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Best Palm Sander 2022 [For woodworking & Refinishing]

The woodworkers spend hours perfecting the wooden project while sanding by hand. The invention of sanders has made this easier and faster than before. Now all you need is a suitable sander that is capable of the job. There are a lot of cheap sanders available in the market that are not durable or high quality. So before choosing a sander, you need to know all about its functionality, specifications, power source, durability, and many more.  In this article, we have added all the details you need to know about palm sanders. To buy the best palm sander, you will find all the tips and budget-friendly options below. Hopefully, this article will be a time saver and provide you with the best suggestions to buy a sander. 

What is Palm Sander?

Palm sanders are small, compact-sized sanders that fit into one’s hand or palm. Usually, the palm sanders are either an orbital sander or a sheet sander. However, more additions like the detailed sander help get the unreachable corners and sand them perfectly. As the sanders are budget-friendly and lightweight, they are suitable for any user and perfect for DIY projects. The swirl-free sanders make sure that it does not leave any mark on the surface after sanding. These sanders are ideal for detailing and for going on any treated or painted surface.  

Tips For Choosing The Right Palm Sanders

After knowing what the palm sander is, let’s talk about the features that make it the best for you. If you are buying palm sanders, you need to look at some of these features and check if they match your needs and preferences. Although all sanders work well, getting the wrong type of sander for your project can cause you some severe damage.

Understanding The Base Plate System

The base plate is the main thing about the palm sanders. If you are wondering what the base plate is, it is the plate on the bottom of the sander. It is the area where you attach sandpaper if it is a sheet sander or a sanding disc if it is an orbital sander. The standard size of sanding discs in an orbital sander is 5 and 6 inches. Less than this size is considered as a finishing sander that works for detailing. However, the larger-sized sanding discs are suitable for professional uses.

Another important thing to notice is the technology behind attaching the sanding disc or paper. The sheet sanders have clamps to hold down the sandpaper with the plate while you work. However, the orbital sanders either have the hook and loop system that is easy to change or the classic PSA system to attach the sanding discs. Most sanders come with holes in the bottom of the sander so that they can suck out the dust through them when you work. You need to ensure the holes line up with the holes of the sanding disc so that you can have a dust-free workplace.

Correct Power Source

You need to think about the power source before purchasing the palm sanders. The popular power sources available in the market are the cordless and the corded sander. If there is an electric power source, then the corded sander can work perfectly for you. However, the cord can restrict the movement, and you might need extension cords to reach some places. But it can save your money from buying batteries frequently. You can also choose the cordless sanders that run on batteries. They are lightweight and can work anywhere you take them as long as you have rechargeable batteries in hand.

If you are working where a power source cannot reach or is unavailable, you can go for the cordless ones. There is one more power type getting popular nowadays known as the air sanders. Powered by compressed air, they seem to be really powerful when they work. These special sanders are mostly suitable for professionals who have a large workplace. You can get the best cordless palm sander review below in our 10 lists.

Selecting OPMs and Speed

You need to check the speed to make sure it has enough power that you need in your project. Normally the palm sanders measure the speed by orbits per minute (OPM). The standard range of a palm sander is 7000 to 12000 orbits per minute. Some offer a variable speed dial option that can control the speed and use low speed in some cases. However, not every project needs variable speed, as some prefer working on a fixed speed rate. 

Pressure Detection

Pressure detection is a new feature that is getting popular among the new sanding machines. It is a useful feature for the new learners and the people doing DIYs. Its job is to detect and alert the user if the applied pressure is too much. In other words, if the pressure gets too much while sanding, this will give you a signal through a sensor light or vibration. Now there will not be any worries about damaging the workpiece by applying too much pressure. 

Power

The motor power is quite important as well. Sanders, with a powerful motor, can work flawlessly for a  long time. If you go for the corded palm sanders, a 1 to 2 amp motor can be powerful enough for your work with ease. Moreover, if you choose the cordless ones, you can look at the voltage. They are mostly around 18 or 20 volts and work almost the same as the corded ones.

Dust Collection 

The dust will flow everywhere without a dust collection system, no matter what kind of sander you use. This is why a sander with a dust collection system is necessary. If you are sanding indoors and do not have a good dust collection system, the dust will fly everywhere and enter the eyes and lungs, making it harder to work anymore. Some of the sanders come with a built-in dust collection system, and some come with dust bags. However, cleaning them frequently can be a hassle, so adding the dust port to a vacuum hose is also an option to get maximum benefits from it. 

Ergonomics and Comfort

When working with a machine for long hours, you need it to be comfortable no matter what. If it is not comfortable, you will easily get fatigued, tired, and cramps from working all day. Since the palm sander means that your palm will go on the sander, the top of the sander needs to be comfortable. You must have a secure grip that will help the detailed work while sanding. Also, make sure you have the speed dial within reach of your fingers for easy access. Look for the ones that are not that bulky in size to reach the corners and the tight spaces.   

Warranty 

Almost every sander from a well-known brand comes with a warranty. Some give more than one year warranty for user convenience. Ensuring a warranty for your sander can help you save money from buying a new one if there is any problem with the one you purchase. 

What is the best palm sander for woodworking?

We have listed some of the popular palm sanders according to the popular customer reviews, functionality, performance, and specifications. If you stay tuned and finish this article, you will know which type of sander you need. The main focus here is to help you find what is best for you among all these best quality sanders. 

Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbital Sander Featuring Variable Speed

Bosch is well-known for its quality sanders. This model from Bosch is a modern and stylish version of the regular random orbital sanders that we see. It has a sturdy body with a rubberized top so that you can get a good grip. The Bosch ROS20VSC orbital sander is lightweight but still has a strong 2.5 amp motor. It has all the features the professionals look for and is also user-friendly enough for beginners. This sander eliminates swirl marks by its pad dampening system, which helps to achieve a smooth finish. The variable speed option gives the flexibility of choosing the required speed for different types of works. Moreover, unlike other sanders, this one comes with a sanding pad, sanding disc, dust canister, carrying bag, vacuum adapter, and a dampening ring. 

Why Buy The Bosch ROS20VSC?

  • Has micro filter dust collection system
  • Variable speed option
  • Creates swirl-free smooth finishes
  • Powerful motor
  • Moderate weight
  • Easy hook and loop disc attachment system
  • Compact and durable
  • Has a comfortable grip on the top
  • One year warranty

Why You Shouldn’t

  • The dust collection system might not be effective after a few months

Heavy Duty Professional Gedu Pneumatic Sanders

Air sanders are mostly suitable for professional uses, and this one from Gedu is no different. This powerful sander shows wear resistance, durability, high strength, and long service life. It works with 90 PSI air pressure with 10.5 CFM average air consumption. Like other orbital sanders, this one also has a hook and loop system easily available in a 5-inch size. The sanding disc reaches high speed up to 12000 RPM, which is fast enough to smooth out surfaces fast. 

Things we like about Gedu.

  • Lightweight
  • Stainless steel components ensure long life
  • Budget-friendly
  • Ideal for overhead and vertical sanding
  • Built-in regulator to control speed system 
  • Composite plastic body
  • Perfect to use on metals
  • Low vibration
  • Compact sized fits in the palm perfectly

Lacks

  • It might not last long

Cordless DEWALT DCW200B Palm Sander 20V MAX XR

The cordless Dewalt DCW200B is a palm 1/4 sheet sander that has a brushless motor to increase runtime. It is a quite fast and powerful sander that comes with a variable speed option. You can choose from the 8000 to 14000 OPM speed range considering your projects. It needs lithium-ion batteries to run, and as it is cordless, you can take it anywhere where you might not find an electric port to connect an electric sander. 

Advantages

  • Lightweight and cordless
  • Variable speed option
  • Needs ¼ sheet sandpaper
  • Low profile enough to reach tough places
  • Dust sealed switch
  • Rubber textured handle
  • One-handed locking dust bag
  • Paper clamps hold on to the sandpaper securely

Limitations

  • The batteries and charger needs to be bought separately 

Valianto Professional best Orbital Palm Sander With 6-Inch Disc

These air sanders are quite lightweight so you can use them easily. The Valianto air sander weighs about 2.86 pounds, usually used as a handheld sander. This one is a nonvacuum model, which means that it does not connect to any vacuum for dust collection. Air sanders do not run on electricity or battery power.  Moreover, they run by using the power of compressed air. The Valianto palm sander is suitable for not just wood. It can work on fiberglass, metal, and other composite materials.   

Pros

  • Has 6-inch wide disc
  • Low vibrations
  • Built-in speed controlling regulator
  • High strength helps finish work faster
  • The double rotation grinding method ensures smooth polishing
  • Handheld tool 

Cons

  • Might leak air from the exhaust

Milwaukee 6034-21 Random Orbit Sander Featuring Magnet Motor

The Milwaukee 6034-21 random orbital sander has an exclusive magnet motor that is permanent. This 3 amp motor helps it work continuously for a long time. It works at a constant pace but offers variable speed options to choose from. This versatile sander comes in a sturdy body that provides a comfortable grip to ease the working process. Milwaukee 6034-21 is the only orbital sander that offers two types of sanding discs. You can either choose the classic hook and loop system or go for the other PSA pad systems. In conclusion, it gives the best user-friendly features that everyone looks for.

Why Buy The Milwaukee 6034-21?

  • Dust collector comes with a filter
  • Allows to connect vacuum hose for better dust collection
  • Has a user-friendly removable top
  • Powerful magnetic motor
  • Variable speed control
  • Lightweight body
  • Comes with a dust canister, dust bag, and a carrying case
  • Both hook and loop and PSA sanding discs are attachable 

Why Shouldn’t You Buy The Milwaukee 6034-21?

  • If the sanding discs are not clean, they might fall off

Less Noisy PORTER-CABLE 380 Palm Sander Review

The Porter-Cable 380 is a sheet sander as it has a square-shaped flat plate with sandpaper. This kind of sheet sander vibrates in a moderate rhythm while the sandpapers do all the work. It creates less noise than any orbital sander, making it more user-friendly than any other palm sander. Unlike the random orbital sanders, the sheet sander can round sharp edges pretty easily and quickly. The Porter-Cable 380 is extremely lightweight and comes with a 2 amp motor that might not look much but can reach up to 13500 OPM in speed. 

What we like

  • Dust sealed switch protects it 
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful motor with high speed ensures perfect finishing
  • 100% sealed ball bearing condition
  • Low vibration design makes it comfortable
  • Can reach corners
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Compact sized palm sander

What we don’t like

  • Might leave some scratches

Lightweight WEN 6301 Suitable For DIY Projects

You probably already know how hard it is to get to the corners with a sander if you have already worked with belt sanders or random orbital sanders. Here we have a solution to those problems. The lightweight Wen 6301 detailing sander comes in such shape and size, it is perfect for getting in tight and smaller places. Weighing just 2.5 pounds and a 1 amp motor, Wen sanders can do all kinds of detailing work and small projects. It might not be able to do any heavy-duty jobs, but even the professionals need it to get finesse on their projects. However, it is also perfect and easy to use for any homeowners and DIY enthusiast. 

Advantages

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Can get to the corners
  • Hook and loop sandpapers are easily changeable 
  • Good for detailed work and small projects
  • Angled tip will not miss any spots
  • Dust sealed switch
  • Low price
  • Perfectly fits in the palm and is easy to control
  • Effective dust collection system to keep the area clean

Setbacks

  • Not suitable for bigger projects

The SKIL 7292-02 sheet sander is a high-quality product mostly known for its exclusive features. One of those features is the pressure control indicator. Its job is to let you know if you apply the right or too much pressure on the workpiece. Another feature is the pad braking system that allows the disc to stop without gouging the surface. This 2 amp motor power is enough to take down any rough edges and smooth it out. The microfiltration dust collection makes sure that even the tiny particles are not left out to pollute the environment. 

Pros

  • Has a long power cord
  • Microfilter dust collection system
  • Pressure control indicator
  • Pad braking system
  • A transparent dust canister allows seeing when it is full 
  • Dust sealed switch
  • The fast and effective sanding performance
  • Soft grip gives more control over the sander

Cons

  • It doesn’t seem easy to attach the sandpapers with the clips

Genesis GPS2303 Sanding Machine with 1/4 Sheet

Genesis GPS2303 Palm sander has a wide pad size that can cover a large area in less time. Unlike other sheet sanders, this sander has oversized clamps loaded with springs to change the sandpapers easily. The body is made of die-cast aluminum which makes it more durable than other sanders.

Why Buy The Genesis GPS2303?

  • It comes with a paper punch plate, dust collection bag, and a sandpaper assortment
  • Dust protected power switch
  • Lightweight
  • Can flush sand on three sides
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Budget-friendly

Why Shouldn’t You Buy The Genesis GPS2303?

  • A bit loud

Ryobi P440 One+ 1/4 Sheet Palm Sander With 18V Lithium-Ion

This sanding machine from Ryobi is the first-ever sheet sander that runs on batteries. Ryobi P440 One+ is a palm sander that needs ¼ sized sandpaper and an 18V lithium-ion battery to run. It comes in handy if you need to move from one place to another for sanding. This sander can go with you and work without any electricity. You can attach any sandpaper cut into its size and use it, making it easier than looking for the perfect sanding disc in a random orbital sander. 

Things we like

  • Cordless sheet sander
  • Lightweight 
  • Best 1 4 sheet palm sander that can sand without electricity
  • Moderate price
  • Needs lithium-ion batteries
  • Can reach 12000 RPM and has over 40- minutes of runtime
  • Lock-on switch
  • Portable
  • Works well for finishing
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • Attaching a vacuum hose with the dust port can minimize dust extraction

Disadvantages

  • Does not come with batteries or a vacuum adapter

Conclusion

The whole purpose of palm sanders is to have a compact-sized sander that can reach tight corners easily and work with details. If you need suggestions, we would say that the DEWALT DCW200B cordless sander is the best palm sander in the market. Its powerful brushless motor is perfect for all kinds of DIY projects and gets between the railings. However, we do not mean that it will be the best for you as well. The palm sander depends on your needs and preferences and also your budget. There is one sander suitable for everyone, whether you are a professional or have just started learning. Get the one you liked best and start getting creative. 

FAQs

Can we use palm sanders on a deck?

Yes, you can. However, it will take a long time if you are planning to sand the whole deck with just a palm sander. Palm sanders are mostly suitable for small works.

Do orbital sanders leave swirl marks?

Yes, they do. But there are also some sanders available in the market that claim to leave no swirl marks while sanding. You can give those orbital sanders a try if you want complete finesse. 

What is a palm sander best used for?

Palm sanders are suitable for sanding medium to small work projects. They work well in removing paint from plywood or refinishing any surface. It smoothes out any rough edges and reaches the corners that your belt sanders can miss.

Is the variable speed palm sander worth it?

In some cases, the variable speed option is necessary. The sander can smooth or polish the surface at low speed, while the high speed can handle the rough edges. This exclusive speed control feature might cost you some extra money, but it is worth it. 

Are palm sanders safe for people with arthritis?

No, it is not. The palm sander needs a good tight grip on the sander to work well. It might be difficult for people who have arthritis. 

Are there any differences between an orbital sander and a palm sander?

Orbital sanders can be heavy, and some are only suitable for heavy-duty projects, while the palm sanders have to be compact-sized to fit in the palm. The palm sanders are most suitable if you want to get a smooth finish. 

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