Save time and muscle with a power sander
Power sanders can quickly smooth unfinished surfaces in preparation for use in construction and home improvement projects. If you're an avid do-it-yourselfer or if you enjoy woodworking as a hobby, electric sanders are an indispensible part of your repertoire of power tools.
Types of Electric Sanders
There are many different specific types of power sanders, each of which is best applied to specific tasks. Here is an overview of your options:
- Belt sander. If you have very rough material and you want to remove stock from its surface quickly, a belt sander is the best tool for the job. Belt sanders can quickly clear stock away from materials with large surface areas. Should you need to make a tight squeeze, narrow belt sanders are specially designed to work in tight corners.
- Disc sander. A disc sander's primary function is as a grinder or a machine for prepping metal, but if you swap out the wheel or disc for the appropriate substitute, you can also use these sanders to treat plastic, wood or concrete.
- Palm sander. A palm sander is used for fine details and as a finishing tool, though you should take care to use it exactly as intended as it can leave scratches due to the back-and-forth sanding action it employs. An orbital palm sander can be used to reduce these marks because it uses a slightly varied mechanism of action.
- Detail sander. Like palm sanders, detail sanders are used at the finishing stage. However, they are more versatile, as you can swap out their attachments to complete a wide variety of jobs. They also excel in tight corners and tricky spots.
Also, you can get electric sanders that excel at smoothing and prepping specific materials. For example, a hardwood floor sander is a must-have if you're installing new hardwood flooring, and a drywall sander will make the task of building new walls go much faster.
Power Sander Safety
It's important to follow universal safety guidelines, no matter what type of power sander you're using. First, always wear ear protection and eye protection. It's also a good idea to put on a dust mask to avoid inhaling the debris and residue which will come off the material you're sanding.
Never apply extra pressure on a sander, or try to force it. If you're unable to reach a certain part of the material you're working on, you need a different tool. You can ruin your material or damage your sander by pressuring or forcing it.