On a forum, I saw a question about the differences between the Festool RO-125 and the RO-150 Rotex sanders. I wanted to post a link to my blog entry about it only to realize that I never made one with the various review videos of those two sanders.
So, if you have followed my blog for the past year, you likely saw these. I'm adding them here for completeness.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The following video reviews of the Rotex sanders are mostly about each individual sander, functionality, speeds, etc. with a little comparison between the two. The fourth video is a comparison directly between the models.
Let me apologize up front for the lighting in the videos; they were among the first 5 I ever did and I had no softboxes (directed diffuse lighting).
Read up after the videos for some additional thoughts...
First up, the RO-125 review and demo:
Next, the RO-150 review:
and separately the demo (I was too new to YouTube to be allowed a longer video at the time :)
And lastly, a video comparing the two models side by side:
Additional thoughts (some of which were eluded to in the videos):
I like the RO-125 because it fits nicely in my hand; I can easily grab the knob top and whirl it around a bit like an ETS-125. It's less aggressive, however, than the RO-150, but I normally don't need to hog off material (for that, the RAS-115 is a beast).
The surface of the RO-150 is 44% larger than that of the RO-125, which is significant if you are sanding/polishing the hull of a boat, less significant if you are sanding face frames. Actually, if you are mostly sanding face frames, the RO-90 is the sander of choice.
Whichever sander you get, be sure to order the hard pad for it. You want that when sanding most anything flat. The semi-soft that comes with the sander will follow minor undulations that you may not care about in the field of a piece, but near the edge, it can "dub" the edge.
If you decide to get the RO-150, I highly recommend the auxiliary handle that attaches to the front of the sander. You are so much better balanced for leaving the pad flat on the surface. With the regular side handle, it's too easy to dip the front or back of the pad and add scratches from the edge of the pad.
For their papers, I like using Rubin paper from P80 to P120. From P180 up, I use Brilliant-2 papers. Now that Granat is available, I'd be tempted to replace Rubin with it as it seems to last longer plus if you work with mixed media, Granat doesn't clog on resins or plastics.