Festool USA's T+3 cordless drill/driver sets were introduced last May and are now available in trimmed-down versions.
The two-speed T+3 drills (available as 12- or 15-volt models) are offered as a kit with the company's Centrotec chuck, 1/2"-standard drill chuck, two lithium-ion batteries, smart charger and Systainer containment system. Additional chucks - a right-angle, eccentric and depth stop - can now be purchased separately.
The T+3 drills feature brushless motors and a FastFix chuck system, which gives the drills unparalleled versatility, according to the company.
"The three big things with the T+3 drills are the combination of the lithium-ion battery, a brushless motor and electronic control," says Rick Bush, Festool USA's product manager. "The brushless motors allow us to have more run time because they are more energy-efficient. They also give us a longer service life and a lighter tool with higher torque."
The drills also have a clutch that is completely separated from the transmission. "The clutch runs through the electronics where it senses a correct torque point and cuts out so you don't have a mechanical part in there that is going to wear," says Bush.
The Centrotec chuck is designed to work seamlessly with the wide array of Festool Centrotec drill and driver sets. The user simply needs to depress the green ring on the chuck to release or insert a bit. The quick-changing chuck also accepts all standard hex shank bits with the included magnetic holder.
"There is nothing to vibrate loose with a Centrotec chuck," Bush says. "With other system's quick-changing assemblies [that fit] into a keyless chuck, first you have to have it centered between three jaws and then hope it doesn't vibrate loose. With [our] system, the bit actually passes through the Centrotec chuck and goes into the drill's output shaft, so it is a positive self-centering arrangement that can't come loose."
Festool is also offering three hand-sanding blocks - soft and hard versions of a round sanding block and a hard version of a rectangular sanding block.
"The hand-sanding blocks are just an extension of our existing product line for sanding," explains Bush. "Right now, all of our sanding solutions are based around, with one exception, having power applied. But these are filling that gap in between."
Another new product release is the company's Systainer SYS 2 Attic, which includes dividers to organize, store, protect, and transport bits, drivers, fasteners, and other small parts.
The T+3 drill kits sell for $400 to $450. The optional chucks are priced at $98 each. Festool offers a three-year warranty on the drill, batteries and charger.
The hand-sanding blocks are priced at $25 each and the Systainer SYS 2 Attic sells for $70.
Contact: Festool USA, 400 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lebanon, IN 46052. Tel: 888-337-8600. www.festoolusa.com
This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue.