Boom Arm Review
Hi. This review is of the Festool Boom Arm, with it hooked to my CT22. This is a different type of review from some others. For example, with the Depth Stop Chuck, my reaction was "Yeee Haaa!!! Is this thing wonderful or WHAT!?!". But the Boom Arm...
It's a different animal. At first, with the lack of documentation, I was irritated. And I had the boom pointed toward the wall. So, I kept hitting things and I struggled with it. Then I moved the boom to the right side and installed the hose clamp. Better, but still not great. But then...
I thought, "Hey stupid, turn it around!" So now it's turned 180 degrees and here it sits:
So a few days later, I worked on the bathroom, cleaning, straightening up, installing sheet rock, all sorts of mundane things. I didn't think about the Boom Arm much. Or the CT22! Or cleaning up! And that's the point...
They all faded into the background! My work space got easier to work with. Messes were much easier to clean up. No more tripping on or fooling with hoses and cords! My work space got cleaner. The work was easier. And all I did with it was to use it as a vacuum. I haven't even had the opportunity to use it as a DC!
It's not that I get a massive emotional charge out of the Boom Arm. I don't say, "Wow, what a tool!" It's just that it makes my life easier. Here are my two favorite pics of the Boom Arm:
In the first pic, I just got finished vacuuming sheet rock dust off of the MFT. Notice the Boom Arm just hangin' there. No cords and hoses to trip over. IT IS SITTING PATIENTLY, WAITING TO BE USED.
Now take a look at the second pic. They look the same don't they? Not quite. To take a better pic, I swatted the hose with my hand and it swung to the mid point of it's arc OUT OF THE WAY. No effort involved. No thought. No planning. Just a hand swat.
If I wanted, I could have tossed (literally) the hose another 2-3 feet farther towards the far wall. Again, no thought. No effort. NO INTERUPTION OF MY WORK FLOW OR THINKING!
Are your starting to get it? It's like that comfy pair of old shoes that FIT your feet perfectly. You don't think how great they are; they are just part of your life.
Here's my favorite feature pic of the Boom Arm:
I'll bet you're thinking something like "Huh?". Take a good close look. You can see the hose and wire being held out of the way, but take a look at the plastic thing... That's the bearing that the Boom Arm swings on. SMOOTHLY! The little silver screw controls the motion. Those two little black knobs? If you remove them, the Boom Arm breaks down and can be stored so that's only about 3-4 feet tall. And what you can't see...
If you remove the two black knobs and lift out the top half of the Boom Arm, you'll see the inside of the bottom half of the Boom Arm. If you stick your finger in that hole, you'll feel smoooooooth. The INSIDE of the Boom Arm is glass smooth.
Since this pic was taken, there were reports of the plastic bearing failing and the boom arm sagging. In typical Festool fashion, they replaced the plastic bearing with an aluminum bearing. The aluminum bearing gives movement almost as smooth as the original plastic one, but with no snag. These two features combine give an almost effortless movement of the Boom Arm. Which is one of the reasons why you don't think about it - you push it a little and it's out of your way.
I hope I've been able to impart the great warm fuzzies that I feel for the Boom Arm. It's my nice old pair of shoes (that happen to be three days old) that I won't part with for anything.
Overall Grade: A+++
Last edited by DanClark; 07-31-2008 at 05:51 PM.
Boom Arm Review - FAQ
Here is a FAQ with some common questions about the Boom Arm.
Q: How tall is the Boom Arm?
A: I measured mine. The top-most part of the hose fitting at the top of the Boom Arm is slightly less than 82 inches (actually about 81-3/4).
Q: Can it be broken down for travel.
A: Yep, it's very easy. Unscrew the little black knobs in the middle of the boom arm and lift out the upper section.
Just for grins, I decided to see how difficult it would be to disconnect the boom for transportation and then reconnect for work. Having never done it before (other than original setup), it took me 59 seconds to disconnect the boom and 61 seconds to reconnect it. And I wasn't hurrying!
Q: How tall is the CT22 after the Boom Arm has been disconnected for travel?
A: The vertical boom arm that connects to the handle is 1365mm tall (53-3/4") after disconnection. Disconnected, the horizontal piece is almost exactly the same length.
Q: Does the Boom Arm come with the Hose Holder.
A: No. That's a separate option. In German, it's a "Schlauchhalter". It helps keep the big inlet hose off the ground and out of the way. Take a look in the pic above.
Q: Can you store your CT under your MFT?
A: Take a look at the pic below. After I spent about 10 seconds to pull the D50 hose out the hose holder, I just wheeled it under my MFT.
Q: My Boom Arm has the plastic fitting and is sagging. How can I get the aluminum fitting?
A: Call your dealer and describe the problem. Tell him that you want the replacement fitting - Item Number: 465-796.
Q: I'd like to attach other power tools to my CT and Boom Arm to take advantage of the dust collection. How do you set it up to auto-start.
A: I use a three-way plug and hang it from the boom arm. The small extension cord goes from the CT's socket to the three way plugs. Then I have one permanently-mounted plugit extension cord plugged into the three way. That leaves two open sockets available for other tools that I want to auto start. Here's a pic:
Last edited by DanClark; 03-25-2009 at 03:52 PM.
Re: Boom Arm Review
I never thought I would be interested in the boom arm. I was looking on the web for reviews and yours popped up. Thanks for your time and effort in the review it really helped me.
I haven't made the purchase yet but am leaning towards it. There are some home made things out there that come close, and far removed from $400. I feel a little guilty knowing there's less expensive alternatives.
After some time with it are you as satisfied, did you make any adjustments to your particular circumstance?