Air vs Elec ROS

Hi,
I have always ruled out pneumatic random orbital sanders on price alone. Up until now I have always used 5" ROS's.
I have decided to go to a 6" and was about to buy the Borg Rigid elec. (made Metabo I believe, with good reviews)
Then I realized it is roughly the same price as a Dynabrade 6" . So now its its is not a price issue just which would be better. (typical furnitue, desks, chests, tables etc.)
I do have enough air to run it
Anyone with hands-on on both 6" air and elec have any opinions on which way to go. (speed and quality of finish)(comfort, ease of use,noise etc.)
Thanks Glen
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glensmith wrote:

I don't have the pneumatic ROS but I recently bought the Ridgid 6" model 2610 on the strength of a favorable review in Workbench Magazine. Anyway, I bought; I tried it; I like it very much. No regrets.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.barf
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"glensmith" writes:

Which means at least 15 SCFM at 80PSIG on a continuous basis.

Go to an auto body shop and watch one in action before you decide.
The pneumatic one will run cooler, probably have about the same sound level, and won't get plugged up with dust.
Having said that, they will need a lubricator, an inline one works great, but it MIGHT leave a residue on wood, I simply don't know.
If you stay with the electric, take a look at the 6" Bosch for about $150.
Building a fiberglass boat, I have beat the living crap out of mine for the last 6+ years and it still keeps working.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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I have both a PC 6" and a Craftsman Pro air ROS (not a DA sander, but a ROS). I like the feel of the air unit and I personnally think it does a better job. However that air hose is a PITA compared to an electric cord. But the kicker is my Craftsman 30 gallon 6 ho (yeah, right) compressor does not even begin to cut it with this thing. You can do little projects, but you don't really bust out the 6"er for little projects. The saner itself is right quiet, but that damn oil-less compresser working full time is much louder than the PC. Bottom line to me is the air unit is great if your compressor is really big, it is in another room, you are piped so you don't have to drag 50ft of hose around the shop and you don't forsee ever needing to sand somewhere where you don't have compressed air.
Dave Hall
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David Hall wrote:

I also have a Craftsman Pro air ROS. It does a fine job. 80 grit is as heavy as I need, and of course care is needed when using it on softer woods, poplar and less.

I run the hose "around" and up my arm and across my shoulders then let it hang down my front.

My compressor is slightly over-rated (aren't they all?), it's a I-R TS4, 15+ cfm @ 175.
The sander gives this compressor a work out, but the compressor does seem to gain on the sander a bit. This gives you an idea how much air is needed for prolonged/ continuous sanding.
It's an iron pump compressor so the noise isn't that bad.
The main nasty of air sanders, or air tools as a whole, is the need to keep them oiled (uhhh) and the oil winds up on what's being sanded. This can be minimized by putting a rag over the exhaust .... quite a trick when the exhaust is by the sanding pad.
--
{neatly edited}
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Funny! I bought an air ROS because it was so cheap! <G> I wanted to give one a go before I jumped in and bought a decent one of either sort.

That's according to _claimed_ comp output / tool requirements! Maybe the expensive units are a bit more honest than the cheaper ones. But even then, they are allowed to calim a sort of "average use in multi-outlet shop" type of thing, even though the ROS will be running flat out for ninutes and maybe hours on end.
Ah! See mark's comments from direct experience. And that's with a good sander. I have cheap one and 2 * 8CFM @ 90PSI comps set up in parallel _juuuuuuussst_ feed it.
You also need at _least 3/8"_ hose to run it, depending on distance. That starts to be a pain. The only good thing about too small a hose is that you don't run out of air so fast! <G>
Also remember that you are going to be using maybe 2500-3000 Watts of power to do the same job as what , a 500 watt electrical unit (?), because the air ones do give the compressor a nearly fulltime workout. At my power rates (12c/KWH), if I ran a ROS 6 hours per day (not out of the question on a boat or other large project) that would be approaching $1.50- $2 /day.

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Save your sanity and go with the electric. The only real advantage to the pneumatic is there longevity, especially in harsh environments. Because they use air motors, they can be sealed from the outside air which protects them from abrasive dust and directing the exhaust to the sanding disk blows it away from the exposed front bearing as well. As long as you supply them with clean, dry, oiled air, they can last virtually forever. While these are big issues in auto body shops filled with abrasive body filler dust where these sanders are running almost non-stop, I doubt that you would need to worry about such things in your wood shop. The down side for them is that they require huge volumes of air that the all so typical home air compressor could never supply, you are tethered to a rather bulky air hose, you will need an in-line oilier on your airline supplying the sander making it useless for anything but air tools, and you may have problems with the oil itself messing up your finishes. When you add up the costs of all of these things the electric sander is a far better value for what you would probably be using it for.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving


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