Sander advice from the community (Please!)

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Forum topic by Medickep posted 04-29-2015 02:12 PM 1181 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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574 posts in 1974 days

04-29-2015 02:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Good morning everyone-

I have a decision to make and was hoping to get some help from the community with this decision. I recently purchased a random orbital sander (Rigid) as I had heard they “shred” material off wood compared to a sheet sander with the dual-movement. After purchasing the tool and testing it out on some rough cedar fence boards, using 80 grit, I decided it wasn’t doing anything my Dewalt sheet sander couldn’t do.

I headed over to my local Woodcraft and found out they had this Festool demo for sale:

They let me try it and explained to me all of the features. I must admit, it sounded nice and felt nice in my hand. It was a little more than I felt I need as it had “dual-mode” meaning one setting was more like a belt sander and the other was more like ROS. The guy that was helping seemed honest and friendly, same guy that helped me find a good blade for my TS. He said in heavy duty mode, it moved with a range of 5mm versus the normal 2mm, which is why it was so effective. I’m not sure how good the smaller ones are, but he said they were only a 2mm range, so I’m not sure if they would be better than the Rigid or not.

349.00 is more than some of the smaller, new Festools cost, so this is why I need some assistance!!

I’m also concerned about having to use their sandpaper only. It seems nice for the price, but my Woodcraft only seemed to have 40.00 boxes for each grit.

Welcoming opinions!!

-- Keith

18 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1413 days

#1 posted 04-29-2015 02:18 PM

I dislike tools that require you to buy accessories (sandpaper) only from them. This would be a major disadvantage for me.

Will the Festool connect to your vacuum through an adaptor or do you plan to purchase the Festool vacuum?

On a more positive note, I am glad that there are at least some Woodcraft stores that still believe in customer service. I wish mine did.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Medickep's profile


574 posts in 1974 days

#2 posted 04-29-2015 02:24 PM

I agree with you. I have had two people (outside of Woodcraft) Who said if you were to buy one Festool tool, you should buy their sander. I would connect it to my shop vac, but I was impressed with the fact there was no dust. Not even when I wiped my had on the wood I just sanded with 80 grit.

I’m sure I could order smaller quantities of the sandpaper, but I’m leery about entering their system too!

-- Keith

View dozer57's profile


92 posts in 1736 days

#3 posted 04-29-2015 02:35 PM

I purchased a ROS made by Rockwell and really like it. It is their dual disk vibration free. The fit in your hand is nice and hooked up to a some dust collection device there was no dust any where. I am getting to that age when sanding with a standard ROS my artheritis shows up the next day, not with this one. Sanding is not painful any more so for about 75 bucks I bought an other so not changing grits alot. one other note is the disks last forever, just did compleat kithen in hard maple and never changed the disks.

View Medickep's profile


574 posts in 1974 days

#4 posted 04-29-2015 03:52 PM


Thanks for the insight. 75.00 for a new tool is better than 349 used too!

-- Keith

View pintodeluxe's profile


5816 posts in 3049 days

#5 posted 04-29-2015 05:16 PM

I have a Dewalt and a Bosch 5” ROS, and they are both great. Both are the variable speed models. The Dewalt is more powerful, with about equal vibration as the Bosch. The Dewalt has a filter bag, which doesn’t do a very good job collecting the very fine dust. However the Bosch has a pleated paper filter that is a royal pain to empty. Both fit my Woodcraft crush-proof hose, and dust collection with a vac is very good.

As far as the sandpaper, I use Klingspor 8 hole discs, and you can buy them here…
I get the VD series and they run $14 for a box of 50 discs. I have compared them to Freud, Norton 3x, gator, and Craftsman. These perform the best for what I do.

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

View Medickep's profile


574 posts in 1974 days

#6 posted 04-29-2015 09:49 PM


Thanks for the help. I’m been hearing a lot of friends say that the Festool sanders are their best performing tools, especially in the area of dust collection. Part of me thinks it’s a good opportunity to get a great tool at a some what affordable price. The other part of me thinks it’s still a lot of money at 349!!

-- Keith

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 2163 days

#7 posted 04-29-2015 11:36 PM

I have been giving some serious thought to this Bosch. If you are looking for a dual purpose, it’s another option and quite a bit cheaper.

View rwe2156's profile


3230 posts in 1717 days

#8 posted 04-30-2015 10:29 AM

Yeah, I just can’t see how a ROS can be that much different but I guess there is.

Interesting, though that I rarely use one anymore I go with handplanes and hand sanding.
Not relevant to thread, just food for thought.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2751 days

#9 posted 04-30-2015 10:53 AM

I find that my Bosch 5” ROS with the little HEPA on the back is excellent. I like it so much, I own two. Once in a while, my Lowes puts it on sale for $59. Really hard to beat.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2533 days

#10 posted 04-30-2015 11:00 AM

I have a Porter Cable ROS with 6 inch disc, basically a grinder motor and body. If taking away material fast is what you want look to one of those. Mine is 15 years old, so Porter Cable may not be what it was, but any name brand will do you.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1467 days

#11 posted 04-30-2015 01:31 PM

Card scraper.
Screw paper.
I got my best results using a scraper. It was faster and left a better finish than paper ever dreamed. And the best part: If you have an old hand saw and are willing to part with $2 for a pushrod (chevy 350) you have everything you need to create and burnish a card scraper.

Dad left me a craftsman handsaw. I hit it with sheet metal shears and made the best scraper ever. Better than the crown scraper I bought.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View JAAune's profile


1854 posts in 2553 days

#12 posted 04-30-2015 02:20 PM

The smaller Festool sanders are good but they aren’t meant for heavy material removal like the Rotex sander. That’s the big difference between them. Coarse sanding mode takes material off very rapidly but is still easier to control than a belt sander (not as fast though). Fine sanding mode is good enough for finish work but not quite as smooth as most dedicated, fine sanders.

6” discs have a lot more sanding surface than 5” discs and that alone will speed up the process a lot when sanding large surfaces.

If you use your tools heavily, get the Festool. The Rotex I’m using has sanded hundreds of pieces of furniture (including pews) over a 7 year period before the brushes wore out. The Porter Cables that were previously used couldn’t hold up for more than a couple years and pads typically needed replacing within a year.

Sandpaper is a non-issue. Festool paper is one of the few items they sell that has a similar price to their competitor’s products. Klingspor paper may have won the best value award from Fine Woodworking but I’ve used it and much prefer Festool, Mirka Gold or 3M gold. I’ll be testing Uneeda papers soon since I’ve got samples of it and it feels good. Klingspor is cheaper but the lifespan is proportionately shorter.

Downside of the Festool is that you’ll want their extractor to use it. It’s the only one I’m aware of that has variable speed suction and that’s helpful for sanding because you don’t want too much or too little suction. Also, it’s a waste of money to buy Festool if you don’t utilize the dust extraction features so you’ll definitely need at least a shop vac with a HEPA filter even if you don’t buy theirs.

-- See my work at and

View AandCstyle's profile


3185 posts in 2493 days

#13 posted 04-30-2015 10:40 PM

Downside of the Festool is that you ll want their extractor to use it. It s the only one I m aware of that has variable speed suction and that s helpful for sanding because you don t want too much or too little suction.
- JAAune

JA, just as a point of interest my Nilfisk Attix (formerly WAP) has variable suction. It was less expensive than the Festool units and fits the sander perfectly-no adapter needed. FWIW

-- Art

View Medickep's profile


574 posts in 1974 days

#14 posted 05-01-2015 12:05 AM

Well I went to Woodcraft and pulled the trigger. I got them to get some rough wood out and I went to town! I was blown away by how well it work. It sucked up the dust great, but it was hooked up to a Festool vacuum and I’ll be using a shop vac with a DD setup and iScocket.

I was really torn with getting it, but I think it will stop me from using my belt sander which I hate using (I feel like I’m being walked by a big dog!). The manager told me it had about a total of two hours of run time and also through in a ton of paper with it for 300.00. 585.00 retail.

I also tried the 3mm version, but new it was more and the guy told me in the less aggressive mode, the one I was looking at had a range of 5mm and would remove material quicker. If I end up not liking it, I can sell it for what I paid or more! I’ve heard their prices are pretty locked down!!

-- Keith

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2813 days

#15 posted 05-01-2015 01:47 AM

You have 30 days from date of purchase to return it for a full refund.

No questions asked.

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