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Old 28-03-2012, 19:21   #1
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Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

I am looking at getting a new DA (orbital sander) and was hoping for a little guidance from a pro.

Here are a few questions I have:
  1. Do the vacuum units sand as well as the stick-it pads? Do they have extra swirl marks in the job from the holes?
  2. What works better: Central Vac sander or self generating vac with a bag? (See pics below) Any preference?
  3. What size orbit would you recommend for general use. Keep in mind I am not starting a shop, just doing some refinish work on my boat. (Awlgrip & Gelcoat)
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.




3Mô Random Orbital Sander, 6 inch, Central Vacuum, 3/16 inch orbit, 20326




3Mô Random Orbital Sander, 6 inch Self-Generated Vacuum, 3/16 inch orbit, 20327
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Old 28-03-2012, 22:06   #2
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Re: Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

Hope you have a BIG air compressor, cus those little devils can eat air it seems !! just a thought
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:25   #3
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Re: Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
I am looking at getting a new DA (orbital sander) and was hoping for a little guidance from a pro.

Here are a few questions I have:
  1. Do the vacuum units sand as well as the stick-it pads? Do they have extra swirl marks in the job from the holes?
Yes they do. I have never had any problems with extra swirlies at any grit level. They might sand a hair slower due to less surface area of grit, but most won't notice at all.
  1. What works better: Central Vac sander or self generating vac with a bag? (See pics below) Any preference?
Self generating is not anywhere near as powerful as an external vac but is a lot less unwieldy without the extra hose. I use self generating for fine grits where you are not generating so much dust, say 180 and up, and use an external vac for anything coarser than that. I use both pneumatic and electric, both have their place. I tend to mostly use a pneumatic self generating for fine sanding and the Fein electric with the matching vac setup for coarser grits. This is a nice setup because the vac automatically shuts on and off with the sander, and it's all quality rugged gear that lasts. Expensive though.
  1. What size orbit would you recommend for general use. Keep in mind I am not starting a shop, just doing some refinish work on my boat. (Awlgrip & Gelcoat)
A standard 6" pad. If you are only buying one sander for all uses I for years have recommended the Porter Cable 6" variable speed electric. But since they were bought buy B&D the quality just isn't there anymore, which is too bad. I'll be keeping my collection of original PC DA's around for as long as possible, they are a great tool. The PC DA is still the only body style I'll use in electric, and the new ones might be fine for non-proffesional use, the main complaint being that the new chinese motors vibrate more and are louder. I'm sure they won't last as long either. I've had originals last ten years and more of daily use with the odd brush replacement. The Fein is the gold standard and the high end choice, though a little large and unwieldy for finer grit work and tight spaces. I like Hutchins for pneumatics, stay away from the cheap Chicago Pneumatics. The Mirka CEROS is awesome if you are a pro sanding geek like me, but probably beyond most peoples needs.



Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.




3M™ Random Orbital Sander, 6 inch, Central Vacuum, 3/16 inch orbit, 20326




3M™ Random Orbital Sander, 6 inch Self-Generated Vacuum, 3/16 inch orbit, 20327

Just my opinions as a pro, hope they help! To be clear, the Porter Cable 6" variable speed or even the cheaper non-variable is probably still the way to go for the casual user, despite the move to cheaper chinese motors. They are affordable (just over a $100 for the non variable, $150 for the variable approx.), and easy to use without requiring air. They will do a perfectly adequate job for your needs. I don't like the Bosch or DeWalt or most others because they feel the need to use strange body styles and grips which I feel just get in the way. I have used most and just don't see the quality.
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Old 29-03-2012, 04:13   #4
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Re: Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

[QUOTE=Opie91;918413]I am looking at getting a new DA (orbital sander) and was hoping for a little guidance from a pro.

Here are a few questions I have:
  1. Do the vacuum units sand as well as the stick-it pads? Yes Do they have extra swirl marks in the job from the holes? No
  2. What works better: Central Vac sander or self generating vac with a bag? (See pics below) Any preference? Central Vac
  3. What size orbit would you recommend for general use. Keep in mind I am not starting a shop, just doing some refinish work on my boat. (Awlgrip & Gelcoat) Considering you might have to hold the sander above your head for long periods of time - go small
Any input would be greatly appreciated.


For sanding toxic crap off your boat dust control is important, not just for you but for other people in the area, that is why duct control is vital. Also since you want to do it once and done right, you don't want to get all tired out and start to getting slopping, you want a good tool that doesn't cause fatigue just from holding it. Basically you want this to be as painless as possible - even fun, if that's possible
If you can afford it, and they are expensive, I have found Festool tools to be the best, great dust control, great ergonomics, and probably the best tools I've ever used.

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Old 29-03-2012, 05:07   #5
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Re: Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

Minaret & Efraim,

Thanks for the great input. The Fein and Festool sanders are a little out of my price range, but I like the idea of the Porter Cable sander.

Just to be clear Minaret is this what you are talking about?


Do you stick with the standard sanding pad or change over to a 3M or other brand hook and loop set up?


Thanks again for all the great help!!!
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Old 29-03-2012, 08:13   #6
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Re: Less Dust Orbital Sander Options

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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
Minaret & Efraim,

Thanks for the great input. The Fein and Festool sanders are a little out of my price range, but I like the idea of the Porter Cable sander.

Just to be clear Minaret is this what you are talking about?


Do you stick with the standard sanding pad or change over to a 3M or other brand hook and loop set up?


Thanks again for all the great help!!!
Thats the one. Hook and loop is easier for vacuum extracted. Note that there are 5-hole and 6-hole setups-they require different discs. For very fine grits I do not use hook and loop, I prefer an adhesive pad for that.
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