AWFS Tool Update: Festool Makes its Wonder-Drill More Affordable
There are no cordless drill-drivers quite like the Festools. From their German pedigree to brushless motors that transfer more power and promise decades of service to their ingenious system of innovative chucks, nothing else is really close. But that near-perfection comes at a price, keeping Festool technology out of the hands of many woodworkers.
So we were excited to hear about Festool’s latest drill, the 10.8V CXS, priced at $225, roughly half the price of its bigger brothers. And we stopped by the Festool booth before the show opened (and before the air-conditioning was turned on!) for a sweaty preview of this cool little drill.
It might just be perfect for woodworkers, able to do everything but drill the largest holes (leave those for your drill press) and biggest lag screws (That’s construction not woodworking, anyway). It doesn’t have the brushless motors of its big brothers but it does have the ingenious system of chucks.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Festool reps were on-hand with some prototype models. Expect an update on these models shortly. click to enlarge
$225 gets you the drill, two batteries, the charger, one of Festool’s fancy interlocking Systainer boxes, and the two chucks you’ll use most often, the keyless one and a quick-change model that holds standard hex shanks. Most drills force you to attach a quick-change chuck to an existing chuck, creating a long, wobbly assembly. Festool’s chucks all attach directly and positively. You have to try them to see the big difference.
And for another $50 you get the CXS’s version of a right-angle chuck, which will get you into the tightest corners. It’s the only compact drill on the market with such a chuck.
You might think the drill is underpowered, but Festool tends to undersell its power. Festool product manager Rick Bush told us the CXS was able to drive 200 #8, 1-5/8-in. screws into Douglas fir on one charge. Can’t wait to test it in the Fine Woodworking shop.
We finally got our hands on the new Festoll CXS drill.
The CXS follows the current trend of incorporating LED task lighting.
We gave the right angle attachment a brief test drive and were impressed with just how smooth the mechanism operates.
But wait, there's more! Festool reps were on-hand with some new prototype models. We'll have plenty more on these tomorrow.