What random orbital sander?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Tilden, Apr 16, 2013.

?

What random orbital sander

  1. dewalt

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. makita

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. bosch

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. porter cable

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. craftsman

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  6. milwaukee

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  7. ridgid

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    Looked them up (Mirka) on the web site, they all seem to be random orbital, the Rupes sanders are palm and half sheet units.
     
  2. keith66
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 315
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    Location: Essex UK

    keith66 Senior Member

    I didnt vote on the poll as it does not mention Sealey. I have owned an ER150 random orbital sander for 25 years & its still going strong. It had its first set of new brushes at 18 years & a new switch a year after that.
    Its a well balanced & bulletproof machine that just keeps on going.
     
  3. keith66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Essex UK

    keith66 Senior Member

    They were still being built about 10 years ago but the cost of a new one was in the region of £350 then. Probably worth every penny. If you ever see a secondhand one at a boot fair buy it. I think spares are still available.
     
  4. freddyj
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: kansas

    freddyj Senior Member

    I buy the cheap air powered ones from Harbor Freight. Two of them last long enough to build one boat. They're cheap enough to be disposable.
     
  5. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: WNY

    LP Flying Boatman

    Personally, I think that all of the brands listed in the survey are of similar quality with some minor differences. I had a Dewalt for over 10 years and it finally vibrated itself to death. I recently purchased a Ridgid, and despite it being of acceptable quality and good performance, it pisses me off endlessly. The engineer was a lefty because when I hold it in my right hand, I constantly hit the offf button. Even the hole punch's ergonomics work better if you hold the blasted thing in your left hand.

    The quality I get for $60-$70 is plenty good for me. I'd rather spend $500-$700 on materials and spend $70 dollars every 10 years.

    Any lefties out there that need a fairly new 1/4 sheet orbital sander? I'll make you a deal on a Ridgid so I can justify a right-handed sander. :mad:
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It really all boils down to what you're going to do with it and how much you'll need to rely on it. Homeowner and lower grade job site tools, will hold up if they're not asked to work for a living, but will die a quick death, if actually placed in a shop where it'll see 8 hours of use, several times a week. This is what separates the man tools from the playground swings. I have an inline Hutchins and an RO, both exceptional tools and built to work, daily and rebuildable when it's time. The inline cost $300 (now probably about $350) and easily is 10 times the cost of a Harbor Freight model of similar dimensions. The HF model will tire you quickly, bogs down and doesn't last very long, plus you can't rebuild it. Granted, you could buy 9 more, before rivaling the cost of the Hutchins, but it also just doesn't perform as well, so you have to work harder and your hands suffer, as a result.

    So, you can buy "consumer" grade (Black & Decker, Craftsman, etc.) and these will get you through a project, but don't ask for much more. "Contractor" grade is next up on the list (Bosch, Makita, etc.) and these can tolerate a few projects, though some seem to hold up better than others. Next up are the "professional" models and these are usually designed by the people that use them, having interesting features and often unique approaches to functions. Of the professional models, a few stand way out from the rest (Festool, Fein, etc.). These puppies (like my Hutchins) will work until you die and then someone else will work it until they die.

    You have to decide what you need and want. If you have to use a tool regularly, it needs to work better than the average one and be easy on you too. I find this the biggest difference between the really good tools and the better contractor grades. The contractor grades are tough enough, but tend to beat you up, don't like being dropped much and often can't be rebuilt or repaired. This means a tool that cost 2 times as much as a good contractor grade, that's easier on your hands and can get new bearings, brushes, etc. will outlast several of the cheaper ones, while being kind to you. You have to justify these decisions, with the amount of work you'll do and how willing you are to maintain the tool. I know some guys that wouldn't think about taking apart a tool. I'm the opposite I guess, having taken apart most of mine at some point.
     
  7. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Well put PAR. I've been pretty happy with my Hitachi SV12 sander. Changed the bearings once but it's done a 'lot' of work. Brushes still good, a reasonable machine for the price. It certainly has outlasted a couple of equivalent 'spec and price' models such as the Elu (DE Walt) I had before. How the dust is vented and extracted inside the machine seems key to the device life.

    Half the battle is also using good quality papers....;)
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Once a week I blow air through the dust collection passages in all the tools. I usually blow through backwards first, then spin them up good in the correct direction. Sanders do seem to suffer from clogged passages and this is my logic, to keep them fairly clean. Once a year, I'll pull them apart and clean them out good. It seems in spite of my best efforts, some dust and grit always manages to stay stuck to their innards. I do the same thing with stationary tools too. When was the last time you had your table saw upside down for a good cleaning?
     
  9. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    When the capacitor went - earlier this year.....had a lot of fun finding one to fit, but that's another story.

    Your right about getting at the guts though. On the thing I've got, it needs a regular clean out so the worm rise/fall runs smoothly. More a case of a certain amount of work/dust. Normally I just brush and use a compressed air line. Has to be done though. Some machines clog the on/off switches with dust, it varies, once you know the devil....
     
  10. sprit
    Joined: Jul 2013
    Posts: 45
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: Lexington, MA, USA

    sprit Junior Member

    PAR is right on: Festool and Fein.
    I think that a vacuum attached to the sander is as important as the sander.
    Make sure that whatever sander you get has sanding discs that are easy to change.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 18,026
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Only busy professionals can justify Festool and Fein tools, simply because of initial cost. Most can get by with higher end contractor grade stuff.
     
  12. Barra
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Perth

    Barra Junior Member

    I loved my 150mm Festool Random orbit sander.
    Worth every cent due to its light weight when sanding overhead. And theres a lot of that in a home build.
     
  13. sprit
    Joined: Jul 2013
    Posts: 45
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    Location: Lexington, MA, USA

    sprit Junior Member

    The average price I could find (mostly on Amazon) for Dewalt, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Makita, Craftsman and Ridgid random orbital sanders was $71. I used a Porter Cable to build my last boat, and expect to use it again for my next boat.

    The Festool is $195, the Bosch $230, and the Fein $516.

    Tilden asked for recommendations.
    If I were to start again to equip a good shop, I would choose the Festool.
     
  14. dirtydiego41
    Joined: Jan 2017
    Posts: 17
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    Location: avila beach

    dirtydiego41 Junior Member

    Porter cable DA, with dust collection skirt.
     

  15. tmark
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 78
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    Location: Stratford

    tmark Junior Member

    When I started full time on boats I discovered quickly that Home Depot type tools weren't going to last, and I started building the cost of the ROS into my shop materials budgets per hull. A Dewalt would last 2 boats, a Rigid would last 4 boats etc ...

    If all else were the same (dust collection, parts availability etc) what would settle me would be ergonomics. For me, the feel of the tool in the hand can make the difference of begging off after 4 hours instead of 6. I suppose you wouldn't know which tool that was though, without going through a few.
     
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