Precision Demo Tasks with the Festool Vecturo OS400

Written by on December 13, 2014 in Products of Interest, Tools with 0 Comments

Festool plunged into the oscillating multi-tool market in December 2014 with the launch of the Vecturo OS400. In the weeks prior to the release of the tool, Topcoat test drove a manufacturer supplied unit through a series of interior and exterior material removal tasks. This is by no means a comprehensive review of the tool, just a first glimpse.

Vecturo

Trimming rotten siding to prepare for drip cap and PVC water table (skirt board) install. (photo credit: 802paint.com)

If you do projects where some ugly has to be removed before the finish work can begin, you’ve probably learned to live with the stress of discrepancies between how long you estimated prep tasks to take, and reality.

When it takes more than low grit sanding to eliminate a problem, projects can enter the undefined realm of mid-level demo. This is where you are peeling some skin off of walls without knocking them out completely or damaging what is in the stud bays.

Precision demo tasks have to be more surgical than barbarian in order to keep projects under control. As demo is often the first thing to happen on a project, it can be easy to start off on the wrong foot. And that can be a function of tool selection.

The Extremes of Demo Tool Selection:

  • Do you score for hours with a utility knife?
  • Maybe probe with a chisel or bar?
  • Get frustrated and smash things out with a hammer? 
  • Or go full on into reciprocating saw rage?

Usually, not enough good comes from these options. They seem to start and end in frustration.

There’s Got to Be Something in Between.

Vecturo

Festool Vecturo OS400 (photo credit: 802paint.com)

Like most who deal in repairing things, we have long been aware of the multi-tool concept. Because we routinely trim or remove surfaces prior to repair/paint work, we have used an old Rockwell to remove small sections of exterior substrate. It was never quite elegant enough to make the interior removal fleet on an extended basis, though.

With its Festool function and form, we are intrigued to continue to measure how the Vecturo fills task gaps where both the reciprocating saw and the jigsaw leave off – the middle ground between two different ends of the spectrum.

A well engineered multi-tool might help to prevent interior and exterior removal tasks from becoming more complicated than they need to be. If you are in the habit of trimming surfaces, you understand that figuring out where to stop the bleeding is half the battle – as that is how costs are controlled.

Vecturo

(photo credit: 802paint.com)

For example, in siding repairs, if you can snip 8 inches of rot from the end of an otherwise solid 12 foot clapboard without having to take it off the house, the labor and material savings are obvious, and the result more pleasing. Multiply that one board by the dozens we encounter each year, and you get the point.

Efficiency on our end translates to convenience and a better experience for our customers.

The fact is, when we are saving our customers money in repairs, our stock tends to increase.

What’s the Vecturo Like?

At 3.5 lbs and 3.3 amps, the OS400 is a compact and maneuverable power tool. So far, we have found it to be plenty powerful and entirely manageable in some awkward situations. It is controlled in long horizontal cut orientations at ground level, and also at ceiling heights on interior applications. Extended vertical runs in sheetrock have been smooth.

Vecturo

The Vecturo on quick and clean drywall removal. (photo credit: 802paint.com)

By way of comparison with other cutting methods, a multi-tool breaks the cycle of bouncing and stabbing sawzall blades into demo surfaces, or trying to freehand with a skill saw that wants to bind and kick. Plus, it’s just nice to have a tool that can cut through nails without alarming you too much.

With variable speed and well laid out controls, the Vecturo seems well suited for cut work in wood, metal, drywall and other common construction surfaces. The kit comes with a pleasing variety of cutters. Changing blades is quick and easy, requiring no tools.

The Vecturo set also includes a user friendly plunge base and depth stop (both also requiring no tools), which help to maximize the functionality and precision of the tool.

While our initial experiences with the Vecturo have been demo based, we are earmarking opportunities to plug it in for finish carpentry/installation types of applications as well.

Stay tuned.

For more information, visit the Festool website.

 

 

 

 

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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