What to buy (i.e. fed up)

CEFreemanMay 31, 2012

Ok.

I'm done ... messing ... with this #"@#"*! orbital sander.

Sand paper won't stick, but goes flying off like a Frizbee.

To buy the rubber replacement pad + dust collection bag would cost me more than a new sander.

So. I want to buy a new, electric random orbital sander, but don't know what the heck to buy. The specs all seem the same to me. I know I really like the very long cord on this Rigid one.

Is anyone particularly happy with one model over another? Or not happy with something they have/had?

(Another plus about buying a new one. When my STBX gets a bug up his bummy and decides he wants 30 years' worth of tools and comes to collect "his", I can give this back to him. With a clear mind.)

Thanks all.

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HandyMac

The Rigid with hook and look(not stick on) is pretty good.

The problem now is that so many of the formerly reqally good tool companies have been bought out and the brands all consolidated under one owner, the brand differences have been blurred.

Porter Cable used to be upper clas tools---now, the focus seems to be DIY quality. DeWalt is now supposed to be the flagship line---but their ROS's have sometimes been unreliable. Nix B&D(who bought out the rest), that brand has always been DIY or lower.

Milwaukee is good, as is Makita.

The best(affordably so) in my opinion is Bosch.

There are a couple very high priced brands(Festool and Metabo---their ROS's are in the $300+ range) that are excellent.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:30AM
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millworkman

Bosch and Makita are the better brands of sanders and Hook and Loop is definitely what you want

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:34AM
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CEFreeman

that's good news. :)
I have a few Bosch tools already.

However, between the several models I've been looking at, I can't tell the differences.

Would anyone mind narrowing the field for me?
What would you choose?

Keeping in mind I'm sanding 15 antique doors, 18' of butcher block counter top, over 250 lf of cabinets, and 17' of floor to ceiling book shelves.
Just a little work here! :)

Thanks for your help.
I freeze in the face of too may choices.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:43AM
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aidan_m

Bosch and Festool are both good buys for the money.

Festool is really high quality and definitely worth the money. You'll have to learn again how to use a RO sander when you try Festool. You must hold it lightly and steady it flat on the work piece. You have to move slowly, allowing the tool to do the work. The sander will bounce all over the place if you force it.

Bosch RO sanders are my choice for a good workhorse tool. They are very powerful while still producing a clean finish (no swirls). I use my Bosch sanders for outdoor projects and the first sanding pass over a glue-up panel.

The Festool is strictly for fine sanding.

Make sure to buy LOTS of replacement sanding discs, and change frequently! Using a worn-out disc is silly. It wastes time, ruins the rubber base of the sander, and can ultimately ruin your tool. When you can see wear on the sand paper, change it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:51AM
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aidan_m

Bosch does have many models. I have 2 that are very different. One is so powerful, it is like using a belt sander, you have to be careful. The other is really versatile, but still powerful.

That one is the Bosch 1295DVS

The variable speed is nice. I usually leave it at full speed, but it is nice to be able to turn it down.

The issue I have had with single speed RO sanders is they are set at a lower speed. 12,000 opm is the lowest acceptable high speed for a RO sander. I wouldn't consider buying one that doesn't go at least that fast. The Festool goes up to 14,000 opm in high speed.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:04PM
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CEFreeman

Thank you for the review.

I was looking at that model on eBay. Around $60.00 new.
I'm going to read some more, but with this info I'm leaning towards this. :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:13PM
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brickeyee

Look for a Wood Magazine tool review issue.

It comes out once a year.

$60 is going to get a low cost model that may not perform all that well.

Many of the tool makers now have 'consumer' grade tools at lower prices.

Porter-Cable makes excellent tools in the 'professional' models.
But like everyone else, cheapens them up for the consumer line.

What brand of sanding discs are you using?

Cheap discs do not have as good an adhesive coat and often fail when they warm up from sanding.

Not cleaning all the dist off the pad surface when you change discs also can make them fail.

I have PSA discs for 'heavy' work that wears out discs quickly, and hook and loop discs for finish work that provides a long enough pad life to justify there significantly higher price.

Big box stores are NOT not the place to get things like sanding discs.
There sole metric is low prices.
Any attempt at quality is completely secondary.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:15PM
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aidan_m

$60 for new a Bosch 1295DVS is a good deal.

Double check that the speed will go up to 12,000 opm or higher.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:05PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

I'm satisfied with my Festool Rotex 150, 6" dual-mode circular/random orbit sander. For $545 I'd better be!
I'm equally satisfied with my old Makita 5" ROS that was $100.
Casey

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:54PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

DeWalt has always been part of B&D. Then B&D bought Delta and Porter-Cable from Pentair. If I recall correctly, many Rigid tools are made by Techtronic Industries of Hong Kong which also makes Ryobi and Craftsman tools and owns Milwaukee. So it seems that most of the portable power tool market is dominated by two players.

Festool has some wonderfully engineered tools but they are crazy expensive for the average DIYer. Not you mention you aren't going to find Festool sanding discs at the local big box store if you happen to run out on a Sunday afternoon.

Bosch makes some nice stuff too.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:05PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

The predecessor to my Makita ROS was a Bosch, about $90 at the time (2000) which blew up on me in about 18 months. The transmission failed.
The Makita OTOH, is on its second platen/base/pad, and has been going for 10 years.
Unless Bosch has greatly improved its ROS line, I would recommend to avoid it.
Casey

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 6:22PM
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CEFreeman

I appreciate some concrete experience/advice. As I said, I've read all the reviews I can find, tried to compare models and am just tired of not understanding. Tired of being frozen by too many choices.

Now I'm going to see what I can afford. I'm going to be sanding for the rest of my life.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Greg__R

>>> Keeping in mind I'm sanding 15 antique doors, 18' of butcher block counter top, over 250 lf of cabinets, and 17' of floor to ceiling book shelves.
Just a little work here! :)

It is not clear if you're building this from scratch, renovating existing work, or ??? If any of this is removable and/or single boards then I would consider renting some time on a wide belt sander. Well worth the expense IMO.

One option that hasn't been mentioned is Dynabrade. These are air-powered sanders and are exceptional (you'll need a big compressor to feed them). I prefer it over the Festool offerings.

Given the size of your project, I would go buy 1-2 used Festool sanders (rotary for removing old paint, ETS 150/3 for finish sanding, Deltex for corners, etc.) & a Festool vac. Get the right paper for your application. At the end of your project, sell the tools if they are too $$$... they hold their retail value very well.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:52PM
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