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How To Choose The Best Palm Sander For Your Woodworking Projects

Whether you’re someone that works on wood projects or are a fan of doing DIY projects, a palm sander’s a tool that you absolutely need to have. Even if you’re not someone that’s continually working with wood, palm sanders are inexpensive tools that are the perfect addition for a range of jobs from refinishing a piece of furniture to dealing with various paint jobs.

Best Palm Sander

If you’re new to purchasing a palm sander, however, you could be overwhelmed by the number of options available on the market. Here, we’ve curated a list of six of the best palm sanders to get you started. Before that, however, we’ll talk about what you should look for in a palm sander and answer some frequently asked questions.

What are Palm Sanders Used for?

Palm sanders are great for smaller projects, or if you don’t see yourself using a sander often. Palm sanders are versatile items that can be used on a variety of smaller DIY projects and as a bonus, they’re also both lightweight and budget-friendly. 

Since they’re smaller in size in comparison to other sanders, they’re great if you’re looking for precision. They also won’t leave marks in the same way that other sanders do, and they’re also ideal for projects where you’re sanding down wood that has been treated or painted. 

Pros and cons

Pros: 

  • Lightweight and easy to handle 
  • Compatible with regular sandpaper 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Won’t leave as many marks as an orbital sander

Cons: 

  • You’ll need to have quite a bit of sandpaper
  • Less robust when it comes to dust collection 
  • Not ideal for large pieces of wood

What to Consider When Purchasing a Palm Sander? 

There’s a couple of factors you’d need to take into consideration when purchasing your palm sander. 

Comfort

As sanding can take a considerable amount of time, the last thing you want is to be holding an uncomfortable palm sander. Some features that you’d want to look for in your palm sander for added comfort include a padded grip, an ergonomically-shaped handle and a design that reduces vibration. 

Related: 5 Best Circular Saws Money Can Buy

Durability

Since you’ll be using palm sanders to sand down wood or other items, it’ll have constant high-intensity contact. You should purchase a palm sander that’s durable and able to last for a considerable amount of time. Take the time to read through reviews as customers will have pointed out whether or not the palm sander that they’ve purchased is well-built. 

Orbits Per Minute

This can determine the type of surface that your palm sander is suited for. Harder woods will require more power and will thus need a sander with more orbits per minute. Ideally, you should go for a sander that has higher capabilities as it’s always better to have it just in case. 

Dust Collection

This is another factor to consider, and it’s one of the most vital aspects of any woodworking tool. With dust, you may not get the smooth, refined results that you’re looking for, and it’s also detrimental to your health. Most palm sanders will come with a dust port and even a collection pouch that’ll help take care of all the dust. Even if you won’t be using your palm sander often, a dust port’s a must – also remember to wear gloves and goggles while you’re sanding! 

Power Source

Think about whether you’d like to go for a corded or battery palm sander. While battery-powered palm sanders are convenient, they won’t run for very long as the battery will eventually die. When that happens, you’ll have to take a break from your project and recharge your palm sander – costing you time. Replacing the batteries of your palm sander can also be costly. On the other hand, corded palm sanders can run for the entirety of your project with no issues at all; the only problem is that maneuvering your palm sander can be difficult, especially if you’re working outside. Either way, both corded and battery alternatives come with their pros and cons, and you should select the one that best suits your needs.

Extras

Palm sanders can also come with a pressure detector that’ll let you know if you’re pressing too hard. When selecting your sander, this is a feature you should get if you’re new to sanding. If you’re not careful with a sander, you can end up causing damage to the piece that you’re working on, safety features such as pressure detection can help minimize the risk of you ruining your project. 

Seal

Finally, the last thing you’d need to consider is the dust seal. The last thing you’d want is for the dust to start flying everywhere. Not only is it bad for your health, but it can also affect the tool that you’re using. A palm sander with a dust seal design will help keep dust out of sensitive parts of the tool so that it’ll last longer. It’s good to go for a palm sander that has this feature as it’ll ensure that your tool lasts for longer. 

How to Use a Palm Sander 

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One of the ways to use a palm sander is when you’re sealing your deck. Below, we’ll talk a little more about how you can go about using your palm sander efficiently and effectively.

  1. If you’re sealing your deck, you’ll want to start by sweeping your deck floor thoroughly. If it’s really dirty, you may also need to saturate the wood and wait for it to dry. 
  2. Then, take out some 150 or 180-grit sandpaper (this is between medium and fine), and it’ll do a great job of both smoothing the wood and opening up the wood’s pores. 
  3. When preparing to sand, you may want to wear some knee pads as you’ll be spending some time on your hands and knees. Ideally, try to go for knee pads with a hard shell as they’re more comfortable while you’re sanding. 
  4. Use a screwdriver or any long and thin object to remove pebbles and sticks that have fallen through the cracks of your deck floor. 
  5. Grab your palm sander and begin sanding the deck floor – remember to always sand with the grain and also sand the side finish pieces. When using a palm sander, try not to press down too hard and instead, just let the sander do the work. All you’ve got to do is control the position of the palm sander and replace the sandpaper accordingly. While you can use more pressure on cracks or splintery parts, try not to over-sand. Your goal is to open up the wood. You’ll also want to sand along the gaps to ensure a more even deck floor. 
  6. After you’ve sanded the entire deck, you’ll also have to do the deck surface, side trim and railings. Essentially, anything that you plan on staining will need to be sanded. 
  7. Then, you’ll go ahead and stain! Just stain the length of one board at a time, and just a one-coat application is all you need. Once you’ve stained your deck, allow it to dry for at least 48 hours, and you’re done.

Top Palm Sanders

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Palm Sander

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This highly-rated palm sander is precisely what you need for your DIY projects at home. It comes with a brushless motor that’ll efficiently get the job done, and it also has variable speed control from 8,000 – 14,000 OPM. As it’s got a low-profile height, you can get close to the work surface for sanding that’s more precise. There’s also a paper clamp to securely hold the sandpaper, along with a dust-sealed switch that’ll help with extending the life and usability of your palm sander. 

It’s also comfortable to hold, and customers have given it plenty of great reviews. Individuals have mentioned how they like that no power cord gets in the way of their project, and how easy it is to replace the sandpaper sheets. They also noted that it’s lightweight, convenient to use, and easy to adjust.

Pros: 

  • Brushless motor 
  • Variable speed control
  • Low profile height
  • Dust-sealed switch
  • Paper clamp 

Cons: 

  • A little heavy to hold

2. SKIL Sheet Palm Sander with Pressure Control

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Another great palm sander, this particular model is easy to use and even comes with a unique micro-filtration feature to capture and contain fine dust particles. It’s also great for beginners since it comes with pressure control technology that’ll let you know if excessive pressure is used. The built-in vacuum adapter can help with collecting dust, and this particular product is corded with a voltage of 120 volts. 

In terms of reviews, customers are pleased with their purchase and mentioned that it does the job well. They like the pressure control technology and how the dust canister is transparent so you can see the amount of dust that’s collected. They also like the built-in vacuum and mentioned that the palm sander has a soft grip design that’ll give you reasonable control. It’s essentially a lightweight and nifty tool that’ll provide a good amount of power. 

Pros: 

  • Easy to use 
  • Special micro-filtration feature 
  • Pressure control technology 
  • Built-in vacuum to collect dust 

Cons: 

  • Some mentioned that they’ve got issues attaching the sandpaper

3. BLACK+DECKER Electric Sander

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This fantastic palm sander comes with numerous features that make it stand out. It has tri-layer filtration and provides a 270-degree flush sanding clearance. It also has a soft grip so you can comfortably hold your palm sander for an extended period of time. It also has a paddle switch activation so you can easily switch it on and off, and also comes with a high-performance dust collection feature. 

It runs at 1,600 orbits per minute, is compact, and is a great tool to have for precision. Customers are impressed with this palm sander and like how it’s light, able to reach certain corners, and does a great job with dust control. They also like how it isn’t noisy and mentioned that the ¼ sheets stick tight to the sander, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping out. 

Pros: 

  • Tri-layer filtration
  • 270-degree flush sanding clearance
  • Soft grip 
  • Paddle switch activation 

Cons: 

  • Not as powerful as some of the other models

4. Makita BO5030K 5″ Random Orbit Sander

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This particular sander is precisely what you need for smooth and fast sanding. It’s comfortable to hold – thanks to its rubberized grip that’ll also provide you with control. It also comes with a pad control system that’ll allow you to speed up the sander if required. For your health and safety, the device also comes with a dust collection system that’ll efficiently collect dust while you’re sanding. It’s also dust sealed to minimize contamination and comes with an on/off switch for your convenience. It’s also a corded model that comes with a ball bearing construction for precision and durability. 

This particular sander has garnered positive reviews with plenty of customers. They’re pleased with the amount of dust it collects, mentioned that it’s not incredibly heavy but is still easy to control. They also like how it’s comfortable while you’re holding it and appreciate how it has plenty of power.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable to hold 
  • Comes with a dust collection system 
  • Dust sealed 
  • On/off switch 

Cons: 

  • Not as durable as some of the other models

5. Ryobi P440 One+ 18V Lithium Ion

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Another excellent palm sander, this particular one is made with high-carbon steel, and it’s also battery-powered. It’s one of the first-ever cordless quarter-sheet sanders on the market and can be used for a variety of projects. It’s compatible with most sandpapers and also comes with a lock-on switch for easy operation. It also has a handy dust collection bag, and each charge will provide you with over 40-minutes of runtime. 

Customers are happy with their purchase and mentioned that the ¼ sandpaper sheets are easy to clamp onto the base. They also like how the tool’s both compact and easy to control. They also mentioned that it’s inexpensive, and like how there’s no cord to get in the way of their projects. It’s a great all-round palm sander that does the job well.

Pros: 

  • First cordless quarter-sheet sander 
  • Compatible with most sandpapers
  • Comes with a lock-on switch 
  • Has a dust collection bag  

Cons: 

  • The battery doesn’t last as long as some of the other tools

6. Ginour 6 Speed Electric Sander

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Finally, we’ve got this powerful sander that’s great for a wide variety of applications from smoothing out wood to removing paint. It also has an efficient dust removal system that’ll help ensure the longevity of your device. In terms of size, it’s compact so you won’t have to worry about your sander being overly heavy. It also comes with six speeds that you can choose from, and it can even work 13,000 times in one minute. 

Thanks to its rubberized palm grip design, this device is also supremely comfortable. It also produces minimal noise so you can focus on your work with ease. As a bonus, your purchase also comes with a lifetime warranty in case you run into any issues. Customers are a fan of this sander and mentioned that it does the job well and like how it comes with detailed instructions. They also like the variable speed dial and said that it’s pretty powerful.

Pros: 

  • Suited to a wide variety of applications
  • Efficient dust removal system 
  • Compact size 
  • Comes with six speeds 

Cons: 

  • The vibration from this device is pretty strong

Bottom Line 

We hope that this article was informative and has helped you choose a palm sander that meets your needs. While there are lots of fantastic options out there, the six sanders that we’ve selected above are highly-rated, and all come with amazing features that’ll help you get the job done. When it comes to choosing an ideal palm sander, the most important thing to remember is to purchase one that comes with dust collection. Not only will it help with your project, but it’ll also prevent you from inhaling the dust – which can be detrimental to your health. 

FAQ about palm sanders 

Below are some questions frequently asked about palm sanders.

Can palm sanders be used on a drywall?

You can use your palm sander on a drywall, but an orbital sander might be a better choice as it works more quickly. 

Can I use a palm sander if I have arthritis? 

Unfortunately, they’re not the best tool to use for arthritis as you will have to hold them in a tight grip while you’re sanding.

Can I use a palm sander on my decking? 

Yes, you can! Below we’ll actually talk about how you can go about doing so. Just know however that it might take a bit more time if you’re using a palm sander. 

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

Orbital sanders are much more heavyweight than palm sanders. They’re also suited to larger projects and will get things done more quickly. Palm sanders, on the other hand, will give your project a much smoother finish.