Author Topic: ETS EC 150/5 vs. 3. Would a smaller grit size compensate for a larger stroke?  (Read 2026 times)

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Offline c_dwyer

  • Posts: 102
Hi All:
A quick question: I’m closing in on having enough for an ETS EC 150. I like the idea of having a finer stroke (3mm) to avoid the swirlies, but also wondering if I can get the same result with a 5mm stroke and simply go one or two grit sizes smaller in the papers. Perhaps this would allow me the versatility of removing a little more material when I need to on the coarse end without having to go the Rotex 150 route, which I can't afford both.

Any thoughts or advice? The critters I typically work with are oak, maple, walnut and occasionally bubinga, and sometimes vertical/overhead work.

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Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4594
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
If you can only have one sander get the 150/5  and just do as you say with finer grit sandpaper.
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3779
If you can only have one sander get the 150/5  and just do as you say with finer grit sandpaper.

Me too.
I use the Mirka screens, and sometimes papers... A step finer seems right, but I cannot tell in quantifiable terms. I just know that when I get my eye right next to the wood it is very smooth after a 320grit.

Offline Nat X

  • Posts: 231
Not really. Whether or not you'll notice the difference in your application is a question only you can answer.

Offline RDMuller

  • Posts: 252
If sanding (scratching) finishes during the finishing processes is significant part of what you want to do, I would go with the 150/3 and use the reverse logic --- use courser papers to imitate the aggressive 150/5.  I have both only because I bought the 150/5 first.   

Also remember you can buy wonderful variety backs of papers from dealers online -- Tom Ballememere is one who I believe I used several years ago.  Tell him what you are trying to do  (more finishing, less rough sanding) etc.  and he will do a great job of giving you a mix. 

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1910

Also remember you can buy wonderful variety backs of papers from dealers online -- Tom Ballememere is one who I believe I used several years ago.  Tell him what you are trying to do  (more finishing, less rough sanding) etc.  and he will do a great job of giving you a mix.

Unfortunately we lost Tom almost 2 years ago. I am not sure in Bob Or Shane does packs like that but worth checking in with them. There is a sticky post on the dealers area to reach out.

Cheers. Bryan.


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Offline PeterK

  • Posts: 946
Oh my!  :'(
I had no idea Tom passed on. Was wondering about his postings. Such a great contributor here. Truly sad.

Offline Shane Holland

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 10094
    • The Tool Nut's Festool Store
I would also suggest getting the /3 rather than the /5 if you're most interested in the surface/finish quality. You can compensate for the smaller stroke to some extent with lower grits. Just remember the deeper the scratches, the longer you will need to spend on higher grits to remove them.

Shane
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Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 7845
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
If going with one, I too would get the /5. I am not sure that going a grit finer will actually make up for the stroke difference. But in the coarse direction I have found that at some point (somewhere below 80) the size of the grit starts to overwhelm the size of the stroke and reduce effectiveness.   You can get very good finish results with /5.  I personally think the /5 is more all purpose than the /3.  If you will be doing a lot of between coat sanding and not much below 80 grit then maybe /3.

Seth

Offline c_dwyer

  • Posts: 102
Thank you everyone, good points in either direction. Just to summarize, that was 3 recommendations for the 5 mm stroke, 2 recommendations for the 3 mm stroke, and 1 recommendation for it doesn't matter (whatever gets you there...).

True, I might not even be able to tell the difference, so a 5 is probably where I'll land.
Thanks again everyone!

Offline Grakat

  • Posts: 205
Hi there,

I got a 3mm stroke but my plan was to also get the Rotex, which has a 5mm stroke in non geared mode. So between the Rotex and my ETS150/3 I think My bases are covered.  [big grin]
Regards
Graham

Festool ETS150/3, TS55, CT26, DF500+ Domino set, PS300, HKC55

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3779
Thank you everyone, good points in either direction. Just to summarize, that was 3 recommendations for the 5 mm stroke, 2 recommendations for the 3 mm stroke, and 1 recommendation for it doesn't matter (whatever gets you there...).

True, I might not even be able to tell the difference, so a 5 is probably where I'll land.
Thanks again everyone!

I was one of the /5 people.
Just again today I was using it.

But it is not like either is ill suited to either task.
It somewhat like arguing whether better the Ferrari is better than the Lamborghini...
I would not lose any sleep over it, but it is 66% better ;)

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 725
Since I pretty much only use my RO sander for finishing work the 150/3 was a an easy pick. Since purchasing I have never felt the need for anything more. Im glad I went with the smaller stroke.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 179
Since I pretty much only use my RO sander for finishing work the 150/3 was a an easy pick.

Agree.  I have the 3mm stroke sander.  I only use my random orbital sander for smoothing and finishing work.  I have a belt sander with various grits for grinding.  Use a different tool than a random orbital sander if you have to grind, smooth rough surfaces.  I've never believed one tool will do everything on earth the best.