Festool ETS 125 Sander

Festool ETS 125 Random Orbital Sander

Orbital sanding…post chemical strip and pre stain application. Holy ergonomics.

I don’t know about you, but when I am in defurring mode after a chem strip, doing final cleanup just before stain, I need an orbital that is light and fast. One handed operation all day long, left and right. Floating over the surface, not needing to bear down for miscellaneous remnant material removal. Full speed float. Light, fast and sporty. Hello Festool ETS 125.

And yes, that is me attached to a vacuum on an exterior sanding task. I am shocked. I never thought I would see the day that I would deal with dragging around a vac with my sander.

Dust Extraction For Real

Festool

Fits the hand. Low vibration.

Here’s the deal. ALL of the dust is extracted from the surface, and from the air in my space. There is no fine surface dust being ground into the wood grain, which means that I can clearly see the grain that I am sanding, and most importantly, I don’t end up sneezing and blowing funny colors out of my nose for days. On stain application, the wood is crisp and rich, as it should be, not clouded by dust. We all know, there is nothing that finds dust as well as a wet paint brush. All of this is like the difference between driving your car in the pouring rain at night with the windshield wipers in overdrive, or driving your car on a clear sunny day with the windows down and good tunes cranking. If you are still blowing dust into a bag on your sander, please understand that this approach changes both the process and the quality of the end result, with gains in efficiency that translate to profits. Those who have read my roi analyses of tools know that I do not mess around when it comes to tool integration into our systems. A good tool drives each task within the system, and my focus these days is on the time suck that is sanding.

The days of having “claw hand” at the end of a day of sanding, you know – prying your fingers open, are gone. Check out the grip in the picture. Under my thumb, the unit is recessed in both directions for thumb grip in that position. Real deal. In the next couple of weeks I will be doing a “head to head to head” comparison between all of our orbitals. Stay tuned. Lots of test footage to come.

Anyone else running the Festool ets 125? Please, comment. I share as much as I do on this blog because I am inspired by comments and questions left here and sent to me from readers by email and facebook, where by the way, we have a new topcoatreview page.

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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  1. StevenH says:

    This is not your regular sander where it keeps spinning full speed.
    It only spins when it contact on material . When you remove the sander it stops spinning. This is part of the brake pad design.

  2. StevenH says:

    I just received mine.

    AWESOME SANDER
    It has no vibrations and runs smooth like butter

    But I noticed when the sander doesn’t touch wood (speed 6), it doesn’t spins as fast.
    At speed 3-4 it does spin fast. ( not touching wood)

    When it does touch the wood it does spin fast.

    Does yours do this?

    • Steven, on all of my sanders, Festool advised me that there is a it of a ‘break in’ period on their sanders that is 8-12 hours before they run at full speed. Remember that this is designed as a finish sander, and the speed of the pad is optimized for best results as well. Also, its orbital action, and stroke of the motor will feel different from other orbitals you have run from other manufacturers. I have actually been thinking about doing a video of the head to head testing we have been doing with our old sanders and these.

  3. StevenH says:

    I have ordered one, it come in by wednesday.
    Will do a review on it.

    It has a 5/64-inch sanding stroke, / 1.67 amps .
    Best for scuff sanding surfaces.

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