Author Topic: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding  (Read 1090 times)

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125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« on: March 22, 2021, 02:54 PM »
Which sander would you guys recommend getting the 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ?  I already have a 125 RO so I do not need something that will remove a lot of material, just looking for a better finish sander than my old Dewalt orbital.  Slowing making my way into the Festool tool line-up.
CT MINI, Kapex, RO125, DF500

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Offline mrB

  • Posts: 868
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 04:51 PM »
I’m not really a regular ‘high polish’ finish guy so I’m not the best to comment. But as an owner of the RO125 and ETS EC125 I can safely say that if you buy the ETS EC your rotex will see a LOT less use.

The ETS EC does not compare to the RO when it comes to large material removal, but it’s not bad at it, and unless your looking to remove actual mm from a surface, it will likely be almost as quick while INFINITELY nicer to use.

I briefly owned the ETS 125 (one of two Festools I ever returned) and while I’ve no doubt it will finish an already smooth and flat surface brilliantly, I wasn’t interested in a tool with such limited scope. Hoping it might be more of a general 125mm sander, I was disappointed by its weakness. Literally every other 125 orbital I have ever used is notably more powerful.

But if we’re talking swirl marks under a microscope then many here have high praise for the ETS 125.

Personally I think the ETS EC 125 (that wasn’t available when I first purchased the ETS I returned) is a fantastic finish sander, and it can do higher rates of removal too.

The ETS EC 125 is my favourite festool sander, but I’ll never sell the RO125 cos when you need it you need it.

My actual favourite and most used sander is my Deros:
Lighter, smaller, as or more powerful and takes all types of paper (in terms of hole patterns).
But I have the 5mm.  The other option is 2.5mm stroke. That’s right between the 3mm of the ETS EC and the 2mm of the ETS.

Finally, be aware that there seems to be a bad batch of the ETS EC around at the moment, as after 5+ years in the market, with plenty of rave reviews, there have been several posts here lately about brand new sanders failing.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 04:58 PM by mrB »
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7351
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2021, 05:31 PM »
I like my ETS 125. In the role of ultimate finish sander of course. It is indeed not very powerful, but is simply leaves the best finish out of all 8 sanders I have.

Unfortunately I have not yet had a chance to use the ETS 125 EC. But what I read from reports here you should also be fine with that one. I don't think you can go wrong with either one of them.

Only thing to think about is that the EC model always depends on a dust collector as it has no internal fan like the ETS 125 has. Not sure if that's important to you. I prefer to always use a Festool vac with my sanders.

Online Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 52
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 05:40 PM »
Love my ETS-EC 125.

I've never minded the lack of internal fan that Alex notes.

I'll add that a dust collector with a variable speed (like the Festool CT's) makes a pretty big difference - you definitely want to turn the suction down when using this sander (or any sander, really). If I forget to turn down the suction, the sander doesn't move around nearly as smoothly on the material.  The same may be true on the Rotex, and I may not be telling you anything you don't already know.

Online Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 344
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2021, 06:53 PM »
I'm mostly agreed with Mrb. The combination of an RO125 and ETS EC 125 will cover the vast majority of sanding tasks. Between them they can do everything from very fast stock removal and leveling, to finish sanding (including sanding between coats of finish) all the way to polishing.

The only place we disagree is that you will use the RO less. It may just be because of the things I use them for, but I definitely don't. In fact, I recently added the RO125 after having a RO90 for the last several years.
I do still have an older ETS 125, but I never use it anymore. I like the form-factor of the EC much more.  It is quite a bit shorter/lower and just feels better in my hand.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline binettea

  • Posts: 34
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2021, 07:55 PM »
Definitely need to be aware of bad batches of EC sanders right now. Got 2 of them over the past few weeks (wobbling and stopping issues). Also, they are heavily back ordered (33 weeks last I checked).

@mrB i looked into the Deros, but got scared by their bad reliability and bad service reputation. I guess your experience is different?

Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2021, 10:25 PM »
Appreciate the responses, think I am going to hold out for the 125 EC as I am not really looking for that high polish finish, most of the time I am using Rubio anyways.  As others have said I think the form factor for the newer model is better too.

I looked at the Mirka but the higher price and worse reliability really put me off from buying one vs. Festool.  I think I will put in an order for an EC and keep using my Rotex until it finally gets shipped.
CT MINI, Kapex, RO125, DF500

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8361
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2021, 10:52 PM »
I looked at the Mirka but the higher price and worse reliability really put me off from buying one vs. Festool.  I think I will put in an order for an EC and keep using my Rotex until it finally gets shipped.

You just can't go wrong with this sander, I own 11 different Festool sanders and without a doubt this is my favorite. Besides the smoothness and the lack of vibration, is the light weight and the ergonomics that just work. Also, remember that a 150 mm pad can be attached to this sander for enhanced flexibility. I've owned mine since 2015 so there are a lot of miles on the unit and I'm still stoked.

Just be aware that recently some have mentioned that there have been some malfunctioning issues associated with the sander. Festool supposedly is aware of the problem and is researching the problem. Just a heads-up...

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2574
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2021, 09:07 AM »
I'm with Cheese on this, I also have (I don't want to actually count) multiple Festool sanders as well as a couple Makitas, belters as well as the RS2 equivalent.  The ETS ECs are my favorite go to sanders.

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 868
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2021, 11:40 AM »

@mrB i looked into the Deros, but got scared by their bad reliability and bad service reputation. I guess your experience is different?

Mine is 18 months old and easily my most used sander. No issue so far. I was also concerned about the reliability reports, but I liked the sander so much I figured I’d take the chance.

Mine however is actually the Metabo re-brand. I believe it is made by Mirka and is the gen1 version without the Bluetooth app. So I’ll be dealing with Metabo if it goes wrong in it’s 3 year warranty. The Mirka is generally cheaper or equal to the festool here in the UK.

Prices here (depending on sales/deals)

ETS EC £400-£500
Deros £360-£420
Metabo £280-£320
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2021, 12:51 PM »
In the US the prices are the following:

ECS EC - $425
Deros 5" - $625

Not sure on the metabo
CT MINI, Kapex, RO125, DF500

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 868
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2021, 01:33 PM »
Ouch. That’s a hefty difference and not one I would pay if that was the case here. Even with my greater love for the Deros.

I recently purchased the festool RTS400 over the Mirka Deos, partly because it was £100+ cheaper, but largely because of my faith in Festools service and long term parts availability. On a sander I don’t use so much, I value the guarantee of parts and service availability in 7/8 years time over the preferred ergonomics of the Mirka Deos (MY preferred ergonomics obviously).
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline ekuntze@mac.com

  • Posts: 3
Re: 125 ETS or 125/3 EQ for finish sanding
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2021, 06:23 AM »
well, i just bought the ETSC 125 with accu and netadapter - which is very helpful.
the sanding (2mm) is more than perfect - if you do it right in 3 or more steps you have a surface that can be painted as if you already painted and sanded 3 times ! I love this device, especially because you can use it with and without an accu.