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If you need a good random orbit sander, the Bosch 1295DVS deserves a hard look.
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Bosch #1295DVS Random Orbit Sander

Variable Speed, Constant Value

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

Random Orbit Sanders (ROS) have become a staple in woodworking because of their balance of quick material removal and scratch-free finish. While Bosch has always been a leader in this category, they stepped that effort up another notch by adding variable speed that makes this sander even more versatile.

Initial Impressions

As I have come to expect from Bosch, the Bosch 1295DVS ROS is solid, well built and shows quality manufacturing of the individual parts and their assembly. The compact size and simple but comfortable grip area promise fatigue-free sanding on even large projects.

Controllable Power

The on/off and speed control dial are easy to reach and operate.
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The Bosch-designed, 2.2-amp motor at the heart of the Bosch 1295DVS ROS is smooth-running to the point it gives little indication of the power that is available. If you begin to stall this sander, you are doing something drastically wrong.

A dust-protected rocker switch at the top-front of the grip handles the on-off chores and has a positive feel when switching positions. A handily placed thumb wheel controls the overall speed of the Bosch 1295DVS ROS with six marked positions covering the 7,000 to 12,000 rpm range.

A chart in the instruction manual provides suggested speed settings for various tasks, backing pad stiffness and materials. Being able to reduce speed when using coarse-grit papers helps control material removal but is especially handy when working around edges. Reducing the rate of material removal makes it much easier to sand in sensitive areas like this without rounding edges you want to remain crisp.

Variable speed also makes removing old finishes, sanding metal and many other sanding jobs more predictable while maintaining the effectiveness of the ROS.

The hook & loop system (Left) makes changing abrasive disks easy but secure. The tapered backing pad (Right) projects ahead of the sander body slightly to allow sanding against vertical obstructions.
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Disks and Pad

The Bosch 1295DVS ROS uses 5"-diameter disks with the common eight-hole pattern and hook and loop backing. This size disk is very popular and makes finding the needed grits at your local home center easy.

The eight-hole pattern maximizes the dust that can be evacuated from between the abrasive disk and the wood. I have used sanders with the five-hole design and the advantage in dust-catching efficiency of the eight-hole design is obvious.

The backing pad below the abrasive disk is replaceable. Bosch offers soft, medium and hard pads that allow configuring the Bosch 1295DVS ROS easy and cost effective.

Dust Control

The internal fan system (Left) is highly efficient and sends most of the dust to the Microfilter canister (Right) where it stays.
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The Bosch 1295DVS ROS uses the pleated element, Microfilter canister Bosch developed that maintains a high level of air flow longer. The huge surface area of the pleated element, combined with the tendency for dust to fall off it insures more exhaust area.

Cleaning the dust canister is simple. Pop the top off, tap the pleated filter on the bench to free any caked dust, empty the canister and then snap it back together.

The combination of the internal air-moving fan and the Microfilter canister captures up to 120% more dust than the competition. Despite that high performance, the pleated element filters particles down to a remarkable ½ micron!

In the Shop

It is apparent that Bosch has figured out the concept of counterbalancing a ROS mechanism in a way that allows it to be very effective at the sanding disk but docile at the ergonomically shaped, rubber over mold grip. If such a thing as a smooth vibration is possible, the Bosch 1295DVS ROS has it!

Despite its power and effectiveness, the Bosch 1295DVS is very comfortable to the hand, even during long sanding sessions.
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The rubber over mold grip is very comfortable, isolates what little vibration gets to it and gives a very secure feeling of control with its no-slip surface. The speed control dial is located within easy reach for adjusting “on the fly” while sanding. The range of the six marked positions is very good and allows setting it to exactly what you need easy.

An unexpected benefit of the speed control is dialing in the best speed for the grit disk being used to give the feel you want. I liked my previous Bosch ROS because I could feel the abrasive working in the wood so well. The Bosch 1295DVS ROS takes that a step further. With coarse-grit disk installed, you can slow the motor slightly which smoothes out the feel and seems to let the abrasive work better. I had some doubts about the utility of a speed control on a ROS but after using the Bosch 1295DVS ROS in the shop, am firmly convinced this is how they should be built.

The Microfilter canister does a very good job of trapping the dust fed to it by the internal fan mechanism. I have owned sanders with nice looking dust catchers that never seemed to need emptying. Not so with the Bosch 1295DVS ROS. If you install the eight-hole disk with the opening aligned with those in the backing pad, you will find dust in the canister after just a little sanding. You also will find less dust in the air around you.

Conclusions

If you need a new random orbit sander, take a long hard look at the Bosch 1295DVS ROS. The built-in Bosch quality and engineering means this is a durable tool that will function a very long time. Bosch offers a full range of accessories including polishing bonnets, special abrasive disks and adapters for connecting the 1Bosch 1295DVS ROS directly to your dust collector.

The street price of $75.89 (12-28-2005) makes this an easy-on-the-budget way to improve your shop capabilities and the air in it!

 

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