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Thread: Festool sander question.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Western Michigan
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    719

    Default Festool sander question.

    My son is upgrading his basement shop. He has just purchased a Festool CT MINI 1 dust collector. He intends to buy a Festool sander to go with it. He asked if I thought the Festool Rotex with the multi function feature was worth the premium price (3x) over the Festool ETS 125. His usual mix of work is furniture building and boat parts. All hobby work. What does the collective wisdom of the WBF think?
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    50,289

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I named my Rotex 'Fester'. And love it. The rotary with coarse (60#) paper and medium speed is great for removing wood. With the right motion you can fair big and complex shapes. On a smaller scale, you can dish out a comfortable seat for a wooden chair. Switch to random orbit for finish sanding with no fear of marring the edges. Long lived tool and for me worth the price.

    And when he moves from boat parts to boat hulls, he'll have a tool that can do that also.

    Besides health, the vacuum helps the sandpaper last longer. That makes the high per piece cost of the paper actually competitive. Also, the same tool store that carries Fesstool may have pads that look like scotch bright pads but far more durable and stiff that really last and work quite well.

    G'luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kailua, HI
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    295

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I think that the two sanders are not very comparable, so the price difference isnt the most important thing here. I have both, and theyre just different tools for different things (mostly). The Rotex can be a fierce remover of material, as Ian says, but then in D/A mode (pad allowed to freewheel as it orbits eccentically) its a finish sander, although a relatively course one that you can slow for control and a light touch. It also has a corner/detail sanding mode, so it really can be used three very distinct ways. The ETS125 is a regular old D/A, not too different from the Bosch, Makita, DeWalt offerings. If he can swing the cost of a Rotex, he will come to appreciate its versatility. The dust collection of both is excellent, and the CT Mini does its job well.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
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    Western Michigan
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    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    Thanks Ian, Forwarded your comments to him.
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    When you are doing woodwork, the little bags on the CT Mini fill up fast. I bought a Dust Deputy cyclone years ago to augment the little CT dust collector. I was taking off the bottom paint on my boat and the vacuum started sounding funny and I looked back and the Dust Deputy's collection pail was all crumpled up. So, I called Oneida Air Systems and told them the problem and they asked, Do you have a Festool? Why yes, oh ...... we have a special Dust Deputy designed to handle Festool's suction. Festool's vacuums are first rate and quite powerful.
    Last edited by Lemsteraak; 04-07-2021 at 11:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I've used my Festool Rotex very hard for 12 years now (five boats, 25+ pieces of furniture, and innumerable home and shop odd jobs) and it has definitely proven its value. It's powerful, versatile, rugged, and dust collection with the CT Mini vacuum is incredibly efficient. It's unquestionably worth the money.

    I bought three other Festools at the same time, incidentally: jigsaw, drill, and router. None of these are worth Festool's stunning prices. The drill has been replaced by a Makita, which functions better for 1/3 the price. The jigsaw doesn't fit my hands well and doesn't appear to have any great performance advantage over competitors. The Festool router could not be mounted in a router table once I obtained one, so I purchased a Porter-Cable for the table, which I now use exclusively.

    I appreciate Festool's very thoughtfully integrated systems approach to its tool family. But the family is extremely expensive, so the only member I recommend is the sander.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
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    6,779

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I love my Rotex, I've several other random orbitals but thats the one that gets used most, its an amazing tool, life would not be the same without it.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bradford, VT
    Posts
    10,077

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I love mine. The carpenters doing the remodel on our 1804 colonial in Wickford used it and loved it so much they bought one, and the lead carpenter's son, who ran a big millwork company, also bought one.
    If I were setting up a workshop, I would look into getting the air powered version, much lighter tool.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
    Posts
    1,800

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    Some; (most?) Festool stuff is overpriced. The drills, planer, routers, with the possible exception of their big plunge router do not in my opinion merit the pricing.
    The Domino joiner and any of the sanders are. The track saw is a winner.

    You need to decide where your own money is better spent.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Padanaram, MA USA
    Posts
    9,994

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I love my Rotex, I've several other random orbitals but thats the one that gets used most, its an amazing tool, life would not be the same without it.

    John Welsford
    Ditto for the Rotex.
    I agree that some other Festool tools might be overpriced. I get along just fine with RO sanders and vacuums that cost under $100.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrycheek View Post
    I've used my Festool Rotex very hard for 12 years now (five boats, 25+ pieces of furniture, and innumerable home and shop odd jobs) and it has definitely proven its value. It's powerful, versatile, rugged, and dust collection with the CT Mini vacuum is incredibly efficient. It's unquestionably worth the money.

    I bought three other Festools at the same time, incidentally: jigsaw, drill, and router. None of these are worth Festool's stunning prices. The drill has been replaced by a Makita, which functions better for 1/3 the price. The jigsaw doesn't fit my hands well and doesn't appear to have any great performance advantage over competitors. The Festool router could not be mounted in a router table once I obtained one, so I purchased a Porter-Cable for the table, which I now use exclusively.

    I appreciate Festool's very thoughtfully integrated systems approach to its tool family. But the family is extremely expensive, so the only member I recommend is the sander.

    I have very similar experience to you with Festool tools. They aren't all worth the price, but some of them really are. The sanders being one thing that are worth the money. I'm almost 20 years with the 150 Rotax and sorry of hoping it will die one day so I can get the lighter brushless one.
    I bought a 125 and it was nowhere near powerful enough, so returned it and bought the RO with the triangular pad. Like that one.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    19,573

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I still use regular sanders in addition to the Rotex150.
    Sometimes I do not want to bugger it ,or the Festool discs ,up with some gummy goo or particular dirty job,so I'll grab the portercable or dewalt.
    Same with the vac...it is a dust collector, not a shopvac.Resist using it to pick up debris.
    Using the Festool without the vac hooked up is also lame, the vac taking the dust away from the actual place being sanded is a "thing" beyond just keeping the area clean and healthy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western Michigan
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    Thanks to all for the comments. Been sharing them with him as they have come in. He ordered the Rotex 90mm to get the detail sanding capability along with the RO and Rotary.
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    600

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I have a Festool Rotex and a Mirka. The nice thing about the Mirka is that it has a DC transformer which is separate from the sander itself. The DC motor gives better action even when applying pressure, and by separating the transformer, the part you hold is lighter and smaller than the Festool equivalent. Both are good though so pick whichever you feel is best or offered at the best price.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    13,936

    Default Re: Festool sander question.

    I have a rotex 125 and a rotex 90. I think the dual function is very useful. I certainly have been known for buying cheap tools when I can get away with it. I consider my festool sanders worth every penny. For me, the 125 festool gets used more than any other single power tool in my shop (not counting cordless drill). The festool sander is worth every cent if one sands a lot. And I don't see how one builds a boat without sanding a lot.

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