Are you in a hurry just want to know which cordless sander is the best? Milwaukee 2648-20 is your best choice. Read on to find out why.
Today’s cordless power tools help woodworkers maintain efficiency as well as speed up the job that they are designed for. Sanding is something you will do a lot of and the best cordless sander designs make it easier.
What follows is a look at these tools with reviews of several models worth your consideration.
Top Cordless Sanders Compared:
Why choose a Battery Hand sander?
- Greater Mobility
- Ease of Use
- Battery Platforms
Battery-powered sanders offer you greater mobility. These hand-held units can be taken to the wood instead of requiring you to bring the wood to a stationary device. A cordless sander can also go anywhere you need to work and is not limited by the need for a power outlet or extension cord.
The cordless sander will often be easier to use when compared to a traditional corded product. You will not need to carry an extension cord or need to set one up before you start to sand. Power cords will not get in your way while you work and you will not have to take precautions to prevent them from getting damaged.
Finally, most manufacturers today sell cordless power tools with battery systems designed to be swapped out between various tools that the company makes. This will allow you to use batteries with multiple cordless tools as long as they use the same battery platform. Future cordless purchases can be “tool only” buys that will save you money.
Cordless Sander Limitations To Consider
- Potential Downtime
- Limits to Power
- More Expensive
One thing to keep in mind is that batteries drain and you will need to charge them. To limit downtime, or eliminate it altogether, many woodworkers have more than one battery. This allows them to power their sander with a battery while another one is on the charger (it is also something that I wish I had done when I got my first cordless sander).
Cordless power tools, including sanders, have vastly improved power compared to earlier generations of battery-powered tools. That said, today’s cordless technology cannot match the larger electric motors that use 110 or 220-volt power. Cordless designs that do generate the same level of output can only do so for short periods of time as power decreases as the battery drains (manufacturers indicate Amp Hours for many cordless products to help give an approximate run time).
Price is going to be another difference that you will notice between cordless and corded models. A battery-powered sander will cost more than a corded sander of the same size and type. This is due to the battery itself as well as other designs incorporated into a cordless unit, such as an electronic interface between the battery and the drill.
Types Of Cordless Sanders
For most beginning and intermediate woodworkers, there are four types of cordless sanders that are often used in their woodshops, including:
- Orbital Sanders – My late grandfather fell in love with his orbital sander as it made preparing wood to finish a breeze compared to sanding with a block. This design uses a pad that moves in a circular motion with square or rectangular sanding sheets attached to it. These types of sanders excel at smoothing out large surfaces.
- Random Orbital Sanders – This type of sander adds a back-and-forth motion to the circular orbits of an orbital sander. The added movement to the circular pad of this type of design provides a smoother finish and does not leave a swirl pattern on the wood like an orbital sander is prone to do. It is a well-rounded (pun intended) sander that is great for all but corner and detail work.
- Palm Sanders – These are also referred to as Finish Sanders. Its smaller square pad oscillates to generate a highly smooth surface. The major differences between this and an orbital sander are that it is easier to control, costs you less, and is smaller than the orbital designs.
- Detail Sanders – This type of sander has a triangular-shaped pad that functions in a similar way to other sanders. That shape allows this sander to use the pointed nose to reach into corners and edges that are not accessible to other pads. These products often include other attachments to use on things like chair legs or spindles.
Things To Look For On Wireless Sanders
Using your sander properly, along with some of these design considerations, will make sanding easier:
- Volts – Higher ratings equal more power powered delivered at any one moment
- Amp Hours – As mentioned before, higher amp/hour ratings equate to longer run times between charges
- Weight – Lighter cordless sanders are easier to control over longer work sessions
- Sanding Paper – How the paper attaches can make things easy or hard
- Battery Location – This can affect balance, ease of loading/unloading, and hand fatigue during use
- Ergonomics – Handle designs, padding, and other designs features can make operating more comfortable and less-tiresome
Top 5 Battery-Powered Sanders Reviewed
Milwaukee 2648-20 – Best Cordless Orbital Sander
- Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander
- This product meets customer requirement
- Product is easy to use
The five-inch pad design and plastic dust collection box on this design come in at just above four-pounds when the battery is connected. That makes it easier to use for long periods of time when compared to other products on this list. It has an on-off switch on the handle where your hand is located so that you can change its state quickly, which is a nice safety feature for your skin and the wood’s surface.
- It uses a universal hose adaptor. This is a nice feature that offers a wider range of hose connections that should fit your shop vac;
- Its variable speed control knob is on the top of the handle. This location offers easy switching during operation;
- All controls and components are easy to use. That makes this design user-friendly for woodworkers with no experience with sanders.
- It provides a hand placement at the top that is at an awkward angle. Some users might find this position hard to adjust to;
- It includes a solid dust box. This firm component stretches the profile of the sander and may get in the way in tight spaces.
- Variable speed to match the speed to the application
- Texturized rubber overmold grip for more comfortable sanding
- Low height gets you closer to the work surface for more control when sanding
DeWALT is a brand known for making durable products. This cordless sander is built with quality materials that should handle the vibration and dust you generate. The company is also known for strong customer support, including a three-year limited warranty on their products.
- DeWALT uses an over-mold grip that covers a large area. This material is textured and should provide comfort no matter how big your hand is;
- It has a shorter profile when compared to other designs. That could be an advantage when sanding in a tight space with low clearance;
- A large range of products in the 20V MAX line. Once you buy a battery and charger, you can interchange it with over 180 DeWALT products.
- The dust extractor on this product uses a proprietary connector. That will mean that you need to buy an adaptor for this unless you own a DeWALT vac as well;
- You will need to invest in a battery and charger as this is a tool only offering. If you do not have other DeWALT 20V MAX products you will find this a more expensive platform purchase when compared to other manufacturers.
- Does the job of 5 different sanders - random orbit, finishing, detail, contour and finger sander
- Hyperlock quick toolless pad change assures bases never get loose
- Mode max technology insures maximum sanding efficiency no matter the base in use
This kit provides you with a variety of bases, or pads. That allows this product to function as contour, detail, finger, orbital, and random sander. It also includes a battery and charger, as well as a carry bag for all of your sander components.
- It uses Mode Max Technology. This system allows the sander to provide a consistent sanding no matter what base you have installed at the moment;
- It has a cylinder-shaped motor housing that provides plenty of air circulation. This will help to keep the engine running cooler during longer sanding sessions;
- This kit includes a variety of sanding pads that allow you to use all pads straight out of the box. You can use the sander before you begin to stock up on pads that you need most often.
- The design is heavier and less-balanced than most sanders. This can cause fatigue more quickly and may result in less-even sanding;
- It has a large profile. The handle design of this sander will struggle to sand in tight areas, including smaller boxes you may be working on.
Makita XOB01Z – Best Cordless Palm Sander
- Three speed settings (7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM) engineered for fast material removal
- Up to 40 minutes (low speed) and 20 minutes (high speed) of run time on a single charge
- Large 1/8" random orbit action engineered for fast sanding and swirl-free finish
This manufacturer is an innovator in battery-operated power tool design. That transfers to this cordless sander that provides a fast and wide sanding orbit along with ergonomics that promote the best hand control. This should give you a quality sanding experience with issues from poor design elements.
- It uses a 1/8-inch movement in each orbit. That covers more area for faster wood removal;
- An over-the-top handle design. Finger cushions help guide the hand into a position that controls this sander from overhead for accurate control;
- Each control button is sealed. That prevents wood debris from entering the housing and causing issues like overheating.
- The dust bag attachment is connected to a shaft that sticks out from the body. This limits the bag’s effectiveness and puts it in your way more than if it was snug against the motor housing;
- Makita does not use a platform battery for this unit. That means it requires a battery designed for the build and that battery does not come with this tool only purchase.
RIDGID GEN5X – Best Cordless Belt Sander
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with...
This belt sander has been added to the list for those who work with rough lumber that is in need of more milling. It simply takes down rough surfaces quickly, something that woodworkers need if they like to mill their own stock or buy bulk wood that comes in various conditions.
- This will remove lots of wood quickly. For larger jobs that need to be taken down from a rough surface, this sander should handle it;
- You will speed up your workflow with this design. Belt sanders remove material quickly and the footprint is also larger than on other types of sanders;
- A front handle knob is properly located for control. Belt sanders require two hands, and the knob on the front offers that in an ergonomic angle.
- This product will not provide finished surfaces. It is designed to remove lots of material so the end result will still need to be refined;
- It will be harder to control. Even the best belt sanders are more difficult to control when compared to smaller orbital and finishing type designs.
The Smoothest Of Them All…
The best cordless sander on the list, in my opinion, is Milwaukee 2648-20 M18. A 3.0 Amp-hour design combined with the 18-volt battery system should be enough to work through most beginner and intermediate woodworking projects.
It weighs just over four-pounds and should not tire you out as you work. This product uses the quick-change hook-and-loop design that is easier and cleaner than sheets that use adhesives. A universal hose adaptor can probably fit most shop vacs, in the event that you do not want to use the plastic collection box that it comes with.
Finally, this is designed to be easy to use for the beginner. Controls are conveniently located and are not difficult to move. It also uses a battery platform that powers many of Milwaukee’s most popular power tool products.