Random Orbital Sander vs Power Planer - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Random Orbital Sander vs Power Planer

Hi,
I know this isn't strictly speaking a router question, but I'm hoping someone can help!

I make quite a bit of furniture (as a hobby) and have a couple of routers and a belt sander among the tool collection.

Someone is very kindly offering to buy me a tool as a present, and I was thinking of a random orbital sander. That said I seem to remember (or may have made up) someone telling me a long time ago that they're not really worth it. The other option would be a planer (at the moment I use an old hand plane when necessary, and otherwise ignore changing the thickness of wood).

Any help or advice greatly appreciated: I've no idea which would be more useful (and have managed to date without either, but there's always something else to make life easier...)

Thanks in advance,

Ed
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 03:11 PM
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I find a random orbit sander great on my guitar bodies. I have a sanding frame for one of my belt sanders. I also have a thickness planer. I use the most appropriate tool for the job. I use a Wagner safety planer on my pillar drill and a wide drum sander on the lathe with a horizontal bed for sanding guitar neck heads and volutes, as a sort of thickness sander,
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:03 PM
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Base your choice on which would work better for you. If you need to do a lot of thicknessing then opt for the planer. The planer would also cost a little more then a sander. You can pick up a sander for around 40.00. If someone else is buying, get the planer!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:22 PM
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Hello Ed, What i will tell you is that both are very good investments. I do not have a thickness sander, i do have a 12 inch thickness planer. the sander will take the piece of wood, and make it ready for finish. The thickness planer will make the thickness of the wood correct The orbital sander can be used on the project, and ready the project ready for finish. The r/o sander makes a nice present, and is far less e expensive. It is very useful. I hoped i answered your question, and welcome, Have a good Christmas!

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:29 PM
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Hi Ed

It sounds like you are talking about a hand power planer, if that's the case take the sander,I can't think of a faster way to make to some fire wood than use a power hand planer on it..


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebeard View Post
Hi,
I know this isn't strictly speaking a router question, but I'm hoping someone can help!

I make quite a bit of furniture (as a hobby) and have a couple of routers and a belt sander among the tool collection.

Someone is very kindly offering to buy me a tool as a present, and I was thinking of a random orbital sander. That said I seem to remember (or may have made up) someone telling me a long time ago that they're not really worth it. The other option would be a planer (at the moment I use an old hand plane when necessary, and otherwise ignore changing the thickness of wood).

Any help or advice greatly appreciated: I've no idea which would be more useful (and have managed to date without either, but there's always something else to make life easier...)

Thanks in advance,

Ed



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:36 PM
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Ed.. I've got an 6 year old Craftsman Pro. Planer and for whatever reason, she does an absolutely beautiful job of planning. Never need to do more than just a lil prefinish sanding. (this seems to be more the exception than the rule for this line of planer though!!!) Aside from a lil snipe occasionally she perform great. its a must have in my shop. But I will say that both tools have their place. Which will provide you with the most use. A good planer will save you on sanding time!! A good ROS will save ya sanding time as well as give you a better finish. I use a 3 yr. old Dewalt ROS. Middle of the road unit to be sure, but fair enough. I've been looking at the Festool ROS's. I don't think they can be beat for performance and dust collection. Either way, me thinks if you get a good one of either, you'll be pleased...there's always fathers day.. *S*
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:38 PM
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OUCH,, yep, if its a hand planer...

no question, ROS it is....
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
OUCH,, yep, if its a hand planer...

no question, ROS it is....
+1 to that!

EGO postulo , EGO venalicium , EGO incidere.
I measured, I marked, I cut.
Latin instructions for firewood.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. It was a hand power planer I was thinking of, not a table thicknesser: so it sounds like an ROS it is given the majority of the replies.

I've noticed some have round bases and others rectangular ones: is there much difference between the two and benefits to 1 type over the other? Thanks again
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 02:13 AM
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Ed,

If you check carefully you will see the Random Orbital Sanders (ROS) are round. The round disk spins while oscillating, making the scratches it leaves less visible.

If you see a square sander, it is a "pad" or "finishing" sander, and works much, much slower.

The ROS was developed to approach the sanding rate of a belt with quality nearing that finish quality of the pad sander.

Since I've purchased my ROS my finishing sander hasn't been out of the box, although they are better at getting into corners. That said, the ROS is so much quicker that it's work sanding before assembling to get around that!

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