SurfPrep VS Festool Sander Reviews

When it comes to refinishing furniture, a good sander is one of the most important tools. So today, we’re sharing our honest SurfPrep VS Festool sander reviews.

We’ve had our SurfPrep sander for a couple of years now, and love it, but how does it compare??

surfprep 3x4 sander and festool rts 400 req orbital sander side by side

There are a lot of different sanders on the market, but not all of them are helpful when it comes to furniture. Two of the most popular brands are Surfprep and Festool.

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So we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of the 3″x4″ Surfprep sander VS Festool RTS 400 REQ sander to help you decide which is the best fit for your needs.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Surfprep 3×4″ Sander

If you’re looking for a versatile, powerful sander for furniture, the SurfPrep sander is a great option.

surfprep 3x4" sander

It’s compact and easy to maneuver, making it ideal for tight spaces. But the 3″x4″ sanding pad gives you plenty of surface area to work with.

The Surfprep 3×4 sander also has a powerful motor and variable speed control that lets you adjust the speed to suit your needs.

Whether you’re trying to remove old paint or stain, scuff sanding, sanding curved surfaces, or sanding between coats, the Surfprep 3×4 sander is up to the task.

It’s been my go-to sander for a few years now. You can read about my honest SurfPrep sander review here.

We also go into detail about the many features and benefits of the SurfPrep Electric Ray 3×4″ Sander here.

Pros: 

  • Lightweight and small
  • Can connect to a shop vac for dust collection
  • Removes paint quickly and efficiently
  • Quieter than most electric sanders
  • A small footprint to help you get into tight spaces
  • SurfPrep’s customer service is top-notch!

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • I don’t love the lever for the on/off switch 

Projects with SurfPrep 3×4″ Sander

Here are just a few projects that I’ve used the SurfPrep 3×4″ sander for. I have used it on countless other projects, and still use it on projects.

Where to Buy SurfPrep Sander

You can purchase the SurfPrep 3″x4″ sander online from SurfPrep’s website. Use the code RAY10 to get 10% off your order!

They also have a variety of abrasive pads and accessories like soft interface pads, available, so be sure to check out their selection if you’re looking for replacement pads or other sanding accessories.

Festool RTS 400 REQ Orbital Sander

This sander is a great choice for anyone looking to tackle furniture projects. It can handle scuff sanding, removing paint and stain, and sanding in between coats.

festool RTS 400 req orbital sander

It’s powerful enough to remove even the toughest finishes, but it’s also VERY easy to control so you can get a nice, even finish.

The Festool RTS 400 REQ has a built-in dust collection system with its own suction that keeps your workspace clean! I LOVE this feature!

In addition, it also has a variable-speed control dial, so you can adjust the speed of the sander to suit your needs.

speed control dial on the side of festool sander

And it comes with a variety of attachments and a storage case! I’ve been very impressed with it while I’ve been testing it out!

Check out an in-depth Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander Review here to learn more.

I’ve also recently compared this sander to another Festool sander, check out my Festool Rotex 125 review to learn more.

Here’s a great post about the best Festool Sander for furniture. If you want to know more about the three models that Festool Rotex sander offers, head on over to this post.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than the Surfprep 3×4″ sander
  • Has a built-in dust extraction system with some suction of its own!!
  • Removes paint quickly and efficiently
  • Quieter than most electric sanders
  • Comes with extra accessories
  • On/Off Switch

Cons: 

  • Slightly heavier than the SurfPrep
  • Larger than the SurPrep

Projects with Festool RTS Sander

I haven’t had this sander for as long, so I personally haven’t used it on as many projects. Here’s a little list of the furniture makeovers we’ve used the Festool sander on.

Where to Buy Festool Sander

You can purchase the Festool RTS 400 REQ orbital sander online from a variety of retailers, including Amazon and Acme Tools.

For the most part, pricing for Festool is the same wherever you buy them. Some vendors may charge more, but Amazon and Acme Tools stay competitive with lower prices.

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SurfPrep VS Festool

Here’s how the SurfPrep and Festool sanders compare to each other.

How They Work

Both the Surfprep 3×4″ sander and the Festool RTS 400 REQ are orbital sanders that work with hook and loop abrasive pads to sand down the surface of your furniture.

Ease of Use

Both of these sanders are easy to use. They have less vibration than most sanders on the market.

For me, the SurfPrep’s small profile and slightly less weight make it more comfortable to sand vertical surfaces. But the Festool feels more comfortable when I’m sanding a flat surface that is level with the ground.

The SurfPrep Sander weighs 2.47 lbs while the Festool Sander weighs 2.65 lbs. I noticed that the Festool isn’t as jumpy as the SurfPrep sander.

Performance

As far as performance goes, both of these sanders are about on par with each other. They both remove paint/stain/varnish at about the same rate, it seems.

Check out this post to see what happened when we put the SurfPrep sander to the test.

I tested 3 different surfaces, setting a timer for either 3 or 4 minutes depending on the surface. On the top of the table and on the edges, the Festool looks like it removed more of the finish in the allotted time.

But, on the sides of the table, the SurfPrep removed a little bit more of the finish in the allotted time.

side by side result of sanded table tops with festool sander vs surfprep sander
side by side result of sanding the sides of the table with festool sander vs surfprep sander

The SurfPrep has 4,000, 7000, and 9,000 RPM, while the Festool has 6,000 – 12,000 RPM.

The SurfPrep has a sanding stroke of 3mm, while the Festool has a sanding stroke of 2mm. Technically, the bigger the stroke, the more material you can remove.

The SurfPrep 3″x4″ Sander has a pad size of 3″x4″, while the Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander has a pad size of 3-1/8” x 5-1/4”.

Where are the sanders made?

The SurfPrep 3″x4″ sander is made in the USA. The Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander is made in Europe.

I believe that it is easier to get Festool products in other countries. I’ve heard from many followers that they can’t find the SurfPrep sander in their country.

Price

The Surfprep 3×4″ sander is more expensive than the Festool RTS 400 REQ orbital sander. Here is the price breakdown at the time of writing this.

SurfPrep 3×4” Sander Vacuum Compatible Setup Cost:

Total: $707.09

Get 10% off your order with my code RAY10, so it comes to $636.38!

Learn more about my SurfPrep sander setup and what you need to get started with a SurfPrep sander here. Also, check out my SurfPrep vacuum POV-8 review here to learn all about it and if it’s the right investment for you.

Festool RTS 400 REQ Orbital Sander Setup Cost:

Total: $484.95

That’s a difference of $151.43.

Keep in mind that you also have to purchase abrasive pads separately. And this doesn’t include the shop vac.

But you can buy both SurfPrep pads for Festool and SurfPrep abrasives from SurfPrep. Here are other options for Festool compatible sandpaper.

To cut down on the cost of the Festool setup, you could forgo the hose, and use an adapter to connect shop vac hose to the Festool. Unfortunately, I don’t really know for sure what adapter would be the best.

What Are Interface Pads For?

The interface pads for both sanders are squishy pads that you can put hook and loop sandpaper on to turn into a foam sponge sandpaper.

interface pads for sanders squished with one hand

They are a great alternative to the SurfPrep foam sponges, and you can easily change out the grit of sandpaper on them.

Alternatively, you can use them in conjunction with the foam pads to make the pads even more flexible.

What are Pad Savers For?

Just like the name implies, the pad savers will help protect the expensive sander pads from getting ruined.

attaching a pad saver on the surfprep sander

I place a pad saver on my sander in between the sander and the sandpaper every time I use it.
I always have a couple of these around the shop.

Festool Sandpaper Alternatives

Festool has its own line of sandpaper which is great! I tried their Granat sandpaper, and I feel like it is top-notch. (I haven’t compared it to other sandpaper yet, but I feel safe saying that it is high end, long lasting sandpaper.)

But you can also purchase SurfPrep pads for Festool RTS 400 REQ. SurfPrep’s Festool compatible sponge abrasives and sanding screens are available in a wide range of grits.

For SurfPrep foam pad options that will work with your specific Festool sander model here’s our list of SurfPrep foam pads for Festool!

Learn more about sandpaper for painting furniture here.

I love that they created their famous sanding sponges in a Festool compatible design because those foam sponges are one of my favorite things about SurfPrep.

They recently came out with an upgrade to their foam sponges, called the ProFoam Sponges, and I can’t wait to test them out.

Check out our blog post about foam sanding pads for electric sanders to know the importance of foam sanding pads when sanding furniture.

SurfPrep Sander VS Festool Sander

Overall, I think that the SurfPrep sander and Festool RTS 400 REQ sander are both great sanders, but they have a few key differences.

Watch the SurfPrep vs Festool sander comparison video here and see both sanders in action!

If you need a sander for vertical surfaces, or if you are concerned about weight while using your sander, then I’d recommend going with the SurfPrep 3×4″ sander.

If you have a lot of large flat surfaces to sand and want better dust collection, then I would recommend the Festool RTS 400 REQ orbital sander.

Regardless of which sander you choose, be sure to pick up some SurfPrep sanding sponges to take advantage of the versatility of sanding curves and details.

At the end of the day, both sanders will offer great results, so it really comes down to your personal preferences and needs.

Check out other types of sanders for furniture here for more options.

Overall, both SurfPrep and Festool are great brands with high-quality sanders, so you really can’t go wrong with either one. Which one do you think is the winner?

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