I remember when I was looking for my first sander for DIY Pallet Sandbox as it was yesterday. I couldn’t tell a finishing sander from the random orbital sander and didn’t know that such a thing like a belt sander even existed.
I went online to check one of the big box stores and decided to buy the cheapest sander with a handful of good reviews.
These days are long gone. Now if I need a new power tool I do extensive research checking all the important features that this kind of tool should have. I compare one to another and choose the best one for my budget.
If you’re looking for the best orbital finishing sander for DIY projects or just another addition to your sander collection (because you can never have enough power tools :)) you should definitely stick around and read my review.
Makita did a really good job with this product. It’s reasonably priced and you can see and feel its quality. This sander operates at 11000 OPM which gives you smoother finishes.
Some people might say that these days every sander should have a variable speed but that in my opinion it’s not necessary and it usually comes with a price increase.
It’s powerful enough to go for a longer period of time even with coarse-grit sandpaper. Of course, if you need to use coarse grit sandpaper you should probably use a belt sander or orbital random sander.
But if you just starting working with power sanders this one should be more than enough for your needs.
Do you remember the sander I told you about earlier? I used it for everything from smoothing the rough surfaces of pallet wood to sand between the coats. It was some random finishing sander and it served its purpose.
The truth is that I actually felt more comfortable using this kind of sander because it was easy and it was less likely that I would sand through any painted or a stained surface. And of course, it saved me a loads amount of time.
1/3 Sheet Baseplate
The baseplate of this Makita is a simple cast and it’s much thicker and stronger than most of its competitors. Frankly, I don’t think that this sander has any competitors. There are not many 1/3 sheet sanders out there.
Some people will say that you can get a decent 1/4 sheet sander for an even smaller price but if you have a lot of flat, large panels to sand in your projects this one will get the job done faster.
It does an extremely good job on the corners and the pressure is distributed evenly – the whole area below the plate stays in contact with the workpiece all the time resulting in a very even flat surface.
Everybody knows that tingling sensation in their hands after a long period of sanding. It’s not a nice feeling but that’s a downside of using power sanders and power tools in general.
The vibrations cause fatigue and can be very unpleasant especially for those with some kind of condition like arthritis. So you’d be pleased to know that this Makita has a counterbalance system built-in to reduce these vibrations.
Now you can be sanding for longer periods to get the job done quicker.
This model has a dust bag included. It doesn’t do a great job and usually collects around 70% od sawdust. The super fine particles still pass through a wall of the bag. But this changes dramatically when you have a vacuum attached to it. It turns into a dust-free sanding machine.
It works so well you could use it as a vacuum cleaner, hehe ;) The downside though is that there is no vacuum adapter included in the kit so you have to shop around for one.
The kit includes a punching plate for the sandpaper. It’s meant to make holes in it for better dust collection but if you do it this way you might end up with rough edges around the holes that will be scratching the wood surface. You can simply avoid that by using an awl to make the holes.
This sander is fairly quiet and the rubberized, ergonomic handle makes it easy to navigate. The trigger can be easily locked so you can use one or both hands.
You can use regular paper sheets rather than hook and loop which makes it cheaper to run and the sanding paper change is a breeze with the awesome clamping system.
This feature is particularly important to me because as my old sander was a nightmare to change the paper. You should see a number of sheets I simply damaged because of this. So you’re saving money, time and not stressing out because of silly little thing like that.
- well built, solid and durable
- powerful enough to tackle any finishing job and beyond
- counterbalance system for reduced vibrations
- reasonable price
- excellent dust collection with a vacuum attached
- easy paper changes with a great clamping system
- no box or bag included
- only 70% of sawdust collected when dust bag attached
- odd sized port for attaching shop vacuum hose and no adapter included
This is a fantastic tool. A great choice if your upgrading from hand sanding. It feels solid, well-built and durable as well as it’s user-friendly. You won’t find anything better within this price range. It constantly receives fantastic reviews on Amazon. I highly recommend it to anyone.
But if for any reasons you this Makita sander is not what you’re looking for, check my extensive best finishing sander buying guide with loads of different sanders reviews. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something you like.