Author Topic: Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?  (Read 1363 times)

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Offline alphabeta77

  • Posts: 12
Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?
« on: January 01, 2021, 05:40 PM »
Hi all,

Just welcome any thoughts/corrections.

Long time Festool fan - have TS55, DF500, Kapex 120, MFT, Rotex etc etc

Bought the RTSC recently for my first foray into Festool's cordless range and my general impression is it's a pretty average device....?

It has a slightly cheap feel to elements, such as how the dust collector clips on isn't particularly reliable and lacks that usual festool polish. But I was most surprised at the charger/battery - it just feels so much more awkward and bulky than my DeWalt gear.

When I plug my Festool batteries into the very bulky charger it makes a high pitched whine and it's much more fiddly to engage it into the charger.

Am I missing anything or is this a blip in the Festool quality?

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Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 51
Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 09:00 AM »
So let me first qualify what I’m about to say by noting that I don’t have an RTSC, just an ETSC and a DTSC. My understanding is that all three are the same device in every respect but the pad shape, but I could be wrong on that point.

When you mention issues keeping the dust collector attached, are you referring to the included bag, or to a full size dust extractor via a hose? I haven’t used the bag a great deal, but haven’t had any issues with the connection. Normally, I’m using the sanders alongside my CT vac with the hose attached. Note that if you’re doing this, you must use the 27mm hose, as described in the manual. The sanders are not designed to work with the larger hoses, nor do they need them: when they have suction problems, it’s almost always a case of too much rather than too little.

The awkwardness of the battery insertion into the charger is a side effect of their decision to prioritize batteries shaped to fit comfortably into the tool handle for extended use. They still use the same charger as all of the other 18v batteries for system compatibility, but the regular batteries are more brick-like with balanced weight across their entire shape. The sander batteries are deliberately back-loaded, presumably with the intent of distributing the tool’s weight evenly instead of front-loading it all onto the sanding pad with the battery attached. But this does make them a bit more finicky to get into the charger since you have to align and insert them using the lighter stem while the bulk of the battery’s mass levers against your fingers.

This doesn’t personally bother me because I prefer the tradeoffs they made: a battery that’s more pleasant to hold when actually inserted in the tool, and a charger that’s interchangeable with all of my others. But if this is your first cordless Festool product, used outside of the context of the regular batteries and their chargers, I can absolutely see why it would be jarring and feel like the charger wasn’t designed for the battery: it wasn’t.

However, the coil whine you describe on the charger doesn’t sound familiar to me. The TCL 6 charger that came with my sander kit is silent (at least to my ears, which admittedly aren’t what they were when I was younger). The SCA 8 charger that comes with some of the other tools makes noise because it has a built-in cooling fan that lets it charge the batteries faster without overheating them, but as far as I know, that isn’t distributed with any of the sander sets at the moment. It may be that you just have a dud charger with whining capacitors that needs to be switched out? Worth reaching out to Festool support and asking about it: they are nothing if not highly responsive.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 09:04 AM by Cypren »

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 829
Re: Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 03:00 PM »
The sca6 charger does emit a whine. It’s been complained about here before. No one knows why it does it. My ears can barely pick up such frequencies so I don’t notice it much but others around me do comment on it.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline alphabeta77

  • Posts: 12
Re: Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 03:52 PM »
Thanks both - useful to know I'm not going mad! Yes no idea where the noise comes from, I tried dampening it with some rubber, but comes from within the unit. Not the end of the world, just as I say not quite that 'festool' quality I'd expect.

Regarding the flimsy attachment - it's the bag I'm referring to, just a very hit and miss clip that often doesn't connect properly and clouds of dust start venting. Agree when attached to vac then it's fine.

Nice enough sander the RTSC so definitely using it lots, just was surprised at the charger, bag clip etc being a bit ropey feeling!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8147
Re: Festool RTSC a bit.... Meh?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2021, 05:13 PM »
I own both the ETSC and the DTSC sanders, I agree the bag attachment is a bit quirky at first but after a bit you'll get accustomed to it. Make sure the bag is being attached right side up as it can be attached upside down and that really is QUIRKY.

After you attach the bag make sure you push the attachment clips forward towards the sander body and they will tightly click into position. If both aren't properly clicked into position, the bag will fall off at some point.

The battery insertion into the charger is another issue that gets better/easier with practice. As Cypren noted, it's a function of ergonomic battery design and the use of existing charger topologies. I no longer have an issue with the charger as it does get easier with time. It's a trade off that I think is well warranted in the design as the alternatives would probably be more irritating to people.