Hello all, my first posting here. I started woodworking professionally, part-time, about 9 months ago. Originally a hobby, I started with my business from an existing Ryobi tool collection, developing along that collection as I have gone along, to stay in the same series/batteries. I'm also a bit partial to the brand, as I have always had a good experience with them, and prefer their design/egornomics over other big-box lines. I currently use their RO sander, with their largest 4AH battery. It's a powerful combo, and sanding time is about 15-20 minutes on the one 4AH battery. I then have another 4AH on a Super Charger ready to throw on when the first dies. I typically don't sand much longer than 30 minutes at a time, so it's a good combo. Power is strong. But below are my issues:
1. VIBRATION. It's a rough sander on the hands. I have drummed for years, and so perhaps my hands are more sensitive due to prior abuse.
2. Sander keeps breaking. Runs like a CHAMP for a month or two, then I get this metallic grinding sound as it runs, similar to a baseball card on a bicycle wheel, and I know it's on it's way (quickly) out. I then have another day or two, before it's toast. I'm on my 5th one now. Fortunately, it's a free swap, as they break before 3 months of (every day) use. Home Depot will swap it out in store if you have had it 3 months or less, with no additionally warranty purchase necessary. Essentially, they return the old one, and give me store credit to buy a new one. It's so bad now, I set a calendar reminder from the date of the purchase, just so I can swap it out before 3 months is out. Last one broke 1.5 months in. I do this for convenience, being that the sander is awesome until it breaks, and sans the time needed to get a new one, its not costing me anything else. It''s also got awesome dust collection, paired with a powerful vac.
I pair the sander with a RIGID 6.5Hp Smart Cart. I found the vac to be a great purchase, and a middle-ground price between a standard shop vac and a dust-extractor. The vac port on the RYOBI sander matches up well with the Rigid pro-hose diameter (I wrap the Ryobi vac port with about 3-4 layers of painters tape to make the connection snug and then the hose won't slip off). The vac paired with an RZ mask + a WEN air filtration system is a winning combo in terms of dust control.
I don't want to leave the Ryobi RO sander, but my hands are killing me due to the vibration + weight. I need the 4AH batteries for power, the compact ones are lighter but not enough power.
I've thought of going pneumatic as I know the air RO sanders are lighter and easier on the hands, but been researching the specs for a compressor needed to run a pneumatic sander shoots the price above a reasonable means for my (still somewhat small) business. I don't want to go FESTOOL yet. I"m just not ready, financially.
Any thoughts? Anyone else run into the same issues with the Ryobi RO sander? I love the rest of the Ryobi tools, even for daily use! Bandsaw and Drill Press, especially, have been great. I'm hard on the tools, and they are stressed likely beyond their intended standard/hobby use.
I have tried the corded model, but the combo of toting the cord and the vac hose around the perimeter of a larger piece like a table is a real hassle. The best combo I've had is the Ryobi cordless sander + the Smart Vac + (2) pro-hoses connected together (had to purchase a second hose to get the proper length for my shop). With that combo, I can get around my small shop 12x16 shop with ease. I use thick gloves to limit the vibration, and drum on a practice pad before and after to ease my hands. But, doing so puts me back at Home Depot every three months for a new sander.
Open to any suggestions anyone may have. Maybe it's worth it to purchase a second type of battery charger + batteries for a better model/brand cordless electric sander. But it would need to: (1) Be cordless and awesome like the Ryobi is (until it breaks); (2) Have excellent dust removal with a cylindrical dust port; (3) be low vibration; (4) not break.
Pics below of my shop, to give an idea of space and operation. I build (mostly) farmhouse tables, barn doors, rustic pieces, etc... as this is the prime market currently in my area. Sorry for the long post, and thank you for any help you can give. -Daniel (FB.com/JWAC123 ; www.JWAC123.com)