Almost as soon as we finished our very first paint removal project on the baseboards in our front parlor, we found ourselves in need of a good sander to help us complete the job and to prep the molding for paint. We had been given a Black and Decker Magic Mouse sander, but that thing seemed to take forever to get the job done, created a lot more dust than I wanted, and seemed to clog up the sanding pads far too often.
I was frustrated with our sanding situation, and I needed a solution that would work more flexibly for jobs both large and small. But I really didn't have any idea what I was looking for.
To that problem, I believe I just went to Amazon.com and typed "Sander" into the search. Sure enough, Amazon.com worked their magic and the first search result that came up was the Dewalt 5 inch Random Orbit Sander that we ended up purchasing.
Don't worry, I didn't go blindly into the decision for this sander by playing some sort of Amazon roulette. I still did an extensive amount of research on this purchase, reading reviews from both owners and tool sites, looking at competitors, various sizes, prices, etc. But it just seemed this sander was an excellent quality for a reasonable price and had very few complaints.
I'm sure that I would have had more extensive criteria that needed to be satisfied if I were shopping for the same thing today, but this purchase has very luckily worked out almost perfectly. Lets take a look as so why.
First, this sander is a workhorse. I've used this sander consistently on almost every single project I've worked on since we purchased it. Whether I'm sanding a stripped baseboard, door, furniture that I'm building, or skim coated wall with massive bumps (yep, I've even used it for that), this sander has tackled everything I've thrown at it.
Next, the sander's disc is a standard size hook and look pad. This makes purchasing sanding discs nice and easy, I can really pick them up anywhere.
One thing I didn't even consider when purchasing this sander was the "dust collection bag." I put that in quotes because, as with every other tool with a dust collection bag, the bag is essentially useless. However, in this case, the dust collection attachment is a standard size for a Shop-Vac hose. This means I'm able to easily connect my vac host to the sander to greatly reduce and almost eliminate the dust the sander kicks up. I just need to be sure there is a relief port open on the hose, otherwise the sander gets sucked onto the work too hard and can cause swirl marks in the wood.
And finally, this tool is easy to maintain when you use it as much as we do. About five years after we bought it the hook and loop (velco) pad had lost all of its hold. The sanding discs were flying off midway through the sanding. I was able to pick up a replacement sanding pad for about $20 and was right back in business, all set for another five or six years.
All in all, this sander has been awesome. I have used it literally all over our house. From roof to basement and everywhere in between, and I've not been disappointed. The only thing I ever need to worry about is to be sure I have the vac hose vented to prevent the little swirl scratches. If you're in the market for a great sander, this is one you should absolutely consider. There are more expensive and less expensive models, and many models with very different features. In my opinion, this Dewalt Sander is the most comprehensive for a good price.
Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section.
Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.