Author Topic: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC  (Read 14218 times)

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Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 475
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2021, 09:18 PM »
If I had to pic just one? RO125 for sure. It can do the RAS115's job, just slower. It can do the ETS EC 125's job, just heavier, plus it can polish. The only thing it can't do is the pointed delta pad and I don't use that nearly as much as I thought I would. It's nice to have, but I would still pic the RO125 as the only one, if I had to.
if some one was first starting out buying Festool:
On a budget - ETS 125 and a CT 15 vacuum.
Bigger budget ETS EC 125 + Rotex RO 90
Next Sander Buy: RO 125
Since Porter Cable discontinued the baby belt sander, I needed something that could replace it. That became the RAS115's job. It works great for the same type of tasks.. If I had to pic just one? RO125 for sure. It can do the RAS115's job, just slower. It can do the ETS EC 125's job, just heavier, plus it can polish. The only thing it can't do is the pointed delta pad and I don't use that nearly as much as I thought I would. It's nice to have, but I would still pic the RO125 as the only one, if I had to.

Then it’s a horse race depending on your needs RAS, the RTS?, RO150 if doing large panels, it gets the work done quickly in geared mode. Just sanded some red balau it was 3x quicker than the ETS 125. It is a lot of sander and you need to watch what your doing, it has a 8mm stroke in geared mode, plus it’s heavier
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 09:27 PM by mkasdin »

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2021, 05:47 PM »
I only have the ETS because it was given to me from a lot that a friend bought in an auction. I don't particularly like the taller electric sanders. I'm am so used to the form factor of pneumatic sanders, that the typical electric units feel awkward. That's why I got the ETS EC125, it is almost exactly the same.

Yes mkasdin, the RAS115 can be quite a beast, especially with paper in the 40-60-80 grit range. I use it literally like a belt sander. I find the reducing the speed helps to tame it a lot. It's kind of beyond what I would really call a sander, it's more like a soft padded grinder.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 464
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2021, 09:04 PM »
Hi all!

I cannot decide what sander should I buy so i'm asking for some help. I'm a hobby woodworker.

I have used Bosch GEX 150 AC a lot for may projects. Its 3727devs in the US. I dont have access to it so frequently any more, so i decided to buy a sander for myself.
I also own Makita 4" belt sander. It's a 6kg beast and I dont enjoy using it, but it does the job when needed. But can also destroy the workpiece in a second if not careful.
I also use it as a stationary sander sometimes, but i may even sell it if i decide to buy Rotex.

I was satisfied with the Bosch for fine sanding (but too slow for cleaning glueups etc) so i even considered buying a new one for myself, or maybe the dual mode version (Turbo or 1250devs in US). Went to my local dealer, and saw that its not made in Switzerland any more. Its probably still good, especialy  for a hobbyst, but I decided my new sander will be black and green :) The same thing happend with jigsaw. Planed to buy a Bosch GST 160 CE, but ended with a Carvex :)

I do projects around the house. Shelves, nightstands, table, bar stool, wooden clock, bed, cutting boards...
I dont own a jointer. When i prepare rough timber for jointing/glueing i usually do it with a router and router planing sled and a track saw.
When i sand, i usualy dont go over 400 grit, only between coats. I dont enjoy sanding very much. I never sand more than 30minn, but i like a smooth sanded wood, and i like it as soon as posible.

Initialy i thougth geting a Rotex RO125 would be the best option. But than i've read that its not as stable as RO150, so i thougth gettin a RO150. More i searched i thougth ETS 150/5 would be best allaround sander because Rotex is to rough. Then i thougth the EC version is better, but than i read that its not as stable as non EC version. Then i thougth ETS 125 EC wold be best because it can accept 150 pads if needed, but has only 3mm orbit, so im worried it will be too fine sander for me, since iz will be my only sander, so ill have to do a lot of sanding to get to the finish.
And then when i gave up of Rotex, i saw this Festool video where a guy sands only in Rotex mode and gets a swirl free glosy finish... Im confused.




I know that every one of these sanders will be ok for me, but i'd like to buy the one that is the best for my needs, since it will be my only sander. They are all from 400 to 530 euro price range.
I dont have a Festool dealer localy so i cannot try it side by side. I have to order online. I also dont have a Festool dust extractor, just a regular shopvac that i use with my powertools. But i plan to upgrade to MIDI in near future.

I know this is a long post, but it may help you helping me make a decision :)

Thank you for the suggestions.

If mail order is your only option, then I'd seriously reconsider buying Festool.  Getting the hardware is no problem, but if all you require is a few discs or a replacement pad, then you're in trouble.  You'll have to purchase a full box of any chosen abrasive, or alternatively carry large & expensive stocks of all required & anticipated grits & varieties at home.  Not to mention anticipating delivery lead-times.

Getting the Bosch or Makita Rotex equivalent will allow you to drop into your local hardware store & get as little as 5 each (even less in assorted packs) of your required grits.  The issue is Festool's rather greedy use of a unique hole pattern that precludes many aftermarket software alternatives.  Both B&M use much more universal patterns and backing pad designs.

The last time I ordered a job-lot of Festool abrasives & backing pads the order took some THREE MONTHS to arrive.  Ridiculous!  My local "supplier" won't even carry the product in-store any more!  Everything (& I do mean everything) must now be "special order" & pre-paid, with a vaguely indeterminate date of arrival!  Needless to say I've replaced almost all my "incompatible" F/tool gear as a consequence!  I also now have to send all my repairs away to an anonymous & uncommunicative remote location for repair too!  My local, friendly, efficient, courteous and informative repairer & supplier (with whom I've had a 40 year association) was summarily "sacked" by the company for reasons unknown.

I'd strongly recommend getting more mainstream product that can be ordered, repaired & supplied with parts & accessories locally.  It may not matter now, but you may very well bitterly regret the lack of foresight in the future.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 09:06 PM by aloysius »
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 475
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2021, 12:10 AM »
I only have the ETS because it was given to me from a lot that a friend bought in an auction. I don't particularly like the taller electric sanders. I'm am so used to the form factor of pneumatic sanders, that the typical electric units feel awkward. That's why I got the ETS EC125, it is almost exactly the same.

Yes mkasdin, the RAS115 can be quite a beast, especially with paper in the 40-60-80 grit range. I use it literally like a belt sander. I find the reducing the speed helps to tame it a lot. It's kind of beyond what I would really call a sander, it's more like a soft padded grinder.
I agree about the tallness of the sander, but it’s not a deal breaker, for how I use it. I typically use the ETS sander outside for general home repair. It is inexpensive enough if it falls off the ladder and ends up in dirt or scratched it doesn’t matter (hurt as much). It does have a 2mm (2.2mm?) stroke so it fairly docile and it’s a keeper now that Festool has the edge guide thing for it.

Honestly, the only reason I bought it was the (Promo5) Pro5 for $100 and I couldn’t pass up that deal. JTDG. I wish Festool would offer future deals. 🤷‍♂️
The flatter profile sanders are nice! I remember back in the day working at a body shop it was called a DA or a jitterbug. I guess it looks like a jitterbug? Not sure if that term is still used today.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 12:15 AM by mkasdin »

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 231
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2021, 07:17 PM »
My first Festool sander last year was the RO90 and it is a small beast. I damaged my wrists the first two days I used it but they healed and now I know to take breaks I used it for two days 8+ hours each day the first time I picked it up and it was too much for my mid 50's body at the time. I can now use it one-handed with no issues it just takes a bit of work and a lot of technique. A few months later I added the RO150 and I find both are more difficult for me to use in random orbit mode. But I have no other sanders these do everything I could want.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 10:01 AM by Bertotti »
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 464
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2021, 11:34 PM »
I found the RO90 to be an all around awful sander.  Not the absolute worst, but close.....
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 231
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2021, 10:03 AM »
I found the RO90 to be an all around awful sander.  Not the absolute worst, but close.....

It has its place for me with its lower profile but I can see adding the DTS, is that the big delta sander, at some point as well. But the little RO does a nice job with the extended delta for the hard to reach places, if you don't need that don't buy the RO90, in my opinion anyway.
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline chase_leibowitz

  • Posts: 8
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2021, 11:14 PM »
I can't give a ton of insight to this, but I own the festool ETS-125 REQ (the older cheaper version). Its been a GAMECHANGER coming from my old sander. no vibrations, and sands pretty fast. Im super happy with it, and it was only 200$. I'm sure that the other ones are better, but this one is great and i'd recommend it!

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 475
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2021, 03:32 AM »
I found the RO90 to be an all around awful sander.  Not the absolute worst, but close.....
I’ve used the RO90 with the delta pad as an electric file.  I was able to create some transition moldings for hardwood floors getting an even profile on Asian Cherry. I did another transition on my front door using Red Balau. It has a Janka rating of 2100 and the depth of cut, flexibility and control made the job doable. I used a 60 grit Rubin followed by 80 grit Granat to 120g. It had several compound curves. No other sander would have been comparable.  I will say that it was my third FT sander.  I think this is one of those sanders where you need to wrap your head around it. It shines for home improvement, but it’s not typically my first line of defense, but it’s usually the last line of defense when you need to get yourself out of a tight spot or need more dexterity to accomplish the task?

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2021, 06:21 PM »
I use the RO90 primarily as an edge sander for solid surface work or for working on edges of acrylic panels. It can go from very rough sanding all the way to polishing, though I disconnect the CT at that point.
I work in a commercial cabinet shop and although I don't work in the specific solid surface area, I do get involved with it for many of the reception desks that are my main focus. Loose (stand alone tops) are done buy a dedicated team, but things that are built into the desk are mine.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline jimk1963

  • Posts: 11
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2021, 03:13 PM »
Just purchased the ETS EC 125/3 EQ... Like you, I wanted to purchase one sander. All I can say so far is, WOW. I've never experienced sander dust collection like this. Using my CT Midi I w/ 27mm hose, it's like a dream to sand now. Zero dust except a tiny amount of very fine powder to wipe off when done. What sold me initially was:

(1) 125mm is a good, easy size to hold; the low profile and low weight make it easy to use, and I noticed some people complained about the 150mm weight/handling; I wear a "L" size glove but am not a "big guy" at 5'8" so YMMV
(2) the 125mm actually works with the 150mm discs! This really sold me. I actually bought both 125mm and 150mm disc pads and discs at the same time, knowing this. So who needs the 150mm sander, unless you really need that horsepower...
(3) For belt sander needs, I decided to eventually buy a separate belt sander rather than an RO sander, because I figured that 90+ % of the time, I just need a basic sander and so it should be "comfortable" to use; with an RO I'd be suffering that extra weight (and cost) when I only need it 10% of the time. Again, YMMV depending on your projects. Someday I may very well buy an RO if I become good enough to really need one, like many of the great experts on FOG

I couldn't be happier with the ETS EC. And by the way, I've sanded two drawers and half-dozen cabinet faces with just one stick-on disc and the disc still looks brand new! Unreal quality. Took me a good while to pull the trigger due to cost, but I've already put that in the rear view mirror after a week. Product is simply outstanding.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2021, 04:30 PM »
So who needs the 150mm sander, unless you really need that horsepower...

The ETS EC 125 and ETS EC 150 weigh the same and have the same amount off power, they're both 400 watts.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2021, 05:01 PM »
So who needs the 150mm sander, unless you really need that horsepower...

The ETS EC 125 and ETS EC 150 weigh the same and have the same amount off power, they're both 400 watts.

Yeah, I think the thing you actually gain with the 150 (other than the bigger pad)is the stroke length. It goes from 3mm to 5mm.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline jimk1963

  • Posts: 11
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2021, 05:13 PM »
Thanks guys for catching my mistake, was thinking of the RO 150 which is a few lbs heavier. Too many sanders in my head. What I should have said is that the smaller sander is slightly more versatile as you can use the smaller 125 pads where appropriate and bolt on the bigger 150 pads as needed. On the flip side, I've read you can't bolt on 125mm pads on the ETS EC 150 (Sawmill Creek) but it's unverified as I don't have an ETS EC 150. Many have posted they would have chosen the ETS EC 125 had they known this distinction. I

Re: stroke difference, there's both a ETS EC 150/3 and a 150/5. The former is identical to the ETS EC 125/3. For me, same versatility idea.. the ETS EC 125/3 with 3mm stroke enables both fine sanding and coarse sanding, while I've read the 150/5 can be too aggressive for fine sanding especially with thin veneers. I did a 60 grit sand of an old door panel just for fun and was amazed at how efficient the 125/3 was. Plenty good enough for these kinds of tasks IMO.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 05:20 PM by jimk1963 »

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 353
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2021, 05:14 PM »
Not necessarily. I have the ETS-EC 150/3 and am very glad I choose it over the 150/5, because I have a RO150 for those more heavy duty jobs that benefit from a larger stroke. On the other hand, now I am wondering whether I should buy the new ES-ETS 125 edge sander with its 2 mm stroke or not. I really like the idea of getting sharp edges with a sander (for those cases where a plane cannot do it or is not as handy). But sometimes I am thinking I have enough sanders as it is... Ah, too many choices...  [unsure]

[Edit] The "not necessarily" was aimed at the "Yeah, I think the thing you actually gain with the 150 (other than the bigger pad)is the stroke length. It goes from 3mm to 5mm."

Offline jimk1963

  • Posts: 11
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2021, 05:24 PM »
Agree. Also - more sanders!! Feel like I'm on crack after using this 125/3 for a weekend, can't get over what a night-and-day difference it makes vs. mainstream stuff at the big orange store. Already thinking of an edge sander, maybe an RO down the road...

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2021, 05:33 PM »
An ETS EC 125 pad will NOT fit on an ETS EC 150 sander unless you attacked it with a Dremel.

And an ETS EC sander will not fit in the new edge sander without some modifications. The edge sander is designed around the ETS/DTS/RTS line of sanders.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 05:38 PM by Cheese »

Offline jimk1963

  • Posts: 11
Re: Rotex vs ETS vs ETS EC
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2021, 05:39 PM »
Thanks. Also found this post which explains why the 125 pads won't fit on the 150 - the 150 shaft is keyed while the 125 shaft is not. Near the end of the thread pics are posted of the 125 with 150 pads on it, author said it works perfectly with no braking or balance issues whatsoever.

https://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php?pretty;board=ask-festool;topic=ets-ec-125150.0