5 Best Palm Sanders to Buy In 2020 – Sheet Sander Reviews
Sanding is one of those tasks that most woodworkers enjoy doing. After all, it does not require much effort or a unique set of skills. Pretty much anyone can smooth a piece of wood by sanding it.
However even this simple and relatively enjoyable form of woodworking still requires you to have the right tool for the job. A good palm sander will make sanding a quick task and ensure that you always get an excellent finish.
The palm sanders, also known as 1/4-sheet sanders, might not look as sophisticated as other power tools, but they are essential when you need to smooth the surface of a piece of furniture to then varnish, stain, or paint it. And so, just like with any other tool in your workshop, you have to make sure that you get something top-notch. After all, you want to be able to do the job fast and efficiently.
1. DeWalt DWE6411K Sheet Palm Grip Sander
2. Makita BO4556K Finishing Sander
3. Makita BO3710 Finishing Sander
4. Black & Decker BDEQS300 Sheet Orbital Sander
5. Hammerhead Palm Sander
5 Best Palm Sanders - Reviews
#1. DeWalt DWE6411K 1/4 Inch Sheet Palm Grip Sander
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
DeWalt DWE6411K is a powerful and very efficient palm sander that will help you give your materials a smooth surface quickly and with minimum hand fatigue. It is the lightest unit on our list as it only weighs three pounds, making it very easy to handle for all woodworkers.
This power tool operates with a 2.4-Amp motor that does the job at a speed of 14,000 OPM to ensure that you always get a superior finish without having to do a lot of work. Unlike most other sanders in the market, it also has a dust-sealed switch that is resistant to dust to ensure that it lasts for a long time.
The DeWalt DWE6411K also features a sealed 100% bearing construction that gives it a long life. DeWalt designed this unit with a textured body grip and anti- slip top that help to make it comfortable to operate while also giving woodworkers better control over their woodworking projects.
Finally, this 1/4 sheet sander also has a high-capacity dust bag with a built-in adapter for a vacuum and a low-vibration design to minimize hand fatigue.
- The 2.4-amp motor provides a smooth and superior finish
- Its dust-sealed switch provides long switch life
- The textured body grip and anti-slip top provides maximum control and comfort
- High-capacity bag for dust collection
- Low-vibration design ensures minimum hand fatigue
- Cord is sturdy and very durable
- It is quite a noisy sheet sander
- 1/4-inch sheets seem a little small for this unit
Who Should Buy?
DeWalt DWE6411K is the lightest sheet sander on our list and also has a lot of power. These characteristics are what make it an exceptional choice for a woodworker who wants something powerful that is very easy to handle. It is also an ideal tool for beginners who hope to easy into the hobby of woodworking.
#2. Makita BO4556K 4-1/2-Inch Finishing Sander
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
With a total weight if 7.2 pounds, the Makita BO4556K is the heaviest unit on our list but also one of the best hand sanders in the market. The impressive 14,000 OPM speed is what makes it one of the top units and its 2.0-amp motor is what makes this possible.
This palm sander features an all-bearing construction with precision engineering to reduce noise and vibrations. Its large clamping lever makes the task of changing the sandpaper quick and easy. Also, it has a rubberized grip with a unique contour that improves operator control and comfort. So, even though it is heavy, using it should not be an uncomfortable task.
Makita BO4556K has a through-the-pad system for collecting dust to ensure that you always keep the work environment clean. Lastly, the switch is in a convenient location to make one-handed operation possible, and it has a rubber seal to prevent dust contamination.
- Its 14,000-OPM provides fast sanding and a smooth finish.
- The all-bearing construction reduces noise and vibrations.
- Rubberized grip with contour improves control and comfort.
- Easy and quick paper installation.
- Efficient dust collection for a safe and clean work environment.
- Convenient switch location for one-handed operation.
- Dust bag connection looks complicated and takes some time to comprehend.
Who Should Buy?
This power tool is ideal for a woodworker who does not have a lot of time to spend on sanding but still wants to get the best results possible. It works quickly but also provides a smooth finish, thus making it a very handy tool to have in your workshop.
#3. Makita BO3710 Finishing Sander
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Makita makes some of best palm sanders in the market, and their BO3710 lives up to these high standards. This unit is an efficient finishing sander that does the job with minimum noise and vibrations thanks to the built-in counterbalance system. But, it is the most expensive unit on our list, so you should be ready to spend some extra cash to enjoy its services.
The Makita BO3710 operates at 11,000 OPM, and you can be sure that it will give you a smooth finish as well as do it fast and efficiently. It is also comfortable when working with, as it has a rubberized grip that creates an excellent fit and provides maximum comfort.
Lastly, this unit also comes with a 2-finger trigger switch with a convenient lock-on button to make continuous use possible and a through-the-pad system for collecting dust.
- Easy-to-use finish sander.
- The ergonomic handle and rubberized grip provide an excellent fit and maximum comfort.
- 11,000 OPM provide efficiency and a smooth finish.
- Inbuilt counterbalance system minimizes vibrations.
- Two-finger trigger switch with convenient lock-on button makes continuous use possible and increases operator comfort.
- Through-the-pad system for collecting dust.
- Sandpaper clips are not as robust as what you get from other expensive units.
Who Should Buy?
Makita BO3710 is one of the quietest 1/4-sheet sanders on our list, so it is perfect for woodworkers who hate sanding noise. At the same time, is also the most expensive unit among our palm sander reviews, so it is an ideal choice for those ready to spend some extra cash.
#4. Black & Decker BDEQS300 1/4 Sheet Orbital Sander
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Black & Decker BDEQS300 is the cheapest palm sander on our list but is still a very high-quality unit. Black & Decker is one of the brands that feature prominently in expert palm sander reviews; therefore, you can expect to get the best service from this unit. The 1/4 sheet sander is perfect for both sanding and detail work and runs on a 2-Amp motor and at 1,600 OPM.
This compact and ergonomic sander is ideal for use in tight spaces, and it has a paddle switch for easy on/off when using it. The switch is at the top section of the unit, and you simply need to press it down for activation.
Black & Decker BDEQS300 has a tri-layer filtration to increase its efficiency and a high-performance system for collecting dust so as to keep the work environment clean. Finally, it comes with one sandpaper sheet.
- The 2.0-amp motor provides enough power for sanding.
- A paddle switch provides easy on/off operation when working.
- Suitable for both sanding and doing some detail work.
- High-performance collection system for the dust to maintain a clean environment.
- Ergonomic and a very versatile palm sander.
- Its compact design and shape make it perfect for tight spaces.
- It requires you to use both hands when loading sandpaper sheets.
Who Should Buy?
Woodworkers shopping for the best palm sander on a tight budget should buy this Black & Decker unit as it is not only the cheapest on our list but also comes from a very reputable company.
#5. Hammerhead Palm Sander
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Hammerhead is the second most affordable unit on our list, and despite being cheap, it still has all you need to do perfect finish sanding. This 1/4-sheet sander has an ergonomic design that reduces operator fatigue, and it is compact enough to ensure smooth sanding in corners.
Hammerhead gives this unit a 2-Amp motor that operates at 13.500 OPM to ensure that you always obtain a superior finish quickly. It also has a dual plane and a counter-balanced design to minimize vibrations so that you can operate it comfortably for long periods of time.
This sander comes with a dust-sealed switch to reduce the likelihood of dust ingestion, and it is in a strategic place to ensure simple operation of the sander.
- Ergonomic for minimum operator fatigue.
- 2.0-amp motor with 13,500 OPM for a superior finish.
- Counter-balanced for reduced vibrations.
- Dust-sealed switch to prevent dust ingestion.
- Compact design for easy sanding into corners.
- The dust collector does not trap all the dust.
Who Should Buy?
If you never want to worry about fitting the 1/4 sandpaper sheets into your sanding machine, this is an ideal option for you to buy. Unlike most other palm sanders on the market, the papers are an exact fit, and this sander is also effective in keeping them in place tightly.
Criteria for Buying Palm Sander
With our palm sander reviews above that feature some of the top units in the market, it should be easy for any woodworker to find the best tool for different woodworking projects.
But knowing how to choose the best among the many options in the market is still important. Although palm sanders from different brands may all look the same, here are some of the things you should look for when shopping for the ideal one.
#1. Ease of Changing Paper
If you have to stop your work and spend minutes on end changing the sand paper, you will not finish your projects in time ... and you'll be frustrated in the process. It is essential to always go for a sander that makes it easy to replace the sandpapers.
The best finish sanders are the ones that have levers or a mechanism that makes tool-less paper change possible because they will save you a lot of time.
#2. Sanding Performance/Power
With most power tools, the bigger the motor, the better it will be, because this means that it will have more power to do the job. However, this is not the case with the sander because applying light pressure is what gives the best results on your piece of wood. In short, you should not go for something with too much power as it can ruin the surface of whatever you are working on.
Instead of going for something powerful, you will find it better to focus on getting a palm sander with a smooth operation and minimum vibration to prevent hand numbness and discomfort.
#3. Dust Collection
It is important to ensure that you do not inhale dust when sanding and this is more so when working on painted and varnished surfaces because it poses a significant health risk. Although palm sanders might look small, they still produce a lot of dust. Luckily, modern ones come with a dust collector that minimizes the danger of inhaling the dust and also makes clean-up easy for you.
The models with a built-in dust collection system use a fan to pull dust through holes in the sandpaper and blow it to a plastic collection bag. This dust collection system can be a disposable bag for some units while others make it possible to connect the sander to a vacuum hose.
Finally, ergonomics is another important factor that you will need to take into account when choosing the best hand sander for your projects. Most of these sanders have a twin body style, which means that you can hold them either on the waist or at the top. This design makes it possible to change your grip to minimize hand fatigue. Also, a sander with rubber over-molds will have a more comfortable grip and less vibration.
Palm Sander vs. Random Orbital Sander
When buying a sander for your woodworking project, the first decision you will need to make is whether to go with a palm sander or the random orbital sander. While both are very handy in the workshop, they are ideal for different situations.
#1. Palm Sander
Palm sander (also known as the sheet sander) is for finishing work, and it is what you use just before you apply the varnish or paint the wood surface. These sanders are less powerful than the random orbit; their primary purpose is to give the surface a smooth and clean touch.
The palm sander uses 1/4 of the standard 9-by-11 sandpaper, and this is why woodworkers also refer to it as the 1/4-sheet sander. Most models of this type of sanding tool have an integrated spring-loaded clamp, which is what keeps this sandpaper in place.
The square shape of the paper on this sander makes it ideal for use when you want to get to the edge of a 90-degree angle. This sander moves in a back-and-forth manner, which is perfect when you do not want to go through several layers of material.
- Ideal for getting to the edge of 90-degree angles.
- Sheet sanders are more affordable than the random orbital ones.
- Perfect for finish work.
- Inexpensive and widely available sandpaper.
- Does not damage the material.
- Not useful for removal of thick stock material.
- It can leave some noticeable swirls on the material.
Who Should Buy?
If you do not have any thick layers of material on your wood surfaces to get rid of or you want something that will give you a smooth finish, this is the sander for you.
A palm sander is an ideal tool for finishing the surface for stain, paint, or varnish. Also, it will be a perfect choice for woodworkers who want to give their wood surfaces a clean and appealing aesthetic.
#2. Random Orbital Sander
Random orbital sanders are for preparing rough surfaces and have more power than the palm sanders. They are the best tool to use when you want to get rid of several layers of coarse material from a wood surface.
Just like the palm or orbital sander, the random orbital sander comes with a rounded palm grip at the top. But it has a round pad, unlike the palm sander, which has a square one.
The pad on the random orbital sander moves in some "random orbits," and this is where the tool gets its name. These movements make it harder for this sander to leave swirls on the material. Also, it spins in circles, so you can use it for both smooth finishing and removal of stock, but its shape makes it difficult to reach the edges of 90-degree pieces.
Some random orbit sanders have variable speeds, and this makes them easier to control than the sheet sanders. Their ability to do both prep work and finishing also make this one of the most versatile sanding tools.
- High-performing and multipurpose sanders.
- Easy to control and manipulate.
- Almost never leaves any noticeable swirls on the material.
- Ideal for removing layers of rough stock.
- Cannot reach 90-degree angles and tight corners.
- More pricey than sheet sanders.
Although palm sanders might not appear to be as elegant as most power tools available out there, you'll find them to be a vital item when it comes time to finish a bookshelf, cabinet, or table and chair set.
With the above reviews and recommendations, you should have the information you need to make the right choice for your particular woodworking needs.
Please remember to follow precautions while using power tools to keep yourself and others safe as you work.