HELP! I need a New Sander

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shaf2376

New User
Jeff
Hey everybody. Happy New Year. I need a new sander and I am looking for some advice. Totally against my will I am thinking about buying a Festool sander. I was wondering if any of you out there have one and if so do you like it?( I am sure that was a stupid question.) What kind of dust collection you are using? I am particularly interested in the ETS 125 EQ and the RO 125. If any of you have something better please feel free to chime in. Thanks.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
I have the Rotex 150. The dust collection is very good even though I refuse to pay $150.00 for their hose. I use a Ridgid hose ($12.00) with a soft end; add a couple turns of blue tape and violla!


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And yes, it's a very good sander. Price is relatively high, because the German standard of living is higher than ours.
 

JWBWW

New User
John
Like most anything... it depends. I don't own a Festo RO sander (I do have a pawn shop Festo detail sander that is extraordinary) but can highly recommend the 6" Bosch 3727DEVS of which I have two working in addition to two Porter Cable 333s (one single speed and one variable speed). If you are sanding a lot of large flat material the Bosch is a terrific tool: comfortable, vibration free, fast. On smaller material (face frames etc) the larger size works against you. All are connected to a dust system dedicated to sanders. I also have a Rockwell RO that was given to me to test and I cannot recommend it. If it wasn't for the noise and dust I would probably own a pair of smaller (3" or 5") Dynabrade pneumatics which are incredibly efficient but really like to have dust tables underneath them.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I bit the bullet back in Oct. and bought the Rotex 150 sander and CT22 vacuum (excuse me, dust extractor). I've only used it a few times but so far am very satisfied w/ the performance of both. The dual action of the sander provides both rough and smooth/finish sanding, while the vacuum does a great job of keeping the dust out of my lungs.

Bill
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
I bought a Rotex 90 and CT26 in November, and am very happy with it. I was fine with the smaller diameter head, and the added benefit was the detail sander mode/attachment that comes with it. Dust collection has been excellent. The detail sander leaves very little scratching, so I was able to use it to sand into corners where the RO head can't hit.

The strangest thing about the Rotex is the handle, since it's not directly over the head. But I found that I hold sanders from the edge instead of the normal handle anyway, so that wasn't an issue. The handle is pretty fat, so you need large hands to grip it that way.

I've had a Bosch RO, but I like the Rotex way more. The swirls are much smaller and less obvious, and take very little final hand sanding to get rid of after the 120 pass.
 

gdoebs

New User
Geoff
I have the ETS 125 and love it. I use a Fein vacuum on it and the dust collection is great. I'll be getting a Festool vacuum someday as I think it'd be nice to have the variable suction for different tools.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
Jeff, I have the 150 series of Festool sanders, as well as some others and really like them a lot.

What type of sanding are you planning to do? The Rotex sanders are great for rough work; the ETS sanders are extrarodinary at fine work.

Scott
 

shaf2376

New User
Jeff
Scott,
What I make the most of are keepsake boxes, blanket chests/toy boxes, display cabnets and rockers. So there are a lot of panel glue ups and fine sanding as well.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
Jeff, the Rotax is a great rough and medium finish random orbital sander. M 6" will outsand my hand held belt sander, that that's pretty impressive.

For finish sanding, I really like my ETS 150/3. The dust extraction is close to 100%, the sanding discs last a long time, and the sander does not leave my hands tingling - even when I use it for 30 minutes or more.

For larger glue ups, I prefer to use the RS2E with it's larger sheet size.

If I could only have two Sanders, it would be the Rotax and the 150/3. Mine are 6" sanders, in your instance you might want the 5" size for smaller projects.
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
I'll second the opinion about the longevity of the Rotex sandpaper...and the ease on the hands. I just used mine for 2-3 hours at a time, and my hands were fine afterward. I think I would have gone through 3x as much paper with my Bosch.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Another recommendation for the 150. I have many other sanders, but after I bought the 150 all others are just taking up space on the shelf
 

srhardwoods

Chris
Senior User
another vote for the festools.....I have the rotex 90 and the ets 150. love them. i'm using the CT22E dust system with my hand held festools, and the CT midi for the kapex saw. so far haven't found anything I do not like about the festool products. just the price. but after using it a couple times I get over that.

Chris
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I have never used a festool anything. I could afford to try one but until I get a good enough reason, I will keep using my cheaper tools. My favorite sander, I have several, is this Milwaukee:

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-6021-21-Random-Sander-collection/dp/B0012RWCF6

Amazon has it for $60 which is not the lowest price I've seen but it includes shipping. I've owned this sander for several years. I am wrapping up a couple night stands for my son. Before that it was his dresser and before that a complete bedroom set for my daughter. I do not think I used any sander other than this one. The tops of the dressers and nightstands involve glued up panels (oak for son, cherry for daughter) which this 5 inch Milwaukee will handle easily. I switched to using 60 grit to start, however, because I don't like waiting for 100 grit to do the job. That was on my son's stuff, my daughters got nothing rougher than 80 grit. My point is just that if you don't want to wait, add a sanding step and use coarser paper. You have to be careful, however, because it will take wood off fast.

My vacumn is also an inexpensive solution. I use a Rigid with a Hepa filter and a dust deputy pre-separator cyclone. It looks a bit odd but works great. The 5 gallon bucket the cyclone goes into fills but the little 6 gallon vacumn stays near empty. And the air stays noticably cleaner. Sanding used to put dust all over my shop, even with a bag. With the vacumn and good filters, it contributes near zero dust. I bought the dust deputy after reading an article in the recent shops issue of Fine Woodworking. They liked the Bosch shop vacumn the best (because it cleans it's own hepa filter automatically) but recommended adding a preseparator and hepa filter to a normal shop vacumn as a less expensive alternative. They tested the festool and fein and didn't like them as well, I think because of filter clogging.

My vacumn + hepa filter + cyclone was only a little over $100. I'm sure a fein or a Festool would be nice but I don't think they'll do anything my setup won't.

I have a 6 inch DeWalt ROS (looks a bit like a polisher) and a belt sander and an old Rockwell (now PC) speed block. They all work fine but the Milwaukee is my preferred alternative to any of the others. It sands fast and almost without swirls (nearly invisible at 120, invisible by 220).
Jim
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
I agree with Jim on this one. [kinda] I can buy 3 or 5 RO sanders for the same money as a festool depending on the model. This allows me to load em all with different grits and never have to change paper until it is used up. I get several years use from the major brands and that's just fine with me. I also can hook them to a shop vac but I don't like dragging a hose around behind a sander. I prefer a downdraft table connected to my DC. It's much quieter and I don't have all that hose rubbing my project and getting all in the way. My PC, Bosch. and makita RO sanders don't weigh 12 pounds either! :-D
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I was thinking how nice it would be to have a sander/grit just this weekend. I was sanding the 6 drawers for the night stands and got tired of either having to move the drawers or change paper.

More important reason to comment is about the hoses. I should post a picture but I put the bucket and cyclone on a platform over the top of the shop vacumn. My Rigid has a space on each of the 4 "feet" - where the rollers are - for a 2.5 inch accessory to be stored. I got an extra couple rigid 2.5 inch extensions and use the 4 of them to hold up a 3/4 plywood platform the bucket/cyclone are mounted to. So the whole mess occupies the same floor space as the vacumn did. And the hose to connect to the sander comes out around my shoulder level. That seems to work better as far as rubbing the workpiece/getting in the way. I still end up with one hand on the sander and one on the hose a lot. Beats breathing the dust big time, however.

I want to change out the 2.5 inch hose connecting the vacumn and cyclone. It is the flexible 2.5 that came with the sander and it loops all over. A couple right angle pieces could really cut down the space this occupies.

Jim
 
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