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Author Topic: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...  (Read 2529 times)

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Offline WWJeff

  • Posts: 5
ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« on: August 14, 2017, 08:12 PM »
    Hi guys, I'm hoping maybe someone can help me out here. I have a Festool ETS 125 eq random orbit that's probably a good 5 years old or so. It's worked great in a one man shop over that time period. For the last couple weeks it's been intermittently having a problem where it loses power for a second or two and then goes back to normal, kind of like a brownout. Today it really started losing power badly and even stopping altogether. I took the top off and blew out the dust just for the heck of it but it did nothing. Then wondering if the speed control was the problem I took it out and tried without it, but while better....was still not fixed. Not sure what to do next? Anyone have this problem and know how to fix?

   FWIW I'll probably buy a new one when they come out with the new $200 version, but seems like all that's available now are the expensive ones and I'm not ready to drop $400 on a random orbit!

thanks in advance!
Jeff

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Offline antss

  • Posts: 1186
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 08:20 PM »
brushes ?  have you inspected them ?

Offline Alex

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 03:17 AM »
Could be just a broken wire in the cable.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 04:35 AM »
Sounds like the plug it is starting to go.

The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline WWJeff

  • Posts: 5
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 08:15 AM »
    Hi guys, thanks for the responses. Brushes look fine, it gets a lot of use, but not enough to wear down the brushes in such a short time.

    It doesn't seem like a cable problem. I've had plenty of tools have the cables go and this doesn't seem to be the same type of failure? However certainly worth looking into. I'll see if I can borrow a cable from another local shop today and make sure one way or another.

Jeff

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 08:26 AM »
If you are suspecting the cable, before you borrow someone else's cable, check your contacts in your tool for discoloration or burning.  If they look burnt when you use another cord it may affect the other cord and then other tools when used with them.  It might end a friendship  [eek].

Peter

Offline Alex

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 09:17 AM »
It doesn't seem like a cable problem. I've had plenty of tools have the cables go and this doesn't seem to be the same type of failure? However certainly worth looking into.

From my experience with Festool it sounds very much like a cable or plug-it problem. Something else can be possible too, but I would surely look at the cable, plug and socket first. These things fail all the time. For instance, I had a sander that would not start up unless I turned it up side down. Cable was the problem.

Heed Peter's advice above, the Plug-It cords are prone to arcing when there's a bad connection which leads to burning of the contacts. Once this happens you have to replace both the cord and the socket on the tool, because they can infect each other.

You seem confident in opening up your tools, so to rule out a cable problem, I would just connect an entirely different, standard non plug-it cord and hard wire it inside the sander. If your sander works fine now, it was the cable, if not, at least this possible cause is ruled out and you can look at the next possibility
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 09:21 AM by Alex »

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 06:45 PM »
Take the plug it and push it in far and then hold it very tightly to the right and try to keep that tight hold on it while you user the sander., I am betting if you release even a little tension off that plug it the sander will act funny, but holding tight the sander will work better. Which means plug it issue. I have an old ETS 150 doing it right now.

When I say plug it I mean the actual socket in the sander OR the plug it on the extension, either one can be starting to go on you. In my case it's the socket contacts on the sander.

It's an easy inexpensive fix to replace the socket anyhow. Change the socket in the sander and switch cords(if you have a spare). For 10.00 it's a fix or you rule them out.

https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/CFS/item/FS-SOC.XX
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 06:48 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline WWJeff

  • Posts: 5
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 06:56 PM »
    Ok so checked with another cable today, (obviously before reading last couple posts!), and no change. I called Festool just to see what they said and was told, "well it could be anything", obviously not so helpful. I was hoping once I went through my full description and what I'd tried they could at least help me narrow it down, but the guy on the phone seemed pretty uninterested in my problem.

    I broke it down today for a thorough cleaning figuring can't do much harm as it really won't be worth sending off for fixing. Only thing I found was the aluminum plate housing the bottom bearing gets pretty warm after short run time. It still spins fine, but maybe on it's way out causing problems? Don't really know just kind of thinking out loud. Top bearing seemed fine, armature seems fine, no other obvious signs of wear or malfunction. All electrical connections look fine as well. I may however try the hard wire bypass suggested by Alex as this thing is otherwise headed for the dumpster. I'll also try Dovetail's suggestion which just came while I was typing this first, just to see.

    Pretty disappointed that a sander that's sooooo much more expensive than the rest of the pack has such a short lifespan! I have Porter Cable tools that are 30+ years old that get abused and still work fine, 5 years moderate use is just unacceptable for a shop tool! I'll likely buy another to replace, but if it goes anywhere near as quickly it will likely will be my last Festool sander.

thanks!
Jeff

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 07:13 PM »
Weill not to be a jerk, but the ETS 125 is just about the worst sander Festool ever made and makes, IMHO.  I have 100.00 DeWalt's that are better. And in the 195.00 category DeWalt, Makita and Bosch all make  better sanders that literally blow the Festool 125 ETS 125 away.

Many publications that tested agree with me wholeheartedly.

If you ever decide you can increase your budget there really  is a HUGE difference for the most part in a 350.0 to 500.00 sander compared to even a 195.00 sander.. If you can get yourself an ETS 150/3 you will regret ever using that ETS 125 and wonder how you ever even thought it was good to start.

Earlier you made reference to a 400.00 sander and how it could never be worth it, well you are wrong about that. It all depends on what you do and needs are , I guess your needs don't require it.  I could never survive without my RO 150, ETS 150/3 and ETC 150. There really is a difference in the more expensive sanders from any manufacturer. You may not need that difference, but they are different animals and well worth the expense for the people that need them, like me. One job pays for every sander I own so worth it. For my type of work if I had to use nothing but an ETS 125 I would never finish a job.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 07:16 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline antss

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 07:38 PM »
DT - I agree with you that the ets125 is a stinker , and the $100 offerings from just about everyone are better.   But I challenge to show us a Makita or Dewalt random orbit sander in the  $200 price range. They don't play in that park as far as I know.  Bosch does have a couple of models ,but only very recently in the U.S. 

Your comment about a $400 sander being worth it is off base as a generalization.  While it may be worth it to YOU, you can't possibly know what Jeff's value system is.  Or anyone else's.  I happen to wholeheartedly disagree about a $400 +  random orbit sander being worth it.  I have a couple of ETS EC models and while quite nice  I don't consider them worth the premium.  Now I do feel the Rotex sanders are worth that kind of money, but there are guys out there that can't stand those and genres no way I'd use any but the ro90 as a finish sander. Even that is limited to small or narrow projects.

Offline WWJeff

  • Posts: 5
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2017, 11:00 PM »
   No worries at all....everyone's entitled to their opinion. So I was, and am still right, a $400 sander is NOT worth it to me.... and that's really the only person I'm concerned with when I'm expressing my opinions ;)    If you feel that it is worth it that's your opinion and as much as it seems you'd like it to.... it doesn't change mine.  To each their own.

    If I were to spend $400+ on a sander it would probably be the Mirkos which seems to be pretty highly regarded. The bigger Festool sanders are also too big, my little 5" ETS was "just right":>) For what they do and how simple they are there's no justification for me to spend that much. I could also go with a Dynabrade, but don't want to deal with the compressor running constantly. So if it come down to Festool not being able to make a good quality sander for a reasonable price I'll just have to look elsewhere.

thanks,
jeff

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 01:03 AM »
Exactly and as I said not worth it for you, but yes for me.

I will say this if you were in my shop tomorrow helping me do my work by days ends you would say, yeah those expensive sanders are the right sanders for what you do.

And to those others please read my post again I prefaced it very carefully with ZERO generalizations.

I said  "It all depends on what you do and needs are , I guess your needs don't require it."

and also said:

"You may not need that difference, but they are different animals and well worth the expense for the people that need them, like me."


How in the world are my statement or posts in any way any type of generalization at all, to  the contrary my post was actually very specific.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 01:07 AM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 155
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2017, 01:54 AM »
It just goes to show that there has yet to be a sander made that could possibly appeal to all.  I really like my rather old gen. II Rotex 150, but utterly loathed & detested the newer RO 90 version, which many users seem to admire.  I've found my 2 Duplex LS 130 sanders to be frustratingly slow in my required tasks, whereas others consider them to be a veritable panacea to the evils of small frame & moulding work.

In regard to the supposed superiority of Mirka sanders, I freely admit that I'd fancy a couple too:  the DEROS 5.0 & DEOS 79 x 133 in particular are appealing to me, but well beyond my fiscal means.  Interestingly some users have complained bitterly about the unreliability of their own proprietary power cables, which apparently aren't covered at all by the manufacturer's warranty.  A rather distressing & disturbing development in my opinion:  any manufacturer that wishes to escape the ultimate responsibility for their product's performance or construction inadequacies should be ashamed.  Any manufacturer.

I personally prefer to spread my rather meagre resources more generously between a variety of manufacturer's products rather than slavishly adhere to a single maker's product.  Superior performance is my primary selection criteria.  System integration may indeed have a place in many user's priorities, but not mine.  A combination of a hose Y adapter (for a pair of hoses), a power board &/or extended fixed power cables allow rapid interchange of sanders whilst atop a ladder or midway up a staircase for instance with negligible inconvenience.

I've used a variety of "plug-it" cables from manufacturers as diverse as B&D, Elu, Atlas Copco, Kango, Milwaukee & Festo/ol, & personally have yet to experience unreliability.  But then I rarely if ever actually interchange cables.  Yet the sheer numbers of user's problematic anecdotes indicate that hard wiring is if not superior, then at the very least a more reliable alternative.  I would personally sacrifice flexibility for reliability every time.

If you are experiencing difficulties with the reliability of power cables, then perhaps you should seek a superior, more reliable product elsewhere.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 05:50 AM by aloysius »
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 03:46 AM »
Yeah me too, I have a smorgasbord of tool manufacturers in my shop.
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline WWJeff

  • Posts: 5
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2017, 07:21 AM »
   I'm not sure how long the Mirka sanders have been out, First time a rep came to the shop pushing them was within the last year or two, but I know they'd been around a little while before then. I guess it will be interesting to see how they hold up over the long haul and if they suffer reliability problems being a "different" design and all?

    I actually like the "plug-it" style of cables for two reasons.... one, they're actually long enough, (at least the Festool version), to be useful, unlike many of the other manufacturers. And second because I can't tell you how many power cords I've had to replace over the years. Especially Porter Cable routers, those things are very short lived! Just seems like it shouldn't be that difficult to make a version that's fairly bullet proof when you have the leeway of a premium price point? I know my Milwaukee Sawzall detachable cord is still going strong after many years, though it gets fairly light to moderate use. Then again I don't know if my current problem has anything to do with the power cable anyway?

    Regardless I think the days of bullet proof tools are behind us. I remember when I bought my first framing saw, a heavy duty Porter Cable model. Thing was built like a tank, cost twice as much as anything you could buy at a box store, and was heavy as heck. That was 25 years ago and it's still going strong with no issues at all. It's been mostly replaced with Festool T-55 which is an amazing tool I couldn't live without, but have to admit is underpowered for my needs, very lightly built, and having read up some more on Festool in general since joining this forum, I know it won't have near the lifespan of the Porter Cable :(


Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2017, 06:30 AM »
It just goes to show that there has yet to be a sander made that could possibly appeal to all.  I really like my rather old gen. II Rotex 150, but utterly loathed & detested the newer RO 90 version, which many users seem to admire.  I've found my 2 Duplex LS 130 sanders to be frustratingly slow in my required tasks, whereas others consider them to be a veritable panacea to the evils of small frame & moulding work.

In regard to the supposed superiority of Mirka sanders, I freely admit that I'd fancy a couple too:  the DEROS 5.0 & DEOS 79 x 133 in particular are appealing to me, but well beyond my fiscal means.  Interestingly some users have complained bitterly about the unreliability of their own proprietary power cables, which apparently aren't covered at all by the manufacturer's warranty.  A rather distressing & disturbing development in my opinion:  any manufacturer that wishes to escape the ultimate responsibility for their product's performance or construction inadequacies should be ashamed.  Any manufacturer.

I personally prefer to spread my rather meagre resources more generously between a variety of manufacturer's products rather than slavishly adhere to a single maker's product.  Superior performance is my primary selection criteria.  System integration may indeed have a place in many user's priorities, but not mine.  A combination of a hose Y adapter (for a pair of hoses), a power board &/or extended fixed power cables allow rapid interchange of sanders whilst atop a ladder or midway up a staircase for instance with negligible inconvenience.

I've used a variety of "plug-it" cables from manufacturers as diverse as B&D, Elu, Atlas Copco, Kango, Milwaukee & Festo/ol, & personally have yet to experience unreliability.  But then I rarely if ever actually interchange cables.  Yet the sheer numbers of user's problematic anecdotes indicate that hard wiring is if not superior, then at the very least a more reliable alternative.  I would personally sacrifice flexibility for reliability every time.

If you are experiencing difficulties with the reliability of power cables, then perhaps you should seek a superior, more reliable product elsewhere.

I am one of "the guys" that have criticized Mirka for their inferior power cables. As of last week we are ordering power cable number FOUR on our Mirka DEROS: on a unit that is permanently in one room, doing one task. That is crap, and nothing can gloss over that fact.

I have had the RTS400 for many years, after wearing one out I got a new one in late 2014 and that one is due to replacement. I did take a long hard look at the new RTS400 but I wasn't overly impressed. It is perhaps slightly better but it is a bit chunkier too. 
Over the years I have been pleased with the RTS400 as being a "standard" sanding machine. A good standard.

I did compare in shop between the new Mirka DEOS and the new Festool and I did prefer the Mirka for several reasons. Only gripe would be the power cable - and that I would not be able to fit a Plug It connector. Even with those drawbacks and considering what I would use it for I decided it was still better to take a detour from the Plug It and have that Mirka DEOS with the separate cord in the kit. The sales rep claimed that the cable has been reinforced - we have yet to see that in the long run - but the DEOS won me over for ergonomics and a 3mm stroke over the RTS400 2mm stroke. The DEOS is significantly more expensive than the RTS400 although I got mine in a cardboard box. It does have Bluetooth which allows you to monitor vibration values - though I could not care less about that feature and would rather pay less by omitting that feature.

After using it for two days straight on window restorations I do think I made a good purchase; the DEOS is significantly more aggressive in comparison to the RTS400 - sanding times are down by some 30% on each given task. It is really that much better on bare wood. It has less vibration than the RTS400 (I have no comparison to the latest Festool version though). It took me half an hour to ease into it but it does make the sanding experience better for me. It is still as smooth as can be when needed. We will have to see what the power cable does on the long run - if it fails I will have it rebuilt to fit a standard connector over the proprietary connector but I am hoping I don't have to.  [blink]
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3779
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2017, 04:52 PM »
Since the ETS/EC was based upon Mirkas, I would suggest that the Mirkas are not "new".
Both the DEROS and ETS/EC are nice sanders, and the CEROS preceeded the DEROS.
However in the non "EC" random orbital, a Bosch or Rupes or Makita is probably a better.

(I know that I can double a cheap Bosch's performance with a Mirka screen on it.)


...DEOS 79 x 133 in particular are appealing to me, but ...

& @Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits
I have not seem that Mirka model before.
In the 115x230 size the Mafell UVA115e is pretty astounding. About %60 the removal rate of a DEROS on one test I did, but it makes/keeps things flat. (A 700W/22000 RPM 1/2-sheet may be overkill.)

2 different random orbital sanders seems like a redundancy or sanding tautology, however it is hard to beat a 1/2-sheet and random orbital as a pairing of sanders.

Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 04:59 PM »
Holmz: the DEOS was at a demo stand at the local Pushers Nest. I circled it like a vulture a few times and picked up the new RTS400REQ and compared them and it was obvious that for me the DEOS was a much nicer machine.

I have worked the DEOS hard last week and this week with about five-six hours of sanding and it is a great machine, it is definitely a step up from the RTS400 for me.

At first I was a bit concerned with the paddle switch as I sometimes have to sand in awkward positions and the RTS400 can simply be left running. It turned out that the ergonomics of the DEOS works so well for me that I actually don't mind the paddle switch. Did some awkward sanding today in a multitude of positions: over head, leaning under, reaching out to corners etc. Very high marks for agility on the DEOS. Vibrations are below the RTS400 for sure - but I have not compared the new RTS400 to the DEOS though. 

I am currently trimming down and restoring as well as building/replicating old style windows and the Mirka has found a place among the other favourites: RAS115, EHL65 Planer, Metabo LF724s paint stripper/router. Wouldn't want to be without any of them. Together they really speed up work.  Since I am finishing off with the Mirka it actually works well with the odd cable. The PlugIt rotates around the three other machines but the Mirka is constantly hooked up to the vac. 

In my field kit with the above machines the RTS400 was the "weak" machine and I am no fan of the Rotexes for windows (had the 90, didn't like it, have the 150 but it is too large for this type of job) and the Mirka DEOS made me forget about the shortcomings of the RTS400 very swiftly.

Just hoping the cord is not a Lemon, like on the DEROS.
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3779
Re: ETS-125 random orbit troubles...
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 06:26 PM »
Holmz: the DEOS was at a demo stand at the local Pushers Nest. I circled it like a vulture a few times and picked up the new RTS400REQ and compared them and it was obvious that for me the DEOS was a much nicer machine.

I have worked the DEOS hard last week and this week with about five-six hours of sanding and it is a great machine, it is definitely a step up from the RTS400 for me.

...

The other sanders I have in addition to the deros is the Festool dx93, and the Mafell uva115e. That uva115e is very very nice, but the DEROS is funnier for smoothing. (The 1/2 better for flattening)
It may be a huge step up from a rts400 or rs2. I have not tried all of the 1/2 sheet jobs.

And I have a special used sander which should arrive any day now.
It is the only Mafell sander I