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

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

smackie

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
1 Oct 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
52
Location
Kendal
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.

I have a DTS and the Rotex 125. I’ve always hated sanding until I got the Rotex and an extractor. Now I’m sanding literally hundreds of board feet of old floorboard without really being worried about it. Just a pair of earmuffs and a light respirator if I’m going to be there a while. The 125 is a good compromise for me. Light enough to use all day and large enough to take off a fair bit of material. Low vibration too.

In Rotex mode, it’s astonishing how much material comes off and how long the pads last for. If you have to strip awful surfaces (old paint, adhesive residue, uneven surfaces packed with crud) then it’s unbeatable, especially with the P36 pads to start with.

Yeah, they’re not cheap but I’m not planning on shopping for another one...
 

Sheptonphil

Scrumpy junkie
Joined
29 Dec 2012
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
415
Location
Somerset
I had the Rotex 150 and found it too aggressive and unwieldy for most tasks. It was heavy and not the easiest to control. I sold it and invested in the Mirka Deros, and have never looked back. For the sanding I do, it’s perfect, very light to use, supremely controllable and used with extraction, absolutely dust free.

it isn’t the one for stripping old scaffold boards etc, the Rotex would eat them for breakfast, but I rarely do that sort of heavy sanding and just use a belt sander for those odd occasions.
 

Tazio

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
7
Location
Suffolk
If you will be using it for long periods and can justify the cost go for a Mafell almost vibration free and the cupex motor is super smooth the dust extraction using the correct product is also extremely good ... 3 models to choose from .
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
1,749
Location
Bradford
Hi just seen a Makita bo6030 for £70 new but without extras

Looks the best full fat model would I miss the metabo dual speed feature??🤔🤔🤔
 
Last edited:

LJM

Established Member
Joined
27 Aug 2012
Messages
499
Reaction score
154
Location
Cheshire
I have the Makita bo6050, and have found it excellent. I’ve only used it with abranet, and using a Fein dustex, extraction is superb; I’ve never had visible dust remaining or in the air. An excellent finish can be achieved, using the different modes and grits. And for me, the ergonomics are excellent. My only complaint is that Makita still don’t use twist locks on their sustainers!
 

Spectric

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
4,238
Reaction score
2,302
Location
North Cumbria
I have the 110 volt Bosch GEX 125 /150 which is handy because of the two pad sizes and it has been a great all round sander. Dust extraction is good, even when using the supplied filter but for larger indoor jobs with a Nilfisk hoover attached it is ideal.
 

Spectric

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
4,238
Reaction score
2,302
Location
North Cumbria
complaint is that Makita still don’t use twist locks on their sustainers!
Not good enough for Makita or Bosch, the only box I have with a twistlock is my 700 domino and that knob has come of on more than one occasion. It is just a bit of plastic that pushes into a hole!
 

recipio

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2008
Messages
589
Reaction score
213
Location
ireland
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
I have the late lamented Mirka Ceros - the one with the separate transformer. I would say the 125 mm size is more useful than the 150 and dust extraction using the Abranet style disks is essential. I use a brand of disk called ' Seanet' which are much better value than the abranet.
 

Sideways

Established Member
Joined
26 Dec 2017
Messages
2,046
Reaction score
836
Location
United Kingdom
I've seen a couple of potentially credible tests that suggest 3M's cubitron abrasive is the best of the bunch. Even better than abranet. I can't vouch for it, not tried yet, but they do a mesh disc called "Extract" and that will go on the shopping list.
 

Amclaussen

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Mexico City
Hi just seen a Makita bo6030 for £70 new but without extras

Looks the best full fat model would I miss the metabo dual speed feature??🤔🤔🤔

LOOK MORE CAREFULLY!: the BO 6030 is NOT a Forced Rotation model... it is just (in my humble opinion), another "puny" little random orbit sander of the heap... I still have an old Bosch PE-12 AE Random Orbit sander with 125 mm diameter disc, small 3mm orbit size and only around 380 watt power, and believe me: all those RO sanders are just "toys"(DeWALT, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi etc.), useful for SMALL jobs, good for a compact piece of furniture, but totally boring, tiresome and desperately slow for larger surfaces, like a concert piano or a large dinning table for 8 persons, not even good enough for a wood stair between two floors!

I became so dissatisfied with their lack of power and too small orbit size, that their sanding effectiveness seem to me just too low for a power sander. Perhaps useful for small jobs, but nothing else... (I tested them at a local Home Depot by taking with me a good sized piece of walnutand an assortment of 125 mm sanding discs)...

So, I saved a little money and went for the larger (6") and more powerful (ie: more than 700 Watt or 6.6 A at 120 Volts) models, like the Rotex from Festool, the large Bosch or the Makita BO 6050, all of these with both forced rotation (geared) and free spinning (polishing) rotation, and found the MAKITA BO 6050 quite less expensive and affordable for me than any Festool or Mirka, more strongly built than the Bosch (which has plastic gears!); and while is is not as perfectly balanced and smooth as the Festool or Mirka, it is perfectly usable, powerful (in forced rotation mode) and soft enough to polish something as delicate as a piano or the paint on my cars (in uncoupled, free spinning mode); like having two machines in one. It would be perfect IF it were of lower profile (like the discontinued BO 6040 or the Mirka DEROS), but for me the price of those is unacceptable, and the DEROS is somewhat underpowered for my applications. Perhaps (and being a little too picky), I m considering buying a Bosch or Makita vibration decoupled side handle, either with a 8mm screw thread,to lessen the slight vibration, but it would be because I like the sander enough to pay some more money and keep it (A Rotex 150 is way outside my budget!)

One important aspect demanded by the MAKITA BO 6050 is: You really need to pay attention to it, as it is very "brute-force" and needs to be operated always with the lateral handle mounted, and being well planted of the floor and holding the sander very firmly, to avoid any tilting on the flat surface! Once one learns how to "tame it", it will be as almost as powerful as a medium size (3"X 21") Belt sander, and capable of fine finish at the same time.
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
1,366
Location
Yorkshire
I have the 6" Rotex and it is a fine piece of kit but 99% of my sanding is done with a Makita belt sander. Maybe worth looking at a belt sander for the rougher stuff and a RO for the finer stuff rather than a geared sander which can be a bit of a compromise?
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
1,749
Location
Bradford
I agree I already have a belt sander.

I think I'll get a cheap one I can leave at the lodge.
The Makita has gone anyway.

Many thanks
 

hugov

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
30
Location
UK
I have a Bosch GEX 150 AC I bought in 2017 for £105. It's been brilliant, and the dust collection is very close to perfect. It looks like this model has been discontinued. If/when I next buy a new sander, I would get a Rotex-style geared model, for faster material removal.
 

Si465

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Location
Cirencester
I have the Bosch GET 75-150 Turbo Sander 150mm, I was hoping the turbo mode would make some tasks much faster but I dont find it makes much difference to be honest. Would love to try a Rotex and see if it's any different. For the money I think I'd have been better off getting one of the big Makita belt sanders and a cheaper normal ROS
 

Amclaussen

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Mexico City
With dual orbit sizes, it would be attractive, but the 440 watt power is weak for large jobs, like a piano or large dinning table. I still believe that 700 watt and above is where the sanders get truly useful. Having Variable Speed with constant torque is very important, as many materials simply cannot be sanded at high speeds (like plastics,fiberglass, laminates, painted surfaces). My MAKITAb BO6050 at 792 watts seems way better buy.
 

harryc

Established Member
Joined
27 Apr 2007
Messages
382
Reaction score
62
I have the Bosch GET 75-150 Turbo Sander 150mm, I was hoping the turbo mode would make some tasks much faster but I dont find it makes much difference to be honest. Would love to try a Rotex and see if it's any different. For the money I think I'd have been better off getting one of the big Makita belt sanders and a cheaper normal ROS

There must be a problem with your sander as I have the 125mm version and I find the turbo mode is a beast.
From what I understand it’s a geared sander same as the Rotex.
 

Amclaussen

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Mexico City
The Milwaukee ROS150E…is definitely worth looking at..

Not in my Hhumble opinion, because it only has a 400 Watt motor... My Makita BO60650 has a 6.6 amp motor (792 Watts at 120 V), and it is good for larger jobs, like a full size concert piano or an 8-person dinning table. The 400 watt category, in my opinion, is good for a medium sized desk top. And I speak after having a Bosch PEX 12 AE that has a 380 watt motor for many years, and find it desperately slow and "weak" for anything larger than say, medium sized desk top...

And the Milwaukee design has a too-recessed speed control, very difficult to operate with any kind of gloves.

I have several Milwaukee tools (M12 hammer drill, a dual base 2 1/4 HP Router with variable speed, and an angle grinder; but I find that they are more oriented to construction tools than carpentry, and that not all of their tools are that well designed. Myself being of the idea that NO single manufacturer has every tool well designed or built in their line. Therefore, I have tools from Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, Skil, DeWalt and (with God's pardon, Black and Decker). Some of them are of top quality, and in a sense, are "unique" models with a particular specification that matters to me, some others not so much, but offered a good combination of features vs price.
 
Top