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Your Opinions re Variable Speed in a ROS

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Forum topic by HowardInToronto posted 07-07-2017 02:42 AM 630 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HowardInToronto

72 posts in 1537 days


07-07-2017 02:42 AM

My 5” Makita VS ROS just died. It slowed right down to a crawl and then smoke started coming out.

To replace it, the single-speed Makita ROS is $89. Their twin-handle VS ROS is $139 (Canadian dollars, I might add).

My question is who here has a VS ROS and how useful is the VS capability?

In the 18 years I owned it, I never changed the speed from the top setting. But I only used it on wood and MDF. I keep thinking it might come in handy on other types of materials. But the biggest issue that’s got my head turned is that the specs suggest the VS unit has significantly less vibration than their single-speed unit.

FWIW, I’m satisfied with Makita so I’m not looking at other brands.

I’d appreciate your thoughts re VS vs single-speed in a ROS.

Thanks.

Howard


21 replies so far

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

744 posts in 330 days


#1 posted 07-07-2017 02:53 AM

ohhh, you let the smoke out. They don’t work after you let the smoke out.

both of my Bosch ROS’s are VS and I typically use them near top speed most of the time, but I do adjust the speed slightly to get the least vibration while running. The one exception was when I painted my house and had to sand the cedar siding. in that case I did slow the ROS down quite a bit.

If it were me I’d definitely go for the one that claims lower vibration. I find the vibration increases fatigue significantly.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#2 posted 07-07-2017 03:24 AM

+1 on TungOils preference for Bosch. They are great performers and the low vibration makes them pleasant to use.

I’m kind of a nut about ROSs since I’ve wound up buying one for each grit. I discussed it in another thread, but I like the Mirka Abranet disks, and they are expensive and I found the frequent ripping off one grit and moving to the next weakened the loop backing.

So, single speed, or VS? If I only had one, I’d definitely want VS. When getting down to the finer grits and trying to get a smooth surface without cutting through existing topcoat, I do slow it down. That’s what my Bosch is dedicated to. I don’t find it such a big deal with coarser grits, since the intent with them is to do some cutting.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2328 days


#3 posted 07-07-2017 12:28 PM

I’ve used a VS Bosch for a very long time, and the only time I adjusted the speed was when it was new. I got what felt most comfortable in use and have pretty much left it there since then.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Kazooman

867 posts in 1787 days


#4 posted 07-07-2017 01:16 PM

I use the variable speed function on my ros all the time. Wouldn’t buy one without it.

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splintergroup

1694 posts in 1057 days


#5 posted 07-07-2017 02:38 PM

I never use the VS feature on both of my ROSs. That’s not saying that I may want/need it some day and if the price difference is not too excessive I can’t argue with “better to have and not need then to need and not have”

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jimintx

509 posts in 1419 days


#6 posted 07-07-2017 02:46 PM

Yes, I lean to saying get the VS. You can only know its usefulness once you have it and try it out.

I really like my Makita BO5041, and think sticking with Makita is a good plan. Mine is VS, and has a removable second grip, which i mostly never use. The $90 to $140 jump for VS seems high to me, but i haven’t shopped lately, and never in Canada.

However, I want to ask Rich, and Tungoil: which model of the Bosch ROS do you recommend? There are quite a few, and the price range is from $69 to over $200 right now.

I want to add one ROS for the purpose of keeping two grits, for convenience and saving the hook & loop surface, as Rich stated above. Maybe getting the Bosch would be nice, then I could simply look at them to know which was which, grit-wise.

Thanks all

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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TungOil

744 posts in 330 days


#7 posted 07-07-2017 02:59 PM

Jim

I have the ROS20VS (left) and the ROS65VC. Of the two I much prefer the 65, I like that it is 2 handed and it has less vibration and ‘wobble’ than the 20. both are variable speed. I’ve had them a few years so these might not be the current model numbers but there is something close I’m sure.

The OP is happy with Makita, but I’m not familiar with their product line so I cannot comment on that other than to say that the heavier the tool, the less noticeable the vibration will be.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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jimintx

509 posts in 1419 days


#8 posted 07-07-2017 03:29 PM

Thank you TungOil. Your big one is a 6”, and is at the upper price end. I have found there is a 5”, two-handed version (3725DEVS) for about $135, vs ~ 225 for the 6” model. I am thinking of trying that one. I’d like to only have to keep one size of discs, and I have a slew of 5” already. The hole pattern seems to be a match with the ones I have.

I apologize for the derail from the straight up VS relative to non-VS topic. Thanks to Howard for starting this one. And, at least I stayed on point about variable speed ROS machines. ;=D

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5459 posts in 2648 days


#9 posted 07-07-2017 03:32 PM

All my ROS’s are variable speed. I will never go back to the single speed units.
More control = better sanding.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1555 days


#10 posted 07-07-2017 03:42 PM

I have a PC 7335 which is variable speed and I have used it, but infrequently. It works best when you’re dealing with something delicate, like cedar, or when you’re perched precariously on a ladder reaching around a corner and need a reasonably aggressive paper but still need a good, slow control. BTW, this particular model has many pros and a few cons. The come being: short pad life, no pad wind up control and poor dust collection (available in a separate kit). The pros being: low profile, great power, large sanding orbit (~ 5/15”), smooth & reasonably quiet & variable speed. PC has a different looking newer model that may or may not be as good as my older one but based on B&D’s abandonment of quality for nearly all PC tools I would bet not.

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Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2328 days


#11 posted 07-07-2017 03:52 PM



Thank you TungOil. Your big one is a 6”, and is at the upper price end. I have found there is a 5”, two-handed version (3725DEVS) for about $135, vs ~ 225 for the 6” model. I am thinking of trying that one. I d like to only have to keep one size of discs, and I have a slew of 5” already. The hole pattern seems to be a match with the ones I have.

I apologize for the derail from the straight up VS relative to non-VS topic. Thanks to Howard for starting this one. And, at least I stayed on point about variable speed ROS machines. ;=D

- jimintx

Jim, the 3725 (mine is just DVS) is the one I’ve used for probably 12 years or so, and it just keeps going. I haven’t even replaced the pad yet. Several years back I got to thinking how hard things would be if it dies, so i bought one to keep as a back up (PC 390). Other than trying it out, it hasn’t been used yet.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Rick_M

10610 posts in 2215 days


#12 posted 07-07-2017 03:55 PM

Pro variable speed.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

867 posts in 1787 days


#13 posted 07-07-2017 05:36 PM

Mine is a 3283 DVS that I have had for ages. It works great. One thing I like about it is that’s it has a soft rubber
“boot” that surrounds the pad close to the work. It really helps with dust collection.

One job where I use the variable speed is on the edges of end grain cutting boards. I like to give them a bull nose profile. I can S and them with the ROS if I slow it way down and keep it moving. At full speed it is too easy to create a flat spot, especialy on the corners. I can rock the sander from side to follow the profile.

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TungOil

744 posts in 330 days


#14 posted 07-07-2017 07:58 PM



Thank you TungOil. Your big one is a 6”....

- jimintx

Nope, both have 5” pads although there is a 6” version available as well.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#15 posted 07-07-2017 08:10 PM

I have an older PC VS333 besides wood, I use it on metal quite a bit. Have never turned it down off #6. I have replaced the base plate a couple times over the years though. I hope I never let the magic blue smoke out of it! ;-)

As for your question, compare what the single speed is, compared to the VS model. Some VS tools will go significantly higher than a single speed. Faster is better when sanding.

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