Author Topic: New to Festool - Can anyone recommend the best sander for a painter & decorator?  (Read 10231 times)

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Offline Weetbix

  • Posts: 18
Hi

Just discovered Festool through my carpenter brother in law.  Much as I would like 3 or 4 sanders (love the bannister attachment for stairs!) I can only buy one for now and I'm reading so much about them my head is about to implode.

So, could any of you lovely Festool experts please recommend which is the best for a P&D?

Paint, primers and undercoats, walls prior to painting, doors, skirtings, filler and new plaster etc?

Is there a good all rounder I can buy to start, that won't cost an arm and a leg?  Don't have ?400 but can run to something under that.

Many thanks for your time and suggestions.
Weetbix

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Offline Forrest Anderson

  • Posts: 1072
Just discovered Festool through my carpenter brother in law.  

Welcome to the Festool Owners Group!  [big grin]

Quote
Much as I would like 3 or 4 sanders (love the bannister attachment for stairs!) I can only buy one for now and I'm reading so much about them my head is about to implode.

So, could any of you lovely Festool experts please recommend which is the best for a P&D?

Paint, primers and undercoats, walls prior to painting, doors, skirtings, filler and new plaster etc?

Is there a good all rounder I can buy to start, that won't cost an arm and a leg?  Don't have ?400 but can run to something under that.

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions, but here are two questions that will help us to help you...

1 - Where are you based?

2 - Are you primarily painting new surfaces, eg bare plasterboard (drywall) and wood, or will you be stripping old finishes first, before applying new paint?

Judging from the ? symbol before the 400, it looks as though you are in the UK, and tried to use the pound sign. If that's the case, our forum software doesn't like it, and you are best to use the abbreviation GBP, eg 400 GBP, or spell it out, eg 400 pounds.

If you can update your profile and fill in your location, that will help with answers. That's because most of the members here are from the USA, and they may start recommending models that you can't find in the UK, or talk about dealers who are based in America.

In the meantime, check out the Sander section of the Consolidated List of Festool Links, and in particular the Specialist power tools for Professional Painters brochure.

Forrest
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 02:29 PM by Forrest Anderson »
Compiler of the Consolidated List of Festool Links - the place to go for Festool reviews, manuals, brochures and videos!

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Based on what you said, I'd recommend you start with the RTS 400 or DTS 400.

They're orbital so they work well on drywall (small areas) without dust, assuming you use a variable dust extractor.

They are super smooth finishing sanders so they work great to prepare for painting/finishing and also work great between coats.


Tom
Tom Bellemare
Customer Svc
Tool Home LLC
www.tool-home.com
512-428-9140

Offline Festool USA

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They're orbital so they work well on drywall (small areas) without dust, assuming you use a variable dust extractor.

I'd like to reiterate what Tom said about variable speed dust extraction.  Marc Spagnoulo did a good video about it.  An extractor without variable speed, when connected to a smaller sander, actually pulls the sander into the material.  The two sanders Tom mentioned can also be used with dust collection bags.

For everyone's reference, it appears that Weetbix is located in the UK.  Welcome to the forum, Weetbix.

The specific part of the video I am referring to starts at 4 minutes 20 seconds.

Marc's Video
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 02:50 PM by Shane Holland »

Offline Peterm

  • Posts: 262
  • I work with wood in West London, UK
    • carpenterhandyman
Welcome to FOG.

I do quite a lot of paintwork prep and find the Festool sanders invaluable. Tom's suggestion above is a good one - my only caveat would be that it's quite a small sander (bigger than 1/4-sheet, but less than 1/3) with quite a small stroke (2mm) so mine gets used more for intermediate sanding or prep of new surfaces rather than initial sanding of old paint. For more aggressive sanding or prep of larger areas I prefer my ETS 150/5 Random Orbital - probably my most-used sander, quickly followed by my LS130 (the one with the banister attachment.)

BTW, if you're in the UK, don't forget to keep an eye on eBay - there's often the odd bargain that crops up there. One thing's for sure - you may start with just one Festool sander, but you'll end up with a few ;)

HTH, Pete.
The only thing worse than spending more than you need is spending less than you should have...

Offline Weetbix

  • Posts: 18
Thank you, lovely FOG members for all your advice.  I was thinking ETS 150 but was still no clearer really.  Am looking at Ebay daily at the moment too.

I can see two being the bare minimum!

Is the dust bag enough or could I hook it up to a vacuum cleaner?  I definitely can't afford the Festool dust extractor for now, though I have seen one in action and it's transformed my brother in law's working environment no end.  I think it gets him more customers too.

Was thinking of hooking it up to a Henry for now and buying the extractor in another 12 months or so.  Is this sacrilege?

Thanks guys,
Very much appreciated.


Offline Tom Bellemare

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The bags definitely help on the sanders with blowers (the ones that come with bags).

If you hook a sander up to a vacuum and it doesn't have variable suction, one way to account for it is to make a connecting element that allows you to "bleed off" some of the vacuum. It can be as simple as a sleeve with holes drilled in it. It is better to have a variable bleed mechanism because the same sander with different grits will react differently to the same suction. The Festool curved black tube is a good example of one way to bleed off vacuum. It has a sliding cover for an elongated hole. The farther you slide it, the bigger the hole gets.


Tom
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 06:32 PM by Tom Bellemare »
Tom Bellemare
Customer Svc
Tool Home LLC
www.tool-home.com
512-428-9140

Offline John G

  • Posts: 70
+1 DTS400

remarkable for a quarter sheet sander - just sanded the landing ceiling - get the vacuum cleaner balanced you just have to move it around - not hold it up.

the rotex 150 - I have is great -but holding it on the ceiling is agony and it can be very agressive on plaster - for floorboards however - remarkbly quick and effective
TS55, MFT, OF1400, Domino, RO150, RTS400 and a race between a growing collection of clamps, guides etc and additional systainers...

ericbuggeln

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If you want to go the cheap route, get a RO 150 and hook it up to a regular shop vac with a universal adapter.  Although the shop vac will pull the sander into the material more then a CT variable speed vac, I have found that this doesnt matter on drywall, heavily joint compounded areas, and drywall or plaster walls that you just want to smooth out.  I almost always use Brilliant 220, but if you are also a woodworker, any used disc of paper will work( i.e. old rubin 120's).   I do a lot of drywall repairs and with a hair dryer and this set up I can be done in a day.  Painters are very impressed.  I believe that the random orbital action shoots the dust right to the baseboard.  10 inches in there is no dust.  A quick pass with your shop vac that is already there and youre done.  Because there is no tool activated trigger with the regular shop vac, don't forget to turn it on or it wont work too well.  You also must attempt to keep the pad on the wall at all times.  If you tilt it the dust extraction doesnt work nearly as well.

If you want to do wood refinishing, I would recommend getting the CT 22 and probably the 5 inch sander also.  I think it is called the ETS 125???  The Ro 150 is kinda big sometimes.  You will also get hooked and find that you cannot live without multiple detail sanders and endless different types of sand paper and pads.  Youre looking at $2000.00 American easy for a really nice set up, but its worth every dollar.  Ive been using this set up for 2 years, mainly because I have a CT 22 with a Boom Arm and a Dust Deputy cyclone attached and it is too cumbersome to wheel up to the area that needs to be sanded.  Since this way works so well, I would rather beat up a $60.00 shop vac then the CT 22.  I hope this helps, Eric

Offline paul_david_thomas

  • Posts: 281
I do refurbs in the UK. I bought a RTS400 - or which ever the square one it. I use it with a VAC and it's  made life a dream... It does not do everything (I've got a lovely Rotex 150 too), but what it does, well it makes life lots easier. Sanding off door linings, jams ect. But use with extractor. Try to get a second hand Mini or Midi FESTOOL Vac - makes the machine work...
equally, i've started using the new foam backed sand paper festool do. it's expensive - but it blood lasts... one sheet of 180, 240 & 600 had finished a whole house of odds and sods...  I do mean a single sheet - they just don't die !!
TS55, MFT/3x2, Domino, CMS, C12, RO150, RTS400, Kapex 120, CTL26, OF1400 & Two German Wirehaired Pointers :-) They really help !

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5674
Weetbix, I can only recommend a combo of the Rotex 150 and the Deltex Dx93.

I do a lot of painting and these two powerhouses will do anything. I got the RTS400 as an addition but to be honest, I hardly use it. Of all the sanding I've done over the last year, I think the RTS might have gotten a measly 1% of the time. It is nice to have one but in retrospect I perhaps should not have bought it because it's more or less redundant.  I also had an RS400 very shortly but I sold it off again because I had simply no use for it. I'm not impressed by the power of the RTS400 and DTS400 sanders. The Ro150 and Deltex work SO MUCH quicker. Time is money.

Oh, and I'd really advice you not to use any sander without a dust collector attached. It's such a difference. No need to get an expensive Festool right away. If needs must be then you can attach any cheap old home vac and it will be a lot better than a dust bag.

And if you're smart and take some time to look around, then there's no need to pay premium prices at the store. There's plenty of opportunities around to get them cheaper. I got my Rotex and Deltex together for only 425 euros. Use the net.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 04:10 PM by Alex »

Offline paul_david_thomas

  • Posts: 281
Alex,

I can see where you are coming from. When i was working on doors i would use the rotex 150 going through the grits. I used the 400 on smaller things - door linings, window cills, window frames. i went for the 400 rather than the 93 as i bought a 93 clone from halfords for ?10 - whilst not great, does a job. However, perhaps not the best if i were just painting and decorating!!
TS55, MFT/3x2, Domino, CMS, C12, RO150, RTS400, Kapex 120, CTL26, OF1400 & Two German Wirehaired Pointers :-) They really help !

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5674
I can see where you are coming from. When i was working on doors i would use the rotex 150 going through the grits. I used the 400 on smaller things - door linings, window cills, window frames.

Door linings, window sills and window frames, I do them all with the Rotex 150 first and then clean up with the Dx93. Works like a charm.  [smile]

i went for the 400 rather than the 93 as i bought a 93 clone from halfords for ?10 - whilst not great, does a job. However, perhaps not the best if i were just painting and decorating!!

Hm, where's the puke smiley? No offense Paul, but I've tried a couple of those ultra cheap sanders too, and they are just ..... well ...... ultra bad too. No way do they compare with the DX93. They're a million miles apart.

The RTS400 is just too slow for me. I think it only works good in the situation where you have a good layer of primer/paint already and you just want to roughen it up a little for the next coat. But as soon as you need to remove old layers of paint it's just too slow. And most of the time I have to remove old layers of paint. Perhaps it's just the Dutch way of taking care of your house, but most of the time people start to paint when the old paint really peels off the wood.

Mind you, I know I am sort of alone in my viewpoint. Most professional painters here use the DTS400 (or alike) as their main sander. Which I seriously don't understand. Getting the hang of the Ro150 (or perhaps a 125) and the Dx93 would be so much more faster and cost effective.


Offline Peterm

  • Posts: 262
  • I work with wood in West London, UK
    • carpenterhandyman
equally, i've started using the new foam backed sand paper festool do...

Which one's that Paul? The only foam-backed abrasive I only know is Platin 2 and AFAIK that starts at 400 grit?
The only thing worse than spending more than you need is spending less than you should have...

Offline Darren Edwards

  • Posts: 1
  • I paint stuff
Hi, I am also new to Festool and to forums so not sure about forum etiquette - is it okay to jump in on someone else's post?

I have been looking for a good portable sanding / extraction system to use in homes. Currently interior repainting - general decorating, hand painted kitchens and furniture.

I was wondering if anyone had experience using the Geared eccentric sander RO 90 DX FEQ-Plus GB 240V ROTEX ? It seems to tick a lot of boxes but looks a tad small. I would like to twin it with Mobile dust extractor CTL MINI GB 240V CLEANTEC - Any thoughts?

Darren

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 160
I have a love/hate relationship with my Rotex 90. As you already pointed out, it's quite small so doing large areas is a chore. It works great for rails and styles of paneled doors though, as well as decorative frames. I've used it to strip old paints and prep for new as well as between coat sanding. There is very little dust on flat surfaces when used with my CT midi on low setting. The delta attachment is very useful if you have nothing else for the corners. The hate part comes from it being so unergonomic (is that a word?) to hold/use. I've seen all the videos and tried all the grips, but compared to almost all other sanders it's just not very comfortable to use. It's fairly heavy (for its size) and a lot of the weight is to the back. It can be hard to hold flat when not using both hands and even then, add in the hose and power cable and it's a pretty unwieldy contraption for a 90mm pad.

If you can live with that it's a beast in stripping mode and the easily most versatile sander I own.
One thing to take into account is that you'll have to invest in paper and that counts double if you want to use the delta pad too. Festool mostly sells in boxes of 50 sheets so that can add up quickly.

Offline SRSemenza

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Hi, I am also new to Festool and to forums so not sure about forum etiquette - is it okay to jump in on someone else's post?

I have been looking for a good portable sanding / extraction system to use in homes. Currently interior repainting - general decorating, hand painted kitchens and furniture.

I was wondering if anyone had experience using the Geared eccentric sander RO 90 DX FEQ-Plus GB 240V ROTEX ? It seems to tick a lot of boxes but looks a tad small. I would like to twin it with Mobile dust extractor CTL MINI GB 240V CLEANTEC - Any thoughts?

Darren

Hi Darren,

     Welcome to the forum. No problem with jumping in.   [smile]

      We have a wide range of sander users on here. I am sure you will get plenty of recommendations.  I will say it is nearly impossible to get one sander that will do everything without compromising on some aspect.

   Seth

Online rst

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SRS is correct about no one size fits all situations...that's how you end up with one of each eventually.  Just sayn...

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 160
Since you already have a bunch of sanders, you must have a good idea which one you use the most or which one needs an upgrade the most.