by Andy Brownell
A well-sanded surface makes a huge difference on a finished piece. Unlike many woodworkers I know, I appreciate the relatively mindless nature of sanding. In addition to recently using the Mirka DEROS for benchmarking purposes, my go-to power sander has been a 10-year-old 6″ Ridgid model. It’s heavy, has a high center of gravity and is less than graceful on small parts. So I was excited to take Festool’s new 5″ brushless model for a test drive.
The tool comes in Festool’s standard “Systainer” hard case, including a separate power cord. The kit included only one sheet of #120-grit sandpaper – considering the cost, it would have been nice for the factory to include a few more sheets. For this test, I used Festool’s #80-, #100-, #120-, #150- and #180-grit sanding discs on walnut and cherry.
This tool is everything my current sander isn’t. It’s quiet, compact and light, weighing in at only 2.65 lbs.