I'm having a devil of a time with sanders lately. A couple weekends ago, my 6" Ridgid (post-Metabo, Chinese made) ROS died in the middle of sanding a cutting board. I'd had this sander for maybe 6 months...long enough that I couldn't return it under the 90-day return policy. Since I was working under a time crunch and didn't have time to deal with sending it off the the factory for warranty service (it's got a 3-year warranty), I went to Depot de Casa (where the announcements are in Spanish) and picked up another one of the same sanders. I liked the sander and the way it worked. I figured the untimely death was a fluke.
Fast forward to this evening, and the new sander died in pretty much the same way -- midway through a sanding job. Bad words were said. Although this one will be going back to the Borg for an exchange tomorrow (since again, I need to replace it in a hurry), I'm starting to look at my other options for a 6" ROS.
I like the 6" ROS for fast stock removal; I have a little Ryobi 5" ROS that works like a champ for the finer stuff. A dust collection port that can be adapted to a shop vac hose is key. My first choice for a new 6" would be the Festool Rotex RO 150 FEQ dual-mode, but it's simply out of my price range. Next up is the Festool ETS 150/5 EQ with the 5 mm stroke. It's pushing the envelope budget-wise, but I get the impression from what I've read about the Festool sanders that I'd love it. Farther down the list, and about $100 easier on my wallet is the Metabo 6" ROS. I've heard good things about this one, but not a lot of folks seem to be using it. Now of course, the earlier Ridgid 6" ROS was a rebranded Metabo, but the only ones I've found at the stores are the newer Chinese-made clones. (Which, if you've been paying attention, have a thing about dying when you need them most.) (The HD website is running a close-out sale on them right now, and although the pic on their website shows the Metabo version, I suspect they're shipping the Chinese version.)
Any suggestions? Should I just call Uncle Bob and get it over with? (I'd have to wait a bit for my wallet to recover from Christmas before I could make that call. Santa's already bringing me some cool stuff for my lathe, and I had to help him out a bit with the money.) I figure I'll be getting a full refund for one of my Ridgids, and getting the other one repaired, but I won't ever rely on the remaining one to do a job.