If we are talking about different types of sanders, then the sheet sanders are probably the oldest, they have been around for a while, and even when the new types came out, still, a lot of people use sheet sanders.
The sheet sanders were down-sized from a sander that uses a half-sheet of sandpaper to a sander that uses a quarter sheet and has a more ergonomic design that fits your palm hands, and that’s why some sheet sanders are also called palm sanders.
The palm sander uses standard sandpaper, this is a huge advantage to other sanders because you can buy standard sandpaper almost everywhere. The operation of a sheet sander is pretty easy, the sandpapers are usually cut in halves or quarters (depending on the model) and then they are attached to the base of the sander.
The sander uses its motor to move the sandpaper back and forth (circular motion) at a very high speed. The big sheet sanders (1/2) can remove materials easily, and since they are big they are also very good at large surfaces.
At the other end, the smaller palm sander (1/4) that uses a quarter of the sandpaper is not very good for removing material, because the sanding surface is smaller, but it can be used between coats of paint or finish because there’s a very low chance that the sander can go through the finish.
Since the sheet sanders (and the sandpapers) are square they can be used while sanding corners. Sheet sanders usually cost less than other sanders.
The first thing we noticed about the Bosch GSS20-40 is the material. This sander is made of aluminum, the aluminum reduces the vibrations of the tool and at the same time makes the tool lighter in weight.
Except that it gives you better control over the tool, low vibration also helps the tool to have a longer life. We also liked the soft grip.
It is equipped with a 2.0 amp motor that delivers up to 12,000 oscillations per minute (OPM), this sander is made to deliver fast and smooth results.
The GSS20-40 has an in-unit dust collection system that is on the same level as most of the sanders out there. Meaning someday’s it works good and some days it doesn’t. It will do a good job if you are lucky enough.
While it has a lot of features that pros can take advantage of, this sander is still in the DIY price range.
What We Liked:
Fewer Vibrations – Precise Aluminum Case and good engineering help the tool to vibrate less.
Motor – 2.0 AMP motor that delivers 12,000 OPM.
Dust Collection – Nothing extraordinary, but sometimes I find it very effective.
Next, we have a powerful sander. If you compare this sander with our first pick, then this one (DEWALT DWE6411K) has more power (2.3 AMP motor), and more speed (14,000 OPM).
The thing I like most about this sander is that it’s very easy to control. I have used this one for rough surfaces and still was able to control it, a reason for that is the rubber texture.
We noticed that the height of this sander is shorter. We researched to know why, and we found that the manufacturer made it shorter to help us control the tool easier. And we think it made a big difference.
The dust collection that this tool has is probably my favorite one, it is very effective because it allows you to connect another vacuum to the tool to get rid of the dust, plus the switch is protected from dust thanks to the rubber dust boot that the switch has on top of it, this gives the switch a longer life.
As you can see, a big reason why I like this sander is because of control, it is easy to control even for beginners and it gives a smooth finish.
On the downside, we don’t like the pad, we think it’s low quality.
What We Liked:
Easy To Use – This sander is very easy to control, it has a lot of great features that make that possible.
Motor – High-Quality Motor that allows the tool to deliver up to 14,000 OPM
Good Dust System – Very effective, allows you to connect another vacuum hose.
Fewer Vibrations – Comes with a separate counterweight.
The next sander is from Makita, a known brand for sanders. I use their products a lot, and most of the time I get high-quality results.
The Makita BO3710 offers up to 11,000 OPM which is a number that most of the sheet sanders reach. This one too has a counterbalance system that is used to make the tool vibrate less. This system does a great job because I feel fewer vibrations if you compare it to other sanders, plus it helps me control the tool easier.
The controlling part becomes easier with the ergonomic rubberized grip with the handle that is specially made to fit your hand. The design is very weird, but somehow it fits your hand perfectly, and it is very comfortable. Kudos to that.
It has a good dust removal system that does its job, effective, but nothing special to it. It also comes with a large 2-fingers trigger switch.
What We Liked:
Made from Makita – A known brand for sanders.
Vibration Control – Features a counterweight system that makes the tool vibrate less.
Easy To Control – Comes with a great handle that fits your hands.
Next on our list is the Black & Decker QS900. This 1/4 sheet sander comes with great features that you will find very handy, especially if you will be using the sander for heavy-duty jobs.
The Black & Decker QS900 features a powerful motor 2.0 AMP motor, the motor delivers up to 16,000 orbits per minute, which is higher than any other sheet sander listed here. The sander performs 20% faster than the other 1/4 sheet sanders when it comes to stock removal.
A thing that I like about this tool is that it allows you to flush at three sides, meaning that even if you sander vertically you will get precise results. Moreover, it features an in-built dust collection system that does a great job, this system makes it possible for you to work without doing any big mess.
This tool is small if you compare it to others, this can be a pro or a con for you. I find it useful because it doesn’t take a lot of space and it does a great job, plus it’s lightweight (weigh 4 pounds).
What We Liked:
Made for heavy-duty jobs.
Powerful Motor – 2.0 AMP motor that delivers up to 16,000 OPM.
Small – Great alternative to big sanders.
Lightweight – Its weight is 4 pounds (approximately)
Our last pick in our best finishing sanders list is the WEN 6313. Clearly, this sander is not as powerful as the others listed here, but still, it does a great job. This is more of a budget choice for you. Costs less but still is good.
This palm sander features a good 1.2 AMP motor that delivers up to 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM). It has a vacuum adapter that allows you to connect with dust collector devices or you can connect it with the dust collector bag that comes with the package.
It comes with an ergonomic design — It’s lightweight, meaning that you will be able to control it easier and it reduces hand fatigue. Weighs just about 3 pounds. Plus the handles make the sander perfectly fit your hands and give you a comfortable experience.
Clearly, this is a budget pick, so I don’t recommend you using it for heavy-duty projects. As good as it is, the price tells a lot. It is good for beginners, so if you never used a sander before you can try this one to get more experience.
What We Liked:
Good Motor – 1.2 AMP Motor that delivers 12,000 OPM.
Lightweight – Weighs 3 pounds
Vacuum Adapter – Allows you to connect dust collector devices.
Although all the tools we have listed here are high-quality and will do the job, it is still important to know which one to choose. There are a lot of factors you need to look into while dealing with sanders, down below we will list some features you need to look into ( but not limited to ) before buying a sheet sander.
1. Easy Change of Paper
– While sanding you might need to stop the work and change your sandpaper sheet, if the process takes too long then you won’t complete the task in time. That is why you need a sander that makes paper change easy. If you are looking for a sheet sander that makes this fairly easy, then check our #2 (DEWALT DWE6411K) it comes with an improved paper clamp.
2. Sanding Power
As you may know, with most of the power tools, the more power the tool has the better it is. But that is not the case with sanders, at least with sheet sanders. Sometimes you need sanders that don’t have a lot of power because you need to apply light pressure, especially if you want to get a smooth finish.
But, that is not always the case, depending on your project you might need a sander that has a lot of power, especially if you are using the sander to remove hard material. It all depends on your project.
Once you figure what your project needs then you have to make sure you get a palm sander that has a smooth operation and doesn’t vibrate a lot. Most of the sanders we have listed here come with features that minimize the vibrations. These types of sanders can be used for different projects. But, mostly you can use them for woodworking projects.
Sheet sanders are big, they usually produce a lot of dust, even the smaller ones ( palm sanders ) produce a lot of dust. It is very important that you don’t inhale dust, it can be bad for you. Dust makes a huge mess too, so it is always important to have a solution for it.
Usually, modern sanders come with a dust collection system that minimizes the dust and makes the cleaning-up process a lot of times easier. All of the sanders in our best 1/4 sanders list come with one (except for the #5 which is a budget choice).
The sanders with an in-built dust collection use a fan to pull the dust from holes and push it through the dust bag. Some of the sanders even have an extra hole where you can connect your vacuum to get rid of the dust faster. The dust collection system is very important, make sure to check it before buying a sheet sander.
And at the last, ergonomics. Ergonomics are important, but not as important as the other 3 things listed before. Most of the sheet sanders come with a twin body, meaning that you can either hold them and the top or at the waist.
An ergonomic handle will make the sanding experience more comfortable for you and at the same time will make the sander vibrate less. All of the sheet sanders we listed here have an ergonomic handle, so if you decide to buy one of them then you are good.
And this is it, folks, the sanders we listed here are our top recommendation when it comes to the best sheet sanders. I know that with so many low-costing options that we have listed here (especially our #5) you may be tempted to go with the cheapest one and just see how they perform, but sometimes that is not the best choice for you.
Do that 4-5 times (like we did) and you will realize that you could get a high-quality sheet palm sander for the first time without going to the trouble of dealing with low-quality ones — and you can do it by spending the same amount of money.
Another thing you should consider: Here we have listed different sanders with different features, but which one is the best? It all depends on you, the best tool for you is the one that is built to handle your specific task — it doesn’t have to be the cheapest or the most expensive one, don’t lose your focus while researching for finishing sanders.
That’s why it is important to know what task you will be performing before buying a palm sander, that’s how you know if the sander you are looking for will perform good or bad. Evaluate the workload ahead of you, the features you want, and the money you can spend, that’s how you can make a better decision.
And if you are planning on doing a lot of projects with the sander then you should just go with the one that has variable speed settings.
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