RO 90 on Last year’s Yule Log

Abrasive Test

RO 90, Granat, MFT, and CT26 working together.

Festool RO 90 and Granat Abrasive Testing

When testing any kind of work related gear, my company and I put the stuff through all of its typical tasks, and then throw some curve balls in. We are always looking for situations we haven’t attempted before, in the context of testing boundaries of equipment. Today’s example features the Festool RO 90 Rotex sander.

One of the most popular tools we have been testing this year is the Festool RO 90 Rotex sander. It is a 3.5″ multi mode (orbital, eccentric and detail) sander that, as soon as we got it, we just couldn’t believe that it took so long for the paint world to evolve to the point where this tool would exist.

I will be writing alot more about this tool in the future, I am pretty sure. But, in the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to share what I am affectionately referring to as the “Yule Log Test”.

Before getting into the particulars of the test scenario, I should explain that one of the biggest impacts Festool has had on our work methods is the ability of the equipment to work together as a system, making tough tasks easier and more efficient.

My intent was to see how an RO 90 would do sanding the bark off a piece of firewood. The first thing I had to was figure out how to stabilize the log in order to sand it, as logs are irregularly shaped, with rough split wood grain. The second issue was what to use for an abrasive to cut through tree bark. The third was a concern for how messy this test would be. The bark layer also had a good bit of dried dirt caked on it.

This would not be an RO 90 test. It would be a challenge for the ability of the highly touted systematized approach to working. The problems noted in the previous paragraph we solved through the use of a multifunction table and clamps, Granat abrasives, and the once again very impressive CT 26 extractor.

All the RO 90 had to do was show up. That seems to be the modus operandi of this Festool group. They seem to do such a fine job of creating the right supporting cast, that the tool itself is set up for success, as long as everything else in the system does it’s job.

Anyways, check out the Yule Tide video, and note the whole sensory experience of an integrated system at work. If you enjoy it, check out our collection of test footage videos. And if you are a fellow Rotex user, please chime in and discuss your experiences with these tools.



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  1. Festool CT Mini - Full Unit Hepa | Topcoat Review | October 14, 2012
  1. You are very creative, and I wouldn’t have thought to use a rough log to demonstrate the power the RO90 has.

    I look forward to reading more about how Topcoat has incorporated these Festool systems into your crews.

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