Best Palm Sanders – 2021 Line-up Review

Cody
| Last Updated: January 9, 2021

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Palm sanders are small, portable sanders that are effective at finishing and detail work. Below is a guide on how to find some of the best palm sanders currently available.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best palm sanders:

  1. DeWalt DCW210D1
  2. Makita BO5030K
  3. Bosch ROS20VSC

Comparison Chart of the Best Palm Sanders

Product

Specs

Price

DeWalt DCW210D1

  • Soft-rubber grip
  • Cordless Kit
  • Variable Speed Control

Makita BO5030K

  • Corded
  • Single operating speed
  • Dust Sealed Switch

Bosch ROS20VSC

  • Best for the Money
  • Variable speed control
  • Hook and loop attachment

3M Random Orbital Sander

  • Best Pneumatic Palm Sander
  • Simple design
  • Pneumatic tool

Craftsman CMEW230

  • Best 1/4 Sheet Sander
  • Clamp attachment
  • Soft rubber handle

Bosch OS50VC

  • Best 1/2 Sheet Sander
  • Hook and loop attachment
  • Screw off dust container

How to Choose a Palm Sander 

There are a few features and characteristics that you’ll find on a high-quality palm sander, below are just a few to keep an eye out for when researching. 

Pad Shape

There are a few pad shapes on offer; the most beneficial on a palm sander has to be the oval-shape as this will allow the user to access small spaces and tight corners. You’ll also find square and rectangular palm sander pads. 

Attachments

Many manufacturers will include finger attachments that will get into even narrower spaces to help provide even greater precision and detail finishing work. This attachment is good if you don’t have an oval-shaped pad. 

Variable Speed Control

Palm sanders are built for a variety of tasks, all of which will require various speeds. The variable speed gives you that versatility; the last thing you want is to be stuck with a palm sander that doesn’t give the user full control over how it’s used. 

Review of the Best Palm Sanders

Now that you know what kind of features to look out for, here are a few examples of our own favorite high-quality palm sanders. 

Best Overall
DeWalt DCW210D1

PROS

  • Variable speed controls
  • Straightforward attachment system
  • Soft-rubber grip for greater comfort
  • Internally protected from dust clogging

CONS

  • Hook and loop adhesive wears away

Our Review

Operating between 8,000 and 12,000 OPM provides this sander with everything necessary to complete various sanding tasks; controlling the speed is a huge asset. The soft-rubber contoured grips are another advantage as they ensure the comfort of the user and lower the chances of fatigue. 

The sandpaper attachment utilizes a hook and loop method; this makes it easier and faster to swap over sandpaper when necessary. 

The dust-sealed switch protects the internal components from clogging when in use; this product will certainly create plenty of dust due to the speeds it can accomplish; therefore, this is a helpful feature to have. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The standout feature for this palm sander would be that it’s cordless. A cordless, battery-operated palm sander provides plenty of flexibility and control in terms of portability and how it’s used. No more being restricted by cords; you can carry this around on your tool belt wherever you go—a great tool for a tradesman or construction worker. 

Runner-up
Makita BO5030K

PROS

  • Is relatively lightweight
  • Reduced effects of vibration
  • Comfortable, rubberized grip
  • Little chance of internal contamination

CONS

  • It is powered by a cord

Our Review

Operating at speeds of 12,000 OPM, this product will certainly be creating some serious vibration when in use. However, with the comfortable soft-rubber grip on offer, you’ll barely feel it. 

Another feature that limits vibration would be the internal ball bearing on the inside that absorbs the vibration and enhances the stability of the tool. 

The On/Off switch has a dust-sealed protector that will ensure that the internal components aren’t compromised due to the excessive quantities of dust created. 

You’ll also notice that it’s relatively lightweight as it weighs just 2.87lbs. The only downside is that it’s powered via a cord and therefore restricting. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The pad control system is what makes this sander stand out from its competition. Upon startup, the system will ensure that the speed gradually increases over a very short period. This protects the workpiece from scratching. 

Best for the Money
Bosch ROS20VSC

PROS

  • Simple attachment method
  • Full control over speed settings
  • Will gain access to tight spaces
  • The effective dust containment system

CONS

  • It is restricted by a power cord

Our Review

The oval-shaped pad will provide you with the ability to sand tighter and narrower spaces than the competition. The dampening system removes the risk of swirl marks, a common issue for palm sanders.

If you’re switching sandpaper, the hook and loop method is used on this palm sander, making it incredibly fast and efficient to do so. 

The variable speed controls are an important feature of this sander as you’ll have the option to carry out many other tasks. The micro dust filter will catch particles as small as ½ micron in diameter. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The oval-shaped pad is the talking point for this palm sander. Oval shaped pads help the user get into those hard to reach spots and tight corners, something larger sanders struggle to do. You sometimes get finger attachments that can be put on the pad and get even deeper access to these tight spots. 

Best Pneumatic Palm Sander
3M Random Orbital Sander

PROS

  • Tough outer casing
  • Straightforward design
  • Powerful 0.28HP motor
  • Easy sandpaper attachment

CONS

  • No dust collection method
  • The handle isn’t that comfortable

Our Review

This product's simple design is a benefit for someone that’s not fussed about extra features. The connection at the back is for the pneumatic hose that operates the 0.28HP motor and max 12,000 OPM speed. 

The outer casing is made from aluminum, which provides strong protection from any accidental falls. The hook and loop attachment method is simple to use, as it’s a straightforward peel off and stick on the system. 

One issue with this sander is the lack of comfort factor, as the handle is made from a plastic material. The other issue is that there’s no dust collector on offer. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The simplicity of the design and lack of features is what sticks out the most about this palm sander. Operated via an air compressor, this palm sander doesn’t even have a dust collection method. 

What you see is what you get, but it does everything a palm sander is built to do, and that’s sand, a workpiece. If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward palm sander, this should be your go-to. 

Best 1/4 Sheet Sander
Craftsman CMEW230

PROS

  • Dust sealed switch
  • Secure clamping method
  • Comfortable soft-rubber handle
  • Vacuum port for better dust collection

CONS

  • No variable speed control

Our Review

This sheet palm sander operates at 13,500 OPM, and that gives you the power required for most sanding tasks. Considering the high operating speeds, it’s important that you utilize the vacuum port near the back of the device as this will effectively collect dust as it’s created. 

The dust-sealed On/Off switch will also protect the internal components from clogging. The handle is a contoured soft rubber that absorbs the vibration and ensures the comfort of the user. 

Moving on to the actual sandpaper attachment, this palm sander has the benefit of a clamping method, which is far more secure and stable than a hook and loop method, which tends to wear after a while.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The clamping attachment method is far more beneficial in terms of security as it’s stronger than a hook and loop method. This makes this sander stand out from the competition. 

When using a hook and loop method, you’ll notice the sandpaper sometimes shifts due to the high speeds and friction; this isn’t the case with a clamp. 

Best 1/2 Sheet Sander
Bosch OS50VC

PROS

  • Wide area coverage
  • Easy to use screw off dust container
  • Comfortable, multiple positions handles
  • Clamping and adhesive attachment options

CONS

  • Too bulky for narrow spaces

Our Review

This product is a finishing belt sander with a belt size of 4.5 x 9-inches, which offers a relatively wide area coverage, meaning you’ll be able to finish larger items faster than a smaller palm sander. The sander is designed with multiple hand positions, all of which are made with soft-rubber to ensure comfort at all times. 

The dust container is a translucent microfilter dust canister that is removed by screwing it off, a far easier method than removing it by force. This palm sander offers the option of either clamping the sandpaper or using a hook and loop attachment instead.  

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

A real unique feature of this palm sander would be that the option is given to the user of utilizing either a clamp or hook and loop attachment method. With most sanders, you’re not given this choice, and you simply have to decide between the two before purchase. 

What is a Palm Sander? What is a Palm Sander Used For? 

Palm sanders are just small handheld sanders that are suited to small tasks like finishing, detail work, and polishing. They come in a variety of pad shapes like oval, rectangular, square, or circular. There are four different types of palm sander; random orbital, detail orbital, portable belt, and an orbital finishing sander. 

Palm Sander Safety Considerations 

Any electric tool will carry some sort of danger with it; once you switch it on, there are some basic safety considerations to keep in mind. Below are just a few important safety tips to follow. 

Protective Equipment

Protective glasses and a dust mask is the most important safety equipment you could use when sanding. It protects you from wood chippings and dust inhalation. You should also be wearing ear protection if the device emits over 80db while sanding for 10 minutes or more. 

Ventilation 

If you’re sanding outside, then you’ll have plenty of ventilation. However, indoors you should have the windows open with a fan pointing towards the opening, which effectively removes dust from the air. 

Check Dust Bag Regularly 

The last thing you want is to break your palm sander, and this can be done by clogging the internal components by not changing the dust bag regularly enough.

Maintaining your tools should be the main priority, as this is how you stay safe from malfunctions and accidents. 

Palm Sander Comparison

There are a set of commonly used sanders that all have differences and similarities with one another. Below is a comparison overview of just a few. 

Orbital Sander vs. Palm Sander 

Orbital sanders tend to be bulkier than palm sanders but can be used for the same purpose. Orbital sanders aren’t aggressive and can be used for finishing and polishing work. 

The palm sander is suited for the same tasks but can also be reliable when used for detail work and smaller spaces. 

Belt Sander vs. Palm Sander

A belt sander operates in a linear motion and is often described as an aggressive sander. Due to their fast speeds and wide belts, they’re mainly used in material removal and shaping. 

However, if you have a belt sander that offers speed control, it’s possible for you to finish large workpieces. Palm sanders are far smaller and will take twice the amount of time to cover the same area like a belt sander. 

How to Use a Palm Sander 

Using a palm sander is quite similar to other sanders; here’s a quick guide on how to use a palm sander. 

  1. Begin by applying the sandpaper to the palm sander

  2. Place the palm sander on the workpiece and turn it on

  3. Once it starts up, immediately begin sanding by making long, even passes along the wood

  4. Make sure to sand in one direction and don’t double back as this will create scratches

  5. Once you’ve gone over the workpiece with coarse sandpaper, you should then move to a finer 150-grit sandpaper

How To Put Sandpaper On A Palm Sander 

  1. If you’re operating a simple hook and loop sandpaper and sander, you simply place the sander with the handle facing the table. 
  1. Remove the paper protection and ensure that the sandpaper fits on the sander before application
  1. Apply the sandpaper and run your finger slowly across the sandpaper with gentle pressure to ensure it’s secured 
  1. Test it out, and once you’re happy with the placement; you’re good to go

Conclusion 

Palm sanders are great for smaller and more detailed work. However, they’re not the only tools that can do the job. If you’re looking for a high-quality palm sander, you’ve got all the information above to make an informed decision. 

People Also Ask

Like with any detailed guide, there are going to be a few questions left unanswered. This is why we’ve compiled and answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding palm sanders. 

Why Are You Not Supposed To Turn On A Palm Sander In The Air?

This relates to all sanders but is a common debate among carpenters and anyone who uses these products on a daily basis. The divide is 50/50. 

However, we believe it’s better to start the machine while it’s placed on the workpiece. Many people believe this will mark and dent the workpiece, but this isn’t really the case. 

How Much Pressure To Use With Palm Sander?

The weight of the sander provides most of the pressure necessary. However, it’s important that you then apply gentle pressure alongside that. 

What Grit Sandpaper To Use On An Exterior Door If Using Palm Sander?

Most experts would recommend that you work in stages. The first pass should be with 120-grit sandpaper, the second with a 150-grit and lastly, using 180-grit sandpaper for an even, smooth finish. 

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.