If you’re into DIY projects, then odds are that you love working with wood. Whether it’s building some furniture or refurbishing your current wooden pieces (such as cabinets and doors), there is nothing quite as satisfying as working with your hands to create something beautiful. As such, one of the most important tools you can have for wood projects is a power sander. These devices are great for stripping paint, smoothing out edges, or helping you shape your wood into something unique.
Today we’ll be talking about sanders that are ideal for wood trim. Whether it’s on a door or a cabinet, the trim is something that should be handled with care, meaning that you need the right tool for the job. We’ll not only show you some of the best power sanders on the market but help you decide which features are right for your next DIY project.
Makita GV7000C Vertical Sander
PORTER-CABLE 330 Sheet Sander
RIDGID Trim Router
When talking about power sanders, several varieties can work for trim. Let’s take a look at each model and see what it can do for you.
This type of sander uses a circular piece of sandpaper and operates at high speeds. This model is ideal for stripping paint or smoothing out large surfaces as it is much more powerful than other sanders. To make sure that you get the best results, we recommend that you try it out before you start working, so you know how to handle it and not cause any damage to the final product.
This type of sander is ideal for a variety of uses, such as removing paint or doing detail work. Because sheet sanders are smaller and don’t have as much surface area, they can work in tighter areas and corners. This is probably your best option for sanding trim as it is much more versatile than disc or finishing sanders.
When you have softer woods or small surface areas, this kind of sander is the best. Usually finishing sanders will have smaller edges so as to reach into corners or tight spots, and they won’t have as much rotating power to leave a softer touch. If you want to work on small trim, then this will be your best option as it leaves a better finish than a sheet sander.
As far as home power tools go, Makita is one of the better brands out there making some high-quality products that will make your next DIY project a breeze. In this case, we are looking at the 7-inch Vertical Sander, which is used mostly for high-powered buffing or stripping. This is technically a disc sander, making it ideal for large projects where you have to remove a lot of paint or smooth out some rough edges.
The power of this sander is top-notch, with a robust 7.9-amp motor and a variable speed that reaches up to 4,700 rpm. When compared to other sanders, that may not sound like a lot, but because there is a lot of power behind it, you can work a lot faster than with a smaller model. Fortunately, this unit comes with a slow start setting so that you can manage the device more easily and won’t get caught off guard.
Other features of this sander include optimized balance, a side handle for better stability when working, and a locking trigger to reduce fatigue. With other disc sanders, you have to hold the trigger down while working, which can be a pain to do, especially at some angles. This way, you can turn it on and off easily without having to keep your finger in the right position.
Next, we have a sheet sander from Porter Cable which is designed to help you with most of your trim work by giving you high-speed operation and a smaller surface area so you can work in tight spaces if necessary. The motor on this model is significantly smaller than the Makita above, but that means that you don’t run the risk of punching through your wood if you’re not careful.
The 1.2-amp motor drives this sander at 14,000 rpm, making it ideal for quick operation. With a ¼ sheet size, you can sand and buff your trim easily and much faster than you would with an orbital or belt sander. The size of this model is perfect, weighing less than four pounds.
To further reduce fatigue, this unit comes with an ergonomic design and reduced vibration.
As with all sheet sanders, you can use self-adhesive strips or cut your own paper and lock it in place with the metal stamp. The best thing about this model type is that you don’t have to buy specially designed pads like you do with disc or orbiting sanders.
Another fantastic brand of home power tools is RIDGID, and this sheet sander is perfect for most DIY projects. The size, power, and speed of this model make it a viable option for both trim work and standard woodworking, so feel free to use it for any other projects that you have in mind.
What we like about this sander is that it comes with variable speed adjustment and blazing fast speed. You can go between 20,000 and 40,000 rpm, making it much quicker and more versatile than most sheet sanders you can find elsewhere.
The other amazing feature of this sander is the fact that it comes with both a round and square base, allowing you to work however you see fit. Round pads are ideal for buffing or smoothing, while square ones are best for stripping. To make it even better, you can adjust the depth to make sure that you get the best performance possible.
Finally, this sander comes with an on-board dust collection system that is vacuum compatible, meaning that you can hook it up to a shop vac instead of having to change the bag every few minutes. Overall, this is a great sander that can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
We’ve already seen the quality of Makita on this list, but now we are going to look at a finishing sander to see what else you can do with these products. While the disc sander above is ideal for large-scale sanding and stripping, this model is perfect for smoothing out smaller areas and providing the finishing touches to your piece.
It has a robust motor and operates at 14,000 opm, which makes it one of the more versatile finishing sanders you can find.
Other features that we like about this model include reduced vibration, ergonomic design, and an on-board dust collection system. It also comes with a large lever to allow for fast paper changes so you can spend more time working and less time fiddling with the sander. Best of all, it comes with a heavy duty carrying case so you can keep everything together and bring it with you wherever you need to go.
Our final stop is with the Mouse Detail Sander from Black + Decker. If you are working on small trim or need something with a lighter touch, this sander is perfect for you. While the speed is comparable to other models that we’ve seen, the motor is smaller and more compact so that you can sand as hard or as soft as you like.
The best thing about this unit is that it comes with a three-position grip.
You can hold it like a sheet sander for large patches, you can have precision grip for tighter areas, or you can hold it by the handle to do sweeps or buffing.
Other features that we like include an on-board dust collection system with filters, a detail attachment for corners and small pieces, and an ergonomic design to reduce fatigue. This is a phenomenal detail sander.
When looking at these different sander models, it’s hard to single one out as the best because they are all different models. That being said, we highly recommend the Ridgid Sheet Sander as an all-around unit that can work for most trim projects. However, if you need something with more versatility and a softer edge, then the Black + Decker Mouse Detail Sander is an ideal choice as it has the best features and optimal shape for detail and finishing work.
Once you’ve figured out the best model for your project, then you will have to look at the specs to see which one will be better suited for your needs. Here are the most common features that come with sanders so that you can make the best decision.
For the most part, you want to get a sander that is large enough to ensure that you don’t spend all day working, but small enough to reach into tighter areas. The best way to figure out a proper size is to look at the dimensions of the sandpaper you will be using. Disc sanders usually use about seven-inch pads, while sheet sanders can be smaller or bigger depending on the model you get. Finishing and detail sanders are the smallest so that you can work on tighter areas with ease.
Another thing concerning size is the weight of the sander. Odds are that you will have to be working at different angles, so get a model that doesn’t weigh too much otherwise you will get fatigued faster and have to take more breaks.
As the driving force of the sander, the motor is the most important component. Most motors are listed in amps, with higher amperage meaning more power. When it comes to heavier sanding such as paint stripping, you will want a motor that is at least five amps or greater. For all-around sanding (like with a sheet sander), two or three amps is sufficient. Finally, when it comes to detail work, one to two amps is ideal, so you don’t cause any damage to your wood in the process.
When looking at sanders, you will notice that they list speed in either rotations per minute (rpm) or orbits per minute (opm). Orbiting and sheet sanders usually use opm because the machine rotates as it sands, but other models will use rpm to refer to how fast the pad spins or moves back and forth. Ideally, you will get a sander that has variable speed settings so that you can adjust based on your needs, but most will operate at one speed only, meaning that you have to conform to it rather than the other way around.
Another aspect of speed is to see if the sander has a slow start mode. This means that it won’t immediately reach top speed as soon as you hit the trigger, but will build up to it over a matter of seconds. The benefit of this is that you don’t risk doing any damage to your wood or losing control of the sander.
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.