Review: Festool TXS 18 – FineWoodworking

Compact, versatile, and powerful. The TXS 18 is lighter and more compact than its predecessor, with the same power and the same innovative chuck system.

Festool TXS 18: $500 for full kit; $250 for bare tool

FESTOOL IMPROVED ITS HIGHLY RATED cordless drills in 2023, so we decided to give its most popular model a try. With power equal to past 18-volt models, according to Festool, the TXS 18 is both lighter weight and more compact, and adds a work light and a belt clip (which mounts on either side of the tool).

The compact design is almost 2 in. shorter than my 18-volt Milwaukee, and a pound lighter. Despite its smaller stature, however, the TXS 18 was able to drive a huge box of 365 21⁄2-in.-long screws into pine, with enough battery power left to back out 205 of them, while the Milwaukee battery cut out after driving 313 screws.

Austin holds a festool drill, driving a screw into a 2x4, he has already driven 100's of screws.
Exceptional driver. The 18-volt Festool drill-driver easily outdrove Heitzman’s 18-volt Milwaukee model, while weighing a pound less.

Festool’s clever three-chuck system also makes the TXS 18 more versatile than standard cordless drills. There’s a standard chuck that accepts round bits, a quick-release chuck for hex-shank bits, and a right-angle chuck that fits into tight spaces. All three attach quickly and positively to the drill.

Austin Chucks a brad point bit into a Festool drill.
Unmatched versatility. Three chucks—standard (above), quick-change (below), and right-angle—pop on and off to handle any situation.

Austin holds a quick release attachment to connect to the Festool drill.


There is one slight drawback. Standard North American hex-shank bits are just a tiny bit too large to lock into Festool’s quick-release chuck, so you’ll probably wind up buying a set of Festool’s hex-shank bits. However, you’ll find that standard hexshank bits do fit into the magnetic bit holder, so you can use that in a pinch.

The full TXS 18 kit comes with two batteries and all three chucks. For half the price you can buy the bare tool (TXS 18-Basic), which includes the standard chuck and no batteries.

—Austin Heitzman is a professional furniture maker in Portland, Ore.
Photos: Asa Christiana
From Fine Woodworking #310.

Festool TXS 18

2 x BP 18 Li 4,0 HPC-ASI battery pack; rapid charger TCL 6; CENTROTEC BH 60 CE Imp magnetic bit holder; CENTROTEC Chuck; AN-XS right-angle adapter; FastFix keyless chuck 3/8“ (10 mm); BKS SYS3 D5 PZ TX 100 CE bit cassette; bit PH 2; Belt clip; Systainer SYS3 DF M 187

Price: $499 at the time of writing

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply
Shopping cart