The 7 Best Detail Sanders

Working on woods requires you to have a variety of tools to achieve the perfect finish. While other tools are essential, your woodwork arsenal should never lack a detail sander. You need to get that smooth finish, and a detail sander helps you achieve that. Also, you can use it to get into furniture joints and other hard to reach areas.

Detail sanders are small in size and have a triangular shaped pad for specific jobs. The pads are changeable, and you may need to buy several of them if you plan on doing regular sanding with your tool. On this page you'll find a useful guide on what to consider before making a purchase and the top detail sanders to buy in 2018.

What are The Benefits of a Detail Sander?

A detail sander is an excellent tool to own. Here are some reasons you should consider investing in one. 

Ease of Use
If you’re looking for a tool that adds a smooth finish to your furniture, a detail sander is a must-have in your arsenal. You don’t need to apply too much pressure or effort as the tool can work out shapes and smooth a surface. Without a sander at your disposal, it would be incredibly laborious to achieve a smooth finish. 

Accessibility
While you can handle your DIY project with any tool, you need a detail sander for projects with hard to reach areas. It’s a tool that can access hidden corners and edges that need a good finish. The triangular-shaped or square pads are designed to squeeze into these spots, which makes your work easier. 

Dust Collection and Ventilation
Most detail sanders have their own dust collection systems. These systems look like a vacuum cleaner bag and are meant to suck up any debris and dust left behind from your sanding job.

Some models have clear dust collection systems that allow you to see if the bag is full. It all means you'll be able to work in a ventilated space. You can enjoy a cleaner, healthier workshop.

Weight
Detail sanders are lightweight and make it easy to sand any surface even for extended periods of time. Another added benefit is that these sanders are easy to store as they are not bulky.

Value for Money
Most detail sanders produce enough pressure and force to allow you to work on any surface - and get it done fast. The best part is that you don’t have to splurge on an expensive device. You can find a low-cost detail sander that does most of the work of the premium ones.

top 7 reviews.jpg

The Top 7 Detail Sanders Reviewed

7. Black & Decker BDEMS600 Mouse

 
 

The BDEMS600 is a compact, small, mouse type sander with an excellent rating. Being the shortest sander, it’s perfect for anyone with small hands as it allows you to sand closer to the work area. The three position grip on the mouse gives you added comfort. You will also find a micro-filtration and a dust collection system for a cleaner work surface.

The ergonomic and lightweight design enable you to be in control whether you’re working vertically or horizontally. Furthermore, the precision grips offer amplified dexterity when dealing with large sanding spaces.

With a 1.2 –amp motor that is capable of delivering 13,000 orbits a minute, you can trust that the tool will deliver. The Black & Decker is a perfect choice if you already have a robust sander for large areas or you’re looking for fantastic detailing work.

The exceptional specialization, small size, and low price point make the BDEMS600 a popular choice with homeowners and DIY enthusiasts.

What We Like

  • Inexpensive compared to the quality
  • Easy to control and lightweight
  • Comes with a dust collection system
  • Precise and robust 1.2 amp motor
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 2-year limited warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s limited in regards to the scope and functionality
  • Finger attachment is fragile
  • Small dust collector

6. WEN 6301 Electric Palm Sander

 
 

The WEN 6301 electric palm sander delivers great quality at a budget. With a 1 AMP motor, you can enjoy over 13,000 orbits per minute. At only two pounds, this unit is compact and lightweight to use. You won’t get tired after sanding for hours.

It’s easy to control and comes with a dust-sealed power button that helps you achieve a smooth finish. The Velcro base pad makes it easy to change the sandpaper. Another perfect design addition is the hook and loop system which will enable you to switch between grits in seconds.

With an attractive price tag, WEN 6301 is a must-have for any craftsman or a pro on a budget. It’s compact, yet sturdy enough to handle crafting jobs while maintaining cleanliness.

What We Like

  • Excellent value for money
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Dust removal features
  • Powerful 1-amp motor
  • Lightweight, compact, and ergonomic grip

What We Don’t Like

  • The grip can be restrictive on specific angles and surfaces
  • Lacks a variable speed option
  • Doesn’t have a dust bag

5. SKIL 7302-02 Octo

 
 

With fantastic reviews, the SKIL 7302 is one of the best detail sanders you’ll come across. Unlike other sanders, the SKIL has a special pressure control technology with LED lights. This feature tells you when you’re applying the right pressure and when the pressure is too much. Also, it has eight attachments that can be used for various sanding projects.

The transparent dust canister is a nice feature that allows you to see when the dust canister is full. You can enjoy a clean work surface thanks to the micro-filtration dust collector. Another excellent thing is that SKIL comes with a thirty-day money back guarantee and a one-year warranty.

The soft grip and lightweight design make work a pleasant experience. For those who need to get into tight corners, the sander is adjustable enough to make this a breeze. You can now have a durable tool as it's dust sealed.

What We Like

  • Fantastic design to handle awkward corners with ease
  • Superb control features

What We Don’t Like

  • The dust system needs improvement

4. VonHaus 2 in 1

 
 

The VonHaus is basically two sanders for the price of one. It has an easy to use hook and loop detachable base that allows you to change between angled and square bases with a Velcro sandpaper.

Being a lightweight tool, the VonHaus is a wonderful solution to your sanding needs as it makes it easy to handle large surface spaces. Moreover, you can access and smooth down tight corners.

Find a dust box attached to the sander to get all the dust and debris from the sanding. Although it’s not perfect, it does a good cleanup job. VonHaus has excellent operational quality and boasts good durability, unlike other expensive models.

What We Like

  • Excellent value with added versatility
  • Excellent build for a less known brand
  • Lightweight and comfortable to handle
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Fantastic for grinding, sanding, and cutting

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be difficult to use for vertical jobs
  • Dust catch system is not that great

3. Genesis GPS080 Corner

 
 

The modern Genesis GPS080 comes with a Velcro pad at the base and three sanding pads, all meant for various sanding jobs. After using the sanding pad, you can purchase any generic mouse style pad and use it for your woodwork. 

The best thing about the Genesis sander is that you can use it as a regular sander and as a detail sander. To increase durability, the machine has a dust protected switch machine.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with a two year warranty
  • Fastest sander
  • Powerful and able to perform 14,000 orbits per minute

What We Don’t Like

  • Smaller than the average detail sander
  • Not ideal for industrial or professional use
  • Limited for other uses

2. DeWalt DCS355D1 Detail Multi-Tool

 
 

The DeWalt DCS355D1 is a detail sander that can handle a variety of tasks. With a variable speed of 20,000 OPM, the multi-tool boasts excellent craftsmanship and weighs three pounds. Other great features include the dual grip and variable speed trigger, cordless design, and brushless motor, which make your sanding tasks accurate and comfortable.

Although it’s a bit expensive compared to other sanders, its versatility and quality are unmatched. The device has fantastic capabilities and would be a great addition to your tool lineup.

What We Like

  • Excellent value for money
  • Versatile and powerful
  • Impressive speed control for quick sanding job
  • Brushless motor for a longer lifespan

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive compared to other sanders

1. Rockwell RK5151K Oscillating Multi-Sander

 
 

The Rockwell RK5151K oscillating multi-tool is not your ordinary detail sander as it’s built to withstand tough work. Although it’s a bit pricey, you’re guaranteed value for money in the long-term. The oscillating feature makes it easy to adjust its angle which gives you control on your grip.

Weighing 3.3 pounds, the Rockwell multi-tool is light and comfortable to use even for extended periods of time. Also, the variable speed control allows you to adjust the operating speed up to 19,000 orbits per minute. With the clamping feature, you can sand pads and secure blades. Another great advantage is that it comes with Universal Fit System which works with all brands.

What We Like

  • Exceptional tool and a great investment
  • Provides delicate sanding and stable cutting power

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks a dust cleanup feature
  • Too noisy
  • Need to take care to avoid melting sanding pads

Great Detail Sanders to Buy in the UK

Bosch PSM 100

Bosch is a popular brand and the PSM 100 doesn’t disappoint. It’s robust, reliable, and easy to use as it comfortably fits within the hand. The manufacturer designed this product to access crannies, nooks, and the tight spaces.

With an excellent price tag, the Bosch detail sander is made for someone who needs to do occasional sanding jobs at home or for any woodwork enthusiast who needs a professional finish.

Although the Bosch PSM comes with a cord, customers love its durability and ruggedness. The only downside is that it’s difficult to find a battery-powered Bosch sander.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Two-piece sanding plate
  • Micro filler system for efficient sanding
  • A dust extraction connection
  • Integral pad dampening brake system
  • Adjustable speed dial
  • Anti-spillback canister design

What We Don’t Like

  • Difficult to remove dust collection box
  • Not suitable for those who need regular sanding
  • Tough to close case clips

It's readily available in the UK and Europe.

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

Ryobi EMS180RV Multi Sander

The Ryobi multi-pad detail sander features a hefty 190 W, making it a powerful tool for all your sanding needs. It can also be adjusted to suit various needs. Unlike other products, the Ryobi comes with five finger hooks and loop pads, five delta hooks, and a unique tool bag. The well-designed dust technology system picks dust effectively.

Another great feature you’ll find with the Ryobi is the live tool indicator which glows when plugged into a power source. 

What We Like

  • Excellent value for money
  • Powerful for DIY projects
  • Impressive speed control for quick sanding jobs

What We Don’t Like

  • Some people complain that it’s too noisy
  • Insufficient shock absorption

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

The Bottom Line

It’s tempting to buy a cheap tool that does the work. While this may work for small home projects or a DIY problem, a low-cost tool won’t last if you need to use it on a repeated basis. A tool with quality craftsmanship and one made of durable materials is the only logical choice.

Go for a tool that best fits your needs and budget. Do your homework and get to study the pros and cons of each tool to select a tool meant for the type of sanding you require.

Back to Top

How to Choose a Detail Sander

Sanders play a critical role in your woodworking, but with lots of options on the market, choosing one can be confusing. Below are some factors that will give you an idea of what you should look out for in a detail sander.

The Type of Sander You Need
There are different types of sanders in the market based on your need. If you’re looking to handle a more significant project, you may need a palm sander with a grip to make your work easier.

A small finish sander will work well for tasks that involve finishing tight corners and rough edges. You also need to check the material of the available sanders; this ensures that you’re using a tool that works best for your woodwork.

The surface you work is another factor as far as the type of sander is concerned. Hard surfaces need special tools while some sanders work best on soft work areas. A random orbital sander is the best choice if you plan on working on rough and uneven surfaces. 

The Weight of the Sander
It’s easier to find some handheld tools that you can work with without getting tired. Also, some tools are bulky and will require you to have excellent maneuverability. It’s essential to consider this aspect if you need a tool that works on the go. 

For example, finish sanders are heavy and require force when used, but they also allow you to cover more area at once. Orbital sanders provide a smooth finish and work faster.  The right sander will depend on the task at hand as there’s no “one size fits all” kind of specification.

With weight, portability also becomes a concern. Although cordless detail sanders are portable, they lack the efficiency and power that comes with corded sanders. If you can move a corded unit with ease, this is an advantage. 

The Power of the Motor
As a beginner, power is not as essential as control. You’ll need to acquire skills that you can use when you have powerful tools. However, as an experienced pro, choosing a multi-purpose tool allows you to perform tasks that need a powerful motor.

Be sure to check if sanding is one of the functions that the device can handle. Multi-purpose machines are also popular as they can handle scraping, cutting, and sanding. 

The Brands Available
There are several renowned brands to select from. You’ll find brands like WEN, Genesis, Black & Decker, Fein, Ryobi, and Bosch among others. Choose a brand that works for you. 

Back to Top

Price
You can find sanders that range from $15 up to $250; this means that you can find a tool within your price range. A cheaper product may work for small DIY tasks, but demanding and complicated jobs will need a quality tool which will cost you more. Ensure that you’re using the tool a lot if you plan on buying an expensive sander. 

An averagely-priced device works well for those who may not have an idea of how far they want to take their woodwork to the next level. 

The number of DIY projects and the frequency of use should be a guiding principle when it comes to price.  

Special Features
Detail sanders work for sanding small areas, but they all come with variable features. Check to see if the sander has pads. The pads are triangular, and they vary in their grittiness. An abrasive pad has excellent sanding ability.

Also, sanders have two types of grips, barrel, and palm. Be sure to go for the grip that is suitable for you. The action of a sander is essential to consider as they come with orbital or oscillating motion. 

Oscillating action models have the pad arched forward and backward and works for flat surfaces and sand moldings. The orbital options have pads that move in a circular motion, and it works best for flat surfaces.

Look for variable speed as a useful feature. The variable speed allows you to increase or decrease the speed of the sander depending on the material you need to sand. The higher rate allow you to work on hard materials.

The Design of the Sander
Detail sanders come in two designs, one with a triangle-shaped pad with an elongated body while the others fit into the palms of the hand. You need to select the type of design based on your preference and what work you plan to do. 

Ergonomics is a must-have feature if you plan to use the tool for an extended period. Look out for comfortable handles to achieve more with your time. 

Dust Extraction System
While all materials produce dust when sanded, some produce more than others, and you will need to manage that dust. You have an option of choosing a sander with an integral collection system with a micro-filter and an integral collection system. Also, you can choose a tool with an external dust extraction system like a vacuum cleaner.

Both of these types have their pros and cons: it all comes down to the uses of the tool. An external vacuum system prevents dust from getting into the work environment as compared to dust collection boxes. However, they have a vacuum hose which may be inconvenient. Check to see if the sander is easy to use when choosing between the two options.

Buying a sander with a dust extraction system helps to keep your work surface free of sawdust, which reduces your cleanup time. Furthermore, the system improves your sanding efficiency as you don’t need to work harder to sand the wood.

Compatibility
You don’t want to have a great tool but can’t find extra pads to use when sanding. Be sure to check the availability of sanding pads before purchasing anything. Also, if you already own products by a brand, you may want to check for a unit with matching accessories like cord batteries and dust hookups.

Understanding this will help make your work easier as you won’t have to look for extra accessories. 

Versatility
When handling different types of projects, you’ll need a versatile product. You can work with a variety of sandpaper sizes and shapes for an array of tasks. Opt for a tool that can handle sanding, polishing, and cutting. It’s economical to buy a tool that can handle more tasks as opposed to settling for one that can only do one thing.

Back to Top

Tips on How to Use a Detail Sander

These tools may be small but they're also powerful. You need to take care when using them to avoid injuring yourself. Avoid applying too much pressure to the pad as this may cause the sander to sand deeper than it’s required. Also, too much pressure can damage the pad and the material.

It’s also crucial to not sand wood near sparks or flames as this could result in a fire hazard. Wear protective goggles when sanding. Always read the guidelines booklet that comes with the tool. It could have essential information that you can use to make your work easier.

Switch the attachments if you’re not satisfied with the finish. Remember to start with a low speed as these products are not aggressive with wood like belt sanders. Work your way up instead of starting at a higher speed. 

Although detail sanders work well for general wood sanding, they work best at sanding corners. Being small in size and with a pointy tip, you can sand places that other sanders cannot. 

Back to Top