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Bosch Random Orbit Sander
2.8 from 35 reviews

This sander sands like a boss

I bought a new Ryobi sander specifically for this large job i had to do - sanding 5 light years of cornice glue off an entire ceiling off a sprawling house that we were going to put another ceiling straight over top of. Anyway the Ryobi died after a couples of hours so I drove straight to Bunnings and replaced it with the Bosch. OMG unbelievable difference, the Bosch ripped through the old cornice glue like it was made from meringue cake base. The discs do come off every now and then which is a bit annoying, but weirdly for me they were coming off when the sanding discs were ready to change. The filter seems to work well but the design is crap for getting it on and off (hence the 4 stars)
I would buy another in a heartbeat

Purchased in June 2018.


Throws Discs

I used the PEX 300 AE with Diablo Sandnet 80 grit discs to take the saw marks off 3 metre, narrow, rough-sawn oregon battens. Using a high orbit rate of 5 or 6 (as suggested in the manual) and using only the weight of the sander resulted in the disc flying off after about 2 or 3 metres of sanding. The discs removed the saw marks effectively and the disc surface showed virtually no wear, but I lost 3 discs in this way (at $3.00/disc) and damaged the hooks on the connecting pad that came with the discs. Many of the loops on the back of the discs were torn. I tried Flexovit 60 grit discs and the first disc also flew off after several minutes and would not re-attach. The wood and disc did not feel the least bit hot. I lowered the orbit rate to 4 (medium) and the next disc lasted considerably longer, about 10 metres. As expected, the removal rate was reduced and I had to sand over the same area more often to remove the saw marks. The dust collection was not effective with the Sandnet discs on orbit rate 6, the dust went everywhere, but it collected more dust with the Flexovit discs on 4. I think that the orbit rate of 6 on the Bosch PEX 300 AE is too aggressive for the hook and loop pad and discs, at least when used on rough timber.

Purchased in February 2019 for $89.00.


Great for what it is...

This is a decent little sander. Not high end, but not a high end price so that's ok. As a working sander, it really does that. It works. I have almost no issue with it. Solid performer. Highly recommend, provided one thing... You better not be too worried about how the dust catching system functions. Because basically it doesn't. The thing falls off with the slightest bump, but it's ok because it pretty much never caught the dust.

I'm still fine with it - i just use it outside and use a mask. Something I do for most work, so no issue for me. So I still rate it a 4 star for price etc - just know what you are buying.

Date PurchasedJul 2017

Dont waste your money

Had one of these for a short time, the thing started to vibrate, i couldnt work out what the problem was, turned out the single bolt that holds the sanding pad onto the sander had worked itself loose and as the surround of the base pad is plastic and the cog it attaches to is metal the metal destroyed the pad fitting rendering it useless. This was just out of warranty and Bosch were not interested in helping out in any way. Even though this is a design fault and not a wear and tear issue.The replacement pads are around $45 not cheap if the sander keeps destroying them.
No more Bosch fo me thanks.

Date PurchasedApr 2017

failed speed contoller

after a couple of times using this model the speed controller failed and the machine would not run lower than half speed, then it failed altogether, replacement part is $44 from https://www.toolspareparts.com.au/bosch-pex-300-ae-3603ca3040-spare-parts.html I should have returned at the first instance of failure but you know what its like just wanting to get the job done and move onto other bits so did not follow up on warranty, wish I had, also the dust catcher is pretty much useless, now replaced with Ryobi, so far so good.

Date PurchasedJan 2017

Bad customer service.

Go to Bosch Australia try to get spare parts cant order through them what a joke think may have to use different manufacturer didn't mind the tools but if you cant get help from them what's the point cant order through dealer as the cost of replacing the sanding pads all the time gets to dear with dealer mark up and takes to long to get part in.

Date PurchasedApr 2015

Very happy with this sander.

I bought this sander on the recommendation of the guy I buy my timber slabs from, he uses the same one. I've had a great experience with this sander. I do a bit of woodwork at home and find this sander more than capable of doing the job. It's a good size to use one handed, and very stable, I always feel like I've got control of it and it's not going to escape on me. I've read a few other reviews about the dust collection not being great, I haven't had these problems. The included dust catcher gets about 60 to 70% of the dust. Maybe other brands do better... I really can't say. When I connect the sander to a triton dust collector bucket wiht a vacuum cleaner attached to that it does a good job, getting about 90% of the dust. I'm happy with that. Like I said, I've never used any other dust collection system so not sure if other systems or brands are better. I also see other reviews saying the velcro system doesn't hold onto pads. I had this problem with my previous cheap Black and Decker sander... but never had the problem with this Bosch. In fact most of the time I have trouble taking the velcro pads off. I use the Flexovit 8 hole sanding pads found at Bunnings.

** Soft vs Medium Sanding Pads from Bosch. The sander comes with Medium Bosch sanding pad. For doing curved parts on furniture like curved arm rests I found the Medium a bit hard, so I got the Bosch Soft pad. Squeezing it with your fingers it doesn't seem that much softer than the medium, but it makes sanding curved parts much easier. I can recommend the Soft pad for these types of jobs.

Date PurchasedApr 2017

Poor dust catching function

the sander works OK but the dust catcher is useless, dust clouds are the order of the day. Even when I cleaned the filter and took care to refit it to the machine, it still emits dust from around the lid. Checked that its fitting Ok but no change. Disappointing dust catcher.

Date PurchasedMay 2013

Spot On

Light and perfectly weighted orbital sander. I would say the best I have used. Variable speed control works well. Great control with the front auxiliary handle. Low noise. And comes in a case. Cannot fault!


Poor quality.

Bought new from Bunnings with DIY use intended. Has perhaps an hour to hour and a half of use so far. The hook and loop system has all but given up - throws discs even when not under load. Appears to be a well documented issue with no answers from BOSCH.

RRP for replacement hook and loop (velcro) pad is about $35 AUD. Machine is only worth $76ish AUD. False economy to bother replacing the pad.

The sad thing is the sander actually does a really good job when fit for purpose....

Im now off to the shops to invest in a decent machine.

EDIT: For those of you still reading with the aforementioned velcro pad issues.It can be rectified cheaply with an OZITO branded sanding pad. Sold at Bunnings for $10. $30ish cheaper than OEM replacement parts.

Date PurchasedMay 2016

Very good sander, one of the best I have ever used

Bosch GEX 125 AC Professional is in the top two sanders i have ever used. The one that i like more is the Festool 57187, because of the higher stability it offers. Got the Bosch GEX 125 sander as an recommendation from BestRandomOrbitSanders website and I am really thankful to these guys!

Date PurchasedApr 2009

Bottom end of the market, but it gets the job done

I am just a DIYer, I knew an orbital sander would help me get a better finish on my projects, but can't really fork out for sanders at the top of the market. I have been really impressed with this unit, the adjustable power output is a nice feature and the dust collection does an ok job, better than my 1/3 sheet makita anyway.

I should say that I didn't get much help from Bunnings Brendale while selecting this, the staff member in the tool shop didn't seem to know too much about the sanders in their lineup. Tho i have also got great helpful service there when buying a drill, guess it's just hit and miss.

Date PurchasedJan 2017

Frustrated.

Not a bad sander, onto my 3rd base pad as the Velcro wears very quickly, major problem, call center not very helpful,the other problem is with this review, I only needed 22 words but I couldn't post it until I had written 50, also very frustrating, regards Craig, good bye

Date PurchasedFeb 2014

Throws sanding discs. Velcro not fit for purpose.

As others have found these Bosch 400 sanders throw the sanding discs. Very poor velcro attachment plate used on backing pad. Not fit for purpose IMHO. I've already replaced it twice with the Bosch OEM backing pads, no better, they go bad soon after. Bosch OZ know about this problem yet have not offered to replace these defective parts nor owned up to the issue. Very poor IMHO. Web searches reveal this is a common issue.
Their response is to tell readers to call their helpline where you will be told crap by someone who knows nothing and offered nothing useful as a remedy. I will not be buying another Bosch orbital sander not will I recommend them.

Date PurchasedJun 2015

Throws pads after a while

Brought two to renovate the inside of the house. Both throw pads now after working for approx 12 hours. Do not buy useless. The basic function of a sander is to sand this doesn't do that one the pad loses ability to hold pads. Would not buy this type of sander again

Date PurchasedJan 2014

Speedy and efficient sander

End grain cutting boards require a lot of finishing. I choose Bosch for price and innovation, their products tend to be a lot better designed then most. Green Bosch products are generally very usable for most people, especially DIYers. If I want a professional, heavy built product then I tend to go for AEG or Mikita. But as I need to use a tool for a long period of time, I prefer something lighter.

This sander replaced a Triton 1/4 sheet orbital sander, it was struggling and died on the job (less then 6 months old). This new sander completed the job in half the time. I prefer Diablo papers, they make good products, I use their sanding belts as well. In terms of throwing disks, I would try another brand paper.

In regard to dust collection, the same problems occur for all tools, unless you have a good shop vac don't expect the dust collection to work. Belt sanders produce dust at a much greater rate, I've had the cloth bags blow out. I work outside, use a dust mask so I don't need to care too much.

Every Bosch tool I've owned so far has been brilliant, I like tools that come with their own cases as I have a place to store everything in the one box. The quality of the case matches those of the other manufacturers. If you generally buy Festool the quality might be a comedown.

I don't expect that this sander will replace my belt sander or even my finishing sander, that would be too much to expect. If you have a tough job use a belt sander and the right grit for the job.

Very happy and hopeful of a long relationship. If not then I'm sure Bunnings will assist. I'll tape the docket inside the case.

Date PurchasedJul 2016
3 comments
I found the dust collection box difficult to remove at first. Seems that the collection box on my machine is a bit loose after 2 uses. The O ring prevents the collection box from sliding back on properly which is why it may be falling off for some people. I've taken the collection box off 4 times at most. Maybe a small screwdriver might squash the o ring down. Collection box design needs some attention from Bosch. My Triton sander had a bannet fitting however most power tools have collection bags that slide on, they all fall off, even my Mikita mitre saw. Very powerful, does a very good job.After having the sander for 8 months, mixed feelings. The dust collection box was only useful for the first month. I sand outside so just leave the dust collector off, however some type of dust collection is still necessary. I find the action of the sander quite good, no disks flying off, velco seems ok. Sanding action is good however dust collection poor, would down grade to 3 stars. Non standard dust port but could be modified for most shop vacs.Still works well for me. Done some tough jobs, velcro like new never thrown a disk. Dust collection case is useless but most workshops would have it connected to dust collection anyway. The dust collection case has such a low capacity. Strong as ever.

Poorly designed product. Avoid.

I called Bosch customer support when my PEX 270A had the problem of throwing pads. They were not very helpful and suggested I contact customer support via email, so I wrote them the following email:

----
My PEX 270A orbital sander will not keep sanding discs adhered to the velcro. After a little bit of research I discovered that this is a common problem with this series of Bosch sanders which implies improper design of the material that is used to keep the discs in place.

I refer you to the following 2 sites for reference.
http://www.woodworkforums.com/f11/bosch-pex-400ae-sander-60148
http://www.productreview.com.au/p/bosch-pex-270-ae-pex-400-ae-random-orbit-sander.html

One of them mentions a redesigned pad for the 400AE. Is such a pad available for the 270?

This seems to be a widespread issue which some people are fixing by actually glueing third party velcro onto their pads. In the interest of quality control, customer service and the reputation of Bosch products, what solution do you suggest to fix this problem? Please also note that several forum posters had tried simply replacing the pads with regular Bosch replacement parts but this did not fix the problem.

———————

I never received a reply.
This has really made me lose faith in Bosch and I will be considering other brands in future purchases instead.
I found this sander to have all the problems mentioned by other reviewers here. It’s a poorly designed machine and Bosch should have tried to look after customers who purchased this dud in good faith.


Older Swiss made was a solid machine

Very good machine, but with a disclaimer: I purchased mine a number of years back and it was made in Switzerland, and I have no clue what their quality is like now, so my advice might only be applicable to second hand. But it's a great machine. I've even done absurd things like polish a full terrazzo floor with it. The dust extraction isn't the greatest, and it has chucked a disc once (ever) - after I put it on not realizing it was caked in dust.


Great sander

The problem with this particular sander is now over. I have spent 7 days drywall sanding with this model. Other than small for the job i am doing, the PEX 400 is brilliant and not once as the disc come off. My main problem is that the vacuum cannot keep up with the sander


Frustratingly disappointing.

This machine is fabulous for the first year. Then the sandpaper discs start throwing off.. so I get a new disc attachment as the surface has gone too smooth and wont hold the sandpapers on. Carry on.. then it happens again..so buy a new disc attatchment.. Carry on.. and the whole disc attatchment starts throwing off. So I buy a new disc attatchment. It throws off as soon as its put on.. then find out that the thread is bare on the centre screw. Another $150 to fix all up apparently..so now have to buy a new sander..All this from a sander thats only 3 years old.


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Questions & Answers

Difference between the PEX300 and the 125-1ae? I cant seem to see....
1 answer
Not shore could be the mounting holes for the Velcro pad 2 or 4

Where can sandpaper be purchased for the Bosch PSM 200 AES Multi Sander?
2 answers
Bunnings stock it.Any hardware store that sells Bosch products.

I am wanting to sand my floorboards in the kitchen,dining room & living areas before restaining & revarnishing the timber pine floors.I am wanting to know if the pex 400 AE would be suitable & how long would I be able to use this model of orbital sander continuously?I would also like to know if there is a better dust filtration extraction system that u can recommend to use as this is a large area to sand & being hard timber pine floor boards with grainy knots in the wood & some small holes that will need filing & sanding back to prepare these areas for staining & varnishing. I have given myself 6 weeks to undertake this project & will this orbital sander withstand the usage & provide a good quality preparatory result. Signed, Ambitous
1 answer
This is not a heavy duty floor sander and I doubt whether it will last the pace. It would also be extremely slow. A better idea is to hire a floor sander from bunnings and maybe use the PEX 400 for light finishing

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