Monday 9 July 2018
It doesn't seem that long ago that we were trialling the Mirka Compact Electronic Random Orbital Sander – CEROS – in the F&C workshop. In many respects, it felt like something new at the time, even though the lightweight concept had been around for years as an air-powered tool. Despite this there was still something slightly awkward about having to hook up to a remote power supply, a middle man if you like, to make it work. I should say right away that in no way did it affect the machine's performance, which, as I recall, was pretty much faultless in every application with its variable speed control and choice of orbit diameter. However, Mirka's latest model, the DEROS – Direct Electronic Random Orbital Sander – has dispensed with the external 22VDC transformer and now plugs straight into a 240 or 110V power supply in what represents a conventional hook-up. It's pretty obvious really and a shame that the previous unit came to our attention with what must have seemed unnecessary baggage for it to have been a runaway success: it was agile in tight spaces, capable of alternative disc options and built to a very high standard. Well, I'm pleased to say the DEROS has all these features and now becomes an even more convenient machine to use, taking full advantage of the lightweight design and palm trigger switch.
Premium power tool
With the elephant in the room set free, what remains to be seen is if Mirka is a name that appears on your shopping list for premium power tools in the first place? I suspect not. Brands like DeWalt, Metabo, Makita and Festool are far more likely to be found on the shelf, and here's the rub: they're probably all running with Mirka's Abranet abrasive material. These are all good machines but they're not a patch on the Bosch GEX, which has the best self-contained dust capture by far and the lowest vibration levels in its class. Now, if the Mirka chaps could get their heads around decoupling the casing from the orbit mechanism, we'd have a real fight on our hands. But for the time being, the DEROS is well worth a look if you're in any way serious about machine finishing.
A new YouTube video demonstrating the lightness, manoeuvrability and effectiveness of DEROS in achieving a smooth finish for multiple sanding operations is now available online.