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Festool ETS 150/3 EQ-Plus

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CYC

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Hi all,

Here is a review of the tool I very recently acquired. Now allow me to admit it is the first orbital sander I have used, so I guess I haven't got grounds to compare, thus I will only state what I think of the features:

- The power cord. Having it detachable from the tool is genius. It's about 3m long and is made of really soft cable. You know how this makes a huge difference when using the tool and going around your work in progress. Being able to take the cable off the tool makes putting it away in the systainer a real pleasure. I don't know about you, but I always hate trying to roll the tools' cable into it's little space in the carry case. Instead here you just take it off, roll it, and just drop it in the systainer :-D
- Vibrations. What vibrations?! The sander did not give vibrations. I paid good attention to this since it was a key comment of Andy's review in GW mag. It really doesn't vibrate, what you feel is actually the orbital movement, you feel the disc spinning, that's all :-D
- The disc spinning, now this is really cool. It doesn't spin fast until it is in contact with a surface. As soon as you take it away from the surface you can see the pad going backward, then it spins when you get it in contact with the work. This is a feature which avoids getting sanding marks on your work, I can't remember the name of it (check the festool site for that). It really works :-D
- Extraction. I attached the vacuum to the sander, well I had to hold it because they are very different sizes. I'll need to get a rubber adapter, I know festool sells one (yes they think of everything). The surface I was sanding was dust free! In fact when sanding my front door, on the little central panels, it was sucking the dust from 2mm lower at the base of the raised panels (I hope you understand what I just said). Very impressed by it, just what I was expecting mind you :-D
- The finish. What can I say, it's just superb. In fact when I got the sander, the man gave me the price of the festool pads. In bulk of 5, the highest grit was 150. I thought this was strange nothing higher was available. The man told me noone buys any higher. I told him I wouldn't finish with only a 150. Well after using a 100 grit I got such a smooth finish I understand why noone uses higher than 150. So smooth !:-D
- The grip. Very good, either you hold it with 2 hands, one hand on the handle or on the top, the ergonomic feels flawless in all 3 positions. When you have your hand on the top, you have access to the speed regulator and it is just in the right place to change while sanding. At least it is true with my hands. perfect :-D
- The systainer. I absolutely love the systainer, it is the best case you can get. I love the way it opens from the top making storing anything in it so easy, you just drop it in the box. I can see how all the inter-boxes locking will work, it's simple but very effective. It has a really nice smooth opening and locking even though it's all in plastic. Finally the inside has a list of all the sanding pads and accessories available, categorised. :-D

- The downside. None... mmmooooaaaaahhhahahahhahaha :cool:
 

Chris Knight

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CYC,

I have one of these beasties too and agree with nearly all you say. Just one point however, I do use grits higher than 150 - I have paper up to 800 grit and I also use Abralon in grits from 180 to 4000.

The very fine grits sizes are used on finishes - not bare wood, except for an occasional job where I will sand a finishing oil into bare wood using the 800 paper - I saw a Festool demonstrator do this at an exhibition and was so impressed I just had to try it. It does leave an incredibly smooth surface
 

Noel

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Hi CYC,

Reading between the lines I suspect you have a sub-conscious liking for this tool.....
Seriously, well done and good review.

Rgds

Noel
 

CYC

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Alf, yes the price is high, but consider this: It's got a 3 year warranty and it is in my eyes the best performer on the market. I feel it's worth saving a little longer for it. I have started saving for my next Festool, this could take a while :wink:

Chris, I plan to use some 220 for really fine finishing as I read in a book there was no point going higher. As for sanding ON finishes I will take your advise, thank you :D

Noel, I am converted, I have seen the light :p
 

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