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If you need a random orbital sander, be sure to check this Bosch unit!
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Bosch 1295D Random Orbital Sander

Quiet, Smooth and Effective

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

   The Random Orbital Sander (ROS) has become a favorite of woodworkers because of its ability to remove material rapidly yet leave a fine finish on the wood. When my old ROS passed into the great beyond due to a terminal bearing seizure, I looked to the Bosch #1295D ROS as a replacement. Bosch tools have impressed me in the shop, making this an easy choice.

First Impressions

   The Bosch #1295D ROS feels substantial (about 3lbs) but well balanced in your hand. The fit and finish of the exterior parts is typical Bosch, tight and clean. The overall size of this unit belies the sanding power it possesses.

The dust-proof switch cover is a very good idea that will help this sander work for a long time.
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   The Bosch #1295D ROS is designed as a palm sander, with a very comfortable rubber grip built into the top. The On/Off switch, complete with a dustproof cover, is also built into the top. The heavy-duty power cord exits the rear and at 8-feet-long means you sand more and fight the cord less.

   Included in the box is a single hook and loop sanding disk and a good quality 5 mm hex wrench for removing the single bolt securing the 5-inch-diameter sanding pad.

Dust Collection

   Controlling dust has finally become an important issue for woodworkers and the manufacturers of our tools. Simply put, the more air that can be flowed at a relatively high speed, the more sawdust it is capable of taking with it. If we look at the design of many sander dust collection systems, this point appears to have escaped the engineers, or was thwarted by budgetary restraints. Not so at Bosch.

(Top) The large exhaust area means the 1295D can move lots of air, and lots of dust.
(Bottom) To keep the dust in the box a cleanable microfilter covers the exhaust area.
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   The Bosch #1295D ROS dust system has a large exhaust port and oversized collection box that attaches to it. Nearly the entire top of the collection box is devoted to filtered exhaust that lets air out but keeps dust in. This is a very important point because in order to move large amounts of air through the dust system, large amounts of air must be able to exit the sander. Look at the exhaust area on most hand-held power tools and the 11.6 square inches of perforated exhaust area on the Bosch #1295D ROS is impressive. Combined with the 8-hole sanding disk that lets the internal impellers suck air in freely and you can see why the Bosch #1295D ROS is capable of moving lots of air with lots of sawdust suspended in it.

To trap the dust in the catch box, Bosch incorporated a microfine pleated paper filter element that covers the entire air outlet portion of the dust box. The top of the box can be snapped off for emptying and to clean the filter to maintain performance.

   The dust box fits over an o-ring sealed port, locked onto the sander by finger-operated locks on either side. This dust box will not fall off during use, as would happen with frustrating regularity with other sanders I have owned.

   While the dust collection system on the Bosch #1295D ROS is not perfect, it is far closer to that goal than any other sander I have tried.

In The Shop

The nicely shaped and comfortable grip makes this an easy sander to use for long periods of time without numbing your hand!
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   The first thing I noticed when using the Bosch #1295D ROS is how smooth it feels. The small amount of vibration felt at the handle does not correspond to the efficiency of the sanding action at the disk. The soft hand pad certainly helps but it is obvious that the orbital mechanism and motor are very well balanced, designed and manufactured.

   Another standout feature is how quiet the Bosch #1295D ROS is during use. It's not silent but there is a marked reduction in noise over other sanders I have owned.

   The grip is shaped to fit your hand comfortably and give a solid feel of control over the sander in all positions. Guiding the sander where I want it is easy and predictable.

   The sanding pad has a steep taper from the housing to the edge of the disk that makes it easy to get close to the edge of adjoining pieces without the sander body making contact. This design feature combined with the ease of control means you can effectively sand those difficult areas where parts meet at 90-degree angles without dinging up the vertical face.

The easy to find 8-hole pad and disk helps make the dust system efficient.
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   Material removal is fast but controllable. Even with coarse grit disks, it is easy to maintain a flat surface with no grooves or depressions. If you tip the Bosch #1295D ROS onto the edge of the disk it will cut a groove quickly, but after using it a while you learn there is little need to concentrate the pressure that way. Keeping the pad flat on the surface with the correct grit disk for the job removes material efficiently.

   Bosch offers this sander with a variable speed control (Model 1295DVS) but I have found the single speed version to my liking. The ease of control combined with proper grit selection makes obtaining a smooth finish with no swirls or scratches very easy.

Conclusions   

The Bosch #1295D ROS is a very good value for the home workshop. The combination of power and control make it highly efficient at smoothing wood of all types. The lack of vibration and noise make this a comfortable sander to use on big jobs that used to leave my hands numb or tingling.

   The design is well thought out and executed, as I have come to expect from Bosch. Include the very effective dust control system and the Bosch #1295D ROS stands head and shoulders above any other sander I have used.

   If a Random Orbital Sander is on your need tool list, give the Bosch #1295D ROS a hard look.

 

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