So you finally decided to do it. You’re going to remodel your kitchen all by yourself, starting with your cabinets. You’ve picked out the design and the wood, but when it comes to installation, how can you make sure that they will be as smooth and finished as if a professional did them? Well, for that, you will have to rely on a power sander.
Assuming that you want to paint your cabinets or add flourishes to them, you first have to make sure that they are free of debris and surface clutter that can ruin any paint job. Getting a power sander means that you can perform the work yourself, in far less time (try doing it by hand and see how far you get).
But what kind of sander is best? How do I use it effectively? Well, we’re here to provide you with all of the information to help you get started, as well as show you some of the best sanders on the market. Once you see how easy it is, you’ll be looking for your next woodworking project in no time.
VonHaus 3.5 Amp 5-inch
Because kitchen cabinets are made with various types of wood, you have to make sure that you get something that is powerful enough to make the job go by quickly but not so intense that you’ll wind up carving holes in them, either.
When talking about smoothing flat pieces of wood, the two sanders that come to mind are finishing and random orbit models. Let’s look at the benefits and downsides of both.
Overall, when comparing the two, it seems like random orbit sanders are the better choice. You have much more control over how you can polish your surfaces, and the entire point of them is to avoid leaving any swirl marks, meaning that you can get a better finish overall. Finally, you can use sandpaper or polishing pads equally well.
So, with that in mind, let’s see how to choose the right orbit sander, as well as show you some of the best consumer models you can find on the market today.
Kicking off our list is the Bosch Random Orbit Sander. This brand has been making high-quality power tools for years now, and this sander has everything you could want or need for your next kitchen cabinet project.
What sets this sander apart from the rest is the filtration system.
Although the dust catcher is rather small (meaning you have to change it often), you don’t have to worry about dust with this machine, which makes cleanup such a breeze. In fact, comparing this to other systems, you’ll be surprised how much better it is.
The other thing we like is the adjustable speeds, which means that you can work on all surfaces with equal ease. The switch is placed for easy adjustment and quick operation. Finally, the best thing about this sander is that it provides a vacuum adapter so that you can hook it up without having to buy anything extra.
If you’ve ever bought power tools before, then chances are you are somewhat familiar with DeWalt products. This company makes some of the best consumer devices you can find, and this sander is a true testament to the brand’s excellence.
When looking at DeWalt Random Orbit Sanders, there are two distinct models. This one in particular has a fixed speed of 12,000 OPM, which means that it’s ideal for those who are going to work on similar surfaces with minimal variation.
What we do like about it, though, is that it is insulated to reduce vibration and fatigue, meaning you can work longer.
The dust bag on this model is also somewhat small, but you can find a DeWalt adapter to connect it to a vacuum system, which means that you can collect more debris than normal, which is a huge bonus. The only thing we would prefer is if it included a filtration system. As it stands, you still need a mask while you work.
Next, we have another brand that is highly regarded in the consumer tool industry, so you know that the Makita Random Orbit Sander Kit will be high-quality and provide the best performance you can expect.
When it comes to sanding, this product is one of the best, allowing you to adjust speed between 4000 and 12000 rpm.
The grip on this sander is optimized to provide the best comfort and control, and you even get an additional front handle to give you better stability. Best of all, the front handle is adjustable so that it doesn’t get in the way while you work.
As for dust collection, though, this particular sander is not as great as others, meaning that you will have to vacuum up the remains once you’re finished. That being said, you can connect to a vacuum system to improve the results, but they won’t be as ideal as other products.
Nonetheless, this sander is fantastic and can be a great addition to your kitchen cabinet project.
Next, we have another standard orbit sander, meaning that you can’t adjust the speed on this. Fortunately, with a compact motor, you can work without worrying about damaging your surfaces too much.
This sander operates at 12,000 opm, and it’s designed to be as perfectly balanced as possible so that you can work at any angle without getting tired or fatigued too easily.
Other features of this sander include smooth, ball-bearing movements, a dust-sealed switch to keep internal components intact, and a three-year limited warranty to protect against defects. Overall, this is an excellent and cost-effective sander for small or medium projects.
With regards to power, performance, and additional features, we have saved the best for last. This random orbit sander from VonHaus has the biggest and baddest motor, which spins up to 13,000 rpm and runs at 3.5 amps. This means that this sander will be ideal for many woodworking projects, so once you finish with your cabinets, you can take on anything else you like.
The dust extraction for this model is great, even without a filter, and VonHaus has made it easier than ever to connect to a vacuum system for longer lasting results.
Overall, the best part about this sander is that it comes with nine sanding pads (of different ratings) and three polishing pads, meaning that you should be able to get started right out of the box. If you’re looking for a total package, then this is the one to get.
After looking through these sanders, our top pick will probably have to be the VonHaus model as it has everything we need and more. However, if you don’t need all of the extra flashiness, then the DeWalt Sander is a perfect single-speed model that will last for years.
When doing cabinets, you’re fortunate that you’re working on wide, flat surfaces. However, some cabinet doors can come with flourishes or tight spots, which can be hard to reach with an orbit sander. So, when picking out a model, be sure to get one that is small enough to reach into corners, but not so small that it will take forever to complete a project.
The other thing to think about with regards to size is also weight, as some of them might require two hands to maintain control. If that is the case, you might have a harder time sanding for long periods, so keep that in mind as well.
An excellent way to determine if your sander is powerful and will give you the performance you need is to look at the motor. These devices are measured in amps, so the motor will be something like 2.8 amps, 3.5 amps, and so on.
Lower end devices will stay at around 2.5-2.8 amps, while higher-end units will get all the way up to four amps. For most home remodeling, however, you won’t need anything much beyond three or 3.5 amps, as that could be too powerful for your needs. However, with that in mind, if you are planning on tackling a wide variety of jobs in the future, then it could be nice to have a high-powered motor.
Also, the other thing to consider when looking at power is the amount of rpm (or OPM) that the sander has. Most of them will go up to about 12,000 rpm, which is more than enough to get smoother surfaces and finishes, but some will be higher, which means that you have to be more careful when polishing as you can easily get carried away.
When looking at the design of your random orbit sander, you want to make sure that it has a smooth, contoured grip and isn’t too big for your hands. Most of these are rather compact so as to give you more control, so make sure that it feels good when you’re working. If the placement of the switch or the dust bag seems awkward, then you might have to get a different model that will be easier to use.
One of the best things about random orbit sanders is that they all come with some kind of dust collection system. Usually, this is a vacuum-sealed bag that attaches to the unit, but sometimes you can hook it up to a shop vac, meaning that you can collect a lot more dust than usual. In fact, we would highly recommend buying one that allows for such adaptation, as you won’t have to worry about switching bags every few minutes.
The other thing that you can find is a micro-filtration system, which will significantly reduce the amount of fine dust in the air. If you upgrade and get a model with a filter, then you won’t have to wear a mask the whole time, which can be a benefit.
Not all orbit sanders have this feature, but it is really handy if you’re working on different surfaces as well as if you’re new to sanding. By having different speed settings, you can start off slow and get the hang of things and then ramp up to full speed once you’re comfortable. Also, softer surfaces require more finesse, so it’s ideal to get a model that has variable settings so that you don’t risk damaging anything. The only significant downside here is that adjustable sanders may not give as much power at the highest setting.
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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.