Palm Sander Product Guide

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08-10-2014 11:41 pm

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.


Recent Reviews
08-17-2014 5:28 pm

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.


07-06-2014 8:43 pm

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 de


12-08-2013 12:05 am
In the world of 1/4 sheet palm sanders the Porter Cable 330 is an anomaly. It looks different and costs significantly more than the clones that have invested the mainstream market. Needless to say, we had to find out what was up. Let's take a look at what makes the Model 330 sander different.

The Porter Cable Model 330
The Model 330's design is a departure from the generic design that dominates the mainstream ...
07-28-2013 6:13 pm
This week we finally made time to review the Milwaukee 6020 palm sander as part of our quest to review all important palm sanders on the market. This particular model has the distinction of sitting at the top of the power charts. Selling at only a slight premium we had to get it into our shop. Let's take a look, if the Milwaukee 6020 palm sander can turn its lead in the power department into a win in the sanding performance test.

The Milwaukee 6020-21 Palm Sander
The ...
07-14-2013 3:18 pm
Palm sanders are always fun to test. These deceptively simple tools always manage to surprise in one way or the other. This week we took a look at the Bosch 1297D. At first glance it seems this model distinguishes itself with a innovative paper retention mechanism. Experience tells us there has to more to this sander. Let's take a look at what the Bosch 1297D is hiding below that dark blue plastic shell.

Palm Sander Guide

DeWalt D26441 SanderOverview

A plam sander is a sanding tool that vibrates a sheet of sandpaper attached to its plate.

Due to their square sanding pad, palm sanders are the best option for sanding into corners and up to edges. A palm sander is an indispensable tool in any cabinet shop.

The limited side-to-side movement of the pad makes the palm sander a bad choice for rapid stock removal. A belt sander or even orbital sander will remove stock much faster than a palm sander.


Vibration Isolation

Palm sanders are notoriously bad for the user's hand. The vibrations of a badly built tool can make for a very sore hand at the end of a long day. Manufacturers have taken notice of this. The new generation of sanders all have different implementations of vibration isolation, a feature that attempts to isolate the user from the vibration of the base plate. The effectiveness of this feature varies from sander to sander.

Makita BO3710 Palm SanderShopping Guide

1) Choose a size

The size of a palm sander is described as a faction of the size of standard sheet of sand paper. 1/4 sheet sanders are the most common size. They make effecient use of sandpaper while still being large enough for use on cabinets. 1/2 sheet sanders reduce sanding time on large projects like table tops.

2) Motor Power

The power of the motor determines how much material the tool can remove in a given time interval. More powerful sanders remove more material, but they are bulkier and harder to use.

3) Orbit diameter and Speed

The other variables that determine sanding performance are orbit diameter and motor speed. The speed determines how many times the base plate vibrates per minute. More vibrations means more aggressive sanding.

The orbit diameter determines how far the plate moves during a single vibration. A larger orbit diameter makes for a more aggressive cut, but finish quality can suffer.

4) Dust Collection

Sanders produce a lot of dust. Each palm sander has a different mechanism for collecting this dust. Some work better than others. If you want efficient dust collection on your sander, you should read the reviews of each tool. Because the topic is so important, there will be a section just about dust collection.

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by Porter Cable


"The 342K is one of the better 1/4 sheet palm sanders. Its spec compare favorably and it performs well. The dust cartridge is badly designed. Use an extractor."
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by Makita


"The BO3710's thick, cast base plate shows strikingly good design. Better built than almost all small sanders, with better dust collection, it is a great buy."

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