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Thread: Fein rant (pics)

  1. #1
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    Default Fein rant (pics)

    The night before this happened, I was singing the praises of Fein and their deck reefing tool for the Multimaster.

    It's dandy all right, but I figure I did less than 50 liner feet before the attachment broke. At about $50 a pop, that's a dollar a foot.



    That's the second one I've gone through just doing the cockpit floor and bridge deck. The first one I didn't think much about because I'd bought it a while back, and wasn't sure how much it had been used. As I think about it - and I'd clearly remember reefing deck seams - it hadn't been used either - other than to test in a small spot on the bridge deck to see how it worked.

    Not surprisingly, the set of bent files that has been with me through the whole project is just fine




    End of rant, but still bummed (and out waaaay too much money)
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 12-14-2006 at 08:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'd write a 'shocked, appalled and dismayed' letter to someone up the distribution channel. Fein's blades and consumables are certainly priced high enough to afford making good on the product.

  3. #3
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    Someone needs to start making blades that fit the Fein.

    They are way out of line on price...but I do love the tool.

    Used it last to cut 50 year old window glazing out 190 window panes so I could reglaze them. Broke about 4 panes total. Amazing tool.

  4. #4
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    I too love my fein, and like the others here, feel that the price charged justifies some outrage over the sometimes quite short life of some of the attachments. My particular bout of righteous indignation surrounds the $99 diamond tile grout kit which, shockingly, proves to be a one-hit-wonder.

  5. #5
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    I haven't used this accessory, but I have to ask...

    Did the tool break, or did you break the tool? Was the caulking so hard it broke the tool? Did the tool catch on the teak and break? What, exactly, caused the tool to fail?

    So far, the damage done to the attachments for my Multimaster have been caused by a heavy-handed operator. As many times as I've been told, and told myself to let the tool do the work, I still wear out the edges of the sanding pads by pressing down too hard on the work. I've snapped a couple of the E-blade saws by pressing too hard (rushing the process).

    It looks like my next purchase will be the star-shaped adapter. I'm almost out of the old-style gizmos.

  6. #6
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    What are some of the most common, routine uses you guys have for the Multimaster, anyway? I realize it is capable of doing all kinds of exotic things, but I have to admit that mine doesn't get used too often. The tool sure seems to have a lot of fans, though, so I guess I'm missing something ...

    Ben

  7. #7
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    Well mine sits in its box a lot, but when I need it, it's the only thing that'll do the job. To me it's worth it just thinking about all the scraped knuckles I DON'T have from sanding and scraping in corners. Also, mine earns its keep by cutting depth slots for carving on round objects.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Starr
    ... Also, mine earns its keep by cutting depth slots for carving on round objects.
    Rick: You lost me, there. Do you mind walking my feeble brain through that? Thanks. Ben

  9. #9
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    Mine lives in a bucket, with baggies containing the various attachments and sandpaper. It's usually wearing the little triangular sanding pad I made by cutting down an edgeworn larger one. I used it yesterday, with 240 grit paper, to put a quick edge back on a couple of old chisels I'm using to carve a trough out of a pumice boulder.

    My primary uses for it are like a Dremel on steroids. Cutting, grinding and sanding jobs which are too big for the Dremel and too small for the right angle grinder.

  10. #10
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    I do a lot of this sort of thing...



    To do it, I turn the post to the outer profile I want, then I lay out the carving parts in pencil. Once happy with the layout I cut the grooves to depth ('grounding' would be the equivalent to a relief carver) using a saw. One can use a saw with a block clamped to the blade at the desired distance from the teeth which will give a consistent depth, but I like using the fein with a blade since it binds a lot less and is easier for ambidextrous use. The blank is carved in the lathe to take advantage of the indexing headstock on the lathe and ambidexterity is needed on most carvings. Anyway, a simple line drawn on the round fein blade at the right depth works well enough, but you can also make a circular depth stop out of lexan or something if you prefer, although this tends to burn when it comes in contact with the wood.

  11. #11
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    Very cool, Rick. Great photo of your shop, too. Donn - when you use the MM for your "Dremel on Steroids" applications, do you normally just use the triangular sanding pad, or some other attachment? I have recently tried my hand at sign carving (I'm pretty much making it up as I go along) and I wonder if there's an application here ...

    Ben

  12. #12
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    Hah! I just noticed...in the pic, on the bench you can see my triangular fein sanding pad, removed for the carving I've just completed...Lol

  13. #13
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    I use the sanding pads, both sizes, for small sanding, and I use the carbide rasps for small grinding. The carbide grout blades also work well for small grinding.

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    Carbide rasps, huh? Hmmmm. That attachment sounds intriguing. And expensive ...

    Ben

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    I too find the quality of the tool great. I've had mine since 1999 and I use it quite often. I also appreciate the extra long cord - fewer times to break out the extension cord. The saw attachment goes places no other saw will. But mine started to fall apart where the blade is held onto the body with two screws.

    Will.

  16. #16
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    Default One Fein day ....

    I forget the rest of the words...

    To me that tool is my tool of last resort. When there is nothing I can use to do what needs to be done, then I reach for my Fein.

    The gizmos are REDICULOUSLY expensive
    The part numbers are even more REDICULOUS

    But the pain one feels when one has not received the desired item because the part numbers are so bloody rediculous has to be felt to be appreciated.

    I'd like the cord better if it plugged into the tool.

    Why someone isn't making gizmos for this thing I don't understand. $60 for a 3.5" dia HSS blade? Utterly, totally, rediculous. Fein should take the Gillette approach.
    MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY! "I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others."

    As a general rule, the better it felt when you said it, the more trouble it's going to get you into.

    International Financial Conspirator, Collaborator, Gun Runner, Ace Philosopher-King and all-around smartie pants

  17. #17
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    I made lots of different sanding pads for mine out of 1/4" ply and velcro. They were all custom made for sanding things like the toe rail of my Hinckley (which had bronze track on the top) and other tricky little places. The 10 minutes it would take to make the right shape was well worth it.

    I too wish the cutting blades were much cheaper.

  18. #18
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    Did the tool break, or did you break the tool? Was the caulking so hard it broke the tool? Did the tool catch on the teak and break? What, exactly, caused the tool to fail?
    Yeah have to wonder that too, especially after seeing the picture of the hammer she broke.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  19. #19
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    I'll chime in and agree with everyone else. My Multimaster is a super tool and it gets a lot of use. Everything from sanding to cutting holes in drywall. And, like the rest of the world, I also find the attachments to be extortively expensive. There is absolutely NO reason they should cost what they do, even considering they are imported and unique to the tool. SOMEBODY could make a bunch of money having a bunch of attachments punched out to fit them. I suppose there aren't enough Multimasters out there to justify it or it would have been done already.

    I've been thinking of making some attachments myself. I hit a nail with the HSS saw and nicked the teeth. I thought I'd pick up another... until I saw the $120 price tag for a blister pack of two!

    As for deck seam reefing. I've not used the Fein tool, but if you cut the sides of the seam compound from the teak, as it looks like you're doing, the hooked file tangs should reef out the compound rather easily.

  20. #20
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    Got a Fein High Speed Steal ( ) flush-cut blade today ($80, thank you very much). It didn't fit where I wanted it to fit (or it didn't reach the screws/nails) but, as I tell the kids in my LEGO Engineering Class, if you only see one solution to a problem, you don't understand the problem. It did a Fein job removing epoxy from the surface of the wood, exposing the screws hidden underneath.
    Last edited by Ed Harrow; 12-15-2006 at 10:20 PM.
    MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY! "I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others."

    As a general rule, the better it felt when you said it, the more trouble it's going to get you into.

    International Financial Conspirator, Collaborator, Gun Runner, Ace Philosopher-King and all-around smartie pants

  21. #21
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    I'm right there with everybody else... great tool, ridiculous prices on attachments. It keeps me from buying anything but sand paper fro it and has me treating my saw blade like precious metal.

    If I was any good at brazing or welding I'd experiment with hack saw blades and plate metal to make my own cutters. After all the connection for most attachments is just friction from the bolt, no special holes to cut really.

  22. #22
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    How does anyone resist the obvious pun.
    Even when they work, they don't work well. I blame engineers.
    The only thing engineers have done to the toaster in the last 80 years is make it disposable. I think it applies to a lot of things

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmede
    If I was any good at brazing or welding I'd experiment with hack saw blades and plate metal to make my own cutters. After all the connection for most attachments is just friction from the bolt, no special holes to cut really.
    Actually, the 'new' attachment system uses a star-shaped connection which fits into a like-shaped cutout in the accessory.

    It seems to me, using the old attachment system, you could simply drill a hole in a piece of hacksaw blade, or mill file, or a number of other bits.

  24. #24
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    I've used mine to:

    - remove the annoying labels stuck to the bottom of plates (scraper blade)

    -plunge cut the nails under a threshold that was nailed down where the nails were set and puttied. Saved hours of removing trim to access it and pull it.

    -reglazing windows..cutting the old glazing right out with the blade against the glass!

    - made a slot in a bronze prop nut when one was available. Holding the nut in a pair of vise grips and carving away with the fein tool like a scalpel

    -removing barnacles from prop and then cleans it up with sander. (works AWESOME!!!)

    -sand in weird places

    -cut a piece of fiberglass out from underneath a bad spot in my deck. IN an area you couldn't access with any other type of saw. then scrape the old core out, then dress all the pieces to prep them for reglassing.


    I do love it...but the bits and blades are TOO $$$$$$$$$

  25. #25
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    Did the tool break, or did you break the tool? Was the caulking so hard it broke the tool? Did the tool catch on the teak and break? What, exactly, caused the tool to fail?
    The tool broke. Because IMHO the blade is just too thin / poor material for the task. Actually, it has to be thin to cut, but there's got to be a better grade of metal.



    I'll get a profile shot of my remaining bit next time I'm at the warehouse, but you can see from the front view that there's an edge built into it. Obviously to make the cutting more efficient, but the turns there at the base border on micro-thin. It obviously heats a little and vibrates as it cuts and as we all know the weakest link in the chain is going to break.

    Specifically addressing the point about running it in to the teak, it is impossible not to catch the teak occasionally. It's not like the deck seams are perfectly straight and sometimes the caulk is actually over the crown of the seam. If you're not careful, the tool will grab a sliver and run up the grain. So not only was I extra careful - working slowly so I could stop immediately if it veered off track, but on the bridge deck I had changed to the narrowest blade and was making multiple passes vs using one closer to the seam width.

    When I went to the Fein website to get the picture above, I notice it mentions using a blade size smaller than the seam to prevent damage to the deck. It doesn't mention damaging the blade.

    As a couple of folks have suggested, I'll try to do a letter this weekend. I'm a Fein fan and have sung their praises for years, but that's a lot of freaking money.
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 12-15-2006 at 08:26 PM.

  26. #26
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    Margo,

    Here's what I'd do:

    Spend a couple of hours and put together a photo-documentary of the whole issue.

    Include pics of Sarah, and her decks and seams. Include photos of the broken blades. Also include your other Fein tools in the photos.

    Email it to Fein. Do a little research, and find out who, specifically, to address it to, VP Sales, etc..

    CC it to the honchos at WB, Jamestown, and any other big name marine user or rep of Fein you can think of.

    Give them the idea you're going to hound them until they do something about this issue. Be subtle, but leave no doubt.

  27. #27
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    One thing to note about the Fein multimaster is that their patent is running out. I do not know if the accessories fall under the patent or not. What I do know is that other companies can now copy the multimaster's operation. I suspect that the knockoff's will come and their own versions of the accessories will be soon behind.

    I don't know if anyone is making a knockoff at this time. If I hear anything I'll let everyone know.
    Last edited by Bob Perkins; 12-16-2006 at 08:31 AM.

  28. #28
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    It looks like Fein has changed the attachment design to feature that unique star shaped hole. Mine's just got a round hole for the attachments. Could it be they are trying to thwart aftermarket attachments when their patent runs out? Looks like it.

  29. #29
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    I'd be very reluctant to buy a tool which locked me into a proprietary and expensive line of consumables. I expect that i'm not alone in this.

    Bob P-
    I'm puzzled about what might be patented in the fein tool. There have been other oscillating detail sanders and cast cutters on the market for years. What's the gimmick?

  30. #30
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    I e-mailed Fein-USA with a link to this thread. I've invited them to address the questions raised here, particularly the cost of their attachments. It will be interesting to see if they respond and what their explanation may be!

  31. #31
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    Thanks Bob. No surprise I didn't get around to doing a letter. But I did have Hugh and Frank on board today and they saw the carnage. Hugh thought I had sharpened the edge, but I promise that's how they come. They also saw a couple of the cutting blades - sans teeth.

    I hope we hear from Fein. In addition to the Multimaster, I have two Turbo Vacs, the 6" random orbit, and a cordless drill. It is also a good bet that I'm the only one here who has the floor vac attachment for the Turbo Vac.

    All are great with exception of the near-disposable quality of the Multimaster attachments. Someone above mentioned Gillette razor blades, and that's about the gauge of metal that seems to be involved. Actually, I think I broke ONE 5-cent razor blade on this job and TWO $50.00 Fein attachments.

    Breakage would be a lot easier to take if you got 2-3 items in a $20 pack.

  32. #32
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    I love to hate the Fein. It is simply a "Cast" cutter in which sanding sheets and other doo-hicky's are stuck to. Although I own one, I would never recommend it as a multi-purpose tool. It does really well at some tasks, but fails at others.
    Last edited by few3; 12-21-2006 at 06:41 PM.

  33. #33
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    Still no response from Fein to my question about their outrageous prices!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek
    Still no response from Fein to my question about their outrageous prices!
    I am looking forward to their response here. Thanks for rattling their cages. I never got my "free" clock they offered.

  35. #35
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    I'd say the deafening silence is Fein's response.

    So here's a couple more pictures for anyone interested.

    The remaining deck seam reefing tool - side view:



    A cutting blade. I even wrote on it for cutting wood, putty, etc. so it wouldn't accidently get used for something else. It's barely been used. The writing held up, pity the teeth didn't.



    Roughly $300 in attachments. Only one of which is useable. er by the minute.

    Last edited by Concordia...41; 12-22-2006 at 08:24 PM.

  36. #36
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    Maybe if EVERYBODY in the forum who owns a Fein Multimaster e-mailed Fein with complaints about their attachments and prices, ... it'd be a MOVEMENT!

  37. #37
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    And just so you know - the retailers are not knocking it out of the park on Fein stuff with markup.. Their cost is very high too...
    (I have the ability to see cost from time to time on this stuff..)

  38. #38
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    It may not be for everybody, but it occurred to me during the last post that I'll put the broken pieces in a ziploc bag and take them with me to the boat shows I frequent.

    When I've talked to one of the reps at a show, they seem eager to please, are often offering deals far under advertised prices, and - worst case scenario - cannot possibly want some woman standing at their booth showing off broken attachments

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Concordia...41
    It may not be for everybody, but it occurred to me during the last post that I'll put the broken pieces in a ziploc bag and take them with me to the boat shows I frequent.

    When I've talked to one of the reps at a show, they seem eager to please, are often offering deals far under advertised prices, and - worst case scenario - cannot possibly want some woman standing at their booth showing off broken attachments
    Good for you!

  40. #40
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    Well theres a case of using your assets , bring a large sack , you'll be going away with more stuff than you came with.

    And the longer you hang around the more they'll want you to leave , ah , a happy camper

  41. #41
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    Default 20 years with a Fein

    I've had mine since the original US import model, with the natural aluminum body. I use it for just two things -
    Sanding. Use when nothing else will fit.
    Cutting with the full round blade. Use when nothing else will fit.

    I've never bought the other gadgets because they're way too expensive, and I have functional alternates.

    It's great for these two uses - and only if there's no alternative. I don't use it that much, but love it when I do.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Faneuf
    ...I've never bought the other gadgets because they're way too expensive, and I have functional alternates...
    I have one of these tools too. It's great at what it does, but someone at Fein needs to understand how many folks have expressed Ross's views on cost.
    This seems to be a basic failure of economics:
    Fein makes $0.00 on products they don't sell.
    A high margin is no doubt a fine thing (if you can make it), but a company that is not selling a product due to high cost isn't making as much $'s as it could be.

  43. #43
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    I know I would use mine more if the attachments weren't so dear.

    I'd venture that fein would make more money at lower sales price as usage would boom.

    Sounds like Reagan-nomics...

  44. #44
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    We're all assuming that because we don't buy the scandalously priced attachments, then no one does. When I was at the woodenboat show a few years ago most of the fein goodies were gone by saturday noon.

  45. #45
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    I'm in line with Ross. I use it ONLY when I don't have another convenient alternative. As time has passed, I've developed a lot of little tricks and doodads that have allowed me to use the multimaster VERY little.

    I think if I were to add up all the money I've spent on the tool and its consumables and divide by the time I've actually spent using it, I'd land somewhere around $5/minute. I think next in line on that math would be my router at maybe $0.50/minute.
    That's it. My multimaster is going on ebay next week.

    While we're ranting on expensive proprietary blades that don't last for crap, am I the only one who thinks Bosch jigsaw blades should last at least as long as the other guy's if they're going to cost so much?
    We must go too far in order to know how far to go. Yeah.

  46. #46
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    Well, a couple of weeks ago, I e-mailed Fein USA and asked about the price of their attachments. It was a nice letter, mentioning this thread and inviting them to explain their pricing policies to us.

    So far, nada, zip, zilch! I guess they can't be bothered. Time for somebody to come out with an after-market line of Fein attachments, I'd say.

  47. #47
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    I don't think that Festool makes the same tool that broke and started this thread but. . . . . . . Their very accessable, I've used their sander for hundreds of hours, and their parts--including sandpaper are very reasonably priced. I think anybody with a big sanding job in front of them will be very happy with this system.

  48. #48
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    Angry Fein Patents

    I looked up the Fein US patents. The first (US6099397) entitled "Power Sander" covers the Multimaster and expires March 7, 2018.

    Fein has another patent (US6976888) entitled "Power Tool Having a Receptacle for Securing a Tool". This covers the new attachment "star" design and expires Dec 20, 2020. (Actually, what we thought was a "star" design on the attachments is actually "a plurality of bulges displaced outwardly from a center axis of the drive shaft" - patents make great reading.)

    So...we will probably be laboring under Fein's pricing policies for a long time to come. And there is a reason why there aren't any competitors out there selling Multimaster knockoffs, or even the Multimaster attachments. It could constitute patent infringement.

  49. #49
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    In the credit-where-credit-is-do department:

    While their cutting attachments may be less than desirable for the price, the finger-tip sanding thing really did the trick on these cockpit seats.



    I don't have before pictures, but I used the Multimaster with the finger-tip sanding attachment (120 grit) to get the facing edges of the slats on this project. The slats measure between 42" and 48" - so using 45" as an average, by 20 surfaces x 2 seats = 1800" liner inches of sanded surface . Actually, there's more if you count the top and bottom, but I'm just talking about what I did with the Multimaster.

    Sanding the 1800" internal liner inches with the Multimaster, I spent approximately 2 hours per bench and went through eleven 120 grit pads.

    So 4 hours and eleven sanding pads later - TA DA!

    (OK, so plus taping off and hitting the top with the DA and the bottom by hand, there's 5 hours in each seat. But I shudder to think at the time involved if I had to hand sand the whole business... )
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 02-25-2007 at 07:54 PM.

  50. #50
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    Smile Fine Fein & Dremel

    I used the smallest Fein teak reefing attachment (3mm) and it worked very well and held up. It even routed out some seams that were too narrow, and I then had to sharpen it, with some success.

    By the way, I purchased the Dremel tile grout routing attachment and a 1/8" (slightly bigger than 3mm) tungstun carbide cutter. The attachment has two 'nubs' on it which are designed to follow the depression between tiles, so you can reef out the grout. With the deck seams fairly clean, we are using this tool to rout the seams out. A very nice result.....much handier than a router so it even works near the rail and cabin side. Unfortunately, the noise is somewhat like the sound of several young ladies simultaneously being axe-murdered.

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