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Forum topic by ChunkyC posted 12-30-2009 07:04 AM 5344 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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856 posts in 3252 days

12-30-2009 07:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sander

I’m in the market for a new ROS and I was hoping to get your opinions on ROS’s. I know, it’s like asking which is better, Ford, Chevy, ... I see that the Bosch’s and PC’s seem to getting some decent reviews.

I’ve been looking around and it seems that a lot of the ROS’s have the hook and loop fastening for the paper. I’ve always used the sticky back type and was wondering how the H&L holds up over time.


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

34 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3986 days

#1 posted 12-30-2009 07:23 AM

I’ve had to replace the Hook Pad on one of my PC’s after about 8 years of use. I figured I got a good life out of it.
H&L is the only way to go. You’re not stuck (no pun intended) having to throw away disks after you use them once.

I change grits all the time as I work my way through them. In fact after they’re no good on the ROS I use them for hand sanding. They don’t fall apart like paper.

I have both the Bosch and PC and like them equally well. The PC seems to be a bit stronger though.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Northerner's profile


88 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 12-30-2009 07:54 AM

hey bud,
i have a milwaukee ros and i love it, its the 8 hole dust port h&l design and i love it
i grew up working in a body shop and we had sticky paper for all the sanders in the shop
so here i go and try this h&l sander and i have to say its the coolest thing ever made. so
easy to use and keep things clean from no sticky residue.
just get one, you will never regret it!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning!

View Northerner's profile


88 posts in 3158 days

#3 posted 12-30-2009 07:56 AM

oh, and i love it so much, im buying the h&l conversion kit for my 9” disc on my
combo disc/belt sander

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning!

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3259 days

#4 posted 12-30-2009 09:39 AM

A couple of comments.
My DeWalt 5 inch 8 hole ROS was purchased with the PSA pad. I converted it to H&L about 2 years ago. The PSA pad had deteriorated and needed replacing, the unit was 12 years old. I find the H&L discs last longer than PSA did. And they are reusable as long as the grit has not completely disappeared. The PSA discs were useless after a good sanding. The glue would not stick well after one use. ALSO if you forget to remove the PSA disc after a sanding. It would be very difficult to remove after the disc cooled down. So I am happy I changed to H&L.

As far as the DeWalt ROS unit goes, I really am very happy with it. I have 7 sanders and I will go for the DeWalt first when I’m sanding.

Now for a odd recommendation. I purchased the ROS at Harbor Freight.

It’s on sale for $19.99 right now. I figured I would try it and if I did not like it I would return it. Well for $20 it works VERY well. Lighter than the DeWalt and takes the same 5 inch 8 hole H&L discs. My father in-law is visiting and he tried mine and bought one. Will it last 12+ years like my DeWalt. Probably not but I expect it will last 5 years easily. 5 years using it as a hobbyist, not in production. So I don’t know your level of work or the amount of money you have available, but again for $20 it’s not bad.
One negative, Dust collection is so-so. 5 on a scale of 10. The DeWalt is 6 on a scale of 10. But I’ve always got the a vacuum or filter going.

So if a Harbor Freight is near you, you can try it, and if dissatisfied, return it.


PS let me explain my philosophy about Harbor Freight (HF). Some of their stuff is fine and some of it is pure junk.
I own a lot of their hand tools and 5 of their Chicago Electric drills. Numerous measuring tools, sandblasting cabinet, screwdrivers, etc, etc. But when it comes to my woodworking tools I really don’t like their units.
I have
Powermatic model 63 artisan table saw
Jet 6 inch jointer
Jet 18 inch bandsaw ( Xmas present to myself, with the wife’s permission)
Jet 17 inch drill press
Delta 12 inch lathe
Ryobi 8 1/2” sliding compound miter saw
Sears 6HP compressor
Rigid OSS
Sears 6X48 and 9inch sander
Transpower 3HP dust collector.

So for my major tools I like name brand and quality, but for some small hand tools and such I find HF to be OK.

Just my 2 cents

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3558 days

#5 posted 12-30-2009 12:49 PM

I bought a reman PC about 1.5 year ago and I like it.

-- Joe

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3595 days

#6 posted 12-30-2009 02:38 PM

I have the deWalt DW421 H&L. I will never use another sanding system other than H&L. My DW421 is now 9 years old and sees about 5 hours of work per week on average.

I replace the H&L pad about twice a year, not because of the H&L wearing out, because making the rocking chairs there are alot of curves and the edges of the pad wear out. I go through a pad every two chairs, but before I started making chairs I was on the original pad for 5 years. I have replaced the brake disc once (after 7 years of use). The deWalt is very easy to work on and with. Takes 2 minutes to swap out either the pad or the brake disc.

This is, very easily, the most used tool in my shop.

When this one dies I would not hesitate to buy another deWalt, though I will look into and try out all the available models just to be sure.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3196 days

#7 posted 12-30-2009 03:05 PM

Bought the GMC rockler had on sale for $20, seems to work well, but its new, ( I’LL let you know in a couple months what I think of it) I felt I couldn’t go wrong for $20. I hate buying cheap tools, but for 1/3 the cost of a crappy name brand, I might as well give it a go.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3544 days

#8 posted 12-30-2009 03:05 PM

I love my Ridgid ROS, we have the 5” version and the larger 6” version. We also have a Dewalt 5” version and it works nice and is really old but running good. We have a Bosch 5” and it sucks, I hate it, not nearly as good as the Dewalt or Ridgid. I am not sure what the deal is with it, it just does not sand as easily and just seems to be less quality. To be fair with Bosch as I know they make good tools, I bought it for 35.00 on Ebay and likely got a cheaper version of their sander, still with Bosch name I would have expected more.

I want to add and really the only reason I am posting here. Our Ridgid 5” sander is the 4th one we have owned currently. So far I have gotten about 6 months of steady daily moderate use out of them before they are done. I just keep taking it back and exchanging it but it is getting very inconvenient to do that. It is a favorite sander when it is working. Two times I think the circuit board went bad and caused it to run like it was low on gas and sort of sputtered intermittently. One of the sanders fell to the floor, just a small drop and no cosmetic damage, not a very hard fall at all, and then I turned it on and it had no power at all. I have dropped a lot of tools that ran just fine afterwards.

Just my 2 cents.


-- .

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 12-30-2009 04:11 PM

Mine is a Bosch 5” and it works well.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3252 days

#10 posted 12-30-2009 05:01 PM

Lots of arguments for the H&L pads. I never considered the fact that you can remove the pad and then reuse it latter. That’s a great advantage to the PSA sticky back pads.

Thanks for the input!

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 3485 days

#11 posted 12-30-2009 05:09 PM

My oldest ROS is a Porter Cable, its still going after 10+ years, just changed out the pad once, Next is my Dewalt that’s still going after 5 years, and changed its pad out twice, the last one I got from one of my wood suppliers is a Hitachi, I like its fit and feel, but its pad has quit on me after less than 6 months. So for me the Porter Cable is my choice of all of em for long lasting and consistent sanding.

I also have two of the PC 330 Speed Bloc square pad sanders, I love these things, they give excellent results with a lot less noise and vibration to your hands.

-- James

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4122 days

#12 posted 12-30-2009 07:01 PM

You don’t have to buy it, you can even laugh at the price later, but take some of your scrap ends down to your local Festool dealer and try out both an ETS150 (in both the 5mm and the 3mm stroke), and the Rotex.

On the hook and loop thing, the sanding pads are replaceable, and on better sanders come in different softnesses, so you’ll end up switching out pads for reasons other than velcro wearing out (as others have said, years and years on that). I still keep a cheapo Craftsman sander around for when I’m gap filling and want to generate dust, and once you go to hook and loop you’ll never look back to the sticky pads.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Nicholas Dillon's profile

Nicholas Dillon

33 posts in 3229 days

#13 posted 12-30-2009 07:07 PM

I just bought a Porter-Cable at Lowe’s for $59.00

The main reason I choose this one is that you can removed the dust collection unit and attach it directly to your shop vac. Most others were unable to do this.

I have only used it once so far and it was pretty good. Felt solid and seemed to have some pretty good power behind it. It also comes with a nice storage case as well. Others were just in a cardboard box.

-- My workshop is a 8 x 8 shed! No Joke!

View Vicki's profile


1099 posts in 3342 days

#14 posted 12-30-2009 07:34 PM

I bought the PC with the lower body. Love it. Less vibration, stops sooner, variable speed, the d/c actually works pretty good, like everyone else I love the H/L.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3284 days

#15 posted 12-30-2009 07:50 PM

Of course, I will vote with Dan Lyke on this one.

I do not like my Poter Cable 5” at all. It’s bounces around a lot. I’ve never had a sander that rough. It may just be that model though. I’ve used the PC 505—half sheet sander for years. They have all been great.
I do like Bosch.


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