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Thread: Festool Cords

  1. #1

    Festool Cords

    We have several Festool products in the shop and I keep having to replace cords. At +/- $50 per cord it's getting annoying.

    It seems the connection keeps getting weak/breaking at the tool. The cord and the tool stay together but the electrical connection fails and the tool stops working intermittently. This seems to happen mostly with the sanders which makes sense to me since the sanders are being manipulated to different positions often.

    I originally thought that this was because the guys would wrap the cords to tight when putting the tools away. But after much complaining and mild threats of bodily harm that hasn't been an issue for a long while, we not disconnect the cords... The "new" cords are having the same problem. I think it's a poor design. ?

    Does anyone else have this issue?

    Any solutions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Gaskin View Post
    ...$50 per cord...
    I don't care who ya are, that right there is just FUNNY! Definitely a first-world problem.

    But hey, when the cord represents less than 1/10 of 1% of the price of the tool...

  3. #3
    It's not the cord. It is the socket on the tool. I have replaced the sockets on all my Sanders last year, that's about 8 years minimum of hard abuse.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Reverb View Post
    I don't care who ya are, that right there is just FUNNY! Definitely a first-world problem.

    But hey, when the cord represents less than 1/10 of 1% of the price of the tool...

    I hear you on the cost of the cords but in my opinion the tools are worth the increased in production and capabilities they offer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Cords have been okay for me, but the hose is a problem. It breaks open a few inches from the tool. I cut it back to the break, and go back to work. My current hose is about three feet shorter than when was new.

    And if you don’t like cost of a power cord, the hose is $200 or so.

  6. #6
    I've had a few socket failures due to shorts, but never a breakage.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Williamstown,ma
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    I was told once a cord starts doing that intermittently, that there is arc erosion on the pins AND the socket. Replacing the socket works, but if the cord was subject to that condition for too long, it starts the same process on other tools that might get hooked to the cord.
    You can see the blackened pin socket if you look close.
    Its a vicious and expensive circle....
    I have been tempted to put some di-electric grease in the sockets to help keep contact.
    The round pin and socket design is a very poor one from an engineering standpoint, unless you are “engineering” profit for the company.

  8. #8
    I'm knocking on wood but haven't had a failure yet. If it takes 8 years of hard work then I'm okay with replacing it. Even after a short time the time, effort, and aggravation saving using them is well worth it. Most of the people I talk with that have an issue with the cost of the tools either have never actually used one or simply do not do enough work to understand.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Three Rivers, Central Oregon
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    My 15 year old Festool sander failed at the cord connection...the tool needs to be repaired. OK so I've had 15 years of use and stuff breaks down, but I've got other older tools that haven't had any issue with the supply. What I don't understand is why my sander isn't hard wired rather than having the problematic connection where cord meets sander? It's a design screw up.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    My 15 year old Festool sander failed at the cord connection...the tool needs to be repaired. OK so I've had 15 years of use and stuff breaks down, but I've got other older tools that haven't had any issue with the supply. What I don't understand is why my sander isn't hard wired rather than having the problematic connection where cord meets sander? It's a design screw up.
    Hi Scott, hard wired cords are a nightmare for industrial users from a maintenance perspective.

    All our portable tools go through a ground assurance inspection quarterly, and any defects found are repaired. If a tool requires a new cord due to a fault (abrasion, cuts, poor ground conductor resistance etc), the cord has to be replaced with an OEM part. The tool then is then hipot tested and returned to service.

    The labour cost, as well as the time to source an OEM cord is far more expensive than just plugging a new cord in.

    This will be an issue in the EU as well due to workplace legislation.

    If you’re a hobby user you can replace a failed cord with anything, in industry or on a work site it doesn’t work that way so a plug in cord is fast and inexpensive.......Regards, Rod

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    It's not the cord. It is the socket on the tool. I have replaced the sockets on all my Sanders last year, that's about 8 years minimum of hard abuse.
    I do not believe the sockets are an issue with my tools because the same cords cause the issue on multiple tools and other cords do not. Interesting to hear you sockets wore out though.

  12. #12
    Sounds like a handling issue maybe.

    Is there something about the way they are being used that might cause the cord to be pulled? Are they disconnecting/reconnecting between uses?

    If I'm using a tool frequently on a project, I leave the cord connected when I put back in Systainer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter gagliardi View Post
    I have been tempted to put some di-electric grease in the sockets to help keep contact.
    Give in to your temptation. I use dielectric grease on every socket, extension cord, pin, battery contact, light bulb, and breaker box connection. It prevents air and moisture from reaching the the contact points and minimizes corrosion, the first step to increased resistance and damage from thermal runaway. Neil lives in a secret, undisclosed location but if it's where humidity is high this might help.

    If the internal wires break at the ends I do two things. One, add strain relief: one way is to use several overlapping layers of heat shrink at the end and extending into the socket, if the socket is removable (a length of spring can help too). Even wrapping the outside of the cord with electrical or "rescue" tape can help. Two, if the inside of the socket is accessible where the wire can flex I replace any soldered connections with crimp connections. When doing MIL spec work we had to use crimp connections instead of solder on any wire that could flex, from gross movement or even vibration. Apparently the solder makes wires stiff at the bend, even wicking up into stranded wires and not allowing the wire to flex properly at the transition. I also agree with the suggestion to inspect any failure carefully to try to determine the cause of the failure which may suggest a prevention. As for requirements to replace a failed cord with an ultra-expensive "official" part, that's a shame.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Scott, they offer a hardwire conversation for the 150 sander. Not sure about the other tools. I did that to mine after a couple cord failures. About the same time I made a dedicated sanding cart with a overhead boom for the hose. Now the problem is it’s hard to use other tools with that hose with the sander permanently attached to the cord.

    I also think they make a repair repair kit for the tool end but only for European electrics. It is frustrating to have to replace expensive cords. My favorite cords are the ones on some Makita tools I have

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Gaskin View Post
    I do not believe the sockets are an issue with my tools because the same cords cause the issue on multiple tools and other cords do not. Interesting to hear you sockets wore out though.
    Once I changed the sockets, no more issues. Keep replacing your cords if you wish.

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