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ElectronicFur
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun 6th May, 2018 11:18 pm
Location: Monmouthshire

Re: Top tools

Post by ElectronicFur » Thu 18th Mar, 2021 11:38 pm

Toby Newell wrote:
Fri 12th Feb, 2021 6:09 pm
Festool Rotex. No words. I resisted for years. Stubbornly bought the Metabo, the Bosch, idiotically the more expensive Mafell even, I was already using Festool dust extractors and had a zillion systainers but I refused to buy a Festool sander. True story.

Well, I could of saved myself a few thousand pounds.

It's expensive, but it's really not. It's the best hand held sander in the world and the best tool Festool make just above their extractors and syslites.
What makes it the best? I was looking at sanders a few months back and had decided I'd get the Bosch GET 75-150 at some point this year as I have a lot of sanding to do. The Rotex is a lot pricier, and after looking at a few reviews I couldn't really work out what I'd gain. What would I be missing if I got the Bosch instead of a Rotex?

Toby Newell
Posts: 474
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Fri 19th Mar, 2021 3:43 am

Complete no brainer. It's a free tool.

Before you read on be aware buying your first Festool sander is a dangerous activity. :lol: They make a few very good tools. And you don't want to get afflicted.

Buy it. Use it. Keep it long enough and sell it for more than you paid for it. Or sell it quickly and lose three days rental.

If you had the money a McLaren F1 was cheaper than a Dacia Duster. And in this analogy, you have the money :D McLaren after 15 year's worth more than sticker price. Dacia Duster worth a sticker. :mrgreen:

Do an eBay search 'Rotex 150' and sort from low to high.

First result? A 15 year old two thirds of the power RO150 forerunner to the current Rotex in a faded first gen systainer with a mangled pad. (Cost less than £300 new in 2006.

Buy it now for £350. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Best of luck doing that with any other tool.

Screenshot_20210319-042641_copy_691x1107_1.png
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If the Rotex isn't one of the best tools you will ever use I would be surprised. I have around £15k worth of sanders. I have sold around £20k worth. I have had a few dozen from Fein, Bosch, Festool, Makita and Metabo. Think I broke 2 or 3 Makitas, 3 Boschs, 3 Metabos and a Mafel (150mm sanders) before I relented and bought a Rotex. I've had about 5, sold 3, still got 2. Never been serviced. Put a 40 grit ceramic alumina disc on, kneel on the ground, put all of your weight on the Rotex and try and lift yourself off the ground with it, it doesn't slow down much. Put a 3M P5000 film disc on and it will polish glass.

Had 2 of the Bosch's GEX150 TURBO - Previous version. Both broke within 2 years.

Dust extraction better, pads better, gears better, ergonomics better. Rotex is cheap in vfm terms, one of best 240v hand tools full stop.

If you will be using for less than 100hrs and keeping for life Bosch is fine, similar power, both have 3yr warranty but only Festool covers theft, accidental damage will pick up and drop off for free and have dedicated Tooltechnic technicians in the UK (best warranty and service cover in the entire industry). If you are going to use it lots just get the Rotex.

The Bosch looks cheaper and crappier than the previous version, main problem is the gears and the dust tube lol, excellent ergonomics. The old version was more expensive. Like the Metabo duo the newer one is rubbish. Metabo and Makita sanders (and other tools) have dropped in quality. Not heard anything about the Bosch. But seeing as the dust tube is worse and moved from the old one suggests Bosch don't make it themselves.

I'm repeating what I already wrote for flips sake.

I bought the Mafel UX150 More expensive than the Rotex! Because I refused to buy a Rotex. Broke within months, Muppet idiot importers in Oldham sent it back more broken than when I sent it for repair (after weeks)

I still remember walking to the wheelie bin and throwing it in.

1500 discs, most of them used on the Rotex, tranche 2 of 3 of one job. Rotex was 2yrs old, now 5 and still going.
discs final.jpg
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Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Fri 19th Mar, 2021 7:38 am

I've got the Bosch GET75-150 (which I'm sure Toby was because you liked the previous model - must have been before yours broke!)

I picked mine up as an Amazon return at a bit of a bargain price. I'm pleased with it, but it's horses for courses - it's probably done an hour of sanding in 3 months, whereas for Toby that's, erm, his first hour of his day! I don't doubt the Festool is a better item, but if the budget won't stretch then for amateur use the Bosch is good I think.

My intention at some point was to do my lounge and dining room floors with it - if I don't relent / see sense and ask Toby to do them! The attraction of doing it myself is partly to try and do half a room at a time, I'm struggling a bit on emptying all the furniture out of 2 rooms in order to ask Toby to do it. Yes, I've got a whacking great garage, but it's full.....

Prior to the Bosch I had an old B&Q PP Pro random orbit sander. It came with an attractive feature (it was free! A sample from when I worked at their head office). The Bosch is in a different league - the "Turbo mode" (which means that the rotation of the disc is directly powered) makes it very powerful, in fact too powerful for many scenarios, mine has it switched off quite frequently.

I use a disc saver pad - worth it I think. Toby, I'd welcome your view on the Bosch net pads, like the ones below - the idea appeals as I've got an Abranet hand sanding kit, which has a similar appearing mesh based paper, works really well I find in conjunction with my ancient Henry hoover at keeping dust levels down.

https://www.axminstertools.com/bosch-ne ... t-5-103496

Toby Newell
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Fri 19th Mar, 2021 9:29 am

I think you should sand the floors Feltwell :mrgreen:

You have the gear!

You are correct, the new Bosch or a Makita BO6050 (successor to the BO6040 of which I forgot I had 2 of... :lol: ) will do an identical job to the Festool, for around half the price. So, perfect in the short and medium terms as they all have 3 year warranty (if you don't mind waiting a few weeks / months compared to Festools 1 to 2 weeks to resolve, which may not be important to a, er, civvie :lol: The Bosch and Makitas are a straight copy of the Festool, who not only invented the dual action model, but the random orbital sander itself. Long term the Festool will hold its value better / break down less and offer more pad options whilst being less dusty. Traditionally Festool pads were overpriced, relatively poorly made and annoyingly proprietary, these days the price has come down, the Jetstream and fast fix features are genuinely brilliant (several of my Makita / Metabo sanders were destroyed because the pad 'welded' on) and they last much longer than any other brand making them excellent value.

As regards the mesh discs which are a copy of the Mirka abranet, which even Festool have now copied (Kudos Mirka) they are pointless for floor sanding.

I tried some Mirkas and they destroyed my pad. No idea how they react with the Bosch pads, (Bosch don't make either in house) kind of moot as they were designed to sand paint and filler on walls with a smaller sander and would only be good to sand filler or intercoat sanding. Zero advantage for dust collection which is more related to what sander you have, what dust extractor and what size hose.

I own the amusingly misnamed 'pad savers' (correct name 'interface pads') which last around 5 minutes of hard use. They aren't designed to save money as they last less than a day or two of proper sanding, more to be more gentle on curved work.

Important point, if you really cannot afford a Rotex up front, or even if you just can, buying the Bosch or Makita along with the cheapest dust extractor would be a wiser option. Again, vying with the Rotex for the best tools ever made, period. Again, I've tried almost all of them, the Trend, the Fein etc. I had trend and Fein extractors for years and years, excellent machines, although I cannot vouch for the new ones (and neither company makes their own so probably Chinese now rather than Italian who are world leaders in vacuum motor technology, the Hitachi QB35 was a carbon copy of the Fein QA35E, seek out a second hand one of these or an old Trend T30 these all lasted 15 year's after I gave them away to friends - shoot me now I cannot take the sadness...)

Ps. Top tip. If the Bosch still uses a bolt on pad (think the new Makita is fast fix) consider applying a smear of copper slip. Yeah, I know it reduces torque but should be fine for holding a sanding pad. What is less fine is (what I assume to be the case) extra fine sanding dust / resin migrating its way up the threads, melting and 'loctiting' the bolt better than any Loctite! Although conceivably could also have cold welded. Sent one of my Metabo SXE450 DUOs to Healy's tools (original Festool importer, yes I was year zero adoptor in the UK) couldn't touch it, so they sent it next door to a lorry workshop. They couldn't touch it with an arm breaking air wrench.

Preempting your next question and working on the basis I will shortly stop my Claire Raynor impression and get back to work...

3M cubitron II
3M 255P+
3M 245
Festool Granat
Mirka Silver
Siat Alox / Zirconia

These are the discs I use. Just as saw blades and drills are arguably more important than the tools they are attached to, sanders are the same (technically the saw / drill / sander does zero cutting / drilling / sanding, they just move the bit at the sharp end which is the disposable tool that does the work and thus effects efficiency)

Using the right sanding disc can effect your efficiency by 500%

FEI I use mostly Festool Granat, Siat Zirconia for rough sanding (3M 245 green also excellent, 345 and the Siat being a heavier weight paper than the Granat) I have a few thousand Mirka Silver in P80 which are great, as are the 3M cubitron 2s which last less but cut sharp being electrostatically aligned, laser cut triangular silicon carbide. I use 3M 255P+ for finer and intercoat sanding and still have a few thousand of them. Yes, I have several thousand pounds worth of sanding discs at any one time. And yes, I have experimented A and B ing discs too. For example don't be tempted with Mirka Base cut (shit cut) they're cheap but last 5x less than Mirka Silver.

(If you want to know about hardness and cutting characteristics, abrasive types, glue bonding, paper weight, stearate lubrication and loading patterns, there is always my website)

RBailey
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Top tools

Post by RBailey » Fri 19th Mar, 2021 2:59 pm

Image

I got fed up with killing vacuum cleaners, filling bags quickly, blocking filters / bags and loosing suction.
After cleaning out under some more floor boards recently the detritus killed another vacuum so I've gone for a fleabay cyclone and drum for the latest replacement shop vac.
So far it seems to separate well with no real loss of suction. (I also like the 5m hose.)

I will also do double duty on the table saw and router lift.

Cheers,
Richard B.

Toby Newell
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Sat 20th Mar, 2021 5:45 am

Cyclones are very good for separating large diameter waste.

A good quality dust extractor is another option.

Festool sell long life dust bags that can be reused 1000 times, although many more times I have found.

I have vacuumed up several thousand kilos of dust with each of my extractors including concrete, soot, brick and rubble and never had a problem. Only issue has been broken cables, which happens when you use a tool for hundreds of hours a year.

I thoroughly recommend them. I think the Festool CTL vacuums are probably the best tool I own and the best domestic tools you can buy worldwide, full stop. No Cyclone needed. They also do wet and dry.

If anyone wants to buy a BIG cyclonic vacuum then there is a nearly new (hardly used) one going for less than half price, it used to be mine and I sold it to a friend who never used it! It is excellent.

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Sun 21st Mar, 2021 10:12 am

First off, thanks Toby for the abrasive recommendations, very useful.

Secondly - born of ignorance - what's the advantage of a dust extractor over a normal vacuum then, beyond finer filtration?

Currently I've got a chip extractor, which I have to use with my planer thicknesser, otherwise it jams instantly. This pulls a large volume of air but at a modest suction, I can't see it being much use for anything beyond chip extraction (which is fair enough!)

I've also got an ancient Henry Hoover, dates from the 1970's and despite constant abuse is still going strong. In fact it's so old it's not even a Henry really - it has the eyes and smile but no name, dates from before they came up with that one! I don't use bags in it - it has a thick cloth filter under the motor, I blow that out with an airline when I empty it, which is admittedly a bit of a filthy job.

My initial thought for floor sanding was to use Henry, but put him outside with a long hose, so his lack of fine filtration isn't an issue - would a dust extractor work significantly better than that do you think?

It's always mucky under the floors here and for some reason I don't like leaving it that way, but Henry isn't so good for this, he does tend to jam with the bigger bits of detritus. If there's a better "getting rid of the chunky bits" solution I'd like to hear it.

Toby Newell
Posts: 474
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Sun 21st Mar, 2021 12:39 pm

Tis hard to explain.

Just buy a Festool CTL and get back to me.

It will outlive you.

Festool do a stupid cyclonic filter now but it looks silly.

Great thing about the CTL's are the accessories. You can get a 50mm wide hose and a long life bag.

No point bothering with anything else, they are all worse. Even the similarly prices Bosch and Hilti ones.

The old Trend T30 was brilliant as was the Fein QA35E, I had serveral, gave them away, my mate used them to death for 15 years. Think they were made by ze Italians, they made an identical one for Hitachi too the QB35, not much effort made there with the name! No longer available. I would of said buy the Trend T30 but the new ones look rubbish. If you can find an old new old stock or lightly used darlek type Trend or Fein then snap them up, would last you 15 to 20 years. Otherwise its the Festool CTL, the Bosch is slightly cheaper but has crap ergonomics and less accessories. The Festool CTL is IMHO the best single phase electrical tool ever invented. And thats from an anorak with £30K + power tools.

Only disadvantage of the CTL's are the crappy ABS plastic construction, which is ok unless you are a gorilla. For site use the PA6 GFR nylon housed Hilti would be a more durable bet for the average neanderthal to kick down the stairs a few times but even the mighty Hilti are now made in the far east.

The Festool are made in Germany. Top tip. Get the cheapest CTL version, forget the CTM version. TLDR but both are exactly the same. Actually cheaper one is better. The EU made it technically illegal to use a manual filter cleaning vacuum for industrial use because of neanderthals who don't realise that the motor is screaming and the room is filling with dust and who carry on working. For everyone with an IQ higher than that of a mushroom who occasionally check how full their dust bag is the CTL is actually more efficient. Sad but true. The law has to work to the lowest common denominator. And in general many people in the construction industry are various flavours of moron.

CTL is the best, and I have scoured the world, not just the UK.

As I said (you can see on the home page of my website) I sold my £1200 Numatic (Henry) 3 motor vacuum, 80 litre cyclonic industrial vaccum to a friend and colleague of mine who has never used it. It retails for £1200+ think I paid £600 odd 14 yrs ago or something, sold it to him for £500. Think he will sell it for £450 to get rid. It has 3 x 1200w Henry motors with option of 1, 2 or 3. Yes, on max its 3600W which technically is over the 13A limit but it's fine and won't blow anything. Anyone with a little electrical knowledge will know my humungous Lagler Hummel whilst only 2200W creates massively more back EMF load every time it is switched on or off. Anyway, it's a virtually unused bargain, 3 Henry motors, double cloth filter lovingly hand stitched in the midlands by British grannies, with a cylonic off axis inlet, removable wheels and 80 litre metal canister. Simple and totally rebuildable with cheap and readily available spares. DM me if you interested and I will put you in touch. Would be excellent as a shop vac. I only sold it as I moved to all Festools and it took up too much room.

I bought it from here https://www.cleanstore.co.uk/products/P ... asp?ID=634

ElectronicFur
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Location: Monmouthshire

Re: Top tools

Post by ElectronicFur » Tue 23rd Mar, 2021 12:29 pm

Thanks Toby, that's given me a lot to think about :)

Also the info on the discs you use will come in very handy, thanks.

Disappointing to hear both your Bosch GEX150's broke within 2 years. Thought it would be a good compromise, but I guess sometimes you get what you pay for.

At the moment I'm just using an old Karcher A2200 for vacuuming and dust as I inherited it from my dad.

Toby Newell
Posts: 474
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Tue 23rd Mar, 2021 1:28 pm

np. Tbh I am pretty sure either the Bosch or the Makita will do exactly what the Festool does for about half the price.

Unless you have a proper dust extractor the difference would be negligible.

You have to bear in mind some months I use my sanders more than you may use yours in your entire life.

The Bosch or Makita will be more than enough for your purposes.

It is only my ridiculously detailed knowledge that makes the Festool a no brainer, in my eyes.

Because I know it will last a lifetime, is more versatile, be cleaner and easier to use and easy to sell on making the whole life cost the cheapest of the three.

LadyArowana
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Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: Top tools

Post by LadyArowana » Wed 24th Mar, 2021 10:07 am

All this talk of beefy power tools is not for me, my secret weapon is a humble wooden spoon. Wrapped in a soft cloth it has polished and burnished my bannisters to a lovely shine, just now it helped me open a high cupboard to read the meters and is always available to give a quick smack of encouragement to slackers.

ElectronicFur
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Location: Monmouthshire

Re: Top tools

Post by ElectronicFur » Fri 26th Mar, 2021 9:32 pm

Toby Newell wrote:
Tue 23rd Mar, 2021 1:28 pm
You have to bear in mind some months I use my sanders more than you may use yours in your entire life.
Yes that's probably true, I'm initially buying it as I have some floors to sort out. But the problem with my kind of sporadic long term use is that if there is to be a fault, it will more likely happen after the warrantee has expired.

Toby Newell
Posts: 474
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Mon 29th Mar, 2021 2:02 am

@ladyarowana

My Grandmother (my Nan) had such severe COPD (she needed oxygen at night and I spent much of my childhood days looking after her) that it was often hard for her to talk.

When she wanted me to shut up, she occasionally used whatever was to hand, including a spoon. So effective was it I can still feel it's effect to this day.

Unfortunately, it wasn't wooden.

@electronic fur

You cannot always buy the best. Just like you cannot always pick the right queue, or leave the bus stop at the right time.

Even if you do, luck may not be on your side. I'm sure you will be okay.

Feltwell
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Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Mon 29th Mar, 2021 6:51 pm

Not so much a tool, but......

Why oh why have I never discovered Wago connectors and boxes before? Used Wago773 connectors on a lighting circuit I was rewiring today, they are brilliant, so much better than screw terminal junction boxes. Also not prone to coming loose, which a sparky friend tells me can happen, with stranded cable especially (of which Feltwell Towers has quite a bit).

For those that don't know what I'm on about, it's these:-

https://www.screwfix.com/p/wago-junction-box/7355f#_=p

https://www.screwfix.com/p/wago-basic-i ... pack/48808

They've been around for some time, I'm just dragging myself into the modern times.

Today's treat of a discovery from Butch & Sundance, the duo who the previous owner got to refit the ensuite bathroom, was that they could horribly bodge electrics as well as plumbing! (and everything else come to that :roll: ). I won't go into details, suffice to say it was both dangerous & stupid, beyond mere laziness.

Toby Newell
Posts: 474
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Location: London

Re: Top tools

Post by Toby Newell » Mon 29th Mar, 2021 7:29 pm

Obviously it's worse when it's actually the house you own and live in.

But can you imagine the PTSD from seeing the after effects of hundreds of Butch and Sundances' many cousins...

I have a coping mechanism. I mean apart from exclaiming out loud, several times in a row, in full earshot of the customer a slightly saltier version of 'What have these people appeared to have done? It doesn't quite make sense, I am slightly perplexed!'

I calm down, take a deep breath, relax and smile and marvel in incredulity at the utter pointlessness of their particular misdemeanours.

I can understand corner cutting, laziness and blatant stupidity, that's humans for you. Often it is the combination of the above that also gives a result that would of taken longer and cost more than doing it correctly.

Sometimes I am stunned as to how it is even possible to be so stupid / irresponsible. There certainly is milage in appreciating how spectacularly crap some building work / repairs are.

If there is one life lesson I have learnt from my decades in my job is that however old you get, you will never have seen it all. Stupid, lazy people are infinitely creative.

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