When it comes to sanding, there are many different devices you can use to get the job done. For paint removal and heavy-duty sanding, you will need a belt sander, for general purpose sanding a random orbit sander is great, but what about if you need to reach into tight corners and spaces? Well, for that, you will need a detail sander. These devices have a much smaller head that is designed specifically to reach where other units can’t, enabling you to finish pieces and smooth areas that you would otherwise have to do by hand because they are hard to reach.
Today, we’ll be going over the benefits and uses of detail sanders, as well as go over the most important aspects to consider when buying one. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional woodworker, having a detail sander gives you so much more versatility with your projects, making it a fantastic tool to have at your disposal.
Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52 3-Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit with 52 Accessories
DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Corded Oscillating Tool Kit
WEN 6301 Electric Detailing Palm Sander
Kicking off our list is this handy little sander from Black + Decker. This brand is well-known for making high-quality consumer tools, and this sander is no exception. Ideally, this unit is built for small and intricate work, so if you are trying to get into a particularly tight corner or are working on something somewhat ornate, then this will be your best bet.
Part of the reason this sander is so agile is that it comes with a finger attachment that allows you to get into the smallest of places.Most detail sanders have a triangle shaped design (as this does too), but the finger attachment gives you an extra edge to maneuver into tighter spots with ease.
The other great thing about this sander is the dust collection system. Not only does it have a bag to hold all of your dirt and debris, but it comes with an advanced filter so that you don’t get as much dust in the air while you’re working.
Overall, the size, weight, and detail of this sander make it ideal for finishing and detailing like nothing else.
As we mentioned above, some detail sanders come as a full-fledged tool kit that enables you to do so much more than sanding. In this case, the Genesis Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool is a four-in-one unit that can grind, scrape, cut, and sand. All you have to do is swap out the heads, and you can go to work immediately.
The motor on this particular model is not as powerful as some other multi-tools, meaning that it’s not built for anything too intense.
Regardless, if you want to do some light renovation such as re-tiling or grouting, this should work perfectly. To help make sure that it operates smoothly this unit runs at 21,000 OPM, which is excellent for all purposes.
As far as accessories go, this model comes with three sanding pads, a scraper blade, two cutting blades, and an Allen wrench to switch them out quickly and efficiently. The lightweight design of the unit helps alleviate fatigue while working and the switch is on top so that you can operate one-handed if necessary. Also, this particular device comes with a one-year warranty.
If you’re looking for something powerful and extremely versatile, then this Oscillating Tool Kit from Porter-Cable is an excellent choice. Not only does it have a powerful three-amp motor, but it comes with fifty-two accessories, allowing you to work on a variety of jobs without having to buy anything else.
One of the best things about this device is that it comes with a variable speed adjustment that operates between ten thousand and twenty-two thousand OPM.
Also, it has a three-position grip so that you can work in a variety of ways to ensure that you don’t get tired and that you can find the best angle.
With your accessories, you get a slew of sanding pads, scrapers, grinders, blades, and even measuring tools so that you can be as precise as possible when cutting. Also, this unit comes with a long ten-foot power cord to give you even more flexibility, and it has a ninety-day guarantee in case anything goes wrong. Overall, this is the ultimate multi-tool and sander.
For those who are interested in cutting or sanding only, this tool kit from DeWalt gives you those options with a machine that is built tough and provides the best results. While it doesn’t come with scrapers or grinders, you can find and buy them separately to give this device more versatility, and the fact that it comes with its own carrying bag means that you can keep it all together regardless of how many other pieces you find.
Notable features of this tool include a variable speed trigger, a locking mechanism so that you don’t have to hold the button down while you work, a dual-position handle for stability and comfort, and quick change heads that allow for easy swapping. Also, this particular model has a LED light built in so that you can see what you’re doing while you’re working. All of that coupled with a three-amp motor makes this one of the best multi-tools around.
Our final stop is a palm detailing sander from WEN. Much like the Black + Decker unit above this model is designed for sanding only. That being said, it is a robust and reliable sander that can provide excellent results.
As far as performance goes, the one-amp motor operates at 13,500 OPM, which is more than enough to get smooth surfaces in less time.
The ergonomic grip ensures that your hand won’t get tired easily, and the dust sealed switch helps extend the life of the device. For simplicity’s sake, this model uses Velcro sanding pads so that you can switch them out much faster than with other styles. The only major downside is that this unit comes with a dust port but no bag, so either you will be shooting debris behind your arm, or you will have to attach it to a vacuum hose to keep it all contained.
If you’re looking for a sander that has all of the versatility possible to allow you to tackle a wide variety of jobs, then we highly recommend the Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool Kit. We like the durability and reliability of this machine as well as the fact that you get so many different accessories included with everything. The power and speed are top notch and will ensure that this sander will last for years. However, if you aren’t interested in cutting or scraping, then you will most likely want the Black + Decker Mouse Detail Sander. We like that it has a finger attachment for getting into super small areas as well as the fact that it comes with a dust bag and filter for easier cleanup. If sanding is all you need it to do, then this is a fantastic model.
When looking at the size of your machine, there are two different things that you should pay attention to. First is the sanding pad and second is the unit itself. If you want something more agile and dextrous, then you will need to get a sander that can fit in the palm of your hand. This will enable you to get into tight areas much easier. Some detail sanders have a larger motor and housing, which means that they can be a bit more cumbersome.
As for the sanding pad, make sure that it is small enough to reach into the areas you need to get to but large enough that you won’t be changing pads every few minutes. One thing to consider is how easy it is to get replacements, as some models might be harder to find than others.
To compare the motors on a detail sander, you have to go by amps. Thus, if a model uses a one-amp motor it is not as powerful as something with three amps, and so on. The size and output of the machine are crucial to ensure that you get the right amount of power for the job at hand. If you’re doing light sanding on small projects, then you won’t need something too big, but if you want to do any cutting or grinding, then you’ll need a motor that can handle the extra pressure.
For some detail sanders, you have more than one option regarding what you can do with the device. In these cases, you can attach multiple heads to the unit so that you can grind, scrape, or cut as needed. By connecting different blades or scrapers to the motor you have so many various options, meaning that you can cut tile, scrape off paint, and do so much more than you would be able to with a standard sander. The benefit of that is you get multiple tools in one, meaning that you don’t have to buy other devices to get the job done.
As with any sander, the most important aspect is the speed. With detail sanders, this is measured in oscillations per minute or OPM. The higher the number, the smoother your results will be, and the less you will have to work. In some cases, you might be able to adjust the speed so that you can customize it to fit the project at hand. Usually, this is the case with sanders that come with swappable heads as higher OPM makes it easier for cutting and scraping.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.