What do 6-in. random-orbit sanders have over 5-in. models? For starters, 6-in. sanders have a larger sanding surface, more powerful motors, and many work in two modes. But are the extra weight and cost justified by greater productivity? Can you easily control the tool when it's set on coarse mode, or will your crisp-edged workpiece end up looking like a piece of driftwood? How well do these tools deal with dust collection? Roland Johnson's tests revealed a wide range of capacities and performances-far larger than the fairly homogeneous 5-in. sanders.

Models tested include the Bosch 1250DEVS, Bosch 3727DEVS, DeWalt DW443, Fein MSF 636-1, Festool ETS 150/3 EQ, Festool RO 150 FEQ, Makita BO6030, Makita  BO6040, Metabo SXE450, Ridgid R2611.

From Fine Woodworking #202