Author Topic: Video Review of Festool RO-90 Multi-Action Sander (demos and comparisons) (571823)  (Read 11654 times)

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Offline PaulMarcel

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I prepared a video review of the RO-90 along with two demos awhile ago in time for the last SysNotes.  Shane suggested not posting it here before the SysNotes so there'd be something Foggers hadn't seen in the newsletter (we're all kinda on the leading edge of information here...)  Thing is, I went to post a project to my blog (where I did post the videos for both my readers) and realized I hadn't posted here still!

Eh, by now, the RO-90 is so yesterday.

But in the interest of completeness for people searching the review archives, here's my review.  Uhm, yes, in 3 parts.  [embarassed]

Part one is about the sander; I compare it to the other Rotex models and the DTS-400.

Part two is a demo working the frame of a Teak door with the RO-90 then using the RO-90 in delta model along side the DTS-400 (one of my favorite sanders)

Part three is a demo sanding an oak cabinet I made for my patio... the varnish held up great (Epifanes rocks!), but the extreme summer heat and sun on one corner caused issues with the soft grain expanding. I use the RO-90 to flatten it and take off the varnish.  Now, my intention when I recorded this was to use the RO-90 on the top surface for the bad part then switch to the RS2e for the rest the next day.  Heck, no.  I used the RO-90 for the entire top surface (around 11 square feet) as it was so nice to use and fast.  The RS2e came out for the last grit mostly because I already hauled it out.  (p.s., the RS2e is an unsung hero).

http://www.youtube.com/my_playlists?p=C8A7051B32C6F426
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Offline Alan m

  • Posts: 3312
great review as usual. did you try the round pad in delta mode to see the results
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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3826
Great demo, P-M!!! 

 [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
great review as usual. did you try the round pad in delta mode to see the results

I don't think you can. There's certainly a magnetic interlock to stop you putting in RO mode with a delta pad fitted; whether it also works the other way round (stopping you putting it in delta mode with a round pad on) I'm not certain.

Actually, thinking about it again whilst I typed that, if the interlock worked both ways, there wouldn't be a position where you could change the pads [embarassed]

So I guess you probably can...
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline PaulMarcel

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Yes, I tried the round pad in delta mode.  You certainly can put it on.  Rather than circular eccentric motion, you "eccentric window-wiper" motion.  As you'd suspect, the scratch pattern looks the same as the delta scratch pattern.  I can't think of a use for it yet.
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Yes, I tried the round pad in delta mode.  You certainly can put it on.  Rather than circular eccentric motion, you "eccentric window-wiper" motion.  As you'd suspect, the scratch pattern looks the same as the delta scratch pattern..... 

Paul, I believe the delta mode is a pure orbital action, no windshield wiper motion.  Can anyone confirm this?


Quote
....I can't think of a use for it yet.
 

Better dust collection with the round pad, so if you wanted to sand the edge cabinet top as you did in your review you'd get slightly better dust collection.   
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 786
You definitely earned the free tools with that set of reviews!

The holding the sander down using the thumb and the edge guard is pretty clever.  However, in my opinion you should use that method sparingly.  Using the thumb to hold the sander down trades a larger set of muscle groups (forearm, bicep, etc.) for the small muscle in the thumb.  In other words, you are at a greater risk of injury if using that method for a prolonged period of time.

Offline iandoug

  • Posts: 11
Well done Paul,

An informative and clearly explained review.  I know Festool is high quality equipment and sometimes as an amateur woodworker you just buy Festool stuff in blind faith, but this type of review adds so much confidence to the buying process.  If not already done so, Festool would do well to get you to do more reviews.  Thanks a lot, also to all the other informed comment and contributions from woodworking professionals.

Regards
Ian Douglas

Offline PaulMarcel

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Thanks for the compliments, guys.

Kodi: yes I agree I wouldn't want to go long sessions guiding the RO-90 head with my thumb on the edge guard, but it definitely added a large degree of control.

I thought I'd add that it has been awhile since those reviews and I've used the sander a lot more since.  Definitely among the favorites.  Is it that new-sander smell?  I dunno, but I actually leave it out on the WCR-1000.  The WCR has sanding blocks on the shelf for touch ups or breaking edges, but the RO-90 sits in a sander hanger all the time.

I also liked the performance of the Granat although I have not used it on nearly the variety of surfaces to say its better than another; they all have their place... well, except maybe used P220  [tongue] (sorry, joke from another thread...)
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Offline GhostFist

  • Posts: 1556
Ecellent and extremely detailed review as per usual Paul. Don't know if anyone mentioned it but how did that saw stop blade fire off? completely off topic of course but couldn't help but notice.

Offline RonWen

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Outstanding review Paul!  You are the man.  FestoolUSA needs to let a contract to you for doing a series of instructional videos.  [tongue]

Offline PaulMarcel

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Ecellent and extremely detailed review as per usual Paul. Don't know if anyone mentioned it but how did that saw stop blade fire off? completely off topic of course but couldn't help but notice.

Yes that was my unintentional attempt to cut my Incra miter gauge.  So I kept it around since a lot of people used to ask me about how the SawStop worked.  The Incra miter gauge has an extension arm you can extend to set a flip-stop out to almost 27".  When you fully retract it, my factory setting would have the end of it protrude into the blade.  I pushed the wood and wondered where the blade went.  No big bang or anything just -poof- where'd it go?

I could have been annoyed with it, but then I bought this saw for that feature understanding that being a bonehead and pushing metal into it will cause a brake fire.  In a way I liked it because having it happen so quickly that I didn't see anything but the blade disappear further convinced me it was what I wanted.

This actually reminds me... I purchased a clock from Klock-It with the intention of putting it in the blade.  Also bought wide dial arms with the intention of sticking on images of two hotdogs :)  It's a weird sense of humor :)
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Offline corkage

  • Posts: 5
I really enjoyed this review.  I just had a couple of questions. 
1) what is the difference in the scratch patterns you get with the RO-90 vs something like the DTS 400 EQ?
2) have you used the abranet sanding disks with this sander or do you feel the included abrasives do a fine job?
Thanks very much for any info you can provide.
Nick

Offline PaulMarcel

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Thanks, Nick,

The RO-90 in delta mode has a larger stroke than the DTS-400.  3mm vs 2mm so you should be able to finish faster.  The larger stroke of the RO-90 seems to make it more aggressive, but it also has a smaller delta head than the DTS-400.

Both have eccentric motion so the pattern should be about the same.  One of the videos had the two in delta mode being pulled across a previously finished surface.  The scratches are a bit apparent there, but they are also at a low grit so expected.  In comparison, since both are eccentric, the pattern should be about the same.  It isn't a window-wiper motion so you don't have pronounced repeated scratches to deal with.

For fast stock removal, the RO-90 is a natural whereas the DTS-400 shouldn't be considered.

I'll say this, the DTS-400 was one of my favorite ROS sanders and is still up there for the large flat pad (nb, I don't have any ETS sanders); it worked well on rails/stiles.  The RO-90's versatility is why I reach for it pretty often and it seems a natural for rails/stiles.

I presume you are comparing these two for the delta action; since the round head can take care of the rest of the surface pretty quickly and you switch to delta for the corners, my hunch is the RO-90 would be faster.
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Offline corkage

  • Posts: 5
HI Paul,
     Thanks for the info. This may be a silly question but do the rectangular sanders that oscillate back and forth in the direction of the grain cause less obvious scratches than the eccentric orbital sanders? Also, do you have any opinion about the question of which abrasive to use (abranet vs standard)?
Thanks again,
Nick

Offline PaulMarcel

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At a particular grit, a linear-action sander with the grain will hide scratches better.  Usually I'll use a ROS up to a grit then grab a hand-sanding block at the same grit and give a couple swipes with the grain.  A linear-action sander is much less aggressive than the ROS.  For example, I use the LS-130 like an electric sanding block for the final pass on a larger project (this is ignoring the LS-130s great ability to sand profiles with a custom pad).

I've never used Abranet.  I have a big stock of the Festool papers so I don't want to stock up on another type!  That said, though, of the 3-4 friends of mine who tried the Abranet, they were very happy with it.  If you're buying a sander, you'll get a sampler pack of Festool papers.  Maybe pick up a common grit of Abranet in a small count box.  Try them both and see what you like.  (Then report back :))
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Offline corkage

  • Posts: 5
Thanks Paul.
Nick