Author Topic: Please suggest a sander.  (Read 1538 times)

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Please suggest a sander.
« on: April 02, 2019, 10:49 AM »
Hi,
 I am about to order a CT-26 dust extractor for my small hobby shop and I would like to get a general purpose orbital sander to go with it.

 I am overwhelmed by the choices that Festool offers. I am not ready to go battery powered, so my interest is limited to the AC powered options. I want the sander for paint or varnish preparation and would like to take advantage of Festool's dust collection capability when generating fine dust.

 If anyone can suggest how to make sense of all the choices I will appreciate the help.

 Thank you.

edit to add: I just found the link to the "Sander Guide".

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 11:11 AM by Woody Knotsensplintahs »

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Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1269
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 11:15 AM »
Personally, I feel you can't go wrong with a Rotex, be it the 90, 125, 150.

In Rotex mode they can remove a serious amount of material. In fine mode it does a superb job as well. You will find no better 'general purpose' sander.

If you are thinking solely along the lines of final finish, maybe an ETS is better suited. [2cents]
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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5987
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 11:44 AM »
I think the DTS 400 is the best general all-round sander, works with almost everything. As second I would choose my Rotex 150. These two are my most used sanders but the DTS takes 90% of the work and the Rotex hardly 10%. I also have a few others but I hardly use them compared to these two.

Most work I do is general paint prep and that's where the DTS shines. But sometimes you want a real powerful sander for fast removal of thick paint layers, or do big surfaces, and then the Rotex comes out.

I do not believe in a single sander that can do everything, for me the combination of a round sander and a pointy one works for 95% of all jobs that come by.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 356
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 11:48 AM »
A year or two ago I was in a similar position, in the sense that I wanted a pro quality tool upgrade but was overwhelmed by the Festool options.

Excuse me if you know all this but a few things I've learned since;
- Don't try to get one sander that does it all. There are sanders that are versatile but there is always a trade off with performance or comfort. You'll likely end up with at least two or three different sanders at least.
- Though it may seem confusing, the main differences are between pad shape, motion type (orbital, random orbital and geared) and orbit size. For the smoothest finish, pick a random orbital with a small orbit. For the fastest material removal, go for a geared model (Rotex).

Personally I would go for a 5 inch (125mm) or 6 inch (150mm) random orbital model, depending on what will be most useful to you (150mm is faster on big pieces but for rails and stiles doors/frames sometimes 125mm is a better fit). Then decide if you need to strip old paint/varnish or work on very very rough stock or if you mainly want to prep sawn hardwood to finish ready, base the orbit size on this. Then decide if you can spend the extra cash on an EC (brushless motor) model. They're very nice to use and much lighter, but significantly more expensive.

In the Festool universe, I'd probably go with an ETS EC 150/5, and an RTS (or DTS) 400. That would cover most sanding needs; the ETS EC works fast, not as fast as a Rotex but faster than most regular RO sanders. It's also light and covers a large surface, and in many cases will leave a finish ready surface. It won't get into corners so you could use the RTS/DTS400 for that - incidentally, that also has a smaller orbit just in case you need it for those cases where the ETS ends up being too rough.

I actually own a Mirka Deros 5650 kit with 5 and 6 inch pads and 5mm orbit, and a Mirka Deos (which is comparable to a brushless RTS400). I also have a Rotex 90 which I bought as a "do everything" sander. It's terrible for that because the pad is too small for larger objects and the machine itself is too big and ill balanced for smaller projects. It's brilliant at stripping frames though and sometimes it's the only thing that fits in a corner (with its delta pad).

EDIT:
Personally I'm not a fan of the Rotexes for general use. They can be remarkably efficient in some cases but to me they're way to heavy and uncomfortable to use unless you actually need to hog out a ton of material and are prepared to put in some muscle. I wouldn't like to use one vertically for longer than a few minutes.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 12:21 PM by Sanderxpander »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6030
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 12:19 PM »
I want the sander for paint or varnish preparation and would like to take advantage of Festool's dust collection capability when generating fine dust.

Does that mean striping layers of paint & varnish, or just smoothing the surface for painting?

If there's no stripping involved, then you may want to pass on the Rotex unless you're also polishing items.

I'd go for the DTS 400 and an ETS EC 125 on which you can use a 150 mm pad for larger areas. Like Alex said...round and pointy provides a good combo.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3706
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 12:32 PM »
IUf you plan on also using it for wood/carpentry projects, then the ETS 150/3 or /5 (I personally would go with the /5, as it is anb amzingly fast all around sander).  As already mentioned, ideally you would want to make room for two sanders, at the very least so that you can get into corners and edges, which the round pads are not designed to do.  So I would add the DTS or RTS to the mix.  Alternatively, if you have planned some more specialized stripping operations (like balusters or other oddly shaped surfaces), you might also look into the RO90, which also has a delta head attachment and so can do edge and corner work (maybe not quite as well as the DTS, but still pretty good).

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Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 02:03 PM »
Hi,
 Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

 When I say "general purpose" I mean to say that I generally work with cabinet grade plywood panels making cabinets and modern-styled furniture, so sanding tasks are generalized as minor cutting of proud edges, surface prep on pre sanded clean wood, and a few courses of finish sanding as the finish is applied.

 I currently own a generic Porter Cable Rotary Sander and a now discontinued Festool DX 93 E detail sander. I bought the detail sander a while ago for the form factor, and am only recently getting up to speed on dust collection.

 I have previously worked outside on my patio but have recently moved and am setting up an indoors shop in my garage. It occurred to me that using one of Festools rotary sanders with the CT-26 would be a great combination for indoor use.

 I'll review the suggestions a few times. Thank you for the helpful suggestions.

 Thank you.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 356
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 02:26 PM »
Bearing in mind that
1. You have a DX93 for detail work and,
2. You will work on clean (and even presanded) wood including plywood

I would recommend a 6 inch/150mm ROS with a 3mm orbit. The large pad will make quick work of sheetgoods and the 3mm orbit is better for finishing than the 5mm. So from Festool the ETS 150/3 or if you feel like spending the ETS EC 150/3. Preferably try both to feel the difference, if you have the option.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 298
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2019, 03:52 PM »
Just to illustrate what many here have said let me tell you what I did. A couple of years ago I wanted to improve dust control when sanding in my shop. I bought a CT36 and an ETS EC 125/3 and I was off to the races. It was awesome and for the first time I was sanding without dust going everywhere. In addition to dust control that sander was so much better than anything else I had ever used it was crazy. Then a while later while making some end grain cutting boards (which I make batches of periodically for gifts, etc.) I found that I was working pretty hard to clean up the end grain boards after they came out of my drum sander. So, knowing that I wanted a Rotex for that purpose but also knowing that it was not going to be used all that much, I bought one from the recon site. I only use the Rotex for really tough jobs and IMO there is nothing like it. Now roll the calendar forward another six months and I refinished a large interior barn style door for my daughter. There were a ton of corners and edges so I bought a DTS400. When I use the Rotex I love it for tough jobs but I can’t wait to get back to the ETS EC. With the DTS I was pleasantly surprised that when I am done getting into corners I am not quite as quick to put it away. Once I have a nice flat smooth surface I can go up through the grits with either the DTS or the ETS EC.

Anyway, the moral of the story is start with an ETS EC or an ETS and go from there if needed in the future.

Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 08:48 AM »
Hi,
 As a follow up; I did end up purchasing a ETS EC 150/3 EQ and it has been an eye opening experience. It is the first sander I have ever used that has effective dust collection, and it is amazing to realize the incredible benefits. I have always disliked using a face mask, so I didn't, and now I can sand without most of the implications of a bad decision. Furthermore, since I am just a hobbyist, I apply finish in the same workshop where I process the wood, so the significant decrease in dust has been immediately appreciable.

 Having said that, the quality I most enjoy about this sander is the sense of precision, balance, and power that the motor drive provides. I know I am late to the game, and many or most of you already know this, but I have had the recent pleasure to learn first hand that a sander that costs 10x what my previous sander costs, is actually worth the extra money.

 I especially like the fact that you may let this sander do the work, while you focus on precise handling, placement etc.

 I have just begun the first finishing stage of a project since buying the sander and have been so pleased with its function that I wanted to follow up here and thank everyone for helping me make a useful choice.

 Thank you. 

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 356
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 02:55 PM »
That's really nice to hear! I had a similar experience upgrading from my generic green Bosch to the Mirka Deros. The Deros is fairly similar to the ETS EC. It makes sanding almost fun for me (also a hobbyist).

Enjoy your project!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 08:56 PM by Sanderxpander »

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 8846
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 04:56 PM »
Hi,
 As a follow up; I did end up purchasing a ETS EC 150/3 EQ and it has been an eye opening experience. It is the first sander I have ever used that has effective dust collection, and it is amazing to realize the incredible benefits. I have always disliked using a face mask, so I didn't, and now I can sand without most of the implications of a bad decision. Furthermore, since I am just a hobbyist, I apply finish in the same workshop where I process the wood, so the significant decrease in dust has been immediately appreciable.

 Having said that, the quality I most enjoy about this sander is the sense of precision, balance, and power that the motor drive provides. I know I am late to the game, and many or most of you already know this, but I have had the recent pleasure to learn first hand that a sander that costs 10x what my previous sander costs, is actually worth the extra money.

 I especially like the fact that you may let this sander do the work, while you focus on precise handling, placement etc.

 I have just begun the first finishing stage of a project since buying the sander and have been so pleased with its function that I wanted to follow up here and thank everyone for helping me make a useful choice.

 Thank you.

   Perfect choice for your application.  [thumbs up]

   You will also probably own about four or five Festool sanders by the end of the year. It just happens ................... they multiply  [big grin]


Seth

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 65
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2019, 10:10 AM »
95% of my sanding activities involve my 150/3. I like the 150mm/6" format for the kinds of work I do. If you are more comfortable with 125mm/5" abrasive media, choose one of those as your initial Festool sander. The latest brushless versions are really nice.

Someone mentioned Rotex above. Rotex is an excellent tool, but it's also generally a two-handed tool. For that I only use mine when I actually need its rotary action to remove a lot of material or for cleaning metal, etc.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 483
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2019, 10:25 AM »
Festool make superb sanders, I think the one that might qualify as an allrounder is the DTS 400. They’re all very capable though.

Offline Bill Chang

  • Posts: 55
Re: Please suggest a sander.
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2019, 10:32 PM »
I have the RO 125 and 90.  Most of my heavy sanding is done w the RO125 and the delta head on the RO90 is what I use when building cabinets doors.  I have not found a need for the DTS 400.