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Good Sander, but not Great

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Review by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 06-05-2010 09:45 PM 2635 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good Sander, but not Great Good Sander, but not Great No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I received this Milwaukee 1/4-sheet sander this week as a prize for completing surveys online – it was the only woodworking type tool offered. This replaces a B&D 1/4-sheet Palm Sander without oscillation.

First impression is that it is packed well in a bright red plastic case with latches. Kit contains the sander, dust bag, three sheets of sandpaper (120, 180, 220), manual, and a paper punch.

I had read reviews of this sander on Amazon and many users had complained that it is difficult to load the sandpaper. Yes, it is difficult, but as you change a few sheets it becomes easier; the instructions state to “pull up on the paper clamp” but there is no protrusion to use for this task. I finally realized that you must use the lever to open the clamps – in fact there is a cutout in the body to allow you to do this. Another complaint was that the dust collection port makes it very difficult to load the sandpaper at the rear of the device. I found that if you load the paper at the rear first, then it isn’t as bad as stated: yes, it is somewhat cramped but even my stubby fingers are able to load the paper fairly easily. Another thing to consider is that with use, the pressure the clamps exert will ease somewhat making loading paper easier.

With the 120# paper loaded, I began sanding some QS White Oak I had just resawn. This device seems to sand very well and with a vacuum attached to the dust port (either 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 hoses attach), the dust extraction is excellent. I briefly sanded some with the dust bag attached (there is a spring in the dust bag to prevent it from collapsing) and, again, the dust extraction was very good.

There is some felt vibration through the device into the hand but the rubber grips seem to deaden it to a comfortable level. The On/Off switch is enclosed to prevent dust from contaminating it and is a little difficult to use.

The Paper Punch, unless I’m doing something very wrong, is next to useless. It is a piece of plastic with little pointed protrusions that punch into and sometimes through the paper but doesn’t really make or clean out the hole.

All things considered, I’m quite happy with my “free” sander. Would I pay $40 retail price for this sander – yes, I think it is worth that amount but I wouldn’t pay too much more. As I said, it sands well and I’m sure that with experience and use the paper will load more easily.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".




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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2451 days



9 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11676 posts in 2406 days


#1 posted 06-05-2010 11:43 PM

It almost looks like the entire dust connector would seperate from the sander to facilitate changing the paper.
No instructions in the owners manual ? Makes me wonder how much thought their designers put into the clamping device. Knowing that the dust collection / exhaust was facing rearwards , I would have made the clamps on the sides. It’s not like you can only sand by pushing the tool forward….....maybe it’s just me using my sander incorrectly though : ) LOL

Nice review ! Made me think twice about straying from my Porter Cable units : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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a1Jim

112490 posts in 2295 days


#2 posted 06-06-2010 01:36 AM

Thanks for the review I rarely use my pad sander unless it’s a project made of cherr I’m working on where swirls show from my ROS.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2451 days


#3 posted 06-06-2010 02:59 AM

Dusty56, the dust collector does disconnect but the port (in the picture, from the gray collar inward) is where the problem develops. But, like I said, if I insert the paper at the rear of the sander first, there isn’t too much of a problem.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11676 posts in 2406 days


#4 posted 06-06-2010 03:07 AM

Yeah that’s the word I was searching for ‘the’‘port”..... : )
I have the PC 330 Speed-Bloc sander and although it doesn’t have dust collection , it does have a little “tool” that you use to open the clamps with . It took a little getting used to , but now I’m an old pro at changing the paper ….LOL

http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-330-Speed-Bloc-Sheet-Sander/dp/B0000222Y9
This sander is like a Cadillac compared to all the others that I’ve tried : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View DaveH's profile

DaveH

400 posts in 2497 days


#5 posted 06-06-2010 11:24 PM

Get a bosch 1/4 sheet sander for no hassle paper changes. Only takes a second to swap grits. I rarely use my orbital sander anymore.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1955 days


#6 posted 06-11-2010 03:12 PM

I’ve got 3 bosch 1/4 sheet sanders… The reason I’ve got three of them is… They were the cheepest high quality sander I could find, but the paper holding mechanism is junk. It’s two plastic parts that the sand paper rubs off quickly in use. Then the holder won’t grip the sandpaper. Replacement parts are 1/2 the price of the sander and you’d need more parts pretty quick if you sand as much as I do making gunstocks. I’ve still got 3 working sanders that I bought from home depot on closeout for $29.00. Now I use a Dewalt 1/4 sheet sander and a cheep Harbor Freight 1/4 sheet sander (the $29.00 model – $19.00 when on sale) I can’t see much difference in using them. Both of them have lasted much longer than the Bosch sanders. The Bosch sander when it held sandpaper was much better than any other sander I’ve used and I’ve tried a lot of them. I keep 3 hooked up all the time for roughing out stocks. 50 grit on my orbital sander to remove router marks quickly, then 60 grit on the Dewalt to remove the swirls from the orbital, then 100 grit on the HF sander. It takes about 30 minutes to go from rough to ready for final sanding.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1992 days


#7 posted 06-16-2010 05:56 AM

I have the exact same one. But I do have a question for you. Do the plastic grip strips slide out of place at all? Mine do alot

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2451 days


#8 posted 06-16-2010 08:21 AM

Mark – plastic grip strips? Not sure to what you are referring.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Carpintonto's profile

Carpintonto

60 posts in 1759 days


#9 posted 06-26-2010 01:53 PM

I’ve purchase the same machine a couple of months ago. It came in a combo with the 5” rotatory sander. Well, let me tell you that the rotatory sander died on me completely after 30 minutes of work!!!. I brought it back to the Home Depot and the tools specialist told me that every single one of them had comed back. Shocking isn’t !?. The 1/4 sander kept making the sand paper sheet sliding off the cheap holders. The vibration is bad. I glued two strips of foam under those plastic holders to keep the paper in place. Even though it has has all these bad isues, it performs good on wood, and that why I have kept it. Although is a good machine, is not even close to my 1/4 paper Bosch.

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