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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 1/4 sheet palm sander and wondering about a 5" random orbital sander. Is there any advantage to a ROS over a 1/4 sheet palm sander? Would a ROS be any more agressive than a 1/4 sheet palm sander using the same grit sand paper? A 1/4 sheet palm sander has the advantage of being able to use a 1/4 sheey of sand paper or a roll of 4 1/2" of paper cut to 5 1/2" long, where a ROS needs the 5" round disc with hook/loop fasteners. Just wondering if I would gain anything getting a ROS since I already have 2 of the 1/4 sheet palm sanders.


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Using a couple of old Craftsman routers & a Bosch 1617EVSPK & a Dewalt DWP611PK Routers in SW Louisiana.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 07:58 PM
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I think you might find the ROS leaves a smoother finish in that it spins as well as "O"s...

I believe the vacuum is also an added plus where the sanding disks have holes in them.

I have both and I prefer the circular...except when I have to get into corners :-) then I use a detail sander or scraper...


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 08:17 PM
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I have 3 ROs and a 1/4 sheet palm sander. By far I prefer my PC ROS. Not only does it do an excellent job but dust collection with my separator/shop vac/hepa filter is just about perfect. The downside is that I can't use it more than about an hour before the pain sets in.

I'm thinking of moving up to a Bosch ROS65VC which can do 5 or 6" pads. Reviews I've seen say that it has a significantly lower amount of vibration. Pricey, though.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 09:44 PM
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I find the ROS faster and a better job. You can wear out the Velcro that holds the pads on if you change them a lot. I bought 5 of them over time when they were on sale so I could dedicate each to a grit. Figured in the long run that would cheaper. Being able to use regular sandpaper and never having the holding mechanism is a point that has to be considered.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 06:26 AM
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I have a PC ROS and 2 quarter-sheet sanders. I find the ROS is faster given the same grit of paper. If this one dies, I'll buy another immediately. However, I still use my 1/4 sheet sanders a lot. I find they don't fight me as much when I'm trying to sand the edge of a board, and they get into corners better. All 1/4 sheet sanders are not created equal. My PC 330 Speedbloc is truly a pleasure to use. It has much less vibration and leaves a better finish than either of the other two. And it's faster than my Makita quarter sheet. I'd recommend it to anyone who is having discomfort using something else.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 09:42 AM
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The ROS comes in handy when sanding a surface that has grains going in more than one direction. I used it extensively on a built in teak credenza and computer work station where the work surfaces were made up of many 3" x 12" pieces of teak. I found I couldn't hand plane the surface because of the grains going in all directions but I could flatten the surface with a scraper plane. The only way I could do the final sanding was with A ROS.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 11:37 AM
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I have a 5" & 6" ROS's and a 1/4 palm sander. I love the 5" for most projects. The added weight of the 6" ROS was handy for sanding end grain cutting boards.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 11:44 AM
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I use the belt sander to hog out the real rough/uneven areas, the real horror shows.
Then I use the ros to smooth that out then wet the wood. I use the palm sander with the grain to smooth that out then hand sand with the grain to smooth that out.

I rarely use the belt but have even used a grinder. I occasionally get circles with the ros no matter how gently I maneuver, the palm removes them. If you look real close with bright light you can see little jogs kind of like check marks from the palm even though a use a finer grit paper than the ros. I wish I was better at honing and using the scraper.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 04:07 PM
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I have a ros & use it all the time. It is faster & does a very good job.
It also is not as dusty as it has dust collection on it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 06:37 AM
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I have tennis elbow, golfers elbow, and carpel tunnel on top of a bad back so I can relate to PhilBa. I bought a Festool ros after I tried one out. Sure is pricey, but it isn't as loud, and easier on the hands, wrists, and arms. Your mileage may vary so take advantage with some of the brands that have a trial period.

- Anthony
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