Retiring my random orbit sander


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I know it seems steep for a sander, thinking about it... It's just a sander. At least that's what I thought. I have a Dewalt 5" ROS I bought at Home Depot 5 years ago, a PC that I gave to my bro in law, and a big half sheet makita sander. The paper clogs easy, the units are covered in dust, and the surface just never felt like it did. I took the plunge last year and bought an ETS 150/3 and couldn't believe the difference in how my surfaces felt, how much longer my paper lasted with a dust extractor. It's a worthwhile investment if you're gonna be sanding stuff. Like Eric said, the cost over the next 15-20 years is so minimal  versus buying a new sander at a big box store every few years. You can also get different pads without going through the horror of finding a new pad for a Rigid or Dewalt sander. 

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I recently came across a guy selling a used set of 3 festool sanders on CL.   I think the set included these sanders (not 100% sure though):  DS 400 EQ, RO 150 EQ, and the RO 90 FX EQ.  His prices for other stuff was pretty reasonable, but I was kinda shocked when he asked for $800 for the set.

What do you guys think about buying used sanders? Most of his stuff seemed to be well taken care of, but I still worry about buying used things that take such a heavy beating like hand sanders.

I looked around for used Festool too. It seems the price is not a big enough savings to not have the warranty. I assume Festool doesn't have a lifetime transferable warranty, anyway. I could understand if it was a 50% savings, but sometimes I see used Festool going for about $5 off the price of new. 

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I adapted my non Festool sander (think duct tape) to my smaller shop vac and it inhibited the rotation. On the Festool ros, I take it that you need their dust collection system? Can you vary the suction when you use their dc on different tools of theirs or is it the same say if you use it on their track saw?

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Thanks Mike

I currently take my sanding outside with the stock cloth bag attached to the sander and use a cartridge dust mask. If I purchased the Festool combo ros and dc, how much of my dust problem would it eliminate? Is one of their dc systems preferred over the other if this and the router table is the only thing I use it for?

Edited by K COOPER
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Thanks Mike

I currently take my sanding outside with the stock cloth bag attached to the sander and use a cartridge dust mask. If I purchased the Festool combo ros and dc, how much of my dust problem would it eliminate? Is one of their dc systems preferred over the other if this and the router table is the only thing I use it for?

Hey coop, all the Festool vacuums have the same motor. The only thing that changes is the capacity. I have a ct26 with a dust deputy and it does a fantastic job. I only use it for my kapex and festool tools. I couldn't tell you how it would perform for the router table but with a sander it's almost 100% dust free. Like Mike, I turn my vacuum down to about 1/4 when sanding. Just be careful getting started with the Festool "system" you soon realize you "need" it all. :D Sent from my SM-P550 using Tapatalk
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Thanks Shane. I would have preferred an answer that the Festool system sucks but I knew better. I currently have the Dust Deputy attached to my shop vac for the router table. I think it's time I invest in the green, at least these two items ONLY! This will have been an expensive inquiry?

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I have to say that I am with everyone that says Festool.  It was the first Koolaid purchase that I made, and well worth if you ask me. I had the Ridgid 5" and it was junk.  I still have a DeWalt, but it just collects dust, not make it.  I started with the 5" and eventually got the 6" as well.  The 6" is the one that I use the most often.  But I still use the 5" in tight places and when working on smaller stock.  And the dust (with the vac) is almost non-existant.

If you are going to go with the Festool, you might as well make the investment and get the vac with it.  I went with the CT26 because I didn't need the capacity that the 36 has, but I still wanted the boom arm.  Plus, once you drink the Koolaid, you will want a few others too.  The track saw and Domino are two of the best and favorite tools in my shop.  And if you get the tracksaw, then the MFT is a great addition to that.  Its a chain reaction, but I love their tools.  Good luck.

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So is it an option to buy the 150/5 and use it with a shop vac or mate it to the DC system?  Will you get the same results?  I'm particularly interested in airborne dust.

While those will probably work for airborne dust they'll suck too hard for the sander. The CT vacs have variable control and 25% is about all you need. 

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While those will probably work for airborne dust they'll suck too hard for the sander. The CT vacs have variable control and 25% is about all you need. 

If you leave it on max suction, does it overwork the CT vac?  Otherwise, it seems more is good.

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I had the same RO sander from ridgid - i killed two of them before upgrading to the festool.

 The word "upgrade" is not really even the right word.  It's like upgrading from a hammer to a nail gun.

I went ets 150/3 and never looked back.  I also forked out an additional 40 bucks for the hard pad.

Edited by Pug
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Now the inevitable question.....is the 150/3 THAT much better??? It is about 6 times the price of a ROS like a Dewalt. I understand that if you've talked yourself into spending that kind of money...... on a sander, .....you've apt to defend the purchase. I understand that tendency.  What I am looking for is someone to honestly rate the product with no other influences. See, I've never used a 150/3 so from a totally ignorant standpoint.....my little yellow Dewalt sands things.....it seems good.... it has dust collection and I have it mated into my DC....so why spend the drachma on a 150/3?

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Whether or not it's six times better than a Dewalt is pretty subjective, depending upon how picky you are about quality of finished surface and dust collection, and how much you hate sanding - which makes speed and comfort more of a consideration.  I absolutely hate hate hate sanding, so I find it worth the cost...but I don't mind spending money on tools that help to make my projects look better and my shop time more enjoyable.  To a super-frugal type of person, no...it probably won't be worth the expense. 

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