Orbital Sander Face-Off
The good folks over at Popular Mechanics recently tested three orbital sanders head to head. They judged on power & speed, quality of finish, and ergonomics. The three sanders are the Festool, the Bosch, and the Craftsman Vibrafree.
You're probably thinking, "Why should I even click on the link to read the results? The Festool crushed the competition, but the Bosch was a solid second, with both of them leaving the Craftsman in the dust, right?" Not exactly. What they discovered is likely to surprise you.
The test results, with video, are here.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 16, 2008 5:25 AM
I don't think this is even an apples-to-apples comparison. I have the Festool sander along with a PC 333VS and bigger Festool Rotex sander.
I've always known that the ETS125 is a finishing/polishing sander that is light, smooth, and has great dust collection. I would never expect to use it as a heavy duty sander for rapidly removing large amounts of material. In fact, I would say that someone who uses it like that is misusing the tool.
For the review to even compare these tools is somewhat misleading to me. It's like expecting a tack hammer to perform as well as 20oz claw hammer when nailing framing nails.
For my experience, I like my ETS125. The price is high but it does exactly what I expect it to and it does it well.
Interesting results, but they didn't test dust collection. Isn't that one of Festool's biggest selling points? It could also be the reason it is so slow: they don't cut as aggressively so the vacuum can catch all the dust, and the reason they were the smoothest: there wasn't as much loose grit interfering with the sanding.