Author Topic: Review of Festool Rotex RO 125 FEQ Plus Sander (571536 US / 571533 EU)  (Read 13344 times)

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Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
The Introduction:

Festool Rotex Ro 125 FEQ-Plus


Sadly the local retailer that I went to only had the P80 grit sandpaper in stock.


And some specs:

Power consumption: 500 Watts / 4.2 amps 120 v AC
Pad diameter: 125 mm
Speed rotary motion: 300 - 600 rpm
Speed eccentric motion: 3000 - 6000 rpm
Sanding stroke: 3.6 mm
Dust extractor connection: 27 mm
Weight: 1.9 kg

Opening the Systainer we find this:


The Ro 125, Plug-it cable, Brilliant P120 grit sandpaper and a soft shoe sanding pad.


Inside on the top of the Systainer we see the various accessories for the 125.

Now lets take a look at the sander its self:


The side. You can see the indentation designed for your fingers and hands to help with easy holding.


Here we see two switches; One for Rotary and Random orbit modes and the other for the power switch.


The bottom cleverly shows you how to remove and add the sanding pad onto the rotex so you never forget.


And finally the back shows us where the 27mm vacuum hose and power cable connect to along with the button to hold and release the sanding pad for easy removal.

Connecting the pad to the Rotex can be a little difficult at first but like all tools once you get the technique and know how hard to turn it, it becomes easy. You have to make sure it is in Rotary mode, press the fastfix button at the back and screw the pad on.


When pushing the fast fix button in it pushes out a plastic rod that holds the rotary module from turning.

The challenge:

I am planning on pitting my old sander, a tried and true Metabo orbital sander, against the Festool RO 125 on a piece of pine 35mm X 15mm large.



They will both have 8 minutes on a side of that pine. It will be broken down into 2 sessions for the Metabo. Four minutes on the 80 grit and four minutes on the 150 grit. The Festool will have 4 sessions of 2 minutes each. Two minutes of the 80 grit in rotary mode, two minutes of the 80 grit in random orbit. Then 2 minutes of the 120 grit in rotary and 2 minutes of 120 grit in random orbit thus making 4 minutes of 80 grit and 4 minutes of 120.


Here you can see the sanders next to their sandpaper. The top ones being 80 grit and the bottom ones being 150 grit on the left, the Metabo sandpaper, and 120 grit on the right, the Festool sandpaper.

Now I realise that the Metabo has a 150 grit while the Festool only has a 120. After searching high and low I found out I had run out of 120 grit so I was forced to go with the 150.

Applying the Metabo sandpaper has always been annoying. You have to lift two spring clamps one at a time and insert the sandpaper. Attaching the sandpaper to the Ro 125 however is rather easy, just align the holes and press down.


The two contenders were ready.



I got the piece of pine, strapped it down and got out my stop watch.

One issue I have always had with the Metabo is that after medium to long use the vibration starts to mess with your hand. I've found that the vibration has been to intenses to make for nice easy use. Also having no dust extraction what so ever it fills my workshop with sawdust very very quickly.


You can see how much dust was left.

This is what it looked like after the first 4 minutes. Not bad considering how it looked before hand. obviously it was still a little rough. I then cleaned the table and started again with the 150.


More dust really?

Now after the second batch of sanding it looked half decent. This was the wood I was used to dealing with. To me it felt smooth.

Again I cleaned the table and prepared the other side for the rotex. I attached the hose and the power cable, turned it to 4 and put it on rotary.
Turning it on for the first time you can hear a wine from the motor as it turns that pad. Holding it is easy and comfortable as your hands fit nicely into the grooves that Festool has designed it with. Putting it down on the wood you can feel just how powerful and aggressive it really is. It wants to move by its self and is hard to control. You learn very quickly to press very lightly and turning the vac down to about halfway helps a lot to. You end up just guiding it around and making sure the hose doesn?t pull it down backwards, it does the actual sanding for you! Compared to my Metabo this was very aggresive.

Turning it to random orbit mode makes things very much easier.  Again you end up just guiding it around the wood and making sure it?s well balanced otherwise it leaves small semi-circular grooves in the wood. Lifting it off the wood you can feel the suction of the vacuum; my guess is that suction is what causes it to sand by its self in addition to its weight.


I know you aren't meant to hold it with one hand but in random orbit mode it is easy to control and it was the only way to take the picture.


The first four minutes went by.

Man already I could tell there was a difference. First of all the actual act of sanding was easy, second to the touch the wood was a little softer, only a little, and the edges a little sharper. A sign of a good sander and there was no dust, no suffocation and sneezing! I removed the 80 grit and added the 120.


After the second four minutes.

This is where Festool shon. I couldn't believe the finish. I honestly had never felt non-varnished pine that smooth in my life. The wood took on a shine. Having never owned a Festool sander this was all new and amazing to me. Even though my Metabo was running a higher grit the Festool blew it out of the water. There really was no comparison between the finish of the two.

Then I looked underneath:


The suction works so well the Rotex's paper looks unused but when you look at the Metabo you can really see the difference.

The conclusion:

The Ro 125 takes the win easily. In initial/rough sanding it removed faster than the Metabo and in finishing it was like they were in different leagues. The only place where the Metabo would beat the Rotex is in noise. The Metabo makes a lower hum where as the Rotex wines, this is slightly more annoying but with the ease of use and combined with a vacuum it out weighs that one gripe. I can honestly recommend this sander to anyone, I know it's going to be my new most used sander.

The only question now is where to put it?




Post Script: I apologise for the poor image quality. The photos were taken with my cell phone.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 01:50 PM by Chris Meggersee »
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

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Offline Neill

  • Posts: 889
Image132,

Welcome to the FOG and well done review.  Such a quality presentation is impressive, especially for someone your age.

I am sure that I speak for everyone here when I say that I look forward to hearing more from you.

Neill
Kapex, Domino, MFT/3, Rotex 150 FEQ, CT 22E, TS 55, C12 Drill, 1400 Router, Rotex 90 DX, Rotex 125 FEQ, LS 130 EQ Linear, Parallel Guide Set, Deltex 93 E, Trion 300 Barrell Grip, ETS 150/3 EQ, ES125 EQ, Guide Rail Accessory Kit, Sanding Block, various rails, systainers, sortainers, vacuum hoses and accessories for various tools.

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Thanks a lot Niell. I was nervous about posting my first review since I'm not a great writer or very creative for that matter. In terms of my age, I was one of the lucky few to have a father who knew what he was doing when it came to carpentry, naturally I got sucked in from a young age.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline waynelang2001

  • Posts: 502
Very nice review image, I was using my rotex 150 ( the oooooooold model ) and i was thinking it might be time to upgrade, So your review really did fill the need.
Its also great to have another south african on board the FOG train. I like your festool collection by the way.
Latest Festool purchase?? The CXS.....Next Festool purchase???? The Domino.....

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Langley-Woodworks/147551115290424

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Thanks Wayne. If you do go with the RO 125 you will not be dissapointed however if you do already own a 150 and have spare sand paper for it would it not be better to get the new 150 or are you fine with a smaller sanding pad? Oh and don't neglet to have a look at this review: http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-reviews/rotex-ro-125-sander/

I honestly did not know there was another South African on FOG. This is very good news.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Online RL

  • Posts: 2648
Good review. I have the RO125 as well and I really like it. One thing to note, my sander came with a variety pack of abrasives- a couple of each type for various grits- so you may want to check with your local retailer whether yours should have come with the same starter pack.

All the best
Richard.
I like green.

Offline waynelang2001

  • Posts: 502
Thanks Wayne. If you do go with the RO 125 you will not be dissapointed however if you do already own a 150 and have spare sand paper for it would it not be better to get the new 150 or are you fine with a smaller sanding pad? Oh and don't neglet to have a look at this review: http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-reviews/rotex-ro-125-sander/

I honestly did not know there was another South African on FOG. This is very good news.


I would go with the 150, im sure both the 125 and 150 are pretty close in design, if not identical, besides the diameter. There is another capetonian on the here. Im sure he will pop his head up sometime soon.
Latest Festool purchase?? The CXS.....Next Festool purchase???? The Domino.....

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Langley-Woodworks/147551115290424

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Good review. I have the RO125 as well and I really like it. One thing to note, my sander came with a variety pack of abrasives- a couple of each type for various grits- so you may want to check with your local retailer whether yours should have come with the same starter pack.

All the best
Richard.


Thanks Richard but I own a 2010/2011 Festool catalogue and under "Equipment/scope of delivery" the only sandpaper given is the 120 Brilliant 2. I am however missing a protector that it says it should come with so I'm going in tomorrow to ask. I'll ask about the abrsive pack just in case.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Online Alex

  • Posts: 3711
I am however missing a protector that it says it should come with so I'm going in tomorrow to ask.

The protector didn't come with the first version of the RO 125, so probably you got an old one. I doubt the protector will fit the old type because it doesn't have the holes where it will fit in. Chris, you really wished you knew this before you bought the sander, because the protector is a very handy addition that protects the edge of the pad.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 02:48 PM by Alex »

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
I am however missing a protector that it says it should come with so I'm going in tomorrow to ask.

The protector didn't come with the first version of the RO 125, so probably you got an old one. I doubt the protector will fit the old type because it doesn't have the holes where it will fit in. Chris, you really wished you knew this before you bought the sander, because the protector is a very handy addition that protects the edge of the pad.

You can see on the very first photo the number "571533" that is the exact same number as the one in the catalogue and like I said before the catalogue says it comes with one. I did also buy it a week ago only so I don't think it's the old one although knowing how SA is with tech it wouldn't surprise me. I know it's petty it's just that Festools are expensive and I don't want to be cheated out of what I payed for. Is there any chance, if you own one, you could post a photo of where the holes should be so I can take a look?
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline Forrest Anderson

  • Posts: 1072
I am however missing a protector that it says it should come with so I'm going in tomorrow to ask. I'll ask about the abrsive pack just in case.


Alex is right about the protector being a very useful thing.

Have a look at Brice Burrell's post which shows the new-model RO125 with and without the protector fitted. In that thread there's also a photo of my own old-model RO125 which never came with a protector and to which a protector can't be attached.

Forrest

« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 04:11 PM by Forrest Anderson »
Compiler of the Consolidated List of Festool Links - the place to go for Festool reviews, manuals, brochures and videos!

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Yeah you are right it is the old model then. I don't plan on using it in corners as it was never designed for that so I should be ok. Thanks for all the help.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline Forrest Anderson

  • Posts: 1072
You can see on the very first photo the number "571533" that is the exact same number as the one in the catalogue and like I said before the catalogue says it comes with one. I did also buy it a week ago only so I don't think it's the old one although knowing how SA is with tech it wouldn't surprise me. I know it's petty it's just that Festools are expensive and I don't want to be cheated out of what I payed for. Is there any chance, if you own one, you could post a photo of where the holes should be so I can take a look?

Here is another photo of my own RO125. The label on the other side of the machine states that it was made in 2004, and it is therefore an old-model machine with no rib for attaching the protector.



I have just had a look at my 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 printed catalogues for the UK. The older one had an illustraion of the old-model RO125, whilst the newer catalogue showed the new machine with the protector. Of particular interest was that both had the same package number - 571588 for the 110V version or 571589 for the 240V.

I'm very reluctant to return things, but if you just bought it, I think I'd return it for a new model. I often often wish my machine had one as you can get "kickback" if you hit a vertical surface when in Rotex (rotary) mode!

What is the date on the label on the right-hand side of the machine?

Forrest.



Compiler of the Consolidated List of Festool Links - the place to go for Festool reviews, manuals, brochures and videos!

Offline Neill

  • Posts: 889
Chris,

I am not sure what the Festool return policy is in your part of the world but you may want to return it to your dealer for the newer model.  You may not need that protector now but you may need it in the future.  If you paid  the same price, old vs. new, why not get the most complete set available to you.

Neill
Kapex, Domino, MFT/3, Rotex 150 FEQ, CT 22E, TS 55, C12 Drill, 1400 Router, Rotex 90 DX, Rotex 125 FEQ, LS 130 EQ Linear, Parallel Guide Set, Deltex 93 E, Trion 300 Barrell Grip, ETS 150/3 EQ, ES125 EQ, Guide Rail Accessory Kit, Sanding Block, various rails, systainers, sortainers, vacuum hoses and accessories for various tools.

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Looking in my catalogue it does show the new one with the protector. I am going in tomorrow and will ask my dealer and see what he says. If I can I will swap it I will, but if not it's not a big deal.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 04:50 PM by Chris Meggersee »
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Online woodguy7

  • Posts: 2591
Welcome Chris

Nice review & quite an impressive collection for someone your age.  I think you will need to build more shelf's as i am sure your collection will grow  [big grin]
I have the RO 150 with the edge protector & as others have said you can get quite bad kickback when you hit an edge on RO mode sometimes shredding the edge of the disc.  You should really push your dealer for the newest model as you don't want it to be out of date when it is brand new.

Woodguy.
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too

Online Alex

  • Posts: 3711
I don't plan on using it in corners as it was never designed for that so I should be ok.

Chris, with all respect, but that almost sounds like a joke. Point is, once you get the hang of your sander, you're gonna find a lot of uses for it which you at first perhaps didn't imagine. I predict you that you will come in to many situations where you wish you had the protector. I helps to protect the pad, and the standard soft pad that comes with the machine will tear very easy when you accidentally touch an edge. And not just the pad. It will also very easily damage your workpiece which you have to repair again.

I agree with the others you should go back to your dealer and try to get the model with a protector in some way. It is ridiculous in the first place they sell you a model that has been on the shelf for such a long time already.  Though I know it happens. A dealer close to me has for instance the PS 200 jigsaw in his stock. He sells it for the old price, which is more than it's improved successor the PS 300, which in turn has been succeeded already by the PS 400.

It's gonna be hard though to swap it in your case since you've already used it. Maybe if he doesn't want to swap it you can at least make him agree to retrofitting your current model with the protector for no extra cost. This does mean the plastic body shell has to be replaced, but at the cost of +/- 40 euro/dollar (sorry don't know it in Rands) this is nowhere close to the price of a new sander.

Good luck.


« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 05:37 PM by Alex »

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
I bought some more sand paper and spoke to the festool dealer. He said he would call and sort it out. Thanks a lot guys.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline Wood_Junkie

  • Posts: 1313
Looking in my catalogue it does show the new one with the protector. I am going in tomorrow and will ask my dealer and see what he says. If I can I will swap it I will, but if not it's not a big deal.

Here's the best reason to really push for the protector:  It lets you put the Rotex down on its side, while its running, while you reposition your workpiece.  The protector keeps it elevated enough to not hit your table or whatever its sitting on.

Saves wear and tear on the switch as well as those precious few seconds winding down and up to speed.

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Sadly it's not looking likely at getting the new version. I spoke to my dealer today and he said he was pi**** off with the new management in Jo'burg (which is the HQ of Festool in SA)  because the guy keeps trying to ship out the old stuff at new prices and now they wont take it back. He said this was the second time it's happend. My dealer said the best he can do is most likely get a discount on what we payed and get the difference back to me. He's just waiting on confirmation of it. Sigh.
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline Festoolfootstool

  • Posts: 1817
  • The trouble with Bob is its all about Bob
Well to me that sounds like a lot of poo, [sad] I would email festool germany and tell them,see what their take is. the new model is a much better than the old, and if that is what I bought, that is what I would want. no more no less..........
If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain't the kind of **** to drink it.......

Why do Festool accessories only have a two month guarantee here in the UK ?

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Well to me that sounds like a lot of poo, [sad] I would email festool germany and tell them,see what their take is. the new model is a much better than the old, and if that is what I bought, that is what I would want. no more no less..........

Yeah I'm annoyed. When you pay the kind of money that you do for Festools you expect to get the newest and best and even moreso if thats what they are telling you that you are getting and you don't get it. Don't get me wrong the older model works well it's just. Sigh. Got any idea what the Festool Germany email address is?
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.

Offline Festoolfootstool

  • Posts: 1817
  • The trouble with Bob is its all about Bob
Hi just tap in festool de into a search and it will bring up the site...... service should be the same the world over..let us know how you get on..
If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain't the kind of **** to drink it.......

Why do Festool accessories only have a two month guarantee here in the UK ?

Offline Chris Meggersee

  • Posts: 387
  • I'm addicted to Festools.
Just sent an email to the Service email address given on the german website (yay for google translate)
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

Wish List: Anything not listed above in the catalogue.