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Festool RO90 and MIDI Extractor Combo


ChrisK

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So I am in the middle of a room by room renovation. My latest endeavor was to re-do my 10x12 breezeway / entryway. I had the attachment put on my house when I first bought it 12 years ago. At the time, I didn't know the first thing about building a structure onto my house (and truthfully at this point in my experience, I still don't). After a major life change this year, I decided to start changing the house around. I've done the living room (around Thanksgiving), my upstairs bedroom and now this room. Five years ago, I finished the room. For the seven years previous to this it was unfinished. This was a big deal for me, I had never hung Sheetrock let alone mud. I decided to try my hand at refinishing again. So, why not spend a TON of money on a new toy right?. I have had a random orbit Hitachi sander for several years. I did the whole upstairs bedroom with this tool. The dust was unbelievable. Everything upstairs was completely covered with dust. My eyes and lungs hurt. On a recent trip to Woodcraft, I spoke with my friend Pam, who was telling me about the Festool RO 90. I did some extensive research and reviewed Eric and Dan's review of the Festool Midi Extractor. I decided against the tools but my girlfriend decided I needed them. So today after the mud had dried, the wood filler was rock hard and trim work was ready to be sanded I broke out my new toys.

The Festool RO90 and Midi Extractor. What can I say. This set rocks. Coupled with the Midi Extractor, there was NO and I mean NO dust. The tool got a little bit on it. My sweatshirt was clean, my safety glasses were clear and I didn't even cough once. To use the two tools combined, plug your sander (or any Festool tool) into the receiver, the extractor into the wall, hit the "auto" switch on the Midi, power up the BRUSHLESS RO90 which is completely sealed and the Midi fires up. All told, both tools running is quieter than my Hitachi. Just for the heck of it, I switched to the aggressive GEAR driven heavy removal mode and BLAM! I'm going through wood like it was a belt sander. The RO 90 comes with the sander, a soft pad and a delta pad as well as a Systainer 2. This connects to the sealed HEPA extractor's hose and cord storage dock. Any Systainer will connect to this.

I have received some grief about using these tools because of cost. This set is REALLY expensive. Is it worth it? That depends. My old boss Tom, who retired from NHSP last year and runs a professional furniture making business told me if I am going to buy tools, buy once. Buy Festool. I want to follow in his footsteps with making furniture. Like Tom, I have a basement workshop. Unlike Tom, I don't have room. I never had an air filter, just my shop vac. Now with my Midi, I can connect my T55, my Carvex or my RO 90 and work in my unventilated basement workshop with no fear of "Ahhheee Ahheee....Daddy....Aheee....Ahee.....I got the black lung Daddy!" (Yes Zoolander is an awesome movie). I've been using my TI15+3 all week too. Is it worth spending a three days pay in this? Yup. For me it is. I'm sure there are quite a few of the guys out here saying what a chucklehead spending that cash. I don't drink to excess...EVER. I don't gamble, I don't smoke. Other than my need for the a Latte (hey I am a renascence cop after all!) I don't have too any vices. So maybe I figure spending the cash on something really sweet for me is worth it. I don't have children. Nobody is going hungry. So yeah it's worth it for me.

Maybe when I pull the plug in five years and retire, I might decide to volunteer more and maybe actually try my hand at carpentry. These tools will serve me well for many years. These tools are brushless, unbelievably strong and well manufactured. I finished the finish work and painted all the day. And reminiscent of "A Christmas Story" when I was done, I cleaned off my RO 90 and sat down and had a nice dinner and stared at my new toys. Totally worth it.

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That is what Festool is know for is the amazing dust collection on all of their tools. If you look that's the big thing right now is dust collection almost all of the big power tool brands have dust collectors out now except for Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a kinda weird like that they have a miter saw but don't make a table saw. They sell a circular saw but don't make any nailers it's a weird product mix.

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Yeah I hear you DR. I really would like to see Milwaukee expand in those areas. I want to really expand my carpentry skills but am also into woodworking. Unfortunately dust mitigation and storage and the lack of some stationary tools kind of sucks. I am and will always be a Milwaukee guy, I love my router - actually all of my Milwaukee tools and would really like to see a table saw, a good band saw and lest us not forget storage too!

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Yeah they do but one would think they would not rebrand like Nicholas said but rather R&D a stand alone Milwaukee saw. I'm really surprised about the track saw though. Dewalt and Makita have them and are both really solid performed from what I have read. I am unbelievably happy with my Festool TS55 that Samantha bought me for Christmas and truthfully would have bought it over the others if I didn't get it when I did but....if Milwaukee had one at the time I would've gotten it a long time ago as I don't have room for a table saw right now anyways.

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A LOT ! Really Javier, worth every penny. I did the math again and it is nearly four days pay. I mean to say NO dust! Antique hutch in the room not a speck of dust. For me, and I am not a contractor, this was a good purchase. I have a tiny woodshop and this is a really nice "peace of mind" purchase and couple that with the ability to hook up my other tools and not have any dust pop up and keep the air And shop clean it is truly awesome. Plus the fact that it is not nearly as loud as my Hitchachi with both tools going, my dog isn't going to freak out as much. I'm not getting rid of my Milwaukee stuff though and I'll be buying the Ryobi air strike soon.

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Great write up Chris. Dust free would be nice for working in someone's house where you don't want to get anything dirty. I think that Milwaukee is more into the construction side if woodworking. I don't see many table-saws on job sites here. Most construction outfits here use a miter saw.

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Great review Chris! I think Festool is TOTALLY worth it, if you got the money. The preciseness you get with their tools is unmatched. That with the modular system and dust collection. Just great German engineering. Even the hose is anti static so saw dust won't stick to it. Correct?

Yup, the hose it comes standard with is anti static so the dust (to quote Back to the Future's Biff "go away like a tree" line). And yup, I got the TS55REQ and now....?

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Nice review Chris and the fact that you don’t have a table saw is no big deal. My friend that lives across the pond is in town visiting his family and we make it a point to spend time together when he gets back home. We were out last night and got to talking about how woodworking and construction are different here and over in England. He was telling me that hardly anyone uses a table saw it is all track tools. A saw for rips, and cross cuts and a router for dados easy to set up and easy to use and the portability is also nice.

 

I have received some grief about using these tools because of cost. This set is REALLY expensive. Is it worth it?

 

Yes they are worth it. The thing about Festool is it has that something extra that makes your job and life easier and that is hard to put a price on. Now that I mainly work by myself, I’m always on the lookout for things too make my life easier.

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Fantastic review Chris. Couple thoughts though:

What a puss! Breathing in that saw/drywall dust has to be good for you. There has to be at least 5 minerals in that shit. But seriously, dust collection is worth the money if it works, but to often it's insufficient. Festool does dust collection well.

When it comes to buying there are 2 types of people. Those who buy the cheapest thing to get the job done, and those who buy the best they can afford. For me personally, it's worth paying extra for tools you enjoy using.

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Thanks Travis. Also I I'm not a puss. I happen to enjoy the five minerals immensely! The put hair on my otherwise bald chest. Makes me scratch myself in certain areas and say Oooo-Rah! It's for my girlfriend and my dog.....yeah...yeah, it's for them :)

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