As a woodworker, you know the importance of making sure that your finished pieces are well sanded to leave a nice, smooth result. However, if you make items that have rounded edges or tight corners, then how can you make sure that you get every nook and cranny with your sander? One of the best ways to do that is with a spindle sander. This handy device allows you to smooth edges that would be otherwise impossible with other machines, making it indispensable for anyone who makes wood pieces. Today we’ll be looking at some of the best spindle sanders on the market, as well as go over the most important features you should consider when finding the right model for you.
Shop Fox W1831
JET 708404 JBOS-5
POWERTEC OS1000 18"
With most sanders, you have to bring the unit to the piece of wood to get it smoothed. In this case, however, a spindle sander is a stationary object that spins while you place the wood against the grain. What makes this device so ideal for smoothing oddly shaped objects is that you can swap out the spindle to make it thicker or thinner, depending on your needs. Also, these units oscillate as well as spin (meaning that they go up and down) so that they don’t leave scuff marks and deliver smoother results.
When looking at consumer grade power tools, one of the top brands that you can find is WEN. This company is well-known for making high-quality woodworking products, and this spindle sander is a perfect example of its commitment to excellence and reliability.
As far as performance goes, this sander is pretty much the gold standard. It has a three-amp, ½ horsepower motor that operates at 2000 rpm and 58 opm. This is at the top of the range as far as speed for these sanders, making this one of the best units you can find.
Other notable features that we like are the fact that it comes with six different spindle sizes, it has onboard storage for all accessories, and it is much quieter than the competition. Best of all, it comes with a two-year limited warranty in case anything breaks on you. Finally, this is one of the few sanders that has mounting holes so you can install it permanently in your workshop.
If you want a spindle sander that has all of the top rated features but isn’t as bulky or heavy, then this model from Shop Fox might be for you. It has everything you could want to make all of your woodworking projects come out looking great, but it has a much more compact and portable design. That being said, don’t worry about stability as this model comes with anti-slip feet so that you can work unimpeded.
When looking at the stats, this sander is at the top of the heap.
It uses a three-amp, ½ horsepower motor, and it operates at 2000 rpm and 58 opm. To help you get started on your next project, this unit comes with six different drums and sleeves, and it even has storage to hold everything.
Safety is another primary concern when working with power tools, which is why this model comes with a kill switch setting so that you never have to worry about accidental starts. Additionally, it comes with a two-year limited warranty in case anything breaks down. Overall, this is a fantastic sander.
For most spindle sanders, they have a stationary table on which you can work. However, if you like to do beveled edges or work with angled pieces of wood, this setup is not conducive to making the most out of your sanding. Fortunately, the JET JBOS-5 has you covered with a table that can tilt up to forty-five degrees. This means that no matter what you’re working on you should be able to sand it to perfection with this machine.
As far as performance goes, this model is not quite as robust as some of the others we’ve seen. While it still has a ½ horsepower motor, it only operates at 30 opm and 1,725 rpm. This means that it may take a little longer to get the results you want, but that also means you can work with softer wood without damaging it.
Other features of this sander include a dust extraction port, five spindles with sleeves, and a kill switch to prevent accidental starts. It also weighs a lot more than the competition at eighty pounds, meaning that it won’t wobble or move while you work. Finally, it comes with an incredible five-year limited warranty.
For those of you who are on a budget and want something simple and effective, this model from Triton can be a great buy. It’s much more cost-effective than most of the other units we’ve seen, but thankfully it still has the same level of performance.
When comparing stats, you’ll see that this unit has the same qualifications as anything else on the market.A robust ½ horsepower motor operates at 2000 rpm and 58 opm.
It has a wide table that measures 11.5 by 14.5 inches, and it comes with six different spindles and sleeves to help you get started on your next project. Overall, this is a quality sander that won’t break the bank.
If you look at most spindle sanders, you’ll notice that the shape of the table is usually either square or curved. The reason for this is that you can work with various forms of wood without having to maneuver it precariously on the table. Usually, however, this means that you don’t have as much room to work, which can be a problem if you are working on larger pieces. Thus, if you need a bit more space, then we recommend this sander from POWERTEC.
As you’ll notice, this table is a complete circle that measures eighteen inches in diameter.
You may think that it’s not ideal for square pieces, but at that size, you can work with just about any kind of shape, and it won’t be a problem. As far as performance goes, this unit is built to work with softer woods as it oscillates at 30 opm and spins at 1,725 rpm. It also has a 2.6-amp motor to give you more nuanced results.
Other features include a safety cover on the switches to prevent accidental starts and stops, non-skid rubber feet, and six spindles with sleeves to help you get started.
After looking through these different spindle sanders, our top two picks are the WEN 6510 or the JET JBOS-5. We like the speed and versatility of the WEN sander, but we also appreciate the fact that the JBOS-5 has a tilting table. Considering that you cannot find that kind of feature on most spindle sanders, that is a huge bonus. That being said, if you don’t work on beveled surfaces or don’t see a need for angling your pieces, then the WEN will provide much better results overall. That is not to say that the JBOS-5 is a worse sander, it just doesn’t have as much power.
Because the most important factor of a spindle sander is the ability to spin at high speeds, you need a motor that can keep up with your work. If you do a lot of sanding, then you don’t want a machine that will overheat or stop suddenly, so it’s imperative that you find one with a robust motor that will keep on working no matter what. Usually, spindle sander motors are classified by either amperage or horsepower. The more amps it uses, the more power you get, so if you want something a bit more heavy duty then you want to get a higher rating.
When looking at the dimensions of your spindle sander, there are two primary things to which you should pay attention. First is the size of the table itself, as that will dictate how much space you have for working. Second is the weight and girth of the machine. Because it’s stationary, you want something heavy that won’t move around while you work. Most spindle sanders are about thirty pounds or more, which should be sufficient. Also, some models allow you to bolt the unit to your table for extra stability. If you can place it in a permanent location, we highly recommend mounting it.
Much in the way that the motor dictates how well you can work, the speed of your sander will tell you how efficient it is. Unfortunately, most spindle sanders don’t allow you to adjust the speed, meaning that they only operate at one setting. That being said, if you are working on large pieces that need a lot of sanding, you want something that has high OPMs and RPMs. These stand for oscillations per minute and rotations per minute, respectively. The higher these numbers, the more efficient the machine is.
No matter what kind of sanding you do, you’re going to create a lot of dust and debris. Fortunately, many spindle sanders come with a dust port so that you don’t have to worry about particles flying into your face. That being said, the best way to utilize this port is to hook up a vacuum to it so that you aren’t blowing the dirt out into the air. Either connect it to a dust bag or a shop vacuum to keep your station tidy.
As we mentioned above, the great thing about spindle sanders is that you can change the size of your surface area to match your project. Fortunately, many models come with a variety of drums and sanding sheets to help you get started. Additionally, many sanders have onboard storage to hold everything as well. To make changes, you will need a drum, a sleeve, and a mounting ring. Make sure that the device has storage for all three components so that you can keep everything together.
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.