After pondering between this model and the one without variable speeds, I decided to pay the extra $20 and go with this one. I'm glad I did! I bought this with the goal of refinishing a wood banister that had been covered in polyurethane, my goal was to get it down to bare wood so I could paint/stain it. I am female, and this was the first handheld power tool i'd ever used beyond a basic drill! There was almost no setup involved, and the sander felt very durable and easy to hold. I was able to find a variety of different sanding discs that will work with it, too. While using the sander, I had no problems whatsoever. At first, I only used the lower speeds out of fear of losing control, but it turned out I was worrying over nothing. Even at top speed, one hand will keep you on track (although I advise using two, and both hands will fit around it quite well.) I was even able to control it enough to sand the 1/2" sides! The lower speed was very useful when I used 60-grit discs to take off the initial layer. The wood was warm but nothing was uncomfortably hot. The material came off reasonably quickly and without much trouble - the banister had rounded edges and a wide, flat surface, and to date there is no evidence I used a power sander! The random orbit kept everything smooth and even. There was some dust left on the floor and floating in the air, but the attached bag did catch a great deal of the mess. I had been skeptical of changing out the pads, since some people have complained about the velcro, but I had no issues. Just be sure to hold the pad close to the sander as you pull it off, much like you'd remove a painful Bandaid. Now that my project is completed, I can't wait to find other uses for this sander. When you're done, it fits right back in the bag, ready to go again anytime!