The 5 Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders – Reviews & Buying Guide
As a professional woodworker or hobbyist, you will have to deal with different types of projects. And as you may already know, not all will involve sanding straight edges and lines.
When you need to sand something round, curvy or with some odd angles a disc or belt sander might not be helpful enough. What you need for this is an oscillating spindle sander.
The oscillating spindle sander in its most basic definition is just a small-diameter rotating cylindrical drum covered with a gritted paper sleeve, and it is mounted on a worktable.
Its primary application is to create a smooth and flat finish on pieces with round or curved edges.
This sander will also be handy when you want to smooth the interior sections of deep hole cuts which many other sanders will not reach easily.
And besides from the ability to rotate while sanding the oscillating spindle sander takes things a notch higher as the spinning drum also moves up and down.
Table of Contents
- What's Oscillating Spindle Sander Used for
- Top 5 Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders
- How to Choose Oscillating Spindle Sanders
- Tips for Using Oscillating Spindle Sander
What's Oscillating Spindle Sander Used for
The oscillating motion comes with many benefits with key among them being that it extends the sanding life of the paper sleeve by spreading wear across a large surface. And it also reduces static friction which can cause band marks on the workpiece.
These sanders are handy for a variety of project, but many woodworkers agree that they are most helpful for crafts, furniture making, and decorative molding, instrument making (violins, guitars and many others) and also for cleaning up bandsaw marks.
Various reputable power tools manufacturers produce oscillating spindle sanders, but companies like Wen, Ryobi, Triton, and Jet seem to make some of the best models in the market.
And as you search for the best spindle sander for woodworking there are some factors to consider such as the motor power, worktable size and construction and the included accessories.
In this piece, we make it easy for you to choose the right model for your workshop by reviewing some of the top products out there.
Top 5 Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders
#1. Wen 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander
The Wen 6510 is the first oscillating spindle sander on our list and also the cheapest. It will be an excellent choice for both professional and beginner woodworkers that are shopping for a reliable sander but on a tight budget.
But, despite the affordable price tag it still has most of the features that you can get on the other pricier models on our reviews. And they include the powerful 3.5 Amp motor that delivers up to 58 OPM and a cast iron worktable.
The sturdy and heavyweight design of the Wen 6510 makes it quite a stable model. And if you combine this with the pre-drilled holes (perfect for mounting) you can always be sure of getting a sturdy sander.
Like most other modern oscillating spindle sanders it comes with 6 sanding sleeves sizes and 5 rubber drum spindles. And there is onboard storage for all the accessories to make it even more convenient.
#2. Triton TSPS450 Oscillating Spindle Sander
With a noise rating of 89 dB, Triton TSPS450 is a relatively quiet sander if you compare it with the other models on our reviews and also in the market.
It runs on the powerful 3.5 Amp motor that produces up to 58 OPM and 2,000 RPM to make it ideal for various sanding applications. However, it seems to excel in artistic carpentry as it will be handy for sanding or polishing contours, curves, and other odd shapes.
Triton TSPS450 will come with 6 sanding sleeves with their matching rubber drums and table inserts just like most of the other sander models in our reviews.
Lastly, there is also some onboard storage for all the accessories on this sander to eliminate the need to carry bags or anything else when moving the sander to different worksites.
#3. Wen 6523 Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander
Versatile tools or those that can serve more than one purpose are always great to have in the workshop. The Wen 6523 is one such handy tool that will double up as both a belt and spindle sander.
Despite it being the second priciest item on our list it can still save you some cash as you might not need to buy a belt sander separately.
Wen 6523 is also the lightweight sander on our list, and if you combine this with its compact design, you have a tool that will be easy and convenient to store and transport.
Although it also has the smallest worktable on our list, it bevels from 0 to 45 degrees. And this makes it an excellent choice when working on angled edges and surfaces.
When you buy this sander, you get the essential oscillating spindle sander accessories and also one belt sanding attachment. You will also never have to worry about storing any of these things since the sander has onboard storage for all of them.
#4. Jet 708404 Oscillating Spindle Sander
Jet 708404 is the most expensive item on our oscillating spindle sander reviews. And so it will be a good purchase for professional woodworkers that do some heavy sanding often.
This sander model also has the biggest worktable on our list to make it ideal for both small and large projects. Also, the table will tilt from 0 to 45 degrees to make angled sanding effortless.
The expensive price tag comes from the performance of the sander, but it is also because this is quite a sturdy and highly durable sander that will last for a long time. And apart from the cast iron table, all the other components of the oscillating spindle sander are also high-quality.
Jet 708404 uses a one-inch spindle to ensure that you always get a scratch-free finish every time you use the sander, and this is regardless of the material that you are sanding.
This sander is perfect when you have a lot of sanding to do, and it is also easy to keep sturdy and stable thanks to the non-skid rubber feet.
#5. Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander
Shop Fox is one of the brands that you are likely to encounter when shopping for the best oscillating spindle sanders. And their model W1831 will impress both professional woodworkers and hobbyists.
It is a powerful unit that runs on the 3.5 Amp motor like the other sanders on our list, and so it can handle various sanding applications. Also, setting up should be straightforward even for beginners as it is ready to use straight from the box.
With a total weight of just 30 pounds, this is the second lightest sander on our reviews, and this makes it extremely portable.
Like most other reliable oscillating spindle sanders the Shop Fox W1831 will come with 6 spindle sizes to ensure that it can handle any sanding application. There is also some onboard storage for these spindles and all the other accessories.
How to Choose Oscillating Spindle Sanders
An oscillating spindle sander is always the best option when working with irregular curves or shapes that a best or disc sander cannot sand efficiently. But since there are many brands and models in the market you need to know how to pick the best for your needs.
And for this to be so, you need to consider the following factors.
1. Motor Power
The motor power should always be the first thing to consider when choosing a spindle sander. And this is because the more powerful the motor, the faster the sanding job. Also the more powerful the motor, the more the sanding tasks it can handle.
Although there are still a few other options, the 3.5 amp motors seem to be sufficient for most woodworkers, and they are also the most common.
2. Included Accessories
The accessories that you get with the spindle sander are vital because they determine what you can use it for and also its convenience. The best oscillating spindle sanders are those that will come with multiple sanding sleeve sizes and rubber drum spindles. Onboard storage for these accessories is also a great addition.
3. Noise Rating
Like most the power tools, oscillating spindle sanders are going to be noisy. However, some tend to be louder than others. And so it is always important to know the noise level or rating before buying one to know what to expect.
The simple rule here is always to go for something with a noise rating of under 95 decibels because anything higher than that is unhealthy for your ears.
4. Dust Collection
As a woodworker you know just how much dust and sand that you can produce when sanding. If your oscillating spindle sander does not have an efficient dust collection system, it means that you will have a tedious cleanup afterward.
When it comes to the dust collection the dust port is the essential element, and here you need to ensure that it is compatible with the dust collector in your workshop. The size of the dust port is what determines the compatibility, and for this, the 1.5-inch ones seem to be the best option.
The size and material of the worktable are vital factors to keep in mind when shopping for oscillating spindle sanders. For the size, the larger, the better and this is because it ensures that you have enough space for both large and small sanding projects.
The construction matters a lot because it determines the durability and you should be okay if you go for a sander with a cast iron worktable.
The brand will always matter when buying any tool. For many woodworkers, it is the first and probably the most important factor that they consider.
Our oscillating spindle sanders reviews above include items from some of the most reputable brands in the manufacture of these woodworking tools. And you can always trust companies like Wen, Jet, Shop Fox, Triton, Powertec and Ryobi to have a reliable spindle sander for your projects.
Tips for Using Oscillating Spindle Sander
An oscillating spindle sander is an easy to use woodworking tool. But, just like with any other power tools there are some tips and tricks that you can use to get the best out of the sander.
- Safety. Safety always comes first when using the oscillating spindle sander and you should make use of the safety mechanisms of the machine and also avoid wearing baggy long sleeve shirts that can get caught in the sander.
- Use a fluid, natural motion. You should never force your workpiece into the spindle as this can ruin its surface. Instead, you should always start at one end and move it through the spindle with one fluid motion.
- Measurements determine the level of precision. When using the oscillating spindle sander is it is important to note that the sanding accuracy will be as good as the measurements because it is a manual sander. And so you should always make sure that you mark your measurements with a pencil accurately.
- Sand to the line. Once you have the pencil mark on the workpiece, it is vital to make sure that you sand to the pencil line and not over it. What this means is that you should sand until you get to the mark and not until it varnishes because this can result in over-sanding.
- Move fairly quickly on long curves. When sanding pieces with a long curve, it is vital to move fairly quickly through it and make multiple passes. Doing this keeps your line smooth, and you will also end up removing all your sanding marks.
An oscillating spindle sander will make it easy to sand round or curved workpieces which might be tedious to do when using the regular disc or belt sander.
It is also a handy tool when dealing with odd angles. And so it will be useful for a variety of applications from making furniture to DIY crafts.
With our reviews of some of the top models and buying guide, you should have an easier time choosing an excellent spindle sander to add to your toolkit.
While each of the 5 sanders is great in different aspects the best one for you will depend on the type and volume of sanding that you do.