Another quick review: Bosch RO20VSK

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Review by Craftsman on the lake posted 08-02-2009 12:52 PM 4660 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another quick review: Bosch RO20VSK No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Third Update: Ignore the update below. Today, way after the fact I receive the roter plate Bosch, My faith in the company is restored. Good thing too because I own three of their tools, the sander, a 12” compound sliding miter saw, and their fantastic plunge router. I’m glad to see they keep their word even if belated. Thanks Bosch.

Another Update (The above updates this older paragraph) 9/25: Read below regarding velcro problems. Bosch never followed through sending me the new velcro plates. But…. Buying velcro strips, sticking them on the sander plate, cutting dust/air holes and using the mirka pads between that and mirka sandpaper works well.

Update 8/09: This paragraph is a little addendum to my glowing report of the Bosch sander. I’ve noticed that the velcro hooks on the sander are very fine. But it holds sandpaper on well. I recently ordered some sandpaper that is a woven mesh, abranet. It’s amazing stuff as it lasts forever but after using it for a short period of time the velcro hooks on my sander don’t hold sandpaper on any longer. I think this is what has happened. The hooks are so tiny that they push through the abranet sandpaper grid and get sanded off. Upon googling it I find that others are having the same problem. I called Bosch and they’re sending me out two new sanding plates (my sister is having the same issue. I’ve purchased some Mirka pad savers.. basically a velcro pad that goes between the sander and the sand paper. When I get the new parts I’ll see if it makes things better.

Recommendation from what I suspect thus far.
1. When using this sander and using Mirka Abranet sandpaper, use a pad saver in between the sander and paper.
2. When using regular paper sandpaper also use the pad saver as I’d think the velcro hooks at the 8 holes in the paper would wear the velcro off at that point also.

I’ll update this again when the verdict is in.

————————————————- original post
This sander has been reviewed three times and once recently. I wanted to add two things

1. My own little review comments: see others for more details
2. The low price available as of this writing

I’ve just purchased this sander; upgrading from a crappy b&d one. I was going to veneer my sister’s oak cabinets and make new doors for her. The current ones have a dark thick stain/varnish combo that actually gets sticky in the heat. She want’s them natural. This sander, after a few minutes of tryout took the goop off the door stiles very easily and it seemed to collect most of the dust. My b&d would have made me think that the stuff was unremovable and the place would have been coated with film. Now we can sand the faces and I’ll just have to make doors. This seemingly well made sander is comfortable (almost no vibration) and feels like a good tool in your hand.

Now the price. After searching high and low online I see that Lowes had it for $69 and still does at the one in NH where I purchased it. Other prices were in the $88+ dollar range everywhere else.

I’ve picked up some mirka abranet sanding disks. They seem to work as well as sanding disks but are supposed to last a long time. Time will tell.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4206 days

16 comments so far

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Scott Bryan

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#1 posted 08-02-2009 02:17 PM

This is a nice review, Daniel. I have been looking at tools whenever I am in Lowe’s and have been considering one of these. Thanks for the info.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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13495 posts in 4542 days

#2 posted 08-02-2009 03:59 PM

These are great little sanders and you can’t beat the price. I work in Lowe’s tool world part time and it is our number one selling sander in it’s class. Thanks for the review.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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174 posts in 4155 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 06:16 PM

glad you like it so far. Could you do me the favor of letting me know hows the dust collection on it? and vibration?

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

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Don K.

1075 posts in 4095 days

#4 posted 08-02-2009 08:40 PM

He covered the Vibration.

Very good review Daniel, I have all the Bosch cordless drills and drivers and I have been VERY impressed with them. I have decided as my older sander wear out they will be replaced with these.

One Question…why 4 1/2 stars instead of 5 ?

-- Don S.E. OK

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4206 days

#5 posted 08-03-2009 01:00 AM

If you look at the stars it says 4 reviews total under it. This is a compilation of the stars awarded by all the reviewers. I gave it 5 stars.

Buffalosean. Vibration? Almost nonexistent. You could use this all day and not have any vibration fatigue.

Dust collection is excellent. You’ve got to empty the small cup once and awhile. When I get it connected to my shop vac I expect dust will be minor. The sander comes with a 1” and 1.5” adapter. I just need to look for a decent hose that I can adapt to that.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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#6 posted 08-03-2009 04:57 AM

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Don K.

1075 posts in 4095 days

#7 posted 08-03-2009 05:04 AM

My bad…wasn’t paying attention. We can’t even do half stars can we.

-- Don S.E. OK

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188 posts in 4172 days

#8 posted 08-03-2009 05:30 AM

You can order it online at for $69.97 and it’s shipped to your local store for free, but you have to pick it up there. You also have to pay local sales tax. It works for the Greenville, SC store so I assume it works elsewhere.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

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367 posts in 3979 days

#9 posted 08-12-2009 07:40 PM

I have one. I bought it because I wanted something that wouldn’t leave swirl marks as I heard this one did not. Or not as much as most. I does a little better, but I think that the sander is hard to control at high speeds. I can’t really hold it on the top and feel like I have absolute control over it. It wants to shoot all over the place when hitting different direction grain. Now if I hold lower where it tapers inward I have much much more control.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4522 days

#10 posted 08-12-2009 11:21 PM

I bought one of these reciently, got the same deal at Lowes, and had a $5 coupon from HD which they honored ;) plan to post my own reivew one of these days.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

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96 posts in 3994 days

#11 posted 08-13-2009 06:03 AM

I have one of these little guys too. Of all the tools I have, this one sits on my bench pretty much all the time. I have some childhood trauma when it comes to hand sanding, so this tool has a special place in my heart. Other than the fact that it does what it’s supposed to do I will say that the dust collection is definitely very, very good. Needs cleaned out often, but with a built-in filter you’d expect that.

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17867 posts in 3957 days

#12 posted 09-16-2009 10:49 AM

I have this one as well, after reading the sander shoot-out in one of my wood mags. Great sander, I have spent hours using this with only slight vibration in hands when done. Filter seems to do a nice job, when you clean it that is. Drum sander on the way though, I really dislike sanding like most I’m sure, so any time saved is money well spent.

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

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367 posts in 3979 days

#13 posted 12-17-2009 08:14 PM

I have this same sander. I have the same problems with the sanding disks not wanting to stay on. I also have problems with this sander wanting to jerk around when it gets to a piece of wood with endgrain or grain moving a different direction.
What number did you call in order to get a replacement rotor??

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4206 days

#14 posted 12-17-2009 08:20 PM

Rick: I looked it up online someplace and called. It was quite awhile ago now, I’m not sure. But it only happens when using open grid paper like abranet. Regular sandpaper doesn’t cause the issue at all and I’m plenty pleased with this sander. It works better than most and is almost vibration free.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3979 days

#15 posted 12-17-2009 08:41 PM

I use Mirka gold sanding disks. The disks will stay on ok but if I pull them off the sander and put them back on again later, they won’t stay. I guess maybe it’s a Mirka problem? But as soon as I take the sander off the wood the disk flys across the room like a frisbee.

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