The Best Palm Sander For 2017: Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews
A palm sander is a handheld power tool used to smooth surfaces using abrasion. Sanding surfaces using sandpaper can be a tedious task, especially where the surface in question is large. Advances in mechanics and technology have seen the rise of several power tools used for everyday construction tasks and chores. Power sanders are one of them. This article aims to explore the various types of power sanders, what sets them apart and their operating principles.
** Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices orread customer reviews on Amazon.
How Power Sanders Work
Power sanders are the easiest and surest way to smoothen wood and other surfaces. Sanders work by attaching sandpaper to a rapidly moving mechanism housed to firmly hold it onto the working surface. Most sanders are electrically powered but there are air operated sanders. There are various types of power sanders, each designed to accomplish sanding on different types of surfaces.
There are sanders designed for woodwork projects, metal sanding and other material surfaces such as plastics amongst other softer surfaces. The main types of power sanders include;
1. Disc Sanders
Consists of two circular sandpapers attached to a wheel that is rotated using an electric motor. This type of sander is the most commonly used power implement in its class. Disc sanders allow angle adjustment and are used for either rough sanding or fine sanding depending on the texture of the grit used.
2. Flap Sanders
This type of sanders consists on a sanding attachment that is mounted on a handheld drill. This type of sander is most commonly used to smooth curved surfaces.
3. Orbital Sander
This is a type of sander that vibrates in circles. The sanding disk spins while simultaneously moving creating elliptical orbits. This type of sander is mostly used for find sanding.
4. Oscillating Spindle Sander
This is a type of sander that comprises a sanding bit mounted on a spindle that rotates and oscillates along the spindle axis. This type of sander is great for smoothing contours and curves.
5. Palm Sanders
Palm sanders are also known as finish sanders. The sanding bit is attached to a rectangular pad at the very bottom of the whole tool. The powered motor rotates the pad in small circular motions.
Choosing The Right Sander
The optimal power sander should provide a blend of power and efficiency in its tasks. For inexperienced carpenters and beginners, consulting power equipment dealers may offer some valuable insight into the best sanders available. It is advisable to take into consideration power tool reviews and especially power sanders prior to making a purchase or renting. Generally, the factors to consider should include;
1. Power: Different sanders operate at varied motor speeds. Being hand-operated, it is important that you match the right tool with the skill level of the operator. Heavier powered sanders can be unforgiving to beginners.
2. The weight of the sander: Heavy sanders are quite hard to work with. As far as weight considerations are involved, the question of proficiency also comes into play. Light sanders are often the easiest to use.
3. Dust collection: Sanding does produce a copious amount of dust which can be harmful to your health. It is advisable to go for the sander brand that incorporates a dust collection feature in its design. For most, the sander has holes at the very bottom that suck up dust into a collecting bag.
4. Ease of sanding disk change: Changing sanding disks is of crucial importance. On the same, the tool should allow quick change of disks in order to save time and ensure timely completion of projects.
5. Handle ergonomics: How comfortable a sander is to operate generally relies on how comfortable the handle is during operation. The position of the handle also dictates the ease of operation. Most brands incorporate vibration absorbing materials such as rubber making the tool comfortable to use.
Safety Tips When Operating Sanders
As is the case with any power tool out there, personal safety is of paramount importance. Below are some general safety guidelines;
Always ensure that sanding disks are well fastened onto the base plate. A loose sanding disk is likely to cause injury since the motor rotates at high speeds.
Wear protective gear when operating sanders. Sanders produce dust that may elicit some health complications as mentioned earlier. Ensure you have a respirator and goggles.
Never hold items you want to sand by hand. Human flesh is extremely vulnerable to injury by abrasion. Being power tools. Sanders can inflict quite some damage. Fasten pieces onto a jig before sanding.
Always turn off the tool before changing the sanding disks.
Which Is The Best Palm Sander That You Should To Buy
Below is a compilation of the top power palm sander available on the current market.
The Dewalt brand never disappoints in quality and performance of its power tools. The DWE6421K is a high-performance power tool that runs on a 3-ampere motor delivering up to 13000 orbits per minute. This model is used to fine-sand wood, metal, and even plastics. This model comes in a pack that includes the manual, dust collecting bag and the owner’s carrying case. This product is easy to use and is popular with beginners and rookies. The beautiful design and finish add to the performance achieved by this sander.
Things We Like
- Rubber paddings absorb vibrations allowing easier and precise detailing work.
- This model operates with minimal noise emission.
- The dust collection feature ensures a clean working space and further assuring the safety of the user.
- This model features an ergonomic grip design that is comfortable to operate and control.
- This product has a great power efficiency rate. The 3-ampere motor delivers performance levels attributed to motors of higher power ratings.
Things We Don't Like
- The dust collection feature scores low with this product. The efficiency of dust collection can be described as being below average.
The Makita brand is renowned for the quality of power tools produced. In the case of the B05041K, the design is exceptional. This product combines the elements of power, speed, and optimal performance. This model runs on a 3-ampere motor that has been hailed as being a favorite to both beginners and professional contractors. The random orbit action ensures the smooth working and guarantees a beautiful finish. The price tag on this product is convenient and is worth the features and performance.
Things We Like
- This model incorporates variable speed control ranging between 4000 and 12000 oscillations per minute. This feature allows the user to toggle between the different speeds adjusting to the specific needs of the job at hand.
- Ergonomic handle that incorporates vibration absorbent rubber. This ensures prime comfort and control during operation.
- Dust collection: The Makita B05041K has eight holes that suck up material dust.
- This product features a trigger lock that ensures continuity of the task at hand.
- This model is powerful enough to handle professional tasks as well as simple DIY chores.
Thing We Don't Like
- Despite its numerous strengths, this model fails in its dust collection feature. Dust collection is not as effective as expected.
This sander oscillates in small orbits producing a smoother finish. This particular model features a beautiful design and a sturdy compact finish. It is popular with beginners and professional contractors as well. This product’s switch is dust sealed meaning dust ingestion isn’t a problem. This ensures a longer service life. Porter-Cable 380 runs on a 2-ampere motor peaking 13500 oscillations per minute. These speeds produce an even, smoother finish making it the ideal tool for home and professional use.
Things We Like
- The build features dual planes with counter balanced vibration design eliminating fatigue and user discomfort.
- This product comes with a three-year warranty solidifying the quality and build. This Porter-Cable is reliable and has been certified as a frustration free tool. On top of the warranty, Porter–Cable offers a 90-day money back guarantee in the unlikely event of a malfunction.
- Aggressive material removal is ensuring a better output.
- This model is built to handle simple DIY tasks as well as prolonged professional uses.
Things We Don't Like
- There have been concerns that the Porter-Cable’s standard issue sander isn’t completely flat. This is a major design flaw the remedy to which is buying a new sander.
- Dust collection is not as impressive. There still remains a need for a shop-vacuum.
This model is a 5-inch random orbit sander that incorporates an effective hook and loop system. This in essence makes the operation of the palm sander a great deal more effective. The hook and loop system allows for easy sander change and removal. This model runs on a 5-ampere motor available in dual power modes that are either corded or electric. This product runs with minimal noise emission and works smoothly all through.
Things We Like
- This product comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- The random orbital action produces high-quality sanding finishes.
- The inbuilt switch is dust and debris shielded. This ensures prolonged service life.
- This model is easy to use and is a favorite of beginners and most professionals. This is due to the fact that it is forgiving and doesn’t produce harsh vibrations.
Things We Don't Like
- The sand paper wears at the edges a whole lot quicker than in other parts.
- The sandpaper has large grit which may strip paint off wood.
- Dust collection isn’t that effective. This appears to be a consistent issue with most palm sanders in this class.
This product features a three position grip handle that eases operation and control. This model runs on a 1.5-ampere motor that produces 14000 orbits per minute. The BDEMS600 offers high-performance dust removal ensuring a cleaner working space. The compact design and ergonomic handles allow for comfortable operation and consequently high-quality finishes.
Things We Like
- This model offers high-performance dust collection with additional microfiltration. This means that the working space is cleaner and the operator’s health isn’t at risk.
- This product features a three position grip for control and ease of operation in varied applications.
- The design is compact, sturdy and features low profile legs that enhance maneuverability.
- This model is capable of reaching tight spaces and hard to reach areas thanks to its compact size.
Things We Don't Like
- The high speed and low orbit area mean that only a small area is sanded at a time.
- The Black and Decker BDEMS600 is rather small and therefore not great for large demanding tasks.
- The cord on this product is rather short limiting its range from a power outlet.
Palm sanders, corded or electric, come in varied brands, designs, and sizes. The palm sander combines the aspects of power, performance, responsiveness to the specific materials’ needs and ease of operation.
The DeWalt DWE6421K achieves all the above in one solid package. It is a sander that effectively gets the job done despite a minor drawback. Compared to its competitors, The DeWalt DWE6421K scores the most points in performance, design and power efficiency. For a palm sander of its specifications, The DeWalt DWE6421K offers the best value for your money.
DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5"
A palm sander is a basic tool every homeowner and professional indulging in any form of fine woodwork should have. This is one of those must-have power tools that come in quite handy during home DIY assignments and professional purposes. When seeking to buy or rent a palm sander, it is recommended to at least seek the opinion of experienced power tool dealers before making that important decision to settle for a particular brand.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading through this article. It was a fun and learning experience for me as. I researched on the very best the market has to offer in terms of palm sanders. Feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and suggestions in the comments section provided below. I wish you good luck choosing the best palm sander for your home or professional use.