Author Topic: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers  (Read 3628 times)

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Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 32
Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« on: April 04, 2018, 12:46 PM »
I was thinking of getting a CXS, but decided to see what bits/drivers were available first.  It's a nice drill and the different chucks are very nice.  The Centrotec system looks very attractive.

Looking at festoolusa and other reseller site, there doesn't appear to be any sets of Centrotec bits or drivers (other than the stubby bits 495130 and a Forstner set).  No sets of driver bits either.  Also, I don't see any Festool square/Robertson drive bits.

I did see some Centrotec items from Snappy, Atlas, and Axminster. 

What am I missing?  Seems to me like a good system, but if I have to buy each bits/driver individually I am not sure investing in a Festool drill makes any sense.  Not what I expect from Festool.

Thanks in advance.

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Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2185
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 01:08 PM »
Yes, you almost have to buy the pricey Installers Kit to get a fully stocked set in a single box. Otherwise you are buying single or twin packs of bits as you need them.  Square Drive Bit issue is an old one as you noted, but many of us have moved from Square Drive screws to Torx or Star head screws so it’s become a moot point for many of us.
I have to make sure I have T20 and T25 bits now for all my drills and impacts...
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Offline gunnyr

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 02:36 PM »
I really like the form factor of the CXS.  The Centrotec is nice but the CXS is plenty useful without it.  The set comes with a bit holder so you can use all your existing 1/4 drive bits.  The CXS is my preferred drill and driver for most cabinet type tasks.  When it comes to construction tasks I reach for my DeWalt impact driver.
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 03:32 PM »
There are not a lot of sets but there are some small sets that include some of the most useful woodworking bits. Snappy has a couple sets as well as individual bits......... countersinks, twist, and self centering. Atlas has Robertson / square drive.

Between Festool offerings and other brands you can cover about 90% of woodworking bits and drivers in Centrotec.

There are online Festool dealers and woodworking stores that sell them. An internet search for Snappy Centrotec will get a bunch of results from various vendors.

Seth

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 03:56 PM »
The CSX Jacobs chuck permits use of any drill bit or driver.
Birdhunter

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 33
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 09:04 PM »
I've been asking Festool to do a "native" square drive/Robinson driver bit for years and I guess it isn't going to happen and I'm also equally not going to give up my square drive screws. :) Fortunately, the nice folks at Snappy have both #2 and #1 available in Centrotec format as well as a nice set of drill/countersinks and a good Centrotec to 1/4 hex locking adapter that I like better than the native version. Peter Parfat has a video up on YouTube that reviews a bunch of drills and other things for the Centrotec format that can be ordered from Axminster in the UK.

I personally love the Centrotec system and have two Festool drill/drivers that get constant use. The little CXS is the latest buy and I rarely pick up the heavier one unless I need the extra power.
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Offline Svar

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 09:24 PM »
Various Centrotec bit sets pop up on e-bay all the time.

Offline guitarchitect

  • Posts: 24
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 03:03 PM »
I love my CXS. And I have maybe 2 centrotec bits. Here's the deal:

- the CXS comes with a centrotec->hex shank adapter. It's perfect for what it is and lets you use any hex shank stubby bit.
- the CXS comes with a jacobs chuck. Chuck anything you want in it.
- with no check on the CXS, you have access to the hex-shaped, uh, thingy. it's basically like sticking your (stubby) bit right onto the drill's motor. This is how I use the drill 75% of the time, with no check and a stub hex bit. It's very small and compact and because of the grip you use with the C-shaped drill (triggering with middle finger) it gives you a lot of downward force.

I recently built my own workshop and I've done everything with the CXS from spade bit work for running electrical through the studs/rafters to securing all of my wall boxes, drywall trim, all my shop furniture, etc (I used a friend's drywall gun for the 1000 drywall screws). I've also used every chuck (with the 90deg chuck being an amazing thing to have on-hand) many times, and having come from a regular drill never lacked a way to secure anything. The only thing it wasn't game for was drilling concrete to secure a threshold.

About the only time I wished I had a centrotec bit was when I was doing the electrical boxes - the odd time I'd need to use a long bit and I'd have to go get the jacobs chuck... if I already had a drill bit in it I'd need to get it out and chuck the long bit. but if it was already set up with the long bit in the jacobs, it was easy - pop it on, screw,  and pop it off.

So yeah - I love my CXS! Centrotec might be nice to have (especially if you're using the UJK Parf Guide) but it's far from necessary.

Offline fshanno

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2018, 09:48 PM »
I have a CXS but if I was shopping today I would buy the the Bosch FlexiClick.  Save $120 and you get not only the right angle and jacobs chucks but also an eccentric chuck which is not available with the CXS.  You can use standard 1/4" hex ball detent bits available everywhere.  You can check one out at your Lowes. 

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Offline leakyroof

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 09:39 AM »
I have a CXS but if I was shopping today I would buy the the Bosch FlexiClick.  Save $120 and you get not only the right angle and jacobs chucks but also an eccentric chuck which is not available with the CXS.  You can use standard 1/4" hex ball detent bits available everywhere.  You can check one out at your Lowes.
. I have no need for one but they do look interesting.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 566
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 01:16 AM »
Two things:   

1.) A Bosch 12v drill/driver is downgrade from a Festool 12v drill/driver. 
     I'm saying this as someone who just bought three excellent Bosch tools this       
     month.

2.) 99% of the time, I'm using wire detent insert bits and swapping out centrotec bit holders.   Unless you're doing pocket holes or something where a bit holder won't fit, there's very little reason to get hung up on the centrotec driver bits.   You'll find that they're often not long enough for those situations, anyway.  Plus, they're outrageously priced and pretty crappy.   The real advantage is that the weight and balance improves when you remove the three jaw chuck from the equation.




Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 118
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 02:18 AM »
Returning to the original question for a moment, there are a few other sets - though I’ve no idea if they available anywhere other than UK:

HSS D3-10 CE/10  (10 piece twist drill set)
DB Wood CE set TL  (6 piece wood drill set)
BKS D 3-8 CE/W. (5 pice wood drill set)
and a 6 pice long driver bit set, mixed PZ and TX  (I've no experience of those)
     plus the stubby wood bits and Zobo set mentioned previously)

The individually-purchased twist bits are perhaps better value than they might seem at first glance since with each you get the holder with the Centrotec shank and three bits. I’m sure you could fit other brands of spur (brad-point) wood bits into these - though you might want to grind a flat on them to make the grub-screw fixing more secure.

Fisch also do small sets of Centrotec-compatible bits - both brad-point and stubby bits (I've been pleased with those).

Most folks’ bugbear with Centrotec (inc. mine) seems to be the lack of bits smaller than 3mm. Otherwise I've been pleased with the Centrotec drill bits.

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 118
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 02:33 AM »
re. the long Centrotec driver bits. mentioned by yeti... I don't do a whole lot of powered-screwdriving, so the Festool items would be a bit of a (pricey) option for me anyway, but if you're content to use a bit holder or stick the bit into the Festool's drive shaft, then the cheaper long PB Swiss drivers (you can get a version with a plain hex shank) are nice, albeit without Centrotec features.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 05:18 AM »
I believe that the Centrotec concept is brilliant as it provides a far more secure, and hence more accurate, seating for the attached bits. This is important as often those attached bits are drills or countersinks.

The root of the problem finding Centrotec sets (other than the Installers' Set) is that the Festool web site does not function well when you start to (forgive the pun) drill down to the detail of the accessories. All of the Festool badged Centrotec items that I have seen and used are really high quality and probably worth the slightly higher price.

Axminster now have a very extensive range of Centrotec compatible bits and pieces and I shown quite a few of these in various videos.

I cannot resist this opportunity to mention the CXS as it was mentioned by the OP....

The CXS is my "go to" drill driver as it can handle drills up to 20 mm (Forstner) and 12 mm (brad point) with ease. I use it for screws up to 50 mm x 4 mm but also 40 mm x 5 mm in softer material. It is light, easy to handle and is a joy to use. One of my professional woodworking friends has 3 or 4 CXSs and at least one TXS. I am just completing a video about the CXS and TXS (they are the same machine in a slightly different form factor) and hope to be able to release it in 2 days time. In the UK there is only one version and that has all the extras, in a Sys 1, and it is about £220.

Peter

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 118
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 06:22 AM »
The root of the problem finding Centrotec sets (other than the Installers' Set) is that the Festool web site does not function well...

Peter
In terms of functionality, Festool did rather shoot themselves in the foot with the last facelift of the website (for the UK, at least). I seldom go there now as I find it near-unusable. Sorry and all that, but that's how I see it! Let's the brand down.

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 118
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2018, 06:44 AM »
Having just slagged off the Festool website so, I revisited it to see whether I was missing something in the way it's structured, and... whilst it looks smart, functionally it's actually rather worse than I remembered.

For such a relatively simple, but multi-levelled hierarchy of product groups it need a much quicker method of navigation - perhaps drop-down menus and fly-out lists.

Having alighted on the front page, I had to click through five more pages using a variety of methods - sometimes scrolling down to find the next link - to get to a drill bit, with little reassurance along the way that one is taking the correct route.

And the page headers/descriptors are inconsistent; for eg, accessories for 'corded drills' (I do own such a Festool item) appears to be a sub-page of a section on 'cordless drills' - and when you get there it appears that only screwdrivers bits are suitable for corded drills...

Compare the site of Nuts & Bolts (online Festool dealer in the UK) - which works rather well.


Rant over. Thank you for your patience.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2018, 10:03 AM »
I have just gone to the UK web site and this is the trail to get to the Centrotec stuff...

Click on "Products"

Click on "Cordless Products"

Near the bottom click on "Accessories and Consumables"

At this point a whole bunch of batteries are displayed but there is no second page option. Not far from the top are 12 choices to choose the cordless tool category.

There are two buttons for "Cordless drills" - that must be a mistake. Click on one of them....

You should now be here:

https://www.festool.co.uk/accessory?mainchapter=Cordless+products

Now you have all those batteries shown again but this time you can press "More" and easily find the Cetrotec stuff. Do not press the back button on your browser to see a previous page of accessories, just scroll up as pressing "More" adds items to the current page.

Web sites should be easier than this and I suspect that Festool think that it is okay as they are familiar with it as they have to use it so much. A dumb user like me should be able to get to something equally as quickly without spending time working it all out.

Peter

Edit:

I have just clicked on the link that I put above and it takes you to the page where you have two buttons for "Cordless drills". I did not make a mistake when I copied the URL and would like someone else to test this and see that there is something odd going on.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 10:07 AM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1043
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2018, 10:17 AM »
I have a CXS but if I was shopping today I would buy the the Bosch FlexiClick.  Save $120 and you get not only the right angle and jacobs chucks but also an eccentric chuck which is not available with the CXS.  You can use standard 1/4" hex ball detent bits available everywhere.  You can check one out at your Lowes. 
Same!
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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 4581
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2018, 01:10 PM »
Edit:

I have just clicked on the link that I put above and it takes you to the page where you have two buttons for "Cordless drills". I did not make a mistake when I copied the URL and would like someone else to test this and see that there is something odd going on.

Well, I just clicked the link and the page does have 2 "Cordless drills" buttons.

Here's the screen shot:

« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 01:23 PM by Cheese »

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2018, 01:37 PM »
Edit:

I have just clicked on the link that I put above and it takes you to the page where you have two buttons for "Cordless drills". I did not make a mistake when I copied the URL and would like someone else to test this and see that there is something odd going on.

Well, I just clicked the link and the page does have 2 "Cordless drills" buttons.

Here's the screen shot:

(Attachment Link)

Sorry, I did not make myself clear.

The URL that I copied and posted should be the page that has "More" at the bottom so that you can load more data to the page. When I copied the URL the "More" was at the bottom. However, if you click on that link it does not have the "More" button at the bottom. It still does have the two "Cordless drills" buttons and you have to click on one of these to create the next page that has "More" at the bottom thus allowing you to access the rest of the accessories.

In other words, I believe that there is an error within the web site coding.

Peter

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 566
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2018, 07:16 PM »
re. the long Centrotec driver bits. mentioned by yeti... I don't do a whole lot of powered-screwdriving, so the Festool items would be a bit of a (pricey) option for me anyway, but if you're content to use a bit holder or stick the bit into the Festool's drive shaft, then the cheaper long PB Swiss drivers (you can get a version with a plain hex shank) are nice, albeit without Centrotec features.

I actually have a couple!   They work best in the locking bit holder.   Runout with the regular bit holder, and wobbily wobbily wobble when just using the hex portion of the shaft.    Unfortunately, in the USA, it's not a stock item for Toollady (those women are awesome) and Count on Tools can't be counted on, so it's an import item.   PB Swiss is my loveliest lovely love. 

I still use the centrotec driver bits all of the time; it's just, they need to have a stern talk with whoever makes them.   It's presumed that Wera makes the regular insert bits and impact rated bits.   I don't know if they make the centrotec ones, however.   Regardless, they're really soft.   The old ones were even worse. 

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 566
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2018, 07:22 PM »
The root of the problem finding Centrotec sets (other than the Installers' Set) is that the Festool web site does not function well...

Peter
In terms of functionality, Festool did rather shoot themselves in the foot with the last facelift of the website (for the UK, at least). I seldom go there now as I find it near-unusable. Sorry and all that, but that's how I see it! Let's the brand down.

My local dealers use Toolnut's Festool Products website instead of the Festool USA website for informational purposes.   Especially as of recent with a catalog coming out weeks before new product rollouts (that aren't included in said catalog).  To be fair, many other power tool companies have infinitely inferior websites.   

Online Alex

  • Posts: 5668
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2018, 01:22 AM »
Having just slagged off the Festool website so, I revisited it to see whether I was missing something in the way it's structured, and... whilst it looks smart, functionally it's actually rather worse than I remembered.

For such a relatively simple, but multi-levelled hierarchy of product groups it need a much quicker method of navigation - perhaps drop-down menus and fly-out lists.

Having alighted on the front page, I had to click through five more pages using a variety of methods - sometimes scrolling down to find the next link - to get to a drill bit, with little reassurance along the way that one is taking the correct route.

And the page headers/descriptors are inconsistent; for eg, accessories for 'corded drills' (I do own such a Festool item) appears to be a sub-page of a section on 'cordless drills' - and when you get there it appears that only screwdrivers bits are suitable for corded drills...

Their new website is simply horrible. They don't want you to know anymore what they sell. As a consequence, we don't buy it anymore but look for 3rd party products wherever possible.

Offline Fogy

  • Posts: 7
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2018, 10:44 AM »
I believe that the Centrotec concept is brilliant as it provides a far more secure, and hence more accurate, seating for the attached bits. This is important as often those attached bits are drills or countersinks.

The root of the problem finding Centrotec sets (other than the Installers' Set) is that the Festool web site does not function well when you start to (forgive the pun) drill down to the detail of the accessories. All of the Festool badged Centrotec items that I have seen and used are really high quality and probably worth the slightly higher price.

Axminster now have a very extensive range of Centrotec compatible bits and pieces and I shown quite a few of these in various videos.

I cannot resist this opportunity to mention the CXS as it was mentioned by the OP....

The CXS is my "go to" drill driver as it can handle drills up to 20 mm (Forstner) and 12 mm (brad point) with ease. I use it for screws up to 50 mm x 4 mm but also 40 mm x 5 mm in softer material. It is light, easy to handle and is a joy to use. One of my professional woodworking friends has 3 or 4 CXSs and at least one TXS. I am just completing a video about the CXS and TXS (they are the same machine in a slightly different form factor) and hope to be able to release it in 2 days time. In the UK there is only one version and that has all the extras, in a Sys 1, and it is about £220.

Peter

Hi Peter,

Your video's are great, and looking forward to one on the TXS/CXS. It's maybe too late, however could you possibly show a demonstration of either drilling a small 5/6mm hole in a clay brick .. ie could it be used in an old house with internal clay bricks to put up a few pictures ??

Thanks
Peter

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2018, 12:08 PM »
Hi Peter,

Your video's are great, and looking forward to one on the TXS/CXS. It's maybe too late, however could you possibly show a demonstration of either drilling a small 5/6mm hole in a clay brick .. ie could it be used in an old house with internal clay bricks to put up a few pictures ??

Thanks
Peter

Hi Peter

I am afraid that it is too late. All the filming is done and I will finish the remainder of the editing by the morning. However...

House bricks made of clay are usually easy to drill with a non impact drill and a masonry bit. If you find it a bit stubborn then release the pressure frequently. Watch that you do not overheat the tip of the drill. If you have to drill something rock hard, like a clay tile, then use a tile cutting drill. If necessary use water to keep the tip cool.

Peter

Offline yetihunter

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2018, 01:08 PM »
"Hi, Peter.  Thanks, Peter" sounds like one of those holiday themed trans-continental romantic comedies. It would probably
star Colin Firth or Jude Law and some random American tv model, pretending to be frumpy. 

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 149
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2018, 01:16 PM »
I just kinda did both two days ago as I hung up a towel rack in the bathroom, except it was a ceramic tile and sandstone. I used my 12V/10.8V Bosch which seems very similar to the CXS and has slightly more torque going by the spec sheet. I got through the (thin) tile easily with a tile cutting bit (6mm and cutting slowly and carefully with water to cool) but the stone took me long enough that I got annoyed and took out my 14.4V Fein impact drill. I'm pretty sure sandstone is softer than brick too.

I would guess for the occasional hole you'd get by if you don't mind taking it slow but if you have a significant amount of stuff to do use something else, maybe a corded drill or an impact drill.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2018, 02:41 PM »
"Hi, Peter.  Thanks, Peter" sounds like one of those holiday themed trans-continental romantic comedies. It would probably
star Colin Firth or Jude Law and some random American tv model, pretending to be frumpy.

I suppose I will have to go with the frumpy model as I don't fancy Colin Firth or Jude Law !

Peter

Offline Jmacpherson

  • Posts: 163
Re: Festool Drills and Centrotec bits/drivers
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2018, 03:56 PM »
Your video's are great, and looking forward to one on the TXS/CXS. It's maybe too late, however could you possibly show a demonstration of either drilling a small 5/6mm hole in a clay brick .. ie could it be used in an old house with internal clay bricks to put up a few pictures ??

@Fogy I have used the CXS with Alpen multi-construction bits and drilled a couple of 6mm holes in clay brick walls.
Wasn't a problem and I was pleasantly surprised but I just did it as a test for fun, wouldn't rely on a CXS as my only "wall" drill even if they are only internal walls, never know what is inside them.