Author Topic: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.  (Read 8647 times)

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Offline jaguar36

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I thought it would be nice to see why the ETS sander works so much better (and costs so much more) than a fairly typical $100 ROS.  So I pulled them apart and looked at their guts!



Let me know what you think!

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Offline thedude306

  • Posts: 192
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 09:52 AM »
It's a good comparison on a two un-equal sanders

You should compare it with the Bosch ROS65VC-6 that comes in an L-boxx.

Brad T.

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 328
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 10:35 AM »
I appreciate the comparison.  It is useful in understanding how they are put together.  I don't agree, however, that molding plastic different adds much cost.  Once the mold is designed and made, how you shape the plastic becomes immaterial. It probably costs more to make the more complex body casting of the Festool but that gets amortized over the number of units.  More spent on customer service probably is a greater cost than the difference in the mold. 

The more controlled air passage past the electronics probably helps the switch hold up on the Festool, however.  I've had that fail or require cleaning on "lessor" tools.  It would be interesting if there is a difference in the bearings or the method of attaching the windings to the rotor. 

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 855
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2015, 02:38 PM »
I agree its not a equal comparison.    Bosch has a ROS65VLC that would be better suited for the comparison.   It comes in a l-boxx with a molded foam insert thats ways better than Festools inserts.   

Offline jaguar36

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Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 09:25 AM »
  I don't agree, however, that molding plastic different adds much cost.  Once the mold is designed and made, how you shape the plastic becomes immaterial. It probably costs more to make the more complex body casting of the Festool but that gets amortized over the number of units. 

Actually a more complicated mold (and that mold that makes the main housing on the ETS is wickedly complicated)  requires a longer cycle time and more maintenance than a simpler mold.  That results in fewer parts per hour being able to be made on the mold, and increases cost.  So you have to pay the upfront cost of the more expensive design and tooling, as well as each part costing more to make.

 I would agree however that its probably not nearly as much of a cost driver as the customer service though.

Offline jaguar36

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Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 09:44 AM »
I agree its not a equal comparison.    Bosch has a ROS65VLC that would be better suited for the comparison.   It comes in a l-boxx with a molded foam insert thats ways better than Festools inserts.

This video stemmed from a conversation I had (and I suspect alot of Festool users have had) where someone claims the $100 generic ROS is basically the same as the Festool one and works just as well for 30% of the price.  Since telling someone like that all of the benefits of the Festool sander tends to fall on deaf ears, my goal was to instead show the actual physical differences between the two, and how those differences would effect the usage of the tools.  I also wanted to show that the sander really did cost more to design and make, and not just Festool making a larger profit (although to be fair I'm sure Festool has a higher profit margin than Bosch does)

At some point I'd like to do a comparison between a few sanders that are in the same price range as the Festool, including that Bosch, a Mirka, and maybe a Mafell if I could get my hands on one.

Offline teocaf

  • Posts: 598
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 10:03 AM »
i did not hear whether the bosch unit was old enough to have been made in germany or you know where.  perhaps that have been a useful point to make in considering cost.

i do agree with the comments regarding comparing apples to apples, because just making arguments to convince the naysayers is fairly pointless for what i think are obvious reasons.

good effort on the video though--i know these things are harder to make and edit than they look.  since you asked for feedback suggestions, i would say that it would be better to have full agreement between opening statements "festool is a lot more expensive" and closing statement "festool is a bit more"

Offline orm8426

  • Posts: 109
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 10:27 AM »
Agree with the above posters. A pointless comparison between two tools in different classes. A better comparison would have been the Bosch GEX 150 Turbo Sander.

Offline Mr Heavy

  • Posts: 100
  • Clamps? Who needs clamps?
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 08:23 PM »
Interesting, enjoyable video but it wouldn't pass muster in a scientific journal, in whatever format.
There are a lot of logical leaps in there which largely comprise of "because Festool do it this way, it's therefore better. Festool's way being better (one piece vs 2 piece mouldings, pressed assemblies vs screwed usw) may well be true, but not necessarily - at least outside of the world of marketing.

Nevertheless, keep 'em coming. You're doing a good job just getting the stuff out and it's good to see someone putting the work in.

I'm perfectly happy with my Bosch GEX-125 blah or whatever unfathomable naming scheme spawned it. It's awesomely improved with dust collection, but getting the information out of Bosch for how to connect the wretched thing took me about 18 months of occasional "I'll just spend an hour or two trying to find an adapter for the sander!" sessions which generally led me round in circles going nowhere but tearing my hair out. With Festool, it's pretty-much all written on the tin. With hindsight, that alone would probably make me think twice.

I would have liked to have seen the bearings and the sort of shrouding they have, the quality of winding termination, the type of moulding around screw points. In a cost-no object tool one might expect screws to go into bushes rather than being self-tapping. Were they?

I've played with the Rotexes and there's no doubt that they are extremely good, ditto the Festool abrasives which seem indestructible (on mdf, anyway) but as a dilettante user I'd find it impossible to justify the difference upgrade.. I believe I get identical results albeit with a little more teeth-gritting and pad changing. If I were a tradesman or craftsman I wouldn't think twice.

Thanks for the review.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 08:29 PM by Mr Heavy »
Sys4 with cheese sandwich, a small pork pie with Tabasco sauce, a nice bottle of dry, vintage Prosecco and three reusable ice packs. Olives with pimento and a capon, roast in Dijon mustard. Several slices of fresh pineapple, a scale model of the Eiffel tower made from noodles, black forest gateau and a gingham table cloth for the MFT-3. A block of Parmesan and a Stanley 2" chisel for grating.
Sys3 with a half bottle of La Fée Absinthe, a spoon and vodka-soaked mint with Rothenberger blow-torch.
125 year old balsamic vinegar in spray bottle.
Ibuprofen and a pair of handcuffs. 2 loaves, 5 (very) small fishes, some bread, broken. A goblet of blood-red wine, a hammer... nails

Offline jaguar36

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Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 08:54 AM »
Thanks for the kind words.

I would have liked to have seen the bearings and the sort of shrouding they have, the quality of winding termination, the type of moulding around screw points. In a cost-no object tool one might expect screws to go into bushes rather than being self-tapping. Were they?

Without either having fancy test equipment, or destroying the sanders its very difficult to make any meaningful comparisons of  the quality of alot of the parts, such as the bearings, the motors, plastics and so on.  The screws were both self-tapping, and the details around the screw points (wall thickness depth and such) were the same.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 195
Re: Bosch vs Festool Random Orbital Sander, a teardown comparison.
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2015, 03:17 PM »
They're clearly different, but the reasoning and what not is really bro science like...

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 328
My old Rockwell, now sold as the Porter Cable 330, speed block sander has a cast aluminum frame under a plastic covering.  Seems more costly to me than any sort of plastic body.  Yet it sells for about $100.

While I am sure Festool puts their tools together well, I do not think the cost of construction can be used to justify their price.