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  1. #1
    Member bob m's Avatar
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    Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    Up until a few months ago I was a Festool dealer, so I have some of their sanders still on hand including 2 rotary type sanders RO 150 (6") and RO 90 (3.5"). These are dual mode sanders - random orbital and flipping the switch gives you low rpm rotary sanding/polishing. I have used these a couple of years ago on my 2006 Outback with good results, but I was not doing what I would call "fine detailing" - just basic swirl and light scratch removal. No looking at the finish under swirl/hologram lighting, just a good down and dirty compound and polish before applying a sealant.

    I will do a full and thorough decon this Spring including compound and polish on my Outback as well as coating removal and polishing (remove very slight swirls and holograms) on my Audi.
    Question - for my limited usage would I gain anything or much of anything by using a simple dedicated polisher - GG/Rupes, etc, over my 2 Festool sanders/polishers?

  2. #2
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    No. Your Festool RO machines are the equivalent of the Flex 3401. Actually they are more akin to the Makita geared forced rotation DA machines where you can switch from free spinning to gear driven.

    I own a RO 90 machine and I use the Buff & Shine 4" pads on it. They have a 3.5" Velcro backing that fits just right. I absolutely love using this combo on mainly front and rear bumpers and the trunk areas. It chews up defects on those contours and the 4" size is small enough to get to 90% of bumper surfaces. The way the handle wraps around your hand has not been an issue on the smaller machine like I was worried about. I though I would be banging it on the panels by accident a lot, but it has not been an issue. I did use a Dremel tool to cut off the dust port tube so that the tool sticks out less. I don't plan on using it for wood working so I was willing to sacrifice the dust collection.

    The orbit on the RO 90 is small so I don't use it in free spinning DA mode, just in the gear driven mode. The short orbit (5mm?) makes it more like a jiggly rotary than the heavier DA action you get with the Flex 3401's 8mm orbit.

    I have never used the bigger Festool DA's, but I would think that you could do anything with it that one could do with the Flex.

    The RO 90 was extremely expensive (about $540) to use mainly for tackling bumpers, but it easily rivals the build quality of Rupes and Flex. I've been happy with it because I hate doing bumpers and this made it noticeably easier.

  3. #3
    Member bob m's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    Quote Originally Posted by DBAILEY View Post
    No. Your Festool RO machines are the equivalent of the Flex 3401. Actually they are more akin to the Makita geared forced rotation DA machines where you can switch from free spinning to gear driven.

    I own a RO 90 machine and I use the Buff & Shine 4" pads on it. They have a 3.5" Velcro backing that fits just right. I absolutely love using this combo on mainly front and rear bumpers and the trunk areas. It chews up defects on those contours and the 4" size is small enough to get to 90% of bumper surfaces. The way the handle wraps around your hand has not been an issue on the smaller machine like I was worried about. I though I would be banging it on the panels by accident a lot, but it has not been an issue. I did use a Dremel tool to cut off the dust port tube so that the tool sticks out less. I don't plan on using it for wood working so I was willing to sacrifice the dust collection.

    The orbit on the RO 90 is small so I don't use it in free spinning DA mode, just in the gear driven mode. The short orbit (5mm?) makes it more like a jiggly rotary than the heavier DA action you get with the Flex 3401's 8mm orbit.

    I have never used the bigger Festool DA's, but I would think that you could do anything with it that one could do with the Flex.

    The RO 90 was extremely expensive (about $540) to use mainly for tackling bumpers, but it easily rivals the build quality of Rupes and Flex. I've been happy with it because I hate doing bumpers and this made it noticeably easier.
    Thank you.

    Couple of questions - why not use the Festool pads instead? Did you remove the sanding pad and use Festool's polishing pad? Do you use the RO on larger surfaces?

  4. #4
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    I got that price wrong now I think about it. I think I paid about $460 for the machine. I have never used the delta sanding pad attachment on the RO 90 DX before, it has sat in a drawer. I wish there was a cheaper version of the machine without the sanding pad and attachment mechanism, but I know the company's focus is on wood working. I thought about cutting a LC Thinpro pad into the shape of the sanding pad to get the point into tight tiny spaces, but I have never actually done it.

    I remember the kit coming with a rounded pad. Yellow foam I think, but I didn't think it was anything special, so I never looked into buying anymore Festool brand polishing pads. I already had a bunch of the B&S 4" and Cyclo 4" pads and they fit perfectly. So I have been using those. The orange, green, blue and black ones. I also have some 4" purple foamed wool pads and some other LC sheepskin wool pads that I will use on that machine too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    My cousin whom I work with regularly, (High end woodworker) has about 50k invested in Festool.

    We often talk about how his RO 150 might work on paint, but have yet to try it. (His tool, with my pads).

    I will say that Festool blows just about any other tool line out of the water for their quality and moreover innovation (in the woodworking realm). But, you WILL be paying for it.

    IMO, if Festool ever introduced a dedicated machine just for auto paint, other companies might be very concerned.....
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

  6. #6
    Member bob m's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    My cousin whom I work with regularly, (High end woodworker) has about 50k invested in Festool.

    We often talk about how his RO 150 might work on paint, but have yet to try it. (His tool, with my pads).

    I will say that Festool blows just about any other tool line out of the water for their quality and moreover innovation (in the woodworking realm). But, you WILL be paying for it.

    IMO, if Festool ever introduced a dedicated machine just for auto pmaaint, other companies might be very concerned.....
    Paul,

    Festool has been long established in Europe for decades and dwarfs most of the other manufactures - Dewalt, Makita, Bosch in most of the industries - carpentry, painting, flooring and IIRC - auto painting and polishing. About a dozen years ago, I set up BMW USA (in NJ) with Festool's pneumatic sanders and vacs. But recently Festool USA has separated the woodworking division from the paint division and the automobile painting division. Festool USA is only in the USA since the very late 90's and is gearing up to make major inroads into all those fields.

    Their RAP polisher (been around for a while) is a beast and is becoming more popular. YouTube

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  8. #7
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    I had no doubt it was coming, Lol

    Thanks for the vid Bob.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

  9. #8
    Member bob m's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    I had no doubt it was coming, Lol

    Thanks for the vid Bob.
    Welcome Paul.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Festool Rotex sanders/polishers for da car

    I have used The Festool shinex rotary polisher. It is super nice. A quality tool for sure. Light weight, powerful, ergonomic, low RPM capable and quality feel to it. It is also expensive. I wouldn’t mind having one.
    Jim

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