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Festool RTS400 EQ plus Midi dust extractor - a very short review!

I have just used my new toys for the first time, and cannot compare them to any other makes but have to say that the cost is going to be forgotten very quickly and the ease of use is going to change the way I feel about prep/sanding.

The RTS is a small, palm-sized sander, and with a Mirka pad saver I can use Abranet, which in my limited use so far is a lot better than the festool abrasives. Light enough to be held overhead, quiet to use and not too vibey and the results are good.

Connected up to the Midi dust extractor, which I only needed to use on minimum and the 2 together are still not too loud, and there is no mess to clear up after. As a hoover, turn up the power and it clears up whatever you need and is quieter than my Henry.

I got the ‘Compact cleaning kit’ which is the usual tubes and heads that one uses to hoover but all plastic - not as sturdy as the more expensive metal tubes but cheaper, and it comes in a ‘Systainer’ storage box - well worth it, especially as mine was thrown in as a freebie.

At the end of a days work I looked as clean as I was at 8.00am despite doing some work overhead, and about 3 hours sanding down some floorboards, and the room didn’t need any more than a quick hoover to leave it looking good.

These tools will save me hours, save my lungs and by reducing the amount of effort I need to put in, will make me fat. My work will benefit loads too !

Thanks for sharing such excellent info Steve.

As someone said elsewhere, Mirka are abrasives people who now make sanders, and Festool are sander people who make abrasives. I think the revolutionary part of the equation is the Abranet abrasive and then its a case of looking for the best set up for you, to work with the Abranet.

Looks like you found a good set up. Got any before and after photos? (Not the floorboards, but you at 8 and 5!)

Good review of Festool - I’ve been using Festool for nearly four years and would echo Steve’s point that cost is forgotten very quickly. The significant benefits of major time saving both masking and cleaning, superior quality of prep and that prep becomes a pleasure not a chore. Hard to calculate exactly but I worked out I got a return on my investment in just over two months.
Of course same applied to Mirka or any other efficient dust extract sanding system
I favoured Festool over Mirka because i prefer rectangular pad for my prep work - kitchen cabinet, furniture, doors, skirtings and sash windows.

Over the last four years have invested in a y tube and second palm sander so a colleague and I can prep at the same time, really helps to move a job along at double time

And then the Rotex 90, with interchangeable round (90mm) and delta heads. Rapid change of heads, one click and a twist. and all festool sanders have twist off plug so making the whole system integrated and quick to use - its a joy to prep!

I did buy the Linear sander although hardly ever use it. The head moves forward and back replicating hand sanding , so no small circles, and ideal up against glass.

Festool also have an amazing insurance scheme. If your kit should get stolen, they will sell you a replacement for £100 to get you back up and running next day! (police crime report etc)

Abranet is superb but I really like the new(ish) Festool abrasive Granat with the blue paper, it doesn’t clog like the white Brilliant and is really effective abrasive through all the grades from 40 to 320

dave d9 decor Bristol

Thanks Dave - I could use something rough at times and Granat 40g sounds good to me.
How easy is the Rotex 90 to use - I gather it really needs 2 hands on it to keep it balanced, which is in part why I went for the RTS, but I do need a delta head at times so the 90 is something i’ll be looking at when my credit card has recovered…

Andy - not really sure you want to see any pictures of me 'cos before and after I am still no looker - maybe a little dust might help there…?

Hi Steve
re Festool Rotex whether the 150, 125 or 90 they are all two handed operations.
I find you have to get your own technique to best use it! - whereas the rectangular RTS palm sander is a joy to use - so versatile and perfect for decorating prep work

I use the RTS for 90% of my prep work - however there are occasions when the Rotex 90 comes into it’s own, Two settings for round head,normal oscillation and then the more aggressive setting for ripping layers off (staircase treads etc) This can also act as a polishing action too with very fine abrasives, 320 above or soft pads, for in between coats.

Then the delta pad which is self explanatory - Festool do an ‘extension’ of the delta pad which is perfect for doing the flat sections of ballusters allowing full reach in between the ballusters

I find the RO 90 good for detail work as a useful addition, but the RTS is definately the decorators sander!
Dave d9 decor Bristol


I also now have the new RTS400 EQ-Plus and the new CTL Midi dust extractor. What a difference to my older Bosch sander. As mentioned, the unit is light and easy to use.

I have to dial down the extraction as it tends to bounce when you are working on a smooth surface. You soon get the hang of it though and the results are amazing. Yesterday I sanded down a 2.5m x 2.5m wall with a fair amount of repairs using Toupret TX110. This produces a lot of dust but with this setup there is almost zero dust!

So glad I went for the RTS400 after the advice on here, worth every penny!


PS I am not sure what the EQ-Plus means?

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The RTS and midi are a great combo aren’t they Dave.

Think the EQ means that it is the model with variable speed and the plus that it comes with a systainer.

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I ditched the idea of the Bosch Delta after you mentioned the Festool being worth the money. You were not wrong my friend, I am like a dog with two tails!!

I never thought I would spend so much on power tools and supplies but I am glad I have. My wife is also very happy as I am slowly renovating the house, something I never had time to do before.

You will not be sorry in investing in the right power tool outfit - Festool make incredible tools all backed up with the all inclusive scheme (as mentioned above)… Of course, Andy C is right Mirka are abrasive people - so couple the RTS with Abranet and you have a winning team. I run quite a bit of Festool kit and swear by it (rather than at it) - my latest, quite a few months ago was the Festool Oscillator - incredible performance and reliable, as is all festool kit, in my experience.

(EQ means variable speed)

I have my eye on a few more Festool items, but they can wait until the next tax year (July!!!)