I received a Festool T 15+3 recently and I think that this can quite possibly be the perfect drill. The steep price tag had me question whether or not the drill would be worth it and so it was not among my first Festool purchases. I am making a desk and I needed to install three drawers vertically in a very tight space (roughly 5 inches wide). My current drill would not fit in such a tight space and I debated about getting this drill or springing for a separate right angle drill. I decided to give the Festool drill a try since it has the various interchangeable chucks and after having it for several weeks and getting an opportunity to put it through its paces, I think that I made the right choice.
Let’s take a look at what is included in the set:
• T 15 + 3 Drill
• Right Angle Chuck
• Eccentric Chuck
• ½ inch Keyless Chuck
• Centrotec Chuck
• Centrotec Starter Set (which includes a 4mm drill bit, #2 Phillips drive bit, Torx 25 drive bit, Centrotec Bit Holder BH 60mm)
• Allen key
• 2 Lithium Ion Batteries
• TRC3 Charger
• Packed nicely in a SYS 2 with Attic storage compartment on top
• Instruction manual and warranty card information
There is room in the Systainer to store extra accessories and bits, including a space for the Fastfix Depth Stop Chuck. This is nice as you can add additional accessories to the set at a later point and still have room to keep everything organized. The attic storage compartment on the top of the Systainer has three separate compartments and includes some small dividers to allow you storage of other bits, drills and screws. You can remove the insert with the Drill and there is even more storage compartments hidden underneath -- perfect for additional bits and a small assortment of screws.
Festool went all out with the design of this drill and it is different than any other drill I have used on the market. The Fastfix system allows for easy, tool less chuck changes and the Centrotec Chuck is awesome – a quick spring loaded mechanism allows for fast bit changes and it is very compact. The drill is extremely light weight and well balanced – I think of it as the size of a light weight boxer with the performance of a heavy weight. It is also very compact and as you can see, it is just over 6 inches long without any chucks installed.
Below are the specifications of this drill:
• Chuck capacity of ½ inch
• 354 in-lbs max torque in steel
• 238 in-lbs max torque in wood
• 25 position torque setting range from 4.4 – 70.8 in-lbs
• Weighs in at a mere 3 pounds 4.9 ounces
• 2 speed settings and drill and drive modes
The Festool engineers designed a lot of technically advanced features in this drill. The brushless motor is much more efficient than a motor with brushes and this helps the battery life last much longer. I do not have any scientific tests to prove this, but I can say that on my other 14.4 Lithium Ion drill that the batteries do not last as long. I got this drill several weeks ago and I have not yet change the battery (granted I am not using it every day, but the batteries seem to last a very, very long time). I really like the torque settings on this drill too. Since it is electronic, there is no grinding sound as with other drills I have used. When it reaches the torque setting on the drill, it beeps to let you know you have reached the setting. All of the controls are easy to reach and you can adjust the torque setting with your thumb while holding the drill. There is also built in intelligence on the drill and charger to let you know if you have overheated the drill or if the battery is too hot/cold to charge properly. These are little things that you do not appreciate until you almost fry your drill because you are going too hard or mess up your battery because you are trying to charge it outside the proper range.
I really like having the interchangeable Fastfix chucks available. Being able to have several different chucks readily available is like having several single purpose drills in hand. A quick turn of the knob that secures the chuck to the drill body and you can change it out to another one – it takes less than 30 seconds to do this. I have found that the Centrotec chuck and the right angle chuck get the most use so far. Being able to configure the right angle chuck in so many different configurations really makes it easier to get the job done. It paid for itself on my desk job as I would have had a hard time installing the drawer slides in such a narrow space any other way. The Festool T 15 +3 and right angle chuck made it easy.
I can see using the eccentric chuck in the near future. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to drill at an angle in a corner with a standard chuck only to ding up the side of the work piece and the chuck itself. This will now be a thing of the past. The Eccentric chuck also features a spring loaded quick release mechanism that supports standard drive bits.
The drill itself seems to be built to withstand rough use. The drill body is tough plastic and it has nice rubberized grips on the body and the hand grip that helps you grip the tool securely. I already mentioned the sensors to shut the drill down if it is heated up too much to prevent damage. This drill has amazing torque for its size – I would bet that it would match or beat most 18 volt drills on the market. Another useful feature of the drill is that it includes a place to store a couple of driver bits on top of the battery.
There are a couple of minor things that I do not like about the drill (ok, one thing I do not like and one thing to be aware of). First, when inserting the battery into the charger you need to make sure that it engages the charger fully by clicking it in. If not, you will get an error message (red light) and you might think there is a problem with the battery or drill. The one thing I do not like about the drill is that I find it easy to hit the forward and reverse switch with my index finger. There is no intermediate “stop” position and the drill is either engaged in forward or reverse. It is not a show-stopper by any means, just something that I need to be cognizant of when I am using the tool as I will inadvertently change the position if I am not careful.
All in all I think that Festool got a lot of things right with this drill and I am very glad that I have added it to my collection. It has become my go-to drill since getting it and the versatility of the chucks combined with technologically advanced electronics make it a tool worthy of the $575.00 price tag.