Author Topic: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX  (Read 6545 times)

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Offline RGallup

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Hello my name is R.B. and I'm addicted to expensive German power tools. I'm a residential homebuilder and use tools at work occasionally but my job mostly involves project management opposed to the hands on stuff. I mostly use my Festool power tools on personal remodeling projects and weekend woodworking builds. I began my Festool journey about 2 years ago with a Ro 125 and CT 26 and my collection has grown considerably since then. I have since added a TS 55 with two guide rails, C12 Drill (old model), RS400, OF 1010, CXS, and plenty of accessories along the way.

Over the past two months I've added the RO 90 dx, Syslite, and Trion barrel grip jigsaw to my collection. I've used them here and there at work but I had a chance to use all of these tools on a weekend outdoor chair build last weekend. These new tools were actually essential to the construction of the outdoor chair with narrow curved pieces. Here's a quick breakdown on my impressions on each tools, what they allowed me to accomplish, and what I've found to be faults in the tools.

Trion Jigsaw
Some love it, some hate it. Everyone seems to agree it has faults. This tool has been around for awhile and has had many reviews but I will throw in my two cents. I do not have any true stationary tools as my work either takes place on a jobsite or a functioning home garage. I have never been able to purchase a bandsaw due to this. I did not want to buy a portable benchtop model i would not be happy with. In the past I have used a Dewalt and Bosch jigsaw and the blade seemed to drift on both. Not with the Trion, once adjusted properly it can cut perfectly square, really! It would be silly for me to say this tool is as accurate as a bandsaw, but it does allow me to cut more precise curves in thin and thick stock. The blade stays so true that you can even take a blades width off or even less from a board if using a straight edge! For a Jigsaw, this amazed me.

Dust collection was a positive and a negative for me. One of the reasons for buying this saw along with other Festools is the dust collection. It works great on this saw and kept my garage clean while cutting out curved chair legs from thick stock. Now the negatives, the dust collection as covered before severely limits visibility and makes it hard to see blade. When you throw on the zero clearance piece, forget about being able to see the thing at all! I have found a way to help deal with this and will explain later. The dust collection also makes the jigsaw very difficult to maneuver when attached to an extractor. I found myself constantly fighting the house. I think it would very wise if festool invented some type of adjustable or even 90 degree angle attachment for the house to tool connection. Overall I love the dust collection and will look past its flaws because it does such a great job!

RO 90 DX
Great tool. Everything said about its capabilities is true. It excels at hogging off material, detail sanding, and even fine sanding. This sander was the only one I used on the curved chair project from shaping and cleaning up legs to finish sanding. The ro 90 tackled it all. It was perfect for all the narrow components using the hard pad. When used with the interface pad it provided great results following the contours of the curves on the piece.

The negative on this tool is the ergonomics are horrendous, especially when trying to finish sand a narrow piece. It is very hard to keep the pad at a right angle to the piece one handed while holding the piece with the other. I will have to find some sort of fast clamping option to help with this. It seems like Festools designers just built all the functions into the unit and then tried to worry about ergonomics. The ro 125 is also very poor in this regard but the ro 90's problems are amplified due to the narrow pad.

Overall I am very pleased with this sander and find myself using it as my go to for narrow pieces.

Syslite

I love my new Syslite. Use it at work to illuminate attics, crawlspaces, and other poorly lit areas. I also use it as a tool to help inspect drywall and paint jobs. During this weekend project I found it was perfect to hang from my overhead door track and provide extra light wherever I need it while working on a woodworking project. I keep it plugged in pointed down on my work bench the majority of the time, when I move to my table/miter saw, I simply twist the light in the direction I am working. One of the most useful things I use this light for is to help illuminate the hard to see blade on my Trion Jigsaw. I simply place the light on my work bench facing me and the way I am cutting and it helps, a little (that blade is just not easy to track when cutting curves with the dust attachment!). I have not used it with my C12 batteries but I am glad I have that option.

The only negative I could find on this light is it is not bright enough to illuminate a large area from a distance. The light is very intense within a couple yards but anything over that the light is not very bright. I wish it had an option to go brighter possibly only once attached to a wall outlet. Another suggestion that makes since to me is to have the hook on the unit lock into different angles so you can better point the light down on your work surface.

Overall this is one of my favorite Festool products purchased. It will help out with task lighting at work and I plan on using it every time I work in my garage after dark for supplementary light. I just hope the LED's and battery can handle the constant use. 

In Review

I love my new Festools and would not regret buying any of them. Also if anyone is interested in purchasing a barely used, year old Bosch Barrel handle jigsaw with added dust collection attachment PM me. Can email pictures. Its yours for $100 shipping included (US Only)
Gallup & Gallup Design-Build-Remodel

Turning Dreams Into Homes For Three Decades

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www.gallupandgallup.com

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Offline neilc

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 10:26 PM »
Welcome to the FOG and thanks for the reviews.  I have all of those tools and like them.

With regard to the RO90, at some point, you might want to get a MFT or make one from MDF or ply with holes drilled on a pattern as many have done here on the FOG.  The holding options of the MFT making using the RO90 or any sanding, routing, or sawing tool MUCH easier.  I find the RO90 works great on cabinet frames, stair treads, baseboard or door frames or other 'attached' pieces and assemblies, but agree with you that if you are just sanding a piece of wood particularly a small curved one while trying to hold with your hand, it's a bit of a challenge.  That's the same with a larger Rotex units as well. 

Curious if you have you tried the RO90 on any remodeling jobs and found the ergonomics a challenge there?

Great to have you on FOG and look forward to learning more about your projects -

neil

« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 10:30 PM by neilc »

Offline RGallup

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 11:35 PM »
Hi Neil,

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, I actually used the sander in combination with my ro 125 to refinish some heart pine steps and it performed brilliantly. Not a problem with two handed operation. Like I said, great tool just wish it was more comfortable to use with one hand.

I find that many of the reviews of Festool products do not point out many negatives. Just trying to approach my reviews as unbiased as possible. (I do love my Festools!) Who knows maybe if we all do this they will continue to improve them even more!

Gallup & Gallup Design-Build-Remodel

Turning Dreams Into Homes For Three Decades

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Offline TurnagainD

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 01:57 AM »
Thanks for the post RB.  It sounds like we are in a similar situation in that more of my work is supervision and administrative and less time with my bags on.  I have taken the Festool plunge over the last 3 years and found that it has changed the way we work.  The main reason I got into it was the dust collection but then I started to appreciate the systems approach.  With that said, I would recommend the MFT with the clamping elements.  I don't use the rail on it very often so it winds up as a portable work bench.  I know you can make one but why spend a day making something that has already been made and spend that time on something else.

I agree with your reviews.  The ergonomics of the RO90 aren't great and I find myself changing my hand positions frequently.  We have used it on the inside of curves using two hands and then it seems great. 

Kevin

Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 10:13 AM »
On the RO90 part of the discussion...

Tool users are usually looking for the sander/saw/sprayer/brush that can do it all. And there are usually about 16 options in any category these days. When a tool comes along like the RO90 that has a very broad skill set, it is easy to identify the tasks that it will never beat a specialist on. For instance, if I am orbital sanding small surfaces all day long, the 90 could do it, but an ets/rts/dts could do it better, especially over the course of more than about 20 minutes of sanding. I don't consider that a "negative", its just reality. For the guy who only has a 90, he is psyched that he can at least get the task done...doesn't have to hand sand for two days. Thats kind of how I handled my assessment of that situation in my 90 review earlier this month. Its mostly a matter of finding the strengths of the tool, and sometimes the strength is that the tool can do a whole bunch of things at a professional level.

Offline RGallup

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 04:00 PM »
Hi Scott,

Well that's your two cents and hince why you wrote your review. Mine is the Ro 90's ergonomics are not very good. Maybe if they would have provided a handle option like on the ro 150 they would have been better.

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Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 05:17 PM »
Hi Scott,

Well that's your two cents and hince why you wrote your review. Mine is the Ro 90's ergonomics are not very good. Maybe if they would have provided a handle option like on the ro 150 they would have been better.



Right on. My full $.02 are in the actual review, but its just kind of inherent in rotex design, that its not going to be the cushiest extended use orbital sander, but can do bunches of things that a straight up orbital can't do so well. 

Anyways, thanks for sharing and welcome to the FOG.  [big grin]

Offline fuzzy logic

  • Posts: 373
Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 05:38 PM »
Hi.  Thanks for your 'thoughts' on the different tools - I enjoyed reading the post.

The RO90:  I think many would agree with what you've written about the ergonomics; and fancy btw that 'Scot B' is, to some extent, with you on this aspect - just expressed differently maybe.
(In this context reckon 'neilc' made some good points.)
However... I think that expecting to hold the wood in one hand, whilst using the sander with other, is possibly a step too far for the RO.
Not at all sure was ever intended to be used like that.
Certainly (I have a fair choice of sanders available) I'm not convinced that it's going to really suit my work-flow for just those reasons - and might decide to let go after giving it a fair crack of the whip over the coming spring/summer.  Certainly one poster, fairly recently, decided to do just that.

Have you thought of trying the sander in it's "unofficial" mode - where the round pad is operating like a DTS/RTS orbital - now that might make things a lot easier ??

The Syslite:  similarly, I just don't think the Syslite was ever designed to be able to light large areas in the way you'd like; for eg only, maybe heat dissipation would become an issue
Certainly it's very, very good at what it does - I'd be looking for other solutions if larger areas really needed to be well lit.

The Trion:  really good write up.

Thanks again.
Richard.

(Edit:  Sorry ScotB - was writing as you posted)


Decent people do the right thing - always?

Offline BravoRomeo

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 05:45 PM »
Great info... I'm learning so much from this forum. Next on my shopping list is a sander, which I will address in a future topic.

I too really like my Syslites. I have two of them, and they are a great balance of design compromises: fits in the palm comfortably, more than bright enough for immediate work area lighting, internal battery, external battery option, and ruggedized.

I recently found something somewhat similar, but it looks like one gives up ruggedization, compactness, external battery option, and German manufacture:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/portable-work-lights/20w-portable-high-powered-rechargeable-led-work-light/1297/2992/

It does have a longer run-time due to the higher-capacity internal battery, and it may or may not be brighter than the Syslite. No mention of dimming ability, so it could be way too bright for close-in work. I don't think it looks as well-built or toss-able as a Syslite... so for $120, there's a comparison price point. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has tried on of these units, though.

I think we'll see progress by leaps and bounds as LEDs and associated driver electronics come down in price. I also imagine we'll see the same problem that happened with Compact Fluorescent (CFL) - the electronics will be designed so cheaply that nobody will get the rated life out of the LED bulbs - the driver electronics will cook themselves first.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 07:01 PM »
Good info guys.

Today i was under a sink vanity installing a vessel sink. I was using the light that came with my makita cordless drill/ impact combo. I needed that sinking lite to work it kept cutting out on me during critical test ( P trap tightening and testing for leaks, which itwas  so I tightened check , leaked, retightened, checked leaked and repeat.

I got frustrated and broke the darned lite.

So I guess Im out buying a systlight for the next job.

Nothing is more frustrating to me then being in the middle of a job and having a tool failure.

Nothing better then a excuse to buy another festool.

BTW Yea I got the P trap to stop leaking.

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 07:34 PM »
Welcome home, Ron!


Tom

Offline BravoRomeo

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 08:09 PM »
...
The Syslite:  similarly, I just don't think the Syslite was ever designed to be able to light large areas in the way you'd like; for eg only, maybe heat dissipation would become an issue
Certainly it's very, very good at what it does - I'd be looking for other solutions if larger areas really needed to be well lit.

I think for lighting up a large room, there are other options where some of the Syslite's unique advantages are not a factor. That web site I linked to above has some interesting products. For example, 10, 20, and 30W 12V adjustable LED panels that can be run off a 12V power supply or deep cycle lead acid battery. Sort of a build-your-own kit. Save the Syslite for situations it excels at: personal workspace, crawl spaces, attics, cabinets, close-in inspection.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 08:58 PM »
Welcome home, Ron!


Tom

Thanks Pal,

It was a long trip, but Im here ready to get busy.

 Finishing up the honny dos.

 Lots of things break in 6 months.

Offline skids

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 12:54 PM »
Hi Scott,

Well that's your two cents and hince why you wrote your review. Mine is the Ro 90's ergonomics are not very good. Maybe if they would have provided a handle option like on the ro 150 they would have been better.



Right on. My full $.02 are in the actual review, but its just kind of inherent in rotex design, that its not going to be the cushiest extended use orbital sander, but can do bunches of things that a straight up orbital can't do so well. 

Anyways, thanks for sharing and welcome to the FOG.  [big grin]

Totally agree with your assessment and review of the sanders..I think people underestimate how specific these sanders are, invetibly you need more than a Rotex for great start-to-finish sanding results. In their element there is nothing like a Rotex sander however...But trying to make it produce the results of a DTS or ETS just isn't going to be easy and can make you hate it. Once I learned how to hold my Rotex I fell in love with it, but it took some time on different projects. I personally think the ergonomics on my RO125 are near perfect, once you completely understand what they are intended for, allow for break-in time and finish a few projects with it.

Having one of the finish sanders alongside my Rotex has allowed me to produce results I have never been able to produce in the past. In the least amount of time. But when I asked it to help refinish some maple veneer furniture tops (pre DTS), it was challenging.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 01:02 PM by skids »
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Offline Brian J

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2013, 01:43 PM »
Hello my name is R.B. and I'm addicted to expensive German power tools. I'm a residential homebuilder and use tools at work occasionally but my job mostly involves project management opposed to the hands on stuff. I mostly use my Festool power tools on personal remodeling projects and weekend woodworking builds. I began my Festool journey about 2 years ago with a Ro 125 and CT 26 and my collection has grown considerably since then. I have since added a TS 55 with two guide rails, C12 Drill (old model), RS400, OF 1010, CXS, and plenty of accessories along the way.

Over the past two months I've added the RO 90 dx, Syslite, and Trion barrel grip jigsaw to my collection. I've used them here and there at work but I had a chance to use all of these tools on a weekend outdoor chair build last weekend. These new tools were actually essential to the construction of the outdoor chair with narrow curved pieces. Here's a quick breakdown on my impressions on each tools, what they allowed me to accomplish, and what I've found to be faults in the tools.

Trion Jigsaw
Some love it, some hate it. Everyone seems to agree it has faults. This tool has been around for awhile and has had many reviews but I will throw in my two cents. I do not have any true stationary tools as my work either takes place on a jobsite or a functioning home garage. I have never been able to purchase a bandsaw due to this. I did not want to buy a portable benchtop model i would not be happy with. In the past I have used a Dewalt and Bosch jigsaw and the blade seemed to drift on both. Not with the Trion, once adjusted properly it can cut perfectly square, really! It would be silly for me to say this tool is as accurate as a bandsaw, but it does allow me to cut more precise curves in thin and thick stock. The blade stays so true that you can even take a blades width off or even less from a board if using a straight edge! For a Jigsaw, this amazed me.

Dust collection was a positive and a negative for me. One of the reasons for buying this saw along with other Festools is the dust collection. It works great on this saw and kept my garage clean while cutting out curved chair legs from thick stock. Now the negatives, the dust collection as covered before severely limits visibility and makes it hard to see blade. When you throw on the zero clearance piece, forget about being able to see the thing at all! I have found a way to help deal with this and will explain later. The dust collection also makes the jigsaw very difficult to maneuver when attached to an extractor. I found myself constantly fighting the house. I think it would very wise if festool invented some type of adjustable or even 90 degree angle attachment for the house to tool connection. Overall I love the dust collection and will look past its flaws because it does such a great job!

RO 90 DX
Great tool. Everything said about its capabilities is true. It excels at hogging off material, detail sanding, and even fine sanding. This sander was the only one I used on the curved chair project from shaping and cleaning up legs to finish sanding. The ro 90 tackled it all. It was perfect for all the narrow components using the hard pad. When used with the interface pad it provided great results following the contours of the curves on the piece.

The negative on this tool is the ergonomics are horrendous, especially when trying to finish sand a narrow piece. It is very hard to keep the pad at a right angle to the piece one handed while holding the piece with the other. I will have to find some sort of fast clamping option to help with this. It seems like Festools designers just built all the functions into the unit and then tried to worry about ergonomics. The ro 125 is also very poor in this regard but the ro 90's problems are amplified due to the narrow pad.

Overall I am very pleased with this sander and find myself using it as my go to for narrow pieces.

Syslite

I love my new Syslite. Use it at work to illuminate attics, crawlspaces, and other poorly lit areas. I also use it as a tool to help inspect drywall and paint jobs. During this weekend project I found it was perfect to hang from my overhead door track and provide extra light wherever I need it while working on a woodworking project. I keep it plugged in pointed down on my work bench the majority of the time, when I move to my table/miter saw, I simply twist the light in the direction I am working. One of the most useful things I use this light for is to help illuminate the hard to see blade on my Trion Jigsaw. I simply place the light on my work bench facing me and the way I am cutting and it helps, a little (that blade is just not easy to track when cutting curves with the dust attachment!). I have not used it with my C12 batteries but I am glad I have that option.

The only negative I could find on this light is it is not bright enough to illuminate a large area from a distance. The light is very intense within a couple yards but anything over that the light is not very bright. I wish it had an option to go brighter possibly only once attached to a wall outlet. Another suggestion that makes since to me is to have the hook on the unit lock into different angles so you can better point the light down on your work surface.

Overall this is one of my favorite Festool products purchased. It will help out with task lighting at work and I plan on using it every time I work in my garage after dark for supplementary light. I just hope the LED's and battery can handle the constant use. 

In Review

I love my new Festools and would not regret buying any of them. Also if anyone is interested in purchasing a barely used, year old Bosch Barrel handle jigsaw with added dust collection attachment PM me. Can email pictures. Its yours for $100 shipping included (US Only)

For small narrow pieces I hold the piece against the sander (not on the bench but freehand in the air) and it works very well for keeping things square.

Offline Kev

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Re: Thoughts on new Syslite, Trion Barrel Grip Jigsaw, and RO 90 DX
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 03:43 PM »

The negative on this tool is the ergonomics are horrendous, especially when trying to finish sand a narrow piece. It is very hard to keep the pad at a right angle to the piece one handed while holding the piece with the other. I will have to find some sort of fast clamping option to help with this. It seems like Festools designers just built all the functions into the unit and then tried to worry about ergonomics. The ro 125 is also very poor in this regard but the ro 90's problems are amplified due to the narrow pad.


Hi TGallup, welcome to the forum.

I'm trying to visualise what you're doing here when you have the RO90 in one hand and a piece you're sanding in the other. If it's how I guessing it to be I can't imagine it to be very comfortable.

I have a RO90 (along with lots of other Festool sanders) and would tend not to use it in the manner I think you're describing - I'd always clamp the piece I was sanding or restrict it's movement (possibly a time overhead - but I'm not making an income from tools).

As mentioned by others, the RO90 certainly isn't a direct alternative to their ETS,DTS,RTS 400s. I typically reach for the DTS400 when I want to do fine sanding - if I couldn't I would "make do" with the RO90.

I don't know if you assessed you impression of RO90 ergonomics when you're dealing with a solidly clamped material and aggressive sanding, but that's when I really like the shape and the ability to apply two handed control to a relatively small aggressive sander ... even my wife liked using it on a piece of garden furniture [wink]