My Ryobi has survived multiple door refinishings,
a couple of fiberglass boat repairs, a few furniture projects,
and an entire hull construction, still works fine.
Not the best one out there, but does the job.
My little Dewalt palm sander has held up longer than it should have. I would get an RO instead of a quarter sheet because they are more powerful and they are supposed to be more durable. That being said, until the one I have burns up, there will be no upgrades.
That's the one I have Dave. It has been very good. When Ryobi tools were made in Japan and not China they were okay. While in Japan they made tools for Sears and they were okay. I will no longer buy anything made by Ryobi. I still use Makita, Porter Cable and Hitachi.
Ryobi is ok for light/occasional use. Dewalt or Porter for longer life/heavier use.
For a really big project nothing works like an air sander...adjustable orbit and less vibration.
Good paper is much less in sheets, I wouldn't even consider the cheap stuff.
I have a Ryobi that I love( I use the heck out of it, aobut 200 hours last summer alone). I purchased it about 5 years ago and I have had to replace the dust bag once and I got a better velcro disk holder.
I agree with FlatCat. Good paper is a must. I would go with a Harbour Freight Orbital Sander (always get the 1 year guarantee), but I never go cheap on the paper.
Do any of you have experience using an air orbital with a compressor that provides less than the recommended CFPM? I have a Rigid 4.5 gal compressor that is supposed to provide 4.9 CFPM at 90 psi, but the sander I am looking at takes 6 CFPM at 90. :-[ Is that a lost cause?
I would prefer to use air vs electric so I can wet sand the exterior of the hull. But, I don't want to do it bad enough to buy a new compressor... If any of you guys know how well a slightly underpowered air orbital works, I would appreciate the insight.