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Serious sander, seriously expensive

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Review by PhineasWhipsnake posted 02-13-2010 04:20 AM 3780 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Serious sander, seriously expensive No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I took a deep breath and forked over the money for this sander on the strength of the reviews on Amazon and in a couple of woodworking magazines. I’ve been a woodworker for 50 years and have had many random-orbits, belt sanders, profile sanders, etc., but this baby actually lives up to the hype. I just finished a kitchen remodel where I built about a dozen drawer boxes as well as face frames & cabinet doors. This sander cut my sanding time literally in half. Since most other random orbit sanders cost anywhere from $40 to $120, the $240 price of this thing had me doubting if I wanted to spend that much. It has variable speed, plus normal random orbit and a “turbo” mode that puts the disc in direct drive for more agressive sanding action.

The normal random orbit setting is as good as any sander I’ve used for the final finishing, and the turbo mode is a real adrenaline rush (do I need to get a life, or what?) that requires your work to be clamped down securely, as well as two hands to hold on to the sander. The included dust collector fitting works quite well hooked up to my shop vac, and the tool is quite well balanced and easy to control once you get the hang of it.

I’ve been using this thing for about a year now, and my other sanders pretty much just sit there. Compared to Festool and other European brands, the Bosch is a bargain, and outperforms those brands, according to some comparison tests I’ve seen.

-- Gene T




View PhineasWhipsnake's profile

PhineasWhipsnake

77 posts in 1734 days



8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112297 posts in 2263 days


#1 posted 02-13-2010 04:24 AM

Thanks for the review looks like a great sander.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2508 days


#2 posted 02-13-2010 04:53 AM

This is a pretty nice review. I have been thinking about adding a new sander and your review of this one makes it look pretty good.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 1741 days


#3 posted 02-13-2010 07:30 AM

Thanks for the review. I know where I’ll be looking when it comes time to get a random orbit sander.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View SchotterWoodworking's profile

SchotterWoodworking

108 posts in 1716 days


#4 posted 02-14-2010 12:21 AM

These really are a serious sander. We have 3 in our shop for use in sanding Solid Surface material. The high orbit “chisel” or “turbo” mode is a force to be reckoned with. I think that this sander greatly outperforms the Festool Rotex sanders, but that is just my opinion.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1734 days


#5 posted 02-14-2010 01:06 AM

I have a question about random orbit sander: the one I use has a tendency to “dig in” when I first start it.
This seems to be a stupid question but how do you use this kind of sander?
Do you first start it and then apply it to the surface to be sanded or do you first apply it to the surface to be sanded and then start it ?
I had no much luck either way.
The one I use works very well after started but it leave some marks where I just start it because then the whole disc wants to rotate as an old disc sander did.

-- Bert

View araldite's profile

araldite

187 posts in 2090 days


#6 posted 02-14-2010 03:59 AM

Starting it when it’s already on the surface is suppose to eliminate the gouging. At least that’s my understanding. I don’t have that problem with my two ROS and I actually turn them on first and come in for a “landing”.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2419 days


#7 posted 02-22-2010 10:25 AM

I have the Bosch 3727 ROS and agree that they are the best I have ever used. I got this one because of the 6” diameter discs but think I might have been better off with the 5” discs because they are much easier to find. Mine has the adjustable speed but not the turbo mode you mentioned. Another thing I really like about this sander and all Bosch tools in general are the long, flexible power cords unlike some other brands that use shorter, very stiff cord. I bought mine as a “factory reconditioned” model and saved about $50. I’ve bought a lot of tools this way and have never had any problems with them.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2370 days


#8 posted 02-28-2010 11:19 AM

b2rtch, i had the same problem you had. I replaced my sander with bosch (not this model, PEX400 which is also good but not as good as this) and its gone.
I think it has to do with the quality of the pad. it has to be just soft and flexible enough around the edges not to dig in but still firm enough for good sanding.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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