Author Topic: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum  (Read 9011 times)

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Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 51
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #60 on: December 25, 2020, 07:36 AM »
Like I said about your test, you take one particular vac (an autoclean no less) and use it for one particular situation and then somehow extrapolate that to all Festool vacs. That's not how it works. I am talking about 4 different vacs over a 10 year period, working with them on an almost daily basis in every conceivable situation and they've had to handle almost any type of dust and debris out there. I know a lot better what these vacs can do then those test boys. And I am disappointed. I really like the features and form factor of the Festool vacs, but they just fall behind in suction.

Not all Festool vacs, just the CT series, since they all use the same motor and operating mechanism design and the only real differences are the size of the container and the presence or absence of the autoclean feature. (The shootout I linked doesn't specify whether or not they used AC in their clogged-filter test, but since a number of the vacs have the feature, I would assume they probably did.)

The CT 15, SYS, Mini and Midi all use different internals than the main CT series and I wouldn't expect performance characteristics to generalize between them.

The main reason I don't weight personal experience very highly when making pronouncements about the capabilities of tools is that it's too heavily confounded by other variables. The way you personally handle the vacuum, how often you change bags and filters, what grade of filter you equip it with, the kinds of material you use it on, the hoses you use; all of this has a very substantial impact on performance. I completely believe you that the Festool vacuums have performed poorly for you given the way you've used them. But if I may borrow your own criticism, you can't extrapolate that to everyone else in the world. And so I tend to go by objective measurements that have done their best to control for personal differences in usage when evaluating what a tool can do.

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8166
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #61 on: December 25, 2020, 11:40 AM »
Theres a lot of mentions about fitting a 150 pad on an ETS EC 125, but why cant you put a 125 pd on an ETS EC 150 ? surely its the same fitting, is it the size of the sander body? which would not affect sanding on flat surfaces.

Unfortunately, Festool uses 2 different sanding pad drive methods on the sanders. The ETS EC 125 utilizes a round drive with 2 flattened sides, while the ETS EC 150 adds 2 ears to the drive.

ETS EC 125 sander with round drive & 2 flats.




LH = 125 pad     RH = 150 pad with 2 ears.


Offline craigsalisbury75

  • Posts: 15
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #62 on: December 25, 2020, 01:06 PM »
Theres a lot of mentions about fitting a 150 pad on an ETS EC 125, but why cant you put a 125 pd on an ETS EC 150 ? surely its the same fitting, is it the size of the sander body? which would not affect sanding on flat surfaces.

Unfortunately, Festool uses 2 different sanding pad drive methods on the sanders. The ETS EC 125 utilizes a round drive with 2 flattened sides, while the ETS EC 150 adds 2 ears to the drive.

ETS EC 125 sander with round drive & 2 flats.

(Attachment Link)


LH = 125 pad     RH = 150 pad with 2 ears.

(Attachment Link)

thanks for the explanation, i guess i dont need the 125 pad, but the option would have been nice

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 831
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #63 on: December 25, 2020, 02:04 PM »
In reality I feel one could easily carve out a 125mm pad to fit the ETS EC 150.

But, I do remember (maybe incorrectly) something about the bolt not being long enough for the taller 125mm pad. No actual experience with the 150 machines myself, I only have the 125 sander.

Happy Christmas all. X
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 05:34 AM by mrB »
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Imemiter

  • Posts: 138
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #64 on: December 25, 2020, 03:19 PM »
It's with a significant amount of shame I say I bought a Bosch GET75-6N today.  There were a number of reasons for this and I really appreciate all the feedback I have gotten from everyone.

I like that sander! I was hovering on the brink of a Rotex until Bosch talked me off the ledge with a $50 off day.  [big grin] Now that I've used it back to back with an RO125 I'm not at all unhappy with my choice.
CSX, TID 18, HKC 55, OSC 18, OF 1010, Domino XL, DTS 400, ETS 125, RAS 115, LR32, CTSys, CTMidi, CT-VA-20

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #65 on: December 25, 2020, 09:01 PM »
It's with a significant amount of shame I say I bought a Bosch GET75-6N today.  There were a number of reasons for this and I really appreciate all the feedback I have gotten from everyone.

I like that sander! I was hovering on the brink of a Rotex until Bosch talked me off the ledge with a $50 off day.  [big grin] Now that I've used it back to back with an RO125 I'm not at all unhappy with my choice.

That's great to hear, thanks!  Just as a point of interest I found an RO 150 at a local dealer and asked how much it was... they said $1,340 ..... holy mark ups!

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1752
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #66 on: December 26, 2020, 01:40 PM »
I make furniture.  I have a shop with a jointer and planer, so I never have to sand really rough wood.

Whats important to me is speed of getting the job done (not having to go back to remove curlicues mainly) and clean operation.  I have the 6 inch 150/3.  Remember that the area of a circle is pi times the radius of a circle.  A 5 inch disk has a 2.5 inch radius, so r squared is 6.25, where the 6 inch disk radius is three so r squared is 9 - a 44 percent improvement in area and in speed.

I find the dust extraction excellent, which saves a lot of cleanup time and sandpaper.

A variable speed vac is great if you often sand light things, eg thin panels. 

I do have a Rotex I use for sculpting.  It gets about 1 percent of the usage the RTS does.

If I had to sand stuff upside down, I would definitely want the lightest sander on offer.

Just another data point, your mileage may vary.


Offline Michael Kowalenko

  • Posts: 11
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2020, 06:17 PM »
Hello everyone. Based on all of this discussion, today I purchased the ETS EC 125/3 and a 150 hard pad. I am looking forward to using this sander in either the 5” and 6” mode as needed. However, I cannot loosen the bolt to remove the installed 125 pad. Hopefully it won’t need Festool service. Comments? Help?

Online Alex

  • Posts: 7246
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2020, 07:17 PM »
Hello everyone. Based on all of this discussion, today I purchased the ETS EC 125/3 and a 150 hard pad. I am looking forward to using this sander in either the 5” and 6” mode as needed. However, I cannot loosen the bolt to remove the installed 125 pad. Hopefully it won’t need Festool service. Comments? Help?

It is normal it is tight from the factory. Just try to hold the pad securely and use more force with a wrench. If you have an impact driver that will help greatly.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 382
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2020, 08:55 PM »
I do not know but is it possibly a left/reverse threaded bolt?

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #70 on: December 28, 2020, 09:41 PM »
Just an update... I’ve cancelled my Bosch order, after some reflection on all the feedback I think I’m going ets ec 125! Still mulling over the vac option.

Offline Michael Kowalenko

  • Posts: 11
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #71 on: December 28, 2020, 09:48 PM »
Hi Hammy, from Edmonton ... almost on the other coast and a few time zones away. Another reason I went with the ETS EC 125/3 and 150 pad is that I already have the CT48E. As it turns out, buying that item back then with the OF1400 made this decision today easier, as I wanted to capitalize on the great dust extraction of the system.

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 459
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2020, 11:43 PM »
Just an update... I’ve cancelled my Bosch order, after some reflection on all the feedback I think I’m going ets ec 125! Still mulling over the vac option.

It would appear analysis paralysis has set in. 

Just get the EC125 and a MINI.  Be done with it and get onto making stuff.  You can always return either or both within 30days if you don’t take a shine to them. 

Offline mino

  • Posts: 218
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2020, 05:21 AM »
Not so.

I’ve been sanding edges with my 125 for more than a dozen years. But I do plan to buy the edge guide because it will make the task easier, and probably turn out better.
The point of the guide - as I see it - you can "make" or correct an edge where there is none proper and avoid "unmaking one" via uneven pressure etc. All that even on a finished piece.
One would need a stationary disc sander to get the precision the guide can provide via other means.
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2020, 10:43 AM »
Just an update... I’ve cancelled my Bosch order, after some reflection on all the feedback I think I’m going ets ec 125! Still mulling over the vac option.

It would appear analysis paralysis has set in. 

Just get the EC125 and a MINI.  Be done with it and get onto making stuff.  You can always return either or both within 30days if you don’t take a shine to them.

I think you are right, I just need to go buy one and get it over with.

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2020, 03:31 PM »
Hello everyone. Based on all of this discussion, today I purchased the ETS EC 125/3 and a 150 hard pad. I am looking forward to using this sander in either the 5” and 6” mode as needed. However, I cannot loosen the bolt to remove the installed 125 pad. Hopefully it won’t need Festool service. Comments? Help?

That's great Michael, at least one of us listened to the good advice here!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same.

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 481
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #76 on: December 29, 2020, 04:58 PM »
Hello everyone. Based on all of this discussion, today I purchased the ETS EC 125/3 and a 150 hard pad. I am looking forward to using this sander in either the 5” and 6” mode as needed. However, I cannot loosen the bolt to remove the installed 125 pad. Hopefully it won’t need Festool service. Comments? Help?

That's great Michael, at least one of us listened to the good advice here!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same.

If I were you I would do it.  I have the ETS EC 125 and it is a great sander. Only caution is many of us did not stop at one sander.  I now also an RO125 and a DTS400 and am looking at a cordless for quick jobs. 

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 634
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #77 on: December 29, 2020, 10:14 PM »
@hammy - ok one last comment since you have switched back to the ETS EC 125. I would continue to strongly encourage you to bite the bullet and choose one of the Festool CT vacs. I have given you my opinion in a couple of posts here so I will just wrap it up by going back to your original post. You said that you did not like sanding and you wanted to find something that would make you like it. I have been here and on other forums for years now and I have heard from countless people (including myself) about how they always hated sanding until they got a Festool sander and CT vac combo. The sander you have chosen coupled with a Festool vac will almost certainly change the way you feel about sanding. If that is still what you want I suggest that you pull the trigger. You can thank us later😊. Yes, it is crazy money for a sander but it works crazy good and like I said earlier once you have the vac you will be ready for all those other Festools that are going to buy in the future.

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 51
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2020, 07:12 AM »
I'll note that if the CT series is too expensive for your tastes, the Makita VC4210L offers similar benefits to the CT 36 AC HEPA (41 liter capacity, similar airflow/suction, HEPA filtration, passthrough power with automatic activation, filter autoclean, and even systainer docking) at about 2/3 of the cost. What you give up is integration with the rest of the Festool system: the fitted, twist-lock hoses, the Bluetooth integration with cordless tools, and the accessories like the boom arm that Makita doesn't offer. Depending upon your use cases, this may be a pretty worthwhile tradeoff to save $300, even moreso if you already have Makita power tools that are compatible with their own Bluetooth module system.

Online Alex

  • Posts: 7246
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2020, 07:33 AM »
I'd just like to add that you can use any vac with your sander, you don't need to have a Festool vac if you don't want to spend money on that. Before I had my first Festool vac I used my home vac for years.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 766
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2020, 08:05 AM »
Hello everyone. Based on all of this discussion, today I purchased the ETS EC 125/3 and a 150 hard pad. I am looking forward to using this sander in either the 5” and 6” mode as needed. However, I cannot loosen the bolt to remove the installed 125 pad. Hopefully it won’t need Festool service. Comments? Help?

That's great Michael, at least one of us listened to the good advice here!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same.


I ordered the same end of November. Delivery has been set back to end of January… : ( But I took delivery of a DTS400 and the 150 pad(s) for the 125.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 09:48 AM by Bert Vanderveen »
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 · MFT/3 + TSB1-MW 1000 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE · Vecturo 18 Li · TID 18 · TKS 80 EBS-Set · DTS 400 · ETS EC 125 w 150 pad · Surfix Set · CTL SYS · CT-VA-20 · … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer: A3 31 Silent Power · N4400 · HS950 | TaigaTools: VacPods Pro Set
On order: … [ ! ]

Offline rj_mccall

  • Posts: 39
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2020, 08:54 AM »
I'd just like to add that you can use any vac with your sander, you don't need to have a Festool vac if you don't want to spend money on that. Before I had my first Festool vac I used my home vac for years.

I’d advise against going down this path OP. Using “any vac” with your sander will create problems with your finished product. Attaching something like a shop vac to your sander creates too much suction leading to swirl marks and a poor finish. Having the ability to adjust the suction level to the tools need is beneficial. With the 125 you purchased you want the suction turned down low. Even adjusting the settings and experimenting on a scrap piece will show you the difference. Anyway, do not just use any vacuum, do some research and make an informed decision! Good luck!

Online Alex

  • Posts: 7246
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2020, 10:35 AM »
I'd just like to add that you can use any vac with your sander, you don't need to have a Festool vac if you don't want to spend money on that. Before I had my first Festool vac I used my home vac for years.

I’d advise against going down this path OP. Using “any vac” with your sander will create problems with your finished product. Attaching something like a shop vac to your sander creates too much suction leading to swirl marks and a poor finish. Having the ability to adjust the suction level to the tools need is beneficial. With the 125 you purchased you want the suction turned down low. Even adjusting the settings and experimenting on a scrap piece will show you the difference. Anyway, do not just use any vacuum, do some research and make an informed decision! Good luck!

Oh blimey, I forgot I was living in a place where ALL vacs have variable suction. My bad. But OP could make a bleeder valve to lower suction without having to spend another $1000 as you guys are all so adamant about.

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2020, 12:51 PM »
Late breaking news..... the Festool ETS EC 125/3 EQ-Plus is now ordered along with the CT Mini I HEPA!!!

Delivery will be 3 to 4 weeks.

Total $CAN is $1,558.

Let the fun begin!  Thanks for all the awesome feedback everyone.

Offline Imemiter

  • Posts: 138
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2020, 01:00 PM »
Sorry to hear you've abandoned the brotherhood of Bosch.  [big grin]
But good call. You're going to love both of those tools.
CSX, TID 18, HKC 55, OSC 18, OF 1010, Domino XL, DTS 400, ETS 125, RAS 115, LR32, CTSys, CTMidi, CT-VA-20

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2020, 08:10 PM »
And for next Christmas... a Rotex HA!

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2020, 03:54 AM »
Look at the ct-15 dust extractor.  For the price it’s a good buy. Festool wants new buyers dipping their toes into the green (swamp) water... you’ll save some Festool Cash to get you half way into a track saw ts-55, a router, down payment on a domino.

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #87 on: December 31, 2020, 05:25 AM »
Look at the ct-15 dust extractor.  For the price it’s a good buy. Festool wants new buyers dipping their toes into the green (swamp) water... you’ll save some Festool Cash to get you half way into a track saw ts-55, a router, down payment on a domino.
Thanks, I didn’t look very closely at the ct 15 but it is over $300 cheaper!  I could live without the Bluetooth and stacking for sure.  It also holds a bit more than the mini, maybe I’ll just switch and get the ct 15. Id be losing the better hose but $300 can get me lots of sandpaper and a 6” pad.

Offline hammy

  • Posts: 25
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #88 on: December 31, 2020, 08:09 PM »
Look at the ct-15 dust extractor.  For the price it’s a good buy. Festool wants new buyers dipping their toes into the green (swamp) water... you’ll save some Festool Cash to get you half way into a track saw ts-55, a router, down payment on a domino.
Thanks, I didn’t look very closely at the ct 15 but it is over $300 cheaper!  I could live without the Bluetooth and stacking for sure.  It also holds a bit more than the mini, maybe I’ll just switch and get the ct 15. Id be losing the better hose but $300 can get me lots of sandpaper and a 6” pad.

Just because I like to complicate matters I went the other way and changed my order to a CT 26.  I recently bought a Bosch Glide Mitre Saw that I will also use with the new vac. 

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Which sander to buy first! - First Post in the Forum
« Reply #89 on: December 31, 2020, 09:11 PM »
Look at the ct-15 dust extractor.  For the price it’s a good buy. Festool wants new buyers dipping their toes into the green (swamp) water... you’ll save some Festool Cash to get you half way into a track saw ts-55, a router, down payment on a domino.
Thanks, I didn’t look very closely at the ct 15 but it is over $300 cheaper!  I could live without the Bluetooth and stacking for sure.  It also holds a bit more than the mini, maybe I’ll just switch and get the ct 15. Id be losing the better hose but $300 can get me lots of sandpaper and a 6” pad.
yep and if you want you could probably sell the ct-15 in a year or two and not loose too much. It would still have some warranty remaining. By then the midi will see another upgrade ?