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SurfPrep or Festool sander?8/31/16
About 2 years ago, I switched from Dynabrade air sanders to the Mirka Ceros electric sanders. I've been very happy with them and my compressor sits quietly while I sand without the dust.
My question now is related to 1/4 sheet sanders. My old PC just died and I'd like a good option to sand sealer coat of pigmented cabinets. (especially doors).
My choices are a Festool or the SurfPrep electric. I saw the SurfPrep booth at IWF, but walked right past, because I thought the were all pneumatic sanders. The SurfPrep is about double the cost of the Festool. Any thoughts?
I used nothing but Festool sanders until about 2 years ago. My local supplier stopped by and wanted me to try the Surf Prep (Air model). I bought one right then. I couldn't believe how much faster it was ffor sanding between coats.
It's much better and easier to use than the festool sanders I have. (I haven't tried the new brushless Festool sanders, but i have 5 or 6 different festool that I use in the shop).
In fact I would say the Surf Prep is fantastic. The pads get almost no build up on them and a quick hit from the air gun and it's clean. They last much longer than the Festool papers I have used. They sand flat and consistent. I use it for sanding both pigmented and clear waterborne. Lacquers. (MLC Agualente & Valspar Zenith).
I use it on doors, face frames, anything I spray. When I wear this one out I intend to get the electric.
You should try one. Find someone to demo it for you.
We started using a surfprep air sander for sealer sanding a few months ago. It works great for that, I wouldn't go back to hand sanding. Much faster and more consistent. It also works well for sanding wood in tight spots where a random orbital just won't fit. It certainly won't replace a random orbital for most wood sanding tasks however. The pad's too small and the orbit's too tight for that. The only downside for the surfprep is that it doesn't do well with psi over 90 lbs. It works well at 85 lbs, but anything much over that and it gets a wicked vibration. Our shop air is generally at 95 lbs psi, so I may put a regulator in our finish room to drop it down just for this sander.
As Duster said, it will not replace a random orbital for raw wood. But if you use an interface pad and the sanding films, it does a good job in corners, tight spots, and small areas like face frame edges and rounding over sharp edges. It does well on moldings also.
Another one for SurfPrep. We have used it for over a year. Sanding time between coats is cut by almost 75% and the sanding pads from SurfPrep last 3 times a long as what we were using.
Surfprep here as well. Fantastic for sealer and between coat sanding. Just doesn't seem aggressive enough for raw wood sanding. As mentioned, limit air pressure or it will behave erratically. The pads are incredible as well. I purchased the festool before the surfprep, but didn't like it at all. Seemed too "top heavy", always wanted to tip as I sanded.
I used the pneumatic surf prep for about a year and loved it but it's a real air hog. I bought to detail sanders made by Genisis from Amazon and they are surprisingly great. 20 bucks each and they have been really abused, dropped, etc and keep right on ticking. The rear is square and the front comes to a point which is great for inside corners. Best 20 bucks I've ever spent and my air compressor gets to rest a little.
Our electric 3x4 is just as powerful and easy to use as the pneumatic version. I actually perfer the electric version because its so quiet. A 5 hp compressor runs 3730 watts. The SurfPrep air sander uses 120 watts.