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RTS 400 Under-performing?

Hello chaps,
Bought myself a Festool RTS400 earlier in the year and was really pleased with it. I bought a mixed box of Abranet abrasives and thought they were amazing compared to the ordinary sand papers I’d used before.
But, on my current job I have to prepare some fascias which have years of paint build up. So, I bought some 80g Abranet and thought I would glide through the lot in no time. They didn’t touch it! And they keep coming off.
My mate uses a Makita with a 5 inch disc which goes through anything, the Makita discs are good too and the hook and loop fastening is so strong you sometimes struggle to get them off. And it was half the price of the RTS.
What say you?
Also, as I’m using it at the moment, what do you think of the Sikkens Kodrin and where is it best used? I’ve been using it on the fascias and some windows primed with Coverstain - only the second time I’ve used it but it’s laying down really nice, could you use it as a top coat?

my personal favourite arrangement for Festool sanders and abrasives are:

  • Festool Granat blue - for ‘aggressive’ removal i.e.40g, 60g and 80g
  • Abranet for the fine finishing stuff: 120, 180, 240, 320
    although I keep some Granat 120 too

An important note when using Abranet on a Festool sander is to use the Mirka pad saver…

reason is that the Festool ‘hooks’ on the pad are longer than on the Mirka and therefore will protrude slightly through the Abranet.
End result that by using Abranet straight onto a Festool pad you’ll ‘sand off’ the ends of the Festool hooks, which will cause the Abranet to fall off!
The Mirka pad saver allows you to use Abranet with Festool with no damage to the pad.

The Festool Rotex series of sanders (choice of 90mm, 125mm or 150mm) are seriously aggressive over and above the RTS and worth considering for more robust prep work - yet also great for ‘polishing’ action with 240/320

Thats just my personal experience but doesn’t seem to be shared by many others though!

But I do find the Granat paper much better for removal than Abranet


Thanks Dave,
I think your experience is similar to mine. The fine grade Abranet have been great and I have some 120 Granat which I’m happy with. What you said about the pad saver and Festools hooks was interesting though - I will look at getting myself one and trying the courser grade Granat. Weird about the Abranet 80g not cutting through my paintwork though eh?
Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Agree with Dave regarding the granit. Find it better on the rts. Abranet is better off on the Deros. The Rts is fine for most rubbing down but you need the RO90 if u want to be ripping right back regardless of the grit u are using on the rts. It just wont go back that far. The RO90 in geared mode is a different kettle of fish. It just rips right through.

Thanks Rob.
So, would you say that having a Deros, an RTS and an R90 would cover all bases? It must do surely?!

For a full sanding kit yes mate. The 3 of them cover the bases apart from a detail sander but u can get profile sanders for die grinders

I have just invested in the CTL midi along with RTS400 and RO90. Wow what a difference. I don’t know how I’ve been managing without.

Mind you - by the time you’ve bought the range of pads for each set up it starts getting bloody expensive!

What’s the opinion of the Festool 150 versus the Mirca? I would like to keep to Festool kit but if I go for a large disk I want to get the best.

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Great new setup! congrats!.. RTS400 and RO90 are great machines, I also have a Mirka DEROS which runs 150mm discs and 125mm. Similar to my previous CEROS but without the transformer which makes it more versatile. I’ve not used the Festool 150mm sander, but my gut is to stick to the Mirka (coupled with Abranet, of course) - even though I’m a confirmed Festool addict!!! massive, very useable power.

Happy sanding mate!

Thanks Martin. I’m actually stripping back a staircase and banisters so it’s perfect timing. I’ll need to look carefully at the Deros now then. Presumably that can be used with the CTL?

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Yes, fits straight to it with no adapter necessary - I personally use my DEROS with my CTL Mini (the Midi will be perfect - its the same machine but with a larger dust capacity) and my RTS with my CTL SYS as it creates less dust than the DEROS - especially on kitchen work, for me!

BTW, I use 150mm Abranet on my Festool machines, just cut them down to size… might help the budget, rather than buying “17” different abrasives, just buy the one type.

Hope this helps!

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