Whether you’re preparing to paint, removing a stain, or just a smoothing out a wooden piece, a Rotex sander can make your life easier (Source). Manufactured by the brand Festool, Rotex sanders are among the best handheld power sanders on the market. The best Rotex sanders can help you carry out your next sanding job with ease.
Rotex sanders are compact, motorized random orbital sanders. This means that they include a baseplate with a sanding pad that spins and vibrates, eliminating the physical burden of sanding. Rotex sanders are designed for specific applications, and sanding paper must be changed based on your desired grit (Source).
Rotex sanders can be battery powered or corded, although the corded alternatives tend to be more powerful. They often come with a dust removal system which help to maintain air quality, create a better quality finish, and minimize mess.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of Rotex sanders is how lightweight and portable they are. They’re also simple to operate, meaning they’re accessible to both professionals and hobbyists. If you work with wood but don’t have the space to store a large power sander, a Rotex sander might be your best bet.
Prior to purchasing a Rotex sander, you’ll want to consider the size of its baseplate. This will dictate how much area you can sand at once. You’ll also want to consider its amperage, power source, and its speed measured in oscillations per minute (OPM).
Speed up your next sanding job with one of these top-rated Rotex sanders.
What is a Rotex Sander?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Rotex Sander?
- 2 Comparing The Best Rotex Sander Models
- 3 1. Festool 571823 RO 90 FEQ Rotex Sander – Best Overall
- 4 2. Festool 571782 RO 125 FEQ Rotex Sander – The Best Dual-Action Rotex Sander Model
- 5 3. Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander – The Fastest Sander
- 6 4. Festool 201221 RTS 400 REQ Orbital Rectangular Sander – The Most Lightweight Rotex Sander
- 7 5. Festool 574993 Random Orbital Sander ETS 125 REQ-Plus – The Most Affordable Random Orbital Sander
- 8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Rotex Sander
- 9 How To Use a Rotex Sander
- 10 Ready to Use a Rotex Sander for Your Next Project?
A sander is a power or pneumatic tool that harnesses the abrasive qualities of sandpaper to smooth surfaces. The sandpaper is attached to the tool in different ways, depending on the design of the sander machine. Some of the known sander types are top knife belt sanders.
As compared to sander attachments for drills, the best Sanders are specifically designed for sanding applications, hence are more effective. Most of the leading sander models are suited for both DIY and professional sanding applications.
Random orbital Sander models, including the best Rotex Sanders, feature a circular abrasive pad. this pad is designed to spin and vibrate in circles to deliver an ultra-smooth sanding and stock removal experience. For the best results, you just have to get the best Rotex Sanders, as described below.
Comparing The Best Rotex Sander Models
|Festool 571823 RO 90 FEQ Rotex Sander|
|Festool 571782 RO 125 FEQ Rotex Sander|
|Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander|
|Festool 201221 RTS 400 REQ Orbital Rectangular Sander|
|Festool 574993 Random Orbital Sander ETS 125 REQ-Plus|
1. Festool 571823 RO 90 FEQ Rotex Sander – Best OverallThis Festool Rotex sander model is designed to make sanding easy and efficient, whether working on corners or on open spaces. The aggressive mode of the tool delivers a powerful sanding experience, capable of removing varnish, paint or wood effectively.
It allows you to easily switch from the round sanding pad to the delta-shaped pad without any tools. This Delta pad makes it easier for you to reach deep into crevices and corners. You may also equip the sender with polishing pads, sponges, felts or sheepskin and get astonishing finishes that gleam brilliantly.
It is comparable with Festoon dust extractor, allowing you to work in a near-dust-free environment. The random orbital mode of the tool delivers astonishing finish sanding results with ease, with variable speed settings of 3,500 – 7,000 RPM. Even so, it delivers a well-balanced, vibration-free sanding experience.
2. Festool 571782 RO 125 FEQ Rotex Sander – The Best Dual-Action Rotex Sander ModelThis model offers the same lightweight, compact design, and powerful mother Superior blend associated with Festoon Power tools. The unit is equipped with a powerful 500 Watt mother that delivers a variable speed of between 300 and 600 revolutions per minute. The MMC electronic controls deliver soft-start, step-less variable speed control, constant speed under load.
You will also love the ergonomic design of the tool, combining an exceptional dual-mode and triple -function performance to a compact 4.4-pound design. It is also fitted with a 5’’ sander plate that is suited for polishing as well as for coarse and fine polishing.
The unit is made of hi-quality materials to deliver one of the best tolerance levels in the industry. The model is fitted with multiple grip positions for enhanced control on different working conditions. The Jetstream extraction design delivers highly efficient dust removal, resulting in cleaner air, better finishes, and longer abrasive and pad life.
3. Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander – The Fastest SanderEven with its comparatively high 10.9-pound weight, the RO 150 Rolex Sander is still an easy-to-control option. The RO 150 model is essentially a three-in-one tool that may be used for coarse sanding, fine sanding, and polishing applications.
As such, it delivers great value for money and professional-grade results for each of the three applications. It will deliver a super-fine result when fine sanding and perfect finish when polishing, almost as good as the best detail sander. When coupled to the Granat abrasive, the unit allows for minimal use of abrasives.
The motor used in this model delivers a powerful eccentric motion, with variable speeds of between 3,300 and 6,800 OPM. Connecting the sander to the right mobile dust extractor will save you the effort of having to brush the surface after work.
4. Festool 201221 RTS 400 REQ Orbital Rectangular Sander – The Most Lightweight Rotex SanderThe new and updated 400 RWQ sander allows you to easily finish or re-finish an array of surfaces with its unique one-handed sanding experience. Equipped with optimally-designed sanding pads that have been proven to adapt to a variety of surfaces, shapes, and designs.
It delivers industry-leading dust extraction results for a near-flawless finish on every project you undertake. The included protector mounts easily and quickly without any tool, effectively reducing pad wear and protecting the adjacent surfaces.
The Rubberized overgrip and improved ergonomics of the model take away the pain out of sanding and enhances the quality of every piece you work on. The sander also features a secure and robust dust port that applies improved bayonet-style retention.
5. Festool 574993 Random Orbital Sander ETS 125 REQ-Plus – The Most Affordable Random Orbital SanderYou will find the ETS 125 REQ sander to be quite versatile, with one of the finest sanding strokes at 5/64″ (2.0 mm). The tool is rated one the best for one-handed sanding applications, giving out optimal surface quality when pre-sanding or finishing.
This may be attributed to its compact, lightweight construction, weighing only 2.4 pounds. The model Al’s features an ergonomic design, with comfortable-grip handles for easy control. The model is perfect for sanding vertical surfaces and for doing overhead work.
It is also equipped with a sanding pad brake and features vibration-stop balancing capabilities. As such, you will find the model comfortable to handle any project.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Rotex Sander
The Festool manufacturer offers a fully integrated sanding solution for every application, ranging from aggressive stock removal to superfine, finish sanding. But if you want to look for other sanders by other brands, read our reviews of heavy-duty bench sanders here.
The manufacturer offers a complete line of abrasives and sanding tools, ranging in grit from 24 to 4000. Additionally, it offers about eight different types of abrasives and many sanding pad options.
Rotex Sanders are some of the great products by this brand. While shopping for the right sander, here are some of the consideration you should make:
The various random orbital Sanders in the market use different power sources. There are three corded units that run on mains electricity, the cordless sander that runs on rechargeable batteries and pneumatic Sanders that are powered by air compressors.
Of the three types, pneumatic Sanders are some of the most powerful and often used for advanced professional sanding applications.
When choosing, you also need to note that the power source will also affect the weight of the tool. As compared to cordless models, corded random orbital Sanders are more powerful.
However, the range of such a tool will be limited by the length of its cord. To overcome this limitation, you should consider getting the best battery-powered Rotex sander. Though less powerful than the corded models, cordless models are more mobile.
Some Sander brands still offer units with fixed speeds, but a considerable number of the modern Sanders offer variable speed settings. Fixed speed models are simpler to understand and are comparatively cheaper.
Such units are suited for beginners or users who only sand occasionally. For enhanced versatility, you should consider getting a model that features variable speed settings.
They are often costlier but suited for most professional applications. The most powerful of variable speed Sanders will allow you to adjust the speed to between 10,000 and 12,0000 OPM.
Such models are suited for coarse sanding tasks, especially for applications that require you to remove a lot of surface material at once. The less powerful models offer variable speed adjustment settings of between 6,000 and 10,000 OPM. These are often used in finish sanding applications.
To operate the motor in a power sander tool, most models require a current of 2 to 6 amps. However, this does not necessarily mean that models with higher amperage rating deliver better performance.
To some extent, this determines how powerful the motor is. As such, models designed to run at higher speeds should have higher amperage ratings.
The Base Plate
This is the part of the sander tool where the sandpaper is attached. The size of the base plate determines the area the tool is capable of sanding per unit time.
In this regard, you will have two main size options; 5-inch and 6-inch base plates. Any sander model with a base plate smaller than 5 inches is referred to as a finishing sander.
However, most pneumatic Sanders have plates larger than 6 inches, hence are suited for professional applications. You also need to consider how the sanding disc is attached to the tool.
Adhesive discs are more affordable but are somewhat unreliable. To ensure that the sanding disc does not come off while sanding, go for a hook and loop attachment mechanism. You may also need to get one that features suction holes for removing sawdust as you work.
Dust Collection System
A self-contained dust collection system will clear the Dutch formed as you sand whichever surface. This system may be modified into a vacuum dust collection system that collects and disposes of the sawdust into an attached dust bag.
For added suction, you may remove the nut bag and attach a vacuum hose to the sander. This will collect the dust more efficiency, giving you a clear view of the work area for enhanced precision.
You should check whether the dust collection port of the unit is compatible with the VAC system you have in the shop. If not compatible, you will be required to buy an adapter to connect the sander to your VAC system, which will cost you more in equipment purchase.
How To Use a Rotex Sander
The various Rotex Sander machines are essentially designed for polishing and dry sanding of wood, plastic, metal, composite materials, paint/ varnish, and filler materials.
To help you use the tool properly, the manufacturer will offer you a detailed user manual for each device you buy.
To begin with, you need to note that the unit is not supposed to be used when damp or wet, or even operated in a damp environment.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the two main Rotex Sander modes:
For the purpose of this guide, sanding will be considered to be the abrading or scratching a surface. Most Rolex Sander models are dual-action tools. This means that the sanding pad on the tool moves in two motions simultaneously; the primary acentric orbit motion and the rotation of The Pad.
The pad on these tools is designed to move in small acentric circles about the center of the tool. The pad orbits at a diameter of 3 to 5mm, depending on the sander model you have. As a result of this dual-action functionality, each point on the sanding pad traces out a geometric shape called a roulette.
This means that each part of the sanding pad traces out a slightly different shape, hence minimizing the visibility of scratch patterns on the surface you are sanding. Note that Dual-action leaves scratches, but the scratches are less visible because each one is different.
When set to this mode, the dual-action rotation of the sanding pad is directly coupled to the orbital motion. For each Rotex sander model, the pad rotates once in approximately every 10 orbits of the eccentric center.
Rolex Sanders may be used with an array of sanding pad options. It may also be necessary to change sanding pads for different sanding purposes or when they become worn.
To attach the pad, you need to unplug the tool and lock the sander spindle to prevent it from rotating. If using the RO90, turn the mode selector to the DX (orbital) mode.
For the RO125 and RO150 models, slide the mode selector to the Rotex mode, and press in on the spindle lock button. Finally, rotate the pad 1/4-turn to remove or install it. Once you are done, you may need to change the sandpaper on your tool.
Changing the Sandpaper
The sandpaper in all Rotex Sanders is secured in place by a hook and loop system. To change it, pull off the old disc and press in the new one.
While doing this, you need to ensure that the dust extraction inlets on the landing pad are aligned with the respective holes on the tool.
Plugging The Tool and Operation
The plug-it power cable used by Rotex sanders is removable for easy storage. To install the cord, monster it into the power inlet port, ensuring that the keyway and the key are aligned.
Now twist the locking ring ¼-turn until it clicks. You should then choose the appropriate sanding mode on your Rotex sander before turning the unit on.
Place the sander on the sanding surface without any downward pressure as you start it. You may experience a slight delay while stating the unit as a result of its soft-start circuitry feature.
Aside from installing sandpaper, your Rotex sander is ready to use right out of the box. There is no special setup, adjustment, or break-in procedure required before using your sander.
However, new users may want to practice with the sander to become familiar with its operation, function, and even the best way to hold the sander.
Ready to Use a Rotex Sander for Your Next Project?
Festool is one of the renowned power tool manufacturers across the globe. The brand is popular for producing high-quality, dependable and durable tools. The Rotex Sander range of tools by this provider is no exception.
The Rolex Sanders reviewed in this guide are versatile, ergonomic, easy-to-use and backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty. With this guide, you should have an easy time choosing the best Rotex Sander for whichever application.