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So, I got myself an RTS400 just over a year ago and it’s great. On some things. On other things it’s not great and removes practically zero material!
I’m not here to whine about it as I know different tasks need different machines. So, to illustrate my disappointment; I had some fascia boards to do with years of rock hard gloss to flatten off and the RTS couldn’t touch it, likewise with a pair of oak gates. I’m looking for a machine to do the jobs my RTS can’t do. The jobs are:
Large flat areas like walls and ceilings.
Taking timber back to bare wood (heavily coated and badly painted!).
Smoothing down joinery projects.
I was thinking about the Deros but also thinking about sticking with Festool.
What do you think?
PS the photo shows the gates I struggled with. (before I sanded them!)

If you’re looking for something with more grunt than the rts400, have a look at the ro90 (It’s a beast)


I’ll second that - the RO90 will take that gate right off it’s hinges. Seriously though - the RTS isn’t designed for heavy stripping work such as you describe. The RO90 is and if you can keep hold of it in ‘monster mode’ it will rip through old paint and varnish.

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I also totally endorse Festool Rotex sanders for serious paint removal.

But before buying one consider which size would be best for the work you usually do.

RO90 (90mm diameter disc) is great for small or narrow areas, however for large flat areas then maybe look at the RO125 or 150 (again, respective disc size in mm

The RO series are heavy units and very powerful so for regular work on ceilings and walls have a look at the ETS EC 150

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Thanks for your comments chaps. I remember when I first joined this site the RTS and the RO90 were my main considerations. I think my next sander is going to be an RO of some description. I’ve been looking at some youtube clips tonight and one of the 150’s looked really good. I’m going to add the clip if I can. How does the Deros compare to the RO because that is what I was thinking about getting a couple of weeks ago but now it seem like I’m on a Festool mission! The one in the clip looks like it could do some serious stripping back and more delicate work like going over filled walls and ceilings. Might be a bit big though?

The Mirka is more akin to the Festool ETS sanders. i.e light finishing work. The RO sanders are a different beast and much more heavy duty.

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Ok, thanks Green Painting (forgotten your name sorry) looks like an RO is on the cards then. I think a few more youtube clips should help on final choice. Thanks everybody for your input.

It’s Andy :slight_smile: And to be honest once you’ve started down the dust-free sanding route there’s no end to it. You’ll always want the next one - different tools for different jobs.

Having said that, although the RO is a heavier machine it can still do light work. It’s just not as easy to handle so if you have a lot of walls to sand down the Mirka/ETS is less tiring.

Thanks Andy. What I need is starting to become clearer. I think I’m going to need two more sanders!
Something that I wondered about is the weight and balance of the RO90 is it likely that it could rock and take a sanded gouge out of your work piece/wall etc? And what about the small pad size - any negatives on that?

yes the RO90 is great on narrow areas - larger surfaces are best done with a 125 0r 150. The Rotex machines need both hands to operate and keep control.

Yes what Dave said - To keep the disk flat you do really need two hands to control it. It’s not that it’s heavy but the small area means it will tip easily. If budget wasn’t an option I’d add the RO125 and an ETS150 to my kit but for now I am managing with RTS400 and RO90 for most things.

Thanks Dave, do you mean a 125 or 150 that’s no an RO like an FEQ or ETS?
Andy, the things we would do if money was no object eh?! One day…

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Andy, do you use the RTS for filled walls/ceilings?

Yes at the moment I do but I will be getting the ETS125 for that sometime this year - or the Deros. Still undecided but as I already have Festool kit I think it makes sense to keep it going.

I have a Deros and a RTS400 and my next orbital is going to be a Festool. My Deros has just been back for repair (motor became loose???) I have lost a bit of confidence in it.

That’s my main concern with the Mirka, too many people having technical problems with them. The only real advantage is the ability to use 125mm and 150mm but does the 25mm make so much difference to swing it? Not sure.

So, I got the RO90. And I think it’s been taking steroids!
I bought a couple of boxes of the granat abrasives and wondered what your preferences were.


Haha - you’re right about the steroids. Just don’t try using it one handed in monster mode with P60. I use mostly the Granat which seems to be the best all-rounder. If you start looking at special papers for different jobs it gets very expensive. But the Granat is good stuff.

A word of advice that I gave myself recently. When you put your sanders away in the box always leave an abrasive sheet attached. I accidentally worked for a couple of minutes wondering why the RO wasn’t performing very well and realised I was scratching away with no sheet on it!

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I went for a 125mm CEROS (bought mainly because it feels more agile when sanding woodwork) but the 150mm would clearly be more efficient on wide open walls.

Two machines, each working less on specific tasks, or one machine working a lot, with interchangeable heads? Both approaches have their merits and downsides. Endless isn’t it :slight_smile:


Ha ha - shouldn’t laugh should I?! Yes, the granat 80 has been working well and so has the Mirka 240 & 320.
Yes, it is never ending isn’t it - who else do you know that has to spend so much money to go to work?!! Who would be a tradesman eh?!
While you’re here; what can I do to eliminate those little squiggles you get when sanding?
They seem to become visible once I start on the finer grits. Not sure if they’re formed when using the 80 or the finer grits.