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  1. #1
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    Default What 150mm RO Sander?

    Currently I'm using a couple of ancient sheet sanders that were not particularly good even when they were new, and occasionally a cheap belt sander.
    I decided I'm now spending enough time woodworking to justify a big boy tool, I'm thinking probably a Deros or the Metabo clone. Buy once cry once. My requirements are not super demanding, I mostly make small-ish stuff so it doesn't need to be a beast. However, weight, vibration and dust extraction are important to me, noise is also somewhat important and build quality is very important, I don't want to have to buy this again in a couple of years.

    But, and here's what I don't know, It's also time to do our deck this summer. It's about 50sqm, very dark stained merbau (I think), and ideally although not crucially important I'd like to remove the stain. If it looks like too much work I'll keep the stain but sand it down a bit to get rid of all the flaking and give it another couple of coats of the same stain. It's also nailed down instead of screwed and the nail heads stick out a little so I'll have to work around that with my old sheet sander.

    So whatever sander I buy I need it to also be able to manage this job, not all the time but you know, however frequently you need to do your deck.
    Are those 150mm ROS sanders designed to handle this sort of thing?

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  3. #2
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    Default

    A DEROS/SXE 150 BL would be a fine choice. It's probably still the current state of the art in ROS. But not necessarily the single best choice for your own personal needs.

    The Mirka family is the most versatile, offered in 3 separate orbit sizes (levels of aggression, being 2.5, 5.0 & 8.0mm diameter) & for the smaller 2 orbital sizes in 2 platen sizes too: 125 & 150mm. Metabo promises to be cheaper, & with better warranty support, having a more widely distributed dealer & repair network. Each is the lightest, arguably most ergonomically well sorted & sound, & uses the world's best abrasive technology (Abranet & Ace). Mesh abrasives can theoretically be used in almost any sander at all, just not quite as effectively (in abrasiveness, dust collection & longevity) as with a purpose-built machine specifically designed for the product.

    Yet the older sanders from Metabo (SXE450), Makita (BO6050J), Bobbie Bosch (GEX150 Turbo) & Fuss-tool (RO 150 Far-Q), each possessed of "dual action" switchable agressiveness, may indeed be more appropriate for A SINGLE SOLO SANDER PURCHASE & operation. Apart from the Metabo, all the rest have rather heavy, cumbersome & relatively un-ergonomic shapes & operation. The right-angle drive doesn't lend itself positively to smooth, fine, delicate sanding operations. The Metabo is literally 2 ROS in the same body, having switchable orbits. The other 3 have switchable random orbital & gear driven planetary operation to radically increase aggressiveness, but with poor ergos.

    I also sincerely doubt that there's only one single sander that can fulfil all your requirements. For deck refinishing, I'd suggest Mirka's 680 CV (8mm) first, followed by Festo/ol's Rotex 150. For a general "all in one" that fails at extreme agressiveness, there's Metabo's older SXE450 dual orbit machine, or for general sanding that excludes both fine & aggressive modes there's the excellent (maybe even brilliant) Mirka/Metabo clones that you've already mentioned. Fine sanding, finishing, intermediate between-coats painting & de-nibbing operations are best conducted by a fine sander: Mirka/Metabo 150 2.5mm.

    I actually doubt that any of these will be sufficient, however. You'd also need something like Metabo' little gem of a SXE400 for small concavities (which luckily has appropriately sized Abranet available) for freeform carvings, mouldings, bowls & turnings. In extremis, Arbortech makes ultra-small contour-following micro ROS for mini-grinder fitment too. A small delta, the pick of which is the now discontinued Swiss Bosch GDA/PDA twins with all their remarkably useful slat, flat & oval finger bases. Maybe also a Mirka DEOS (the smaller one) for fine detail work like window restoration etc. yet with 3mm orbital aggression making it one of the more effective small orbitals. Perhaps even a good (old Holz-Her, Metabo "1010", Wurth, AEG 900E or newer Festool) belt sander (all the same tool, but in varying liveries) with accessory frame base for those big flooring restoration & flattening jobs........... etc. etc. etc.

    Or in some circumstances no sander at all. In fine furniture, occasionally the very best surface finish is achieved with nowt but a properly ticketed & turned cabinet scraper.

    Incidentally, this query would probably be better suited to the "power tools" thread rather than the machinery section.
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  4. #3
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    Default

    Thank you sir, lots of information here

  5. #4
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    Just an update
    After further thinking and researching and considering the advice here, I decided it's probably a fool's errand to try and shoehorn everything I want into the one machine. I do have the budget for a Mirka, so I thought I'd break down the features that I want and buy them separately one at the time.

    So I bought the GEX150 Turbo. A bit heavy, but as long as I don't have to hold it all day (which I won't), it doesn't bother me.
    Love the aggressiveness, when it's needed it's really needed.

    Then for $70 I also bought this little gem from Makita's DIY range

    It doesn't have any settings whatsoever, just an on-off button, but I absolutely love it because it fits my hand like a glove and weighs about the same as a can of coke. Most comfortable tool in the shed. I have no idea how long it will last and I don't particularly care, when it kicks the bucket I'll get another one (or 3). I'm using it all-the-time, I'm even sanding things that don't necessarily need sanding because I like it so much.

    I'm gonna roll with those two for a while, see what gaps they leave in the range and if needs be I still have the budget for a 3rd one. I'll probably need something in between at some point, but it looks like these two will do most of the work.

    Happy with my choices so far, thanks again for helping think out of the box.

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