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Is there really a difference in sanders????

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 04-16-2019 11:05 AM 931 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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becikeja

987 posts in 3171 days


04-16-2019 11:05 AM

*I HATE Sanding!!!!!!!!!!!! I am always looking for an easier faster way. I’ve probably spent more money in this area of woodworking than any other (OK maybe an exaggeration). Currently I have the Porter Cable 390 Palm Sander, it does the job but slow going. I came across the Bosch 1250DEVS Palm Sander. Was a bit shocked at the price. Then wandered over to the Festool because I have heard a lot of good things. As some of you know that one was even more costly. This got me to thinking. I use good quality sandpaper (Mirka) and all 3 travel at about the same speed and rotation characteristics. Is there really that much of a difference to step up that far in price???? I’m a weekend warrior / hobbyist so usage is minimum. But with that said, I wold much rather spend my limited time doing something besides sanding.

Can anyone guide me?? What am I missing?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense


25 replies so far

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

1477 posts in 1765 days


#1 posted 04-16-2019 11:09 AM

I’m curious if anyone can qualify any performance differences in the machines outside of a bigger pad and more power being good.
What I do know for a fact about sanding is the paper is done before you think. You should be peeling it of for a fresh piece within 3-5 minutes for top performance in most cases. You can spend 20 more minutes doing what 30sec on a fresh piece will do
Use it like someone else is paying for it – that’s the key.

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

121 posts in 69 days


#2 posted 04-16-2019 11:36 AM

Is there really that much of a difference to step up that far in price???? I m a weekend warrior / hobbyist so usage is minimum. But with that said, I wold much rather spend my limited time doing something besides sanding.
- becikeja

You get bragging rights if you order up the Festool. However, Festool has good dust collection options. I have two vibrating palm sanders: DeWalt and C’man. Both function well for what I do. I’d probably put sanders in the category of ‘disposable’ tools: Those that you use until they break, then replace. Not worth the time, money, effort to repair. Probably the reason one of the most often bought tools from HF is their 4” grinder. Use/abuse/replace. Cheaper than Milwaukee, DeWalt, etc.


What I do know for a fact about sanding is the paper is done before you think. You should be peeling it of for a fresh piece within 3-5 minutes for top performance in most cases. You can spend 20 more minutes doing what 30sec on a fresh piece will do
Use it like someone else is paying for it – that s the key.

- GrantA

^^^ Very true. Also it’s key to work down to the finer grits depending on the surface finish you’re starting with and the end result you want.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

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RobS888

2604 posts in 2203 days


#3 posted 04-16-2019 01:06 PM



Is there really that much of a difference to step up that far in price???? I m a weekend warrior / hobbyist so usage is minimum. But with that said, I wold much rather spend my limited time doing something besides sanding.
- becikeja

You get bragging rights if you order up the Festool. However, Festool has good dust collection options. I have two vibrating palm sanders: DeWalt and C man. Both function well for what I do. I d probably put sanders in the category of disposable tools: Those that you use until they break, then replace. Not worth the time, money, effort to repair. Probably the reason one of the most often bought tools from HF is their 4” grinder. Use/abuse/replace. Cheaper than Milwaukee, DeWalt, etc.

What I do know for a fact about sanding is the paper is done before you think. You should be peeling it of for a fresh piece within 3-5 minutes for top performance in most cases. You can spend 20 more minutes doing what 30sec on a fresh piece will do
Use it like someone else is paying for it – that s the key.

- GrantA

^^^ Very true. Also it s key to work down to the finer grits depending on the surface finish you re starting with and the end result you want.

- HackFabrication


You don’t think people feel they are getting their money worth with Festool sanders? I know I did.

I got mine on sale for $99, I’d happily pay the $200 now if I needed another.

I have a power cord and rockler hose hanging from the ceiling and can use it for the sander or track saw. I imagine that costs a lot more than a fixed cord, but is very convenient.

It blows air out the center hole to help move dust to collection holes, so it is great at collecting the dust it creates. This sounds nice, but it has other benefits, the sand paper lasts longer since it doesn’t seem to get as hot or as dirty.

Don’t forget the case, that is about $80 to buy. I bought another case the same size and keep all my sandpaper in it and the 2 stack together. it isn’t just a sander, it is part of a system that all work well together.

Add in it is a great sander and it is a no brainer to buy festool.

My ridgid sander has not been touched since I got the festool sander.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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LittleShaver

521 posts in 977 days


#4 posted 04-16-2019 01:13 PM

I also hate sanding. Try a card scraper instead. Less noise, less dust, less cost. You can get set up wit ha full range of scraper shapes for way less than a sander.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5498 posts in 2851 days


#5 posted 04-16-2019 01:34 PM

Sanding is at the bottom of the list for me as well. Hand planes and scrapers have really reduced the amount I have to do (thankfully).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3367 posts in 1838 days


#6 posted 04-16-2019 01:49 PM

I’m like Fred, try to avoid sanding as much as possible, but when I do sand, it was usually a session I was glad was over.

I stepped up to a Festool sander last year (ETS125) w/ the dust extractor. The biggest differences are:
1. low vibration
2. quieter
3. instant on/off (this is a biggie for me!)
4. w/ extractor, superior dust collection.

I never thought of spending $400+ on a sander, but this was well worth it.

The Granate disks are a little too pricey for me, so I buy them from Industrial Abrasives.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pottz's profile

pottz

4984 posts in 1342 days


#7 posted 04-16-2019 01:55 PM

well i have a mirka deros and the price is definitely up in the clouds but id buy another in a heart beat,low vibration,brushless,stops in 2 seconds,power stays constant under load, and with abranet sanding discs with a vac virtually no dust.it’s the mecedes of ros sanders.i know some will say no ros is worth that much money but use one once and you will feel and see the difference.oh did i mention i hate sanding too-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2604 posts in 2203 days


#8 posted 04-16-2019 02:04 PM



Sanding is at the bottom of the list for me as well. Hand planes and scrapers have really reduced the amount I have to do (thankfully).

- Fred Hargis


So after the planer, I should use a hand plane and scraper? No thanks. Sanding is the start of finishing for me.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View pottz's profile

pottz

4984 posts in 1342 days


#9 posted 04-16-2019 02:06 PM


Sanding is at the bottom of the list for me as well. Hand planes and scrapers have really reduced the amount I have to do (thankfully).

- Fred Hargis

So after the planer, I should use a hand plane and scraper? No thanks. Sanding is the start of finishing for me.

- RobS888


ditto.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

393 posts in 1043 days


#10 posted 04-16-2019 02:13 PM

Sanding is at the bottom of the list for me as well. Hand planes and scrapers have really reduced the amount I have to do (thankfully).

- Fred Hargis

So after the planer, I should use a hand plane and scraper? No thanks. Sanding is the start of finishing for me.

- RobS888


Once you get your technique right on scraping its a life saver and can save a lot of time on sanding

Also, and this may just be a personal thing, I found planing shocking satisfying. It’s simply more enjoyable than sanding to me

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2634 posts in 1580 days


#11 posted 04-16-2019 02:15 PM

I think it would be hard to find someone that loves sanding, especially hand sanding 8^)

Though similar, the orbital action of typical random orbital sanders (ROS) can vary from manufactures and has a big influence on speed of scratch removal. There seem to be plenty of mag reviews of ROSs and one common test is to weigh the board, sand for a set time, then weigh again as a way to determine efficiency. Differences between makers does appear.
I bought the $99 Festool a while back and think it is great (best feature is the rapid stop). The Festool Rotex is famed for fast wood removal (aggressive action), but I have no experience with it and it is high dollar..
Good points here on using fresh discs as the grit will break down and slow, but using the proper material and keeping the paper clean (good dust collection) goes a long way.
Remember to start with a coarse enough grit and use it until the tool marks are gone, then go finer and sand until the previous grits marks are gone.
Also as pointed out, scrapers and planes can be even faster and are much more quiet.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4387 posts in 947 days


#12 posted 04-16-2019 03:50 PM

One of the biggest differences between sanders is the orbit radius. I’ve seen numbers ranging from 3/32” up to 5/16”. The larger radius cuts faster, and the smaller radius gives a finer finish — up to a point.

The Bosch you mentioned has two modes. It can function as a ROS, or it can switch to a circular mode for super fast cutting. It’s a quality tool, and I love my two 5” Bosch ROSs, but I found the 1250 to be unnecessary. Since I already have angle grinders, by buying a hook and loop pad for them (one is variable speed) I can use sanding disks in the same mode as the 1250. You have to develop a touch, but with coarse paper, you can cut fast. You can get H&L pads in 5 or 6 inch and also in different hardnesses from soft to firm.

Another sander I use frequently is an old Porter Cable 73xx dual action sander/polisher. Mine is old enough to still have been made in the USA. It’s a very flexible system allowing you to use any 5/16” attachment. You can get 5 or 6 inch H&L pads for it allowing you to sand with the H&L disks as well as polish using the many H&L buffing pads. With the 6” pad you can use Mirka Abralon foam backed disks to wet sand up to 4000 grit. It’s also an excellent buffer leaving a flawless swirl-free finish.

I still use my assortment of 5” sanders, but the two items above are good to have.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View SMP's profile

SMP

821 posts in 263 days


#13 posted 04-16-2019 04:00 PM

So after the planer, I should use a hand plane and scraper? No thanks. Sanding is the start of finishing for me.

- RobS888

You sand your finish in? I’ve only done this with certain oil finishes to work up a slurry/grain filler.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3925 posts in 2346 days


#14 posted 04-16-2019 04:16 PM

I want a sander with good dust collection, low vibration, and good ergonomics. It has to fit my hand comfortably and has easy controls.

There may not be a huge difference in the actual sanding but a big difference in these other things. Being older and with arthritis, the vibration and ergonomics are a deciding factor.

While I believe that Sanders all do a similar job of sanding there are big differences with the sand paper and the sanding pad.

My experiences with sand paper has me buying Festool and Klingspor products.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2604 posts in 2203 days


#15 posted 04-16-2019 04:17 PM


So after the planer, I should use a hand plane and scraper? No thanks. Sanding is the start of finishing for me.

- RobS888

You sand your finish in?

- SMP


hmm, good idea, combine the 2 tasks…

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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