Best 6" Random Orbital Sander or should I get a forced rotation (geared) Sander?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

grafter

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2009
Messages
124
Reaction score
5
Hi All,

Just looking for advice for a 6" RO sander and just wondering if anyone has any of these and has any advice

Makita B06030 £110 - looks like a proper tank - maybe not the most refined?
Bosch GEX 34-150 £190ish (looks like an upgraded 150AC)
Bosch GEX 40-150 £260 (again looks like the upgraded GEX 125-150)
Festool ETS 150/3 £342 (or maybe 5mm version?)
Metabo SXE 450 £130

Or should I spend the extra and look at a forced rotation sander, the bosch seems to get good reviews (a bit mean that you don't get a box for it!)?

Bosch GET 75-150 £295
Makita B06050J £260
Can't really justify the rotex!

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

harryc

Established Member
Joined
27 Apr 2007
Messages
382
Reaction score
62
I have the 5” version of the Bosch GET model - same as a Rotex for half the price.
Excellent machine if you ever need the turbo mode, great to handle with just one hand and the dust extraction is also very good.
 

Nick Laguna UK

Laguna Tools UK
Joined
24 Mar 2004
Messages
372
Reaction score
132
Location
Midlands UK
Don't use it every week (or sometimes for months), but my Metabo SXE450 is still going strong after all I've thrown at it after 15+ years use

Useful to change the orbit from 3 to 6mm too - makes a difference.

Never really used any of the others in anger so can't compare, but just my tuppence worth. Cheers
 

stimpy

Established Member
Joined
23 Nov 2020
Messages
110
Reaction score
14
Location
Oxfordshire
I apologise in advance! I have the Rotex amongst a couple other festool sanders and honestly it's brilliant - have never enjoyed sanding as much, though I am more often taking wood / finishes from proper rough to super smooth.

Don't have the ETS I'm afraid but do have the DTS which is great for what it does but not much cop on bigger areas obviously. As to orbit size, it really depends on what you are trying to achieve and from what state - I'd say a 5 would cover more bases in that size but if you're after an uber finish the 3 would be more suited. That said I have no doubt the 5 could finish things upon well with the right papers.

Not sure on any of the others I'm afraid so no advice there, soz....
 

Sideways

Established Member
Joined
26 Dec 2017
Messages
2,046
Reaction score
836
Location
United Kingdom
I think the metabo is good value and solid. I had a bad experience with a Bosch GEX model and wouldn't recommend them. The forced rotation models have a reputation for removing lots of material but not well balanced in the hand because of the angle grinder type layout - not ideal as (say) a finishing sander for furniture. My personal favourite because of the superb ergonomics are the Mirka Ceros and Deros electric ROS's.
It makes sense to research before buying. There is / was a forced rotation sander out there that uses a plastic gear in the drivetrain. at the price of those, I wouldn't be happy to find that out afterwards.
 

Chris70

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
16 Mar 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
27
Location
Semley
Google states the first orbital sander was “introduced in 1976 by Festool”. I have the RO150 and it’s wonderful but, the price makes you weep :-( Now look at ‘Sanding with Festool’, by Peter Parfitt on YouTube. Good luck in your search! Chris
 

Daniel.l

Established Member
Joined
20 Mar 2019
Messages
65
Reaction score
17
Location
Ireland
I got a cheap JCB ROS from B&Q it feels like a sturdy tool and has lasted me a year now
 

AFFF

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2020
Messages
108
Reaction score
89
Location
Malmesbury
I use a Makita 125mm (5 inch) cordless. Awesome bit of kit but, of course, you need LXT batteries as well. No problem for me as I use a lot of Makita cordless tools.
 

sometimewoodworker

Established Member
Joined
4 Dec 2008
Messages
1,248
Reaction score
399
Location
Watford, Non S-At, Udon Thailand
Google states the first orbital sander was “introduced in 1976 by Festool”. I have the RO150 and it’s wonderful but, the price makes you weep :-( Now look at ‘Sanding with Festool’, by Peter Parfitt on YouTube. Good luck in your search! Chris
I also have the RO150, ETS150\3, and DTS
Yes when you buy them your eyes water at the price BUT if you use a Festool shop vac that’s the only time they will affect your eyes after a few years you forget the price and enjoy using the tools.

The best tool depends on the job but if I could only have 1 it’s going to have to be the RO150 as despite the weight it’s the only single sander that can go from rough sawn timber to a glass smooth surface, do it as fast as is possible, have very little dust and be a good to use as is possible. I have disks from 36grit to 4,000 then polishing sponges and a lambs wool pad
 

sometimewoodworker

Established Member
Joined
4 Dec 2008
Messages
1,248
Reaction score
399
Location
Watford, Non S-At, Udon Thailand
Hi All,

Just looking for advice for a 6" RO sander and just wondering if anyone has any of these and has any advice

Makita B06030 £110 - looks like a proper tank - maybe not the most refined?
Bosch GEX 34-150 £190ish (looks like an upgraded 150AC)
Bosch GEX 40-150 £260 (again looks like the upgraded GEX 125-150)
Festool ETS 150/3 £342 (or maybe 5mm version?)
Metabo SXE 450 £130

Or should I spend the extra and look at a forced rotation sander, the bosch seems to get good reviews (a bit mean that you don't get a box for it!)?

Bosch GET 75-150 £295
Makita B06050J £260
Can't really justify the rotex!

Thanks!
i almost always look at the quality first. When I do that I buy tools that I’m still using 50 years later. When I have bought on “Can't really justify the price” those are the tools that I almost never use or sell/giveaway.

the ETS 150/3 or /5 is a finish sander (like many tools you can use it for other jobs) I’ve got one and it’s a joy to use, and if that’s all you will do it’s perfect.
The Rotex 150 is totally different beast, you can finish sand with it to a much finer level than the ETS in geared mode and polish out to a mirror surface, it can carve out chair seats with 36grit paper. But if you are finish sanding all day long it isn’t the best tool for the job.

I got the Rotex first then added the ETS 150/3 and a DTS later

will the other tools do the job? Absolutely.
will they be a keep using for ever? Possibly.
will the be as good as the Festool? No
be very very care of the green and black slippery slope, once you start it’s difficult to stop.
 

grafter

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2009
Messages
124
Reaction score
5
Firstly apologies for the slow reply, thank you to all that posted suggestions and advice. These was a clear recommendation of the Metabo from the posts!

I did follow this advice and purchased the Metabo SXE 450 (£131), my reservation before purchase was that the vibration figures for the machine are much higher than the other sanders on the list. I’m not really sure if the numbers are standarised across brands properly or not. Anyhow on the 2.8mm orbit the vibration is not an issue and on 6.2mm orbit obviously increased but not terrible.

Just in case anyone else is reading this later the Metabo seems to be a great machine (albeit after only a few hours work) – thoughts:
• Base is cast aluminum (?) and the whole unit seems well constructed
• Dust port fits a standard vac hose
• Replacement pads are £15 to £20 and the base has a multi-hole extraction although the Metabo sandpaper is 6 hole
• The switch from 2.8mm to 6.2mm is a little awkward, the button needs depressing then turning until one click and then one smaller click before releasing the button. There is no indication of which orbit diameter the sander is in on the machine but it is very evident when in use
• 4m cable and decent quality not the cheap PVC type (I really hate cheap cable!)
• 3 year warranty included when registered
• No plastic box provided just a cardboard one and it won't fit back it with the front handle fitted! I will just get a MakPac box for storage which is better than the usual blow molded ones anyhow

I was looking at the Makita BO6030 originally and it looks like a great unit and most of my tools are Makita and I’ve been very happy with them. However it has a couple of drawbacks:

• The replacement pads are £36 each!
• The dust port is some odd size requiring an adapter (same as the 125mm and why I bought a Dewalt 125mm)

Thanks again to you all for the help and advice,
 
Last edited:

Peterm1000

Guest
Joined
18 Dec 2018
Messages
342
Reaction score
118
Location
UK
I have the SXE450. I agree on changing between 2.8mm and 6.2mm - not easy and the instructions were poor. I highly recommend a pad saver. The backing disks are quite expensive and once I damaged the first one using abranet discs I fitted one of these to the replacement. Apparently the little hooks on the backing pad stick through the abranet and get damaged as you use the sander.

 

grafter

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2009
Messages
124
Reaction score
5
I have the SXE450. I agree on changing between 2.8mm and 6.2mm - not easy and the instructions were poor. I highly recommend a pad saver. The backing disks are quite expensive and once I damaged the first one using abranet discs I fitted one of these to the replacement. Apparently the little hooks on the backing pad stick through the abranet and get damaged as you use the sander.

Re orbit - Glad it wasn't just me who thought the instructions were poor! The second click is not well documented but obvious once you know!

Re Padsaver - Thanks for the padsaver link - will pick one up given they are so much cheaper than a new pad!

Cheers,
 

scubadoo

Established Member
Joined
4 May 2009
Messages
227
Reaction score
10
Location
Bristol
I had the Metabo for years and it was great. But Agree that changing the orbit was confusing and hit and miss. When it packed in after a fairly hard 8 years or so I got the Rotex and ETS150/3.

The Rotex is a beast - for cleaning up painted, rough timber or old floorboards it excels. But it takes a bit longer, I tend to go geared either 60 or 80 grit > ungeared 80 grit then finish with 120 or higher on the ETS.

And the mini Rotex is great too, particularly as a delta sander.

The ETS is the nicest sander to use that I've ever had. light, quiet and gives a lovely finish.

Enjoy the metabo, i loved mine!
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
677
Location
Wiltshire
Mirka Deros, its the smallest and nicest to use for long periods.
I have a Triton rotex copy that does forced rotation and normal random orbit. It is a heavy beast and will remove a lot of material but it's a bit awkward for using all day (cheap though).
Remember to think about the orbit 5mm is a good sweet spot but mirka do 2.5mm or 8mm I think.

Ollie
 
Top