What Random Orbital Sander (or other sander)?

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  • What Random Orbital Sander (or other sander)?
  • Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    I like to get a sander for prepping wood to be finished and think a random orbital sander will do the job. I also need to repaint one side of the shed so something that would key this for the recoat would be good too. Not looking to spend much, but ideally want something with reasonable dust collection or extraction when combined with a vac, and compatible with decent sander pads.

    What can you recommend?

    footflaps
    Member

    I have the Festool Rotek and when used with a vacuum there is zero dust (really very impressive). Unfortunately they’re not at all cheap. Never found a cheap sander with good dust extraction though….

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/oj7XQr]Festool Rotek 125 Sander[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    the best VFM it are a bunch of 150mm sanders that are sold by a bunch of brands but all come out of the same factory and and the same internals. You’ll most easily find the one sold by Metabo and they are reasonably keenly priced – you’ll also see them sold by Dewalt, AEG and Mafell all at different prices – they are different too, they’re not just different stickers but the key feature is they all have a switchable orbit from 2mm to 6mm – set at 2mm the are good for finishing, at 6mm they are good from shaping and removing material.

    If you see anything listed that has that 2mm / 6mm range they’re the same mechanism inside.

    The AEG is the cheapest but can be difficult to find and I had two that imexplicxably stopped working prematurely so maybe they’re unavailable for good reason. The Metabo is the most widely available an next cheapest and has a well shaped dust port ( the AEG one is a weird size and needed bodging with adaptors), the Dewalt tends to be pricer but I can’t see why. The Mafell is stupidly expensive. You may spot other brands with the same internals.

    I’ve got a Hilti one I’m about to flog because its 110v and I don’t like dragging a transformer about. Its also 150mm – a single orbit (4mm IIRC) very robust and extracts well.

    If you’re not going to be working it particularly hard then there are plenty of cheap options particularly in 125mm flavour – but many have weird propriety shaped dust ports and crappy little bags. Whatever you buy so long as the port is round then one way or another you can get a hoover attached.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    Thanks, great info. Will seek out those 150mm ones

    Looked up the price of the Festool with Google…. bit out my range for just a sander! However it also led me to this – https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/what-electric-sander/

    I’d used the forum search before posting and it missed that thread…

    cb200
    Member

    In my experience, Festool is good, Metabo excellent value for money, but Mirka the best by a country mile in terms of finish, noise and ergonomics. Dust extraction is superb too, especially when used with the (pricey) Abranet discs.

    A colleague had a keenly-priced Bosch with a kind of vibration damping suspension, but kept going back under warranty.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    I’ve got one of these Titan 125mm random orbital sanders from Screwfix. It’s very good really.

    It hasn’t got the lightness of weight and ease of handling of the Mirka Deros for example, but then it’s about the tenth of the price. I use it all the time and it’s good.

    For really good dust extraction I use Abranet pads. They work really well with a good vacuum. The only time  I don’t use them is when doing narrower edges etc, as they have a tendency to tear/catch an edge. I certainly wouldn’t bother using them on the side of a ropey shed wall. Use regular discs for that.

    The Mirka is a great sander paired with Abranet. Probably the most used by decorators as it’s very light and low profile. It’s expensive though and I would have thought not what you’re looking to spend.

    I also have this, but obviously it relies on you being a Makita 18v junkie 😆 it’s frikkin brilliant though.

    Premier Icon finishthat
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    for the dust extraction ideally you need a variable suction extractor as full extraction usually ruins the finish as the sander gets pinned to the work and jerks about .

    croe
    Member

    I have one of these and it’s very very nice. Hooked up to a vac and barely any dust.

    https://www.axminster.co.uk/bosch-gex-125-150-ave-random-orbit-sander-ax850395

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    Odd request but I came up with this one

    (Not strictly totally random but as close as I could get)

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    ideally you need a variable suction extractor

    less fancy pants that having a variable extractor is having a vent in the nozzle where it connects to the tool – some extractors like the ones Fein make have a little slot cut in the side of the nozzle and a sliding cover to reduce the suction if needed but you could easily make a little adaptor between the hose and the sander  and drill a hole in the side so that you can adjust the suction with a bit of gaffa tape

    (or is you’re not feeling precious just drill a hole in the side of the nozzle itself)

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Peter Millard talks about a variable suckness adaptor for his CTL Sys (which I’ve just invested in as it happens, even though I actively try not to encourage ridiculous Festool prices)

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    thats pretty much the end-bit thats fitted on the Fein extractors.

    used with many lower price extractors  the rubbery-ness would be as much a useful upgrade as hole in the side

    Premier Icon BigJohn
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    When I spoke to the Mirka/Abranet guys at the Makers show they said if you used one all the time you would value the light weight and control of the Mirka or Festool and it would be worth the money. For an occasional user, get a £30 Erbauer and use decent sanding mesh. The JCB mesh in B&Q is made by Abranet but they don’t have it in all the finer grits.

    footflaps
    Member

    Peter Millard talks about a variable suckness adaptor for his CTL Sys

    Doesn’t it have a motor speed control, my Festool CleanTek has one, so I assume all Festools come with them?

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Doesn’t it have a motor speed control, my Festool CleanTek has one, so I assume all Festools come with them?

    Nope. Not the CTL Sys. One speed fits all. It’s very powerful set up as I have it with a cyclone but as mentioned above I probably need a vent in the hose for sanding.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    I think that a 125mm sander will do the job for now. Looking at two from Screwfix:

    Makita M9204

    ERBAUER ERO400

    The Makita is less powerful and single speed but has been around for a long time, gets good reviews, £5 cheaper and has a 3 year warranty. The “official” dust extractor port to vac attachment is £15 though! Seems good at dust “extraction” just using the bag though.

    The Erbauer is more powerful and is variable speed. It also comes with the adapters and a storage bag, a cyclone box (?) etc.

    Any recommendations on which to go for? Will it be easier to get pads for the Makita?

    Premier Icon finishthat
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    Variable speed is really quite important if you want to do gentle sanding or stop some annoying vibration/harmonic/glitching , you can get pads for almost anything cheaply online , get a small stock of various grits in immediately to avoid costly distress purchase of not quite right grit in diy shop that never has anything finer than 180..

    croe
    Member

    Will it be easier to get pads for the Makita?

    If by pads you mean the velcro sanding discs they will both take the same 125mm ones. If you mean the actual base the sanding discs velcro onto then you will be able to get spares from makita easy enough – no idea about erbauer though

    Premier Icon dmorts
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    If by pads you mean the velcro sanding discs they will both take the same 125mm ones. If you mean the actual base the sanding discs velcro onto then you will be able to get spares from makita easy enough – no idea about erbauer though

    Both are a consideration I suppose. But for the velcro sanding discs do all manufacturers conform to the punched 8 hole pattern?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    They’re all tend to be standard – it only seems to be Festool that dance to their own tune in terms of the hole pattern

    croe
    Member

    But for the velcro sanding discs do all manufacturers conform to the punched 8 hole pattern?

    Vast majority yes. Never actually used one that doesn’t – but then I haven’t used a festool one but you are not going to be worrying about them they are £££’s!

    These are cheap and work 60, 80, 120 and 240 grit available in packs of 10 for £1.76.

    https://www.toolstation.com/sanding-disc-125mm/p98439

    Premier Icon dmorts
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    Thanks, further review of the specs shows the Erbauer is over twice the weight of the Makita. A consideration if sanding anything vertically

    footflaps
    Member

    Vast majority yes. Never actually used one that doesn’t – but then I haven’t used a festool one but you are not going to be worrying about them they are £££’s!

    Festool aren’t that bad, work out about 50p each e.g.

    https://www.ffx.co.uk/tools/product/Festool-493119-4014549180549-Sanding-Discs–Stf-D125-90-P180-Ru-50-New-Code-499099

    croe
    Member

    Plus the cost of the machine…

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Festool aren’t that bad, work out about 50p each e.g

    Its not so much a price thing it’s more about readiness of availability really. Festool stuff is more widely available than it used to be but you’ll not find any in wickes or Homebase.

    footflaps
    Member

    Its not so much a price thing it’s more about readiness of availability really. Festool stuff is more widely available than it used to be but you’ll not find any in wickes or Homebase.

    True, but in this day of internet next day delivery, it’s no so much of an issue. I just buy packs of 25/50 and order again when I get down to about 1/3 left.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Screwfix do Festool though.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    But generally only as next day, they don’t hold stock in store.

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