Author Topic: Review of Festool: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.  (Read 8825 times)

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Offline VictorL

  • Posts: 558
Review of Festool: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« on: June 25, 2010, 06:34 PM »
Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.

There aren't many publications about  the RAS 115 sander. I'll try to fill this gap.
This is a rotary 115mm (4 1/2") sander. This sander will be shipped in Systainer 2 and it comes standard with:

-   RAS-115 sander
-   Systainer 2
-   StickFix sanding pad soft
-   Wrench
-   Several sanding sheets
-   Extra side handle.
-   Instruction manual




The sander's length is around 300 mm or 12". Sander uses 115mm (4 1/2")  round sanding pads.  Festool produces sandpaper for RAS 115 from P24 to P180 grits.

RAS 115 uses sandpaper without holes. That's because RAS-115 uses "Debris collection" system instead of "Dust collection" system.


Festool produces soft and hard sanding pads. To remove the sanding pad, press and hold a button on the top of the sander and turn the pad counter clock wise.  Sanding pads have M14 thread.


The standard side handle accessory gives more convenience and extra control. This would be helpful for lefties.


The power switch is conveniently located on the left side of the sander.

Sander has 27mm dust chute, and permanently attached power cord.

Sanding near the edge is not problem. You can use the sander's body as fence for sanding floors.


Why is this sander unique and worth looking at it? Because it is a material eating beast.
Let's compare two similar size sanders RO-125 and RAS 115 in real life.
There is vintage board with poly varnish and paint on it. There are 5+ layers of finish on it.

First test is for RAS - 115 with P80 sandpaper. After 35 seconds board is completely clean of varnishes. There is a deep stain that goes too deep into the wood, so I decided do not sand through board :) .

Second test is for RO-125 in the rotary mode with P60 sandpaper. After one min and 15 seconds there is still some paint and varnish. Plus RAS 115 used finer grit sandpaper. I left my 4 1/2" P36 for more tough finish removal job :) .


For another test I took rough sawn board. RAS-115 flattened it in 25 seconds with P120 sandpaper, RO-125 spent 50 seconds with P50 sandpaper. Still RAS spent less time with finer grit sandpaper.  


RAS 115 is faster than RO-125, but RO-125 makes smoother surface, plus RO-125 collects 99% of dust, RAS-115 collects around 80-90% brush inserts helps to collect more dust.


There is another "undocumented" possibility for RAS-115: it can accept polishing accessories from RO-125. Polishing pads are just couple millimeters bigger than sanding pad of RAS-115

Conclusion:
This is a great sander for stripping paint and varnish and for rough sanding. With Saphir P36, RAS-115 chews floor varnish without hesitation. The Sander is well balanced and easy to control. The sander met my expectations.


 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 10:53 AM by VictorL »

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Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 3361
    • WarnerRemodeling
Re: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 06:46 PM »
That's where the other handle goes!!

I love my ras, she is a sweetheart.

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 6588
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 07:11 PM »
Nicely done Victor and good idea about the polishing pads. [thumbs up]
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline dsweetser

  • Posts: 123
  • Adirondack, NY USA
Re: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 08:11 PM »
I recently purchase the RAS 115 to cope crown. It work very well. Faster than a Collins coping foot.

Don
Don

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 3895
Re: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 08:31 PM »
I have wanted this little guy(RAS 115) when the Rotex 150 just would not remove material fast enough. Those times are few and far between.

It seems they can work out a better dust collection solution system for the RAS 115 rather easily.  Maybe through the pad collection? I am starting to see full rotary sanders with through the pad collection. Nice review.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 08:48 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Tom Bellemare

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 4643
  • Festool demo's & personal service in Central Texas
    • Tool Home LLC
Re: Hidden marvel - RAS 115 sander.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 01:55 AM »
You should try to get your hands on a RAS. The perimeter brush, when rotated to the proper orientation, allows for almost total dust extraction.

It's very different from the typical, through-the-pad dust extraction but it really works. I wouldn't have believed it before I experienced it.


Tom
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 01:55 AM by Tom Bellemare »
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