Big and Fine: the Festool RS2 Sander

Written by on December 28, 2013 in Power Sanders, Product Reviews, Tools with 1 Comment

A 4 1/2″x9″ Orbital Sander

Festool RS2

The Festool RS2 is ideal for high grit finish sanding of flat surfaces.

Ok, first things first, this is not an aggressive sander. Sometimes, when we see big tools, our minds quickly leap to “big and powerful”.

This is more a case of big and fine.

The Festool RS2 is a fine orbital sander for finish work. While it has more pad surface area than most sanders, this would not be a great choice for sanding your deck or drywall.

Strong Suits

That said, the RS2 is a great choice if you find yourself doing a lot of flat surfaces, particularly in horizontal orientation. Tasks that pitch into the wheelhouse of this sander include finish sanding of:

  • sheet goods
  • table tops
  • countertops
  • doors
  • panel work

Performance

festool rs2

Excellent dust extraction and abrasive mileage.

By way of comparison to smaller orbitals in the Festool family, the RS2 has a 2.5 mm orbital stroke. In other words, its attitude will feel similar to the 5″ and 6″ ETS sanders, which have stroke patterns of 2, 3 and 5 mm.

If you are an RTS400 user, this will feel and perform like a much larger version – only minus any trace of the occasional chatter and wobble that some users have observed in that sander.

It is counter intuitive for such a large sander to be so fine and gentle. Weighing in at 5+ lbs, this won’t be a superstar for very long on vertical applications, but that same weight keeps it floating flat with appropriately balanced down force on horizontal surfaces.

The sander will pretty much run itself. Your best bet as the user is to let it do exactly that. With variable speed, a trigger lock and outstanding dust extraction, the Festool RS2 is one of the better options for quickly covering large amounts of surface in fine finish sanding tasks.

We have found that this sander works well in combination with a 6″ round orbital, such as the ETS150 or RO150, with the round sander doing lower grit work, and then graduating in grit steps to the RS2 around 240g. This way, the wood is being worked by two different shapes, which helps to flatten out any slight cupping that may be present.

RTS 400

The RS2 is like a gigantic version of the RTS400 (pictured).

We expereinced outstanding results using the RS2 in conjunction with a Midi or CT26 extractor, and with Granat abrasive. Granat is available in a grit range of 40-1500 for the RS2.

If you have questions on the Festool RS2, please leave them in the comment section below. If you are an RS2 user, please include your feedback on the tool as well. Our interactive comment section allows you to post pictures with your comment.

[Related: Feedback from Festool Owner’s Group Forum Members]

This tool was submitted by FestoolUSA for our assessment in finish based applications.

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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