talkFestool  

Go Back   talkFestool > Festool > Festool Reviews

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2010, 05:26 PM
DanClark's Avatar
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Posts: 414
Default Festool HL850 Mini Review

Mark Enomoto on FOG asked: What else do people use their hand planer for? To answer this, I decided to post a quick mini-review of how I use the HL850.

I think of my HL850 the same way as my Fein Multimaster - I don't need it often. However, when I do, I REALLY need it.

IMO, the HL850 is under appreciated. I've used mine in a variety of ways, but mostly for planing board edges. Nothing spectacular. Unless of course, you're kneeling over open joists with a 10 foot drop to a concrete floor:


I bought my HL850 because the joist under my Master Bathroom floor had a nice crown in the middle, where the joists come together in the middle of the pic above. Since the ultimate goal was a to have a nice, flat floor for tile, the crown had to go. I tried a bunch of things including hand planing and belt sanding. With the belt sander, I almost did a face plant to garage floor. The belt sander grabbed and I shot forward, landing face down with one shoulder on each joist facing the garage floor.

After I changed my shorts, I decided that I was being exceptionally stupid and bought the HL850. After that, planing down the joists was easy. I've used my HL850 for this kind of rough carpentry several times and it made the job very easy.

When using the 850 to plane a board edge and want to ensure a nice square edge, make sure to get the HL850 Angle Stop.

The Angle Stop plus the HL850 Bench Unit turns the HL850 into a small jointer. To be sure, it has limitations including a cutter head that's slightly over three inches wide and a short bed, but I've found surprisingly useful. With carefully placed infeed and outfeed supports, it will handle longer stock fairly well.

A couple weeks ago, while installing my bathroom vanity, I realized that I needed some filler strips that were rabbeted across the wider dimension:


To do this, I installed the 850 into the Bench Unit, attached the Angle Stop, and slid the fence the proper distance so that the cutter cut a nice rabbet in the side:


The Angle Stop fence is designed to be moved across the bed:


It's called Angle Stop because the Fence can be adjusted for bevel cuts. Here you see it with my CT hose plugged in at the bottom:


Like most Festools, it's the details that make them shine. In the pic below, notice the little white gizmo on the handle, just below the bed? That's a slide-on gauge that allows you to easily set the cutter depth while mounted in the Bench Unit. Also, while not perfect, dust collection still VERY good. What you see on the bottom of the Bench Unit and MFT is the total dust after planing two test boards and two final boards:


Here's a better pic of the CT hose connection on the bottom back. In the back right you can see the white cutter depth control attachment:


The trigger control is an example of the good, simple, elegant design of the Bench Unit. Consider this... When you're using the 850 as a planer, you want it to handle like a normal hand power tool - pull the trigger to start and release to stop. However, as a jointer, you want it to start and stay running, but be easy to stop quickly when necessary.

The trigger control is a simple sliding piece of composite plastic that holds down the trigger when you slide it forward and releases the trigger when you pull it back. When I first saw the trigger control, I thought it was pretty hokey. After using it however, I find it VERY nice. After a few minutes, it becomes a natural motion to hit the trigger release on the back and push the slide forward. Turning off is a quick pull. Here's a closeup of the trigger control:


An HL850 won't replace a thickness planer or a full-size jointer, but as a portable, flexible tool that fills multiple roles, it is unique.

My overall grade is: A. I would definitely buy it again and would not hesitate to recommend to a friend.

Regards,

Dan.

FYI... The HL850, like all of my tools, was purchased by me with my own funds. I have received NO compensation from Festool or anyone associated with Festool.
__________________
"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’" George Bernard Shaw
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2010, 07:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,079
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

How good was it at leveling the floor? I have problems visualizing that planer doing good at leveling (I have the same problem visualizing the jointer too). How much can it take off in one pass?

Thanks for the review. This seems to be the one tool from Festool we hear little about.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2010, 08:38 PM
DanClark's Avatar
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Posts: 414
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Steve,

It worked pretty well. The amount you take off is adjustable. Max is about 3.5mm, but I rarely go more than 1mm. I made a few short passes at the highest spot on each joist. Then gradually lengthened the passes and reduced the amount taken off.

I used a 13' long piece of 2X that was cut (with my TS55 and longest rails)to be a straightedge. I laid that down on the joist, marked the high spots, and re-cut.

I'm not suggesting that people run out and buy an HL850 as a jointer. But if you need a planer and don't have the space for a normal jointer, it does a passable job and has excellent dust collection.

Regards,

Dan.
__________________
"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’" George Bernard Shaw
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 02:25 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 41°N 79°W One of the Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States of America
Posts: 4,820
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Nice mini review Dan. As Steve says the Festool planers don't get much print. I would be interested to see an instruction video produced by Festool.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 03:11 AM
DanClark's Avatar
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Posts: 414
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by RONWEN View Post
Nice mini review Dan. As Steve says the Festool planers don't get much print. I would be interested to see an instruction video produced by Festool.
Thanks.

Generally speaking, I think that one of the issues with Festool tools is that some of them break the mold and Festool doesn't do a great job of explaining why the new mold is better. I think our biggest problem is not understanding the tool. I think it's understanding the new mold. Sometimes the traditional ways are still valid and may be better than the new ways. Our biggest challenge is understanding the new ways so that we can make our own comparison of the old vs the new ways.

Regards,

Dan.
__________________
"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’" George Bernard Shaw
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 03:40 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 41°N 79°W One of the Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States of America
Posts: 4,820
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanClark View Post
FYI... The HL850, like all of my tools, was purchased by me with my own funds. I have received NO compensation from Festool or anyone associated with Festool.
By the way, I like seeing that -- very often while I'm reading a review I can tell that statement is going to be missing...
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 03:51 AM
DanClark's Avatar
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Posts: 414
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Ron,

I like seeing it too. It helps you judge where people are coming from. For example, I love my C12. I wax eloquent when I write about it. But I bought mine, so those are my true feelings.

Regards,

Dan.
__________________
"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’" George Bernard Shaw

Last edited by DanClark; 04-17-2010 at 10:43 AM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 05:36 AM
SRSemenza's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Fingerlakes Region, NY State
Posts: 1,178
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

I have been planning to get the 850 for some time. It is nice to see some of the details on its set up.


Dan, do you have any of the special heads?

Seth
__________________
If you know where it's comin' from ...... You can tell where it's goin'. ========> ======> =====> ====> ===> ==> => > > >>>
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 10:42 AM
DanClark's Avatar
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Posts: 414
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Seth,

Hi. No, none of the special heads. It would be fun to try one, but I've never had the need.

Regards,

Dan.
__________________
"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’" George Bernard Shaw
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 06:16 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Kent coast, UK
Posts: 69
Default Re: Festool HL850 Mini Review

Nice review Dan and it has got me thinking about getting the bench attachment for my newly purchased EHL65, I have one question though!
As I am used to jointers working from a right handed feed, in the set up above the feed is left handed (no doubt a boon for those who are left handed) is it easy to get used to working '**** about face' with this set up?

Having had to run a rebate in the back of some architraves to step over the plaster line (the door linings had been supplied under the total thickness of stud wall and drywall combined and of course it falls to the guy on site to get over it!) it would have made life easier to have the bench unit set up. Odd shaped mouldings don't sit well while trying to run a rebate free hand
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:08 PM.