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Rockwell’s vibrafree Random Orbit Sander
For the past 12 months I have been testing and using the Rockwell RK4247K vibrafree Random Orbit Sander. I took my time writing this review because I wanted the test to be a real shop use test instead of doing samples I chose to use the sander in the production of day to day shop use. The sander arrived in a very nice case complete with sanding disks and dust collection set up. I put the sander right to work. First I wanted to test whether the anti-vibration utilizing active canceling technology actually worked. I compared it to the low vibration sander from Festool as well as my regular sanders from DeWALT. The first thing I noted was that the sander had proprietary sanding disks which meant I would have to buy the OEM paper from Rockwell. This was a bit of a put off however I soon learned the paper from Rockwell lasted 4-5 times as long as conventional paper and that it rarely if ever clogged. This is simply the best ROS I have ever used. It sands twice as fast, its dust collection is superior and it vibrates less than all the sanders we tested. Rockwell has made some great tools in the past couple of years that we really loved, but none were as impressive as this sander. Simply stated the sander out performs the Festool which costs more than twice as much. My original concern about the sand paper is not a worry as I simply stocked up on the paper only to find I change it out far less often. The dust collection is great whether it is hooked up to dust collection or if I am using the canister. The solid canister works as well after a year of solid use as it did on day one., and when connected to dust collection the sander is the cleanest of all the sanders we have used in the shop. After using my sander for a few weeks, Bill went out and purchased a vibrafree sander for his own shop. Among the great features of this sander is time savings and a noticeable lack of sander swirl marks. One word of caution, if you do buy this sander remember it is aggressive and sands so much quicker it is often better to sand with one step finer paper than you normally would. I feel the increased speed is due to the fact the paper never clogs up like it does on all the other sanders on the market we have used. I am rarely impressed with a sander and sanding is one of my least favorite parts of woodworking. In many cases I would rather finish a piece with a cabinet scraper than to expose myself to the dust of sanding, however this has all changed with the new Rockwell vibrafree sander. Dust is no longer an issue and with the vibrafree sander you can simply tolerate sanding for much longer periods of time.
The sander kit comes in at 99 dollars on Amazon. I purchased a hundred dollars’ worth of paper which will last a very long time, and I know if you buy this sander and get over the proprietary disks, you will not be unhappy. Features we loved about this sander are the high quality long cord, the superior dust collection, the vibrafree system, the lack of swirl marks on the wood and the great case. All in all this is a best buy at 99 dollars and it could be the best hundred dollars you have spent in the shop in a long time. I am giving this tool 5 out of 5 stars and a full endorsement from This Old Workshop. I just can’t say enough good things about this sander. It’s so good that all my other sanders are simply collecting dust (on the outside) and may find themselves on the donate list without missing them at all. I am confident that once you have your Rockwell vibrafree ROS sander you will feel the same way.
Lance The Dude Granum.