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Author Topic: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?  (Read 3976 times)

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Offline jgowrie

  • Posts: 19
Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« on: October 30, 2016, 04:35 PM »
I just noticed today that the PLUG-IT cables for the HK-55 and my 150/3 sander are not compatible.  Certainly I am not a fan of proprietary plugs like these to start with but now that I realize I can't set up one cable and just interchange between the tools if I wanted to is something I have trouble dealing with. 

Look at the picture and help me understand why these are not the same?253003-0

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Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 04:36 PM »
Yes you can use the heavier gauge cable on both, you just cant use the lesser guage cable on the higher current draw tool.

Try it I think you will see what I mean. The extension with the flat will work in the tool with the nib, just not the other way around.

I always thought this was so stupid, just make one extension. The cost difference between the two is hardly worth making us deal with two extensions. Actually, I sell off all my lower gauge extensions and only have the extensions with the flat so they work on all tools.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 04:42 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline jgowrie

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 04:55 PM »
ah.. I see.  SO I suppose the HK cable can be used on the sander but not vice-versa from what you are saying.  I agree with you.. just make one cable that is rated to server up power to all your tools.. duh.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2016, 05:10 PM »
I think this may have something to do with overseas sales manufacturing and distribution. If we look at the pricing who would even buy the lesser gauge extension separately?

In many cases there is only a 3.00(for the 13 footers) difference between the 16 and 18 gauge(I think those are the correct gauges) cords. Who wouldn't pay that 3.00 to get the universal Festool use?

Festool will say  they sell the 18 gauge cable because its more flexible. Just like the dust collection hose and the thinner  22 and 27mm hoses I think this flexible thing is way overblown. I dont buy it, IMHO as I hold both these cords in my hand flexibility is a non issue.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 05:28 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Brandon

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 07:44 PM »
It's a result of a terrible concept/ attempt by Festool to save a few dollars and make a few more. The thought is that the lighter gauge wire is lighter and easier to work with while say, sanding. They seem to forget that there is a heavy and cumbersome hose attached to the sander as well. Basically just dumb and all tools should come with the heavier gauge cord that is compatible with all tools

Offline TylerC

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 09:49 AM »
This is a regulation (UL/NEC) issue. While it would certainly be simpler for everyone (including Festool) to provide only one Plug-It cord, we can't for compliance reasons.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2016, 09:57 AM »
As far as I know its only because they dont make a 12 Gage plug it. That's definitely the case  for America. I dont knowthe rules abroad but a well designed plug it that passes UL testing certainly would be fine. The issue is Festool only makes 16 and 18 gunge cords , neither could work on several tools.

Simply make a 12 gauge plug it for America. You already went to Imperial tools for us.

Not passing UL testing just means you need to redesign one that does pass. I suspect its not worth it as only a handful of tools would use a cord of this type. Its always a cost/profit motivation, which is fine. But you cant tell me it can't be done. Not being feasible due to cost/profit, I get that.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 10:01 AM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline jethreaux

  • Posts: 24
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2016, 10:22 AM »
Try it I think you will see what I mean. The extension with the flat will work in the tool with the nib, just not the other way around.
Thanks, I was just about to ask about this same issue. You solved it for me.

Offline promark747

  • Posts: 438
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2016, 11:05 AM »
This is a regulation (UL/NEC) issue. While it would certainly be simpler for everyone (including Festool) to provide only one Plug-It cord, we can't for compliance reasons.

I don't understand this...why would there be a compliance issue in offering only one cord (with obviously the heavier gauge)?

Online Peter Durand

  • Posts: 186
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 11:17 AM »
This is a regulation (UL/NEC) issue. While it would certainly be simpler for everyone (including Festool) to provide only one Plug-It cord, we can't for compliance reasons.

I don't understand this...why would there be a compliance issue in offering only one cord (with obviously the heavier gauge)?

I am with you on this. It appears to say that for instance using a 10g extension cord to connect something that only needs 16g is unsafe. The cable that powers an outlet box is a lot heavier gage than these Festool cords. Perhaps I am missing something here. Any enlightenment would be welcome. Thanks,

Peter

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1972
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 03:09 PM »
This is a regulation (UL/NEC) issue. While it would certainly be simpler for everyone (including Festool) to provide only one Plug-It cord, we can't for compliance reasons.

I don't understand this...why would there be a compliance issue in offering only one cord (with obviously the heavier gauge)?

I am with you on this. It appears to say that for instance using a 10g extension cord to connect something that only needs 16g is unsafe. The cable that powers an outlet box is a lot heavier gage than these Festool cords. Perhaps I am missing something here. Any enlightenment would be welcome. Thanks,

Peter

Not sure about a compliance thing, but the thinner gauge cables are cheaper to manufacture. Times that to the (insert very large number here) and the cost could be substantial.

Cheers. Bryan.


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Offline Cochese

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2016, 04:33 PM »
They could save a bit of money by letting me have the option of not having the useless* 18ga cords in my shop. I'd throw them on eBay, but someone would complain about it if I ever resold.


*to me

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2016, 04:38 PM »
No I resell mine every time. Many people only have the smaller sanders and tools anyhow and never even notice. And the buyers on ebay are Festool savvy and know exactly what they want. Most that are in the Festool system already know what you didn't.. I just sell them for 25.00 and they sell as fast as 15 minutes. Or just sell it here.
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline TylerC

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2016, 04:49 PM »
I'll try to get a more thorough answer to this. I believe this is more about NEC than UL, but I could be wrong. These issues are handled our of Germany HQ, so they'll have the best info.

Also, just because it "doesn't make sense" doesn't mean that it's not true. After all, we're talking about bureaucratic compliance. :)

Offline antss

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2016, 08:24 PM »
@TylerC  - please get back to us on why the wonks and or mgmt think a thicker ga wire cannot be used on your your smaller tools.

NEC is largely a framework - it is local jurisdictions that have the actual inforcement power and they can and often do require something contrary to or in addition to the NEC.  I'm also unaware of a section that would prohibit using larger wire than than a tool current draw. Smaller gauges are prohibited , but using larger is not - unless it won't fit into a connection point.   But, at 1000 pages + or - ,  there may be something in there I'm not framiliar with.

I've also sat in on UL submitals of ours for lighting units and can't think of a reason they'd fail you for using uprated wiring.

It might also be asked why your big saws and routers don't have 14ga cords ? To me that's bigger safety/ efficiency exercise to contemplate than whether your sander has 16 ga wire.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 636
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 05:38 AM »
I'm at a complete loss about why someone would want to use the thinner cord (as long as the thicker one dosn't get in the way) since the thinner the cord -> the higher the resistance -> more energy lost as heat in it.

Offline jgowrie

  • Posts: 19
Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2016, 10:52 AM »
I'll try to get a more thorough answer to this. I believe this is more about NEC than UL, but I could be wrong. These issues are handled our of Germany HQ, so they'll have the best info.

Also, just because it "doesn't make sense" doesn't mean that it's not true. After all, we're talking about bureaucratic compliance. :)

Did you ever get a response?  The day is coming where I will mix up my cords and wonder why someone at Festool thought this was a good idea.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2016, 11:39 AM »
I'll try to get a more thorough answer to this. I believe this is more about NEC than UL, but I could be wrong. These issues are handled our of Germany HQ, so they'll have the best info.

Also, just because it "doesn't make sense" doesn't mean that it's not true. After all, we're talking about bureaucratic compliance. :)

Did you ever get a response?  The day is coming where I will mix up my cords and wonder why someone at Festool thought this was a good idea.

When you do you will join the ranks of use who have.  Just keep a thicker cord with you and then you are safe. 

Peter

Offline RJNeal

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Re: Festool.. why are my PLUG-IT cables not compatible ?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2016, 12:19 PM »
Since I work both in and out of the shop, I keep and spare larger cord under my driver seat for those oops times.
Rick
Have you walked your saw today?