What You Need to Know When Choosing the Right Sander

19th September, 2018

Author: Festool Australia Marketing Team



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Video Transcript

We're going to take a look at some sanders on the market to better help you in choosing the right sander. We're going to talk about different applications and also where a sander fits for that application. We’ll think about some fairly important considerations you need to think about before you choose your sander.

Because there are so many applications out there, choosing the right sander is really a big challenge. There are just so many available. Let's simplify it here to give you a better understanding of these tools. Sanders can be used for paint removal, on solid timber veneer timber, even on a solid surface acrylic product.

In those sorts of situations, we sometimes need a sander that can remove the product fast. Sometimes we might need something that could do an intermediate or fine sand.

With certain products you need to have a look at something that can do a big variety of these applications. It needs to be able to do some fairly heavy removal if you need to sand something quickly. You've got the adaptability to do a fine sand as well. The application and the usage of the sander will determine what's best for you.

Sometimes it's hard to choose between applications. If we have a look at a thing like paint removal, we've got to use the right abrasive for it. We've also got to use the right sanding pad. The sanding pad’s important to get the correct finish.

Not all sanders are built for longevity. We do use them quite a bit. They’re used for long periods of time, so we need to make sure that our choice in a sander is going to give us the longevity that we need.

Another important thing to have a look at is how you go about using abrasives. One of the big points when you're sanding is that your abrasive needs to stay clear. If you can keep abrasive clear, that means that the sandpaper is doing what it's meant to do. It's keeping clear to be able to sand nicely and quickly.

A couple of buying considerations are: what size sanding pad do you need? What type of application: is it narrow material? Is it a wider material? Which orbit size is required? We have high orbits and low orbits. They would do intermediate sanding and also finishing sanding.

At the heart of the system is dust extraction. We really want to make sure that we can hook the sanders onto dust extraction. This will allow us to work more cleanly and healthily, and also so we can get to our acquired finish a lot quicker.

Now we're going to have a look at certain types of sander for Festool. The Rotex sander is one that can offer a lot of different applications in one. We've got a difference switch on top here. One is where we can use it for coarse sanding. The way to understand this is it's more like an angle grinder.

It's an angle grinder that moves in a rotary fashion. Obviously if we have a rotary movement, this would end up in quite coarse sanding marks. The benefit of this is as we move with it and it offsets the pad. That means the abrasive is always moving from left or right. This gives us a lot better finish and it enables us to take the material off really quickly.

We go from a rough material removal and this might be where we want to remove the paint but we also want to finish it quite well for another coat. That way we can flick it over to random orbital and this is a finishing sander. No longer is it gear-driven. It's got small five millimeter orbits which will give us the best finish. 

With these types of sanders, we have a lot of versatility. This is where you can do your coarse removal and your fine removal. The other benefit of that is we can also polish with it. The reason we can do that is we've got a whole series of systems of pads. This is a really important when you make your purchase decision. You want a system that can do different applications.

Particularly for a hard pad, where you want to keep edges really sharp, it will enable you to keep surfaces really flat. With a super soft pad, you get a lot more sponge in it. This will curve to the surfaces, just allowing you to get a really good finish, particularly on curved surfaces rather than flattening that edge out.

The polishing pad is a hard pad where we can use different buffs. It can polish your car, it can polish other solid surface products. Anywhere you can apply a polisher, you can apply these.

You’re really buying three tools in one. When we get to curve applications, this is also where we could use interface pads. Consider, has it got a system that allows us to use that and also apply the abrasive to be able to contour to different surfaces?

You'll spend a lot more on abrasives than you will on a sander. You really want to look for a system that can maximize the abrasive. Certain systems that have got that additional in the pad is a good way to go. With this particular pad, the whole idea is that it funnels dust to the outside to the extraction holes. It can give us a lot longer life out of our abrasive. If you can get 30% longer life out of your abrasives, it means you're working a lot more efficiently.

There are also situations where you may be working on edges. It could be a window or it could be a sill. Look for systems that have got smart accessories that can allow you to work up to edges without ruining your pad or ruining the surface area. Different systems allow you to do this. You can work really efficiently and well with these types of accessories.

Festool really offer a system here and these are the Rotex sanders. So we look at rotary, really high stock removal, but we can also adapt them to do fine finishing and also polishing. The orbits in these are all 5ml and allow you to carry out a vast range of applications and also reduce the amount of consumables that you use.

If you want to know more about choosing the right sander, you can call us here. We will send one of our technical consultants out. They can come out, you can use the machine, you can trial it and have a look at how it can benefit you with your applications. 

Visit our Sanding & Polishing section.
Request a free tool trial or demonstration and experience the Festool difference Request a Demo

 

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