I spend a lot of time debating on various decorating forums singing the praises of dust free sanding and the sanders I use. Many baulk at the amount of money they cost and fail to see how they are any better than the old fashioned methods of hand sanding and just cleaning up after. I was quietly sceptical at first I will admit but I decided to start out by buying a cheaper flex sander and a titan hoover from screwfix. Initial outlay was £70 and I thought if i don't like it at least I have a hoover out of it! It opened my eyes to a better way of working, soon I was filling even more areas of walls just to have an excuse to use my sander.
What the flex sander did was enable me to achieve better finishes on my woodwork and walls, and as such work more effectively. I knew after a couple of months that as soon as I had saved up I would buy a Mirka Deros, whatever I had thought about the flex sander and its qualities the Mirka blew that totally out of the water. It took my work to another level, making light of many domestic jobs where previous owners had painted theirselves and left a bad finish also showing how poor some plasterers leave walls.
This picture shows the level of sanding required to achieve a flat finish for the paint to go on, yet the whole time it took to do this room was about 15 minutes. By hand it would have taken a lot longer and the dust in the air would be immense.
Recently I have invested in buying a Festool RTS400 to use on woodwork and once again I am very impressed and look forward to preparing woodwork. It works perfectly with the Mirka and I have the right gear for each area now. Combined with my extractor I can work in customers houses sanding all day creating little to no dust, I'd say 95% dust free. I've managed to bring window cills that have been overpainted with thick brush marks back to a flat smooth finish, walls covered in bits and lumps to a level blemish free wall.
The advantages of dust free sanding far outweigh any cost disadvantage. In my personal opinion it has taken my business to the next level, something I am happy to show to my customers. Hopefully the next 12 months I will be adding spray painting to these to take that next step.