Random Orbital Sanders - What to buy???

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Gettin really tired of hand sanding oak projects. Just finishing a magazine rack, and even that small filler project is getting to be a pain in the rosey red. Anyway, I hear ROS's are the way to go, do not leave scratches, and take off the small waves from the planer, etc. I have a Bosch router that I like, Delta/Grizzley big toys, and no brand loyalty. And woodworking is a hobby, not a job!
The archives on ROS's are from 2002 or earlier, so: What's a good brand today?
Thanks for any suggestions at all.
Regards, Rich.....
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All of them leave scratches, it is just a matter of how small. Sanding is a method by which the scratches get smaller and smaller, until they are undetectable by the eye.
I think you should look at your price point, and what you are going to be using it for in the shop. Almost without fail, the more dough you cut loose with for a sander will get you a better sander.
But what sander fills the bill?
I have the 5" Ridgid brand (2 actually) that I use the crap out of. I use them for hard sanding, 80 grit planing, and the initial sanding for some projects. These sanders are beyond all belief at how sturdy the are. I have used one of these for about 4 years now, and it has sanded everything from house fascia for paint prep, metal surfaces to remove rust, and first sanding on table refinishing. Dust collection isn't bad, either.\
They are great value for he buck, and reliable to boot. At $70, I can't find another sander that is a better value. There is a thread floating around on another forum where one of the members even claims HD stands behind their warranty!
For finish sanding, I don't think you can go wrong with a great deal of the 6" sanders once you pass the $150 or so mark. There you change from a handgrip style to a more traditional sanding machine. I have a Bosch (actually so old it is a 5") that I love and have used for years. I have used the Bosh 6" and I was really pleased. At one time, Ridgid even had an entry in the 6" field that was made by Metabo for them in Germany. I think they are now made in China from the same tooling, but one of my cabinet shop buddies told me they were still good sanders. Loves that lifetime warranty, too.
But for me, my final finish sanding would be done with one of my half sheet sanders. I have the Milwaukee 1/2 sheet that I love. Finish - excellent. Dust collection - moderate. At $240 or so, it was expensive at the time, but worth every cent.
The other I have is a Bosch 1/2 sheet. It is about 3 years old and was Swiss made. Sadly, they no longer make this machine, but you can find them on ebay from time to time. Finish - excellent. Dust collection - perfect. It is the only half sheet sander I know that has about 20 holes in the paper that go through the pad. Exceptional when working indoors with dust collection. Bought this at CPO Bosch (although it was not a refurb) for $175 or so an never looked back.

For anything that will last, don't buy Skil, Black and Decker, GMT, or any other of that raft of low end Chinese crap. A good sander isn't that much more than a cheap one.
Robert
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Just be a bit careful with the warranty expectations. Any HD store manager may decide to stand behind the warranty to a point, but really HD does not. It's a Rigid warranty. HD has a complete satisfaction guarantee that allows you to return almost anything for 30 days after purchase, but beyond that you really shouldn't set expectations that they will do anything for you. If a forum member lucks out and hits a deal where a particular HD stood behind a Rigid warranty beyond the 30 day satisfaction policy of HD, then that would be an exception to the rule and not something you would expect to find universally.
--

-Mike-
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I have a PC--it works well. Festool is overpriced. The Bosch 1295DVSK is a very good choice.
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Being cheap, I bought Klingspor's sander and my wife loves it.. good enuff for me.. *g* http://tinyurl.com/3ctcle
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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I'm pretty sure that is a Bosch. Great unit for the money.
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mac davis wrote:

FWIW, the local Home Despot has a two for one deal, a deWalt ROS and a deWalt quarter-sheet non-random orbital sander for a hundred bucks. They're packaged that way by deWalt so I'd bet that it was national.
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I have used them both and they both suck. Period.
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Bullshit.
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wrote:

Bullshit.
;~) You just have to use'em to understand.
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Leon wrote:

Their storage cabinets must take a lot of understanding...
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I like the tools, but I also don't see the value of the $50+ plastic box.
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On Feb 18, 2:47pm, "Bonehenge (B A R R Y)"

I like the Systainer systems. It is awesome plastic though.
You guys just don't understand..... *sigh*
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Bonehenge (B A R R Y) wrote:

Or the $500 cabinet to put the boxes in.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Ditto. I've had excellent luck with the Ridgid. I bought it after seeing it rated a best buy in one of the woodworking magazines.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
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I have the same brand - Ridgid, and I use the crap out of mine too. http://tinyurl.com/2vb375 I love it! Relatively quiet, not too full of vibration and fits nicely in my hand with a variable speed. If you combine it with a Rockler sandpaper storage bin http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 886&filter=sandpaper%20storage It makes a great system.
Kate
wrote:

All of them leave scratches, it is just a matter of how small. Sanding is a method by which the scratches get smaller and smaller, until they are undetectable by the eye.
I think you should look at your price point, and what you are going to be using it for in the shop. Almost without fail, the more dough you cut loose with for a sander will get you a better sander.
But what sander fills the bill?
I have the 5" Ridgid brand (2 actually) that I use the crap out of. I use them for hard sanding, 80 grit planing, and the initial sanding for some projects. These sanders are beyond all belief at how sturdy the are. I have used one of these for about 4 years now, and it has sanded everything from house fascia for paint prep, metal surfaces to remove rust, and first sanding on table refinishing. Dust collection isn't bad, either.\
They are great value for he buck, and reliable to boot. At $70, I can't find another sander that is a better value. There is a thread floating around on another forum where one of the members even claims HD stands behind their warranty!
For finish sanding, I don't think you can go wrong with a great deal of the 6" sanders once you pass the $150 or so mark. There you change from a handgrip style to a more traditional sanding machine. I have a Bosch (actually so old it is a 5") that I love and have used for years. I have used the Bosh 6" and I was really pleased. At one time, Ridgid even had an entry in the 6" field that was made by Metabo for them in Germany. I think they are now made in China from the same tooling, but one of my cabinet shop buddies told me they were still good sanders. Loves that lifetime warranty, too.
But for me, my final finish sanding would be done with one of my half sheet sanders. I have the Milwaukee 1/2 sheet that I love. Finish - excellent. Dust collection - moderate. At $240 or so, it was expensive at the time, but worth every cent.
The other I have is a Bosch 1/2 sheet. It is about 3 years old and was Swiss made. Sadly, they no longer make this machine, but you can find them on ebay from time to time. Finish - excellent. Dust collection - perfect. It is the only half sheet sander I know that has about 20 holes in the paper that go through the pad. Exceptional when working indoors with dust collection. Bought this at CPO Bosch (although it was not a refurb) for $175 or so an never looked back.

For anything that will last, don't buy Skil, Black and Decker, GMT, or any other of that raft of low end Chinese crap. A good sander isn't that much more than a cheap one.
Robert
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Thanks to all! I will try the Rigid from HD when I get up to Kalispell. The local Ace has PC and Dewalt, so will probably have a closer look at them today. I like to buy local if I can. Regards, Rich.....

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Buy one that feels comfortable in your had.
I have both Porter Cable and DeWalt. Both sand equally, but the DW just feels better for me so it tends to get used more. .
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

...
...
And as a a second for the above recommendation, I have one DW and at least three PC and prefer the feel of the PC... :)
So, you really need to test drive to decide what feels better to you.
BTW, I remove the internal "brake" from the PC sanders before using as all it is is an o-ring around a stationary post. The friction it creates heats the bottom bearing excessively and leads to early failure plus makes the whole sander overheat when used for long periods of time. (The DW I have is still so old it precedes their incorporation of the "feature" assuming they have done so--I'm not sure.)
As an aside, I use pressure-sensitive base almost exclusively for the savings in paper costs so recommend that as the better base choice -- but I would recommend a spare base for H&L as an option if only have one--for the occasion where changing paper frequently might be desirable. I swap the sander, not the paper, but I have multiple as they're cheap...if only an occasional user, that's probably overkill.
--
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Ditto. My PC makes my hand cramp up, and I have to fight with it to get it to go where I want. The Dewalt behaves itself and I can use for hours, but the h&l pad seems to wear out while the one on the PC still has a death grip on the paper. To be fair that's the one that my dad borrows and he likes to go gorilla on everything, so I suspect he's pushing down even though I tell him not to and burning it up. I am really thinking about getting the little Festool, I have some stuff where I have to sand vertically and the PC is awful vertically.
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