Author Topic: What sander(s) for a newbie?  (Read 1808 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 12
What sander(s) for a newbie?
« on: September 02, 2017, 02:00 PM »
I have been away from woodworking for quite a while but recently retired early and am going to get back into this for a hobby.  I am looking to start out with one or to sanders for making some cabinetry as my OLD sanders have no way of capturing dust. 

Would I be well served by starting with the newly announced ETS 125 REQ ($195) and the ETS 150/5 EQ Plus realizing that I will need two sizes of paper?  Money is a consideration (even though I am looking at Festool as I like the system approach) as I also want to purchase some other items, e.g. jigsaw, plunge router (OF 1400 EQ) and track saw (TS55 REQ) but not immediately.

Thank you in advance for your input!

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2183
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 02:22 PM »
Welcome to FOG!

I have the ETS 150/3 which has a slightly smaller orbit than the 150/5 and is excellent for finish sanding.  Either are good choices depending on what you are sanding and the kind of finish you are going to apply.  I like the smaller orbit for a slightly better finish, particularly under stains or natural wood.  If you are painting, either one works well.  The 6" size gives you good control and is nice for cabinetry, table tops, larger surfaces.  I made the decision to standardize on the 150mm paper to minimize the amount of paper I have to use.  I have the Rotex 150 as well.

The 150/ models are excellent all-around sanders.  The others I would consider would be either the RTS 400 or DTS 400.  The rectangular or delta versions would give you some flexibility on sanding into corners, inside drawers, etc. 

The Rotex sanders - both 150 and 90mm give you the option of both rotary and orbital sanding - more aggressive stock removal when you need it but the option of also doing finish sanding.  They are heavier and given the design a bit more effort to control, but good choices if you want to go more aggressive for instances where you might be sanding down rough sawn lumber to a smooth finish.

The other items on your list are good choices for cabinet work and general woodworking.  I would suggest you make sure you have a vacuum - either Festool or third party to use with the sanders before you purchase additional tools. 

Offline Neal W

  • Posts: 110
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 02:24 PM »
I own the 150/3 sander, the rotex 150, the DTS400 and the RTS 400.  The DTS400 is the only one I purchased new.  I didn't want to have to have the two sizes of paper for the 150/3 and the rotex.  THe abrasives, while quality, are expensive. 

The RO150 is great for aggressive sanding and does well for several steps.
The ETS150/3 is probably better for the finishing stuff.
The DTS 400 is great for getting into tight corners in drawer boxes and such.

I haven't used the RTS 400 yet.  I purchased it because I go a really good deal.  I need to get abrasives for it.

I'm not sure I would go with the two diferrent sizes of the rotex and ETS.
Turning perfectly good lumber into scrap and sawdust for more than 20 years!

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 648
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 03:02 PM »
571880, Festool 6" Random Orbit Sander ETS EC150/3 would be my choice if I had to pick one general purpose sander for woodworking.  I wouldn't buy another ETS 125 (or ETS EC 125) unless you really want to buy more sandpaper.  After that I'd get something that would do corners and inside edges - RTS 400 or DTS 400 (you can blow you budget big time with the cordless versions).  Buy a good a dust extractor for inside use - you'll need it with the ETS sanders.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7649
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 06:13 PM »
For two sanders for hobby cabinetry I would go ETS and DTS. whether you go 125 or 150 and whether you go /3 or /5 is a personal choice based on what size is good for your projects and the finish you're targeting.

The new range of cordless hybrid sanders gives you an interesting new option that a person starting out with Festool sanders hasn't had before .. it may be worth sitting on the fence till you can try them in both configurations (I'd certainly wait to see what they're like).

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 07:30 PM »
I have been away from woodworking for quite a while but recently retired early and am going to get back into this for a hobby.
...

In the US I would get an ETS/EC, either the 150/5 or the 125-2.5.
And in 230V land, the Mirka DEROS.

Another 1 sander solution is the RS2E, for flat finish work.

The random on orbital are faster, and the 1/2-Sheet makes for flatter results.

On the other hand most modern sanders have dust collection, including Bosch , Ryobi, Makita, etc. it is not Festool, Mirka and Rupes that own it.

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 272
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 10:22 PM »
Welcome to FOG. You just asked one of the imponderables of the FOG, which sander? There are as many responses to this query as there are Festool sanders. For general purpose I suspect one of the ETS/ECs would do the trick either a 125 or a 150. If you don't like it you can return it in 30 days. Whichever one you get make sure you get a dust extractor, it is a must. Sanding dust is not good for your lungs. A CT with a HEPA filter will keep the fine dust out of the air around you. Word of warning, its very difficult to stop at one sander. We call it the slippery slope from experience. 
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. Domino 500, Domino Systainer, Parallel Guide

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8158
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 11:18 PM »
I have been away from woodworking for quite a while but recently retired early and am going to get back into this for a hobby.  I am looking to start out with one or to sanders for making some cabinetry as my OLD sanders have no way of capturing dust. 

Would I be well served by starting with the newly announced ETS 125 REQ ($195) and the ETS 150/5 EQ Plus realizing that I will need two sizes of paper?  Money is a consideration (even though I am looking at Festool as I like the system approach) as I also want to purchase some other items, e.g. jigsaw, plunge router (OF 1400 EQ) and track saw (TS55 REQ) but not immediately.

Thank you in advance for your input!


Hi,

  Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

      Just my personal opinion, but  if I was going to get one or two sanders (and especially if only one) the ETS125REQ would not be on the list. I feel that it's sanding scope is too limited by size, power , and stroke.

      Pretty much any of the ETS150 s whether "regular" or EC would be an excellent choice or the ETS125 EC. As for the second sander many would be good. I would look at added capabilities such as corner sanding and or stock removal for the second sander.

Seth

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2370
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 01:02 AM »
First, Welcome.

Second - if you are going to make other things that just cabinets, I would use that in my decision. I have just about every sander Festool makes except for the 150/5 orbital and the ETS 125 (I do have the EC 125). I think that this is a path most of us have been down before and you have some good advice so far.

I have changed my thinking on sanders over the years, but I will give you some of my recent thoughts. If you can swing  two sanders, then I think that an RO150 is where I would start and then add either the RO90 or DTS 400 - to me, getting into corners is important for so many projects. I just picked up an LS130 and so far I have really liked it for doing shapes and edge/profiles. Many do not like the sander and it is a more specialized tool, but worth considering if that is what type of work you do. Having these three sanders allows you the flexibility to tackle virtually any sanding project.

One consideration is size - many experienced users say bigger is better because of the faster stock removal with more surface area of the larger disk. While this is true, it might not be the best choice for the projects you have in mind. If just cabinets, then the 150 size is a great option. However, I build many sculpted pieces and for that work, the RO125, RO90 and RAS 115 are more important because the size of the pad lets me get into the curved portions easier. If doing overhead work, then consider a smaller lightweight sander.

If I could only have one sander, then I actually would give a nod to the RO 125 -- because the size would allow me to sand smaller pieces easier and still allow me to work on bigger pieces. But, again, if I could get two then I think that the RO 150 and RO 90 would ultimately be my choice to cover the most bases with two machines. I get great finish results with these sanders and honestly for most projects I find the slightly larger 5mm orbit on the RO150 does not make a difference to my eye.

Other sanders to consider are the RS2E for large finishing needs when you want a flat surface - this is great for table tops and other larger projects. I do like the 150/3 and the 125 EC as a finish sander, but use my Rotex sanders much, much more for the type of work I do. I think that the DTS 400 is a gem of a sander and an orbital is useful for so many things. I actually really like the RTS400 too - cannot get as close as the DTS 400 for corner work, but you can add an interface pad for contoured sanding and you can switch the sandpaper around to extend its life - so something else to consider. The RAS is an aggressive sander with finesse and perfect for heavy sculpting work and taking paint off, scribing, etc...

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4594
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 01:25 AM »
I disagree with suggesting an RO 150 as a first sander. An RO 150 might scare the guy out of woodworking.

The RO 150 sander takes skill to use, 30 year carpenters run from it becasue they can't handle it or ever get it to give a swirl free finish. Even I finish up all my jobs with an ETS 150 and I have owned all the Festool sanders(until I sold the ones not worthy). It just takes to long and to much effort that that RO to give me the finish the ETS 150 does. But I do use the RO 150 about 4-6 hours everyday, but it's not work  newb is going to do. Heck nothing will ruin a project faster than an RO 150 taking one hop.

Get an ETS 150/3, no other sander is simpler to use. 

As far as ease of use and getting swirl free surfaces with as little skill possible it goes like this..

Most difficult to use RO 150, next ETC 150, then the ETS 150 and I still own these sanders and use them everyday, they sit on my work table right now.

The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2370
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 01:36 AM »
I agree that the RO 150 takes some getting used to as does the RO 125. I still think it is worth consideration due to its versatility. Take advantage of the 30 days in the US and try any of the sanders out for size (just remember that sandpaper is not included in the return if you opt for a different machine).

The RO 150 was my first FT sander and it did not take me very long to learn how to use it and I was coming from a pretty bad 5 inch RO from a different brand.


Offline rst

  • Posts: 1623
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 07:53 AM »
I own and use every Festool sander excepting the RS and the Ro150, not them as I already owned the the Makita BO4900V and the Bosch 1250 DEVS.  If I were starting from scratch, I would buy either the ETS EC-5, 125 or 150 and the DTS400.  These will get you flat surfaces and into corners.  If you have prior experience with sanding you will recognize just how superior the Festool sanders are compared to the available sanders of the past.  I've been grinding away at wood since 1971 and for 37 years used my sanders on wood, steel, aluminum and plastics.

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 12
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 09:07 AM »
Thanks to everyone for your advice!

Based on the words of wisdom I have received I believe I will start with the ETS 150/5 EQ or ETS 150/3 EQ and add the DTS 400 REQ not too much later. 

I have an older Fein vacuum that may initially do the trick.  Is the adjustable suction on the Festool extractors (I am considering either the Midi or the 26) that important when sanding? 

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1623
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2017, 11:02 AM »
While I have a Midi and a 26, my three in shop vacs are all older Feins (two IIs and a III...all pulling thru steel Oneida cyclones) with the adjustable suction.  I don't really adjust my suction except when sanding and polishing plastics.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2370
Re: What sander(s) for a newbie?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2017, 06:13 PM »
I have an older Fein vacuum that may initially do the trick.  Is the adjustable suction on the Festool extractors (I am considering either the Midi or the 26) that important when sanding?

For the DTS400 you may find a need to reduce suction. The 150 not so much. But you can accomplish that with the Fein by buying an adapter and drilling holes in it. That is my opinion on what I would do.