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I first wrote about the new sander from Mirka known as CEROS (Compact Electrical Random Orbit Sander) around tax time in 2010. (Read that blog post and watch a video we posted.) I was a believer at that time – I believed that a product would make its way to market when it was scheduled. I’m not busting on Mirka, mind you, because I’ve come to understand the process – the slow, slow process – of getting items approved by Underwriter’s Laboratories and the Canadian Standards Association. CEROS has been struggling through these two organizations for quite a while even though the sander has been available in Europe for many months.

For those of us who have been patiently waiting, the time has come. There are retailers selling CEROS – retailers that actually have the product on hand and are not just taking orders. The price for CEROS is $495 whether you’re looking at the 6″ or the 5″ version.

Is this sander worth the money? It is in my book. CEROS is an electric-powered sander that feels, looks and operates like an air-powered tool. If you haven’t used this type of sander, I can say that it is as different as night and day when compared to common random orbit sanders that most woodworkers are accustom to using. Not only have I sanded projects in preparation for dye and finish, I used CEROS to sand between finish coats on a few projects. With #400-grit Abranet disc – another woodworker must have from Mirka – on the pad, my work was quick, clean and smooth.

CEROS is an important product for Mirka, so the company is holding nothing back. Mirka has a web site dedicated to CEROS (click here to take a look). At the site you get everything from a quick start guide to get you up and running right away, to photos, user manual and parts downloads and a list of approved retailers. You can also see the company’s warranty policy for this tool. It is first rate.

The warranty is in effect for three years from the time of purchase; yes, you do have to register. If you have a problem, you call the company and your information will be recorded. Soon thereafter, you’ll receive an email with all the specifics listed as well as a shipping label so the sander can be sent for repair. The shipping expense is covered by Mirka. Once your sander arrives for service, the goal is to make repairs within two business days. At that time, you get a second email with all the tracking information as your sander makes its way back to you. Shipping on the way back is also picked up by Mirka. That’s standing behind a product.

Take a look at the web site, watch the video and see what you think. Of course, you owe it to yourself to give CEROS a try.

— Glen D. Huey

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Showing 15 comments
  • Charlie Plesums

    I found the video disappointing… if that was a board just out of a jointer/planer, with (say) 150 grit Mirka Gold, then the sander is slow… not agressive enough. If that was a board just off a cheap bandsaw, with 80 grit, maybe it was okay.

    I am willing to invest in a better sander if it gives me a good ROI – my 6" Festool sander is okay as long as I use Mirka or Klingspor or any paper other than Festool. I find myself going back to my $100 5" Makita when I want to get things done quickly. My almost new 5" Porter Cable is working it’s way towards Craigs List.

  • Glen

    Christopher – my mention of matching an existing sander was primarily to ease the transition phase. No one wants boxes of sanding discs sitting unused on the shelf. Your Festool example makes sense due to the vast differences in how those two tools can be used. If you switch between sanders based on the orbit diameters, there would no reason to match because each time you reach for a particular orbit diameter, you probably have a specific purpose in mind.

    However, in my case, I use the same sander for whatever the job at hand. I need a simple transition and I’m not interested in carrying two disc sizes in inventory.

  • Bob Lang

    Dust collection is excellent

  • Christopher Fitch

    I have a 5" Festool RO125 and an ES 125 so I follow you on the shared size. However, I’ve seen other people make the point that the shared size benefit is overrated because (using the festool example) they don’t use the same grits of paper on both sanders ie. they will use lower grits with a Rotex and finer grits on a palm sander. I was asking to see if you had a similar experience.

    I do think there might be something to their point because I have used my Rotex instead of a palm sander to do some tasks and it’s not the same. It can do them but it’s so much more aggressive. I was working on sanding/polishing a finish and I just ate through the edges before I knew it. As such, I’m considering the 6" for the larger surface area.

    One other question for Bob or you. How is the dust collection? Is it as good as the film clips show?


  • Skr

    It may be cheaper than the compressor but that compressor is awfully useful for a wide variety of uses.

  • Bob Lang

    The thing I like best about the CEROS is it feels and handles like an air sander, but with less vibration. It doesn’t really compare to any other electric sander. If you’ve used a pneumatic sander you’ll recognize the difference. If you haven’t, you should try one.

    The problem with pneumatic sanders is you need a big compressor to keep it fed with air. A big compressor is a significant expense, and a constant (or nearly constant) source of noise. Yes the CEROS is more expensive than any other electric sander, but it’s less expensive and more user-friendly than a quality pneumatic sander and the compressor to run it.

  • Scott Stahl

    I ‘get’ pro prices for pro tools. I also ‘get’ premium pricing for coordinated systems (Festool). I’m not going to knock this thing based on price. I can’t afford one, but would not turn my nose up at an offer, either.

    My beef is this sander seems to be dropped in a vacuum of other products. The whole systainer packaging tells me that CEROS is aimed at folks who already took the Festool plunge.

    So, I’m left wondering two things:

    Is this the first in a new long line of Mirka premium tools?

    Is the primary market for this outside the U.S.?

  • GMan

    If I bought a Ferrari, it would look nicer,and get me to my destination faster, but I still couldn’t justify the added expense.

  • Eric R

    Well put Merlin.

  • Merlin Vought

    Woodworkers may not always be able to use price as the only factor unless you are retired on SS only. Then you have no other choice. The hands that control the tools ( hand or power) and the determination to have the finished project are still more important than the quality or price of the tool.
    Sorry fellas just my opinion.

  • Glen

    Christopher – I’m partial to the 5" sander primarily because that’s the size I’ve worked with for years. I also think the smaller diameter allows you into more areas than the 6" tool would. With most suppliers handling accessories in both diameters, I would match an existing sander size if there is one to match.

    Chuck – if you look at the Festool sanders, except for the 125 unit, you generally are using two hands to control the tool. You can operate the CEROS with one hand – I’ve seen it done with a single finger. Additionally, the Festool sanders are much taller and that influences the operation as well. The low-profile of CEROS gets you much closer to the workpiece and ups your control.

    Eric & Gman – if a good quality tool is proved to save you time in the shop – whether it’s a sander, handplane or tablesaw – and does a better job at that task, wouldn’t that tool be a better value? Woodworkers cannot always allow price to be the determining factor in tool purchases.

  • GMan

    $500.00 for a ROS? Get real!

  • Chuck Isaacson

    So I assume that you have used a Festool before, how does it stack up against it?

  • Christopher Fitch

    So would you choose the 6" or the 5" sander? Is the 5" too light? Is the extra disc area of the 6" a big advantage?

  • Eric R

    I remember you saying earlier what a nice sander this is, but frankly it is a little steep.
    Like Festool, I’m sure it is very well made and does the job intended in splendid fashion, but again, unless you are a pro or a well funded hobbyist, this is a tough time to introduce a $500.00 ROS.
    The warranty is also commendable, but for that kind of money, they should come & get it..lol
    Thanks Glen.

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