View Full Version : Orbital sanders?

01-26-2004, 12:07 PM
Anyone have the dewalt 5" Orbital sander? This is another tool I need to replace (I have a very old hand held sander....which I was never impressed with the quality of the sanding job).

Would like any recommendations and what is important when looking to purchase this.

01-26-2004, 02:18 PM
I don't have the Dewalt, I have the Bosch. It works well, is easy to handle and my hand does not get numb from the vibrations. If you stick with the big names I think you should do ok with just about any ROS. The only thing that I think differentiates them is the DC.

The Bosch did a pretty good job with the standard bag, but I wanted to hook it up to my shop vac so I could get dustless sanding. I had to buy a hose adapter, wire it to the handle and then buy a 1" hose and connect it to the shopvac or dc. It works great, but it is a little clumsy to use at times.

Look for a ROS that can hook up directly to a shop vac.

01-26-2004, 04:02 PM
A little duct tape on the adapter to my PC ROS made a good seal to the hose to the shop vac. I made a switch box that turns the sander and sucker on and off at the same time. The vac hose can become cumbersome at times.

01-26-2004, 04:49 PM
I have the DeWalt random orbit sander and I love it more than the teddy bear I used to sleep with when I was a kid. It does an asolutely spectacular job of sanding any kind of wood as smooth as a baby's bottom with absolutely no patterns left behind. I even use it to round edges and corners rather than breaking out the router when all I need to do is take off the sharpness and gently soften it. It's truly one of the most useful tools in my shop and I'd highly recommend it without any reservations whatsoever.

Troy Glover
01-26-2004, 04:55 PM
Hi Alien,

(Boy, did that seem weird) :-) I have the 5" Dewalt ROS. I have no
complaints. It gets the job done. I got it for free when I
bought my miter saw a couple of years ago. If you want to hook
it up to a vacuum system for dust control, this ain't it. It has
an oblong port that will only work with the four inch long bag
that came with it, and it doesn't work very well at all.

If dust collection is an important feature to you, keep looking.

Hope this helps,


01-26-2004, 06:08 PM

I have the Ridgid Random Orbital Sander. I love it!!

I bought it over the dewalt or PC only because I like the way the on-off switch works. For me it is more comfortable to turn it on-off.

Any of them is going to do a great job. The R-OS is by far better than just an orbital sander. The randon does make a difference.

I have actually taken poplar down from rough sawn to finish sand in about 10 minutes. I used 60 grit then 100 grit then 220 grit. I did it just to see what the sander could do. Amazing!!! No other sander could do it so good. NO swirl marks.

I love my sander, but I will not take it to bed with me.

01-27-2004, 06:47 AM
If dust collection is important to you, and you have the money, a Fein or Festool is your best bet.


01-27-2004, 08:30 AM
i have a ryobi ROS I bought a few years ago and it does a nice sanding job but the DC bag is kind of sucky. Since I sand on a dedicated sanding table with its own downdraft suction this doesn't bother me. But the price difference between the ryobi and the dewalt made a big difference at the time I bought it $40 as opposed to $100. My preference for ROS these days though is the air unit I got from HF, it isn't quite as nice as an electric but has the advantage of being a pnuematic tool in my shop with limited electrical service. I hate having to make a choice between running the dust collector (the 16 gallon shop vac), lights and the sander sander.

Chuck in NC
01-27-2004, 09:39 AM
I have the Dewalt 5 in VS ROS. Variable speed is nice. Dust collection is pretty pitiful, typical of random orbit sanders. If that's a concern I'd go a different route.

This is my second Dewalt ROS. No complaints so far.

01-27-2004, 10:35 AM
I've got the Makita ROS. I liked the way it felt in my hand better than the others. The trigger handle in my right hand and a front handle for my left hand just feels right. The variable speed control is within easy thumb reach of my right hand. Oh, and you can lock that puppy on do your hand doesn't get tired.

You can use it one handed too, but the vibration up my arm gets tiring during a long sanding session.

My big complaint is dust collection. The bag works ok, but there's still a lot of dust flying around. I haven't found a clever way to get my shop vac hooked up to it yet -- it doesn't appear to be easy.

(oh, and hello everyone -- been lurking for quite a while. Love the forum and the banter)

- Dave

01-27-2004, 03:07 PM
I made a down draft table with a 2x2 foot peg board top in a 2x4 frame with a thin grid with holes drilled in it (would make the grid out of peg board too next time. I have a hardboard bottom I sealed with silicon cauling to make a good seal. In the back of the table I originally drilled a hole for my shop vac hose, but am no using a shop vac hose attachment I found that screwed flush with the table.

This set up works like a charm for sanding small pieces. I also have a large full size table (2x5 foot) for this as well which i run 2 shop vacs on.

01-27-2004, 07:25 PM
I have had the Dewalt 5" ROS for 5 years now and really like it. I recently have hooked it up to my ShopVac without any adapters or duct tape. The bag removes and it has connectors for the shopvac where the bag was. Running it and the vac does an excellent job of controlling the dust. I used it Sunday for 2 1/2 hours with the vac and had no dust on my car,which was in the garage as well. It would be replaced with another "yellow one", if it broke today.

Good luck with your decision.

01-27-2004, 11:14 PM
Bought the Dewalt for my dad a few years ago and have the PC 333 myself. Both seem to work very well, I would probably go with the one you find more confortable to hold. The hand grip on the PC is designed to be held in a couple of different positions and it fit my hand better.

One of the woodworking mags -- I think wood -- just had a short review of the new rigid ROS and it was very positive. I can't seem to find it to see what they liked but it was structural, like the motor was sealed against dust unlike the others or something like that. If I can find it I'll post what they said.

If dust collection is a concern I would agree with some of the other posts -- go a different direction. Everything I've heard about Fein is fantastic -- except for the price

01-28-2004, 08:34 AM
Found it, current issue of Wood. They liked the Rigid because it used a motor with magnets rather than wrapped wire. Made it more powerful -- they couldn't stop the pad from spinning even when applying heavy pressure.

01-28-2004, 09:56 AM
My first ROS was a Craftsman. It was recommended by one of the WW magazines, and I caught it on sale.

One thing I liked was that you can use either stick-on or hook and loop sandpaper. It comes with an adhesive adapter for using hook and loop. But that is its Achilles heel as well because once the adapter comes off for the first time you will never get another to stay on for any length of time.

The Craftsman was a variable speed, but I never once used that feature. I recently got the PC333, but forewent the VS. And although I had to buy all new sandpaper (8-hole vs. 5-hole) I am totally satisfied with the PC.

Sonny Edmonds
01-28-2004, 11:21 AM
I run air sanders in my shop.
My ROS is a 6" model with a 5" PC hook & loop pad installed on it. And a 10' PC 1" hose with a coiled hose air supply that spirals the DC hose.
To this I can hook a bungy type cord for hose support over my sanding table so just the sander is all I have to fuss with.
Works incredibly well.
Why air sanders?
Lots of reasons. But two main ones: Infinate speed/power control. And nobody wants to borrow air sanders. }>
My SIL borrowing my finish sander for 2 1/2 weeks was why I came to buy my first air sander, the ROS.
Now I have several types of wizzers for the shop, all air driven. }> ;)


[link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds]
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