Ok, up front and straight out, Festool's ETS 150 sanders (both the 150/3 and 150/5) are my favorite sanders to use and my "go-to" sanders when sanding with anything but the most aggressive grits. Why? Two simple reasons - the finish obtained and sheer sanding pleasure.
Pleasure? Yep, pleasure. It has a padded top, ergonomic handle - allowing one or two handed sanding, vibration stop balancing, controls are where they ought to be and tips the scales at only 4 lbs. Well, that’s all very nice, but what’s it mean? Simply this, you can sand for virtually unlimited amounts of time without any type of discomfort and vibration transmitted back to your hands. They are just so incredibly smooth; a pleasure to use.
The finish obtained? Simply outstanding. Sure, Bob, why and how? Lots of things - in no particular order:
- Festool’s patented Jetstream pad design, when hooked up to Festool's CT vacs – providing a constant airflow to the pad = less dust accumulation on the pad = better finish. BTW, Jetstream also allows for considerably longer pad and abrasive life.
- A sanding pad brake preventing scratches when starting or removing the sander from workpiece.
- Soft start - no jumpin' when turning the sander on.
- Fully adjustable and stepless speed control; match the speed to the material.
- Adjustable suction provided by Festool's CT vacs – choose the correct amount suction needed to provide optimum dust extraction, yet not too much so the sander bears down/sticks to the workpiece.
- MMC Electronics - allows for constant speed under load.
- High quality Festool abrasives: a different series of abrasives for virtually any sanding task.
The ETS 150/3 and 150/5 are identical sanders; that's why I grouped them together and the only difference between the two are the size of the orbit "3" mm (1/8") and "5" mm (3/16"). All else being equal, the smaller the orbit, the less aggressive the sander, as well as the finer the "scratch pattern" produced. Yep, "scratch pattern". No worries, every sander in the world produces them, the goal is to minimize that enough to be undetectable. These sanders do just that.
How to decide between these two sanders?
- Choose the ETS 150/3 for the best possible finish, or if you work primarily with grits of 120 and above, or want an excellent compliment/companion to Festool’s big gun; the Rotex 150 EQ.
- Choose the ETS 150/5 for a still great finish, or if you just want to buy one sander that handles fine to intermediate sanding - 80 grit and above.
Updated with new Fusion-Tec pads that run truer and last longer, the new ETS 150
sanders continue to redefine the task of sanding, producing better results with less
vibration and fatigue. Enjoy nearly dust-free sanding with the Multi-Jetstream dust
extraction design for cleaner air, better fi nishes, and longer abrasive and pad life.
Efficiency Designed as a complete system, from abrasives and backing pads, to dust
extraction, ETS sanders deliver superior sanding results with no mess and less rework.
Comfort Ergonomics and Vibration-Stop design deliver better fi nish results with
smoother operation and greater user comfort.
Durability Dual-bearing design, MMC Electronics, and pad brake, combine with German
build quality for a long-lasting, high-performance machine.
Click here to view the Festool Abrasives Guide -- making it easier to find the matching abrasives for your specific sander.