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The Restorer

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Anyone got any advice when it comes to which Festool sander to buy? I've been looking at the Rotex 150 and the ES150/3. Useage is for finishing up hardwood panels and timber straight off the planer/thicknesser. Looking for high quality finish as would expect for high end furniture. The polishing feature for the Rotex also appeals as i could then replace my old single speed Axminster polisher that vibrates like mad.
Any help much appreciated.

Thanks

Steve.
 

Chris Knight

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Steve,
I never sand straight off the P/T - I always handplane or occasionally scrape otherwise the planer ripples are just too much.

I have the 150/3 and it's very good for hand-planed surfaces but I am pretty sure that it would be too slow for stuff straight from the P/T . The Rotex would in all likelihood be better.
 

Aragorn

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Hi Steve
I bought the Rotex a couple of weeks back, used it for a couple of hours (mainly sanding panels just as you described). Two hours later, it was cleaned up, back at the shop and swapped over for the ES150/3.
This is an excellent little sander and gives a fine finish. It can handle fast stock removal with 80-100 grit, and I have grits up to 400 for fine finishing.
The Rotex was a nightmare - aggressive, heavy, and awkward to use.
 

Waka

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Aragorn

Whats the dust extraction like of the ES150/3?
 

Aragorn

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Hi Waka
It's first class - I sand all materials without a dust mask when using the ES150 with the Festool Mini extractor.
 

SimonA

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I have to agree with Aragorn on this one......I too have the 150/3 with a selection of grits from 80 up to 600 and it really is capable of taking off a lot of stock with the lower grits. But also when you use the finer papers it really comes into its own.....very, very smooth finish and you can't see any snading marks either.....its a light little machine, very easy to use, so easyin fact you can push it around the table with one finger!! Theres very little vibration and the dust extraction is just fantastic, even with the little bags they supply you with you hardly get any dust in the air.......

All in all well worth the money and I can't fault it......

Simon
 

The Restorer

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happy_chopper":2g23hk30 said:
I use a rotex AND a 150/3 pretty much every day. best place for Festool sanders http://www.mtmc.co.uk
But how do you find them to use? Does the Rotex tend to be get away from you a bit? Does it really work as a fine sander as well or is the 150/3 far superior in terms of finishing? Do you use either of them for polishing?
Thanks

Steve.
 

Quetech

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I am sure the festool sanders are very good if the plunge saw I recently got is anything to go by.
However I can highly recommend the Metabo sxe 450.
It has dual orbit so will really shift some material on the 6mm setting yet
when switched to the 3mm setting can produce a fantastic finish.
I have used mine now for about 4 years and it has seen a variety of jobs
including a 3 year boat conversion project where it got a lot of work and is still going strong.
The dust extraction is first class.
It is also significantly cheaper than the festool range.
The same machine is now sold under Dewalt and Mafell brands.
Well worth a look.

Mike
 

The Restorer

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Thanks for the replies.
I'd looked at the Metabo's before but was unconvinced.
As far as magazine head to heads are concerned i'm never too sure as to just how unbiased and subjective such reports are bearing in mind the amount of sponsorships the magazines carry. Would much rather go with the opinions of long time users from forums such as this.
I particularly liked the idea of a Festool as it'd be my first and their reputation and build quality are second to none.
Thanks again.

Steve.
 

Neil

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Hi Steve,

I have the Metabo Duo, and I have used the Festool 150/3. The Festool would be perfect for you, I think - the Metabo is a great sander and I have no regrets about buying it, but I think the reason it tends to come top in the reviews is that at less than half the price of the Festool, it is better value for money. I have no doubt having used both that the Festool is the better finish sander if cost is discounted - it is beautifully light & well balanced, vibration-free, and the extraction is excellent.

Neil
 
A

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To muddy the waters, I've just spotted (on rutlands site) that Festool now do a 125mm version of the rotex, which may be of interest - smaller sanding area, true, but lighter and possibly more comfortable to use.
 

Waka

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I'll second all the festool lovers. I took my ES150/5 out of the box today, had it just over a week and not had time to play with it. Today I used it in ernest and woh what a fantastic finish it gives;quick too.

Dust extraction is excellent, had it connected to the CT Mini and no external dust was evident.

Question for Simon, where do you get the fine grit pads, Axminster only have upto 180?
 

SimonA

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Hi Waka,

Sorry I took this long to get back to you, been a bit busy over the weekend....unfortunatly nothing to do with woodworking! :cry:

As for the high grits for the Festool sanding papers I get them from a local guy who suppiles me with all my Festool requirements. I use him as hes nice honest local guy and is the same price as any of the online suppilers.

As for the range in papers you have to change over to the Brilliant papers to get the high finer grits. These are more like finishing grits and go up to about 1200 if I remember correctly, but haven't found any need to go above the 500-600. Once I've finished at this grit I usually clean the surface up with hoover/cloth and add an oil finish. The surface finish at these grits on oak is really like glass and is high recommended. If your going to be using a varnish or poly finish then I might go a tad higher up the grit range as you start to de-nibbing each layer.

Pro-Trade might be able to help you out for purchasing the finer grits, a lot of people here seem to have good things to say about them. If not then Festool UK (www.festool.co.uk) will be able to help you find a local distributer, don't bother emailing them as they don't bother to bloody reply which really gets my back up! :evil:

Hope that was of some help....give me a shout if you need anything else.

SimonA
 
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