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Straight line sanders are perfect at delivering smoothness on a wide variety of surfaces. You can use them on wood, steel, fiberglass, and sheet metal. Most professionals use them in places where hand sanding is tedious.
Straight line sanders are unique in terms of their vibrating motion. They sand in a straight line instead of the circular motion offered by other types of sanders. They come in handy when preparing surfaces prior to painting or coating.
In this article we've listed 5 of the best straight sanders currently available on the market. We've also provided a buying guide so that you can know what to look for when buying a straight line sander.
Straight Line Sander Reviews
1. Ingersoll Rand 315G Edge Series Straight Line Air Sander
Ingersoll Rand has been making top-notch (and long-lasting) straight line sanders for many years. This 315G model will certainly exceed your expectations and is available at an affordable price.
It is a straight line sander that features a dual piston design that provides additional power to prevent stalling while tackling tough sanding projects. It's excellent for smoothing body fillers in addition to leveling and shaping large flat surfaces.
Like its main rivals, the 315G features 3000 SMP. This speed is enough to deliver a smooth, flawless surface on wood. Even though it's quite heavy and produces strong vibrations, it leaves you with nothing less than an even surface. Its ergonomic grip enhances your comfort when you are using it to keep you sanding long enough to complete all your tasks.
Being quite heavy, this model is often deemed more suitable for industrial use than for personal use at home. But if you have great biceps, don't be put off.
The trigger is strategically located on the rear handle, making it easy for you to push even when in operation. Its quick-action paper clamps provide an easy way to have sandpaper changeovers within seconds.
Solid rubber knob
3000 reciprocating strokes per minute
Quick-action paper clamps
Double handle design for steady vibration operation
Easy action sandpaper clamps
Weight: 7 pounds
2 3/4 x 17 1/2 inch cushion pad
Dimensions: 16.5 x 6.2 x 3 inches
Power Source: Air
Warranty: 1 Year Limited
Efficient SMP speed of 3000
Powerful with a dual piston for continuous sanding
Ergonomic handle for comfortable sanding
Offers smooth surface finish
Easy change of sandpaper with clamps
Best for industrial use
A bit heavy
Clogs material residue
2. Chicago Pneumatic CP7268 Heavy Duty Twin Piston Straight Line Sander
This Chicago Pneumatic is well known for its heavy-duty twin piston that delivers quick material removal from wood and other material. The dual piston gives the CP7268 all the power, durability, and performance it requires to cater for all your sanding needs.
Like other straight line sanders featuring a twin piston mechanism, the Chicago Pneumatic CP7268 comes fitted out with a speed of 3000 reciprocating per minute. This is fast enough to provide quick and easy sanding. It's designed to prevent stalling.
Its trigger is positioned on the handle to allow an easy operation by just pressing it.
First-time users, however, might find it difficult to stop and turn the sander off since it does not auto shut once you pull the trigger out. This might compromise the safety of the user if he or she is not careful. It can might also affect the quality of work delivered.
To counter the trigger issues, the CP7268 comes with a pinch guard that ensures the safety of the operator. The pinch guard protects your fingers from harm.
Installing and removing sandpaper has greatly been simplified in this unit because it comes with easy and more accessible abrasive clamps. This simple changing component allows you to produce consistent work. To install an abrasive, you simply raise each lever on either end of the sanding pad, fix it, and then lower the levers.
To help you enjoy more control over the vibrations and remain comfortable when sanding, the sander comes with a handle and a fine-grip at the front. The two features allow the convenient use of the tool. With its 2 3/4 x 17 1/2 inch cushion pad, you will be sure to shape and smooth material quickly in order to remain ahead of your sanding schedule.
3000 strokes per minute
Twin Fine-grip handle
Easy comfort trigger
Weighs 6.06 pounds
2 3/4 x 17 1/2 inch Cushion Pad
Dimensions: 16.6 x 6.5 x 3.11 inches
Safe with pinch-guard protector
Fine-grip handles for easy usage
High-quality aluminum for superior performance
Provides maximum power from the heavy-duty twin piston
Easy to attach clamps
A bit heavy for some users
3. Ingersoll Rand 315 Heavy Duty Air Twin Piston Straight Line Sander
The Ingersoll Rand 315 (not the same as the 315G above) is another one of the fascinating sanding tools from Ingersoll Rand. This shows how Ingersoll Rand is deeply committed to building high quality, durable, and reliable sanding tools whose designs ensure the future is always better. At 6.6 pounds, this sander is among the lighter sanders we recommend.
Its lightweight nature makes it a suitable choice not only for first timers but also for professional users who are looking forward to sanding different materials with ease. This tool comes with 3000 reciprocating strokes per minute with a twin piston design. It's quick and easy to work with.
The double piston mechanism is also responsible for keeping more power in reserve to deter stalling while tackling tough jobs such as leveling, shaping flat surfaces, or smoothing down body fillers.
Every component is well shaped to perfectly fit in your hand. Its lever curb takes pressure off your hand, granting you more power and accuracy.
It features an automatic stop trigger release. As a result, even first time users will find it easy to use - safe, too.
Like other units from Ingersoll Rand, this one also comes with a two-handle design that helps you to enjoy a better control over the strong vibrations during operation. The two-hand design also enables you to have a smooth finish since both hands lead each other during the back and forth sanding process.
It also features quick-action sandpaper clamps that facilitate an easy change of sandpaper without compromising your sanding time. Overall, the 315 enables you to achieve high quality outcomes thanks to its reliable sanding performance.
Quick-action paper clamps
Two handle design
2 3/4 x 17 1/2 inch Pad
3000 reciprocating strokes per minute
Automatic stop trigger release
Weighs 6.6 pounds
Spindle size 16.8 inches
Powerful with dual piston
Easy to change abrasive with quick-action paper clamps
Easy control with twin handle
Lightweight for continuous sanding
Safer with auto-stop trigger release
Sands smooth with fast speed of 3000 SMP
4. Hutchins HUT2000 Hustler Straight Line Air Sander
The Hutchins HU2000 Hustler features a double piston with 3000 SMP to deliver steady sanding all through.
This unit comes with a double rack and pinion gear assemblies that provide twice as much contact to ensure maximum thrust and even balance during operation.
Its 7.05 pounds are not really a drawback for us but your mileage may vary. It entirely depends on your strength and how you control its vibrations.
This sander is different to other models in our list because it comes without rolling gears. The lack of gears means no jumping or humping when each reciprocal stroke finishes.
It's also equipped with a 2-in-line cylinder that provides more power to its oversized high-alloy piston. To reduce cylinder wall drag, the cylinders are micro-honed.
It has a tendency to stop working after a few hours of use. You should allow it a few seconds of rest while you remove whatever's clogging it - then it'll be right as rain.
3000 reciprocating strokes per minute
2- in line cylinder
Oversized High-alloy piston
Twin drive gears
Weighs 7.05 pounds
Dimension: 17.1 x 6.4 x 3.4 inches
Noise level: 90dB
Pad Size: 2 3/4 x 16 1/2 inches
Air consumption: 6.2 CFM
Powerful and smooth performance
Stable with negligible jumps
Fast SPM rate
Slightly heavy for some users
5. Astro 888S Short Straight Line Sander
The Astro 888S is the lightest among the sanders we have reviewed. At just 4 pounds, it's exceptionally easy to control. The light weight also makes it easy to maneuver even in tight places while leaving you without swirl marks.
Despite being powered by a single piston, this model features a decent SMP. It has less thrust power than its rivals making it a bit inconsistent in its smoothing.
The trigger of this sander is strategically positioned at the bottom of the handle. This positioning makes it comfortable for the user to lessen hand tension while allowing easy pressing even in a fast sanding job.
Although most users appreciate its compact design, lightness, and easy to use features, it doesn't come with clamps for holding the sandpaper. This makes it difficult for most users to have the abrasive in place during sanding.
Another drawback for this sander is that it tends to stick frequently during operation, which is pretty annoying.
3,000 reciprocating strokes per minute
Sanding paper Size: 2 3/4 x 11 (7x28cm)
Single handle design
Air Consumption: 4CFM
Sound Pressure: 89dB
Weighs 4.25 pounds
Perfect for narrow areas
Less power with single piston
What to Consider Before Buying a Straight Line Sander
Consider the factors below before buying any straight line sander for your home or business.
Straight line sanders come with specific functionalities and operations; they sand surfaces on straight materials and edges. As such, the tool is mainly suitable for professionals. Nonetheless, it can also be an excellent addition to the toolbox of a DIYer.
This is because it will help you deliver excellent sanding on wood projects, house interior items, and furniture. But do consider how often you'll really use one, and if you should be buying a random orbital sander or sheet sander instead.
The piston is responsible for pumping back and forth and transforming energy into mechanical movement. Straight line sanders can either have a single or double piston.
A single piston sander features a singular direction with a push back spring that makes it simple and solid. A double piston straight line sander, on the other hand, moves back and forth while making it more expensive.
Strokes per Minute (SMP)
Strokes per minute refer to complete movements made by the sander plate. It is important to pick a fast SMP since it reduces the build-up of residue while providing an efficient sanding performance. A 3000 SMP is the minimum speed for a straight line sander to deliver a quality finish.
Always go for the straight line sander that is compressed and easy to use. Shun overly heavy sanders that will exhaust and cause strains on your hands.
Safety is an important feature to look out for when buying a sander. As such, ensure that the model you are about to buy features guards, safe vibrations, ergonomic grips, and easy to reach power buttons.
Here are safety pre-requisites that you should always observe to avoid injuries when sanding. Always:
Read the user manual and understand how to operate the tool before you start using it,
Ensure your working area is spacious, well lit, and with enough ventilation.
Remove all the stuff caught in the sander before using it
Carry out regular cleaning and maintenance on your machine.
Powerful and speedy straight line sanders are the best pick if you want to work on large sanding projects. If you are a DIY enthusiast, however, a compact model is the best pick for you since you won't need much power.
Irrespective of the planned use, make sure to pick a sander that delivers sufficient power to complete your projects in a timely manner. As such, you will need to consider the sander's weight, piston, SMP, and its price before making your final buying decision. Don't forget to also check the safety features that come with the sander you intend to buy.