Author Topic: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…  (Read 4460 times)

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Offline bwehman

  • Posts: 106
Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« on: September 10, 2021, 12:42 PM »
Much frustration.


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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 825
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2021, 01:08 PM »
 [eek]

At least it's not melted?  [unsure]

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7689
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2021, 03:36 PM »
The current Plug-It connection design is just to weak and fragile for professional power tools. I do not understand why a top of the line company like Festool can't make this right. Stronger metal, stronger plastic and a more secure connection. Make those prongs bigger. I'm almost starting to think it is a planned obsolescence thing.

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 529
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2021, 04:13 PM »
Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was quite a storm of posts about the Rotex 150 Plug-It. It seems that one could plug it in and twist it just enough for it to provide power, but not enough to prevent melting in the plug. I always thought a lawsuit on that would be so easy to win. 

Offline mino

  • Posts: 540
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2021, 08:11 PM »
...
It seems that one could plug it in and twist it just enough for it to provide power, but not enough to prevent melting in the plug.
...
That must have been a misunderstanding then. The bayonet connection has no relation to the power pins transferring current. Once you plug the plug, the power connection is in place. Regardless if you secure the plug by rotating it or not.

What probably happened was that as an unsecured plug will drop out, at some point as it is dropping the electrical connection will be affected before it is fully disconnected and the connectors can melt. This is actually the expected behavior of any plug which is not plugged-in fully.

I cannot see anyone winning a suit based on not following the guidance to secure the plug by rotating it and then having an issue ... A worn-out plug would normally not pass casual pre-work inspection, so again do not see any suing potential there.


@Alex
IMO Festool is aware of this but chooses to stick to shop-focused tools design. Initially most Protool tools used the Plug-It but later on the those destined for the heavy/rough work were mostly sold with classic cords and only the shop-use tools stayed with the Plug-It.

If someone wants a contractor-class tools, best is to simply look elsewhere. Looking around, in general I see that Festool prioritizes functionality and ergonomy above everything. Including the tools being more fragile and more complex to operate.
That is why I buy them actually - I prefer fragility over (over)weight etc. But that same approach is why many people should not buy them, pricing aside.

I think that is fine.
Festool niche is mostly tools for those who "know what they are doing" and ,secondarily , sophisticated (as in, can read the manual) part of the hobby market. Rough work is simply not on the cards.

Once Festool tried "tools for the rough" with Protool, and they found out they simply do not know how to make such tools. Applying "Festool design approach" just did not work there.

Eventually the only Protools good for the rough were the original rebadged Narex tools and those which were rebadged from other established makers. The new in-house Protool designed stuff was very much a "Festool in orange" story, and it just did not work in the rough.
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8952
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2021, 10:51 PM »
The bayonet connection has no relation to the power pins transferring current. Once you plug the plug, the power connection is in place. Regardless if you secure the plug by rotating it or not.

What probably happened was that as an unsecured plug will drop out, at some point as it is dropping the electrical connection will be affected before it is fully disconnected and the connectors can melt. This is actually the expected behavior of any plug which is not plugged-in fully.

There's a nuanced conversation here that you're not fully addressing. You're correct that when connecting the plug, ANY mating depth of the male & female terminals will produce an electrical circuit however, it's the length of engagement of those conductors that determines the amperage that the connectors are capable of handling. That's the reason for Sedge's advice ad infinitum..."make sure the connector is turned 1/4 turn"...full connector engagement equals full amperage capacity...therefore no premature melt downs.


@Alex
IMO Festool is aware of this but chooses to stick to shop-focused tools design. Initially most Protool tools used the Plug-It but later on the those destined for the heavy/rough work were mostly sold with classic cords and only the shop-use tools stayed with the Plug-It.

If someone wants a contractor-class tools, best is to simply look elsewhere. Looking around, in general I see that Festool prioritizes functionality and ergonomy above everything. Including the tools being more fragile and more complex to operate.

I have to agree with Alex on this...Milwaukee has offered a "plug-it" cord for over 30 years and I've never had an intermittent issue with their tools. I'm talking about 10 & 12 amp Sawzalls that when stuck in the kerf of 2X framing materials or steel posts, they will transmit the most hellacious vibrations back to your wrists, it will truly loosen your fillings. So in that context, I can only imagine the force of the vibrations being sent back to the tool and the "plug it" connection. No failures...none. Festool could have done better because they could have learned from previous manufacturers success & failures.

Sorry  [smile]  but I also take umbrage to the shop-based tools discussion. I'm trying to understand that because Festool always says take the tool to the material which is diametrically opposed to the "shop-focused" tool approach...enter the SYS PowerStation. If it is truly a shop focused vision, then certain Festool tools will necessarily become immediately obsolete.

I rather think it's Festool trying to really understand and focus on what their future moves and product offerings should be.  It's a difficult market and so much has changed within the last few years through battery and charger technology. What was impossible a few years ago is now available for a pittance. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 10:54 PM by Cheese »

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 529
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2021, 11:21 PM »
"I cannot see anyone winning a suit based on not following the guidance to secure the plug by rotating it and then having an issue ... A worn-out plug would normally not pass casual pre-work inspection, so again do not see any suing potential there."

The point is that a person could make a partial connection without knowing it. The plug-it twist connection could provide sufficient resistance to turning so that a person thought the connection was complete. A tug on on the cord would not detach the plug and the tool would turn on. However, the pins would not be fully engaged and would burn out. The twist lock mechanism was not constructed in such a way as to provide clear indication of complete connection. This would be the basis for a suit.


Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7689
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2021, 01:52 AM »
IMO Festool is aware of this but chooses to stick to shop-focused tools design.

Cheese already adressed this, but I'll say it again, it is simply not true. Mobility is what Festool promotes.

My biggest issue is with the sanders. When sanding you need to move your sanders around a lot. This puts a lot of stress on the power cord. Sanders have to move to the job, which is not in the shop.

And it doesn't take a lot to redesign the Plug-It to be stronger. Tools don't need to get bulky because of that.
 
If someone wants a contractor-class tools, best is to simply look elsewhere. Looking around, in general I see that Festool prioritizes functionality and ergonomy above everything. Including the tools being more fragile and more complex to operate.

Once Festool tried "tools for the rough" with Protool, and they found out they simply do not know how to make such tools. Applying "Festool design approach" just did not work there.

I agree Protool had nothing on brands like Hilti, Carat or Duss, that's just another class. But Protool failing had nothing to do with the tools not being strong enough, but with a huge marketing disaster, starting with the name. Most brands that have "Pro" in the name are cheap ass DIY tools. Professionals learn to avoid such names.

I'm working with 11 people on 7 appartments right, now, and we got a variety of tools at hand, but everybody is reaching for my Festools and Protools first. And the Metabo UHEV 2860 hammer drill, they're literally fighting over it. Slight panic yesterday when it got stuck on rotary only, but one of the guys fixed it. Odd sensation for me, someone repairing my tool who's not me. 

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1900
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2021, 05:42 AM »
My understanding was that this was always a vibration issue and hence why it disproportionally affected sanders and then the OS 400.

In 2018, Festool modified the Plug-it cable design in an attempt to address this issue. I'd be interested to hear whether people are still seeing failures when using the new cable design?


Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7689
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2021, 06:46 AM »
In 2018, Festool modified the Plug-it cable design in an attempt to address this issue. I'd be interested to hear whether people are still seeing failures when using the new cable design?

Since I have to buy a new cable for everyone of my 3 most used sander each year, I have used a few by now. I see no difference whatsoever. In fact, I get the idea I have more bad contacts now than ever.

And it's not just about the contacts, the part where the cable exits the back of the plug should also be able to better withstand bending there.

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 256
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2021, 08:22 AM »
Wasn't there a kit to hardwire a cable in rather than use the plugit, replace it?
The only Festool plug that failed on me was the male end of the ct 26 power cable. I just put on a heavy-duty replacement end, no issues since. That may not have been a connector issue but an idiot issue stepping on it when it wasn't plugged in.
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Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 847
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2021, 11:18 AM »
Well, as you can see in my sig I own quite a lot of Festools with plug-in cords. But since the very first purchase (about 15 years ago, I think), I have used the same two or three cables for all of the tools.
Could be I am too lazy to use every tool with its original cable, but anyways — I have never had an issue with cables or plug-ins.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline bwehman

  • Posts: 106
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2021, 12:07 PM »
TBH, Plug-It connections were one of the reasons (among several) that locked me into Festool. I just thought it was so genius to have one lead that can be swapped around. Still do. Yeah, the OS400 being sent back for service is a pain, but I've also used this a ton building a house for my fam over the last few years. I got it in 2017, so curious to see how much this fix costs or what solution they propose is.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 825
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2021, 12:30 PM »
The point is that a person could make a partial connection without knowing it. The plug-it twist connection could provide sufficient resistance to turning so that a person thought the connection was complete. A tug on on the cord would not detach the plug and the tool would turn on. However, the pins would not be fully engaged and would burn out. The twist lock mechanism was not constructed in such a way as to provide clear indication of complete connection. This would be the basis for a suit.

The attorney's response to such a lawsuit would be that there is an owner's manual, a positive stop when turning the plug, and arrows on the plug and cord that indicate when they're properly engaged.  Whether that would stand up in court is another matter entirely, of course.

As far as the connector strength, depending on the tool the answer may just be a pigtail plug-it hanging off of the tool rather than having the plug-it molded into the tool itself.  That would reduce a significant amount of vibration on the connection although it may subject it to other loads instead.  I don't think that thought would have been in my head if I hadn't recently seen a listing somewhere for a plug-it pigtail conversion kit.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 390
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2021, 12:42 PM »
I melted the plug in an RO150 years ago, and we burned through two cords before we figured out what the problem was.  As the socket melts and deforms, it will fail to fully lock on to a cord.  So once it starts, it will get progressively worse until you start smelling burning plastic.  Since then, I have taken to really policing the "lock" of the Plug-It cords we use.  This is part of training for any new person I bring on, since hardly anyone has had previous experience with Festool.  This is how T-Locs in a stack work, this is how the Plug-It cords work, this is how you lock the vac nozzle to a tool.

I have had a pin break off in the socket of a TS75, once in a five-year span.  The new socket was cheap; it was an easy replacement.  For long cuts, I'm locking and unlocking the cord with every cut of the saw, so I may unplug it eight or twelve times in an hour or so.  I guess I'm more animal than man, because the socket couldn't handle the brute force or something.  It really hasn't been an issue.  Plug-It is convenient for the work I'm doing.

The issues with Plug-It, though, are that there are two different plugs, and there's no lock system for the CT plug.

Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 271
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2021, 01:39 PM »
A twist locking plug on the tool end with a loose fitting plug on the extractor end is an awful design.

Pushing in and twisting seems less ideal from a simple push and click. That would be preferred as far as the way my brain works.

But with the high cost of the cord and the eventual wearing out of the plug's housing and possibly a broken pin then both make for a frustrating situation for those of us who are mobile.

Not to mention the twisting nature of the entire cord. That may very well be the final straw for some! 

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1900
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2021, 03:23 AM »
Since I have to buy a new cable for everyone of my 3 most used sander each year, I have used a few by now. I see no difference whatsoever. In fact, I get the idea I have more bad contacts now than ever.

That's a shame that they've not improved your failure rate. But thanks for the feedback @Alex [smile]

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 709
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2021, 09:13 AM »
TBH, Plug-It connections were one of the reasons (among several) that locked me into Festool. I just thought it was so genius to have one lead that can be swapped around.
Which is my biggest dislike of the RAS115. If it had a plug-it cable, I would use it more, but there are times when I "work around" getting it out. Something that would be better suited for it might get done with the RO125, just to avoid dealing with the cable. I'm not a monster, I will get it out when really needed, but it would see more use with a plug-it cable.

Well, as you can see in my sig I own quite a lot of Festools with plug-in cords. But since the very first purchase (about 15 years ago, I think), I have used the same two or three cables for all of the tools.
Could be I am too lazy to use every tool with its original cable, but anyways — I have never had an issue with cables or plug-ins.

My situation is nearly the same, except for time. My first Festool purchase was the DF500, in the summer of '14, so only 7 years. I have all of the "spare" cords in one large drawer of my big metal tool cabinet, because I only use two of them. I have one plugged into the CT26 on one end of my assembly bench and the other hangs on  one of the handles of that same big cabinet. I use it for the occasional job where the extractor hose can't reach w/o moving or if I am cutting/sanding in another area of the shop and using the dust port in that place. I rarely move the CT26. It is located between the main assembly bench and the cross-cut table, which also houses the router table and the Shaper Origin workstation. The hose reaches them all just fine. I do occasionally need to use the CT26 farther out than it can reach and have not really settled on a solution. Adding a second hose would work in some cases, but having to add to the electrical connection too makes that a pain too. I always seem to need it back at the bench when it is out front and alternating back and forth is no good, thus the spare plug-it cable. That leaves me working with not dust collection at those points. I'm thinking a CT 15 in in the near future for that.

At one point I was an advocate of the idea that the plug-it cable was an "optional accessory" that wasn't automatically included with every tool. Someone like me, who has multiple tools with the same cable, doesn't need one for each tool. At 40-some dollars apiece, I have $500+ worth of something I don't need, sitting in a drawer. Maybe someday I'll be glad I had "one", but a dozen? At my age, that's a lifetime supply.
But then, I came to my senses. It would only give the haters something to hate. "What do you mean? After I just spent (name your price $300-$1500) for a tool, it doesn't come equipped ready-to-run, out of the box? I have to spend "how much" more for just a cord?" It would give them something to complain about. But aren't those the people who would never buy one in the first place? In my experience, the people who gripe about the cost, simply do not pay it. They stick with their box-store brand drills/sanders and use dowels or pocket screws instead.
The real shame of this would be a retailer who had the tools in stock and ran out of plug-it cables, the potential is there. Or the on-line retailer who can't be there at check-out to make sure the customer is aware of the needed add-on?
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8952
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2021, 09:30 AM »
The real shame of this would be a retailer who had the tools in stock and ran out of plug-it cables, the potential is there. Or the on-line retailer who can't be there at check-out to make sure the customer is aware of the needed add-on?

Kind of like that "Batteries not included" note.  [smile]

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 529
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2021, 07:46 PM »
"The attorney's response to such a lawsuit would be that there is an owner's manual, a positive stop when turning the plug, and arrows on the plug and cord that indicate when they're properly engaged. "

I just checked my Rotex 150 that came in the pre T loc systainer (i.e. it is old). The owners manual has no information about what constitutes a proper connection. The connection on my Plug-it is very firm when it is partially engaged. It definitely feels like a positive stop. Thee are no arrows on the plug and the tool to indicate proper engagement. There is a small hump that aligns with some markings when the connection is complete. Nothing in the section on attaching the Plug-it  shows this.

Perhaps Festool changed things after these failures.

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2021, 10:13 AM »
This is a little off topic but I wish Festool would come up with a more robust interface between the plug-it cord and the dust extractor. Some sort of latch that flipped up and reinforced the connection would be a real winner, IMHO. Anybody else have such issues?
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1382
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2021, 10:59 AM »
This is a little off topic but I wish Festool would come up with a more robust interface between the plug-it cord and the dust extractor. Some sort of latch that flipped up and reinforced the connection would be a real winner, IMHO. Anybody else have such issues?

Why are you trying to get the cord to be hard latched?  It being able to pop out when yanked is a what protects it and maybe even the user from getting hurt.  Just like laptops going to power cord solutions that pop out when the get snagged on stuff.

You generally do not want power cords to be latched to things. You want them to pop incase someone trips on the cord and such. It's a safety function of outlets.

Offline Spandex

  • Posts: 222
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2021, 03:55 PM »
Speaking as someone from the UK, where our plugs won’t easily pull out of the wall socket, I have to say I have never once wished they would do so, for safety or any other reason (not that there’s any danger of damaging our plugs - they’re built like tanks). And whenever I’ve been in the US, I’ve always found it incredible just how little effort it takes to make them fall out. It had never occurred to me that anyone would see that as a good thing, as I assumed it was a constant nuisance.

Back to the plug-it problems, is this something that also affects 240v countries, where presumably the amps are lower for any given tool?

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7689
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2021, 05:38 PM »
Speaking as someone from the UK, where our plugs won’t easily pull out of the wall socket, I have to say I have never once wished they would do so, for safety or any other reason (not that there’s any danger of damaging our plugs - they’re built like tanks). And whenever I’ve been in the US, I’ve always found it incredible just how little effort it takes to make them fall out. It had never occurred to me that anyone would see that as a good thing, as I assumed it was a constant nuisance.

Back to the plug-it problems, is this something that also affects 240v countries, where presumably the amps are lower for any given tool?

A plug letting go from the wall socket is a safety measure, as the alternative would be that you break the cable instead and have a live wire in the open. If it happens with enough force. But if you just pull the plug out, the electricity remains contained.

The American plugs are indeed too easy to pull out. Has nothing to do with safety, it is just a bad design that's build too weak.

English plugs on the other hand are crazily sturdy. Exactly the other end of the spectre. Safe, sure, but with the price of being very uncomfortable to handle.

As a good old chauvinistic, and might I even say, nationalistic, prick, I of course like my countries' plugs best. [smile]  [tongue]

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1382
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2021, 10:02 PM »
Speaking as someone from the UK, where our plugs won’t easily pull out of the wall socket, I have to say I have never once wished they would do so, for safety or any other reason (not that there’s any danger of damaging our plugs - they’re built like tanks). And whenever I’ve been in the US, I’ve always found it incredible just how little effort it takes to make them fall out. It had never occurred to me that anyone would see that as a good thing, as I assumed it was a constant nuisance.

Back to the plug-it problems, is this something that also affects 240v countries, where presumably the amps are lower for any given tool?

UK plugs might be the only one globally that don't come out fairly easy. All around they are the best designed plug. But yes, they are built much more like a high amp NEMA plug.  Keep in mind, only a 2 prong 15-20 amp plug hear will come out very easy. 3 prongs get more difficult and the 30,40,50 Amp plug don't come out very easy. But those are also not attached to cords laying out across a floor.

I'm not sure why they made the UK plug so beefy. I get they have fuses, but it doesn't explain the extra beefy terminals. Someone really wanted some low resistance.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 01:10 AM by DeformedTree »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 540
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2021, 08:54 AM »
This is a little off topic but I wish Festool would come up with a more robust interface between the plug-it cord and the dust extractor. Some sort of latch that flipped up and reinforced the connection would be a real winner, IMHO. Anybody else have such issues?
You can consider getting the "Europlug" module for the CT and the cords which go along shipped from some member. If you do not have Bluetooth, you can even have both a NEMA and the European module on the same CT. The standard grounded "European" plug is very stable in the socket thanks to having three prongs and the socket being recessed. Especially if it is the angled type where the cable does not pull in the axis of the socket:wiki

It goes up to the nuisance level - with the CEE7/6 sockets it is possible to rip the plastic casing off a wall socket, should one stumble upon a cable sufficiently violently ... yes, I did that.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 08:56 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
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Offline bwehman

  • Posts: 106
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2021, 11:39 AM »
Follow up! $62 was the total repair bill and all works great again.

Offline Jason White

  • Posts: 330
    • YouTube - Uncle Jason's Workshop
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2021, 08:09 PM »
Much frustration.
I've never understood the need for plug-it cords. My older DX93 sander didn't have one and I never missed it, even though all my other tools have them.

Sent from my SM-T290 using Tapatalk


Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 256
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2021, 08:28 PM »
I don't mind the plug it but would be as happy or more so with a hardwired cable.
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 540
Re: Welp, I understand why the OS400 moved away from Plug-It…
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2021, 05:59 PM »
I've never understood the need for plug-it cords. My older DX93 sander didn't have one and I never missed it, even though all my other tools have them.

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When you have a sander/cutting station with a hose-coupled power (or air) it is a godsend as you can use the same hose with multiple sanders and even with a tracksaw etc. when the need arises.
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
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AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH