Considering a Festool ETS 150/5 EQ-Plus 6" Random Orbit sander. Who's got one?

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
Hey All,
I'm considering the purchase of a Festool ETS 150/5 EQ-Plus 6" Random Orbit sander. This has the 5mm sanding stroke. At $390 it's a lot of money but the reviews give it high marks. Many say it cuts their sanding time down considerably with high quality and that's what caught my interest. I'm not looking at their vacuum system since I have a nice shop vac with a dust deputy setup for now. Just looking to see if you have one and how happy are you with it? Hoping for some kind of Christmas deal but I'm not banking on Festool running any kind of sale. I build lots of charcuterie boards and cutting boards. Thanks for any input.

PS. I did use the search function and didn't come up with much.

Red
 

robliles

Rob
Corporate Member
I have the Festool RO 150 FEQ-Plus and am very happy with it. Not sure if this compares completely with the model you are looking at but I'm willing to bet it does. While Festool is an expensive tool and some folks think they are way overpriced, I am of the opinion that if you can afford Festool, buy it. The duel action of the FEQ-Plus is a really nice feature especially when you are wanting to do some serious aggressive sanding. I really like it on large flat surfaces and us a 5" on smaller areas, also a Festool. You are from Denver which isn't too terribly far from Wadesboro and if you are ever headed down US 74 east, be glad for you to stop by and see and use the unit.
 
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drw

Donn
Corporate Member
I have the RO 150 FEQ and I have been extremely happy with it. When used with a vacuum it is as close to dust-free sanding as you can experience. When my current 150 sander "bites the dust", I will most definitely get another one! I also have the 125, which is a great finishing sander!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Red,
I am considering getting a Festool vacuum simply becase it is such a PITA to use the shopvac - now, maybe your system with integrate with the festool dust outlet better than my 2.5" does!
 
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RedBeard

Burns
Corporate Member
I have the ETS EC 125 and a RO90. I love the 125/3 But if I were doing it over I would do the 150/3. I do have a 150 hard pad that I can put on and it works and gives me the extra pad size if I have a large surface. Other than that I use the 125 pads most of the time and suites my purposes. I will say to at least be open to the dust extractors down the road. The cost does seem outrageous but man they are nice. Keep your eye out for them used and everyone once in a while a good deal will pop up.
 
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Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
I have the ETS 150/3 EQ. I use it on my projects in my scroll saw room IN MY HOUSE with a Festool vac. Yeah, it’s that good. I also have a DTS 400 EQ
 
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Sourwould

New User
Taylor
I wouldn't spend the money on the festool sander and not the festool vac. I used to have one of these sanders but didn't like it and sold it.

If you're doing a lot of cutting boards, I'd recommend a belt sander, if you don't have one.
 

Billm0066

Bill
User
I do a lot of cutting boards and wouldn’t use a belt sander. Planer and festool 125 or 150. I have both with the vacuum and will never part with them. A shop vac and dust deputy will never compare. I was in that boat before and it’s no comparison. I would part with the sanders before the vacuum.
 
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cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
I agree with Billm0056. I have a belt sander that i never use any more. The ROS sander does a great finish. It is worth the $200 upgrade to the Rotex model as you can do coarse sanding as well. I use the RO125 for initial sanding in the rotex mode, then the ETS125 for final finish sanding at 320 and 400 grit. I also use a RO90DX for “non flat” work. A dust extractor is a must.
The major advantage of Festool is very minimal fine dust. The fine particles are not good on your respiratory system. This is especially true if you have allergies, asthma or work with more toxic species of wood such as Cedar which can cause sensitization of mucus membranes. Although is it an overstatement of the science, California EPA has deemed wood dust a carcinogen!
Do you make endgrain cutting boards? If so, a Performax or similar flatbed sander is very useful. It is very difficult to get these flat using a belt sander or Festool sander. For cutting boards with flatsawn or QS lumber, a planer and any ROS sander will work fine. Again the advantage of festool is dust extraction. Personal health safety is the best justifixation
 

AllanD

Allan
Senior User
Agree. I have several air powered Dynabrade random orbit sanders that I used for years on both wood and automobiles. Now that I have the Festool ROS and dust collector I use it 98% of the time and the main reason is the quality of the dust collection. It stays plugged in to the collector the majority of the time and right by my main workbench. I like the 5mm stroke. I guess the 3mm is supposed to make a smoother finish but if I go down to 400 grit or finer anyway, I don't see the point.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
It will transform your sanding.

Break open the bank and get the dust extractor I promise you won’t regret it.

BTW, I buy aftermarket discs at Industrial Abrasives.
 

Mike K

Mike
Corporate Member
I have the ETS 150/5 sander and it is great. It is my go to sander for all of my projects. I also have the ROS 90 and it does a great job in tight spaces. I also have two dust extractors. The tools are definitely worth the money.
 
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McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
I have the ETS 150/5 6" sander and also the Pro 5 sander (I got it during the $99 promotion and it is a 3 mm stroke in a black systainer). I use these both with a Festool CT 36E and I get excellent results. I use the 150 with the coarser grits (up to 120) to remove mill marks and then finish sand with the smaller Pro 5 with finer grits up to 220. Having both minimizes disk changes and improves throughput.

BTW, I buy my disks from Klingspor's Woodworking Shop in their brand at substantial savings when compared to Festool products.
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have the 5" version of that sander and really like it. The RO models have a sort of turbo sanding setting for removing wood quickly, but the regular ones are fine for finish sanding.

I get my sanding discs from Klingspor - much cheaper than the Festool brand - and last at least as long or longer.
 
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red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
Thank you all. I'll see how my years ends up and see what I buy. I need to upgrade the sander at least but getting the package would be great.

Red
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I have the Festool RO 150 FEQ-Plus and am very happy with it. Not sure if this compares completely with the model you are looking at but I'm willing to bet it does. While Festool is an expensive tool and some folks think they are way overpriced, I am of the opinion that if you can afford Festool, buy it. The duel action of the FEQ-Plus is a really nice feature especially when you are wanting to do some serious aggressive sanding. I really like it on large flat surfaces and us a 5" on smaller areas, also a Festool.
Rob and others, your sander has the Rotex function. Do you use this sander to finish sand? I plan on using this to finish sand cutting boards (I build many!) once they come out of the surface planer. Is this sander a good choice for what I'm looking to do or is my original sander listed above a better choice? It's $390 vs $630. It's not the price that concerns me. I just want to invest in the right sander the first time. I've been told by someone else that the "Multi-Mode Sander ROTEX RO 150 FEQ-Plus" is not a finish sander to use up to 220 grit and that's confusing me. I think he might be saying it's too aggressive of a sander to use for a finished sanded cutting board? I don't know. Thanks.

Red
 
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cyclopentadiene

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User
The rotex function is for removing material quickly. It leaves swirl marks. If flatsawn lumber cutting boards is all you do, the ETS is fine. If you decide to do end grain cutting boards, you will need the rotex function and/or a flatbed sander. I have both and each has its application. The first festool that I purchased was an ETS 125 without a dust extractor. It was so much better than the Lowes/HomeDepot ROS sanders, i decided to invest further. I was destroying Dewalt, porter cable and Bosch sanders about every 6-8 months. Brand did not matter. I have had the refurbished ETS125 for about6 years and never gad any problems. The same goes with all my Festool pieces.
The only downside I have experienced is the dust extractor bags in my CT22 are small, fill quickly and are expensive. I also am not impressed with theFestool interface pads. They tend to come apart more easily than the ones from Klingspo but there is no Klingspor alternative with the FESTO hole pattern
 
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robliles

Rob
Corporate Member
Red, I use my sander primarily as a finish sander. I have completed several pieces of furniture using it and am very satisfied with the finish. My usual sanding sequence is starting with 120 grit, then 150, 180 and finishing with 220. I am very content with the surface at that point. In finishing, I use a HVLP system and General Finishes Enduro-Var satin finish. Between each coat, I rub it down with Scotch Brite abrasive pads beginning with a course then medium and finally a fine texture. I will match the final finish I get against any. I particularly like it on large flat surfaces, like those on the two armoire I recently completed and think it would work really well on the cutting boards you are producing. The aggressive sanding mode is useful but is definitely a two handed operation.
 
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