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Forum topic by bmerrill posted 04-21-2020 02:32 PM 748 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bmerrill

106 posts in 878 days


04-21-2020 02:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: festool sander

Looking to purchase my first green tool.
Have decided to replace my orbital sander.
Since I can only afford 1 right now, which one would you recommend for all around use.
GO.

-- You are not told the truth, you have to learn the truth.


12 replies so far

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

652 posts in 1490 days


#1 posted 04-21-2020 03:32 PM

so there are two factors here i can see
1. size of head 90 vs 125 vs 150 – this should be pretty much dictated by the type of work/projects you’re doing
2. how aggressive a stroke 3 vs 5 vs geared 5 – this is somewhat dictated by your other tools/machines and somewhat by your work/projects

As a hobbyist I’m mostly building furniture for my family and friends. Additionally i see sanding purely as a finishing prep act. Given that, if i could only buy 1 AND WOULD BE LIMITED TO 1 FOR A WHILE i’d prob go with an ETS 125/3 EQ plus as my first choice with the 125/5 version of the same unit as a second choice.

I think the middle size head is most broadly applicable (go to the 150 if you do a lot of big stuff) and, if i’m not mistaken, it may accept the 150mm pads? The 3mm stroke is better suited for finish prep for me b/c i’d rather use a scrapper or plane if I’m needing to remove stock faster.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

357 posts in 764 days


#2 posted 04-21-2020 04:37 PM

Ets ec 150/5

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

106 posts in 878 days


#3 posted 04-21-2020 08:01 PM

Best place for sandpaper for the ETS EC 150?

-- You are not told the truth, you have to learn the truth.

View tywalt's profile

tywalt

106 posts in 969 days


#4 posted 04-21-2020 09:01 PM



Best place for sandpaper for the ETS EC 150?

- bmerrill


I get mine from Amazon, FestoolNirvana.com or Festools-Online.com. If this is your first festool sander, keep in mind that you won’t be buying nearly as much paper as you used to. Sourcing it is less of a concern than you might think. Spend a little for a small pack of the Granat paper to test too. I’ve found over the years that the extra $ are worth it YMMV.

To answer your first question though. I’d make an argument for the ETS EC 125/3. Sander and Paper are a little cheaper than the 150. And if you end up getting a Rotex to go with it because you want to hog off more material, the RO 125 is stellar and will take the same paper as your ETS/EC. Both come in a 150 version but I’ve never found myself wishing I had the extra diameter or the extra aggressiveness of the 150/5.

-- Tyler - Central TX

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

106 posts in 878 days


#5 posted 04-22-2020 06:03 PM

Would the ROTEX RO 125 FEQ Plus be a consideration?

-- You are not told the truth, you have to learn the truth.

View tywalt's profile

tywalt

106 posts in 969 days


#6 posted 04-22-2020 06:58 PM



Would the ROTEX RO 125 FEQ Plus be a consideration?

- bmerrill


Rotex is a great machine. I wouldn’t want one as my only orbital sander though. I run the ETS EC 125/3 and the RO 125 and between the two, there is nothing I cannot sand (except interior corners of course). If I could only have one it would be my ETS EC. Kinda depends on what you’re doing as avsmusic1 pointed out. If you’re hogging off a ton of material regularly, then the Rotex would make more sense. If you’re just prepping wood for finish, I’d go with the ETS EC. Buy a Rotex down the road when you find the need for one.

Festool is a divisive subject but it is addictive. I don’t think I’ve ever met a pro or hobbyist that only owned one festool product. You either hate the idea of spending the money on one, or you working your way to owning the whole line up. One of their CT dust extractors will likely be your next purchase after a sander :).

I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t also mention that the common alternative to the festool ROS is the Mirka. Lots of people like that sander for very good reasons and to be honest, I think the only true advantage to the Festool is the “ecosystem” that ties all of their tools together. Side by side, the Mirka and Festool are neck and neck (I am sure someone is going to argue with me on that).

And… at the end of the day, a $50 ROS from a big box store does just fine for a lot of folks.

-- Tyler - Central TX

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4240 posts in 1544 days


#7 posted 04-22-2020 08:15 PM

I have the 125 ETS and the 90 RO. I like the 90 for smaller items and of course the corners because it’s versatile. If I were to just own one, the 125 ETS is a solid choice and not too spendy. I would like the RO 125 at some point but doubt I’ll ever get it.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3050 posts in 3749 days


#8 posted 04-23-2020 02:01 AM

Key to sandpaper is, buy more than you need. In other words, the big boxes (I DO NOT mean the big box stores).

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1461 posts in 1393 days


#9 posted 04-23-2020 09:30 AM

You can buy a dozen non-Festool ROS’s for the cost of the Festool. Then you can have a sander for each grit and just toss ‘em instead of changing the paper.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3050 posts in 3749 days


#10 posted 04-23-2020 04:55 PM

I have the bargain hundred dollar ETS 125 and a not so bargain Rotex 125.

The Rotex is a much liked tool for its versatility (e.g., somewhat angle grinder mode or fine finish or polish mode). It’s a monster for small jobs, even in random orbit mode. However, that it can swap between its two modes is a huge part of why it’s so successful.

With the Rotex, I can hog a lot of material off something one moment, then, if I’ve spent the appropriate mini fortune on the heads and polish pads, I can polish a friends black Mercedes the next.

Again, it sucks as a detail sander, if it were your only one, but that’s why I have a Fein Multitool (which, I think, trumps Festools detailer, because of the other tricks it can do) and about twelve other sanders.

NOTE: Those twelve other sanders are so I can have different grits ready to go, and several of them weigh nothing, so are great for doing round over work and so on.

I like the 125 ets because it’s easy to handle. It does a reasonable job of removing stock too. At least until you run a sander that really does removed stock.

Both have good dust collection, even on the far end of my little “7 hp” Ridged vac, which is pulling through a Dust Deputy and a hard, exterior ribbed, blue hose, with air vents drilled at the sander end, and PVC cover that fits tightly over them, so I can reduce vac, if the vac pulled down too hard and bogged the random orbit.

Too, there is that I can use some of the few hundred dollars in boxes of sandpaper on either one.

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

247 posts in 2037 days


#11 posted 04-23-2020 08:30 PM

As others have already stated it really depends on your work load / flow. I would select the one that best fits the largest range of your most common projects. One of my children purchased an old house and went through it over 2 years renovating trim and stairways, decks …. I purchased them the RO90 as it was small enough to do trim work and yet they also striped the stair treads with it. It got A LOT of use and runs like it did when I gave it to them. I like the Rotex system as any of the three can do RO and Grinder duty and they have two types of heads, round and triangular adding versatility. Either way you go I want to point out that Klingspor offers more economical choices for replacement paper with the correct hole pattern. Festool has a nice range of paper and it is very high quality, and you pay for it. I purchase it at times for specific projects but 90% of my use is Klingspor paper which is available in a wide range of grits and in large quantities as well.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

106 posts in 878 days


#12 posted 04-24-2020 05:57 PM

Thanks for all of the replies.
Have purchased the ETS EC 125/3.

-- You are not told the truth, you have to learn the truth.

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