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5" or 6" Random Orbital Sander? Advice wanted.

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Forum topic by ToddJB posted 526 days ago 741 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ToddJB

1990 posts in 763 days


526 days ago

Looking to get my first ROS. I would love to hear which one you use more. It seems like there is quite a jump in heftiness once you go to a 6”. I know that a lot will say that they have both, and you will need both, but my wallet says I can only start with one. So is there one that you go to more than another? Currently I have a belt sander, and I have elbow grease and sheet paper.

Bands and Links would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built


21 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3378 posts in 1604 days


#1 posted 526 days ago

I have the Ridgid 5” and I really like it.
There are only two designs between Ryobi, Ridgid, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Bosch and Milwaukee. And I think those both come from the same manufacturer.

Then there is the Festool on a whole nuther level. For sure the Festool will be better than the others, but 7x better?, you would have to make that call yourself. I don’t own any Festool products.

I haven’t seen any good reviews on the 6” sanders. I was very torn beteween the 5” and 6” Ridgids but the bad reviews on the 6” made me go with the 5”. I’m glad I did. The 5” is just fine for my purposes and a great deal more powerful than any kind of sander I have ever had in the past. Even faster than my small 3” x 18” belt sander.

I would recommend a 5” ROS and maybe a small triangular corner sander for tight spots. OR, a Red Devil scraper is good for tight corners also. Which ever one you get, be sure the dust extractor will hook up to your shop vac. Dustless sanding is one of the greatest surprise benefits of the ROS.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View lumberingjoe's profile

lumberingjoe

19 posts in 580 days


#2 posted 526 days ago

What are your requirements, what are you sanding? A bowback rocker… a yacht hull… possibly both?

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#3 posted 526 days ago

Go with a 5”, easier on budget, finding paper is easier, and it’s lighter. I like the DeWalt basic 5”. No variable speeds but a good sander. I have the ridgid 5 and 6” the 6” ridgid is crap, don’t buy it and mock those who do.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1288 posts in 890 days


#4 posted 526 days ago

I have 5” Bosch and a 6” Festool ROS. The 6” is the one I pick up 95% of the time. I think the vibration is less and it seems that the paper lasts longer with the Festool. Both of these are highly subjective, however. Dust collection seems to be equally good with each. The 6” covers almost 1.5 times the area so gets the job done faster unless you need to sand into constricted spaces often. So if you can find a highly rated 6” ROS that is in your price range, buy it.

-- Art

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

1990 posts in 763 days


#5 posted 526 days ago

crank, I am very partial to Ridgid products for the LSA, and I’ve read the reviews on the 5 and 6, as well. Thanks for the input.

joe, the project that I need it for ASAP is I’m restoring a 40’s Delta lathe that has the original wood planks for the stand. I don’t want to lose all patina which is why I’m not going with my belt sander, but there is quite a bit of crap from 60 years that is more than I want to put my back and elbow into. Mostly I’d be using it for cleaning up reclaimed wood, as I like working with it and the price point is perfect, but I do not have any huge projects in my near sites.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

1990 posts in 763 days


#6 posted 526 days ago

Thanks Russell and Art.

Art the Bosch has rave reviews for being a lower amp than others in it’s class. I cant afford a Festool beer coaster, let alone their 6” sander, but great point about tight spots, I’m about to make some built-ins with some smaller shelves.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#7 posted 526 days ago

Hey Todd, I don’t know what your experience level with ROS is, so here are some basics if you can profit from them.
Never start or stop the ROS on the work. I let it run off the side then stop it, lifting it straight up can cause some mysterious little rings which will confuse you when you put a finish on it. It’s the ROS. Always go with the grain and let the weight of the sander be all you give it. Dont press or turn it at an angle or you’ll eat a divot. I’d invest in two things along with my ROS, a velcro pad which will save the one that comes on the ROS, and I’d look into Abranet abrasives. They are a mesh which lasts forever and has superior DC advantages because its a mesh, not a solid disk with holes cut in all the wrong places. Sometimes those holes can get a burr on them and ruin more than they fix.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

1990 posts in 763 days


#8 posted 526 days ago

Russell, good call on the Velcro pad, I was curious about it’s longevity and it getting all mucked up with swarf. And the Abranet abrasive replaces the sanding disks?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#9 posted 526 days ago

I think they last as long as you keep them clean. The sandpaper side gets all the wear so they don’t really come off and I’ve only had one go bad.
Google Abranet. It’s a new thing.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View darthford's profile

darthford

532 posts in 557 days


#10 posted 526 days ago

Rigid 5” I purchased one tonight

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#11 posted 526 days ago

Darthford, make sure you keep it clean, they barely start and if it gets dirty it will just hum. The DeWalt has the proper power for a 5” ROS, the ridgid is slightly underpowered. Don’t know what the specs show, I’m judging on my experience using both. The ridgid will be a fine sander if you keep it clean though, just stay away from the 6”.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1233 posts in 1817 days


#12 posted 526 days ago

I’ve heard the milwaukee 5” sander is good. I have a porter cable model that’s okay, but it vibrates like crazy and is pretty heavy. It also has a tendency to get stuck when just touching the edge of the sander to the piece (for getting in curves, etc).

-- Allen, Colorado

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#13 posted 526 days ago

How embarrassing. LOL. In my defense, I do own the 6” ridgid and it is crap, several times over in fact. All the sander has to do is spin, so lets hope they can get that right for 100$. If not I can take it back and get the Grizzly which is only 40 bucks more.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#14 posted 526 days ago

A1Jim has been saying good things about the Milwaukee 5” for quite some time now. I’ll have to try one next time.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 919 days


#15 posted 526 days ago

I know, I just hope that it wont dogg out real fast. The belt/disc sander combo I got at HF is really nice and it takes a beating too. I just have to keep from dropping this one on the floor, it don’t look like it would make that short trip in one piece.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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