Author Topic: Festool Carvex 420 (both corded & battery) - Comparisons  (Read 94126 times)

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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Festool Carvex 420 (both corded & battery) - Comparisons
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:57 AM »
(part 1 of 5)

My Background & My Considerable Jigsaw Use:  

91571-0

I am a retired software developer and, since I retired 10 years ago, have pretty well been a full time woodworker / carpenter / cabinet maker / toy maker /stained glass maker / carver.  Woodworking, the way I define it, covers the full range from small boxes to buildings and includes related skills needed to “jazz up” the items being built.

Woodworking has interested me since about the age of 6 and have always been able to find time to devote to it, even more so now that I am retired.

Turning now to jigsaws.  A jigsaw was the second power tool that I owned.  That was purchased 53 years ago and I had it for about 35 years.  It was really only good for rough work, but I did a lot of rough work.  The jigsaw (a Bosch) that I acquired about 20 years ago was in an order of magnitude better and, then about 10 years ago, I purchased my first Festool jigsaw –a PS 2 E and experienced another leap in quality.  More recently, I added a Festool PS 300 EQ.

Why so many jigsaws?  I use a jigsaw more than any other woodworker that I know.  After electric drills, jigsaws are my most used power tools.  Working at several locations, owning more than one jigsaw means that I can (almost) always find one.  Most of the work I do is by myself, a lot of it involves framing, and some is in remote places.  I don’t own an electric miter saw and rely on a jigsaw for most framing tasks where others use miter saws and/or circular saws and/or reciprocating saws.  Here are some examples:
          
91573-1  91577-2  91579-3

91581-4  91583-5  91585-6  

The quality of the framing that I am able accomplish with just a few basic tools is very good and, I find, that when working with others, my work is at least as fast as theirs.  Here, for example, are the cut timbers of a gate frame cut using just the tools shown on the table:

91587-7
    
I own a couple of woodworking shops and, in them, I often call upon a jigsaw to do fine work even though I could make use of a bandsaw or scroll saw.  This workbench with a hole (and a tray below) comes in handy when doing precision work:

91589-8  91591-9
      
Some of the places that I work do not have electricity and it is a nuisance to haul along a generator.  Things would be easier if I could utilize a battery powered jig saw, but the Bosch 52318B that I purchased 7 years ago seemed large and “klutzy” and I just could not achieve the desired speed and precision.  Eventually, I got rid of the Bosch and brought along a generator or a very  long extension cord to some jobs.  My hope is that the battery powered Carvex will succeed where the Bosch failed.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 07:37 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 08:03 AM »
(part 2 of 5)

Carvex Arrival and First Impressions:

Festool provided me with two different Carvex in order that I could test and report upon them.  

In early June, three systainers arrived.  I found, a battery powered Carvex in a systainer 3, a mains powered Carvex in a systainer 1, and a Carvex accessory kit as well as extra blades and accessories in a systainer 2:

91593-0

Among other things, this means that, currently, three generations of Festool jigsaws are available for my use:

91595-1

Along with both battery and mains powered Carvex saws (barrel grip because I much prefer them), the delivery included the Carvex Accessory kit, some saw blades, and  a few other goodies.

The first thing I did was to compare the battery and mains powered saws for size, weight, and general feel:  

91603-2

The battery powered version is, of course, heavier and a little more bulky but the differences are not as great as I feared they would be.

Right away, I noticed the forward position of the switch and the fact that there is a switch on both sides of the saw.  I’m right handed, but in some situations, it is better to reach out with my left arm holding the body of a jigsaw in my left hand an this means that  I will take advantage of  this feature.  Of course, it will be even more appreciated by regular left handed users.  I am used to operating the trigger with my thumb and this is not easily done now that the switches are so far forward.  I expect that I will get used to operating the switch with a finger, but that is going to take me some time.  Right now, it seems awkward.

The accessory kit intrigued me, so I turned to it next.  Here is what I found:

91605-3
    
The accessories are:

1)  Five splinter guards
2)  Mystery strap
3)  Circle cutter jig
4)  Base for both guide rail attachment and for the circle cutter jig
5)  Angle base used to cut angles other than 90 degrees
6)  Hard fibre base
7)  Steel base
8   Dimpled base used to present saw dust build-up
A)  Hook and loop base to which felt pads can be attached
B)  Five felt pads

note: Items A and B are not part of the standard accessory kit.

following are views (1) with the regular base plate installed, (2) with the base plate removed, and (3) with the dimpled plate installed.  A base plate is removed by pressing down on the spot pointed to with the red arrow and pushing gently towards the front of the saw.  A new base plate is installed by pushing it back until it clicks into place.  Each operation took me about 5 seconds.

91607-4  91609-5  91611-6

Festool calls the part that holds the various base plates a “table”.  The regular table needs to be removed in order to install the angle base.  The photos below show the actions involved:

(1)   The saw table change lever is moved to the position shown:
                      91613-7
 
(2)   The regular table is removed:
                       91615-8
 
(3)   The angle base is installed and the lever moved back to hold it in place:  
                       91617-9
 
It took me 8 seconds to make this change.

There are still a lot of new things  to try before even turning on a saw.  The methods for both inserting and releasing a blade is different than anything that I have experienced.  Both methods seem strange but, I expect that I will get used to them.  To install a blade, one simply inserts it into a slot then turns the blade about 30 degrees to lock it in place.  The blade is released with this slider:

91619-10
    
Festool calls this the “saw blade ejection” slider and I certainly saw why the first time that I slid it because the blade ended up about 50 centimetres across the table about from the saw:

91621-11

I don’t understand the need to eject the blade, I prefer just releasing the blade as is done with the Festool Trion PS 300 EQ.

After inserting a blade, the blade guide jaws should be adjusted so they are almost touching the blade.  This is done with and Allen key which I looked for on the saw, its table, or its standard base but could not locate one.  I finally found an Allen Key in the battery powered saw’s systainer.  By the way, the Allen key was missing from the spot provided for it in the moulded insert in the mains powered saw’s systainer:

91623-12
 
The Allen key used with the Trion has a nice home in the base of the saw:

91625-13
    
I wish that Festool had designed the Carvex models with a spot to hold the Allen key right on the saw.  I am much more likely to put it back there than I am to put the key into a systainer.  This is particularly true because a tool’s systainer is often some distance away from the spot where I am utilizing that tool.

Before using the battery powered saw, I fully charged the battery.  Then, I tested both saws briefly by cutting along a pre-scribed line in ¾ inch pine.  I didn’t use dust control.  I cut using pendulum stroke 3 and the new A speed position:

91627-14
    
As I fully expected, both saws were easy to manipulate and both cuts were perfect.

Next, I checked to see how long the battery powered saw would run after being fully charged:

•   With the speed set a 5 and the strobe light on, the saw ran for 29 minutes.

•   With the speed set at 3 and no light one, the saw ran for 49 minutes.

   September 28th follow-up note:  The times when actually cutting are much less.  See reply #103 much later in this thread for details.

It took 64 minutes to re-charge the battery.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 09:38 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 08:09 AM »
(part 3 of 5)

Additional impressions and comments:

These are in no particular order –rather, they are ordered just as they occur to me.

(1)  Installation of the splinter guard is easy –the method is the same as it is with the Trion.  But, it is still difficult to remove splinter guard and I always seem to need a pair of pliers to do so.

(2)  The chip guard is semi-built in and it is easier to utilize than it is with the Trion.  However, it is difficult to slide the chip guard up and down.  I seem to need more than the recommended “minimal pressure” in order to get it to move.  This is true on both saws.

(3)  Depending on the position of the blade holding mechanism after one shuts off the saw, the blade ejection mechanism is not always properly aligned, therefore it does not always work.  These photos illustrate this:
                          
    a typical miss-alignment:  
                                                     91631-0                        

    proper alignment:
                                                     91633-1

(4)  It is not possible to eject or to insert a blade in the Carvex saws when the splinter-guard is in place.  Neither the Trion not the Bosch has this problem.  Festool claims that one should use a new splinter-guard with each new blade, and for folks following this advice, they would be removing the splinter-guard anyway.  But, I often use the same splinter-guard for more than one blade, so this restriction is an inconvenience.

(5)  I like the built-in light.

(6)  I like the ‘A’ speed setting where the saw determines the optimum speed and expect that I will use it most of the time.

(7)  I am disappointed that the battery-powered saw comes with only one battery (lithium ion 18 volt). It’s lithium ion 18 volt and that is good but Most of Festool’s drills come with two batteries and a saw is bound to use up the power in a battery more quickly than a drill.  There is room in the systainer for a second battery and the photo on the inside lid of the systainer shows two batteries.  If I keep the saw, I will purchase a second battery.
 
I checked out how long it took to run down the battery and how long to re-charge it.  With the speed set at 5 and the strobe light working, it took 29 minutes to run down a fully charged battery.  With the speed set at 3 and the light turned of, it took 49 minutes to run down a fully charged battery.  It takes 64 minutes to re-charge the battery.

(8   I’m happy that there is room to place a saw back into its systainer when a “regular” sized blade is installed.

(9)  Earlier, I mentioned that the new position of the switch would take some getting used to.  Another difference from my other Festool tools is that one pushes on the switch again to shut off the Carvex saws rather than pull back on the switch.  Today, I had an experience that warned me to get use to it soon.  I needed to shut off the saw quickly but it took me about 5 second to locate the switch.  All that happened as a result of this delay was a somewhat screwed up cut, but it could have been much worse.  With experience, one does not need to think about turning off a tool but because of the changes that Festool has introduced, I still need to think about it.

(10)  There is a nice feature on the main’s powered Carvex whereby the attaching mechanism can we turned up to the vertical position (as shown in the photo below with both the Trion and the Carvex).

                        91635-2

This feature means that it is possible to use the Carvex in some locations where it is not possible to use the Trion.
 
(11)  As we have come to expect from Festool, the manual is very “bare bones”.  However, I have been told that Festool USA is arranging to have a good manual written by a third party.  I hope that the third party is Rick Christopherson because his manuals are not just good, they are excellent!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 08:27 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 08:10 AM »
(part 4 of 5)

The Tests:

The main thing that I want to determine with these test is whether a manufacturer has, at last, produced a battery powered jigsaw that I can employ as my main on-site saw. To that end I will put both the new Festool jigsaws, the older Festool Trion jigsaw, and the Bosch JS572EB jigsaw through a number of normal (for me) tasks.

91637-0
 
The three Festool saws are made in Germany.  The Bosch saw is made in Switzerland.

The site will be Pellow’s Island where there is no regular mains power.  Thus a generator will be used for the three 120 volt electric saws.
 
Test 1: Cut a pressure treated spruce 6 x 6 timber into several short segments.  I actually did this task seven years ago when I was building several docks and shore anchor blocks for same.  The jigsaw that I used at that time was my Festool PS 2 E with a Trion S 145/4 FSG blade.  By the way, Festool does not claim that this saw supports this blade well.  Nevertheless, the results were acceptable for the type of accuracy required.  Most of the cuts were out by a degree or two.

Six cuts were made with each of the four saws, two without the splinter guard, two with the splinter guard but no dust extraction and two with the splinter guard and dust extraction.  The pendulum 3 setting was used on all saws.  Speed 6 was used on the Trion and Bosch.  Speed A was used on the two Carvex saws.  The Bosch saw has a blower and I used it except when I had it in the four cuts where the saw was not connected to a vacuum. In all cases I guided the saw by hand following a line drawn across the timber.  Bosch and Festool blades are interchangeable and the same Carvex S 145/4 FSG blade was used in the Bosch saw and the Carvex saw.  A Trion S 145/4 FSG blade was used in the Trion saw.  These blades are not long enough to cut all the way through the 14 cm thick timer and about 1.5 cm was left uncut at the bottom.  As I had done seven years ago, I finished the cuts with a hand saw.  Photos follow:
        
    Trion without splinter guard:  
                                                   91639-1              

    Completing the cut with a hand saw:
                                                   91641-2  
          
    Bosch without splinter guard but with blower:      
                                                   91643-3

    Carvex battery powered with chip guard only:
                                                   91645-4      

    Carvex mains powered with dust extraction:
                                                   91647-5
                                        
Results:   -All 16 cuts were a perfect 90 degrees.

-Because it was not always easy to see the line, a few cuts wandered a little bit (at most a couple of millimetres off the line)

-The cuts using chip guards and dust extraction were perfect for all four saws.  It takes some getting used to, but I managed to follow the indents and markings on the chip guards:

         91649-6
                                      
-The blower on the Bosch did not help much, if at all.

-The lights on all three saws but the Trion did help me to see and follow the line.

-The time taken to make the cuts ranged from 22 to 27 seconds.  No one saw was faster than the others. (aside: it took about an additional 30 seconds to finish up the cuts with the hand saw).

For comparison, I also cut the timber freehand with my Milwaukee reciprocating saw equipped with the best blade for the job:

 91651-7     91653-8
    
This cut took 42 seconds which is slightly less time than the jigsaw plus handsaw cuts above.  The cut was acceptable but not as good as the cuts made with the jigsaws.  More importantly for me, it would mean transporting an extra saw to the jobsite (which I had not done when I cut all the anchor blocks 7 years ago).


Test 2: Cut an opening in a log wall.  Again, this is a task that I have done.  Two years ago I cut an opening in the log wall on the one side of my cabin in order to replace a window with French doors.  The “logs” are milled western red cedar and are 2.5 inches thick.  I used a guide rail and a Festool circular saw to make the horizontal cuts required.  Festool frowns upon this operation and I admit that it was a task that I approach with some trepidation and with great care.  Here is one photo taken at the time:

91661-9

There is no doubt that making the cuts with a jig saw is an easier operation, and one that Festool would approve of.

I kept the logs that I cut out and used them to simulate a complete wall.  The red lines show where the opening will be cut:

91663-10
 
Guide rail adapters exist for all four jigsaws but I don’t have them for the Bosch or the Trion.  So this test was only done with the two Carvex saws.

The distance between the Carvex S 145/4 FSG blade and the guide rail is 34 millimetres, therefore I positioned the edge of the guide rail that distance below the red line.  I used first the battery-powered Carvex:

91665-11
    
then the mains-powered Carvex to make the cut.  Again, I used pendulum setting 3 and speed A.  Dust control was not used.  Both saws cut at the same speed (about 30 centimetres a minute).  Both saws made a perfect cut.  I felt more comfortable using a jig saw this way than I felt with a circular saw.  It was slightly easier to use the battery powered saw because of the lack of a power cord.  The power cord was not a big problem, just a slight annoyance  –but I think that the hose would have been much more in the way had I chosen to utilize dust collection.  


Test 3: Use a fine scrolling blade (S 50/1.4) to cut out an outline of this loon

91687-12

out of 6mm thick Baltic birch plywood.  My granddaughter, Isla, plans to paint the cut-outs for an art project of some type.  Since I am doing these tests at a lake in Northern Ontario that has many resident loons, this is a very appropriate project.

I prefer to do such cuts with the jigsaw under the panel being cut but I understand that this is not the preferred method for most North American folks; therefore, I will use both the ‘below panel’ and ‘above panel’ methods.

As is obvious in the photo below, when cutting a pattern this precise, the pointer on the splinter-guard cannot be used to following the line:

91689-13

In fact, I found that, for all four saws, it is easier to follow the line if no splinter-guard is used and the light is turned off.  I did have good task lighting.  If I hadn’t, I would have made do with the lights built in to three of the four saws.  Below, the battery-powered Carvex 420 is being used in what I found to be the best above panel setup.  

91691-14
    
It is possible to set the light on the Carvex to one of three modes, that is to: (1) strobe, (2) continuous, or (3) off.  The method used to set the mode is more complicated than I think is necessary.  The Bosch saw also has a light but the light is limited to ON and OFF settings.  Of course, setting to Bosch light ON or OFF is much more straightforward.


In this photo:

91693-15

the saw is underneath the panel being cut leaving only a portion of the blade above the panel.

I managed to get good loon cut-outs with all four saws. Using the saws both above and below the panel, there was really no difference in the quality of the eight loons.  All cuts were done with the saws at half speed.  Dust did not get in the way of seeing the blade when sawing above the panel, so I did not need to use either the dimpled base on the Carvex saws nor the blower on the Bosch saw. It was definitely easier and faster making to cuts with the saws under the panel.  Both above and below the panel, I found it easier to manipulate the cordless saw.

I do have one warning.  When cutting with the saw below the panel, I find the S 50/1.4 blade to be shorter than I would like.  When fully retracted, the blade extends only 6 mm above the base and I, when using the under the panel method with this blade, I don’t like to cut material any thicker than 1 centimetre.  This photo:

91695-16

shows how I bent a blade when cutting a pattern in 22 mm material.  This happened because I relaxed the pressure on the saw a little bit thus letting the end of the blade hit the underside of the material.  

Festool claims that this blade can be used to cut material up to 30 mm and I find this to be true when the saw is positioned above the material that is being cut.


Test 4: I need to install cedar facing boards in order to hide the under-structure on this porch and steps:

91697-17
    
This task involves both regular and 45 degree crosscuts at well as ripping of the eight 1x8 (really ¾ inch by 7½ inch) partly stained cedar boards that are leaning against the wall.  I do have a Festool circular saw and rails with me at the island and would normally use these to do the ripping but for the purposes of this test, I will do all the cutting with the jigsaws.  I can justify this because I often do ripping with a jigsaw on jobs where I have not hauled along a circular saw.  

I used all four saws for all three types of cuts.  All the work was done with a Bosch 144D wood speed blade.

91699-18

In the assumption that a rail is not available at this job site, the ripping was done following a pencil line.  In the photo below, the Trion is being used for this task:

91701-19
    
All four saws did an equally good job.  After each cut, I spent about a minute smoothing out the cuts with a Festool Rotex 90 sander and the resulting edges were more than good enough for this project.

Here is a photo of the job site after the work was well underway:

91703-20
    
The real differences among the saws showed up when doing 45 degree cross-cuts.  First up was the Trion:

     91707-21   91709-22
      
Angles are set on the Trion by first releasing the base with the attached Allen key rotating the base in order to align the edge pointed to by the yellow arrow to the scale pointed to by the orange arrow.  It is difficult to achieve an accurate angle using this mechanism.  It is particularly hard to cut a 45 degree angle because the edge hides the scale.  In this case, the angle that I set turned out to be about 43.5 degrees and this was good enough for the job.  It was quite easy to follow the line using the Trion.
  
Setting a 45 degree angle on the Bosch proved to be a simple matter of opening a lever, setting the base to a positive 45 degree stop, then re-setting the lever.  However, following the line was not easy because it was somewhat obscured by the base:

     91711-23
 
During the job, I made five cross-cuts with the Bosch and all cuts were bang on to 45 degrees.  But, every time, I jogged off the line a bit somewhere in the cut.  No deviations were serious enough to prevent using the cut board on the job.

On the Carvex saws, such angles are cut using the special angle base.  Changing to this base is fast and easy but setting the angle is more fiddly than I expected it to be.  There are no positive stops so the angle must be set using a square.
 
I was very surprised when a part fell off the base:

     91713-24    91715-25
    
The part easily snapped back on, but now I will always have to take special care not to lose it.

It is almost, but not quite, as easy to follow to line with the Carvex saws set to an angle as it is with the the Trion.

     91717-26
      
All the angled cross-cuts that I made with both Carvex saws were perfect.

Several standard cross-cuts were also made with all four saws.  All cuts were good and my only preference was not having to turn on the generator first when using the battery-powered Carvex.

Interestingly, I observed is that my go-to saw when needing to make some quick cuts to the underlying timbers was the battery-powered Carvex equipped with an S145/4 FSG blade: 

     91719-27


Test 5:  I am building a wash-stand here at camp.  The top will be cut out of material re-cycled from the counter-tops that I recently replaced in out kitchen in Toronto.  A cut-out will be made for this sink:

     91721-28
 
I didn’t have sufficient extra countertop material to make four full size sink-cut-outs, but I did have enough to cut out these four smaller ovals:

     91723-29
    
A Festool S 75/4 K fast scrolling blade was used in all four saws.  I used a chip guard but no dust control.  The pendulum 3 setting was used on all saws.  Speed 6 was used on the Trion and Bosch.  Speed A was used on the two Carvex saws.  Here are photos of the Bosch and the battery-powered Carvex performing this task:

     91725-30     91727-31
        
All of the saws did an excellent job in about the same amount of time.  No one saw was any better than the others at this task.  I tried both the Hard Fibre base and the Steel base on the Carvex saws and noticed no difference as compared to the Standard base.


Test 6:  I have made many “Lazy Susan” turntables in the past out of various types of figured hardwoods.  Here is one that I recently made out of ash:

     91729-32   91731-33
      
They make great gifts.  I like to keep three or four on hand for that purpose.  But, right now, I have none.

I have a small supply of figured maple here on at Pellow’s Camp, therefore decided to cut some disks with the jig saws.  In the past, I cut all the turntable disks using tools other than jig saws, that is: band saw, router, and even table saw.

I have both the Carvex and Trion circle jigs.  Bosch makes circle jig for my saw, but I don’t have it.

The same blade and saw settings were used in this test as in Test 5.

With the Bosch, I first marked the circle with a compass and then cut it following the outside of the line.  I made use of both the blower and the light.

     91733-34     91735-35
      
The resulting disk is not perfect but it is acceptable and can easily be cleaned up with a router.

With the use of the circle jig:

     91737-36
    
the disk cut with the Trion was perfect.  There is no scale on the jig and I found it tedious to set up.  Once set up, it took about half the time to cut the disk with the Trion as compared to the Bosch.

The circle jig on the Carvex fits into the same base as the one used with the rail (see Test 2 above), it is easy to set up and has a built-in scale.  Here are photos of the jig in use, first with the battery-powered Carvex and then with the mains-powered Carvex:

     91739-37    91741-38
      
The scale on the jig was accurate to the millimetre and both the resulting disks were perfect.  It took me slightly less time to cut the disks with this jig than it took with the Trion jig.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:55 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 08:12 AM »
(part 5 of 5)

My Decision:

My Decision:

  • The four saws tested are of excellent quality and I can happily recommend all of them.
  • The Bosch JS572EB is a very good saw.  There are features that I like on it that are not on my faithful Trion.  These are the blower, the light, and the much better non-90 degree angle cutting with positive stops.
  • Both Carvex saws provide the ultimate jigsaw experience.  The new features that will be of particular benefit to me are the automatic (A) speed setting, the light, the non-90 degree angle cutting base, and the circle jig.
  • The battery-powered Carvex performed every task just as well as the mains-powered Carvex.  With its extra benefit of not requiring mains power and no cord to get in the way, this variation of the Carvex will become my jigsaw of choice.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 09:00 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline CarolinaNomad

  • Posts: 306
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 01:26 PM »
 [popcorn]
Jeff
resides in NAINA

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 1043
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 10:02 PM »
The idea that a jigsaw is someones 2nd most used tool is very interesting to me. Obviously it depends on what the person does but I do a wide variety of jobs and don't find it out nearly that often to be close to 2nd. A jigsaw packs up easily and is light to move around, show me more...
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 02:47 AM »
The idea that a jigsaw is someones 2nd most used tool is very interesting to me. Obviously it depends on what the person does but I do a wide variety of jobs and don't find it out nearly that often to be close to 2nd. A jigsaw packs up easily and is light to move around, show me more...


Totally agree.

I can go weeks with out using a jig saw in some cases. 

And I do a variety of jobs.

Jmb
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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 09:06 AM »
The idea that a jigsaw is someones 2nd most used tool is very interesting to me. Obviously it depends on what the person does but I do a wide variety of jobs and don't find it out nearly that often to be close to 2nd. A jigsaw packs up easily and is light to move around, show me more...


Totally agree.

I can go weeks with out using a jig saw in some cases.  

And I do a variety of jobs.

Jmb

I hope that I am able to convince you.  The test section of this report has six jobs that many people would do using tools other than a jigsaw.  Maybe you will agree with the methods that I use in those tasks, maybe you will not.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 09:01 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Tom Bellemare

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  • Festool demo's & personal service in Central Texas
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 09:44 AM »
Quote
The chip guard is semi-built in and it is easier to utilize than it is with the Trion.  However, it is difficult to slide the chip guard up and down.  I seem to need more than the recommended “minimal pressure” in order to get it to move.  This is true on both saws.


Frank:

I also struggled to move the chip guard up and down at first. Then, I realized that if you use one finger or a thumb on the ridges in the front of the saw, it moves easily. There are ridges on each side also and it looks like that is where one would grab it but grabbing it there seems to lock it in place. It's a "head fake"...

Please try just using the front ridges and report back?


Tom

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 10:32 AM »
Frank,

      Great review , can't wait for the rest.

      How do you feel about the "open hand" grip on the Carvex barrel grip saws?  In other words  when I checked one out I noticed that it is more difficult (or not possible) to wrap fingers around under the  body of the saw.  Hope I explained that well enough.


Seth

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 11:53 AM »
Looking forward to reading more about your tests, especially ones that highlight the cut quality and benefits of the various bases and other attachments.
+1

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 12:14 PM »
(11)  As we have come to expect from Festool, the manual is very “bare bones”.  However, I have been told that Festool USA is arranging to have a good manual written by a third party.  I hope that the third party is Rick Christopherson because his manuals are not just good, they are excellent!

When Shane announced the manual last week in the Carvex Q&A thread, I had a feeling it would get lost in such a long thread. So I created a new thread to announce it a couple minutes ago. Here are the same links here in case you don't notice that one.

From either the Festool USA site:
http://www.festoolusa.com/media/pdf/Carvex-PS420-Jigsaw-Manual.pdf

Or my repository of all my manuals:
http://www.waterfront-woods.com/festool/Carvex_PS420.pdf

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 12:41 PM »
(11)  As we have come to expect from Festool, the manual is very “bare bones”.  However, I have been told that Festool USA is arranging to have a good manual written by a third party.  I hope that the third party is Rick Christopherson because his manuals are not just good, they are excellent!

When Shane announced the manual last week in the Carvex Q&A thread, I had a feeling it would get lost in such a long thread. So I created a new thread to announce it a couple minutes ago. Here are the same links here in case you don't notice that one.

From either the Festool USA site:
http://www.festoolusa.com/media/pdf/Carvex-PS420-Jigsaw-Manual.pdf

Or my repository of all my manuals:
http://www.waterfront-woods.com/festool/Carvex_PS420.pdf

Thanks Rick.  I wrote this review in early August but am just posting it now.  I assume that, at that time, the manual had not been announced. 

I missed the announcement because, at our island in Northern Ontario, I have very limited connect time.

I'm very happy that it was you that wrote the manual and look forward to reading (and using) it soon.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 12:48 PM »

Thanks Rick.  I wrote this review in early August but am just posting it now.  I assume that, at that time, the manual had not been announced. 


I wish I had known. The manual has been sitting at 99% completion since mid-July. I could have sent you a copy to review/proof. If memory serves me (which it may not) I thought you had proofed one of my other manuals a long time ago.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 09:23 PM »

Thanks Rick.  I wrote this review in early August but am just posting it now.  I assume that, at that time, the manual had not been announced. 


I wish I had known. The manual has been sitting at 99% completion since mid-July. I could have sent you a copy to review/proof. If memory serves me (which it may not) I thought you had proofed one of my other manuals a long time ago.

Right you are, Rick; I proofed the 1400 Router manual -I think that was your first one for Festool.  I am a great fan of your manuals and please feel free any time to ask me to review any of your writing.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Alexander Webb

  • Posts: 103
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2013, 04:27 AM »
Nice review Frank.I've got the 420 corded barrel , 4 months now and wish i'd gone with d handle. The d handle can be used in same way as barrel grip as in has switch and hand positioning as barrel grip.The switch on my barrel i'm getting use to but have had a few near accidents. The switch works by pushing forward to come on and remains on even if you let go, you have to push forward again to switch off. This helps in fact that the barrel grip is hard to wrap fingers around and hold switch on.  Can't see how festool gets around this with all safety regulations now days

The blade retracting to correct position for ejecting only happens occasional on mine and i just push the blade on a hard service sending blade back  into correct position. 
I do find the saw takes longer to do same cut as my makita but does a better job/ quality of cut is quite suprising for a jigsaw. Guides allow very smooth tight curves and cuts at 90'. I am finding if you do any curves it wrecks splinter guide or even changing pendulum seems to do them in. Just another cost to consider. I order the 20 packs now. I find the saw jumpy on pendulum setting 4 feels like i've got down cut blade in.  I find the saw cuts better at setting 2. This jumpyness i think comes from higher rpm that the saw runs at. I hate the strobe so set lights to normal which is a nice feature. The dust front shroud never stays down on mine ended up duct taping.
Funny Frank had the angle base screw fall apart as i had same bit fall off first use,been a bit more careful and it hasn't come off again.

I use jigsaw mainly for flooring and roofing.



Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 09:05 PM »
I have finally completed the posting of my report.

I solicit suggestions for additional tasks.  I expect to retain all four saws for the next month or so, and will be happy to perform and report upon additional tests.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline GhostFist

  • Posts: 1556
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 09:35 PM »
Frank, one of the best tool reviews I have ever read. Impartial, likes and dislikes for all 3 saws. One request for a further test, cut a corbel from the thickest material possible for your blades.

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2013, 10:06 PM »
Great read Frank, many thanks. My test request is how tight a clean radius can the carvex cut using the jig. Also sure wish you could get your hands on a Mafell to compare with also.
+1

Offline GhostFist

  • Posts: 1556
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2013, 10:26 PM »
Good luck on that.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2748
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2013, 11:44 PM »
Wow Frank

Thanks for the detailed reviews.  You do a better job than any magazine editor in really trying practical tasks with your tools.   The recent Syscart review and now this review are excellent examples of real-world uses - even if you do carry propane cylinders!

I'd be curious how the saws cut metal - ease of control and quality of the cut.

I'd also be curious how the saws handle curves on thick materials.  The idea of cutting corbels I'd second.

Many thanks for putting the time and effort into this -

neil

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2677
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2013, 12:36 AM »
Frank,

Excellent review.  I have the Bosch and a Trion.  I get dead-on cuts with the Trion.  My experience with the Bosch is that I can get very, very close and sometimes perfect but I do find more blade deflection than with the Trion.

Do you have any up close shots of the cuts with a square?  Also, what about any pics of the resulting 45 degree bevel cuts?  Interested in seeing the final cut if you have something available.

Great review -- very thorough and unbiased -- well done!

Scot

Offline Eric_W

  • Posts: 3
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2013, 01:09 PM »
Great review!  I know this is off-topic, but what finish did you use on the cedar?  It looks great.

Offline GhostFist

  • Posts: 1556
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2013, 02:18 PM »
Another question, how does the cut quality differ, if at all between the trion and the carvex? Would you say the carvex is a significant upgrade worthy of trading in the trion?

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2013, 02:18 PM »
You said in one of your Posts:  The blower on the Bosch did not help much, if at all.

Yet at the end you said:

The Bosch JS572EB is a very good saw.  There are features that I like on it that are not on my faithful Trion.  These  are the blower, the light, and the much better non-90 degree angle cutting with positive stops.
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Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1998
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 03:42 PM »
2 Comments.  The "mystery strap Thingy" is for folks outside of NA.  It allows them to lock the power switch for us CMS users.

The Blade ejector seems like something I would rather enjoy.  I often have to fight with my jigsaw when the blade is dull (and very hot) and I think that would be a perfect thing for me to shoot into a bucket or trash bin.

I am jealous of all of these but think i would rather enjoy the mains version... and perhaps the D handle (really like my D handle drivers!)

Bryan
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 03:53 PM »
2 Comments.  The "mystery strap Thingy" is for folks outside of NA.  It allows them to lock the power switch for us CMS users.

The Blade ejector seems like something I would rather enjoy.  I often have to fight with my jigsaw when the blade is dull (and very hot) and I think that would be a perfect thing for me to shoot into a bucket or trash bin.

I am jealous of all of these but think i would rather enjoy the mains version... and perhaps the D handle (really like my D handle drivers!)

Bryan

Your Dead on!  Thats what I do!  I just am and FIRE! Dont have to touch the hot blade.
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Offline elimelech12

  • Posts: 376
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2013, 08:10 PM »
Great read Frank, many thanks. My test request is how tight a clean radius can the carvex cut using the jig. Also sure wish you could get your hands on a Mafell to compare with also.

+1

Thanks for the honest review.
Sold my tools but kept a few Fes-tools...just in case.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Festool Carvex 420 (both mains and battery powered) - Comparisons
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2013, 10:03 PM »
You said in one of your Posts:  The blower on the Bosch did not help much, if at all.

Yet at the end you said:

The Bosch JS572EB is a very good saw.  There are features that I like on it that are not on my faithful Trion.  These  are the blower, the light, and the much better non-90 degree angle cutting with positive stops.


That may seem like a contradiction but it is not.  I did not find the blower on the Bosch to be helpful in that particular task, but I did find it to be helpful elsewhere.  I wish that the Carvex had a blower.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)