Battle of the Festool Jigsaws: Trion vs Carvex
Updated 1st March 2019.
Are you looking to buy a Festool jigsaw? There’s two styles to choose from: the Trion 300 or the Carvex 420.
As a power tool specialist and official Festool dealer, we have the expertise to help you choose the best jigsaw for your needs! Read on for our Festool jigsaw reviews and a side by side comparison of each model.
Before we go any further, it’s handy to know what the different Festool jigsaw model codes mean. As Festool is a German company, most of their tool codes are abbreviations for German words. There’s four different Festool jigsaw codes:
After the initial 2-4 letter code, 3 numbers will follow to help you identify the specific model. All Trion jigsaws end in 300 and all Carvex jigsaws end in 420.
As mentioned, there’s currently two Festool jigsaw styles on the market: the Trion 300 and the Carvex 420. Both come in an electric body-grip model (PS) and an electric bow-handle model (PSB). The more modern Carvex also comes in a cordless body-grip model (PSC) and a cordless bow-handle model (PSBC). We’ve highlighted the main differences between them all in the table below.
|PS 300||PSB 300||PS 420||PSB 420||PSC 420||PSBC 420|
|Motor type:||SAME >||Brushed||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||Brushless|
|Power consumption:||SAME >||720W||SAME >||110V = 400W
|Battery voltage:||SAME >||18V|
|Blade type:||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||Festool jigsaw blades|
|Stroke rate:||SAME >||1,000 – 2,900 spm||1,500 –
|Inclination:||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||0-45°|
|Pendulum cover adjustment in stages:
||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||4|
|Cutting depth in wood / NF metals / steel:||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||120 / 20 / 10mm|
|Weight:||SAME >||2.4kg||SAME >||1.9kg||SAME >||2.4kg|
|Vibration sawing chipboard:||SAME >||4.5 m/s²||SAME >||10 m/s²||6 m/s²||10 m/s²|
|Sound power / pressure level:||SAME >||94/83 dB(A)||SAME >||SAME >||SAME >||99/88 dB(A)|
The Trion 300 is Festool’s original jigsaw model.
As mentioned, it comes in an electric body-grip model and an electric bow-handle model, depending on your personal preference. Both are perfectly balanced with compact handle dimensions and a low weight of 2.4kg for effortless one-handed operation – ideal when you’re cutting from underneath the material. It also has lower vibration and noise than the Carvex for increased comfort and control.
The Trion has a high-performance 720W motor with ‘Multi Material Control’ power electronics which ensures high torque and cutting power. Pendulum action allows the blade to move up and down AND backwards and forwards to cut into thicker and/or harder materials quicker. It also has constant adjustable speed and temperature monitoring for work on all types of material.
The Trion provides a superior level of precision and curve cutting thanks to its patented three-way blade guide with parallel adjustable carbide jaws. It can make mitre cuts and undercuts from 0-45°, and it’s compatible with Festool’s guide rail system (adapter required) for perfectly straight cuts.
The jigsaw also has a splinter guard which ensures splinter-free cuts on both sides, eliminating the need for rework or finishing work – even on veneered surfaces! Integrated extraction channels in the saw table provide effective dust extraction directly at the blade, whilst the FastFix quick-clamping system allows rapid, tool-free blade changes.
The Festool Trion jigsaw can be used for a wide range of applications, including cut-outs for sinks and kitchen hobs; trimming work on furniture, kitchens and for interior fitting; cutting circles and curves; coping end strips; cutting workpieces to length; edge notching on beams; and cutting from underneath the material.
Overall, the Festool Trion 300 is an excellent jigsaw which offers superior power, precision and ergonomics for flexible use in a wide range of applications. However, it’s sorely lacking a cordless model.
The Carvex 420 is Festool’s more modern jigsaw model. It has all of the same great features as the Trion, with some additional benefits.
The main difference between the Carvex and the Trion, is that the Carvex comes in both electric and cordless models. A cordless jigsaw can significantly increase the flexibility of your work as you’re not restricted by power sources and cable lengths. Festool’s new Bluetooth batteries further increase the convenience of cordless as they allow automatic use of your Bluetooth dust extractor – when you turn your cordless jigsaw on, your extractor will automatically start as well! So really, the main difference between an electric and cordless Carvex jigsaw is literally the power cord!
The Carvex has a brushless motor which provides maximum performance and efficiency. Brushless motors utilise energy more efficiently as it’s not being wasted on heat and friction from the carbon brushes – it’s transferred to the task you’re conducting instead. Brushless motors are also 100% maintenance-free and have a longer service life than brushed motors. In cordless tools, the battery’s runtime is also increased. (Note: brushless motors tend to have lower wattage than brushed motors as they’re more efficient which ‘makes up’ for this.)
The Carvex also has an automatic speed setting which reduces the speed before the blade makes contact with the workpiece to make starting cuts easier. The motor then quickly speeds up once it’s engaged with the workpiece and adjusts the speed according to the blade’s resistance in the material.
The Festool Carvex jigsaw also has stroboscope LED lighting for an easily visible scribe mark – something which the Trion is sorely lacking. There’s also an on/off switch on both sides and in the centre of the saw, making it easy to reach in every grip position.
Out of the six Festool jigsaw models, the two electric Carvex models have the lightest weight at only 1.9kg for even greater comfort and control. The two bow-handle Carvex models also have a wider variable speed range for increased flexibility in applications.
The only downfall of the Carvex compared to the Trion is that in order to make mitre cuts and undercuts from 0-45°, you need to purchase a separate angle table which will cost you around £100.
Overall, the Festool Carvex 420 is a brilliant jigsaw. It can do everything that the Trion can do and more for maximum flexibility when working!
Comparing electric and cordless jigsaws is impossible as both have different benefits over the other. So really, it’s down to your personal preference and the environment(s) in which you’ll be working.
If you want a cordless Festool jigsaw, then the Carvex is your only choice – and an excellent one at that! The abilities of the tool along with Festool’s new Bluetooth battery technology will make your work effortless.
If you want an electric Festool jigsaw; both the Trion and Carvex are brilliant. However, for optimum performance and flexibility; go with the Carvex! It can do everything that the Trion can do and more! It has the lightest weight; a brushless motor for maximum performance and efficiency; automatic speed setting for easier cutting; and lighting for a clearer view of the cutting line. The bow-handle model also has the widest variable speed range for maximum flexibility in applications.
That being said, the Festool Trion 300 is still a great jigsaw. If you don’t need the above ‘extras’ and would rather have the integrated function of making mitre cuts and undercuts; then this is the best Festool jigsaw for you.
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