Author Topic: Festool's dubious marketing of their new cordless Drill / Driver TPC 18/4  (Read 1459 times)

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Offline surfjungle

  • Posts: 30
I'm a happy Festool tool owner and enjoy seeing what new tools they come out with. While I was underwhelmed with their latest drill driver, the TPC 18/4's max torque of 75nm, I understand that it's not "that" drill. It's not supposed to be a monster. I'm good with that. I can get a Makita, Mafell, Milwaukee or Hilti if I want something aggressive. However, what I do not respect is Festool's mendacious claims on their own website:
  • "Pure power, controlled in four gears."
  • "Maximum performance: Thanks to the extremely powerful, brushless, and therefore long-lasting, EC-TEC motor"
  • iThe robust four-speed metal gearbox stands out in QUADRIVE with its enormous power and high speeds and it can handle even the greatest of loads.
75nm is almost half of Makita's latest XGT offering at 140nm. Again, while I appreciate that Festool's TPC is not supposed to compete with the likes of the top tier torque drill drivers of other brands, making such deceitful claims leaves me with a very bad taste and I cannot help what else they are overstating.

You can find the above claims here: https://www.festool.com/products/drilling-and-screwdriving/cordless-drills/575601---tdc-184-i-basic#Overview

Now one could claim that all of the above marketing is in relation to them comparing their new drill with their previous drills and nothing to do with what is on the market but I do not accept that as those TPC claims are not qualified and therefore general statements. I feel it necessary to call this out and see if I am missing something and am happy to be disabused. I would actually consider buying this drill as a mid-level offering. I just reject their claims on power and think they need to reign in their marketing junk.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1899
Well, they didn’t claim it cleared up teen acne, improved posture or competed with Viagra, so not too bad. [big grin]

Often the marketing “creatives” embarrass the engineers who designed the products.  I would be interested in how the engineers would describe the product.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2023, 07:21 PM by Packard »

Offline surfjungle

  • Posts: 30
Well, they didn’t claim it cleared up teen acne, improved posture or competed wit Viagra, so not too bad. [big grin]

Often the marketing “creatives” embarrass the engineers who designed the products.  I would be interested in how the engineers would describe the product.

I agree with your observations. There may be a misalignment between Marketing and Engineering within Festool or worse, the commercial side of the business is deliberately ignoring what Engineering is telling them. It makes Festool look amateur at best or duplicitous at worst and for many buying tools at this level, they'll be able to tell by looking at the specs that their claims are incongruent.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2348
This seems very similar to the way "Shop Vacs" are marketed in the US.  There is absolutely no way that you are ever going to get 6 horsepower from a 110v outlet, but they will try to sell you on that.
CSX
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CT26E + Workshop cleaning set, Bluetooth remote
CT15
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ETS EC 125
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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7801
Every manufacturer claims their product is the best. That's how advertising and marketing works. It is up to the conscious consumer to see through all that smoke and mirrors by informing himself by reading test and other buyer's experiences.

Offline surfjungle

  • Posts: 30
Every manufacturer claims their product is the best. That's how advertising and marketing works. It is up to the conscious consumer to see through all that smoke and mirrors by informing himself by reading test and other buyer's experiences.

I agree but this seems more egregious than most claims. It's literally just shy of half the power of a Makita XGT drill-driver. To me, this is feels like Festool far more blatantly treating the consumer like idiots. I find it offensive.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2348
All advertising treats consumers like they are idiots.......and mostly they are right.
It's the decerning few that see through it.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400/ LR32, FS1900, FS 2424/ LR32, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set, Bluetooth remote
CT15
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
RTS 400
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation/Plate
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set
Socket/Ratchet set
Pliers set

Offline Peter Halle

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  • Posts: 12610
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Forgive me but I am not seeing enough advertising to get my knickers in a knot.  They are not touting torque numbers nor comparing their product to anyone else's.

I'll go and start looking for something else to get worked up about.

All the best in 2023.

Peter

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 385
How is anything they state incorrect as they see it?

They're talking about their own product, not in comparison to another manufacturers product, so the statement would stand.

Offline surfjungle

  • Posts: 30
How is anything they state incorrect as they see it?

They're talking about their own product, not in comparison to another manufacturers product, so the statement would stand.

Are you sure about that? Their claims seem general to me. Either way, whether they are advertising generally or purely within the realm of Festool drills only, it seems pretty funny to me to be making those claims about such an underpowered drill. I like the drill and could certainly use it though I was waiting for something with more power from Festool and was disappointed that this is what replaced their previous models. While I understand that power is not necessarily the point here thanks to reading some other posts on this forum which was actually quite enlightening, Festool's own claims come across as power being a major factor of this drill which is simply not the case. It would be refreshing if their advertising actually focused what the drill is - a precision and ergonomic mid-level drill-driver with a high top speed, rather than what it is clearly not - a powerful, torquey drill.

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 385
How is anything they state incorrect as they see it?

They're talking about their own product, not in comparison to another manufacturers product, so the statement would stand.

Are you sure about that? Their claims seem general to me. Either way, whether they are advertising generally or purely within the realm of Festool drills only, it seems pretty funny to me to be making those claims about such an underpowered drill. I like the drill and could certainly use it though I was waiting for something with more power from Festool and was disappointed that this is what replaced their previous models. While I understand that power is not necessarily the point here thanks to reading some other posts on this forum which was actually quite enlightening, Festool's own claims come across as power being a major factor of this drill which is simply not the case. It would be refreshing if their advertising actually focused what the drill is - a precision and ergonomic mid-level drill-driver with a high top speed, rather than what it is clearly not - a powerful, torquey drill.

Not everything is obviously equal, I have a Fein mag drill which on spec is less powerful than some of the cheaper mag drills around, but having used the Fein hundreds of times and several of the other cheapies over the years through work and mates, I can tell you that the Fein absolutely outperforms and does a much better job than the cheapies I've used. And yet comparing on paper it should be inferior.

But back to the above, you may well consider Festool stuff to be inferior or junk compared to other stuff around, that's your opinion and you're most certainly entitled to that, it still doesn't invalidate anything Festool has said.

Offline surfjungle

  • Posts: 30
How is anything they state incorrect as they see it?

They're talking about their own product, not in comparison to another manufacturers product, so the statement would stand.

Are you sure about that? Their claims seem general to me. Either way, whether they are advertising generally or purely within the realm of Festool drills only, it seems pretty funny to me to be making those claims about such an underpowered drill. I like the drill and could certainly use it though I was waiting for something with more power from Festool and was disappointed that this is what replaced their previous models. While I understand that power is not necessarily the point here thanks to reading some other posts on this forum which was actually quite enlightening, Festool's own claims come across as power being a major factor of this drill which is simply not the case. It would be refreshing if their advertising actually focused what the drill is - a precision and ergonomic mid-level drill-driver with a high top speed, rather than what it is clearly not - a powerful, torquey drill.

Not everything is obviously equal, I have a Fein mag drill which on spec is less powerful than some of the cheaper mag drills around, but having used the Fein hundreds of times and several of the other cheapies over the years through work and mates, I can tell you that the Fein absolutely outperforms and does a much better job than the cheapies I've used. And yet comparing on paper it should be inferior.

But back to the above, you may well consider Festool stuff to be inferior or junk compared to other stuff around, that's your opinion and you're most certainly entitled to that, it still doesn't invalidate anything Festool has said.

I respect where you are coming from and I disagree with Festool's marketing. If I considered Festool's stuff to be junk, I wouldn't have gladly invested in their HKC 55, MFT, Oscillator nor ETS EC 150/5. Some of which this forum helped me purchase and for which I am both happy and grateful for. Nor would I be looking to invest in more. While my opinion certainly and fairly may not invalidate Festool's claims in your eyes, I think differently. I take your point with the Fein mag drills (I have a Fein 12v 4 speed battery drill which is excellent and some would say underpowered but does exactly what I need and I have no recollection it being advertised as a powerhouse). Given what Festool keeps saying about power, I doubt it could compete with the likes of a Makita 40V XGT. Now you may say that Festool are purely comparing their own drills but I disagree there too because they don't qualify that, just make general statements. The funny thing is that I'll probably end up buying the TPC 18/4 and being as happy as the rest of the Festool stuff I have.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2023, 04:53 AM by surfjungle »

Offline andy5405

  • Posts: 407
I haven't posted on here for a while but I felt the need to respond to this.

It's dubious marketing, but all marketing is, you know that. Don't get too excited about Festool. They make great tools but they are just that. There can be a cult element to Festool ownership. Don't go down that rabbit hole.

Car manufacturers say similar things all the time about cars of all engine sizes. We don't feel the need for them to remind us that it is not a Bugatti Veron when they are advertising a small hatchback.

Ask yourself this question about anything that annoys you:

Are they bothered about this in Ukraine?

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1976
A lot of manufacturers changed their marketing to use a different torque value. They now use the torque value you achieve when you screw in a steel bolt into a steel construction where the whole rotating mass of the machine will "hammer" it one final push when it gets to the end. That is sometimes even double that of the normal torque you can ever achieve while rotating.

So for the comparison between the Makita "with 140 Nm" and the TPC 18/4 you have to compare 68 Nm of the Makita to 50 Nm of the Festool. The "hard steel on steel torque" is a figure you can just ignore. Make the machine heavier with more rotating mass and this figure will go sky-high, but the "soft torque" won't go up without a stronger motor or lower gear.

So Makita's lame advertising made you belief their drill is "almost twice" as strong in the torque department as the Festool. Yet... 68/50 makes the Makita only 36% stronger.
Maybe the Makita gets there on a higher rpm, I don't know. But either way, don't focus on the "maximum (metal on metal) torque"; it's a bullsh..t value for normal use.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 10:10 AM by Coen »

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1976
Ask yourself this question about anything that annoys you:

Are they bothered about this in Ukraine?

They might be bothered with the expected vs experienced cycle life of the PzH2000 barrel...  [wink]

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 376
Torque is multiplied or reduced via a gear ratio in a drill or any other driveline, I doubt any manufacturer gives us information on what gear ratio is used in a particular drill or the RPM it is measured at. It is all an illusion so don't get too hung up on it.

Offline TomK_2

  • Posts: 101
I guess I'll throw another log on this fire...

I have had the TPC for a number of months now and I can confidently say that the drill is underpowered - at least compared to what I'm used to. It seems like it is capable of delivering more torque but is limited by the software to protect the tool. This is in stark contrast to the red, yellow, and teal brands where the tool will happily allow you to let the smoke out.

I do enjoy using the drill and it will able to do 99% of what I need it to do - just sometimes using a slower gear. I guess what bothers me the most is for the size and price this thing should be able to run with the best of the competition. I can go buy a mid-range DeWalt that has the same or more power and it is smaller, lighter, and cheaper (but with fewer features).

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1976
... and has (the DeWalt) an inferior 'gas padle'