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Looking to buy a ROS - should I go straight for the Festool?

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Forum topic by kalapolo posted 02-23-2011 02:10 AM 1900 views 0 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kalapolo

63 posts in 1374 days


02-23-2011 02:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: ros sander

I have a cheap 1/4 sheet Black and Decker sander, but I haven’t found it to be much more effective than hand sanding. So I am thinking that a random orbital sander would be a good addition to my small tool collection. I generally build furniture for our house (nothing too fancy), or cutting boards for gifts (would like to try some small boxes soon as well), but I’m not a fine furniture maker or anything. I generally don’t like to buy something, only to be frustrated with it and have to upgrade. This obviously ultimately costs more money, and if it’s not too much more to go with the superior product in the first place, then I generally feel it’s worth it. Should I splurge on the Festool ETS 125 or is that going a little over the top for my needs? I searched old threads, but some of them were quite old. Thanks in advance for your advice and opinions!

EDIT: Just a note that I’m looking at the $170 Festool, and not any of the more expensive ones.


60 replies so far

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1611 days


#1 posted 02-23-2011 02:21 AM

I have the 125 and really enjoy using it!

It is far superior to the PC and Dewalt I had in the past.

I especially appreciate the dust collection system, makes the job so much nicer.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2673 days


#2 posted 02-23-2011 02:22 AM

You could probably get 2 or 3 Porter Cable or Bosch ROS for the price of the Festool. Or just one and almost a lifetime supply of sanding disks.

I have a Porter Cable for about 10-15 years with no problem and a Bosch for a year or two.

Whatever you get make sure that you get a hook & loop version. If you don’t you lose a sanding disk every time you change it. You can reuse a h&l until it’s worn out.

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

View TMcG's profile

TMcG

182 posts in 1685 days


#3 posted 02-23-2011 02:41 AM

I have a sander without dust collection and am in much the same decision place, they certainly get a lot of good press and the reviews are bountiful but it is a lot more than a PC or a Bosch.

One other question on the Festool I can’t quite seem to track down is can you use generally available 5” or 6” disks or are you constrained to the Festool series of disks ?

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View JasonWagner's profile

JasonWagner

523 posts in 1865 days


#4 posted 02-23-2011 03:06 AM

I have a Dewalt that I use and abuse pretty regularly and have no issues with it. For hobbyist use I could see lots of other things I’d rather spend that extra cash on. One of the big things about the Festool is the dust collection…are you planning on dropping the coin for that too?

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Resurrected's profile

Resurrected

671 posts in 1377 days


#5 posted 02-23-2011 03:07 AM

Personal preference is all it is. Sounds to me you already made your choice you just need the assurance from some other wood workers.

Me I cannot justify the extrodinary cost of these tools. Although they are suppose to be so much better. For their price they better be better. I’ll stick with my PC and Bosch.

But if you have the money to throw at that then have at it its a good tool by what everyone says.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View TheWoodNerd's profile

TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 1877 days


#6 posted 02-23-2011 03:12 AM

If you don’t think a Festool is worth it, you’ve never used a Festool. I just finished getting familiar with their new RO90 and writing a review. It was a real eye-opener, I never knew a sander could be that good.

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112289 posts in 2262 days


#7 posted 02-23-2011 03:13 AM

I have not owned a Festool ROS so I don’t have the experience of using one. I own or have owned about 8 different brands of ROS . I have found that the inexpensive sanders like B&D and Ryobi don’t usually last long and run rough. But I have used Porter cable, Bosch, Milwaukee,and Delta . Of all of these I prefer the Milwaukee. I think that along with how long they last and what their feel is like in your the sanding pattern differs from large figure 8s to small figure 8s making the ones with the larger figure 8s more aggressive and the smaller more detailed. All of the better Ros I have used are priced from $85- $ 130 ,the higher price still cost about 1/3 of what a Festool cost. Before buying any ROS I would at least hold it in my hand and if possible use it before buying it. I have found from my students that they all prefer different weights ,sizes and handle grips.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View JasonWagner's profile

JasonWagner

523 posts in 1865 days


#8 posted 02-23-2011 03:22 AM

for between $713 and $915 you can “save” money and buy that RO90 and a dust extractor together!

- i mean no personal offense but I’d have to be using that tool for my livelihood and use it an awful lot.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View kalapolo's profile

kalapolo

63 posts in 1374 days


#9 posted 02-23-2011 03:26 AM

I certainly have many other tools in the queue waiting to be bought, so I don’t want to make a frivolous purchase. If the Festool is absolutely worth the $170, I will just have to wait longer to save up for those other tools. If not, I’d be happy to go with a less expensive ROS and be able to buy some of the other tools sooner.

@Jason, no, I definitely wasn’t looking at the Festool dust collection as well – I was hoping my Ridgid vac would be sufficient …

View Dave's profile

Dave

11184 posts in 1525 days


#10 posted 02-23-2011 03:28 AM

Milwaukee 5” 8 hole cat#6021-21
it does a great job for me

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1745 days


#11 posted 02-23-2011 03:32 AM

If this is your first time purchasing a ROS first time, I wouldn’t get Festool first.

View JasonWagner's profile

JasonWagner

523 posts in 1865 days


#12 posted 02-23-2011 03:42 AM

Oh, didn’t realize the one you’re looking at is $170…I thought it was one of those $375 ones…sorry for jumping to a conclusion there.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Resurrected's profile

Resurrected

671 posts in 1377 days


#13 posted 02-23-2011 03:50 AM

Seems alot of us cannot justify the cost. Last time at woodcraft they were demostrating them. I could’ve played around some and got the feel for them. but choose not to. I love tools along with the hobby and don’t even want to have such a itch. If they were that much better than the likes of PC, Dewalt, Bosch don’t you think every professional would have them. I’ve only seen the likes of high profile woodworkers (MAC Rough cut etc.) having them and thats more promotional than choice.

$170 is not bad but I can settle for others. MY PC works for me.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2673 days


#14 posted 02-23-2011 04:01 AM

One other thought. I’m not sure about the 125 but I have looked at other models and the sanding discs have to be the Festool brand. So you are basically locked into one brand of disc.

Other brands take the same generic discs. Either 5 or 8 hole. I think most of the newer ones are all 8 hole.

Doing a quick google search for Festool discs I see that they are around $50 for 100.
I’m not sure if a 3rd parties make them for Festool. If they do they would probable be cheaper.
For the generic 8 hole it’s about $25 for 100.

The generic 8 hole discs fit the DeWalt DW421, DW423, 5-inch Ryobi and Bosch 3107, 3725, Porter Cable 343K and 343VSK, Makita B05010 and others.

So if in the future you wanted a different or another ROS you can still use all you discs.

So remember that you are not just buying the ROS but the discs for the rest of it’s life.

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

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 2635 days


#15 posted 02-23-2011 04:25 AM

I have a Milwaukee 6” ros which I have used to make hundreds of cutting boards over the last couple of years. I can easily attach it to my shop vac or my dust collector. It has 6 different speeds and I can use just about any brand of sandpaper.

I cannot see any reason to spend more money just to say that I have something from Festool.

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