|Review by pashley||posted 08-10-2014 02:54 AM||4000 views||0 times favorited||21 comments|
REASON I BOUGHT A NEW SANDER: Sanding is not my favorite part of woodworking. I want the best result as quick as possible. I even considered getting a drum sander, but at $800+ and a chunk of floor space, I was reluctant. My DeWalt ROS would leave a lot of swirl marks, costing me time – in finding the swirls marks, and finding them after I started finishing! Also, the DeWalt would not do dust collection well. So, in an effort to finder better sanding down quicker with better dust collection, I went for the $195 ETS 125 EQ Random Orbital Finish Sander, plus $60 for 80 and 220 sanding pads.
EVALUATION: The unit is much lower in vibration and noise then my previous ROS sanders. You notice that the sander will “chatter” when it hits an uneven spot, because the platen the sanding disk attaches to is very flat and hard. This is actually a benefit because you know there is an issue in this area of the wood. It takes a bit of getting used to. The fit is comfortable, and it has a variable speed dial, which when turned all the way up is not that fast, but it doesn’t need to be, because of the results it gets.
DUST COLLECTION / POWER DOWN: The unit has an onboard cardboard bag, meant to be replaced – but can be emptied out, so you can reuse it many times. It collects dust vey well with this option, but is almost dustless with a vac. I can just attach my VacMaster (review of that is here), because they have a proprietary size port meant for their expensive shop vacs. I couldn’t find an adaptor.
When you turn off the unit, it powers down very quickly – about ½ second. This is wonderful because I no longer have to wait for the sander to stop spinning so i could set it down, which usually took about 5 seconds. Not an issue now!
SANDING / SANDING PADS: The sanding leaves no swirl marks. None. The reason for this is because of the very small rotational distance. And that is with 80 grit as well. The sanding is fast and very smooth. Impressive. The sanding pads, while expensive (the cheapest is about 34 cents each for a 1000 disks) DON’T clog, and last along time. Definitely a better value then what you’d buy at a big-box store. And they have a huge range of grits – from 24 to 1500 grit!
BOTTOM LINE: I am very impressed with this Festool sander. I love that it saves me time, gives me a better finish with no swirl marks, collects dust much better and the quick power down. I really see no down side to this sander, and will consider buying another Festool product when the time comes – I’ve been eyeballing their Jigsaws.
See the ETS 125 EQ Random Orbital Finish Sander here.
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