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The Best Budget 5" Random Orbit Sanders (2014 Edition)

Entry-Level Random Orbit Sanders Compared

  • "...7 entry-level sanders compared..."
  • "...they look the same, but are very different..."
  • "...the little things set them appart..."
  • "...one is better than the rest..."

How different are the sanders? Which one is the best of the bunch?

Lorenz PremSeptember 29, 2014

After reviewing the fixed base version a couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to get my hands on the MRP23EVS plunge router this week. If the engineering on the fixed base version is anything to go by, this router could be challenging for the title of "Best Plunge Router in the Land". Let's take a look at what the MRP23EVS brings to the table, and how it sets itself apart from the competition.

The Bosch MRP23EVS Plunge Router

The MRP23EVS is a professional, two-piece plunge router from Bosch. It combines a powerful 15 amp motor unit with a sturdy plunge base. A fixed base is available as well. The MRP23EVS is the suc

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Lorenz PremSeptember 08, 2014

Another week, another sander. This week the Hitachi SV13YA random orbit sander makes an appearance on the Hingmy test bench. This one looks like the rest of them, except that it is green. Let take a look what the SV13YA can bring to the random orbit sander market, and if it should have a spot in your tool chest.

The Hitachi SV13YA Random Orbit Sander

The SV13YA is a 5" random orbit sander from Hitachi. It follows a generic design and is void of innovative features. Its specs make it a general purpose random orbit sander in the woodshop with very little ability to do anything else.

Build quality is good, bu

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Lorenz PremSeptember 22, 2014

The BO5031K random orbit sander is a favorite among users on the internet. It seems to perform well for just about everyone. I really liked its bigger brother, the BO5041K, when I reviewed it in my workshop. Let's take a look if the BO5031K is the great all-rounder it is said to be, or if the voices on the internet got this one wrong like they so often do.

The Makita BO5031K Random Orbit Sander

The BO5031K is a general purpose 5" random orbit sander from Makita. Its 3 amp motor and 22,000 rpm top speed compare favorably to the o

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Lorenz PremOctober 07, 2014

At first glance the sanders in the entry-level segment of the 5" random orbit sander market appear to be very similar. All of them are roughly the same size and shape, and their specs do not differ all that much.

Having reviewed all of them, I can tell you that they all feel different when the sand paper meets the work piece. Let's take a look at the most widely used 5" random orbit sanders, and figure out which one is the best of the bunch.

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Lorenz PremSeptember 15, 2014

The latest and greatest from DeWalt arrived in my shop this week. The DCF886 is DeWalt's flagship cordless driver. Its specs promise some of the best performance in the category. Having reviewed the competition's best, giving this one its shot at the title was inevitable. Let's take a look at what DeWalt's best can do in the Hingmy workshop, and if it can rule supreme as the king of cordless impact drivers.

The DCF886 Cordless Driver

The DCF886 is DeWalt's flagship cordless driver. It is powered by the 20V Max battery system and comes equipped with a brushless motor. This new technology allowed DeWalt to shrink the driver to a p

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Cordless Drivers by Max torque

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Lorenz PremSeptember 01, 2014

In the next couple of months I am going to work my way through a number of 5" random orbit sanders in preparation for an upcoming "Best Of" article. This week it is the Milwaukee 6021-21 random orbit sander's turn in the Hingmy workshop. Its specs and online reviews promise it to be a lot of sander for the money. Let's take a look, if the the 6021 deservers its reputation, or if it is just another attractive option that falls flat in the workshop.

The Milwaukee 6021-21 Random Orbit Sander

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Lorenz PremAugust 10, 2014

The palm sander market is a tough one for potential buyers to figure out. The different sanders look very similar, and their stat lines are almost identical.

After having reviewed all leading sanders on the market, I can speak to the little differences that make each sander feel unique. Let's take a look at your choice of palm sanders in 2014.

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Lorenz PremJuly 20, 2014

This week it is hammer drill review time. Bosch's new HDS182 cordless hammer drill comes with the promises of brushless technology. Having reviewed tools by the hundreds I know that there is more to a tool than a well-built motor. Let's take a look, if all the features of the HDS182 are as advanced as its motor, and how all that tech translates into making dust on the job site.

The Bosch HDS182 Cordless Hammer Drill

The HDS182 is a professional grade cordless hammer drill from Bosch. It takes the place of a do-it-all drill/driver in the arsenal of professional contractors and builders. It performs well at general drilling and dri

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Lorenz PremJune 29, 2014

This week we'll take a look at the Milwaukee 2401, a compact drill/driver in the M12 line. Positioning a high quality tool with the matching price tag in the lower end of the torque range is always risky. Let's take a look, if the engineers at Milwaukee managed to deliver a useful tool, or if the 2401 is simply too weak for what it is going for.

The Milwaukee 2401 Cordless Driver

The 2401 is a cordless drill/driver with a 1/2" hex chuck from Milwaukee. It has been designed for low to medium torque applications that require frequent use of a clutch. The driver's 15 ft-lbs of torque and 500 rpm place it near the bottom of the perfo

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Lorenz PremApr 08, 2013

Overview

Jigsaws are best used for cutting curves in various types of materials. The tip of the blade must be free of the cut in order for the saw to function. Blade deflection is an issue with jigsaws.

Features

Orbital Motion

The tip of the blade on a saw equipped with this feature moves in an oval pattern. This increases the cutting speed of the saw. The blade is being pushed into the material in addition to moving up and down.

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Lorenz PremJul 23, 2013

Overview

A reciprocating saw, or recip saw, is a cut-off tool most often used for demolition or other rough work. Equipped with the correct blade a recirocating saw can cut through wood, metal, and tile.

Features

Large Motor

A large motor greatly speeds up the cutting speed of the saw. Demolition saws have some of the largests motors found on hand-held tools. That power is necessary to make the saw manageable during an all-day job. ...

Lorenz PremSep 10, 2014

Overview

Tablesaw use a spinning blade to make straight cuts in wood. They are primarily used to dimension stock using a movable fence.

Features

Tablesaw Types

There are several types of table saws available on the market today. Each type makes a different trade-off between weight and portability.

Contractor/Portable Saws

Contractor saws are built to be moved by a single man ...

Lorenz PremAugust 27, 2014

Routers are some of my favorite tools to review. There are so many things about a router that a manufacturer can get right or wrong. It's impossible to judge a router based on a few pictures on a website.

This week I got my hands on the Bosch MRF23EVS router, a tool I erroneously though would be just another average router. Let's take a look at what's so special about the MRF23EVS.

The Bosch MRF23EVS Router

The MRF23EVS is a variable speed router from Bosch. Some say it is the spiritual successor of the excellent 1617 Series router

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Lorenz PremAugust 03, 2014

This week the Bosch IDH182 gets its shot at the title of "Best Impact Driver" you can buy. Its innovative chuck, cutting edge technology, and excellent performance numbers make it a worthy challenger. Let's take a look at how well the IDH182 manages to translate great paper specs into exceptional performance on the Hingmy test bench.

The Bosch IDH182 Impact Driver/Wrench

The IDH182 sits at the pinnacle of the Bosch impact driver lineup. It was designed for high volume/high torque fastener driving on the job site. Its excellent performance numbers put it into contention with a limited number of flagship impact drivers

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Lorenz PremJuly 13, 2014

The Porter Cable PCE201 is one of kind. It is the only high-torque corded impact driver in the Hingmy database at the moment. AC power gives this driver performance numbers that few cordless impact drivers can match. Let's take a look at what you can get, if you are willing to tether your impact driver to the power grid.

The Porter Cable PCE201 Driver

The PCE201 is a corded impact driver with a 1/4" hex chuck from Porter Cable. It is the only corded screwdriver that was designed to driver general purpose fasteners, which sets it apart from the competition that concentrates on driving drywall screws. This unique design puts the PC

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Lorenz PremJune 21, 2014

A friend of mine loaned me his Craftsman BoltOn Cordless Drill/Driver for review. At first I thought it was identical to the Black&Decker Matrix, a tool I reviewed six months ago. Turns out the BoltOn has a few features that make it the better tool. Let's take a look at how the Craftsman BoltOn managed to improve on the Black&Decker Matrix.

The Craftsman BoltOn System

The Craftsman BoltOn system combines a handle that houses the motor and the battery with a replaceable power unit. The basic kit comes with the d

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Lorenz PremApr 20, 2013

Overview

The market for bandsaws has settled on a common two wheel design. The diameter of the wheel determines the machine's cutting capacity.

The models differ in size and quality of their frame. Larger, heavier models have stiffer frames. This makes large machines track better and last longer than smaller models.

Features

Resawing vs curve cutting

A resawing bandsaw requires power and bulk to push the blade through a lot of stock at ...

Lorenz PremApr 08, 2013

Overview

A cordless drill spins a drill bit at high speeds. The tip of the drill bit shaves away the material in many small bites.

Drills can be used to drive screws, but will not perform as well as a dedicated impact driver. The continuous torque a drill produces will twist the tool out of the hands of the operator as soon as the screw stars to bind.

Features

Lorenz PremJun 08, 2013

Overview

Circular saws produce straight, clean cuts in sheets and dimensional lumber. Paired with a guide a circular saws can make very accurate cuts.

While large radius curved cuts are possible with a circular saw, this type of tool was not designed for this task. The circular saw is a panel dimensioning tool.

With care plunge cuts can be made with a curcular saw. The saw will not leave clean edges at the start and end of the cut since the blade is curved. A ...

Lorenz PremAugust 17, 2014

While writing last week's article, The Best Palm Sanders - 2014 Edition, I noticed I did not review Hitachi's SV12SG palm sander. I ordered one, and it arrived just in time for this week's review. All my palm sander specific hopes and dreams rest on this little green guy. Let's take a look if the Hitachi SV12SG can upset the palm sander rankings, or if it is yet another uninspired entry.

The Hitachi SV12SG Palm Sander

The SV12SG is a 1/4 sheet palm sander from Hitachi. It follows the traditional design closely without innovating in even a single category.

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Lorenz PremJuly 28, 2014

This week the ROS20VS made an unscheduled appearance in my shop. The tool I wanted to review in its place arrived in broken condition. While that is unfortunate, it gives me chance to continue my quest to review every orbital sander on the market today. Let's take a look at what the ROS20VS brings to the 5" sander market, and figure out, if it is a good addition to your shop.

The Bosch ROS20VSK Orbital Sander

The ROS20VS is a random orbit sander from Bosch. Designed for general sanding tasks on the job site and in the woodshop this sander was aimed squarely at the sweet spot for 5" orbital sanders. It'll deliver good pe

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Lorenz PremJuly 06, 2014

What happens when you choose to go cheap when buying a 1/4 sheet palm sander? I tested the Ryobi S652DK palm sander in my shop to find out. Let's take a look, if this budget palm sander is a viable replacement for the more expensive models most of us use in our shops.

The Ryobi S652DK

The S652DK is a budget 1/4 sheet palm sander from Ryobi. Sold at many box stores it is the first palm sander many people own. While it was clearly designed for the residential market, it still performs respectably in more demanding situations.

The build quality of the S652DK matches that of most sanders in this category. The har

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Lorenz PremMay 14, 2013

Overview

A planer flattens the top surface of a board fedd through the machine. Along with a jointer, the planer is used for milling boards.

Features

Spiral Cutter Head

Traditional planers use a small number of knives the run the entire width of the cutter head to make the cut. Sprial cutter heads use a large number of small cutters arranged in a spiral fashion on the cutter head.

A spiral cutterhead cuts cleaner than a traditional ...

Lorenz PremOct 14, 2012

Overview

Air cleaners are an essential component in every shop. They remove dust particles from the air that the dust collector did not catch. A good air cleaner significantly reduces the abient dust in the shop.

In addition to the safety factors, air cleaners significantly reduce the amount of cleaning that has to be done in the shop and in adjacent spaces. The cleaner pulls dust towards it and away from places you do not want it.

Features

Remotes ...

Lorenz PremAug 21, 2013

Overview

Drivers excel at driving screws, bolts, and other fasteners. They outperform cordless drills when driving screws both in terms of driving power and ease of use. Large drivers can be used to drive lug nuts and industrial size nuts and bolts.

Drivers differ from drills in the amount and type of torque they deliver. Driving a screw requires high, burst-like torque. Drills produce continuous torque. A driver puts much less strain on the user's hand ...

Lorenz PremJun 06, 2013

Overview

Routers are used to guide a spinning bit over a stationary work piece. They are used to shape materials and create joinery.

In addition to detailing, router bits exist for slot cutting, panel raising, joinery, and many other purposes. The router is an essential tool in every woodshop.

Trim routers

Small routers that are held with one hand are called trim routers. ...

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