My FIRST Festool-

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Review by japanesewoodworker posted 05-30-2011 12:30 AM 7661 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My FIRST Festool- My FIRST Festool- My FIRST Festool- Click the pictures to enlarge them

The last random orbital sander I bought was from a retailer known as ‘Handyman’. (circa 1960’s)
This Festool ETS 150/3 EQ is an amazing machine. Its does not even feel like the old Black and Decker that it replaced, of course that was 40 years ago. From the electronic speed control to the internal dust extraction system this the BEST random orbital sander that I have personally handled.
When combined with the Festool CT 36 mobile dust extractor the combination of the the two really take the “chore” out of sanding my outdoor redwood patio benches.
The attached photo shows my son sanding a bent laminated bench in my back yard.

What is my next purchase ?

I think it will be the new “medium weight” cordless drill.

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75 posts in 3899 days

14 comments so far

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463 posts in 3701 days

#1 posted 05-30-2011 12:50 AM

Very nice. Should serve forever….

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


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5688 posts in 4156 days

#2 posted 05-30-2011 01:33 AM

You can’t go wrong with Festool. They are not cheap but they are not cheap and they are worth the money. I have the same 150-3 and i love it. Beats the heck out of the dewalt and ridgid ROS’s I also have. They just gather dust now instad of making dust.

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Steven H

1117 posts in 3908 days

#3 posted 05-30-2011 03:31 AM

It seem that their ETS 150/5, 125, and 3 is meant for fine sanding, between coats.
How well does it work well with removing stains?

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 4067 days

#4 posted 05-30-2011 08:01 AM

The Festool ETS 150/3 sander was my first Festool purchase as well (a CT 33 vac was the second). It was so beyond my previous experiences with portable sanders, that it really left a lasting impression of quality with the brand. My next purchase was a TS 55 saw and a 1400 (55”) guide rail. These aslo really exceeded my expectations. Lately I have been starting to play with a Domino that I picked up used. I don’t know if I could really justify the cost, but it works fantastically and is so easy to use.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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1691 posts in 3472 days

#5 posted 05-30-2011 04:00 PM

Festool or sanding block you have really taken the ‘chore’ out of sanding. When it is sanding time my son is long gone.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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2240 posts in 4118 days

#6 posted 05-30-2011 06:09 PM

Festool really makes the best sanders…and the dust control is the best on the market. I have both the RO90 and the ETS150. I find that I don’t dread the finish sanding like I used to…..

Great to see the youngster taking a hand….I recently tried to hire a couple of youngsters to help me frame a patio enclosure….it was an excercise in futility (they were more interested in texting on their cell phones)....I ended up using a couple guys from my company…cost me a bit more…but at least they got the work done.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View japanesewoodworker's profile


75 posts in 3899 days

#7 posted 05-30-2011 07:09 PM

It seem that their ETS 150/5, 125, and 3 is meant for fine sanding, between coats.
How well does it work well with removing stains?

I had no problem removing the old stain.

I am glad to get the positive comments back about my purchase. (”...isn’t that what we REALLY are looking for here ?....” Hey it is a GREAT tool for my use, and don’t you think I am the “best” one to evaluate it ?!)

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 3444 days

#8 posted 05-31-2011 03:21 AM

Congrats on your sander. Glad to hear you’re so pleased with it. Thanks for posting!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4741 days

#9 posted 05-31-2011 03:56 AM

Every one knows I am a Festool fan and have used this sander and loved the results but Merko makes a random orbital that is almost half the price and delivers the same result

thats aid….......sweet machine

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3541 days

#10 posted 05-31-2011 04:03 AM

Wait, Festool is good? ;) I have this sander and it’s a joy. It hasn’t revolutionized my opinion of the World, as Festoolians would suggest, but it’s clearly the best sander around.It’s really not even game for debate. I’m sincerely happy that it gives you “that” feeling;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3922 days

#11 posted 05-31-2011 03:58 PM

I also have a Festool ROS and a dust extractor. It is, beyond question, the best sander I have ever owned.

A key point that is missing from this discussion is how well the dust extractor captures the dust. It seems like you are working in a dust free environment.

Advice – It seems like most people get the CT-22 or CT-33 dust extractor. It’s my experience that the smaller and cheaper midi or mini works just as well. The only down side (from my perspective) is that you have to change the bag more often but if all you are doing is sanding (as opposed to sawing or routing) you will have all the capacity you will ever need.

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

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 3987 days

#12 posted 06-02-2011 08:14 AM

I don’t know how you feel about the Dust Deputy (and their legal issues w/ clearvue), but they have a mini cyclone system that connects directly to the dust extractor like a “systaner”. That should allow you to sand for a while without changing bags.

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 3987 days

#13 posted 06-02-2011 10:45 AM

Has anyone made any direct comparisons with this?
Porter-Cable 390K 5-Inch Low Profile Random Orbit Sander Kit with Hook & Loop Pad and Dust Collection

It seems like it too has electronic speed control, low vibration, and minimal dust when attached to a shop vac.
At 1/3 the price, is the premium for the Festool worth it? I’ve never had to sand continuously for hours on end, but if I did I guess I could justify it, but then again, I probably wouldn’t want to do woodworking if that was gonna be ‘my life’. Considering how much I already spend on tools, I certainly could afford to buy it, but I was raised on knowing ‘the value of a dollar’ so for me, I simply can’t justify it. For that kind of money, I would expect it to do the sanding for me. In fact, the savings on buying a cheaper ROS could be used to hire one of the neighborhood kids to do the sanding for me :)

Disclosure: I don’t own the PC, just a plain old dewalt ROS I got for like $60. I use those Mirka Abranet mesh discs connected to a shop vac. I get no dust and it sands so quickly that the vibration is not an issue.

View josephf's profile


217 posts in 2944 days

#14 posted 10-26-2012 05:09 PM

PC comparison . The PC will not last as long[But you hopefully will not care] but will do you real well .the older models I thought [dang been several years]hook up to my festool vacuum ,but doesn’t matter you can make adapters to any vac .you only need to have a small vac for this sander . sure has a good review .i say buy it and buy a few boxes of paper

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