Bosch has knocked it out of the park so to speak with this 6” orbital sander. For its’ large size, it is quite easy to operate and use though. The powerful 6.5-Amp motor coupled with dual-mode operation allow this sander to chew through wood almost as fast as a belt sander.
Bosch’s 6” orbital sander fits a niche where the job at hand is bigger than what a palm sander will comfortably do, but not quite large enough for a belt sander. With two modes, it can even tackle jobs that would normally be reserved for a belt sander, but with the control and comfort of an orbital sander. Read on in the Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review for all of the details.
Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review Overview
Orbital sanders are quite common, I would venture to say that most workshops have one, a 5” one that is, 6” orbital sanders are less common. These larger “big brother” sanders are great for larger jobs that do not need a whole lot of material removal. More aggressive material removal was previously reserved for belt sanders.
The Bosch 6” Orbital Sander Review will cover this two-mode sander. Its' “Turbo” mode takes off “five times the rate of the normal random orbit sanding mode”. Now almost the same rate of material removal as a belt sander is available in the easy to control and manage, the safe package of an orbital sander, along with all the benefits of a random orbital sanding pattern.
Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review Features
The main body of the sander is long and makes for a large handle that is easy to hold, even for the largest hands.
The power switch is large and has positive engagement, and locks on. It is big enough to manipulate with gloves on, and the texture allows for a positive grip while pressing it.
The Turbo switch is clearly marked with easy to decipher illustrations. The lever has a switch that locks it in place, but it easy to depress. You should note that the instructions state that the mode lever should only be moved when the unit is off. We switched while it was running and did not have any issues. It is always best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and instructions, especially when it may void a warranty.
An allen wrench/hex key is included, along with a”keeper” to place on the power cord so it is not easily lost.
The allen wrench is used to remove and replace the dust collection port and the backing pad. Bosch offers backing pads in various densities (extra-soft to hard). This tool is also marketed as a polisher, so you can install polishing pads in lieu of sanding pads if need be.
The dust collection port is listed as “ANTISTATIC”. During my testing, sawdust did not accumulate on it.
Included along with the allen wrench are two vacuum or dust collection adapters and the auxiliary handle.
One of the dust collection adapters is specifically designed for Bosch's dust collection hoses, and the other is a generic adapter for 1-1/4″ and 1-1/2″ hoses.
You can attach the auxiliary handle to either side of the sander head. The angle that it screws in at is very comfortable and natural feeling. Getting the threads started at that odd looking angle though was a bit of a challenge at first though.
This model uses standard 6″ 6-hole hook-and-loop sanding pads and came with a single 120-grit pad, which is what we used for testing.
Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review Performance
The amount of material removal in turbo mode is quite impressive. It does not make a very noticeable change in the sound or feel of the unit until you touch it to the workpiece. Then the difference is quite obvious, as the amount of sawdust produced from the increased material removal is dramatically different.
The sander powers up softly. It is easy to control, even on the small piece of wood we used for testing. The large handles make handling the tool comfortable. The auxiliary handle can be attached on either side or removed completely, making this almost a dream to handle.
Unlike some orbital sanders, this one is not very loud. Even in turbo mode, the sound does not change that much. While hearing protection is always recommended, using this without did not leave our ears ringing.
Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review Value
Every now and then we come across a tool whose price may leave us scratching our heads. But when you factor in the intended market this tool is geared towards, professionals, the price point makes more sense. Home Depot has this model listed for $279, whereas their single-mode 3.3-Amp sander is available for $149.03. This one carries a robust 6.5-Amps, which is part of the reason for the higher price tag. The turbo mode really does make a huge difference during use.
If you’re tight on storage space, you could rationalize the purchase because this sander could take the place of a belt sander, too. The quality and performance of this sander are wonderful, as we expect from Bosch. I don’t think I would shell out the $279 for the sander on my own, as a hobbyist. Unless I planned to buy only one power sander to cover all of my power sanding needs, it would be hard to justify the cost. This sander is geared for the professional though, so for users who need the power and performance to earn a living, this may be a perfect fit.
Bosch 6 Inch Orbital Sander Review Final Thoughts
Bosch has put out a real workhorse with this sander. Even though it comes with a steep price tag, the performance and quality still make it worth looking at. With all the power needed for a professional, It should earn a spot on your list of must-see sanders when considering your next purchase. Those looking to simplify by relying on one sander should consider it too, as Bosch doesn't dissapoint with this model.