Author Topic: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?  (Read 5631 times)

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Offline gostauffergo

  • Posts: 15
Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« on: September 03, 2018, 04:09 PM »
I'm a general remodeler who's getting fed up with hand sanding drywall mud. I have a taper, but I generally do stuff myself when the job is small (kitchen, bath, etc). I'm thinking of buying the Planex easy, but I also could use a palm type sander, because the Planex just won't fit in every space.

I remember seeing a particular sander mentioned in the past as being a good fit for drywall because of how gentle it could be. I've searched online a bunch, but when I search for things like "Festool drywall sander" I only get articles and posts about the Planex. I think Myron Ferguson may have mentioned a specific sander in an ad or something if I remember correctly.


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Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2644
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 04:19 PM »
You're probably thinking of the RTS 400, or the DTS 400 sanders. They have a 2mm stroke, so they're fine sanders. The only difference between the two is the shape of the pad.

RTS 400 Sander

DTS 400 Sander

They are both also available in cordless versions, if you prefer.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 04:29 PM by Corwin »

Offline Dane

  • Posts: 394
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 04:49 PM »
I use the ETS 150 all the time for drywall.  Works great.  Turn it down way low and off to go.  Last time I even took an old sanding disc and used some spray adhesive to attach a piece of drywall sanding screen to it, worked great.

That said, there is a WEN drywall sander for about 100.00 on Amazon that gets great reviewer.  I’m thinking about getting that for an upcoming job.

Offline gostauffergo

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 05:24 PM »
You're probably thinking of the RTS 400, or the DTS 400 sanders. They have a 2mm stroke, so they're fine sanders. The only difference between the two is the shape of the pad.

RTS 400 Sander

DTS 400 Sander

They are both also available in cordless versions, if you prefer.

Thanks so much for that, I think that's them. How does the dust collection on the cordless sanders compare to the non cordless? I haven't seen them compared much.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 230
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 07:19 PM »
I use my Pro5/ets125 and a dewalt 5" ros when doing drywall with abranet abrasives.  I can't complain about either.  And I've been looking at the Wen.  The reviews for the price seem great. I just upgraded my dust collection from a CT-SYS to a Bosch VAC090AH. 

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6772
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 01:47 AM »
The DTS and RTS work fine for drywall, but I prefer a random orbit sander like the ETS 125 or 150 because you get a smoother result and less chance of gouging.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1978
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 06:53 AM »
I use my ETS EC 150/3 with an interface pad and the speed dialed down.  It makes quick work of it and most of the dust that escapes falls straight down.  The DTS does a better job getting into corners obviously, but on the flat sections, the ETS is great. 

The non-EC models are not ideal here.  Too heavy and more top heavy, so vertical and ceiling work would be tiring. 
-Raj

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6772
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 10:35 AM »
The non-EC models are not ideal here.  Too heavy and more top heavy, so vertical and ceiling work would be tiring.

Totally disagree, they're a breeze.

Offline gostauffergo

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 11:21 PM »
I use my Pro5/ets125 and a dewalt 5" ros when doing drywall with abranet abrasives.  I can't complain about either.  And I've been looking at the Wen.  The reviews for the price seem great. I just upgraded my dust collection from a CT-SYS to a Bosch VAC090AH.

What grits are you using? I just picked up the DYSC and a bunch of 120 and 240 grit. Will that work?

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 591
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 01:19 AM »
What is a DYSC?

Also Festool now makes a version of their Granat sandpaper that is mesh. I have not used it yet but I hear that it is wonderful on drywall.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2316
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 09:31 AM »
If it’s a small patch repair or other repair that doesn’t warrant my Planex getting set-up, I use my EC sanders or my DTS 400.
Rare disagreement with Alex regarding the ECs versus the older ETS for wall or ceiling work. Once I bought a couple of EC sanders, I’d never want to use an older ETS on a ceiling or wall again if I could help it.
 The ECs are so light and maneuverable.....
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 430
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 10:00 AM »
Mirka's DEOS is a much more aggressive (by 50%), but featherlight alternative that has a similar footprint (in its smallest iteration) to Festo's "400" & Duplex.  There's a bigger (read longer, similar format to a long plasterers' pad sander) version too.

Similarly, the DEROS is yet another electrically commutated random orbital sander that comes in a choice of 2.5mm, 5mm or an unprecedented 8mm orbital diameters & 125 or 150mm pads.  The latter with 120/150 or even 180g Abranet might make for a fast, smooth & lightweight plaster machine.

Mirka's direct drive, brushless machines are probably the only sanders considered by many users to be a superior alternative to Festool's much more limited range of equivalent EC machines.  Their main downside is that you'll have to get up close & personal to your work, rather than operating at arms' length or greater with a giraffe type machine.  Their benefits are light weight, low levels of NVH & superior gypsum dust extraction.  Abranet mesh abrasives are also remarkably long-lasting & less prone to clogging in softer mediums like jointing compound, cornice cement etc.

Mirka's proprietory "plug-it" cable connector is, just like Festool's own, liable to premature failure (at the cable-end, mercifully not usually on the machine's male connectors) too.  New cables can become an expensive consumable, & it's probably advisable to always carry a spare for Justin.

Festool's edge protectors may at times be desireable for protecting delicate cornice & mouldings:  Mirka doesn't offer edge protection strips, but thicker basepads on the platen will at least go some way to protect easily damaged adjacent surfaces.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 10:29 AM by aloysius »
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 230
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2018, 10:37 AM »
What is a DYSC?

Also Festool now makes a version of their Granat sandpaper that is mesh. I have not used it yet but I hear that it is wonderful on drywall.
I use the Abranet mesh 220.  Works great with any sander I've tried. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 410
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 09:54 AM »
I've a Festool ETS EC 150/3 EQ 6 inch Random Orbit Sander with CT 36 Dust Extractor.  I've replaced drywall in my dining room, have two bathrooms to remodel, as well as finishing some walls in the basement. 

I'm only doing one project at a time and wondering how well the ETS would work versus a drywall sander like the Wen or Porter Cable?  Is it a bad idea to use my nice Festool sander for sanding drywall ... I mean will it mess up the motor or gunk it all up?  If using the ETS is a good solution, what would I need to do for the CT36 to protect it from drywall dust ruining the motor?

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 415
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 11:10 AM »
Both the sander and the motor will be just fine. The main issue is the bag pores filling up quickly. You can tap the bag once you notice suction is decreasing but there's a limit to this, you'll likely have to discard bags when they still seem almost empty.

In the AutoClean versions of the Dust Extractors you use regular plastic bags (I think, I don't own one) which causes the filter to clog and they have a mechanism that taps the filter to clean it.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 410
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2020, 01:24 PM »
Gotcha, unfortunately I got my dust extractor before auto clean was available. ;(


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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4888
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2020, 03:28 PM »
I used to sand drywall and paint with my ET 125. More likely it was the paint that ruined the bearings. The company said it would cost about 75% of the cost of a new sander to replace the bearings  [eek]
After I complained they offered to sell a refurbished sander to me. (Years before they offered them generally)

Now I only sand paint and drywall with a Makita 5” ro sander. A new one cost less than half the cost of repairing the ET 125.

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 727
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2020, 05:38 PM »
Agree with Aloysius, I have the Mirka 6" Deros with 2.5mm stroke and it's a dream sanding compound. I recently picked up the Mirka Leros dedicated drywall sander, it's an amazing sander, really puts the others to shame. Since it's a random orbit, it doesn't grab or jump the way the Planex can. Very lightweight, and using a 27mm hose it gets better dust collection than a Planex with a 36mm hose. Leros uses the same mesh abrasive size as the Planex.

CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 272
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2020, 11:29 PM »
Agree with Aloysius, I have the Mirka 6" Deros with 2.5mm stroke and it's a dream sanding compound. I recently picked up the Mirka Leros dedicated drywall sander, it's an amazing sander, really puts the others to shame. Since it's a random orbit, it doesn't grab or jump the way the Planex can. Very lightweight, and using a 27mm hose it gets better dust collection than a Planex with a 36mm hose. Leros uses the same mesh abrasive size as the Planex.
how would this compare to an ETS EC 125 or ETS EC 150 with a 3mm stroke? I’ve used the Pro5 before, but didn’t like it, I’m guessing because I didn’t use the sorter interface pad?

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 430
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2020, 10:24 PM »
Mirka's sanders are in my opinion the only tools made to date that are dedicated fully to using mesh abrasives.

Yes, I know you can slap mesh on just about any sander on the market, but the differences are in the backing pads, not the abrasives.  All alternatives have fewer, larger extraction & "air bleed" holes that are predicated to paper backed abrasives, not mesh.  This is the principle reason that Mirka's extraction is so effective in comparison to others.

As for "comparing" Mirka to Festo/ol, I can only comment that they're different.  Mirkas are lighter, but are available in a smaller range too.  Festool offer more expensive & cheaper alternatives.  M's sanders are significantly lighter, have superior extraction (particularly of fines such as gypsum dust), & in my opinion are ergonomically superior. 

In Randos, the DEROS sanders are available in 77mm, 125/150mm & 150mm.  Available in 2.5mm, 5.0mm & (in 150mm only) 8.0mm orbits.  Most, if not all Mirkas are available in a pretty Bumble-Bee Black & Gold Systainer or cardboard, as preferred.

Much of the range has been awarded the Red Dot Industrial Design award: LEROS, DEROS & AOS.

In terms of design, much of Mirka's range has paddle-switch actuation in a similar manner to air sanders.  This has both advantages & disadvantages.  I usually program the tool to use the paddle as an on/off switch (rather than a variable speed control) & temporarily tape the paddle "on" with a few inches of insulation tape to allow me to frequently alter my handgrip.

Personally, the approx 20-25% savings in both weight & price, plus the superior ergonomics & extraction makes Mirka's device simply "a better mousetrap".

Anecdotally, there have been some issues with reliability of the "plug-it" type cable connectors with both F/tool & Mirka's sanders.  There have also been some reports of the sealed EC motor unit failing in Mirka's sanders.  I've had 5 Mirka sanders (2 DEOS, 2 DEROS & a Delmeq DEOS "clone") with nary a hint of any problem or issue.  M offers a similar 3 year product Registration-dependent warranty to F/tool.

Mirka also makes/manufactures & supplies parts for a whole swag of manufacturers with a complete kaleidoscope of colours available from not only Mirka, but also Metabo, Delmeq, Rupes, Car System, Indasa, Sumake, Menzer & Pela Tools.  Some are less than 1/2 the price of an "original" Mirka (or 60-70% less than the price of the EC F/tool)!  Most of them also eschew those stupid Plug-It type power cables too, which is in my opinion a bonus.  Additionally, all consumables (pads, abrasives, interfaces & pad protectors, even motors & many body-parts) are interchangeable between the clones too.

On a personal level I've actually replaced almost all (7 actually) of my old F/tool sanders (I've kept an old BS105E Belt sander kit) with 3 Mirkas & a Delmeq.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 10:38 PM by aloysius »
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2020, 11:20 PM »
I used to sand drywall and paint with my ET 125. More likely it was the paint that ruined the bearings. The company said it would cost about 75% of the cost of a new sander to replace the bearings  [eek]
After I complained they offered to sell a refurbished sander to me. (Years before they offered them generally)

Now I only sand paint and drywall with a Makita 5” ro sander. A new one cost less than half the cost of repairing the ET 125.

Paint dust ruining the bearings of your sander? Huh, how? And did you use a dus extractor?

I use the ETS 150 all the time for drywall.  Works great.  Turn it down way low and off to go.  Last time I even took an old sanding disc and used some spray adhesive to attach a piece of drywall sanding screen to it, worked great.

That said, there is a WEN drywall sander for about 100.00 on Amazon that gets great reviewer.  I’m thinking about getting that for an upcoming job.

The ETS 150/3 or the ETS 150/5?

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4888
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2020, 12:48 PM »
I used to sand drywall and paint with my ET 125. More likely it was the paint that ruined the bearings. The company said it would cost about 75% of the cost of a new sander to replace the bearings  [eek]
After I complained they offered to sell a refurbished sander to me. (Years before they offered them generally)

Now I only sand paint and drywall with a Makita 5” ro sander. A new one cost less than half the cost of repairing the ET 125.

Paint dust ruining the bearings of your sander? Huh, how? And did you use a dus extractor?


Always. Sanding paint makes it sticky an despite using a dust extractor it builds up inside the tool. Also, when sanding paint the suction needs to be drastically reduced to reduce heat from friction.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 12:51 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: Best non-planex small sander for drywall?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2020, 01:06 PM »
I used to sand drywall and paint with my ET 125. More likely it was the paint that ruined the bearings. The company said it would cost about 75% of the cost of a new sander to replace the bearings  [eek]
After I complained they offered to sell a refurbished sander to me. (Years before they offered them generally)

Now I only sand paint and drywall with a Makita 5” ro sander. A new one cost less than half the cost of repairing the ET 125.

Paint dust ruining the bearings of your sander? Huh, how? And did you use a dus extractor?


Always. Sanding paint makes it sticky an despite using a dust extractor it builds up inside the tool. Also, when sanding paint the suction needs to be drastically reduced to reduce heat from friction.

Did you use an AS hose and grounded extractor?