Good Vibes are NO Vibes!

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Review by mmh posted 08-18-2010 07:09 AM 7221 views 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good Vibes are NO Vibes! Good Vibes are NO Vibes! No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have a medium sized female hand and I’ve been told I have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand but I’m not ready for surgery. I don’t want to be out of commission that long and the pain is not constant or severe.

I’ve been using a 5” 4.8 lb. weight Ryobi and also an old Porter Cable and they both vibrate the heck out of my hand even with using two special shock absorbing gloves. I hold the sander with one hand to move around my cane handles and shafts so it is constantly being lifted and swirled around so not to make flat marks on my round surfaced project. Not exactly what the machine was designed for, but that’s how I use it.

I recently went to purchase the low profile Porter Cable orbital sander on sale ($115.) and found that the design was so awkward that you need the hands of a male gorilla to use it one handed. I immediately asked for a refund upon the demonstration when I went to pick it up from the store and inquired about the Festool orbital sander. The Festool is much lighter, about 2.4 lbs., and although still a little large in the neck I can hold it pretty easily with one hand. BUT, the real selling point here was that when it was plugged in and turned on, there is almost NO vibration. The sander doesn’t even feel like it’s on, so I opted to give in and invest in my physical well being so not to have to submit to surgery for the time being. For $170. I think I am ahead of the game for the lack of wear and tear on my hand and arm. I could have easily purchased another sander for $59.95 at HD and suffered for a few more years before finally getting the Festool, but why? If you’re hurting yourself while using your tools then the fun and safety involved will be replaced with frustation and pain.

My only gripes are that the neck of this sander is still a little large (and squarish) for my medium size ladies hand, but if I hold it from the front side I can get a decent grip on it to turn, lift and twist. The other gripe is that they made the vent holes so completely different that you can’t use any other brand of sanding discs than Festool. The eight holes are located on the outer rim so even if you wanted to cut your own holes from 5 hole or other brand 8 hole sanding discs, there’d be so many holes you’d have nothing to sand with. You could try and purchase no hole discs and cut your own, but you’ll probably save more time and money by just buying their brand. Just another stick-in-the-ribs marketing ploy one has to deal with.

I haven’t invested in the Festool filter system yet, someday soon, but meanwhile I can hook it up to my 4 gallon Craftsman wet/dry vac and still have some dust collection, be it whimpy, but cheap. There is a graduated rubber attachment that can be cut to fit the 1.5” diameter vac hose to the Festool sander for about $6. I purchased this and the sander through my local Woodworkers Club, Woodcraft store and they were most accomodating.

UPDATE: I have recently invested in the Festool Dust Extractor CT26 and thus far have found it to be a quality machine worth investing in. It is much quieter than the cheap option as mentioned above (for 10 times the money, one should hope so). The powerful, relatively quiet motor is impressive. I’ve purchased the larger diameter hose to hook up to the spindle sander and with an extra nozzel attachment this works quite well even if the nozzel is not a tight fit. There is still some noise with this set up because the suction is creating a slight whistling noise, but it’s still half the decible of the Craftsman.

The hose is quite sturdy and flexible, but being heavier it creates somewhat pf a python of a wrestling match to coil in a small work area. The unit is somewhat compact and the dust bags I’m told can be reused if carefully emptied. The HEPA filters may not be readily noticed, but are one of the reasons I purchased this unit instead of the orange competitor. After speaking with a technician who’s company sold several brands of similar tools, he highly recommended Festool for their quality and self implemented units adheaing to HEPA standards. In other words, they have raised the bar themselves to include HEPA standards in their units before any regulatory steps have made it mandatory by law.

I hope to buy a good machine once, not a crappy one twice.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4523 days

23 comments so far

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3761 days

#1 posted 08-18-2010 11:09 AM

yup sometimes it’s difficult to overgo a pricetag, thinking a sander is a sander. but quality has a price, and so does your health and comfort!

ps, $170 for the ETS 125?? you guys have no idea how lucky you are to get tools so cheap, that model costs closer to $400 in europe. the festool ct22 vacuum i have cost around $800 new.

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3989 days

#2 posted 08-18-2010 11:45 AM

Great review I may have to get this one. Thx

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ellen35's profile


2747 posts in 4233 days

#3 posted 08-18-2010 12:36 PM

Great review!!! You sold me… I just ordered one!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View wizzardofwood's profile


229 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 08-18-2010 01:18 PM

maybe you need to invent a ladies sander… may have hit upon gold here….half of my carving tools are of my own design… of luck…............

-- wizzardofwood..... "ITS MY JOB TO AMAZE YOU"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3916 days

#5 posted 08-18-2010 04:07 PM

thank´s for the reweiw MMH

but as Greedo say you have to bee trillionaer to get desent tools like that in europe
and its even worse here in Denmark if we can get them :-(

but when it comes to your health , pay or feel the pain , I don´t like pain so I pay :-(


View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 3887 days

#6 posted 08-18-2010 07:53 PM

I have had the 5” sander for about two years and last year I purchased the 6” version. I also have the Rotex 6” sander which was the first one purchased. I seldom use the Rotex as it is a heavy machine and I get very tired of sanding after 10 minutes of use. The 5” and the 6” 150/3 are a pleasure to use and offer no fatigue at all after many minutes of use. No vibration and the dust extraction is excillent. The sanders along with the dust extraction unit captures about 90% of the dust. The dust extraction unit is very quiet and when the sanders are in use you can barely hear the extractor running. Lots of money for sanders and dust extraction but in my opinion, money well spent. Just turned 71 years young and still going strong in the shop building furniture for 4 children and 13 grandchildren. I do not have any affiliation with Festool, just a happy customer. I buy all my abrasives from Industrial abrasives who now stock Festool type sanding discs. i also have three other ROS sanders which I no longer use due to vibration during use. My hands use to tingle for hours after use. This was the main reasion I decided on Festool. As previously stated, lots of dollars but I know they will last my lifetime.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4523 days

#7 posted 08-18-2010 09:14 PM

TheOldTimer: Thanks for the info, IA has excellent prices.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View cwdance1's profile


1161 posts in 4060 days

#8 posted 08-18-2010 10:43 PM

Man I have to save up and get me one of these. My hand hurts after sanding and I just figured I would have to tuff it out.

Thanks so much for giving us this information.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4109 days

#9 posted 08-19-2010 01:06 AM

Put me on the satisfied customer list of Festool users. I have the 115 and the 150 and they are hand savers. My Ridgid and Dewalt sanders now just gather dust instead of being used to create it. I wasn’t aware that industrial abrasices now has festool compatible paper. Good to know. I but my paper for the drum sander from them and like the prices.

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3870 days

#10 posted 08-19-2010 01:57 AM

I’m also a happy owner of a ets 125 and ro 150 both great machines with almost no vibration transferred to the hands

I also suggest industrial abrasives, they have festool size paper for 5’’ and 6’’, my personal experience it even lasts longer then festools, if anything it doesn’t teat as easy if your sanding curves, as I do all the time.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1130 posts in 3774 days

#11 posted 08-19-2010 03:13 AM

How much are the abrasive pads for the Festool??
I have a craftsman and my hand still feels like it is vibrating for 30 min after I am done using it, it is just brutal.
Gotta start saving

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#12 posted 08-19-2010 03:16 AM

Good Review Millie very interesting.


View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3816 days

#13 posted 08-19-2010 09:37 PM

thanks for the review..I don’t sand flat work much..but good to hear the product is a winner..after a bit, save up for a good sucking vaccuum.or get a good dust collector and a big vent & hold the cane in front..hard to collect dust off a rounded object…your lungs as necessary as your wrists!

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4492 days

#14 posted 08-19-2010 09:43 PM

i looked up what this is as alot of people are coming out with this this link has some gloves that may help you in your situation


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3875 days

#15 posted 08-19-2010 11:23 PM

First of all, I am festool fan with respect to some (but not all) of their tools. I’m a big fan of their sanders.

What no one else has mentioned is that they are engineered such that the dust extractor captures virtually all the dust and the air flow keeps the sand paper clear. With no clogging in the sandpaper the paper works better and lasts much longer.

Festool makes 7 different kinds of sandpaper for 7 different applications from paint to metal to wood etc.

The recommend paper for bare wood is called the Rubin paper. For this sander, the Rubin paper cost between $21 and $25, depending on grit, for a pack of 50.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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