Palm sanders, also known as orbital sanders, are power tools designed to smoothen out surfaces and it does this through the use of sandpapers.
A mechanism within the sander moves the sandpaper against the intended surface and this action, coupled with the abrasive surface of the sandpaper, works to smoothen things out.
While some sanders can be bulky and powered electronically and are built for larger projects, the palm sander, by contrast, lies on the lower end of the size spectrum. In relation to this, the projects intended for a palm sander are also the smaller and finer ones.
This can involve final touches on an already finished product, or those which involve intricate designs and patterns.
Usual Considerations in Getting The Best Palm Sander
As palm sanders are one of the more specialized power tools in the bunch, it is imperative to consider a number of important factors in deciding which one to get or to even get one in the first place. Some of the things to be considered in picking up the best palm sander.
1. Tool Type
Palm sanders can be broadly classified into three types: disc sanders, finishing sanders, and polishers.
2. Dics Sander
All these three have a particular purpose. And although they may not be mutually exclusive, it is always better to get the type which you really need.
3. Finishing Sander
A perfect fit for the job is always the better option as sanders are specialized tools.
4. Polishers Sander
A Polishers sander is a power tool that is used to smooth surfaces. Polishers Sanders have a means to attach the sandpaper and a mechanism to move it speedily contained within a workbench.
The additional features that come with the sander should be also be considered. Some of the more common additional features are the random orbit functionality, as well as the dust collection capabilities. Other sanders are cordless and some even have adjustable speeds.
Whether or not you should get a sander that has these extra functions will depend on whether your projects would require these functions. It is a good idea, though, to air on the side of caution and get the product with the extra features as you may not know when you will be needing them and it is always better to be prepared.
7. Accessories Out Of The Box
Although not usually a deal-breaker, the additional goodies, and accessories that come out together with the sander itself are always a good bonus.
Some of the more common accessories that are included with your purchase are carrying and dust bags, extra handles, dust canisters, and sanding pads.
Product support is definitely a strong area to look at when choosing which among the many sanders available on the market you will be getting. The warranty of the product, as well as customer support over different channels, will be very useful when it comes to troubleshooting or product replacement due to defects.
9. Common Work Areas
Palm sanders, by virtue of their size and design, work best with smaller surfaces. They are commonly used in projects which require finer and more accurate sanding as they are able to reach the narrower surfaces which the bigger sanders cannot.
Palm sanders are also best utilized when small bits of material are needed to be removed as this kind of sanders allows pinpoint shaving.
Palm sanders, however, are not optimized for the larger projects. In this regard, it is better to get a sander that can be more efficient and effective to handle such projects.
Usual Problems Encountered When Using Palm Sanders
While palm sanders are designed for smaller surfaces, it is not uncommon to encounter problems of uneven sanding – even in these small surfaces.
To address this issue, it is important to keep the disk flat and to avoid putting weight on the sander as this contributes to the uneven weight distribution of the tool over the surface. Pressing down on the sander also affects the efficiency of the tool and may lead to slower performances.
Sander disks are prone to slipping because of the mechanism that holds them in place. Most sanders use Velcro adhesives and while this allows easy replacement of disks, it also causes problems as the disks may slip even when the sander is running. A solution to this problem is to get disks that perfectly fit your sander to lessen the chances of slipping.
Loading the sandpaper may be inconvenient at times as dust and other particles may accumulate in the loading tray of the sander. Switching sandpapers may be a bit taxing at times as you have to clean out the tray for easier loading in between jobs.
Our Top Selection 5 Best Palm Sander Reviews
1. DEWALT D26441K 2.4-AMP Orbital Sander With Dust Bag
Comes with a 14,000 OPM motor perfect for your sanding projects. Its frame is shaped to fit the hand for easier operation.
The sander itself is made of high-quality material and is guaranteed to be easy to install and use.
- Motor provides for a smooth and excellent finish on your woodworks.
- For continued, safe, and easy working process, this sander features an anti-slip top and a body grip.
- With 100 percent ball-bearing construction and a sealed orbital sander from dust, you are sure that this tool will last you for a long time.
- Although it comes with a cord that is durable, for projects that might need a cordless palm sander, this might not be a good option.
2. WEN 6301 Electric Detailing Palm Sander
The Wen palm sander has a 13,500 OPM monitor. It has an angled tip which allows for high-powered and high-precision projects.
Its lightweight frame also contributes to its strengths. It has a dust collection system for a cleaner workstation.
- Almost two pounds in weight, this palm sander is a great tool for easy and to-go projects.
- Features a port for dust collection to minimize the loose dust during a project.
- For your detailing needs, this palm sander features a 3.75 x 5.5-inch sanding pad with dust collection holes, assisted by an electronic fan, as well as an angled tip for hard-to-reach corners.
- Easy to hold and grip as it features grip contours that perfectly fit one’s hand.
- For bigger sanding projects, this tool might not be a good choice as this is best for detailing works
- only features a 1 amp motor, so bigger projects might really be a problem.
3. Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Palm Sander
A random orbital action system to allow for more efficiency. Its size allows this sander to be used in the finer and smaller projects which other palm sanders may have trouble working on.
Its dust collection systems also make your workspace cleaner even as you go along with your projects.
- Random orbital action allows for a high-removal rate of dust and more precise and quality of work.
- Changing of sandpapers is an easy task with this tool as it features a hook and loop system for convenience.
- Its switch is sealed as well to prevent dust from coming in, ensuring prolonged life for the tool.
- One of the cheapest palm sanders in the market.
- As the dust catcher of this tool is made from fabric, its dust collection feature does not work very well.
- This 5-inch tool is not best used when sanding corners and more detailed works.
4. Makita BO4556K 2.0 Ampere 4-1/2-Inch Finishing Palm Sander With Case
A 14,000 OPM capacity motor. It also features a contoured rubberized palm grip for a better fit. This sander is also engineered to reduce vibration and noise during operation. Also comes with a dust-collection system.
- Motor provides for faster, finer, and smoother sanding.
- Its lightweight of 2.6 pounds and the contoured grip allows a more comfortable working experience.
- Features a 30-day warranty for unexpected defects or problems upon purchase.
- Includes a sander case for easy packing and safer storage.
- While it includes a dust bag for loose dust connection, it might be tricky to install and use at first.
5. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Palm Sander
This sander kit comes with a 3.0 Amp motor with a capacity of 12,000 OPM. A number of dust-proof features also come with this sander kit, including a dust-sealed switch which is designed to extend the life of the sander.
It also comes with a built-in dust collection and vacuum-locking systems.
- This one has the biggest motor among the sanders on the list.
- Powerful, yet handy, this palm sander can fine-tune your woodwork from small to big projects.
- With its vacuum locking system, loose dust collection is no problem with this palm sander.
- If precision work is what you’re looking for, this Dewalt palm sander can help you with the details of your project as it features a shorter height to allow you to work very closely on your project.
- For those looking for 14,000 OPM, like what most palm sanders provide, this might not be the best candidate for you.
Final Verdict – The Best Palm Sander For You
Choosing what palm sander to get might be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time buying one or if you don’t know how they differ from each other, hence, which palm sander to opt for. In the end, choosing what palm sander to get boils down to what your needs and concerns are.
For detailing woodwork projects, you could opt for the Wen 6301 Detailing Palm Sander as it is easy to use and lightweight. Reaching the curves and smaller details of your woodwork should not be a problem with this tool.
For bigger projects, though, you could opt for the Black&Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander. It features a random bit orbiter for faster and finer woodworks, and uneven sanding is not a problem with this tool.
Sandpaper loading is easy as well with the hook and loop system of the Black&Decker BDERO100. If heavier duty palm sander is your concern, Dewalt DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit is a great option as well with its 3 amp motor.
Say goodbye to uneven sanding as this tool features a random orbit sander also. Loose dust collection, if this is your concern, is not a hindrance with this tool as it is built with a vacuum locking system that is easy to install and use.
In the end, whatever your concern is, there is a right palm sander for you. From problems with uneven sanding, dust collection, sandpaper loading, and slipping discs, the products featured above can easily address these needs and concerns for better and easier woodworking projects.
We are sure this article will help you a great deal in choosing the best palm sander. If you liked the article, do not forget to share it, like it, and leave your feedback in the comments section.