Makita Orbital sanders

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29 Jan 2023
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I’ve received a good bonus from my day job and looking to upgrade my sanding kit for my tables ….two options so far are the 6050 or the 6030 150mm units…..has anyone any experience with them ?
I bought a second hand 6030 recently and am really pleased with it. It's definitely a step up from my DBO180Z. Much less vibration, and with a vacuum attached it produces very little dust. It is a very effective sander.
Not knocking Makita at all, but @Spectric recently mentioned a Bosch orbital in another thread.
It has only a 4mm orbit but has an isolated shell so the vibration is extremely low. As good as the best Mirka and Festool sanders. If your bonus runs to £250 that must be worth a look as it's an outstanding specification for the money.
I got a Metabo SXE-450 recently and it is amazing compared to the little cheap one I had before. Dust extraction is good and it had 2 different orbit sizes which is really handy.
Another vote for the Metabo. Just looked at the Makita specs and the 6030 is much the same as the Metabo with a 300W motor. The 6050, however, has a 750W motor for the same size pad. Reason? The 6050 also comes in 2 versions with differing characteristics. Worth looking into.
Sounds a better option than the makita, mainly for the dual orbit(2.8mm&6.2mm). And about the same price.
I wondered if I was being suckered by a bit of a gimmick with the 2 orbits when I bought it, but it makes such a difference. 2 tools in 1!
Me neither, but there are two specification documents and the docs have different numbers. It may just be that the same machines are being put through different test or certification.

BTW. The 750W machines here are gear driven orbitals - like the Rotex - and very different from the "standard" ROS in power, handling and aggression. One point I recall from when Makita and Bosch started to make these is that one manufacturer was using a plastic gear on the end of the motor armature. They were reported to be less reliable / durable than the Rotex which use metal gears in that place.
The Makita 6050 has metal gears … yet I’ve seen reports of it not being as balanced to use as the Bosch equivalent….but that’s £120 more ☹️
Threw my hat in with the 6050 in the end …good deal from Howe Tools on eBay at £288 inc the makpack 3 too.

I’ll give feedback on its performance once received as I’ve two large sweet chestnut cookies to work on
Fast delivery …the Makita arrived mid morning 😁

On unpacking it …first impression is what a cheap affair the Makpac cases are.

The 6050 is nicely balanced and feels rugged etc. On with one of the supplied 60 grit discs and a test on my chestnut cookie slab. I set the sander of its ‘finishing’ orbital setting and lowest speed….nice slow speed build up and lots of juddering as you would expect with a course pad and low speed.

A quick adjust of the rear mounted speed control and above no 4 the wobble disappears …..moving over the slab easily. Increasing to top speed and the sander floats over the slab removing the acrylic sealing layer I’d previously applied.

A quick test of the more aggressive orbital setting (5.5mm oscillation) and you need the additional side handle to keep control. It’s quite aggressive …probably ok for paint removal etc ….but easily leaves those irritating small circle marks from the vent holes in the pad.

A delivery from Amazon of extra pads after lunch let me try 40-120 grit pads …..really impressed with the sander so far. Vibration wakes …well it’s a 750 watt sander and after 90 mins use I had some tingling in my finger tips for 5 mins or so after use.

Here’s a a pic of the chestnut cookie slab after a re application of resin

Been on holiday all this week so with the fine weather today it was another chance to test out the 6050. I needed to prep up a pair of chestnut slabs - 2400 x 400mm for a show I’m attending in late June, so after milling flat one slab out came the 6050 instead of my monster Wolf belt sander to remove any milling lines.

Usually I’d fit an 80 grit belt to the Wolf …but it can generate deeper scratches - so I took a leap of faith and fitted a new 80 disc to the 6050 and set it in low oscillation. A few passes over one end on the slab a with little fuss and I take a gamble on a 40 grit disc ….and wow - this sander can really eat machining lines ….. and with the side handle and 5.5mm mode the machining marks quickly dissapear. Ran up through to 130 grit then gave it a first coat with my finish. A few of those small 6mm crescent swirls …..but these are readily removed with my 1/3 sheet sander.

Overall I’m still impressed with this machine ….just need to adjust my technique a little I feel .


Here is the slab after todays tests
….and then we have an issue ☹️

after almost finishing the second slab of chestnut today …on 40 grit discs in the forced rotation mode the backing pad split in two. The white side rubber layer between the hook/loop pad and the steel mounting plate has ripped off the steel plate.

After around 6 hrs use this is a bit disappointing
"Vibration wakes …well it’s a 750 watt sander and after 90 mins use I had some tingling in my finger tips for 5 mins or so after use."

If you have tingling in your hands during or after use you are damaging the nerves in your hands. The amount of time you can work before the tingling starts will become shorter and shorter. It never heals. I strongly advise you buy and use religiously, even for a 5 minute job, anti vibration gloves. The best I have found are the Impacto Air Gloves. They are way better than the gel or foam types.

One supplier to illustrate.
Yes they are expensive but they are a small price to pay to keep from Frelling up your hands forever.

Was in comms with the eBay supplier today concerning the backing pad that fell apart after 4hrs use. The supplier wants me to return the whole unit inc case etc back to them !!! That’s a potential 4 days loss of use for a simple backing pad …..not acceptable in my book
I'd let them pay for return shipping and replace or refund the whole thing lock stock and barrel. Easier for them. They just warranty the whole lot back to Makita. Saves you any arguments and you can't reasonably expect better service from them than no questions refund or replacement.