I Am Now A Festool Fan!
Have just tried out the Festool Rotex Sander and cannot believe the performance when compared to regular sanders.
For years I have been a staid Bosch Green power tool supporter. I have used Bosch Green power tools for all my DIY projects and presented the full range of Bosch Green at my DIY-Divas workshops. I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Festool Rotex Sander and want to share the results of the project I used it for and the results achieved.
The project I decided on to test the Rotex is my outdoor dining table. As you can see from the images below, 3 coats of exterior wood sealer were applied to the table to ensure adequate protection from the elements. Unfortunately, however, during a recent bad storm, some branches were blown over the top of the table and almost gouged the surface. This meant that the table needed to be sanded back and resealed.
Festool Rotex offers 2-speed operation: 320 to 660 rotary speed and 3 300 to 6 800 eccentric speed.
Normally, a project like this will take a couple of hours, even if you start with low grit sandpaper. The Rotex came with a single 80-grit sanding pad, so I decided to see what this would do before purchasing additional sanding pads.
GOOD TO KNOW: I attached the Festool Rotex Sander to my Festool CTL Midi Dust Extractor.
First off, the Festool Rotex has 2 modes of operation - rotary at up to 660 rpm and eccentric up to 6,800 opm. This might sound like gibberish, as it did to me when I first heard it, but one mode offers revolutions (rotary) per minute and the other orbits (eccentric) per minute.
The rotary gear is ideal for regular sanding and we decided to start with this in the beginning. In the image above you can see how the first pass managed to remove all of the sealer in rotary speed and using an 80-grit sanding pad. I should also mention that, even after sanding the surface of the wood was silky smooth, not rough or with fibres lifted as is usual when doing 80-grit sanding. The first half of the table took about 10-minutes to complete.
Switching over to eccentric gear - and still using the same 80-grit sanding pad - the rest of the table surface was sanded without any effort and at twice the speed. Working in eccentric mode is kind of like using a belt sander for the first time. You switch on and hold on for dear life until you get used to it! The huge difference between using the Rotex in eccentric gear as opposed to using a belt sander is that the surface of the wood was still silky smooth - no roughness whatsoever.
Would I buy this tool myself? Most definitely! While on the pricey side for the average DIY enthusiasts, this is a tool you will want to invest in if you do a lot of sanding. The benefits make the cost worthwhile if you run an SME where sanding is an everyday occurrence. And Christmas is just around the corner - what better stocking filler ;D
Benefits of Festool Rotex compared with a random orbit sander
- Efficiency of operation in both rotary and eccentric mode
- Finish on wood after sanding
- Effective removal of surface material in both rotary and eccentric gear
- Dust-free work environment when connected to Festool CTL Midi Dust Extractor
For a full list of all technical details for the Festool Rotex, visit the Festool South Africa website.