Author Topic: Best all round sander?  (Read 2867 times)

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Offline Jimmy69

  • Posts: 33
Best all round sander?
« on: October 02, 2020, 08:57 AM »
I'm  ready to get a quality sander and have been weighing up the pro's 'n' cons. I'm looking for an all round type of sander so the RO 90 stands out. I don't have any large surfaces to sand apart from a full height wardrobe. The rest of my projects are smaller but plentiful. I have 20 kitchen cabinets in ply to make a smaller office to re-fit and some bedroom furniture to make. Also stair spindles and banisters/skirting needs repainting etc, etc.
I also plan on doing some finer work by making fancy wooden cases for synthesizers and studio equipment.

The RO90  stood out because it seems to cover all of those tasks. My only concern is that it might be too small for the larger jobs ( of which there aren't too many and are not likely to be).

I have a small nasty bosch sander and a multi tool with a triangle sanding head which I hate using but might go some way to doing awkward areas which would free me up to get a the RO125 but it's not Ideal.

I'm not adverse to other brands but haven't found one that covers all sanding and polishing as well as the Rotex.

Thanks..

Jimmy


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Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 187
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 09:28 AM »
I would not consider the RO90 to be a good "all around" sander in any way. It's small, and it's best use is for shaping or heavy removal in small spaces. That's the aggressive mode. As a ROS, it's going to be very limited. And Rotex, in general, whichever of the three sizes, is kinda a two-handed tool.

You mention cabinets...that's sheet goods...and you'll want something you can very lightly smooth the surface with before finishing. You may be better served by one of the 125mm (5") units for general purpose work and if you really want/need the Rotex type aggressive capability, there is a Rotex in that size, too.  I personally use the 150mm versions because that's what I have and I only have to deal with one abrasive size. My 150/3 gets 95% of the work. The RO160 the remaining 5%.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 992
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 09:55 AM »
I don't think there is such an animal. Each sander is geared towards various tasks. I don't have 8 different sanders because I wanted to piss away money. Each has its task that it does better at.
Buy what you need for now, then buy the next one, and the next one.
If you need a multi task sander for now, etc 125
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline Joe Felchlin

  • Posts: 208
  • Just another day in paradise - Livin’ the dream!
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2020, 10:07 AM »
I’m a Hobbyist - So “production” work isn’t my priority.
Like you - Most of my work involves smaller projects -
With occasional cabinets and a blanket chest, only now and then.
I have several Festool sanders - For different purposes. (See my signature box below.)
But my “go to” sander is my trusty RO125 FEQ Rotex.

I read/see a lot of great comments on the “150’s” (had one and sold it).
My “125” covers a little less area - But it still gets the job done for the projects that I do.
And... it’s a LOT easier on my “handling” and maneuvering it.

Holzhacker is correct. There is no “perfect” tool - Sander or otherwise. Each has its purpose.
Woodworkers’ axiom:
There’s ALWAYS another sander, saw, router - You “need” and will buy eventually. [wink]


« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 10:15 AM by Joe Felchlin »
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Offline xedos

  • Posts: 458
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2020, 10:42 AM »
I'll echo much the same. 

RO90 is a horrible all around sander.   I love mine; and wouldn't likely part with it for love, nor money.  But if it were my only sander, I probably give up sanding. 

Most dual, or all in one tools are usually compromises in some area. The RO sanders are no different. Optimized for heavy removal, they will do finish type work but that's not their strong suit.  The compromise.    They are two handed tools like Jim said.  Don't forget or discount this fact.  Especially when used for a final sanding or between finish coats.  Especially the latter.   Tilt an RO just a bit and you've prob. got a gouge in your workpiece that'll show.

If you need a heavy removal tool get an RO , but don't really count on it taking the place of a good palm finish sander.  I'd suggest looking at Bosch's  GET models.  90-100% of an RO at less than 50% of the cost.   [eek]   Pair that with an ETS125 and you've got a one two punch with money left over for sandpaper.

If you're set on FT and one sander only, I'd be looking at a ETC125EC instead of the RO.   The EC is a good finish sander, will take a 6" pad for those times you have a huge surface like the wardrobe, and will still rough sand - albeit much slower than an RO.   Most of all, it can be used one handed.  Again a compromise, but weighted toward finishing rather than brute force like the ROs.

For spindle work , none of these are going to do you any good.  You'll need a Festool LS or a SurfPrep 3x4 ray with an assort. of foam pads.  The later will also allow you to do some/most work a triangle detail sander will.

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3585
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2020, 10:55 AM »
RO 90 is not a good choice for your tasks.
The larger RO 150 or 125 are a better choice. The two modes makes switching down to finer grit a better option for your tasks. A little hand sanding helps to clean up any problem areas.
It's not a perfect solution, but can give good results if you are patient and use the right pads. Get a small cheap inspection light to help identify swirl etc. if you are clear coating.
Tim

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 687
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 11:05 AM »
I have an ETS125, a Rotex 125 and a Rutscher 100, and the ETS gets used 10x as much as the others together. 

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7223
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2020, 12:46 PM »
And the best all-round sander suited for most various tasks is the DTS 400.

Period.  [tongue]

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8143
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2020, 12:51 PM »
I'd suggest you look at the ETS EC 125. You can also attach a 150 mm pad to it for larger surfaces. I'd consider it to be the best "All around sander" that Festool makes. It would work well on all of your projects except for the spindles/banisters and if they are round and detailed, that becomes strictly a hand sanding project.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 172
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2020, 04:32 PM »
When we first had a grandchild, a friend said “If I knew how much fun the grandkids were as opposed to the kids, I would have had them first.” That’s the way I feel about the ETS EC 125 vs the ETS 125.
I love my RO90, use it for all detail flat sanding, but would not be my only sander.
Anyone want to buy my DTS 400?

Offline Jimmy69

  • Posts: 33
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 05:56 PM »
OK, not what I was expecting to hear, but that's why we come here right? Heavy removal is not something I need right now so I'll take your advice and steer clear of the RO's. I thought they might be good because they covered polishing as well as sanding but not if it's going to be too rough.

The Mirka Deros looked good until I read about the reliability issues so that's now out. Don't know much about the Ceros.

What about Mafell - anything interesting from them?

Looking like the ETS EC 125 is a possibility.

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 828
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 06:46 PM »
If you're not thinking Deros then the ETS EC 125 is a great choice, if you're and 'orbital kinda guy'.  I am and I have all the 125mm sanders being discussed here, I'd go ETS EC 125 in your position.

However Alex is fast persuading me on here, that if I tried the DTS I'd probably love it. And after many years, I am pretty over using my multitool for the corners. .
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Jimmy69

  • Posts: 33
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 07:03 PM »
If you're not thinking Deros then the ETS EC 125 is a great choice, if you're and 'orbital kinda guy'.  I am and I have all the 125mm sanders being discussed here, I'd go ETS EC 125 in your position.

However Alex is fast persuading me on here, that if I tried the DTS I'd probably love it. And after many years, I am pretty over using my multitool for the corners. .
The Deros looks great and is super light but I can't chance getting a duff one and it spending time in repair - not for that sort of money.
I break out in a cold sweat every time I have to use my multitool for anything. The sound is horrendous, the vibration is terrible and changing from saw blades to delta heads is a massive pain. I might just get a  Bosch  GSS 160-1A for that type of work.

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 76
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 07:51 PM »
I have the RO125 and the ETS EC125. I use the ETS EC125, 10 to 1 over the RO.
That may help you decide.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 08:59 PM »
I have the PRO 5 which is the ETS 125 in a 3mm stroke that is probably the best all-arounder.  Be prepared to spend more on the various grits of grants then the cost of the sander. I’m not a big fan of the RO-90 or the RO-150? I did use the ro-90 yesterday for about 2 minutes as a clean up sand on the bottom of an uninstalled door jamb. I do have small blocks of wood and a cork sander along with a few 9x12 sheets of Festool granat. So I do hand sand at times, still to this day...

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 172
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2020, 10:48 PM »
Two things I really like about the ETS EC 125:
1. Much less vibration than the ETS 125 or RO 125
2. Brake stops the disk immediately

Also: the 150 mm pad works great on the ETS EC 125 for larger surface areas, as I found out here on FOG.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8143
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2020, 11:15 PM »
Looking like the ETS EC 125 is a possibility.

More than a possibility...it's probably the charm.

I use the RO 90 for buffing out acrylic plastic. I also use the RO 125 for buffing out the car. Neither is my go-to sander for normal sanding tasks. They're heavy, clunky and really need to be controlled with 2 hands. They work well for what they were designed to do but they will never be an "All around sander." It's just not in their genetic make-up.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2020, 01:26 AM »
Two things I really like about the ETS EC 125:
1. Much less vibration than the ETS 125 or RO 125
2. Brake stops the disk immediately

Also: the 150 mm pad works great on the ETS EC 125 for larger surface areas, as I found out here on FOG.
  The ETS EC 125 sits shorter, anti vibration circuitry, and has a brushless motor,so shakes less from the motor’s inertia? I forgot that the larger 150 pad works on the 125.... I’m assuming the feel is different, the ETS 125 is more of a palm sander, I have no experience with the ETS EC 125? Is it worth changing out or getting it as a second sander? The price is good at $200 for the ETS 125. What I like is the ability of the palm sander in general home construction, I can tip the sander to feather out an edge, take out a high spot, sanding facia shoulder height or hitting something above head. The ETS EC 125 seems to conform more to a bench style work area? Am I missing something? The price is also double? I would still say out of ignorance the regular plain Jane ETS 125 makes a better “My First Festool Sander,” if the budget is tight or their are other purchases on the order. Sort of like “Pinch from Peter to give to Paul?”

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 828
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2020, 09:15 AM »
 The ETS 125 and the ETS EC 125 are totally different animals.

The former is for fine finishing only. Ultimately it’s a weak ass sander.  If you’re trying to sand rough wood it’s gonna take you ages. (Hobbyists may be fine with that) the ETS EC has way more power in its rotation and will remove material reasonably well. The Mirka 5mm with the 125mm pad on it craps on all of them for fast removal.

For compassion and perspective -  The basic Makita 125mm sander  that has been around for ages and costs £50-£100 here in the UK is way more powerful than an ETS 125 and similar to the ETS EC 125. The latter is just a much lighter, quieter, smoother experience. And the pad Velcro  will last 10 times longer than the crappy Makita Velcro :)

Obviously I’m talking general sanding, one sander here. Not knocking the ETS 125 that is apparently an excellent finish sander. Mine went back to festool before I’d tried that.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8143
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2020, 09:44 AM »
One of the downfalls of the ETS 125/PRO 5/ETSC 125 line of sanders is the lack of a hard pad.

I love being cordless with the ETSC sander but for keeping square, sharp edges I have to use the ETS EC 125 with the hard pad.

Maybe now that the Positioning Aid, 205316, is being offered for the ETSC sanders Festool will also release a hard pad for the line-up.


Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7223
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2020, 11:50 AM »
One of the downfalls of the ETS 125/PRO 5/ETSC 125 line of sanders is the lack of a hard pad.

Another downfall, or better said, shortcomming, is it's geometry because it will always leave you with corners it can't reach into.

Best all-round sander? You put me in a house with the DTS 400, and you do the same house with an ETS, I'll be finished days before you because of all the hand sanding you'll have to do.
 
Maybe now that the Positioning Aid, 205316, is being offered for the ETSC sanders Festool will also release a hard pad for the line-up.

So true, I really wish you could get a hard pad for any type of their sanders.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8143
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2020, 01:41 PM »
Best all-round sander? You put me in a house with the DTS 400, and you do the same house with an ETS, I'll be finished days before you because of all the hand sanding you'll have to do.

If it's corners I need to do, I just whip out the DX 93 or the DTSC... [cool]

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7223
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2020, 01:43 PM »
If it's corners I need to do, I just whip out the DX 93 or the DTSC... [cool]

No, that's not fair, you can only use one sander.  [big grin]

Offline contendernut

  • Posts: 43
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2020, 01:49 PM »
For my dollar, the ro90 is 475.  I think you are much better off with the ets125 for 205 and the dts400 for 280.  If I had to minimize sanders that would be my two keepers for the price point. To me, there is no replacement for the dts400

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 242
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2020, 02:23 PM »
I had a play with an RO90 at a Festool roadshow and was quite impressed with it; I'd like to have one.

However...
1) despite its small (tiny) pad area, it seemed to be a two-hander, much like my RO125.
2) I saw it more as a speciality sander than an all purpose one.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 02:26 PM by Euclid »

Offline Jimmy69

  • Posts: 33
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2020, 07:10 PM »
There seems to be little difference between the ETS EC 125 and 150 apart from pad size and jetstream versions and of course price. Does the 125 really perform the same as the 150?

Offline MaineShop

  • Posts: 71
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2020, 08:30 PM »
I have 6 festool sanders, if you told me I could have only one, it would be the ETS 125, it is probably the cheapest but the one I grab the most and the one my business with not due without., plus shares paper with the Rotex 125

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 830
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2020, 09:02 PM »
For what you are describing, a ETS (-EC), ETSC 125 is the most versatile in regards of being efficient. But, as Alex points out, if there’s a lot of inside corners as well a DTS or DTSC can do it all. In the end, one of each pad type is the best option.
For fast removal of lot of material there’s only forced rotation machines and belt sanders that do it. It doesn’t seem like this is what you’ll be doing?
A Rotex 90 with the Delta pad, and a 125 random orbit will get you a long way.
The RO 90 has a footprint that gets you into tight spots, fast removal on smaller surfaces, and may well be used for shaping as it its small diameter gets it into tighter curves and can be used one handed for some applications due to its much lighter weight and better handling than its bigger cousin’s. It doubles as a detailing polisher as well, in fact it has the ability to do detailing all round much better than any other. It’s not a do it all sander, but may very well be among the most versatile as an additional sander - more so than the bigger ones, except for large flat surfaces.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1238
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2020, 09:37 PM »
Like many before me, I bought the RO 125 with the thought of it being an all-around.  It's not.   The ETS EC 125 came very soon after.   The RO is great for removing a lot of material, and buffing/polishing.  For just nice sanding it's not good.   The ETS EC 125 is a nice little sander.  Just like others mentioned,  I would say the 10:1 usage ratio is right.

Festool needs to get a edge sander fixture out for this ETC EC 125,  I was shocked to find out their new edge sandering thing doesn't work with it. It went from a "shut up and take my money" to just cursing Festool in a heartbeat.

Just plan now to have multiple sanders.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8143
Re: Best all round sander?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2020, 10:11 PM »
There seems to be little difference between the ETS EC 125 and 150 apart from pad size and jetstream versions and of course price. Does the 125 really perform the same as the 150?

So you can answer your own question, just take a look at the EKAT file for the ETS EC 125/3 versus the ETS EC 150/3 sander. You'll only find 3 parts that are different. A different colored plastic button, the drive shaft for the sanding pad and the sub-assembly that contains that drive shaft. Every other part is the same...motor, housing, brushes, brake...everything else is the same.

I've owned this tool since it first came out in September 2015 and I've switched between the 125 & 150 pads for over 5 years...the 125 & the 150 are the same tool.  [big grin]

Here's a look into the innards of the ETS EC 125...notice the numbers.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 01:39 PM by Cheese »