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  • My poor little sanders...

    So I've been doing a LOT of remodelling of the house, mostly due to age, and, well prior repairs from the last owner not being done right, and this in turn has involved a great deal of drywall work.

    To speed things up I have been using my orbital sander. This has ended up with some fairly predictable results.

    #1. My old 2008 Skil orbital sander bit the dust, the switch itself failed by falling apart. so off to the recyclers it went, and in its place I got a cheap Walmart B&D orbital sander, that has been less than a dream come true.
    #2. The B&D sander is getting packed with drywall dust VERY quickly, and in turn causing problems with the bearings. I have to take it outside with my air hose and blow out the sander rather often, but even with a fresh blow out now, the sander is getting noisy, and chattery feeling.

    Power / effectiveness of the B&D sander https://www.walmart.com/ip/BLACK-DEC...00VA/150094021 is a mere 2 amp model instead of 2.5 or even 3 amp like the old Skil was, and you can really tell the difference using it!

    I digress though. The point of this whole thing is, it looks like once this project is over, I am going to need a new sander.

    Now the B&D is $29.00 new, plenty cheap for sure, but it's just junk IMHO, The Skil I had I really did like and am somewhat annoyed it died as it was a good tool, and had I not dropped it on the switch and broken it, well... oh well. Anyway, the current model runs for $47.00, which is $2.00 less than a comparable Bosch. So why go with the Skil at that point?

    I think the max I want to spend on a sander is going to be in the $60.00 range. That brings me to the Ridgid 5" corded 3 amp sander. On paper it meeds my needs, and the price is right.

    At the price points involved here, one thing I am noticing, is that the Ryobi is only $10.00 cheaper, with less power, and lacking the Ridgids lifetime warranty.

    I may be talking myself ito it while I type this.

    Does anyone have experience with the current Ridgid 5" corded orbital sander? Is it worth the few extra bucks?
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  • #2
    I can't speak for any current sander, but I do have both Ryobi and Ridgid random orbit sanders that I bought back in 2002 and 2004 respectively. The Ryobi has held up well, but it's noisier and vibrates more than the Ridgid. The Ridgid, being smoother in operation get used a lot more than the Ryobi and I have had to send it in for service because of a breakage with some small part that controls the orbit action. That was a quick two-week turnaround with the authorized repair shop. I have also worn out the hook & loop pad and had to replace that too. The pad was not covered under the LSA plan, so it cost me a few bucks... can't remember exactly but it was less than $20 IIRC.

    If I had the choice today, I'd buy the Ridgid as you get the LSA (with proper registration) for what is basically pocket change.

    I think the Ridgid has a better build quality too, and perhaps a better protected switch. The dust collection on the Ridgid is also a bit better, but it's not perfect as too much fine dust works its way through the filter bag. I regularly use a long hose from my shop vac.

    Ridgid used to offer a 30-day "Satisfaction Guarantee", but I don't see that mentioned anywhere on the website.

    I realize this is NOT as helpful as you were hoping, because it's not on the current model, although they look pretty similar to mine. But I thought it worth offering anyway.

    CWS
    Last edited by cwsmith; 12-17-2019, 01:51 PM. Reason: See italics in last sentence for what I just added... brain was not engaged on original.
    Think it Through Before You Do!

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    • #3
      Two things I've found to be huge for drywall or any fine dust situation... Mirka Abranet/Autonet disks, and a HEPA shop vac filter. With those two, my particle counter usually goes down when I'm sanding, instead of up. The Abranet discs require a pad change which is available for most sanders. Using those disks changed my life and my entire outlook on sanding jobs.

      I have had a Porter-Cable 343VS sander for about ten years, and totally love it. I'd buy another without hesitation.

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      • #4
        I don’t think that most consumer grade woodworking sanders will survive being used on drywall very long. They injest drywall dust which is very abrasive compared to the sawdust they injest that is not nearly as abrasive.
        If you want a 6” ROS sander, good luck finding one in a retail store like HD, Lowes, Ace, Rockler. Woodcraft, Highland Woodworking etc. For some reason no stores I frequent seem to stock any brand 6” ROS. I refuse to buy a sander that I have not handled to see if I like they way it feels. I may have to change that policy in the future if I want a new one.
        My corded Rigid 6” ROS sander is a beast. The good: It sands like a planer! It will rough sand a large dining table top in less than an hour, reducing hours off the job when compared to 5” sanders. It’s big and bulky, has nice handles and good dust control, 2 oscillating selections and good variable control.
        The bad: Using this heavy sander on anything other than a flat surface would be very tiring. The trigger lock is another thing, to be real polite, it sucks beyond belief. Any movement of your hand trips the trigger lock off and you have to go through the 2 handed dance again to re-lock the trigger. The durability of my sander was appalling, it has been returned to HD at least 3 times each 5 years I’ve owned it. It seems the gadgets in the oscillating gizmo breaks easily. Because I had already spent $80 on this sander I went ahead and purchased a remanufactured identical sander to assure I would have a 6” ROS on hand when I need one. I definitely wouldn’t purchase another one of these. I rate it using the Harbor Freight scale as just above a piece of garbage.

        For rough sanding on everything but table tops I use a $29 B&D 5” ROS. It feels good in my hands, isn’t terrible noisy, has decent dust connections and it’s Velcro pad seems to last very well. I use this inexpensive sander to take the load off my 2 Festool 5” sanders. If I didn’t do this I doubt I could afford to purchase replacement Velcro backing pads at $40-50 each. ( I still replace 2-3 Festool pads / yr anyway.) For that reason I would not recommend Festool sanders either.

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        • #5
          With the Abranet system, almost no dust escapes nor gets into the sander.

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          • #6
            I bought the Festool 5" ROS sander when they had their introduction sander for $100 three years ago. It took about 5 months before I received it, but it has been my go-to sander. Easy on my hand with and a great sander. On another forum a few people were beside themselves for not jumping on that. That sander now is $200+.

            https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...uture-purchase
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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            • #7
              I have both of the Festool 5” ETS sanders, I probably used them 3 hours today. I like them a lot and always have them connected to the Festool 48e dust collector for a nice quiet, dust free sanding. My complaint with them is how fast they go through the expendables. As I previously stated, I have spent more for backing pads, $40 ish and interface pads, $25 ish, than I paid for the 2 sanders! ..... all just because their Velcro just stops working. The pads are in perfect condition other than the Velcro! My Rigid 6”, which is several years older with used much harder and its Velcro is still like new. When wear out a sander and finally throw it away I usually take off and keep the back up pad because the Velcro is still good, in case I might find a use for it! I question if Festool has adopted the ink jet printer sales model that makes more money off the ink cartridges than they do with the printer and have reduced the volume of the ink cartridges..( Festool using self destruct Velcro) in order to sell more ink! How does the other sander manufacturers back up pads and interface pads Velcro hold up?

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              • #8
                I might sound like a preacher, but that sanding system has changed my life... I still have the original Mirka pad from around ten years ago when I bought the sander and Abranet starter kit.

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                • #9
                  What sander? Does it offer a soft backing pad? Soft interface pad 34/- 1” thick?

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                  • #10
                    I posted it above, the key is the Abranet mesh sanding disk system. I'm using those with a PC 343VS but believe it would work as well on any good sander. It has a hard pad on the sander and a thin soft interface pad that I very rarely use, but came with the starter kit. I didn't shop for a thick pad so I don't know about that.

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                    • #11
                      I destroyed a cheap B&D half sheet sander many years ago sanding drywall and it was the dust that got into the bearings, brushes, and switch that trashed it. And that was even being connected to a ShopVac fitted with a drywall bag. The last large drywall work I did was building the new shop in our new home. I used a hand vacuum sander again connected to the ShopVac with a drywall bag. The hand sander uses the standard size screen abrasive sheets, which last a really long time. I like the size of the sander (4"x11") which makes quick work of the seams. Very little pressure is needed, so it's not really tiring. The one I bought was a Master Force brand from Menards and cost about $20. I think Menards has replaced it with one by Hyde. It came with a 6 foot long hose that connected to the 13 foot hose of my ShopVac, so the vac could set off to the side and out of the way. For non-drywall work, my old Bosch 3725 DVS 5" ROS variable speed sander is great, Well balanced, vibration free, the only thing that has worn out on it has been the velcro pads (2 in ten plus years). My 45 year old B&D 1/4 sheet orbital finally wore out with no replacement parts available, so I replaced it with a Makita 1/4 sheet orbital sander. I paid $50 for for the B&D sander and the replacement Makita cost $50! I usually go to a local tool dealer that caters to tradesmen for my power tools and parts. Might not be as cheap as the big box stores, but the quality is far better and the stuff lasts longer.
                      Last edited by Jim Frye; 12-18-2019, 08:12 PM.
                      Jim Frye
                      The Nut in the Cellar.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carlos View Post
                        I might sound like a preacher, but that sanding system has changed my life... I still have the original Mirka pad from around ten years ago when I bought the sander and Abranet starter kit.
                        (Capncarl) - ( Festool using self destruct Velcro) in order to sell more ink! How does the other sander manufacturers back up pads and interface pads Velcro hold up?
                        I have to ask from you experienced guys: Can other/better replacement pads be purchased and adapted/used on a Festool when the velcro gives out?

                        I think I did this (purchased a replacement pad not from PC) on my PC 5 inch 5 or 6 years ago.
                        Hank Lee

                        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by leehljp View Post



                          I have to ask from you experienced guys: Can other/better replacement pads be purchased and adapted/used on a Festool when the velcro gives out?

                          I think I did this (purchased a replacement pad not from PC) on my PC 5 inch 5 or 6 years ago.
                          I buy replacement parts for power tools at the aforementioned tool store. They have, or can order, parts for most brands. That's where I bought the replacement velcro pads for my Bosch sander. Our city has a B&D and DeWalt repair centers. They have parts for those brands also and sell factory refurbs. For Ryobi tools, I go to the local Ryobi Authorized Service Center for parts. My experience with the velcro pads failing is due to overheating and causing the hooks to lose their "temper" and fail to hold the sanding disks. My first experience with this was when SWMBO used the ROS to strip the paint from our basement steps. A day long sanding actually melted some of the velcro hooks.
                          Jim Frye
                          The Nut in the Cellar.

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                          • #14
                            I don't know anything about parts for Festool. My only experience with sanders for the last ten years is that I love my one PC 5" variable speed, and the Abranet sanding system on it. It has become my one and only sander for everything outside of the bench/standing sanders. I've never needed parts for it. I've done a little bit of drywall inside the house and no noticeable dust escaped. I have HEPA filters on both the battery powered Dewalt vac and the big shop vac.

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                            • #15
                              I have not found any other brand of replacement pad that remotely resembles the Festool hole pattern and could be modified to fit.
                              I did purchase 5” Velcro peel and stick replacement material that was advertised to convert PSA to H&L and will attempt to replace useless Velcro on some of my Festool pads. It is available (Klingspor) in several diameters and hole patterns in a 5 count package for about $10 and should have other possible uses as well!

                              Most of my sanding is on contours, and that is not for long periods of time. I’ve touch tested the paper and pads to see if there is any heat built up, even tested against my cheek rather against my calloused fingers, no neglible heat there. When I am sanding my Tiny Table tops, usually 10”x21” I don’t use a soft interface pad except for sides and corners, and work through the different grits so operating time without a cool down is short. I’m just thinking the Festool Velcro is whimpy. I seldom use the Festool sanders on making tiny trees anymore, all that work goes to the soft pad sander on the modified Shopsmith sander. I run a 5” soft pad, 1” thick spindle sold by Klingspor, it’s sold as a bowl turning sander. I use this sander sometimes 4-6 hours at a time, I run it hard too, putting lots of flex into the pad. I get about 3 weeks of service out of these spindles before the black foam rubber turns to mush and is no good, but the Velcro is still as good as it was the day it was bought.

                              I have tried Abranet disks and have purchased several boxes of abranet look alike disks and they absolutely will not work on the soft disk spindle. It has too much flex and constant forming around a corner, the screen material wrinkles and quickly destroys itself. There is no reason for me to use Abranet disks on this sander as dust collection in this sander is not an issue, I use no hole disks and have two 4” hoses coming straight from my clearview dust collector. It will suck the sand paper out of my hands when I change grits if I’m not careful!
                              Last edited by capncarl; 12-19-2019, 02:06 PM.

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