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Take a look at the photo above. What do you see? Of course it’s a couple sanders! And I’ll give you that both are made by Mirka, the company that serves up Abranet (our favorite sanding product). But if that’s all you see, look again.

What you see is a revolution in sanding for the home woodworker (and many others).

The tool on the right is a common, if you will, air-driven sander. If you’ve never worked with an air-driven sander, you’re missing plenty. If given a choice between an air-driven sander and an electric-powered random-orbit sander, I’m all over the air tool , unless there is no air compressor, a rather larger air compressor, available. The sander on the left looks like the air-driven sander. It has that low-profile feel as you hold it that makes these sanders so much easier to use, and it sands every bit as well. However, what should stand out in the photo is the power cord attached to the rear of the tool. That’s the big news.

Our guy from Mirka, Pete Kern, walked into the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop Thursday and plunked this bad boy onto the Gluebo workbench. The new sander, expected to hit the U.S. market sometime this summer, is known as “CEROS.” It has a brushless motor (which offers higher efficiency and reliability), has variable speeds from 4,000-10,000 rpm and is powered by electric; you don’t have to own a big honking air compressor to make it work.

Now take a look at the photo above. That black box is the power supply for the sander. You don’t plug this tool directly into the outlet. You plug the tool into a power supply and it is plugged into the outlet. That’s due to the DC motor.

Here’s a closer look at the back of the tool, the operations area. The red button is the on/off switch (there’s also an on/off switch on the power supply box), the button to the left decreases the speed while the button to the right pumps more speed into the spin. And I’m sure you noticed the dust port. With this sander, along with Mirka’s Abranet sanding product and a dust extractor (look for this from Mirka by year’s end), you’re as close to dust-free sanding as you can get.

And how do you keep all this stuff together? If you look closely, you’ll noticed that the box in which this setup is sent is very, very familiar. I know for a fact that it connects to the boxes, Systainers if you please, from the other company.

I knew I wanted this sander the minute I heard it describe over the phone. And Bob Lang reached for his credit card as soon as it came out of the Systainer box. So while you drool and conjure up ways to get one in your shop, I’ll use it a bit more. In the coming days, I’ll post more information on the Ceros , then shoot a short video to further build your desire.

– Glen D. Huey

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Showing 13 comments
  • Jacob Malherbe

    It funny I found your article because I was out looking for electrical tools that I could use with the QuickWood line of abrasives and flap wheels. I do see what you are talking about that it will change the small shops around and give them access to more hand tools if electrical tools where made available. All we have today are air powered tools and as I said something has to change there so great article and it gave me some ideas of where to go for electrical tools to fit our line of sanding products.



  • Aluminum Extrusions

    This is an awesome sander. A friend of mine just let me use his. I was shocked at how smooth it was and how well it worked. All you need to do is see the converter box and know that this thing is a machine… I would recommend it to anyone, it is on my short list of tools to get!

  • Fred West

    Glenn, what a great idea. I have quite a bit of the Festool tools and love their sanding system but I am quite anxious to try this out. I cannot find a price anywhere. You said that Robert Lang whipped out his credit card so I am assuming you all have some idea as to the cost????

    Lou, while I very much understand your dislike a blatant advertising, I find that in the case of the editors here is a little different. Everyone of them are not only enthusiastic woodworkers but also tool junkies. Because of this, when someone like Glen gets excited I not only enjoy his enthusiasm but have a tendency to feel that the tool that has him excited is well worth my time to look into. In much fewer words, I like and respect their subjective reviews because they are woodworkers and tool junkies. :o)


  • Neil

    Ah………looks as if I’m getting closer to ending my collection of jury rigged connectors and the box of cupplings I thought would work, hopefully I finally end the multi-connector reducer/duct tape dilemna.

    I run my tools until they run no more…..not this time. Sorry trusty sanders, it looks as if soon you will be relegated to barrier coat and keel sanding.

    Thanks for heads-up!!

  • Christopher Fitch

    This is great! I’ve seen some comments about this and I’ve wanted one now for a bit.

    I can’t wait!

  • Glen

    Lou, let me begin by saying that I take my work home to sand because I have a widebelt sander and air-powered sanders in my shop. The PWM shop has a one air sander and we use it constantly even though the compressor (a 15A. 25 gallon compressor, Stuart) plays catchup most of the time.

    The CEROS sander looks like, acts like and works like the air tool. To me, that is as big as I make it sound in the blog entry. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the difference between air and electric sanders, you should take the time.

  • Steve

    @Chris: I don’t know wny Mirka chose to use a low-voltage/high-current motor, although there is an obvious safety benefit. The size of the power supply depends more on the total power, rather than the voltage or current individually. The power rating of the CEROS sander (400W) is about the same as others. It’s possible that the fact that the CEROS has a wider variable speed range than most is part of the reason for the larger box.

  • Chris Friesen

    I did a bit more digging, and it looks like these are already available in Europe and people seem to like them.

    Steve, I realize that pulling the electronics out into a separate box keeps the tool head light, but that power supply is huge. I suspect it’s due to the decision to run the sander itself on 22V. I’m really curious why they did that, since it requires a high supply current (18A!). That high supply current is the reason for the fat power cable and I suspect also the reason for the size of the power supply.

  • Steve

    @Glen: I think it’s okay to call them Systainers. The name is a registered trademark not of Festool but of the company that makes them for Festool–and now, apparently, Mirka (Tanos).

    @Chris: Moving the electronics out of the tool and into a separate box keeps the tool head small and lightweight, like a pneumatic sander. The PC 390 is an improvement over a conventional electric sander, but it’s still not as dainty as the Mirka.

  • Chris Friesen

    Why does this one need such a large external power supply when the PC 390 (which also has a brushless motor) doesn’t?

  • Stuart Hough

    One point to make, and then a question…….
    Point–on a blog, you can say anything you want.
    Question–how large is "rather large"?

    Glen, keep up the good work, and yes, it’s okay to drool. We all do!

  • Lou

    You know, despite the blurb in the magazine ("we don’t publicize inferior products"), every once in a while you should review a common, but lousy, tool. An honest review of why a poor tool should be avoided would help burnish your "objectiveness" cred.

    I realize you’re excited about a really cool, well-made tool (CEROS), but the exuberance in the review above borders on outright advertising. I think everyone appreciates a well-written, objective, positive tool review, and you guys do that extremely well. In this case, though, I think you’re dancing right up to the line…..

  • Dave Griessmann

    Any ideas on what it will cost to own?

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