Best Palm Sander for Woodworking

Best Palm Sander for Woodworking

Though the quality of a finish largely depends on the sandpaper’s coarseness or grit, using the best palm sander for woodworking, or at least a decent one, allows you to finish pieces faster while getting consistent results than doing it manually.

Sanding your creations is usually the final step in woodworking, so it is quite important. Sanding smoothens and refines the surface texture of wood to make it aesthetically pleasing. It’s also useful for preparing wood structures before applying varnish, polish, epoxy, and other protective layers.

Here is a quick buying guide if you’re wondering what you need in a palm sander.

How to shop for a Palm Sander

Check the power source.

Palm sanders are either corded or cordless in design. Corded sanders are better workhorses than cordless ones, which perform according to the strength and capacity of their battery pack. 

Even so, both types of palm sanders can suit a variety of situations. Cordless models run for hours and eliminate tripping hazards (cords) in the job site. Corded palm sanders can work ceaselessly for hours on end, making them better for long workdays and large projects. 

However, you may have to spend more on cord extensions and voltage converters for specific outlets with a corded model. That’s not usually an issue for people who go cordless. 

Check the speed

The speed of a palm sander is measured in oscillations. Sanding speed is the most important determiner of this tool’s performance. Most of them can manage between 8,000 and 12,000 oscillations per minute, which is enough to sand down sizable pieces in a reasonable amount of time.

Some sanders have fixed-speed motors. Others come with gears that allow you to toggle the speed of oscillations and are called variable speed sanders. With these, you get finer control over the sanding process as you can lower or increase the speed to match the task at hand. 

Check the size of the base plate.

The base plate is the part that attaches to sanding pads and paper, so its size matters a lot. A large base plate covers more ground but doesn’t fare well with small or intricate designs. Most woodworkers have a couple of different palm sanders for this exact reason.

The sweet spot lies in the 5” – 6” range. Base plates in this size range offer the best of both worlds and are therefore suitable for general purpose sanding. 

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Check for a dust collection system.

Sanding generates a lot of material that you’re better off not breathing. Furthermore, it can be hard to see progress when your workpiece is covered in sawdust. That’s why your palm sander needs a dust collection system, even a rudimentary one. 

Ensure that the sander hooks up to a vacuum that discards the dust in a bag. That makes it easier to dispose of later.

Check for ease of use.

Lastly, make sure the sander is easy enough for you to use. It shouldn’t be too heavy or too big for your hands. You’ll be holding it for long periods, so ensure it comes with an ergonomic handle to minimize hand fatigue.

4 Palm Sanders to Buy this Year

WEN 20401

The WEN 20401 is a cordless detailing palm sander for under $60. It has a sharp tip to facilitate sanding between crevices and tight notches. It packs a 2.0 Ah Li-ion battery that has the capacity to sustain a few hours of continuous sanding. 

It features a user-friendly design that cumulates in two handles—the main one and a secondary palm grip. The base plate is hoop-and-loop, so it’s easy to swap sandpaper on the go. An LED gauge helps you keep tabs on the battery life, even though the sander delivers consistent performances on all battery levels. 

Along with the bare tool, this kit comes with a dust bag (removable), a couple of 80-grits, and a 2-year warranty. 

DeWalt DWE6411K

The DWE6411K has a 2.3 Amp motor that’s capable of sanding at 14,000 OPM. It is a corded 120V palm sander kit that includes a paper punch, dust bag, and soft carry bag. 

This DeWalt sander has a locking dust port that connects directly to the bag for convenient cleanup. The switch is adequately protected under a dust-proof case. It also includes a paper clamp that steadies workpieces up to ¼” thin while sanding. 

It weighs 2.8 pounds and features a highly ergonomic grip made from rubber overmold to prevent hand fatigue and enhance control while sanding.

DeWalt DCW200B

The DeWalt DCW200B is a fine-grit palm sander with variable speed settings ranging from 8,000 to 14,000 OPM. It is powered by a power-efficient brushless motor and features a low-profile height to enhance sanding precision. 

The palm sander features a paper clamp installation mechanism, which makes it painless to swap out the sandpaper. Along with a dust-sealed switch, it equips workers with a direct dust port that connects to a locking dust bag.

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This bare tool package includes the 20V MAX XR ¼-sheet sander, a hole punch, a dust bag, and a dust chute. The unit doesn’t ship with a battery or charger, but you can find a wide range of compatible accessories, including an extended dust chute to make dust collection simpler. 

Bosch ROS20VC

The ROS20VC is a 2.5 Amp palm sander with a 5” base plate, variable speed control, a dust collector, and a soft carrying bag. The corded palm sander only weighs 3.5 pounds and is therefore lightweight and agile.

It features a pad dampening mechanism that wets the sandpaper to prevent swirl marks from sanding. Using a hoop-and-loop attachment system allows you to mount or stick sanding pads with ease, almost as if attaching them to Velcro. 

This palm sander has a micro-filter system that traps fine dust and particles as small as ½ a micron in diameter. It has a compact and solid build with innovative additions such as the dust level indicator on the collection canister.

When you buy the Bosch ROS20VC, it comes with many accessories, including a vacuum adapter, dampening ring, sanding pad, and sanding disk.

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