Bosch ROS65VC 6 in Random Orbit Sander Handheld Tools

Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander Review


We first got our hands on the new Bosch ROS65VC-6 6″ Random Orbit Sander with Vibration Control at their 2011 Media Event. Since then, we pretty much have been unable to take our hands off it. What fascinated us about the tool is that, when used side-by-side with other sanders, it truly did significantly reduce vibration. This yielded better control and, perhaps more importantly, less fatigue on the hands during use. We’ve used a lot of orbital sanders in our day and having a product that cuts out the vibration to this extent is worth its weight in gold – which is good, because this new sander from Bosch will cost you nearly that much.

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Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander Build Quality

The Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander is hefty, but you want that in a good sander. This isn’t a tool you’re likely to use overhead, and the weight conveys the quality of the components that went into this tool. Physically, it’s a familiar shape, with a direct drivetrain that is centered perfectly over the disc pad. Colors are as you’d expect, and Bosch goes for “grippy and smooth” as it does with a majority of its corded and cordless tools. You aren’t going to let this sander fly by accident. We also liked that you could remove the front handle if you need to get close to something, and also the way that the grip just seems to afford you multiple places to put your hands. But while being able to move around your hands will offer some relief from extended use, it’s the vibration control that’s the real wonder. Check out what’s under the hood:

Bosch ROS65VC Random Orbit Sander vibration control

The shell of the tool literally “floats” on these eight neoprene-like pads, floating the body off of the base which handles the vibration duties. This is so much more effective than a rubber or gasket-based system. The decoupling is extremely effective in eliminating a majority of transferred kinetic energy to your hands when the tool is running.

Bosch ROS65VC Random Orbit Sander triggerThe trigger was easy to activate, and a right-thumb trigger lock lets you keep the tool running without having to hold anything down. It’s not as much fun as a belt-sander in that way, but racing is not exactly what Bosch was going for here. On the left side of the tool is the variable speed control, which has 6 positions that can be varied with the application and type of sandpaper used. This is where you start to see the extent of the grip texturing and how well it is placed throughout the tool. There is plenty of room to move your hands around during use and apply pressure in many ways, across different parts of the tool. If you’ve ever used one of these at a long stretch, this equates to more comfort.

Bosch ROS65VC Sander speed control

Bosch ROS65VC Random Orbit Sander L-BoxxThe Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander even comes in a professional quality Bosch L-BOXX storage case. This is a custom case built specifically to securely store your ROS-65VC and let you integrate that box into your other L-BOXX storage solutions. The technology is licensed from the parent company of Festool, and Bosch is really doing a good job at improving their already excellent products with innovative features. For this tool, we noted that everything had a place and there was ample storage for both the tool, its cord, and accessories within the hard foam-lined interior. The tool also stored well with the removable front handle attached. The best compliment we can give it is to say that we use it all the time – the tool always goes back with everything in its place. The L-BOXX is simple to use and it really keeps you organized.

The sander comes with both a vacuum dust collection attachment and a filtered dust collector – both of which fasten easily to the rear-mounted port. The Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander supports both 5-inch (8-hole) and 6-inch (6-hole) sanding pads, making it almost universal in its usability. And when we say “support” we mean that it includes pads in both sizes, so you’re ready to hit the ground working.

Bosch ROS65VC sanding pads

Bosch ROS65VC 6″ Random Orbit Sander Testing

When we took out the Bosch Orbital Sander and used it on a variety of projects, one thing kept coming back to us – this sander is fast and feels great! And it truly does. You feel, at least, like you can get more work done because you don’t spend a lot of time “fidgeting” or moving your hands around to stay comfortable. 100% of your focus is on where to put the sander and how to best get the job done. When we applied the sander to an antique church pew that needed to be stripped and sanded, we found that it quickly ate away at wood that was older, and quite frankly tougher, than my grandmother. The dust collection canister worked well, though a vacuum system will clean its clock in terms of efficiency. We also used the sander on some 3/4-inch decking used to make a stage for a community center This decking needed to be smoothed out for carpeting as well as for matching the repair plywood to the original tongue and groove, but we also needed to round out the corners of the wood overhangs to match the bullnose look of the existing stairs.The ROS-65VC was fantastic and smoothed out every bit of wood we could throw at it.

Bosch ROS65VC Random Orbit Sander wood

We were also able to use this random orbital sander right alongside a bunch of competitive products. The Bosch ROS-65VC had less vibration than every bit of the competition. This is definitely a segment that is going to explode over the next few years and Bosch is going to be the company to beat.

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Conclusion

Anti-vibration technology has been making its rounds. We’ve seen it on reciprocating saws and demo hammers, and now it seems to be making its way to the classic orbital sander. In our opinion this is a very welcome feature and one that we hope can sell some products, so it becomes all but standard in the near future. The Bosch ROS-65VC just feels right – not at all like a proof of concept or first-generation product. It comes across as refined and well-polished. For that, we found it easily earned a 9/10 in our Performance rating scale. For Value, Bosch is charging a premium for its vibration-control technology, and so it scored an average 5/10 rating for falling in the middle of the high-end pack for this type of product. It may be a tad pricey, but you are getting quality with this product, and for those professionals who are serious about their corded orbital sanders, this is going to be hard to pass up.

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