Author Topic: Sander for finishing work  (Read 1809 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bacmsantos

  • Posts: 5
Sander for finishing work
« on: June 05, 2019, 08:59 AM »
I am after a new sander to use as a hobbyist for final sanding on the random pieces of furniture, box making and workshop items I produce. I am mainly a handtools person so most of my pieces are already pretty flat and have a nice surface so just want a sander to remove the odd planer marks, sanding areas that cannot be planed and sanding between coats of finish.

I have a couple of cheap sanders, namely a palm black&decker and Lidl 3in1 sander which I mainly use in ROS 5" mode.

I am looking for sanders with low vibration and excellent dust extraction which is why I am considering Festool. Now the question is which one? Price wise the ETS 125 seems to be a really good value but the projects I currently have on the going are a 6-foot workbench and after that will be a 5-foot desk so I am tempted to go for the ETS 150/3 instead, but after those 2 big beasts I have a feeling most of my projects will be relatively small so I am not sure the 150 is really justified.

I could also consider going for the ETS EC 125/3 which seems to be able to take the 150 pad as well, but there is a big jump in price and the competitor contender on the form of the Mirka deros which comes with both the 5" and 6" pads but seems to be less reliable which given how big an investment it is for a hobbyist puts me right off.

So can I have some opinions on the folks with more experience than me here? Also, how well does the Festool sanders cope with using third parties dust extraction?

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 nvalinski

  • Posts: 98
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 10:13 AM »
Sounds like anything would be a step up. I can't say I've actually used the ETS 125, but I don't think I'd buy one over the equivalent Bosch ROS20VSC. Equivalent stroke, very good scratch pattern, equal hole spacing, good dust collection, and I prefer the ergonomics, all for a price about half.

I eventually upgraded to an ETS EC 150/3 when the Bosch died after a decade of service, with a Rotex purchased prior as well. The ETS EC is a fantastic sander, particularly combined with the Rotex since I'm typically working on larger surfaces. The 125 sounds like it would be well suited for your needs, with the main advantage over the non-EC being that the extra power does not go unnoticed and makes for a much quicker sanding experience.

All said and done, if you can justify the price of the ETS EC, it does a noticeably better job. If you are sticking to the lower range, I'm not sure if I'd recommend the non-EC over a less expensive competitor.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6122
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 10:21 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

You only talk about a random orbit sander with a round pad, so if you want that I'd always go for a 150 mm sander first, the bigger pad size makes it more useful and makes you work faster. The ETS 125 EC has the ability to have both pads as you already know, so might be the best of both worlds for you.

But if you're a hobbyist looking for a good all-round sander I'd go for the DTS400 as my main choice. Out of the 5 Festool sanders I have the DTS400 is the one I use most. Like 90% of the time. This sander has most of the jobs in and around the house covered.

As for third party vacs, they work just as good with any Festool sander as their own vacs. Only thing to take care of is making a good connection between the sander and the vac. I used my sanders for years with a normal house vac and it always worked great altough jerry-rigging a connection was always a bit of a hassle. When I got my first Festool vac it was a real jump forward in comfort.

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8961
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2019, 10:49 AM »
Hi,

  Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

        ETS 150/3 , ETS EC 150/3, or ETS EC 125/3.  Will all be good choices for what you have described.  I would avoid the ETS125 (non-EC) as it tends towards the fine finish  only   side and is generally not the best choice for a more general purpose use.  Even within the fairly limited  parameters you describe.

   I use six inch sanders for almost everything except specialty sanding. I don't even own a five inch and have no issues with the size over five inch.


Seth

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 411
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2019, 02:27 PM »
You have received great feedback here regarding the sanders. I will just add one thing to what Alex said about non-Festool vacuums. Some vacuums provide too much suction for the random orbit sanders. They can suck the sander down to the work so hard that it becomes difficult to sand. Festool sanders have variable suction control so that you can turn the suction down. This results in the ability to balance great dust removal with ease of use. Festool vacs (as well as some others) also have a switched outlet which will trigger the vac to come on when the sander is turned on.

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 205
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 02:32 PM »
I am after a new sander to use as a hobbyist for final sanding on the random pieces of furniture, box making and workshop items I produce. I am mainly a handtools person so most of my pieces are already pretty flat and have a nice surface so just want a sander to remove the odd planer marks, sanding areas that cannot be planed and sanding between coats of finish.

I started with the ETS 125 and later added the RO 90.   I really like the ETS 125 for finish sanding, it's light and easy to use.   The RO 90 for smaller surfaces and it has the delta pad.    I might add the ETS EC 125/3 when I have project that needs a lot of heavy sanding that is too much for the ETS 125.   So far the ETS 125 and the RO 90 have meet my needs.

Bob

p.s. The nice thing about this forum is you will get a range of opinions.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6122
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 04:32 PM »
Festool sanders have variable suction control so that you can turn the suction down. This results in the ability to balance great dust removal with ease of use. Festool vacs (as well as some others) also have a switched outlet which will trigger the vac to come on when the sander is turned on.

Yes, good for mentioning that, the switched outlet is definitely a must. For years I worked with a household vac without it and it's pretty annoying not to have it.

As for variable suction, OP mentioned Lidl, which is a German company with stores all over Europe, and I can't remember the last time I've seen a vac over here without variable suction. Even the cheapest 20€ vacs have it. Is that still a thing in the USA that they can't include a 1$ potmeter?
 

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 411
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 08:24 PM »
Haha! You are correct. The vast majority of shop vacs available in the US do not come equipped with variable suction control. Furthermore, the vast majority of Americans (including my self) don’t have a clue what’s going on around the world of vacuum cleaners😊!

Offline bacmsantos

  • Posts: 5
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2019, 05:33 AM »
I am slightly amazed by the amount and the detail of the replies here, thank you very much.

From all the answer it does indeed seems I should avoid the ETS 125.

Believe it or not, I don't think my vacuum actually comes with suction control, it was one of my first purchases years ago and it is a cheap Titan 30L wet and dry vacuum from screwfix. I believe it is an older version of this one https://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-ttb430vac-1400w-30ltr-wet-dry-vacuum-cleaner-240v/70472. I do want to upgrade it to an M class vacuum at some point but somehow never quite seems to be a high priority

I had seen the R/DTS400 and the reason I discarded them is that my understanding is that they are a much better delta sander due to having circular motion rather than the more common side to side but it does seem to be useful mainly for narrow pieces and corners where you can't take a ROS. So I am thinking it is probably more useful as a second sander rather than the main one, but I do see your point with being the most flexible.

I think it will come down to either the ETS 150/3 or the ETS EC 125/3 depending on finding a good deal on either. FFX seems to be running a sale which will include Festool tomorrow so if any of this is included I may go for one of them.




Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 98
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2019, 08:36 AM »
Just FYI, you can get a suction control fitting for your shop vac. Essentially allows you to bleed air into the hose with a rotating collar. Might save you a few bucks in the short term, but I'd highly recommend a Festool dust extractor if you can afford it (even better if you get the bundled price when you buy the sander).

Offline bacmsantos

  • Posts: 5
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 09:04 AM »
(even better if you get the bundled price when you buy the sander).

Does this actually happen? Don't ever remember seeing a bundle with anything except the track saw. Or is just a question of trying to negotiate a deal with the retailer?

Offline bacmsantos

  • Posts: 5
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 08:03 PM »
Just to let you know I have placed an order for the ETS 150/3 sander. Still not completely sure I made the right decision as adding a hard pad and sanding sheets essentially places it at the same price as the Mirka Deros but will hopefully forget all about it when I use it

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 98
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2019, 08:35 AM »
Here in the US, we get a 10% discount if we buy a tool plus a vacuum or MFT table. The tool and vacuum combination doesn't matter, and it's consistent across retailers. Sounds like that's maybe not the case where you are?

Did you go for the ETS 150, or the ETS EC 150?

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 79
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2019, 09:16 AM »
My main go-to sander is the 150/3...it gets 95% of the work. The Rotex 150 gets the other 5%, if that. (not including hand sanding, of course) To-date, I've never felt the need for the 125mm/5" version, although that could change with some of the guitar building activities I'm starting to enjoy.
----
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

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline bacmsantos

  • Posts: 5
Re: Sander for finishing work
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2019, 11:35 AM »
Here in the US, we get a 10% discount if we buy a tool plus a vacuum or MFT table. The tool and vacuum combination doesn't matter, and it's consistent across retailers. Sounds like that's maybe not the case where you are?

Did you go for the ETS 150, or the ETS EC 150?

Does not indeed seem to be the case in the UK. The non EC one, was £329 white the EC costs £469.