Fxguy

Festool Sander Question

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So I'm about to take the plunge and purchase my first Festool sander. From everyone I've heard from it's pretty much the only sander you'll ever need. But what exactly are the differences between the RO 90 and the ETC 125? Which one would be considered more versitle? If you had to pick one over the other which would you choose? 

Thanks!

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What type of sanding are you looking to do? You surely don't want to do panel sanding with the RO 90. I have the ETS 150/5 which is a great sander. 

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I have both the ETS 150/5 and ETS 150/3. The 3 is a much finer sander and gives a smoother finish (at least from what I can tell with my hands) However I find I've been using the 5 more on project for the larger stroke and ability to remove material faster. 

The Ro90 would be good for doing small sanding tasks. It's a 3" disc versus the 150 which is a 6" disc. The 125 is a 5", and for some reason has a very fine stroke 2.5mm compared to the 150/3 which is a 3mm stroke and the 150/5 which is a 5mm stroke. 

 

The longer the stroke the more the pad travels when you're sanding. The longer the stroke the more material removed. 

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I have the ro 90 and the ets ec 150/5. If I could only have one, the ro 90 would be gone. Easy choice. The Ro 90 is small and the ergonomics aren't the greatest, especially if you compare it to the new ets ec sanders! I also have an rts 400 and would prefer that as my only sander over the ro 90.

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A Festool dealer gave me this simple advice. Buy the /3 if a RO 150 or 125 is in your future otherwise get the /5. He said it's more about technique than the stroke. 

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I have a 150 Rotex, a 150/3 and 90 Rotex.     That set up covers all of my needs.   If you only want one sander get the 150/5 

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Thanks guys! I think I'm going to go with the ETC 125. For $195 it fits my budget better and from the sounds of it will meet almost all my sanding needs for the foreseeable future.

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7 minutes ago, Fxguy said:

Thanks guys! I think I'm going to go with the ETC 125. For $195 it fits my budget better and from the sounds of it will meet almost all my sanding needs for the foreseeable future.

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I would think hard about getting a 150 (6").  A 6" sander has so much more surface area than a 5" sander.  If you are mostly doing face frames a 5" is fine.  But for sanding panels, tops, etc the 6" is so much better.   You might regret buying a 5" if it is just to save a few bucks.  

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7 minutes ago, Mike. said:

I would think hard about getting a 150 (6").  A 6" sander has so much more surface area than a 5" sander.  If you are mostly doing face frames a 5" is fine.  But for sanding panels, tops, etc the 6" is so much better.   You might regret buying a 5" if it is just to save a few bucks.  

Just an excuse to buy another later?

I currently have 3 of their sanders and am considering one more..  Admittedly, not because I "need" it tho ;)

 

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Thanks guys! I think I'm going to go with the ETC 125. For $195 it fits my budget better and from the sounds of it will meet almost all my sanding needs for the foreseeable future.

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I would think hard about getting a 150 (6").  A 6" sander has so much more surface area than a 5" sander.  If you are mostly doing face frames a 5" is fine.  But for sanding panels, tops, etc the 6" is so much better.   You might regret buying a 5" if it is just to save a few bucks.  

Admittedly it is to save a few bucks, but right now I'm basically still just getting into the hobby. It has taken me several years to get a grizzly table saw and band saw setup and a decent porter cable router.

All of my projects so far are small toys for my son or jigs for the tools. My current project is a rocking horse for him and his sister but the largest pieces are the legs and they are at most 6" wide. Most of the pieces aren't the size of panels or tops etc...

Also there is a woodworking shop nearby that in the event of needing a panel or top sanded, I can have them run it through heir drum sander for much less than the cost of the 150.

Also, as weird as it sounds my wife is an easier sell to but the 125, let her see how well it does at keeping the dust down( her biggest complaint about not learning woodworking with me) and then say we could upgrade later to the 6"

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3 minutes ago, Fxguy said:

Admittedly it is to save a few bucks, but right now I'm basically still just getting into the hobby. It has taken me several years to get a grizzly table saw and band saw setup and a decent porter cable router.

All of my projects so far are small toys for my son or jigs for the tools. My current project is a rocking horse for him and his sister but the largest pieces are the legs and they are at most 6" wide. Most of the pieces aren't the size of panels or tops etc...

Also there is a woodworking shop nearby that in the event of needing a panel or top sanded, I can have them run it through heir drum sander for much less than the cost of the 150.

Also, as weird as it sounds my wife is an easier sell to but the 125, let her see how well it does at keeping the dust down( her biggest complaint about not learning woodworking with me) and then say we could upgrade later to the 6"

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makes sense, i just realized the price difference is like $160.  That is more than I imagined.  

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You may also want to check out the mirka brand.  I have both the festool ets 150 and mirka ceros and really like the ergonomics of the mirka. That said I've tried festool ec models at a demo and they have a much better feel than the older models.  I also have the rotex 150 and 90 sanders and while the overall results from them are great they are a alot more tiring to use.  I'm guessing partially because you're hands are not over the center of gravity.  I actually just ordered the 3" ceros and am excited about seeing how that handles. 

 

Which ever very sander you choose try and take your time and get the best one, for you, that you can afford.  A huge part of woodworking is sanding so you may as well get the best one that works for your situation. 

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20 minutes ago, jussi said:

You may also want to check out the mirka brand.  I have both the festool ets 150 and mirka ceros and really like the ergonomics of the mirka. That said I've tried festool ec models at a demo and they have a much better feel than the older models.  I also have the rotex 150 and 90 sanders and while the overall results from them are great they are a alot more tiring to use.  I'm guessing partially because you're hands are not over the center of gravity.  I actually just ordered the 3" ceros and am excited about seeing how that handles. 

 

Which ever very sander you choose try and take your time and get the best one, for you, that you can afford.  A huge part of woodworking is sanding so you may as well get the best one that works for your situation. 

I have heard good thinks about the mirka sander but also read terrible reviews about the warranty process if something goes wrong like the switch issue they had on the high end $500 brushless 6" model. 

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Seriously if your doing small work and don't think down the road you'll get into bigger projects consider the Bosch 5" RO sander. You'll save a ton of money and if you get more into the hobby you can buy a festool sander . The 125 isn't a bad sander either .

I have a few Festool sander and love them all , my go too is the 150/3  . I'll be getting a new  ETS 150/5  soon . The new ETS EC 150 are game changers if your doing this all day . It weights half of the older version and runs smoother but it's not cheap at $485 . 

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Instead of starting my own thread on such a similar topic.. anyone mind if I jump in and throw a couple of questions in?

I'm curious about the difference in vibration between the 125 and 150. That's my number 1 concern. If I buy the 125 and it takes me longer to sand a panel because it's smaller and the stroke is smaller - that's ok. As long as I can walk away from it without my hands exploding. 

The other question I had was.. you can or cannot use your regular 5" sandpaper? I have several boxes of Mirka that I use for my dewalt, so if I have to replace my sandpaper anyway, that might lean me towards the 150 as those Mirka boxes are like $20 each, so being able to use them is nice.

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I broke my dominant hand a few years back, and my previous ridgid sander always left my hand aching.

After I bought the ets 150/3, no more aching.  I would never go back to a lower quality sander.

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OK. I think you guys convinced me. If I have to buy all new paper anyway, might as well go with the 150/3. Even though I bet I do a lot of small boxes in the next couple of years - I can think of at least 2-3 big projects I want to do where the bigger pad will be nice. 

Pug- That is great to hear. I have severe arthritis, trigger fingers on both hands, nerve damage on my right wrist and lingering tendonitis. In fact the tendonitis caused the nerve damage, which was caused by my improper use of a Dewalt ROS. 

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i have a 150/3 and it is noticeably less tiring than my old 5" sanders. I used a 5" Porter Cable a few weeks ago because I only had the grit I needed in a 5" size and it was tough to go back

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I am picking up my ETS EC 150/3 tomorrow along with a MFT/3 and a 3000 rail.  Anxious to try the sander.  I have only used inexpensive sanders before.  Hope it makes a difference.

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On 22/01/2016 at 9:09 PM, bigarm said:

I am picking up my ETS EC 150/3 tomorrow along with a MFT/3 and a 3000 rail.  Anxious to try the sander.  I have only used inexpensive sanders before.  Hope it makes a difference.

On yeah, you will see a big difference in comfort, dust collection, quality of the finished surface, and cost.

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