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Old 04-18-2017, 02:46 PM
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Default Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

PRO5 Sander- sure it took some time getting to me and others, but worth the wait. I now have a sander that I trust for between- finish coat sanding. Smaller orbit at 2mm than my other disc sanders, so this sander is very controllable and easy to handle for delicate sanding.
I never owned the earlier ETS125 sander, but I should have thought about it and its replacement version sooner. My previous hand sanding with Mirka Abrasives mounted on a hand sanding block is still a good technique, but not as fast as using the Pro5 sander when faced with a lot of surface to get through and pressed for time. The higher pitch whine out of this sander when working with it seems similar to the older DX 93 sander. Not excessive, but not the same sound as the EC sanders at all.

ETC EC 125/3 sander. To compliment the above 5" sander, I bought the EC for more aggressive sanding in the 5" size abrasives. It also fits narrower casing and trim boards better than my 6"/150 sanders while covering more surface than the small pad of my RO90. Sort of a Goldilocks thing.
For years I resisted buying any of the 5" sanders from Festool and made do with all the other sander versions and sizes as needed, but finally gave in when over time the obvious size jump from RO90 90mm to 150mm left a large hole in material to pad size fit at times. I may STILL end up with the RO125 since Festool doesn't offer the EC 125 in a 5mm orbit, which is the one sander I still want. I know Mirka offers it, but am resisting the 'Gold' Line offers so far.

The EC125 is as much fun to use as my larger 150/5 version. Tons of power, and light in weight. I know people buy the EC125 and a larger 150mm pad to save on buying sanders ,instead just swapping out pads as needed. But, that locks you into only having a 3mm orbit sander and I want a more aggressive 5mm orbit when I need it. So, I have multiple sanders. Also, Festool is quick to point out swapping pads will void your warranty should they have some way of finding out that you're doing that.
I don't see that actually happening much, but they put it out there this year as a official reminder anyway.
More thought on the EC125: I've now used it for stripping off ancient Varnish and Stains on doors and Mouldings around my house. 60 or 80 grit Granat on the Sander, and away you go. Not as fast material removal rate as my EC 150/5, but very impressive for a 3mm orbit sander nevertheless. And the smaller pad size fits narrower casing better than a 150 sander too.

CT-Sys Vac- This makes my 4th Festool vac, and I had to research a way to modify it before I ever bought it. The reason, no adjustable suction control like its bigger brothers in the Vac line from Festool. That wasn't going to work for me with my expected uses for it, mainly, job site touch ups and clear film finish work where I'm working with much higher grits over 220g and need a sander to be able to freely move around under a MUCH lower suction level due to the fine grit of the abrasive and super smooth material surfaces.

So, I ended up with a Bosch Anti-Static 22mm hose that has a rotating blast gate on the end of the hose, the tool end, that you can open and close as need to control suction. This tames the CT-Sys Vac for my needs. I tried straight vacuum levels out of the Vac with the Pro5 sander and 500 grit on varnish sanding as a test. You REALLY notice the pull down of the Vac with no ability to lower suction levels on a very smooth surface and that high of a grit level. That would have been a deal breaker for me with my planned uses for both Sander and Vac.

Now with that blast gate controlling my vac's output, I can glide around and not be fighting vacuum suction while sanding. The Bosch hose of course lacks the 90 degree fitting end that the stock CT- Sys vac hose has, which makes storing my Bosch hose inside the hose garage something I was willing to give up easily in order to get sanding levels where I wanted them. You also have to remove a plastic nib or key that's on the outside of the Vac connector end on both new style Fein or Bosch vacuum hoses to allow them to slide into the smooth fitting of any of the Festool Vacuums/Extractors.
Both Fein and Bosch use this nib or key as a way to secure their vacuum hoses into their vacuums. On those Vacuums, you insert the hose with the key lined up for the matching channel or keyway in the vac and turn the hose to lock it in once you've inserted the hose into the Vac opening correctly.The hoses seem to match other than color, Bosch AS hoses are Blue, and Fein's are Orange, and since they've adopted this keying system for their hoses, you wonder if Festool will go that route someday on their vacs.
As it comes stock, the Bosch hose is a bit long at 16feet, but you can trim the hose as needed since Bosch and Fein are using similar hose ferrule connectors like we're used to with Festool. I haven't found an issue yet with the extra 'footage' of the Bosch hose, so I'm living with it at 16 foot for now.

Duo Light- BOOM, BAMM... LET THERE BE LIGHT.....
Seriously, you really light up a dark building even at basement levels with this light. Yes, very pricey, and that Festool mounting system doesn't play well with anything else like a Camera Tri-pod light would, but at I think 8000 lumens output, you end up not caring. I handed my Duo light to the head carpenter on a building I'm rehabbing, and haven't gotten it back yet..... It's THAT good....
Update- 5-6-17, finally got my Duolight back, looks well used but both light and tripod are in 1 piece.
I'm now being asked where to buy this light....Guess it was a hit..
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Last edited by Leakyroof; 05-07-2017 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Thanks for the review(s) Callan! I only have the 125 mm sanders, and have found they work well for what I do. I particularly like the ETS125 with its small orbit - it's surprisingly useful for a wide range of tasks.

I also have the RO125. I use it a great deal, but it can be seriously squirrely on wood that's not perfectly flat. It takes some muscle to hold steady sometimes. But it's definitely an all-round sander.

You must have quite a shop full of Festools by now! Excellent that you actually use them!
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Agreed about the Pro5 sander, it's served me well thus far.

I'm still a bit befuddled why they didn't include adjustable suction on the sys vac, it kept me from buying one instead of a mini. But I'm glad you overcame that limitation for your application, well done!
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Thanks for the reviews. I've stuck with the 5" tools (other than the RO90 and other specialty items) and have been happy. Your review makes me want to check out the EC series............ darn.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Thanks for the review(s) Callan! I only have the 125 mm sanders, and have found they work well for what I do. I particularly like the ETS125 with its small orbit - it's surprisingly useful for a wide range of tasks.

I also have the RO125. I use it a great deal, but it can be seriously squirrely on wood that's not perfectly flat. It takes some muscle to hold steady sometimes. But it's definitely an all-round sander.

You must have quite a shop full of Festools by now! Excellent that you actually use them!
I'm getting ever closer to having 70 systainers....
BUT, Some actually ARE storing non-Festool Tools...
I have fallen in love with the Sys 2 and Sys 3 COMBI SYStainers. You get that nice little drawer under your tool storage section for housing grinding wheels, discs, abrasives, service tools for a particular tool...etc.....
I'll take pictures of 3 different TOOL Makes that I've stored now with them.
In one of them, I can sneak both a small Milwaukee Angle Grinder and a Metabo Random Orbit sander side by side. The Metabo is about the size of a DX93 sander, so it's narrow too.
My 8" Fein Random Orbit takes up a whole systainer due to that massive pad size of the sander, but the 8" discs still fit in the drawer unit underneath instead of requiring a sep. Abrasive systainer like on other tools. Should have looked at these COMBI units sooner when they came out...
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Last edited by Leakyroof; 04-19-2017 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
Agreed about the Pro5 sander, it's served me well thus far.

I'm still a bit befuddled why they didn't include adjustable suction on the sys vac, it kept me from buying one instead of a mini. But I'm glad you overcame that limitation for your application, well done!
Thanks, I think maybe the price of adding Variable Speed to this tiny Vac might have pushed it higher than what Festool wanted. But I don't really know for sure, just a guess. I DO know that with smooth surfaces, even the lower rating of 106CFM from this Vac is enough to stick a small sander pretty bad if you're not careful using higher grits. Annoying if you want to glide around while sanding....
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeTwoBears View Post
Thanks for the reviews. I've stuck with the 5" tools (other than the RO90 and other specialty items) and have been happy. Your review makes me want to check out the EC series............ darn.
Look at it this way... I'm kicking myself for letting all those years go by when I could have been sanding finishes with the older ETS 125 or something like it instead of always by hand....
Sure, the PRO5 is nice, and I'm glad I bought it, .....just should have done this sooner......
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Mini Tool Reviews- no pictures yet

Both size EC sanders side by side-
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