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

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Si465

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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.
Hmm, makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong! Yes it's geared when you engage turbo, the pad is driven.
How low do you go on grits? I don't think I've tried less than 60g.
36 or 24 if available might help.
Also how much pressure should you put in a sander in general? I put a bit of weight on it but I could maybe go a bit harder.
 

Amclaussen

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If you keep putting weight on it, most probably will end up wearing the sander mechanism. The weight of the sander should do the job, provided you are not using the sandpaper disks for too long and have already worn down the abrasive... With geared ROS sanders with more then say, 600 watt motors and larger than 1/8" or 3mm orbit size, the sanding power will make large jobs quite faster than with a lesser, common sized sander, like those from DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, or std Bosch 5" ones. To give you an idea, I sanded the Mahogany top of a large 8-person dinning table; with my old Bosch PEX12 AE (125mm disk, 380 watt, 3mm orbit size), it took me about three to four full hours to go from rough to almost polished wood surface, ready for finish... With my new Makita BO6050 (150mm disk, 792 watt, 5.6mm orbit size and geared, forced rotation) it took about 40%... that is a 60% time and effort savings. And, of course, it went much faster through sanding disks than the old and much milder Bosch!
 

D_W

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I have the big bosch mentioned at the outset (or the prior version) - 780 watts and dual mode.

If you're using a coarse disc on it in rotary mode, you are more or less riding it rather than holding it and you have to be careful as it will cut you pretty deeply if it gets away.

Not something I'd use for regular cabinetmaking stuff. I also have an ETS 125 fesfool.

I can't identify with the comments above about being easy on tools - when I get power tools, they're for beating. I bought the bosch sander to do room edge work refinishing floors in the house (not large sections, a room and then an extended hallway - it worked well for that - and since then, I bought a pad to use it rotary on a car as I've got a 15 amp buffer for that, but the variable speed has never worked right and it's up and down like it's driving through hills. The bosch is nice for that. It's probably not ideal for it to be used with water and polishing compounds but see my prior comment about power tools. I hate the idea of wasting my time to be gentle to tools - I'll be nice to the cat if I feel like being nice for a minute or two.
 

SteveB43

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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?
Hello Doug, dragging up an oldish thread, have you had any problems with belts breaking on your Makita belt sander?
I've got a Makita 9903 75 X 533 sander and went through 3 belts in about 20 mins today. I wasn't pressing down, that Makita weighs 4.3kg so no need and had dust extraction
Anyone got any tips on preventing belts from breaking? (which is due to heat build-up on the rollers causing the glue to give on the belt). Lower speed I don't think is the solution either as that will increase the temperature, right?
The belts themselves are about 9 months since purchase and dry stored indoors.
Cheers!
 

Doug71

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Hello Doug, dragging up an oldish thread, have you had any problems with belts breaking on your Makita belt sander?
I've got a Makita 9903 75 X 533 sander and went through 3 belts in about 20 mins today. I wasn't pressing down, that Makita weighs 4.3kg so no need and had dust extraction
Anyone got any tips on preventing belts from breaking? (which is due to heat build-up on the rollers causing the glue to give on the belt). Lower speed I don't think is the solution either as that will increase the temperature, right?
The belts themselves are about 9 months since purchase and dry stored indoors.
Cheers!

Hi Steve. I have used Makita belt sanders for years (4") and only ripped the odd belt which has always been my own fault for catching it on an edge, don't think I have ever had one just fall apart.

What brand belts are you using? I tend to stick to decent quality ones, Mirka, Klingspor etc. I had a bad experience with some Screwfix own brand, they were very bouncy on the joint if you know what I mean.

Maybe you just got a bad batch :dunno:
 

SteveB43

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Hi Doug,
Thanks for the feedback. I have 2 belt sanders, the aforementioned Makita and an old Draper / Wickes model... I suspect the Makita is a little high maintenance...it likes non gnarly wood, (not floorboards., and definitely completely free of any metal particles..), vacuum dust extraction a must and superior quality belts (Mirka abranet belts look good but rare as hens teeth...), whereas the Wickes one (low tech, plastic) just gets on with it and chucks dust everywhere... :)
The Makita did chew through a Mirka belt so will keep refining the technique.....
Cheers!
 

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