How To Choose The Best Palm Sander For Your Woodworking Projects

You should know how to choose the best palm sander for your woodworking projects. If not, we’re here to help. Whether you’re a woodworking professional or a DIY enthusiast, a palm sander is a must. Even if you’re a hobbyist, it’s important to know which palm sander is right for you.

Palm Sander

Palm sanders are inexpensive tools designed to handle a variety of woodworking jobs. From refinishing furniture to touching up paint jobs, a palm sander can help you achieve your goals.

If you’ve never bought a palm sander, you might find yourself overwhelmed as there are many models available on the market.

Before we get started, let’s identify the most common types of sanders.

What Is A Palm Sander?

A palm sander is a perfect tool for detail sanding. The tool is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Its small size makes it easy to operate.

Difference Between An Orbital Sander and Random Orbital Sander?

Difference Between An Orbital Sander and Random Orbital SanderView in gallery

It’s easy to get a random orbit sander and orbital sander confused. After all, their names are almost identical. However, the tools are different.

Orbital Sander

Orbital sanders are bigger than palm sanders and use a square pad. The tool works in a circular motion, making them more versatile. The sanders are ideal for bigger sanding jobs. Also, orbital sanders are unique in that they use square pads.

Random Orbital Sanders

A random orbital sander uses a round pad, unlike an orbital sander. The best thing about a random orbit sander is that it does not leave any sanding marks. It also has adjustable speeds. And unlike orbital sanders, it can’t reach deeper places or edges with ease.

However, a random orbit sander is the best tool for sanding projects and different jobs like stripping paint off furniture, preparing new molding, or cleaning up between finish coats. The tool is also good for smooth and clean metal and composite materials like solid surface countertops.

If you go with a random orbit sander or other type of sander, make sure it has built-in dust control. Cordless sanders are also available, and they don’t come with an extension cord.

What To Consider When Buying A Palm Sander

Consider When Purchasing a Palm Sander

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

Comfort

Sanding projects require time, so 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 long as the battery will 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. 

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Top Palm Sanders

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Palm Sander

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Palm SanderView in gallery

This highly-rated palm sander is what you need for your home DIY project. 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

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

ROBERT BOSCH TOOL GROUP Palm SanderView in gallery

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. 

Pros: 

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

Cons: 

  • Issues attaching the sandpaper

3. BLACK+DECKER Electric Sander

BLACK+DECKER Electric SanderView in gallery

This orbit 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.

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

Makita BO5030K 5" Random Orbit SanderView in gallery

This sander is 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. 

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

Ryobi P440 One+ 18V Lithium IonView in gallery

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. 

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.

6. Ginour 6 Speed Electric Sander

Ginour 6 Speed Electric SanderView in gallery

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, its unique design is 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 at a speed. of 13,000 times in one minute. That’s a lot of power for difficult polishing jobs.

Thanks to its rubberized palm grip design, this device is also comfortable. It also produces minimal noise so you can focus on your work with ease. The purchase also comes with a lifetime warranty in case you run into any issues.

Pros: 

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

Cons: 

  • The vibration is strong

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 and work on a variety of smaller DIY sanding projects. They’re also lightweight and budget-friendly. 

Since they’re smaller compared to other sanders, they’re great for precision. They also won’t leave marks. They’re also ideal for projects where you’re sanding down wood that has been treated or painted. 

Pros

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

Cons

  • Requires more sandpaper
  • Less dust-collecting capabilities
  • Not ideal for large wood pieces

How To Use A Palm Sander 

best palm sanderView in gallery

Finished Product

Best Palm SanderView in gallery

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 use your palm sander efficiently.

  1. If you’re sealing your deck, you’ll want to start by sweeping your deck floor.
  2. Use 150 or 180-grit sandpaper.
  3. Knee pads are recommended.
  4. Remove pebbles and sticks that have fallen through the cracks of your deck floor. 
  5. Begin sanding the deck floor – remember to always sand with the grain and also sand the side finish pieces. 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.
  7. Stain the length of one board at a time. Once you’ve stained your deck, allow it to dry for at least 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can Palm Sanders Be Used On Drywall?

You can use your palm sander on drywall, but an orbital sander might be a better choice as it works faster. If you don’t want to apply too much pressure and you’ll be better off using a round pad with drywall surfaces.

The best palm sanders will not damage anything, but you never know with other power tools. More than anything, you’ll need to have the right sanding paper.

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 the sanders with a tight grip while you’re sanding. When you’re working with tight spaces, it can be hard on your hands, which would irritate your arthritis.

Why Does My Palm Sander Jump Around?

An out-of-balance or out-of-square backup pad can also produce defects. If you sand a flat surface and you feel the sander pulling back and forth across the surface of the wood, the backup pad needs to be replaced.

If you feel the sander bouncing as the pad rotates, then you most likely need a new backup pad. Also, you might want to check the hook and loop system to make sure it’s secure.

Why Won't Sandpaper Stick To My Sander?

Orbital sanding pads won’t stick if debris or tears are present. To replace the hook and loop pad, turn off the power and remove the three screws on the bottom of sanders to replace the sanding pad.

What Are The Holes For On Sanding Discs?

You may have noticed that a disc sander has holes circling the center of the disc. These holes help to pull dust particles away from the sanding paper so it doesn’t become clogged with sanding debris.

Palm Sanders Conclusion

When choosing a power tool, you can never be too careful or too picky. Choosing a good palm sander requires a little research before making a purchase. The best palm sanders will depend on what you need them for and their durability.

The tools are efficient and they’re not bad for the air. If you go long periods without using your sander, before you use it again, make sure you’ll be working with the right materials and sanding the proper surfaces.

When removing material from various surfaces, because of the sanders advanced micro filtration system, they don’t pose a health risk. Of course, it’s always best to wear a face mask and protective eyewear for any sanding project.

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 sanding project, but also prevent you from inhaling the dust particles or sawdust.