Author Topic: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?  (Read 1968 times)

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Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« on: April 19, 2017, 10:35 AM »
Hi all, new to to the forum, my first Festool is the TS55 and I'm looking to upgrade my very old and inadequate sander. There are so many to choose from in the Festool stable that I was hoping I could get some insight from you all...

It looks like the Rotex might be a good one stop solution, but is expensive here in the UK. Do any of the cheaper units have the availability to remove large amounts of material but also give a good finish with just a change of pad and abrasive?

Any advice on what would be a good all-rounder would be much appreciated - I don't have much room in my one car garage workshop for two of anything.

Many thanks, James

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Offline DrD

  • Posts: 395
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 11:13 AM »
Welcome to the FOG!

You'll probably receive a lot of responses to your post.  If most of your sanding will be for flat stock 2" or wider, the RS2 is a good choice; it is a half sheet sander, so flatness is enhanced, and paper is available in virtually any grit, from the coarsest to the finest, and with the available hole punch, you can use any brand of paper you choose.  This is my goto sander within the several Festool sanders in my shop, including RO150, ETS150/3, & RAS115.  Halfinchshy has a tremendous review of this sander on YouTube.
Dr.D

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 11:21 AM »
Welcome to the FOG!

You'll probably receive a lot of responses to your post.  If most of your sanding will be for flat stock 2" or wider, the RS2 is a good choice; it is a half sheet sander, so flatness is enhanced, and paper is available in virtually any grit, from the coarsest to the finest, and with the available hole punch, you can use any brand of paper you choose.  This is my goto sander within the several Festool sanders in my shop, including RO150, ETS150/3, & RAS115.  Halfinchshy has a tremendous review of this sander on YouTube.

Thank you for the quick reply, yes most of it will be fine with a square orbital like the RS 200 (the only one I can find on the Festool.co.uk site) - will it be capable of clearing less well prepared stock? I reclaim a lot of wood and palettes for my projects and don't have room in the garage for planer or jointer so have to do it the hard way.

Many thanks

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1661
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 11:21 AM »
In my limited experience with the RO125, nothing will remove as much material as quickly than an RO sander. Although I don't have any experience with the RO125 as a finish sander, I understand from other posts that it does a good job in its other mode as a finish sander also.

If you don't need to remove huge amounts of material or don't use the sander to flatten glue joints, then maybe an ETS150/5 would be a good choice. It does a great job as a finish sander, does have a hard pad for flattening, and, with 40 grit sandpaper, will still remove a lot of material, just not as fast as an RO. I love the ETS150/5.
Randy

Online leakyroof

  • Posts: 1895
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 11:55 AM »
Welcome to the FOG!

You'll probably receive a lot of responses to your post.  If most of your sanding will be for flat stock 2" or wider, the RS2 is a good choice; it is a half sheet sander, so flatness is enhanced, and paper is available in virtually any grit, from the coarsest to the finest, and with the available hole punch, you can use any brand of paper you choose.  This is my goto sander within the several Festool sanders in my shop, including RO150, ETS150/3, & RAS115.  Halfinchshy has a tremendous review of this sander on YouTube.

Thank you for the quick reply, yes most of it will be fine with a square orbital like the RS 200 (the only one I can find on the Festool.co.uk site) - will it be capable of clearing less well prepared stock? I reclaim a lot of wood and palettes for my projects and don't have room in the garage for planer or jointer so have to do it the hard way.

Many thanks
  For reclaiming wood, you will probably be frustrated with any finer orbit sander in trying to flatten rough wood. I agree that a Rotex could be the sander for you since you will have two different modes to work with. OR, either a ETS 150/5 or ETS EC 150/5 sander if you don't want the weight and aggressiveness of a larger Rotex sander. Either ETS version will sand aggressive with coarse grit paper like 40 or 60, but not as fast as a Rotex in Rotex mode.  They're just easier on your hands for prolonged sanding sessions.
 Best case, you bring some of your reclaimed wood to a local dealer and try out the sanders to see how you like them with what you're working with for projects.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5363
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 11:59 AM »
The best sander for home and DIY use is the DTS400, a versatile little sander that can do most things around the house.

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 01:22 PM »
The best sander for home and DIY use is the DTS400, a versatile little sander that can do most things around the house.

Thanks Alex, sorry to sound like a broken record but do you know if the DTS / RTS 400 could handle tougher jobs or are they just finish sanders?

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 622
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 01:51 PM »
The best sander for home and DIY use is the DTS400, a versatile little sander that can do most things around the house.

Thanks Alex, sorry to sound like a broken record but do you know if the DTS / RTS 400 could handle tougher jobs or are they just finish sanders?
Thought they had the same motor as the ETS 125/3. If thats true they will be a great all around sander.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Ross 71

  • Posts: 48
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 01:56 PM »
Hi James,

I'm having the same dilemma as you- there seems to be a bewildering array of lovely expensive options.

FWIW, the rotex 150 is £438, whereas the ETS 150/5 comes in at £281. These are from Toolfest. I prefer the look of the round machines myself. Can't say why particularly.

As far as I can tell, they use the same pads. The Rotex  seems an excellent machine for removing a lot of material quickly, the ETS seems to do the same job but much less quickly. Peter Parfitt has done some English language reviews on you tube, look for "new brit workshop"

Good luck with your decision and let us know what you choose and how it pans out.

Cheers, Ross
If you need a tool and don't buy it, You will ultimately find that you have paid for it but don't have it- Henry Ford

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 834
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 02:03 PM »
I don't think Alex made that suggestion with the "flattening reclaimed wood" in mind, which is the only task you've mentioned so far.  The DTS is a finish sander and would not be suitable for that task in my view. 

What you're describing indeed points towards a rotex sander.  What else do you have in mind for the sander? 

Just for perspective, Festool offers an array of sanders for a reason.  While there is overlap between sanders, there is also no such thing as one size fits all, so you're left to prioritize your work and decide which sander will meet >50% of your needs, until you can get another to fulfill another 30%, and another 15%, and...you get the point.  If you can't have multiple, decide what you can do manually and what you need a power tool to do, and let that guide your decision. 
-Raj

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5363
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 02:10 PM »
The best sander for home and DIY use is the DTS400, a versatile little sander that can do most things around the house.

Thanks Alex, sorry to sound like a broken record but do you know if the DTS / RTS 400 could handle tougher jobs or are they just finish sanders?

It's not the sander you grab to strip 15 doors to bare wood. But how tough can jobs be around the house? It's mostly paint work that needs to be refinished. Unless you've really let maintenance go for the last 15 years, the DTS should be alright.

I do a lot of paint work on houses and other things, and the DTS is my go to sander that does 90% of the work. Most of the time I only have to sand the surface flat, and maybe some putty work. It does not happen often that I have to sand everything down to bare wood. If you use 60 or 80 grit the DTS can do that too, but it does take longer than with a Rotex, but no problem when it's just a spot here and there. 

Once upon a long time ago, when unicorns and elves still roamed the earth, I had 11 Festool sanders, but that's now boiled down to the 5 which are of most use to me. I do like to have the right sander for the right job. It's always nice to have a RO150 as backup when my DTS can't handle it. But If I could have only one, that would most definitely be the DTS.

I don't think Alex made that suggestion with the "flattening reclaimed wood" in mind, which is the only task you've mentioned so far.  The DTS is a finish sander and would not be suitable for that task in my view. 

What you're describing indeed points towards a rotex sander.  What else do you have in mind for the sander? 

That's absolutely true, the DTS is not very well suited for flattening reclaimed wood. The Rotex would be my choice for that also.

But the thread title describes the use as home DIY/woodwork shop. I think that entails a lot more than just flattening reclaimed wood.

Offline Edward A Reno III

  • Posts: 3033
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 02:45 PM »
ETS-EC 150/5.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • HL 850 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 03:36 PM »
The best sander for home and DIY use is the DTS400, a versatile little sander that can do most things around the house.

Thanks Alex, sorry to sound like a broken record but do you know if the DTS / RTS 400 could handle tougher jobs or are they just finish sanders?

It's not the sander you grab to strip 15 doors to bare wood. But how tough can jobs be around the house? It's mostly paint work that needs to be refinished. Unless you've really let maintenance go for the last 15 years, the DTS should be alright.

I do a lot of paint work on houses and other things, and the DTS is my go to sander that does 90% of the work. Most of the time I only have to sand the surface flat, and maybe some putty work. It does not happen often that I have to sand everything down to bare wood. If you use 60 or 80 grit the DTS can do that too, but it does take longer than with a Rotex, but no problem when it's just a spot here and there. 

Once upon a long time ago, when unicorns and elves still roamed the earth, I had 11 Festool sanders, but that's now boiled down to the 5 which are of most use to me. I do like to have the right sander for the right job. It's always nice to have a RO150 as backup when my DTS can't handle it. But If I could have only one, that would most definitely be the DTS.

I don't think Alex made that suggestion with the "flattening reclaimed wood" in mind, which is the only task you've mentioned so far.  The DTS is a finish sander and would not be suitable for that task in my view. 

What you're describing indeed points towards a rotex sander.  What else do you have in mind for the sander? 

That's absolutely true, the DTS is not very well suited for flattening reclaimed wood. The Rotex would be my choice for that also.

But the thread title describes the use as home DIY/woodwork shop. I think that entails a lot more than just flattening reclaimed wood.

I'm sorry Alex, in my reply to DrD I mentioned that my woodwork usually uses reclaimed or pallet wood so something with the power to clean that up after a rough planing with my scrub plane would be useful, as well as the round the house and shop bought planks which just need a light touch up. My apologies for not clarifying that better in the original post.

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions - if only there was a real store around that I could try some out it would be easier, but where I am all I know about is Amazon, Screwfix and ITS who stock Festool.

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 229
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 03:40 PM »
Welcome to FOG. From everything I have read on FOG it seems the ETS EC sanders would do the job. A Rotex would be versatile but they do have a learning curve. A Rotex would be faster. I bought the Ro 150 because I found it to be smoother than the 125. The RS half sheet sander would also do a great job. If you get it make sure you also get the optional hole punch to take advantage of dust extraction. One word of caution, I only wanted one, I have 5. It happens with Festool. Enjoy.
RTS 400, LS 130, Sandpaper Systainer, Profile Systainer. ETS 125, Sandpaper Systainer, Ro 90, Sandpaper Systainer,  Ro 150, Sandpaper Systainer, OF 1400, TS 55 REQ, CT36, CXS Li 1.5 Set, Centrotec Wood-Drill-Set/8pcs, CT Wings, Surfix Set.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5363
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2017, 03:47 PM »
I'm sorry Alex, in my reply to DrD I mentioned that my woodwork usually uses reclaimed or pallet wood so something with the power to clean that up after a rough planing with my scrub plane would be useful, as well as the round the house and shop bought planks which just need a light touch up. My apologies for not clarifying that better in the original post.

In that case I definitely have to side with the others because the Rotex does seem to be the best choice for that particular job. The Rotex 150 was the first Festool sander I had, I used it for many tasks from rough sanding to finish sanding, it can do it all. It just can't do corners.

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2017, 03:52 PM »
Welcome to FOG... One word of caution, I only wanted one, I have 5. It happens with Festool. Enjoy.
  [eek]

Oh my, what have I started... [scared]

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2017, 03:56 PM »
In that case I definitely have to side with the others because the Rotex does seem to be the best choice for that particular job. The Rotex 150 was the first Festool sander I had, I used it for many tasks from rough sanding to finish sanding, it can do it all. It just can't do corners.

Thanks Alex, I'm thinking about the Ro 125 - I prefer a 5" to the larger one for some reason...[wink] Perhaps if SS Teach is correct I'll soon be back for a DTS to pick up the corners!

Offline Ross 71

  • Posts: 48
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 04:02 PM »
.... comments and suggestions - if only there was a real store around that I could try some out it would be easier, but where I am all I know about is Amazon, Screwfix and ITS who stock Festool.
Whereabouts are you then? There's probably a Brit on here who is close enough that you could visit and compare toys. I'm near Bath, if that'd help.

 I love the way our cousins suggest taking old pallet wood to the tool dealer to test out sanders. My experience of retailers in Britain is they sort of look over the counter at you, saying "Touch the festools? This is a festool shop for festool people, we don't want your sort here...." They barely want to open the box, never mind start using tools that you might not buy...
If you need a tool and don't buy it, You will ultimately find that you have paid for it but don't have it- Henry Ford

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 450
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 04:02 PM »
Welcome to FOG... One word of caution, I only wanted one, I have 5. It happens with Festool. Enjoy.
  [eek]

Oh my, what have I started... [scared]

Yep, you're in trouble.  The RO125 will be a good choice for you (as your first).  The DTS would make an excellent companion for it down the road. 
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 124
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2017, 04:04 PM »
I'm going against the grain here and suggesting not buying any Festool sanders, but instead other brands which will accomplish the same and cost half as much or less, especially for home/DIY work.

If you want a larger Rotex then look at the similar 6" Makita, you may need to find a UK retailer but here is the one in the U.S.: http://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/makita-bo6050j

Also, most brands have quality 1/4 sheet, 1/3 sheet and 1/2 sheet finish sanders. Take your pick. I have Makita 1/4 and 1/3 sheet sanders, and a Bosch 1/2 sheet sander, all of which do an excellent job depending on size of the material or job. I have zero interest in the Festool equivalent products because believe it or not, other brands make excellent tools as well.

Now with all that said, I do have the Rotex 90 because the pad size is somewhat unique with only Metabo (that I have seen) also having a similar product. I also use a 6" Mirka Ceros for large projects, it's smooth and small and keeps going now for 5 years.
- John

Offline Poindexter

  • Posts: 137
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2017, 04:11 PM »
With the exception of the RAS, any Festool sander will make rough stock smooth. The RAS might make it smooth in ways you don't want :)

If you want flat, the RS2 is king. If you want fast, any Rotex sander will work. No matter which way you go a hard pad will help keep things flatter.

For the record, I usually start rough sands with a Rotex, switch to the RS2 around 80 grit, and then finish sand with a 150/3 from 220 grit up.

But the real moral to the story is one sander can do it, but it is more fun to do it with a few ;)

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2017, 04:12 PM »
Whereabouts are you then? There's probably a Brit on here who is close enough that you could visit and compare toys. I'm near Bath, if that'd help.

 I love the way our cousins suggest taking old pallet wood to the tool dealer to test out sanders. My experience of retailers in Britain is they sort of look over the counter at you, saying "Touch the festools? This is a festool shop for festool people, we don't want your sort here...." They barely want to open the box, never mind start using tools that you might not buy...


I'm on the other side of the country, near Stansted Airport - very new to this home woodworking and my Black and Decker cheapo sander isn't up to the job any more. I'd love to take a pallet to the store and see the look on their face, even if I didn't get to smooth out a sanding sheet in anger!

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2017, 04:17 PM »
But the real moral to the story is one sander can do it, but it is more fun to do it with a few ;)

Thanks Poindexter, but I think I need to delete my browser history now - I could sell my wife on the new TS 55 so I don't have to make home-made table saw (upside down circular saw pushed through a sheet of MDF - my thumb just survived  [blink]), and the new sander really is a necessity if I'm going to make anything without splinters - but three!?! [eek]

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3468
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2017, 04:21 PM »
In that case I definitely have to side with the others because the Rotex does seem to be the best choice for that particular job. The Rotex 150 was the first Festool sander I had, I used it for many tasks from rough sanding to finish sanding, it can do it all. It just can't do corners.

Thanks Alex, I'm thinking about the Ro 125 - I prefer a 5" to the larger one for some reason...[wink] Perhaps if SS Teach is correct I'll soon be back for a DTS to pick up the corners!

ah ha!  You are hopelessly trapped on the slippery slope.
My fisrt Festoy sander was the RO 150.  I found i needed something to do corner so that led to the DX 93.  Then I needed somehing to take hose  little swirls out on straight grained wood.  Ahha. They have a neato in the DL 130  (ffrom memory I have so many toys to remember all of the ID #'s right off hand.)  That is a rectangular pad with pads to do grooves and round edges as well.  That's it.  my next purchase was a pair of hob nailed boots so I would not slide any further. Unfortunately, hose have not worked to well.

Next yo will have to expand your space.  ::)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 415
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2017, 04:25 PM »
My first Festool sander was an RO150. Now I have a few different Festool sanders, along with lots of other brands I bought long ago. Today I won't often use a sander that doesn't have dust collection. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the RO150 again, first. It is such a versatile sander. For home remodeling it is indispensable.

Offline jetset95

  • Posts: 15
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2017, 04:33 PM »
I'm going against the grain here and suggesting not buying any Festool sanders, but instead other brands which will accomplish the same and cost half as much or less, especially for home/DIY work.

If you want a larger Rotex then look at the similar 6" Makita, you may need to find a UK retailer but here is the one in the U.S.: http://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/makita-bo6050j

Also, most brands have quality 1/4 sheet, 1/3 sheet and 1/2 sheet finish sanders. Take your pick. I have Makita 1/4 and 1/3 sheet sanders, and a Bosch 1/2 sheet sander, all of which do an excellent job depending on size of the material or job. I have zero interest in the Festool equivalent products because believe it or not, other brands make excellent tools as well.

Now with all that said, I do have the Rotex 90 because the pad size is somewhat unique with only Metabo (that I have seen) also having a similar product. I also use a 6" Mirka Ceros for large projects, it's smooth and small and keeps going now for 5 years.

Thank you BNABoatbuilder - from that nick I can only assume you have as much experience in this as I do in my other life  so I appreciate the advice. I had seen the Makita online at Axminster Tools (a real shop here in the UK but a big online store also) and it has some negative comments compared to previous models of the same ilk.

One of the reasons I'm looking more at Festool these days is due to the dust collection kudos the brand gets. I have a very small garage shop (compared to my two story, double garage when I lived in America  [sad]) and I'm already fed up of pulling out the shop vac to clean up the sawdust and larger chips which come from my older / cheaper tools. Do any of the other manufacturers cope with dust as well as Festool products seem to?

Thanks, James

Offline DrD

  • Posts: 395
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2017, 05:36 PM »
It's me again, DrD, before you decide, look at what sand paper cost and selection you have with the round sanders.  As I said earlier, I have 3 round sanders, and the half sheet RS2E.  I do a fair amount of sanding (all connected to CT26 dust extractor) and nothing I've encountered yet couldn't be taken from rough finish, for example reclaimed barn wood, to 1000+ grit polish using only 1 sander, the RS2E, or its Bosch and maybe Makita (not sure if Makita makes one) counterpart.  And, the paper cost is way cheaper/less expensive!

If I were to have only one sander, it would be the RS2E - although the RAS115 is handy for scooping out chair seats.
Dr.D

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 689
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2017, 05:59 PM »
@DrD the half sheet for Makita is the BO4900V. It even takes Festool paper as well as the normal half sheet stuff. Under 200USD most places

http://www.toolnut.com/makita-bo4900v-finishing-sander.html

Ron

Offline Ross 71

  • Posts: 48
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2017, 06:27 PM »
There's a dealer in Saffron Walden, called Pigeon or similar. Can't quite remember, or find it on google. That's pretty close though, innit?
If you need a tool and don't buy it, You will ultimately find that you have paid for it but don't have it- Henry Ford

Offline w802h

  • Posts: 200
Re: Best sander for home DIY / woodwork shop?
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2017, 06:46 PM »
The 150 ETS EC is my favorite sander for most wood applications.  I like the comments Alex made about the DTS.  Perhaps the 5" EC sander would be more versatile of these two. 

For flattening and smoothing rough boards a hand plane, preferably a jointer plane will remove wood faster than any sander.  If your boards have embedded nails and debris, I think the paper on a belt sander will last longer than a Rotex.