Ryobi Half-Sheet Sander
Monday 12 October 2009
Rubberised grips, Livetool indicator and cast aluminium platen distinguish Ryobi half sheet model, says Anthony Bailey
The Ryobi ESS-3215V is a half-sheet sander, the largest in their range, which includes one-third and quarter-sheet models. Modern in style, it has several useful features worth taking advantage of. The first is plenty of rubberised grips for vibration-reducing comfort especially with hot dusty hands.
The second is the Ryobi trademark Livetool indicator which shows a blue neon when current is present in the tool if switched on at the wall.
The third is a very rigidly cast aluminium platen underneath for the abrasive to press against. It is faced for hook-and-loop-backed sheets but also has very natty recessed levers on the sides which operate the full-width paper clamps at back and front when using ordinary abrasive paper. Hard rubber coverings clamp the paper firmly and prevent it slipping loose under sanding load.
Very comfortable to hold and operate, the large paper area is good when working on bigger surfaces but at the same time you can get close to enclosed edges when you need to.
The dustbag is adequate but you still need some form of dust mask protection. The sanding rate is not as fast as a random orbital but good for a controlled even finish. The variable speeds could be useful I suppose, but I tend to use the highest speed anyway.