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Which Orbit sander should I buy? (Read 8122 times)
Peter Chung
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Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Feb 9th, 2002 at 10:31am
 
I need a little advice ..... trying to buy a good quality orbit sander for uke/guitar finishing.  I've heard alot of different oppinions on what I should get. 

I had it down to the Ryobi Rs112 4 1/2" Palm Grip Random Orbit Sander after reading this review on epinions.com:

________________

Ryobi Rules
by ukulele | Dec 13 '99
Pros: High speed, light weight, nice grip
Cons: Velcro wears out fast.
Recommended: Yes

I have worked with wood for about 35 years and 30 of those years were without one of these great sanders. I don't know how I ever got by without one. I have two random orbital sanders, a 4-1/2" Ryobi and a 5" Makita. I also worked for a while with a friends 5" Porter Cable.

The Ryobi is my favorite. It's light weight, ergonomic grip, high speed and smaller diameter pad makes it versatile and efficient. For the past few years I have built over 60 fine quality ukuleles. The random orbital sander is the only machine I would consider for finish sanding. It handles curves as well as flat surfaces and it sands way faster then a vibrator sander. The Ryobi spins at a faster rate then the Makita, with less vibration and with less centrifugal force which is easy on the wrist.

The one draw back is the hook and loop backing pad. After a couple of hundred hours of use it can no longer hold the paper on. A new backing pad is around 20 bucks. I used peel and stick Velcro to replace it which worked fine until finally the pad itself cracked in two and I was forced to buy a new pad, but that was not until I had at least a couple of thousand hours on it.

Don't be fooled by it's low price and plastic housing. The Ryobi random orbital sander is one tough work horse and will out sand any other tool in it's class.


Amount Paid (US$): 79.00
__________________________

This seemed like the perfect orbit sander for me cause I was going to use it for the same thing.  But then I came across this review:
_________________________

Durability Sucks...
by friesr | Mar 09 '01
Pros: Power
Cons: Cust. Service, Parts, Ware
The Bottom Line: Buy at own risk....
Recommended: No

I have had this sander for a few years. The hooks on the base do not last long at all so the sandpaper will not stick anymore... Called Ryobi cust. service and they would not help me at all. Told me to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and have them order it for me.

Lowe's said they were not carrying any ryobi products due to the poor quality, high number of returns, and local reps. and would be unable to assist me with parts. They were very nice about blowing me off.

Luckily, Home Depot had it in stock...

I will not buy a ryobi product again especially when a chain like Lowe's will not carry their products.

This sander does the job. I am not disappointed that I have it but I would buy a rectangle base unit in the future (just personal preference and you dont have to worry about the hook and loop system)

Amount Paid (US$): 50.00
__________________________


As you can see there is a big difference in opions here.  Any advice you  can send my way would be greatly appreciated... I don't mind spending the money as long as it's for the right tool! Thanks in advance,
-Pete

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achock
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #1 - Feb 11th, 2002 at 9:01am
 
Hey Pete,
   
Don't give up hope, the shop folks are out there .... they are listening and will bestow the knowledge unto you in good time. 

Meanwhile, here is something for you to take a look at:

http://www.woodnet.net/toolreviews/sand_rev.html

They've done a nice comparison test with a number of different orbit sanders including the Ryobi RS-112....

Porter Cable 333
Ryobi RS-112
Black & Decker 2771 
Wen 15
Sears 27714 
Makita B05001 
DeWalt DW421

A few of these use pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) discs...the stick'em on kind. That would take care of the problems you've been hearing about with the hook and loop system Ryobi uses. 




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Peter Chung
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #2 - Feb 12th, 2002 at 9:57am
 
Thanks for the review, some good points in there.  I have to say I'm leaning towards B&D's new 5" Random Orbit Palm Sander the Model #RO100.
     I dont' plan on doing any heavy sanding with this and the new Black and Decker is right in my price range.  I'm also partial to the way it fits in your hand.

     If I do end up getting it I'll be sure to let you know how it works out.
-Pete
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ukeman
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #3 - Feb 12th, 2002 at 10:06am
 
Grin     gosh.....been using a bunch of palm sanders myself....both reciprocating and ossillating,... for the reciprocating I've used Porter Cable, Rockwell,Delta,Ryobi,Black and Decker, and Makita....shoots I grab the nearest one they all work right fine...preference?   I like the Makita and the small Ryobi the most.   Looking for a cadillac of fine detail sanders..the Fein has no equal   tho at the asking price you could buy 4 other detail sanders at the same cost...for oscillators... have used Porter Cable ,Rockwell, Skill and Bosch...again no preference tho  i use the porter cable the most. I look for base flatness and pad firmness foremost...and  ease of adhereing papers..ass about it...laters ukeman
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Peter Chung
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #4 - Feb 12th, 2002 at 6:03pm
 
Thanks for the info! I'll check it out and let you know what happens.
-Pete
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #5 - Feb 13th, 2002 at 3:33pm
 
A few links for anyone interested in finding out more about the Orbit Sanders mentioned.

There is quite a price rage, these go from the $625 Fein to a $29 preowned Black&Decker. Ryobi no longer offers an online product catalog for some reason.. ?  They say go to Home Depot for more info..

Orbit Sander Links:
Black & Decker
Fein
Makita
PorterCable
Bosch Tools
Dewalt

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mike chock
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #6 - Apr 1st, 2002 at 10:20am
 
hey there   thought I'd bust out my Fein detail sander and give it a whirl....working on a series of 4 ukes and a guitar and in lieu of handsanding thought i'd try ouyt the Fein detail sander and see if indeed an expensive tool can to a great job with less physical effort...these Fein tools are expensive.

report one....ok   used the detailer to sand the heel to side areas of the ukes and guitars...always a bitch to get in these tight areas.....results...worked like a charm...even and flat sanding and no real effort.

Report  two....ok  headstocks and transition areas between neck and headstock nice and sweet with the detail sander...shucks had to hand sand with paper and dowels on my headstock....lots of small curves. But  detail sander now sanded backs...tops  and sides and necks.....kinda fun...no sweat and very stable.

allin all   ....may need to switch from hand sanding to machine work....makes a lot of sense and the results very uniform...I'll have enougfh had sanding in the higher grits...tho  will check out Woodcraft to see how high the grits go for sale for use with the Fein Detail sander.....Thus far  I rate this Puppy a winner...still no like the price but wow its a Cadillac....laters ukeman
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mike chock
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #7 - Apr 22nd, 2002 at 11:24am
 
aloha....thought I'd pass on some more machine sanding information.....Found neatly stashed away in one of my work cupboards a Random orbital sander that I had purchased many months pass. Its a Skill 5' random orbital model number HD 7750...whipped on a velcro 5' 100 grit sanding disc and tried it out free sanding newly jointed soundboards. This orbital worked right nicely...just using the weight of the sander and no real downward pressure the Skill made short work of sanding my soundboard plates....both on Engleman spruce and red western cedar. This Model has a 2 speed  feature depending on how far down you depress the trigger...the lower speed was all that I needed. Anyway  I can reccomend this random Orbital as a decent machine......aloha    ukeman
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mike chock
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #8 - May 3rd, 2002 at 10:20am
 
aloha ...heres a tip for all your Palm sander users...Ain't it a bitch when ya check the pad of yer sander and its all gummed up...dented ....or plain uneven...and youre trying to sand flat?  Bummers.....you go for a replacement pad and when ya come back to replace the old pad...the holes don't line up cuz its the wrong model number.....ok  been there  so heres a solution:

Most of your sanding pads are actually a sheet of rubber or membrane that has been adhered to the sanding pad base by film adhesion. Use a thin putty knife and remove pad...if ya need to clean excess adhesive..the remnant gummy stuff , use a solvent. You can buy self stick felt pads at Woodcraft...scissor cut to fit pad base and youre in business.  Also got some cork sheets from Home Depot and stuck these guys on with spray adhesive.......works right fine...and now much easier to cut and stick when replacing pads than trying to match model number and brand at the tool store...and of course loads cheaper...later     ukeman
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Ukeman
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #9 - Sep 30th, 2002 at 5:40pm
 
aloha out there....thers a new sander in town brought in by Leroy of Woodcraft...he is now the usa distributor for  FESTOOL out of Germany...picked up a Festool 400 e  third sheet sander...this puppy is expensive..a couple of hundred....so ouch.  Tried it out this week and its unbelievably smooth....and dust free...the extraction system works like a champ....its a hook and loop type base and alls it came with was a sheet of  150 grit....ass a rip off...so I need to visit the woodcraft store soon to pick up different sanding grits. The tool is vibration free...really super smooth and cuts like a bat out of hell....I guess you do get what you pay for but its a bit high for a sander...ah the pake blood churns...however got nuttin but good things to say about the tool.....its an expensive winnah.....laters    ukeman
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Edward J Kauf
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #10 - May 22nd, 2003 at 4:21am
 
I used to work in a high end Custom frame shop where we found the Porter Cable sanders to be the best.  We used a variable speed router control with these which gave great
range to the jobs at hand.  I don't know if this setup was detrimental to the motor, but it was great for gentle work.
The paper we ordered in quantity from Klingspor products
for cost effectiveness.  I hope this info can help someone.
Mahalo  Jeff
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #11 - Jul 12th, 2003 at 12:34pm
 
mahalo jeff!

sanding is such an integral part of ukulele making that any mechanical help is appreciated providing that the aid is controlable and accurate. Sandpapers are still the most needed items and its the quality and durability of the abraisives that will make sanding work easier. am still an adherent of Norton adalox champagne, and the japanese eagle brand  marketed under the Kovax name. The 3m specialty polishing papers are awesome as well.......anyone with reccomendations!    laters   ukeman
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #12 - Aug 14th, 2003 at 10:56am
 
aloha people: Just purchased a new toy! A quarter sheet sander rom Checker's Auto Parts of all places.The ad strategically located in the Sunday comic sections announced these sanders at a price under 20.00...how can that be! So away I went and now am the proud owner of a Nikota Quater sheet palm sander complete with dust collector and made in China by my Pake bretheren.

The work test:  Plugged the Nikota in and turned the puppy on. The sander vibrated very smoothly and very little vibration is transmitted into your holding hand. When applied to a wood ply surface it sanded away happily without any incident. Works fine. The sandpaper clips are a bit neanderthal but actually functional simplicity...press and the clips lift, let go and it holds in the paper. All in all a real bargin for the price...you can buy at least 2 or 3 for the price of other palm sanders ..what a deal...check em out! They also have a chinese version of a dremell tool for 15.00..they were sold out when I got there but will have another shipment next week.So will give that baby a test drive as well...hmmm at that price will buy enough for the Hana Lima class students to sand heel shapes with with a mini drum sander attachment bit.....over and out
laters   ukeman
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #13 - Aug 19th, 2003 at 10:39am
 
Gotta admit that the $20.00 Nikota is doing the job.  I'm expecting it to quick working sometime soon...something gotta be wrong for it to be so cheap.  But then again, it's a sander, not a high-end piece of technology.  Mayhaps we are advanced enough to produce a perfectly good sander for under $20.00? 

Only time will tell....
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Re: Which Orbit sander should I buy?
Reply #14 - Aug 20th, 2003 at 9:49pm
 
At Home Depot we found a detail sander that uses the triangled shaped sandpaper at a reasonable $23.97 made by Ryobi.  Yes, we also got the $20.00 sander from Checkers. I'll try it this weekend. Cheesy
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