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Hi Guys & Gals,

Bit of advice needed please.  I am new to woodworking and I'm in the process of setting up and equipping my work area in my garage.  I am making a list of power tools I need and researching the makes etc.  I am pretty sure about the make/model of router and circular saw I will be buying later this week.  I want to buy one or two power sanders but I am a bit stuck on the type that I should buy initially.  I know it depends on the type of work you intend doing but all I can say at the moment is that I want to get into general woodwork making stuff for the home and garden.  Any advice on the type of sanders I should aim for would be appreciated.  I have the funds to buy two to start with and prefer corded to battery powered as they will only be used in my workshop.

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if you are using a shop vac to collect sanding dust - clean its filter or replace it often.  The fine particles will clog it in short order.  Any of the cyclone particle collectors between the tool and the vac will be a big help.

I have used them all, use a Festool one time you will never use anything else. The paper cost less to use, no vibration and dust free. oh and it will last you a life time.

I purchased a Gore CleanStream Pro filter for my vac canister vac several years ago when doing drywall work. I still have it. The filter is easily cleaned by tapping it on a hard surface and/or can be rinsed off. It has a non-stick surface and there are sizes for most brand name shop vacs. Not cheap (about 3x cost of a good filter), but indispensable.


William J Grasser said:
if you are using a shop vac to collect sanding dust - clean its filter or replace it often.  The fine particles will clog it in short order.  Any of the cyclone particle collectors between the tool and the vac will be a big help.

I've got a dewalt ROS that has seen a lot of use over the last 5 years, I'm happy with it.  Also have a Makita belt sander no where near the use but it works well.  When I first started woodworking there was a sale on the B&D ROS.  I picked it up, a little over a year later on it's third use it died.  Of course it was out of warranty I would not recommend that brand. 

 

The one that has seen the most use is a bench mount with an 8" disk and a belt.  It's a Canadian tire brand and I am surprised how long it has lasted.  

 

I'd start with a ROS and get the best you can afford.  As others have mentioned make sure you can hook up your shop vac to it.  Get a HEPA filter for the shop vac and I would highly recommend this.  http://www.busybeetools.com/products/THE-DUST-DEPUTY-CYCLONE-ONEIDA...

 

Keeps most of the dust out of the shop vac so the filter lasts much longer before needing cleaning.

Sorry, gang, but this is a no-brainer.  While I also own ROS by Porter Cable and Makita, which are perfectly adequate, there is nothing that can beat the Festool 150/5 ROS for general sanding.  The "5" is 5mm of the random orbital movement, as opposed to their 150/3 (3mm of movement) which is better for fine sanding, unless, of course, you do a final sanding by hand, which you must do in order to avoid the squigglies/pigtails. 5mm is 67% greater movement than 3mm but still is pretty small.  And it must be hooked up to a good shop vacuum. Here, again, the Festool vacs are a perfect match.  A little bit pricier, but well worth the extra cost. The dust removal is extraordinary.  Little vibration, good speed control and balance.  A true winning combination.  But probably not available at the big box stores.  Your small, local independent dealers are the place to look, as well as the internet.
All the Festool products are top-of-the-line products.  Outstanding engineering, but might be out of the budget of many woodworkers.
I've always had a palm sander - the kind that takes quarter sheets - and was never really satisfied with the results.  This summer I bought a Bosch random orbital sander and can't believe the difference.  Sure it doesn't get in the corners but most of the time I sand the pieces before I assemble them and then just touch up with a sanding block.  Took me 25 years to get on the band wagon but the difference is striking.

 Simply Porter-Cable tough,dependle.

I have a Rigid oscillating sander that is the best money I ever spent ($200).  It changes between a spindle sander & a belt sander.  For medium sized parts it works very well.
Good timing of original post as I'm considering a purchare myself.  I had a ROS that I loaned out and never got back.  It used the adhesive pads.  I was thinking I would look for one that uses a quarter sheet.  Anyone have experience with a good make/model of that variety?
Thanks guys - really helpful.  Lots to think about and price up. 

It looks like you are doing your research by checking all the reviews and  asking for opinions. I did not do this at first and ended up buying junk. One of the posts said to buy good quality at the start. Believe me, if you do that you wont regret it. I also learned through these posts that Ridgid is life guaranteed. I think now I will switch from mastercraft and buy only ridgid now. 

Thanks for the info guys, I am fairly new into woodworking myself, i used to restore cars but my age and my health has gotten the better of me!

Keep posting guys, I got a lot to learn

Chris

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