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7 Best Palm Sanders 2021 – Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide

best palm sander

Sanding is tedious, but most wood projects need sanding. The trick is to find the best palm sander for your situation. In this way, the sanding task will be less wearisome and you can enjoy the reward.

Overall, palm sanders are small, inexpensive, and easy to use. They will be extremely helpful in DIY and household projects when you want to do finishing work.

Keep reading if it is what you desire to get. We will gain insight into a list of 7 palm sander reviews for your reference.

What Are The Palm Sanders Used For?

Palm sanders are small devices easily controlled under your palm to get a smooth surface out of your finished wood products.

Due to such a compact design, those sanders are suitable for small projects only.

Imagine using palm sanders on large projects; your hand will be tired of moving the tools back and forth for hours.

When you manually control the sanders, you can adjust the sanding pressure according to the wood’s surface, leaving it a more precious super smoothing result.

Types of Sanders

hand held sander

Before we look into palm sanders, it is helpful to know their common types and differences.

Specifically, there are two types of sanders available.

Handheld Sanders

As the name suggests, the sanders are small enough to hold in your hands.

  • Sheet sanders (square and rectangular): They are finishing sanders aiming at a high-polished look. The tools either use a quarter or a half of a sandpaper sheet. The square is often lighter and compact to go into edges flexibly.
  • Detailed sanders: Instead of using standard sander sheets, they have hook-and-loop sander pads shaped like an iron. As its name suggests, this type is for detailed works.
  • Random orbital sanders: These sanders often use round hook-and-loop sander pads and are a bit stronger. They leave fewer marks than the previous types thanks to their unpredictable orbits.
  • Belt sanders: The devices work similarly to the cutting chain, in which a continuous sanding belt will remove rough materials quickly. They are suitable for large projects.
  • Orbital Sanders: They have round base plate and use velcro sanding pads, these ones are very close to random orbital sanders. Also, they are stronger than sheet sanders and detailed sanders. However, they do not have the benefits of random orbital motions.

Fixed sanders

They are both heavy and large drum sanders designed for sanding solid wood flooring. The sanders will cut through the wood and then obliterate layers into new surfaces to refinish.

7 Best Palm Sanders – Reviews

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Palm Sander DCW200B

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Palm Sande DCW200B
Specifications:
  • Type: ¼ sheet sander
  • Wattage: 60W to 100W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 8000 – 14000 OPM
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Variable speeds: 7 settings
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Medium to a hard wooden surface

The DEWALT DCW200B runs on any Dewalt 20V batteries with a total wattage of 60W to 100W – only enough for small sanding projects such as the DIY wall shelves or farmhouse desks.

The cordless design offers convenience when you work outdoors with no socket available.

No worries if you do not have Dewalt batteries since the tool can work with almost all 3.0 Ah or 5.0 Ah batteries and last for around two hours under continuous use.

We always prioritize sanders supporting variable speed settings to adjust the spinning rate based on the condition of specific woods. For example, the low speeds are good to smooth delicate or flat surfaces, and the highest speed allows sanding off a rough wood.

The DCW200B offers seven options available from 8000 to 14000 OPM. You can use it on almost all finished wood. However, like other palm sanders, it is not powerful enough for completely live edges.

We tried the highest sanding rate and found out that the sander gets hot quickly and the body is shaking a lot. It is also a bit noisy.

Fortunately, you will still feel comfortable thanks to the thick rubber cushion and ergonomic handle.

At a low to medium speed, the DCW200B runs more decently and can smooth a pencil line in the plywood for 5 seconds.

So far, so powerful and handy, yet the high price of the sander and the additional spending on batteries might make you think twice.

Scoring: 8/10
  • Sanding performance: 9/10
  • Comfortable grip: 8/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Durability: 8/10
Pros
  • Sturdy, high-quality plastic design
  • Various powerful sanding speeds
  • Sturdy front spring-action lever
  • Ergonomic rubber grip
  • Easy to replace sandpaper sheet
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy construction
  • Not include battery and charged. You need to buy

2. Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

Specifications:
  • Type: Random-Orbit Sanders
  • Wattage: 300W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 7500-12000 OPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Variable speeds: 6 settings
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Detailed woodworking projects

Also coming with variable speeds for different projects, the Bosch ROS20VSC runs on electricity rather than batteries.

The wattage is up to 300W, so you can use this sander for medium woodworking projects such as sanding the ceiling beams and cabinet.

The higher watts than the cordless version mean stably maintaining a speed over time and getting the job done more quickly.

There are six variable speed settings from 7500-12000 OPM. In combination with the random orbital motions, the sander is ideal for detailed work on thin surfaces.

If you want to sand rough wood, you have to go to DEWALT or Milwaukee sanders.

On running continuously, you will always feel comfortable using Bosch ROS20VSC- thanks to its ergonomic handle.

It is smaller on one end, so you can hold the handle for a long time without being fatigued. In addition, the soft grip helps dampen almost all modest vibrations.

The comfort also comes from the built-in microfilter system. It is a hard case with wider dimensions than the traditional bag. Plus, this dust collection funnel sawdust is as small as half a micron into a microfilter canister rather than flopping it around.

In drawbacks, you should not press Bosch ROS20VSC too much, or it might bog down at a slower speed and extend your working time or even break the tool.

Scoring: 7.5/10
  • Sanding performance: 7/10
  • Comfortable grip: 9/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Durability: 7/10
Pros
  • Suitable for detail works
  • Soft and ergonomic handle
  • Variable speed controls to easy perform exactly each task
  • Quick hook-and-loop attaching system
  • Micro-filter dust collector
Cons
  • Not suitable for pressure
  • Breakable construction
  • Limited speeds for large projects

3. WEN 6301 Electric Palm Sander

Specifications:
  • Type: Detailed sander
  • Wattage: 120W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 13500 OPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Variable speeds: No
  • Dust collection: No
  • Dust seal: No
  • Good for: Precision works

The WEN 6301 Palm Sander is in a small-sized and low-priced category.

The dimension is only 3.75 x 5.25 x 6 inches and weighs two pounds. Its base plate is a triangle so that the tool can reach hard-to-reach corners without hassles. We often use this sander to smooth the edges of DIY tables or chairs.

One high-speed setting is available at 13500 OPM, resulting in quick smoothing motions. Nonetheless, the wattage is only 120W. It means that the WEN 6301 is not ideal for extended projects.

Ease of use is a plus. You just need to plug the sander and press the “Turn On” button to start working. The handle is compact and comfortable for palm control for a long time.

Unfortunately, the sander can become hot to the touch after time worked since there was no rubber layer to prevent the heat.

Scoring: 7/10
  • Sanding performance: 7/10
  • Comfortable grip: 6/10
  • Ease of use: 9/10
  • Durability: 6/10
Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Comfortable for small hands
  • High orbits per unit
  • Easy to install
  • 360-degree head rotation
Cons
  • No variable speeds
  • Hard to find a pad to fit the holding pattern
  • No dust collector included

4. BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander

Specifications:
  • Type: Random orbital sander
  • Wattage: 240W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 12000 OPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Variable speeds: No
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Medium-rough surface

The Black+Decker BDERO100 is as easy to use as the WEN 6301 since there is only one speed and one control switch. Yet this model is a complete tool with extra pads and a dust collector.

Although the orbiting rate is a bit smaller, the BDERO100 has a higher wattage. It means that the tool will sand off quicker than the WEN 6301 when dealing with the same surface.

Plus, the sander features a random orbit action to ensure a high-quality finish in the end. You – as beginners, do not need to master sanding techniques. If the pad encounters any hardpoints, it will go around and adjust the orbits to sand the surface off perfectly.

In terms of quality, the sander is more durable than we expected. The outer is made of heavy-duty plastic, so even when you drop the sander several times, it will not break or tear the tool whatsoever.

We also tried applying pressure to the tool, and the body reflects a very little amount of flex. Its handle is also soft and ergonomic, and you will be free from any hand cramps during your projects.

There’s a small thing to complain about, which is the small dust collector. It fills quickly, and you must put your work on hold several times to empty the dust.

Scoring: 7.5/10
  • Sanding performance: 6/10
  • Comfortable grip: 7/10
  • Ease of use: 9/10
  • Durability: 8/10
Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Reliable construction
  • A dust collector included
  • Easy use for beginners
  • Good warranty with 2-year
Cons
  • Small dust collector
  • No variable speed controls

5. Makita BO5030K 5″ Random Orbit Sander

Specifications:
  • Type: Random orbit sander
  • Wattage: 360W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 12000 OPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Variable speeds: No
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Medium-rough surface

At a glance, the specification of Makita BO5030K is quite similar to the BLACK + DECKER sander – with a higher wattage. Hands-on, you can expect the Makita runs a little more powerful but also noisier.

Despite such a slight difference in performance, the BO5030K is far more expensive for two reasons.

The tool first gives off a solid structure and comfortable grip thanks to its decent size and rubberized handle.

There is even a sealed switch to minimize dust contamination into components of the sanders and prolong their durability.

The handle is even adjustable in position to sand with two hands to fasten the work. With such a design, the speed control is located on the side for ease of reach.

You can quickly turn into a low speed when coping with heat-sensitive or delicate surfaces.

Other than that, the sander comes in a hardshell case. When not using the tool, you can put it inside the case and protect it from external dust or even throw the package on the back of your truck.

Dust collection port is what to improve. Although the Makita BO5030K supports a built-in bag, it is small, and you will want to connect an additional shop vac.

Unfortunately, the port is too small and fails to connect to many vacuums.

Scoring: 7.5/10
  • Sanding performance: 7/10
  • Comfortable grip: 8/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Durability: 9/10
Pros
  • A package with accessories
  • Friendly speed operator on the side
  • Adjustable handle to improve balance
  • Dust sealed that minimizes dust contamination
  • Oversized seal ball bearing to improve the durability
  • The quick and powerful sanding performance
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Small dust collector
  • Don’t have variable speed

6. Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18

Specifications:
  • Type: Random orbital sander
  • Wattage: 360W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 7 000-12 000 OPM
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Variable speeds: 6 settings
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Small outdoor projects

Battery-powered sanders often feature a less powerful performance than the corded version. Yet, it is not always true when you consider the Milwaukee M18, and this device is built to work powerfully over an extended period.

There are six settings of speed – the lowest 7000 OPM to deal with almost-fine surfaces, and the highest 12000 OPM is useful for medium-rough surfaces. A wide range of settings allows the M18 to work on different surfaces.

The tool features a new battery-charging technology which is called 3.0 AMP “REDLITHIUM.” It allows a longer operating time per charge – around 35 minutes.

The time can be shortened a bit if you move the sander between surfaces or you change speeds.

However, holding this sander for a long time can result in hand fatigue as the handle is not ergonomic.

The dust collection system is also a thing that we are a fan of. The manufacturer designed the canister with a built-in sheet filter. This part will both collect more dust and protect the tool from being blocked.

We also appreciate that Milwaukee listens to the voice of consumers. The dust box used to fall off and spill sawdust everywhere. But now, it is firmly secured.

Also, the dust port still needs updating. The adapter going along with the port is small and loose. Without being careful, you might lose it after a while of use.

Scoring: 7/10
  • Sanding performance: 8/10
  • Comfortable grip: 6/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Durability: 7/10
Pros
  • Easy install hook-and-loop sanding pad and remove
  • Large pad to scrape off more wood
  • Dust collector with the sheet filter
  • Secure attachment parts
Cons
  • Expensive set
  • Loose adapter to shop vac
  • Not include the battery, need to buy separately

7. SKIL 7292-02 2.0 Amp 1/4 Sheet Palm Sander

Specifications:
  • Type: ¼ Sheet Sander
  • Wattage: 240W
  • Orbits Per Minute: 8000 – 14000 OPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Variable speeds: 7 settings
  • Dust collection: Yes
  • Dust seal: Yes
  • Good for: Above-medium rough surface

SKIL 7292-02 is a powerful tool for medium and large sanding projects.

It features an excellent abrasive sheet so that you can expect the tool to sand more effectively than common ¼ sheet sanders.

It also helps the process fasten by ensuring an equal sanding force in all areas. The speed is 14000 OPM, meaning that lots of dust are produced. Thankfully, the micro-filtration system works effectively to collect it all.

The pressure control technology is another helpful feature. In particular, the device will light up when you press too much on it so that you can quickly figure out the best pressure for specific sanding tasks.

It seems that SKIL tries to gather all the exciting features of palm sanders in one package and at an affordable price.

Unfortunately, durability is a question. When we put much pressure on the sander, the attachment parts loosen a little.

Scoring: 8/10
  • Sanding performance: 9/10
  • Comfortable grip: 8/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Durability: 8/10
Pros
  • Pressure sensor to warn users when applying excessive pressure
  • Micro-filter dust collection
  • Long Cord
  • Design soft grip for easy to control and grip
Cons
  • Bulky dimensions
  • Not durable

How To Choose The Best Palm Sander

palm sander

Power Source

Get started with choosing the power source of the sanders: corded or cordless versions.

  • Corded Sanders

The corded palm sanders offer more stable and powerful performance. You will not have to be concerned about slowing to lower sanding speeds or even running out of power in the middle of your projects.

Nonetheless, the electric sanders require extension cords and sockets available. We would recommend the corded tools for projects in the garage or the basement workshop.

  • Cordless Sanders

The cordless or battery-powered sanders will shine themselves when you work in a limited area or a place without a power source.

Despite their convenience, the sanders fail to run continuously since the battery will eventually be flat. You might need to take a break to recharge them. The bulky battery pack, however, causes a problem when you hold the sanders for a long time.

Replacements for dead batteries also cost much.

For those reasons, cordless sanders are only useful for small projects if you are not using the tools frequently.

Orbits Per Minute (OPM)

The second factor is the speed and power of the sanders. The typical measurements are called Orbits per Minute (OPM.)

Palm sanders range from 7000 to 12000 OPM. Some sanders spin faster around 13500 to 14000 OPM.

Some cheap sanders come with only one speed. The slower the OPM is, the longer it takes to finish the projects. Yet, high-speed sanders get hot quickly and can damage heat-sensitive surfaces.

That time, you would find it more convenient if the sanders had various speeds. They often feature the dials to adjust the settings from low to medium to a high speed suitable for specific woodworking projects.

Base Plate

The base plate is the bottom part of the sanders where you will attach the sanding pads or sandpaper with a hook-and-loop system or clamps.

Square or rectangle-shaped plates move in a tight orbit, almost like back and forth. It is good for finishing work because you can focus on a small area.

It’s the same thing with the triangle plate, but the pointed head makes it easier to go into tricky places.

Random orbital sanders have a round plate. They cannot help you with corners. However, these sanders have the sanding motion going on for them.

best hand sander

Sanding Motions

Most palm sanders support either orbital or random orbital movements to sand off the surface.

  • Orbital motions

The sanders have a tight orbit and move in circles without overlapping paths. Because of that, they often leave swirl marks.

  • Random Orbital Motions

With round sanding pads, random orbital sanders are used for ultra-smooth requirements for restoring headlight transparency or painting jobs.

The tools move in unpredicted orbits and create overlapping paths. In this way, the posterior circles will remove the mark that is left by the prior circles.

Dust Collection System And Dust Seal

You will not want the dust from sanding projects to float in the air. Not only does it land everywhere and cause a messy look in your workplace, but the dust can also take in when you breathe.

Fortunately, manufacturers of palm sanders have incorporated dust collectors into their products. Accordingly, such collection systems can quickly pick up harmful and tiny particulates and store them in their dust bags. Those bags are often on the power tool’s rear.

Although it is not common for palm sanders, some models connect with a shop-vac through a vacuum nozzle. That extra adds bulkiness to the small sanders.

Besides the dust bags, you must also consider the dust seal. It is a rubber ring to keep the dust out of essential parts of the sanders so that they last longer.

Comfortability and Ergonomics

We mean the comfort you can expect while using the sanders under your palm, particularly for an extended period.

In this regard, the textured rubber top and ergonomically-shaped handle are required to minimize hand fatigue. Moreover, the speed dials and buttons – if any, must be within your fingertips’ reach to easy control.

Their weight also plays a major role. When you go for sturdy materials, the sanders tend to be heavy. Yet, it also means less vibration through components.

Extras Functions

Above are the most features you should look for when buying palm sanders. However, the more – the merrier. The following advanced features are also worth your consideration.

  • Pressure detector

The sanders such as SKIL 7292-02 will alert when you press them too hard. Then, you can adjust the pressure to minimize the risk of damaging the surfaces or your sanding tools.

  • Trigger lock

You can lock the sanders in motion to free your hands up once you find the ideal speed settings. Otherwise, you can keep the trigger fixed or clamp it on a run setting.

  • Added protection against impact

A cover or carrying case prevents the sanders from breaking and taking a single knock. The function will be helpful if you often toss or drop their tools into the back of the work trucks.

Tips How To Use a Palm Sander

How To Use A Palm Sander

With all the information mentioned above, you might already pick up one or several palm sanders for your next finishing projects.

And the following tips are helpful to make out of your new tools.

  • Always sweep your sanding surfaces thoroughly first to remove the dirt. If you saturate the wood, remember to wait for it to dry.
  • Remove all sticks and pebbles falling through the cracks of the wood’s surface with a screwdriver or a thin object.
  • Use medium and fine sandpapers of 150 or 180 grits. Those papers are suitable for both opening up the wood’s pores and then smoothing them.
  • Wear hand pads and glass to protect your hand and eyes from dust or torn edges of the wood. Wood dust can cause anything from eye irritation to nasal cancer.
  • Grab the sander, sanding with the grain and the side finish pieces. You had better not press the sander down too hard but should use more pressure on splintery parts or cracks.
  • Stain the surface with at least one-coat application in the end and let it dry for a couple of days.

Frequently Asked Questions About Palm Sander (FAQs)

faqs palm sander

When To Use Palm Sanders?

Since palm sanders are the smallest and the least powerful among all power sanders, they are ideal for light jobs and finishing work.

For example, you wish to sand sharp edges of the wooden tables or work on small furniture that you do not plan to paint.

Can Palm Sanders Be Applied On Drywall?

Yes, you can use palm sanders for drywall and even apply a sanding sponge to deal with corners and detail sanding.

Nonetheless, only use this type of sander if you have a narrow wall or you have plenty of time.

Drywall is often large; you should consider using an orbital sander.

Can I Use The Palm Sander On Decking?

Yes! You can. There are two things to remember here. One is you need to compenstate the sanding path of sheet sanders with your hand movements.

Otherwise, your deck will have a lot of marks. The other thing is random orbital sanders cannot get into the corners of your deck.

How Much Do Palm Sanders Cost?

No need to worry about the price of palm sanders as they are conventionally affordable – around over $20 to $100.

Some advanced models with additional functions such as pressure detection or trigger lock can be a little more expensive.

Moreover, cordless sanders often cost more than corded versions.

What Are Good Brands For Palm Sanders?

It is always suggested to go for branding sanders to get durable products and favorable warranties. Regarding trustworthy brands, they are Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, and SKIL.

What’s the difference between palm sanders and orbital sanders?

Palm sanders are often cheaper and lighter than orbital sanders. They are for work with finishing smoother.

Otherwise, the orbital sanders always have a disc base plate. It moves in circles. They have a lot of different sizes and are suitable for larger projects.

Can I Use Palm Sanders With Arthritis Hands?

No, palm sanders require more manual work than other sanders, and you might need to grip them tightly for a long time. Then your arthritis hands will beg you to stop.

Which Is Better Orbital or Random Orbital Sander?

It depends on your project. Random orbital sanders have more power and leave fewer swirl marks.

So they are better for projects with decent sanding areas and roughness. You will not have to add as much hand movement to the sanding motions as with orbital sander.

Otherwise, the orbital sander can create smoother surfaces, and can go into corners and over the edge.

How To Prevent Swirl Marks When Sanding?

Here are a few tips to prevent those nasty marks:

  • Go slow and steady: Let your sander do it job. Do not limit its movement by pressing it down.
  • With the grains: Go in straight line along the grains.
  • Go through a few grits, from low to high. Make sure to clean off all the dust before sanding with a new grit.

Conclusion

In our opinion, the winner product of the match that’s DEWALT DCW200B due to its quality and powerful performance over other sanders.

The tool has more settings variable speed to accommodate various projects. Its build is also significantly more reliable.

The runner-up is BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander – this corded version also features a sturdy build and ease of use as well as affordable price.

Other devices on the list are also worth checking. Remember that whatever sander you choose in the end. Make sure that it should have an effective dust collection, solid base plate system, and most important that require your jobs.

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