a cash grab like the ets-ec 125/150? Is this all so that the battery is facing a certain way or so that it fits in a systainer? I’m using my cordless makita for both metal and concrete/masonry/tile.  No problem.  Dust collection and everything.  It just has a mounting system from the dark ages.

The Fein motor is encapsulated.  They intend on you kicking up dust into the housing.  Scratching my head.

rabble rabble. 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 09:30 PM by yetihunter »

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2020, 02:44 AM »
Usually, you can rotate the heads of angle grinders by just unscrewing the 4 bolts holding the head to the body.
This gives you 4 positions in 90° steps.

As you can see in the Festool EKAT on the parts list and as the kind guys at Festool Australia have shown in this video, the Festool grinders can be „swapped“ for use.


So I see no reason why the diamond cutting shroud should not fit the Fein.
I will for sure test this, but it might be a couple of months or longer until I will purchase the parts... :)

The Festool uses the same, encapsulated motor, in my opinion.

Online Alex

  • Posts: 7249
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2020, 09:45 AM »

Offline yetihunter

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Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2020, 12:48 AM »
Thanks you two, you’re my new sweethearts.  Shamefully, I don’t access to the spring lever part in the US (can order the dust shroud from rule breaking retailers).

Oh, they have the conversion kits for sale in Australia.  $349 AUD ($240 USD).  Hmmm.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 12:53 AM by yetihunter »

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2020, 11:11 AM »
Just if anyone wants to do this themselves, I fit the Fein CCG into a Systainer.

Since Fein did a special Version of their Multitools in 2017 in Systainers, they are still available.
- SYS2 for Angle grinder
Festool insert 718290 for the AGC plus the Foam for the lid.
Added some heat in the back left corner and pressed the Fein 18V/5ah Battery in to make it fit
In addition to the machine, the charger fits nicely in the Festool-Charger space.
In addition, I can fit a 12V battery and the ALED LED light, plus the handle, and other stuff Festool allows you to put in.

I like to have a 12V battery there as well, since the Fein Machine is „Multivolt“ capable and you can run it from the 12V (like the SuperCut). This gives you a really small and light machine for limited cuts...


- SYS1 for accessories
Festool insert 700848 for 125mm sanding disks.

I am very happy with the solution and it fits my Systainer collection much better than the original Fein case.



Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2020, 12:55 PM »
That’s gorgeous.  We have empty Fein Systainers available to us in the states, too.  Been thinking about throwing my Vecturo into one.

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2020, 11:27 PM »
I went through half a dozen cutoff wheels between my cordless Festool and Makita grinders on Friday.  Someone please remind me to post a detailed subjective analysis on Monday when I’m in front of my real computer instead of the dinky ipad at home.

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2020, 08:59 PM »
Aight, first and foremost, how come everyone else can post decent pictures but I have to downsize mine to thumbnails? :o



I tore some machinery into pieces on Friday and ran through about six or eight zip wheels. I didn't grind or polish or do any work with concrete (but I will, oh I will).

My only remaining cordless grinder that ain't dead is the Makita XAG16.  I received the AGC 18 in exchange and some change for the TID 18 (it was a piece of junk).  Both ran off of their respective 6ah batteries.  If you buy the AGC 18 kit with the 5.2 ah batteries and inferior non air cooled SCA 6 = you are a sucker.

They're equal in power and speed.  The Fein/Festool may be somewhat quicker however (and I am not sure if this is a computer controlled safety feature or the motor stalling) it slows way down if you lean on it while the Makita absolutely spins at the same rate.   So, don't lean on it since you're not supposed to anyway. The Festool is smoother and while not that important, sounds much nicer.

I love the centered spindle lock button on the Fein grinders.  Love it.  It noticeably speeds up disc changes.   The finish on the Festool gear head is considerably nicer than any of the other cordless grinders on the market and the overal fit and finish feels 'premium' over the other brands. 

The Makita is insanely skinny.  The body is thinner than most rat tail handles.   The jetski/transfomers looking overmolding lends to a positive grip.  It's petite and light.   The Festool has a fatter body, more in line with traditional corded grinders but it's shaped and contoured and tapers off to a thinner section toward the end.  I have read some complaints about the body being "too big" and the overmold grip being "slippery".  I haven't found this to be true at all.  It feels just right.  Because of the ultra maximum thinness of Makita's body, you'd likely presume that I think the Makita has better ergonomics and feel, but that is not the case.  I actually really like the AGC 18 in my hands over the Makita.   I previously criticised Festool for moving the gearbox sidewise, but I want to say that it is time to eat my feet.   I moved the gearbox so that the switch is centered in the middle and quickly re-positioned it to how it was as sold to me.  I have to commend Festool; I like it way better the way Festool has modified it.

Makita's blade guards are notoriously annoying.  They work, but they also work themselves loose.  Most of their dust attachments and specialty guards require a phillips screwdriver while their cam lock guards..erm..will also require a phillips screw driver.  On the positive side, their cordless products use the same accessories as the corded and allow for third party attachments. I have everything you can think of in my "makpac".  Fein/Festool use a system that is almost identical to Metabo's.  It's a closed system, but it is also not an annoying one.  There's a locking lever built into the tool.  On the Festool, it's cheap stamped steel while Metabo uses some sort of die-cast metal.  In practice, because of the different spring designs, the Festool lever is much easier to remove and reattach for cleaning while the Metabo requires patience.   

Something whack about the Festool guard (and I presume Fein):  There's a lip on it.  Sure, it's meant to better protect you, but it also means I can't put any of my Walter Spin-On consumables on it.  They went out of their way to put an American thread on it, but you can't thread anything on it but wire cup brushes and 4" discs.   The fudge?  Pretty much my entire inventory of flap wheels, cut off wheels and grinding discs is threaded.  If this is coming from Fein, I'm especially confused.  I mean...c'mon.  No big deal though; I'll just be ordering regular old cheaper Pferd and Walter stuff.

In America, the AGC 18 is sold as 115mm.  This is the most popular style here.  That's nice and all, but I'm not lame and 4-1/2" is totally lame.   Hopefully, the Fein guards are exactly the same, as I'll be ordering a 5" guard from their supplier. 

Battery life on the Makita is mega impressive in 2020.  Battery life on the Festool is very unimpressive for 2020.  This was quite interesting to me because I have the other FesFein, the Vecturo (Supercut), and the battery life on that is obnoxiously excellent. 
The SCA 8 charges 6ah batteries wicked fast, however, and my job basically consists of non-stop random punchlist like tasks and so, it matters very little to me.   If you are a full-time metal fabricator, well, consider having four batteries if you go the Festool/Fein route.  The popular cordless Metabo lasts about two or three times as long on 5.5 ah batteries.  The cordless Metabo also happens to be a piece of junk like the majority of their cordless tools. 

The Festool ships with a tool-free quick nut.  98% of Festool USA's customers will have their minds blown by the concept. Meanwhile, if you don't buy your grinders at Harbor Freight and Lowes, you'll know that this device ain't anything new.  Regardless, I am happy that they included it as standard.   Fein took the same approach as the generic hand tigtened nuts instead of being all weird like the Metabo version.   

Makita's nut.  Oh, Makita's nuts.  So, Makita uses a proprietary pin layout. It's annoying. I throw their nuts away and put a standard one on.

Overal fit and finish (did I already cover this, I forgot).  The Makita's fit and finish is very much that of a mainstream Home Depot carried name brand tool (although they don't carry this model, they only carry the crappy makita stuff).  It's not bad.  It's not uber premium. It's totally fine.   The fit and finish of the Festool is very nice.  It's premium.  It's totally Fein.

Now, take into account that I don't know if Fein assembles this with some Festool parts or if Festool assembles this with Fein's parts.  It is worth noting that mine was made in May of 2019.  It is also worth noting that I've examined Festool stuff made in 2020 and it is...oh god it's a bad scene.  You can't hide it when there's a pallet of drills that look like cut-rate junk compared to what I have used daily for YEARS.  So, ymmv.  [big grin]

To summarise, desert island, which one do I marry?  Ok, I'm steadily replacing my cordless stuff to all Makita where I can get away with it. Also, I already have all of the Makita dust shrouds and whatnot.  That said, I never use cordless grinders in that way when it comes to concrete.  If I pull out the cordless on concrete, the shrouds definitely are not going to fit in the crevice I'm headed towards.  Or, I'm using a crack chaser and...I just put the mask on and call it a day. Granted that I can obtain the 5" guard I’d actually take the Festool over the Makita.  That said, the Makita is very impressive and I do think that they're pretty equal when all is said and done.  The Festool is just nicer.

EDIT: I forgot the most important part. The Makita and Festool/Fein grinders are the only cordless variable speed grinders on the market (that I know of).  If you know of an other, please correct me. 


 


« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 12:36 AM by yetihunter »

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 683
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2020, 12:43 AM »
@yetihunter good write up!
Thank you!

Regarding the batteries, when Fein launched their cordless grinders, they also launched 5Ah High-Power Batteries to go with it.

I would guess that Festool might enlarge their High-Power family with some 5/6Ah version soon, mitigating that downfall...

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2020, 01:56 AM »
@yetihunter good write up!
Thank you!

Regarding the batteries, when Fein launched their cordless grinders, they also launched 5Ah High-Power Batteries to go with it.

I would guess that Festool might enlarge their High-Power family with some 5/6Ah version soon, mitigating that downfall...

Hmmm, very interesting (and only mildly upsetting).  Fein is advertising 75% more current draw (not that the grinder necessarily requires it).  I do wonder why Festool released 4ah (presumably 21700) packs and no 8ah packs?  Countering all of that, the Makita LXT battery packs are more or less permanently on 18650 innards and the Makita grinder lasts longer than the Festool by a considerable margin.   



Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2020, 05:57 PM »
I pointed out in my treatise that Fein uses a cheaper lever for their shroud/guard but looking at a newer Metabo next to an older one, I see that that is definitely no longer the case.  This website doesn’t like the higher resolution of my iPhone pics so please take my word for it.  Comparing the newer WEV 15-125 HT vs the older W8-115 (which was a budget model) there’s a LOT of value engineering going on.   The lever on the new one is hecka chintzy and evening the screws...the screws in the older model are very nicely machined torx screws.  The the torx screws on the newer model has garbage looking stamped drive heads.

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2020, 11:31 PM »
Just a bump for a thumbs up.  Two months in.  I use the Festool grinder all of the time.  I LOVE it.

Offline Whatever

  • Posts: 12
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2020, 12:46 PM »
Is the fein one made in Germany?  If not where is it assembled? It should be marked in the battery compartment but I couldn’t see from any of your photos.

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 832
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2020, 01:57 PM »
Thanks for the detailed review. One of these will be in my tool box one day. Typically I crumbled, after hoping/waiting for years,  and bought a cheap 18v grinder just before this was finally released, so not quite yet. .
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Simon O

  • Posts: 62
Re: Festool AGC 18-125 Li vs its brother Fein CCG 18-125 BLPD
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2021, 07:10 PM »
@yetihunter

EDIT: I forgot the most important part. The Makita and Festool/Fein grinders are the only cordless variable speed grinders on the market (that I know of).  If you know of an other, please correct me.

Hilti AG 4S-A22 CORDLESS ANGLE GRINDER

Flex LBE 125 18.0-EC C  [wink]
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 07:16 PM by Simon O »