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Review of Bosch OS50VC ½ Sheet Sander

This topic contains 329 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  Doobie 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #94405

    After receiving the Bosch ROS65VCL random orbit sander that many on this forum had touted as superb, I thoroughly enjoyed putting on a sanding disc and putting it to use. The lack of vibration, smooth finish and excellent dust collection made that random orbit sander a joy to use. So when the Bosch OS50VC ½ sheet sander showed up in a few magazine reviews, I wondered if this sander was going to be as good as the reviews stated. I don’t know if these 2 sanders are brother-sister, father-son or whatever, but there is definitely a blood relationship. The same anti-vibration is built in. The motor is 3.4 amps versus 3.3 amps in the ROS65VCL. The front handles and dust canisters are identical. It weighs in at 6 lbs. vs 5.3 on the ROS65VCL. However, the OS50VC covers more territory at the same time because of the larger sanding pad.

    After unboxing the sander, yes I said unbox, not un-l-boxx. This sander, which retails at approximately $380 does not come in an l-boxx. It did not matter to me as I will be using it in my workshop and I do not expect to traveling anywhere with it. But, I am surprised that it does not come in an l-boxx. To those that it does matter, the dimensions of this sander are approximately 15.5” long, 4.75” wide, and 8.5” tall so you can choose your l-boxx to setup. The twist-on dust canister adds to the length so that it measures approximately 17.5” long when on. It does not add that much more to the overall length because of the length of the handle and reinforced (at the handle) electric cord that comes out at the rear. That cord length is approximately 13 feet long. It comes with a 1 year warranty.

    Attaching the front handle (with the included hex wrench) and dust canister (it takes a bit to get it tight) is the only assembly required. Emptying the dust canister is a screw-off end cap the removes the filter from the canister to allow you to shake out the canister and clean the filter. It holds a fair amount of dust. The unit also comes with a hose fitting to allow you to attach it to a dust extractor instead of the dust canister. Besides the manual and a piece of 120 grit paper, the only other part included is a base plate to place the sander upon. As part of the base are 14 points that will punch holes in the sand paper to match the holes in the sanding pad to allow for proper dust collection. This plate can be fastened to another surface to make it more permanent and easier to use.

    So how easy was it to load the sander with paper, almost effortless. You push open a spring clamp at the rear (with a red lever on the rear side) to first clamp on the paper. The front has a lever clamp that tightens the paper after you have advanced it along the sanding pad to the front. They have even placed a “1” on the rear in the frame and a “2” on the front of the frame to remind you of the order the paper should go on. You cut a full sheet of sandpaper lengthwise and clamp it on. Put it on the base, puncture it, and away you go.

    The variable speed control is a dial at the right rear of the main grip. There is a button on left side of the grip to lock it on after depressing the trigger at the bottom of the handle. The grips are ergonomic and have a nice feel. So time for acid test – how well will it sand.

    I fired it up and immediately noticed how quiet it was. There was very little vibration. I played with the variable speed and it seemed to run smoother on the wood at higher speeds versus lower. The dust canister needed to be snugged up tighter but I think that is because it was brand new. I started with 80 grit sandpaper and removal of material was not overly aggressive but effective. At 120 grit it smoothed the wood without effort. In fact, it felt like it was just floating on the wood. With the large surface it cannot help but sand flat. At 220 grit I purposely sanded against the grain. It smoothed the surface like glass with no visible scratches. It is not aggressive with this grit so you do not have to worry about ruining something as you would with a belt sander.

    I cannot say anything bad about this sander. I suppose at its cost, you should not have any negatives. If you need a finishing sander for larger surfaces with excellent dust collection, this sander is a winner.

    #94413

    MKE_Voltage
    Moderator
    Saint Francis, WI

    Excellent review Lon, I think I am now 100% convinced that this sander would help improve my finishing game. It is crazy that it doesn’t come with a case but I guess that is something that could be fixed with a BTP Lboxx.

    #94418

    I think I am now 100% convinced that this sander would help improve my finishing game.

    Without a doubt it will improve the finish of your projects. The dust collection is exactly what you would want in your shop. No second thoughts needed on this one.

    #94446

    MKE_Voltage
    Moderator
    Saint Francis, WI

    Lon, do you plan on getting an Lboxx for it or just keeping it loose?

    #94450

    I will get an l-boxx sometime down the road (sooner than later). I have a drawer in my cabinet for sanders and it will go in there for now. Maybe when I have some extra points. I will do some investigating now and comment in a day or so.

    #94471

    jim_hunt17
    Pro
    Milwaukee, WI

    Great review on the sander Lon. I am also surprised about the L-boxx. Looks like this is one thing I need to seriously consider when I have enough points.

    Jim H.
    Milwaukee, WI

    #94475

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Nice review. I have a couple different 1/4 sheet sanders – the 1/2 sheet would be a nice addition.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #94485

    I believe it will all fit nicely into an l-boxx 2 for those that want to know. Maybe this coming weekend I can shoot some pictures.

    #94486

    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Great review Lon, I’ve really been enjoying my ROS65VCL and may have to add this to my list to round out my finishing game. I actually kind of like the fact it is not hook and loop, it should make it much easier and cheaper to get abrasives. Thanks for putting this review together!

    #94491

    Anonymous

    Great review Lon, I haven’t been too interested in getting a sander till now. I have an old 1/4 sheet that isn’t anything like you’ve described here. I think that’s so cool that it comes with a base to punch out the holes. Perhaps I should think about updating my sander. Thanks

    #94500

    redwood
    Pro

    Nice Job Lon, Where would a 1/2 sheet sander be a benefit to a 6″ RO sander?

    I assume that there is a little larger surface area. Is the motion similar?

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #94504

    Solid review Lon – any thoughts as to the overall quality of the dust collection on this guy so far? I’m thinking that if I were to own the OS50vc in addition to my ROS65VCL I would just about need to build a downdraft table – even if the OS50 sander gets solid dust control.

    John S

    #94633

    Nice Job Lon, Where would a 1/2 sheet sander be a benefit to a 6″ RO sander?
    I assume that there is a little larger surface area. Is the motion similar?

    The larger surface area is definitely to first difference. I wouldn’t use it for small parts but for table tops, cabinet surfaces, and the like.

    I believe the motion is a little more compact than the ROS. That is impression and not based on inspecting the specifications. It seems to be a little less aggressive and the finish with 220 grit paper was like glass on a piece of cabinet plywood. I would not limit the description of the sander to a finish sander but it does give you a great finish.

    #94643

    Solid review Lon – any thoughts as to the overall quality of the dust collection on this guy so far? I’m thinking that if I were to own the OS50vc in addition to my ROS65VCL I would just about need to build a downdraft table – even if the OS50 sander gets solid dust control.

    I doubt you will need the downdraft table either. It leaves so little dust on the subject. I would have a cloth available to wipe it down when done and you will be clean on both the wood and the work surface. It was that good.

    #94658

    MKE_Voltage
    Moderator
    Saint Francis, WI

    Solid review Lon – any thoughts as to the overall quality of the dust collection on this guy so far? I’m thinking that if I were to own the OS50vc in addition to my ROS65VCL I would just about need to build a downdraft table – even if the OS50 sander gets solid dust control.

    I doubt you will need the downdraft table either. It leaves so little dust on the subject. I would have a cloth available to wipe it down when done and you will be clean on both the wood and the work surface. It was that good.

    That is excellent to hear, the ROS65VCL when connected to dust collection leaves virtually zero dust so I am very pleased to here this is the same. I really hope there is one left on the list once I get enough points!

    #94725

    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Thanks for the great review. I’m still trying to get an understanding on when to use a Belt, RO, and sheet finish sander.

    #94843

    I hope this helps…Belt sander for rapid removal of material but not something to use for finishing. Random orbit sander will remove material fairly quickly depending on the grit used. You can confidently use the ROS to finish wood as you work your way up in grit. Normally 180 to 220 grit is as high as you go, 320 max. Keep in mind the finer you sand, the harder it is to stain or oil the wood. For smaller projects I am quite satisfied with the ROS, particularly the high end Bosch ROS65VC. I would look at the OS50VC sheet sander to handle larger surfaces. The smaller sheet sanders are not something I use Nick. The ROS65VC does a fine job by itself.

    #94846

    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Palm Desert, CA

    I like your review, Lon. It’s helped me to get a better grasp of what to look for in a sheet sander.
    A few years ago I bought a no-name brand sheet sander and never used it until a few weeks ago. No variable speed. That would have helped a lot.
    Hard to load the sheets. Would be nice to have those 1 and 2 marks.
    And, my sander was jumping all over the place, as you can imagine.

    Thanks for the review 🙂

    Pat

    #94855

    I use a 1/2 sheet on every project – it is mu go-to sander for most things in furniture making. You need your parts to be flat and a 1/2 sheet helps in that area — RO sanders are great, but it is easy to over sand in an area or move too quickly and get little pig-tails that appear when applying finish. A 1/2 sheet almost requires you move it quickly and you do not have the same pig-tail effect since the orbit is smaller. It is also great for sanding narrow stock on edge and the orbital action keeps the sander on the edge whereas I find a RO type sander wants to spin off the edge. You can use coarser grit with a 1/2 sheet and get a surprising amount of material removal.

    If I could only have two sanders, it would be a delta head sander for corners and a 1/2 sheet for everything else.

    Orange County, CA

    #94858

    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Palm Desert, CA

    What’s a delta head sander, Scot?

    With my cheapie 1/2 sheet sander I did use 80 grit and it did a pretty good job of sanding down some high spots.

    Pat

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