I have used ‘own brand’, cheap sanders in the past. A load of people say, “you get what you pay for”, and they’re right to a point. However, in my opinion if you’re starting out and you’re looking for a budget sander, always look at the “wattage”. The more watts per sander, the more clout you’ll get out of that machine!!
A lot of the lower priced sanders will help you when you start out, but won’t last because they don’t have the power for the job, so you become too heavy handed. The more powerful budget dust free sanders will generally last a lot longer.
Random Orbital Sanders
I’ve used 4 or 5 different brands of budget random orbital sanders through the years. I’m currently using a Bosch Professional Random Orbit Sander GEX 125-1 AE and I love it. Available online by clicking here, I think the wattage is 350 to 400, sorry but all my machines are at my girlfriend’s at the moment and I’m on lockdown due to Coronavirus. She’d best be taking care of them! Anyway, this machine by far the best budget sander I’ve used. 30% of my work is wood floor sanding and the Bosch GEX 125 is perfect. The machine is weighty/heavy enough but is well worth the money. £100ish.
My other favourite random orbital sander is Metabo SXE450, which is available online by clicking here. Both these machines have a 150mm circular pad. Metabo are one of the best power tool makes out there they don’t have 10% of the marketing budget that black & decker have pushing their Dewault range.
I’ve had several Makita palm sanders. When you first buy the machine, you have a Velcro small square pad that’ll wear out rather quickly. Don’t worry though, you can use the side spring arms which will keep the glass paper in place.
Top tip for these is to have a pair of wallpaper scissors in your sustainer ready to cut the glass paper to size. Try to cut a few at a time so as not to hold you up too much on the job.
I’ve used own brands of palm sanders in past but just didn’t cut it, so don’t bother. Just stick with the Makita.
Another tip with all the different makes of sanders is go on Amazon & get a hose adjustable connector. (available here). I made my sanders dust free by attaching them to a henry hoover for years, but now I have them connected to my Festool midi extraction unit. If you are going to use a vacuum cleaner, Henry is perfect.
The motor is encased so the fine dust won’t get into it and short it out. That’s why decorators normally have a Henry in their van. You may need to buy a separate adapter if you’re going for a Henry, or just mess around with duct tape. It’s worth it though. Henry Hoovers are around £140 and come with bags, so removing the waste is easy.
I also use Makita multi tool which is a great bit of kit and available online by clicking here. In the past I’ve used Bosch, Ryhbio & own brand but none of them come close! I’m on my 2nd or 3rd Makita and in my opinion it’s the best on the market.
Oh…. And no matter what tool you’re looking at, stay away from DeWalt! They are absolutely sh*t!
Budget Dust Free Sanders – by Keith Diamond