Best 10 Detail Sanders
As Of June 2022
We did the
Woodworking Even On The Tightest Spots With The Best Detail Sanders
Carpentry is not just for professionals. Many people are picking up DIY projects to spruce up their home spaces and reduce reno's expenses. To achieve the perfect results, one needs all the essential power tools. Luckily, there are smaller tools that you can buy without breaking the bank.
A detail sanding tool is one of those tools you must have in your toolbox. The shopping process is bound to be notably overwhelming for a beginner. You need to know the types of sanders to consider, from palm sanders to random oscillating and belt sanders. What is the right speed for you or the power of the motor?
Don’t fret! We are here to make your shopping experience as seamless as possible. Our buying guide and a thoughtfully selected list of the best sanders on the market is here to do just that; get you the right sander that fits your budget and carpentry needs.
What is a detail sander?
A detail sander also referred to as the corner or mouse sander is a hand-held sander. It uses a tiny triangular and vibrating head with sandpaper attached to it to smoothen a surface. It is perfect for working in tight rooms or hard-to-reach corners. If you are having trouble sanding your glass wooden doors, for example, the detail sander is the way to go.
What types of sanders are there?
There are several types of sanders you can choose from depending on your needs. Let’s have a closer look below at a few of them in comparison to the detail sander.
A belt sander is an excellent choice for heavy jobs. They use a completely looped sanding belt as opposed to static abrasive sheets others use. The grip on this type of sander makes your work more efficient and effortless.
If you are working with corners or hard to reach spaces, your best option is a small mouse sander. It is compact and can help you with sanding areas a belt sander could never reach. But, keep in mind that it is not for very heavy-duty projects.
Random Orbital Sander
For hard or uneven surfaces, an orbital sander is what you need. These move in an unpredictable orbit, leaving a fine and smooth finish with no scratches. This is a highly versatile tool that will polish your woodwork piece as good as a fine finishing sander would.
When it’s time to give your woodwork a nice polishing look, you need the finishing sander. It will leave your piece smooth and good-looking. They work with sheets of sandpaper that are easy to replace, so you can focus on your work without time-consuming changes.
Why do you need a detail sander?
Wood sanders come in varying types, from belt sanders for removing large materials in a short time to random orbital sanders for their versatility. But if you are working with objects that have hard to reach corners or tight places, a sander is your best tool for the job.
The triangular design of a mouse sander and its small compact size allows you to get into small spaces for perfect polishing and smoothing of a wooden surface that other larger sanders, like the belt sander, cannot handle.
But that’s not the only job you can do with a delta sander. If you want to remove peeling paint, old varnish, and rust off surfaces, or resizing any wooden doors, a sander will be a great tool for that.
Consider the following feature before setting your heart one detail sander. This way, you can be sure that you’ve made the right decision. Here is our list:
The most important feature to think about when looking for a sander is the orbit speed. Details sanders have an orbiting tool head, which determines how fast the coarsening process will be.
The rpm or the OPM is what you need to pay attention to. The higher the rpm or the OPM, the faster the equipment will do the coarsening. Some models come with a variable speed system, allowing you to choose working speed based on what you are doing at any particular moment.
2. Motor Power
Since sanders are not meant for heavy jobs, they do not need an extra powerful motor. The amp rating will matter as it will allow the electric motor to perform better. The ideal amp motor rating is 1.2amp compared to the 0.8amp rating. Take this under consideration before your final decision.
3. Sanding Plate
How is the shape of the sanding plate? Is it able to get into extra tight spaces and hard to reach parts of the surface? Some sanders have coarsening plates with finger extensions or pointed ends that make it quite easy for you to reach such spaces, like between bars or awkward corners of anything you are coarsening.
4. Dust Extraction
Even the easiest sanding jobs will leave behind a lot of dust, and great dust exportation will save you the hassle of cleaning that dust from every corner of your working space. If you are working small jobs in the house, the best option is a detailed sander with an inbuilt dust exportation system. For larger jobs or any sanding you do in large spaces, you need a detail sander that works in tandem with a vacuum or a dust exportation system.
As much as detail sanders are lightweight and compact, the weight will vary between models. The goal is to go for a lightweight one because a heavy model will make your work more difficult. If you plan on working for hours with the sander, aim for the most lightweight model to avoid hand strain and fatigue.
Details sanders have emery-paper attached to them using velcro or some hook and loop system. It helps hold the paper firmly when you are sanding, even during tough jobs. They are also easy to change, so no need to worry about getting help from a professional.
While most detailed sanders will come with some emery papers to get you started immediately, we recommend getting a set of your preferred emery paper. Hence, you have a replacement if the accompanying sanding paper does not meet your needs.
Another accessory to consider is a carrying case, especially if your woodwork jobs require a lot of travelling. The case ensures your sander is well stored on the move, protecting it from scratches and any other damages.
7. Noise Level
If you are worried about the noise level, the less detailed sanders will be quieter than the more detailed options. The good news is that mode detail sanders are made within a specific noise range, which is not that noisy. But, there are a few brands that are less noisy compared to others.
Warranty is always important for equipment. Think of it as a guarantee for the gadget's sturdiness, especially if it comes with the manufacturer's construction errors. The guarantee will ensure you get the device repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. Detail sanders will come with a guarantee ranging from one year to 5 years. The more extended the guarantee, the more peace of mind you can have.
Can you use your detail sander on metal or glass?
Yes, detail sanders are usable on other surfaces other than wood, like glass and metal. You can use it to remove excess paint from glass surfaces after a paint job without damaging the glass. A sander can also help you bring back that shiny surface to old metallic surfaces.
It can also brush off rust or clean stubborn discolouring in your headlights. The secret is knowing the smoothness of the coarsening paper. If it is too rough, it could damage the surface you are working too hard to clean up, leaving it with scratches.
Tips on How to Use a Detail Sander
Detail sanders are pretty easy to use, even for beginners. First, attach the sheets to the base of the plate. If the dust collecting system is inbuilt, ensure the collection box is in place correctly. But if it is not, attach the vacuum or the applicable dust extraction system to reduce the dust scattering all over your workspace.
You also need to pay attention to protecting yourself when working with power tools; have the proper protective equipment. That means wearing a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from dust particles and other flying debris. A dust mask is also a must because inhaling these dust particles could harm your lungs in the long term.
For durability of your sander, always change the sand sheet when it wears out. Some sanders allow you to rotate the sheet to an area that is not worn out, which reduces the wastage of the emery paper. And, if the dust collection box is inbuilt, empty is often to keep it clean.
Common sanding mistakes to avoid
Mistakes are easy to come by when sanding, especially if you are new to this. But there are some common ones that you can learn beforehand and know how to avoid them. Let’s see a few common mistakes:
People always attach too much pressure in a bid to rush the job
But applying too much pressure can lead to cuts, swirls, uneven coarsening or too overheating of the equipment. Let the abrasives, gravity and weight of the equipment do the job on their own. If the surface is hard or uneven, it is best to use rough sandpaper instead of applying too much pressure.
Avoid going too fast or too slowly.
Again, let the equipment do its work. Moving at a faster or slower pace can lead to over sanding and cut-throughs on the surface. Ensure you find the right speed and take your sweet time to achieve the finishing you want.
Do not start the sander while it's in the air or stops it when it is on the surface you are sanding
This will reduce the chances of having swirls on your surface. If you start the sander in the air, it will reach the surface when it is in motion, making it difficult to make great contact with the surface. If you stop while it is on the surface, it will still be in motion and sand the surface.
Avoid using the sander at an angle.
It needs to be flat on the surface. An angular position leads to more sanding on some areas than others, leading to uneven sanded surfaces. The angular position can also damage the sander's discs or sheets, causing extensive damage to the backup pads. This will mean replacing these pads often.
A detail sander is what you need to reach all the nooks and crannies when woodworking in your workshop or carrying out small projects in the house. It is quite affordable, lightweight, and compact, requiring little storage space.
More than anything, you can count on most sanders, including the ones on our list, to smooth more than just a wooden surface. They can even polish other surfaces, like glass and metal. Pay attention to the micro-filtration and dust collection systems to lessen the clean up after work.
Happy shopping and DIY projects!