Bosch - ROS20VSK (Rating: 3)

I bought this sander (actually the Bosch20VSC with the only difference being a canvas bag vs the hard case) on a whim during Home Depot's clearance of sanders. My rationale for purchasing this sander, was to have a speed sander and to devote separate 5" ROS sanders to different grits of sandpaper. In addition, for the price I paid for it (about $30), I figured I have very little to lose.

Good: Overall impression, is that the sander has an excellent fit and finish and stellar ergonomics. The sander is very quiet and has low vibration. Overall it feels great in use and I find the sander easier to control than my Dewalt D26451 (i.e. it doesn't skate around the work as readily). The built-in pleated paper filter works well when sanding without active dust collection. Active dust collection with a dust extractor has been excellent. I've used this sander almost exclusively with 220 grit for my final power sanding thus far.

Bad: One one side, one can attribute the low vibration to good design. On the other, at 2.5amps, it is noticeable weaker than my Dewalt D26451 (which is rated at 3.0amps). The engineer in me sees less power as less energy to turn into vibration. When I did a side by side comparison (sanding pencil marks off several different species of wood) with the same grit and at the max speed, Dewalt was far faster (in time). Given my disdain for sanding, faster completion of sanding earns points in my book.

Ugly: Good sanding technique calls for relying on the weight of the tool and not to apply too much downward pressure. However even at the highest speed setting, it seems that even the slightly amount of downward pressure stops this sander in it's tracks, and will cause a problem. I don't know if you call this a "feature" to enforce proper sanding technique or just an under-powered unit. For me, it is far more of a nuisance than a "feature".

It's not to say that the unit isn't a good unit. Others may consider what I deemed bad and ugly as good. I were to do it again, and had to pay full retail price, I can't get over the comparison differences with the Dewalt and would opt for their variable speed version (D26453K).