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Thread: Would I really notice a difference with a "better" RO Sander?

  1. #1

    Would I really notice a difference with a "better" RO Sander?

    The RO sander I have now is a Black & Decker BDERO100 cheapy that I think I paid $25 for. It vibrates like crazy and my hands go numb in like 15 minutes. For dust collection, I had to hack up the bag to make an adapter for my shop-vac.

    So, how much "better" is a higher dollar sander from like DeWalt, Bosch, or Makita?

    Will it transfer less vibrations back into my hands?
    Better dust collection?
    Faster material removal?
    Include a vacuum adapter?

    I guess what I'm asking is what am I gaining by buying a more expensive RO sander?

  2. #2
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    Bryan, I have 3 or 4 Porter Cable sanders that haven't been touched since I bought my Festool ETS 150/3 6 years ago. The Festool has much less vibration, much better dust extraction and much better performance overall. Adapters are another story. I don't think anyone could provide an adapter that would work for everyone.
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  3. #3
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    I think you should up-grade.
    I have a Porter Cable that I use. I also have a new Porter Cable still in the box in case the older one quits.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    Bryan, I have 3 or 4 Porter Cable sanders that haven't been touched since I bought my Festool ETS 150/3 6 years ago. The Festool has much less vibration, much better dust extraction and much better performance overall. Adapters are another story. I don't think anyone could provide an adapter that would work for everyone.
    Agreed.

    Since going ETS and Rotex with Festool all of my LoweSears Depot sanders have been sitting in their own pile of dust. The difference is dramatic in every category. The problem with Festool isn't just the price of the tool, but the fact that they aren't worth getting without the vacuum too. And then it turns into a Domino, a track saw, and whatever else you might fancy. Be careful, this Festool stuff is more addictive than crack. And it ain't cheap.

    As far as sanding goes, since I picked up the ETS 150/3 I am looking for things to refinish. I never thought I'd say it, but this sander makes sanding a pleasure.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Knitter View Post
    ... It vibrates like crazy and my hands go numb in like 15 minutes. ...
    That alone would make me want to replace it immediately.

    Better sanders (Ive owned a few.. lol) should feel good in your hand, and be comfortable for hours of use at a time, not contributing to damaged nerves and tendons. Thats serious stuff.

    Currently we use a mix of a few Mirka and several Festool sanders. I have some others (PC, Makita, DeWalt) that were once used a lot, but never get used anymore.

    I think if you are using the sander more than just here and there, comfort would/should be as important as how the sander sands.
    Andrew J. Coholic

  6. #6
    I've used Festool sanders and didn't find them to be a lot better than the Porter Cable model 390 sanders I have now, either in vibration or in how quickly they worked. But they don't make the 390 any more. I have ordered the Festool sander that they had on sale for $99 so I'll see how that compares to my Porter Cable sanders now.

    I use a Ridgid vacuum with my sanders, but I have the vacuum set up so that I can control the speed (and thus the vacuum), and they turn on automatically when I turn on the sander. I use a bag in the vacuum so it's double filtered. Never noticed any dust coming out of it but I work in a garage and keep the big door open all the time.

    Mike

    [The 390 has a brushless motor so you never have to change brushes. Nice feature if you can get it on your sander. Also, very close to constant speed, no matter the load.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 01-06-2017 at 6:53 PM.
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  7. #7
    1. most are likely to be smoother than that B&D
    2. yes, most will have better and more convenient dust collection.
    3. yes, most will have more powerful motors, which will mean faster removal. But these types of sanders aren't really meant for serious stock removal. They're finish sanders.
    4. almost certainly, with many having them built into the body. Your B&D port without the bag attachment should fit a standard rubber hose end for tool connections from Bosch and Festool , or the other companies that make vacuums with tool activated sockets.

    What at are you sanding mostly , and how much ? Have you replaced the pad on your sander yet? What about the brushes? If not , you're prob. not doing enough sanding to really warrant the xtra expense of a $100+ sander unless you just like having/using nice tools. It's really about refinement over $60 or so.

    The sander Bruce mentions is fantastic, I have one too, but it's $400 after you get some sandpaper to use on it. I have a couple of the PC 333 too and have replaced the pads numerous times over the 3 decades I had them. I've looked at the new Makita 3 amp model with a handle and would probably buy that if I were looking to spend a hundred bucks on a decent sander today.

    The best thing you can do with any of them is to buy a tool activated vacuum with a small diameter hose that's easy to maneuver and fits the dustport properly. That will make the largest difference in performance , paper life , and make less mess for the amount spent. You can also use it with other tools tool. Be aware though , a decent one is going to be $400 +.

  8. #8
    Thanks everyone for the input. I'm mostly sanding small projects like cutting boards and various small projects. 50/50 hardwood/softwood.

    I'm definitely not ready to drop festool money, but <$100 is fine with me. So far, the Makita BO5041 with the handle is at the top of my list, with either the variable speed DeWalt or Bosch next in line.

    I need to get the smaller diameter hose for my shop-vac to use with the sander though, the 2.5" hose is way too cumbersome. So whatever I buy will need to either include, or have an easily obtainable adapter to 1-1/4" shop-vac hose.

  9. #9
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    In the less than $100 price range I doubt youll notice much difference unless you can get a hold of the Festool Pro 5 LTD sander that sold for $99. I have owned a few cheap RO sanders from DeWalt and Bosch and they all performed the same IMO. Now with a Festool ETS EC 150/3, a Pro 5 LTD and a CT 36 E vacuum I know the difference.
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  10. #10
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    My Ridgid RO sander is a good one. I wore out an original PC. It was a good one. The Ridgid (Home Depot) sander is bulletproof.

  11. #11
    I used to use a Milwaukee I bought on the basis of a favorable review in a magazine. It worked well for several years but then the bottom fell apart. The bearings were rolling around on the floor we were working on. The replacement is a single speed DeWalt that works fine. Vibration isn't bad, the results are good, and it sands reasonably quickly. I also have a 6 inch DeWalt which is a different type. It looks like a grinder or polisher. I vibrates terribly and is difficult to control with one hand. But it removes material quicker too.

    I have a Rigid shop vac pulling through a dust deputy and discharging through a quasi HEPA filter (HEPA fabric). I use a Bosch 5 meter hose with the sander and other smaller tools. I put an auto-on switch on it too. A Festool or Fein vac would make less noise and look nicer but I don't think they would have any different results.

    I don't have any problem with nicer tools, however. I just got a Fein multi-tool and it is noticably nicer than my HF and Ryobi multi tools. It was a lot more expensive, of course.

  12. #12
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    The short answer is yes (assuming you pick the right more expensive ROS), your question is a little like asking if the driving experience is better in a BMW M5 compared to a Chevy Spark. A ROS can run from $25 to $600 and the upper end (Mirka Deros $595 and Festool ETS EC 150 $485) are light years away from the B&D. You simply have to pick a price range and find the best ROS in that range you will see a big difference even in the $50 to $60 range. I know some thing $600 for an ROS is crazy but if my Deros disappeared tomorrow I would buy another by days end.
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    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

  13. #13
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    One of the primary reasons I upgraded to a more premium sander was the vibration and numbness that I was suffering. Since I made that choice, I actually almost enjoy sanding. (within reason, of course... ) I was already on the Festool band-wagon and that's the way I went. Zero regrets. The more premium tools do cost a few more shekels in the beginning, but IMHO, they actually cost less long term because they last and last...and do a good job, too.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Jim , if you work on floors professionally, I'm surprised you got a couple of years out of that Milwaukee.

    If if your edging with them, you really should try the Festool Ro 150, Bosch GEX 150 , or the Makita B06040 gear driven sanders. Like your 6" dewalt but much better. They all have a switch to make them random orbit for finer finishes.

    Ridgid had a 6" gem of a sander for a while that was made by Metabo in Germany. Then prod. moved to China and went downhill. Ridgid's 5" RO sander is almost identical to the Ryobi, and Milwaukee ones sold right next to them at the Depot. Made in the same factory with a few "features" separating them and accounting for the $10 or so difference in price. It's a marketer's good, better, best wet dream.

    Mike's PC390 is/was a nice little sander. I think it's brushless and was one of the first with a low profile like an air sander. I think it suffered b/o PC's takeover by B&D. I know they butchered the dust port when they got a hold of it.

  15. #15
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    Mike's PC390 is/was a nice little sander. I think it's brushless and was one of the first with a low profile like an air sander. I think it suffered b/o PC's takeover by B&D. I know they butchered the dust port when they got a hold of it.
    [/QUOTE]

    The 390K was ahead of its time, people couldn't see the price but an air sander sized/shaped electric sander is great. Now you have the great Mirka and Festool brushless sanders with air sander similar ergonomics (the Mirka even has the paddle switch) but there isn't a middle ground sander, I think with the reputation Mirka and Festool are giving this type of sander it might actually sell well now, especially if they made a 6" version.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

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