|Review by toolman||posted 07-20-2008 07:30 AM||8918 views||0 times favorited||4 comments|
As a woodworker, you need to produce a nice surface for a variety of reasons. Knowing this, we decided to test an orbital sander for this power tool review. We found a Dewalt Random Orbital Sander on sale as a factory reconditioned tool, so we thought we would give this a test.
Our first impression was good. If you have been following our other reviews you know we love carrying cases, and the Dewalt random orbital sander has its own case. There is even room to pack some sand discs, along with other misc. items.
We wanted to run this sander through a bunch of tests, but one must remember with these tests, the sand paper will play a big part in the results. So we tested the normal items we usually do with each power tool, but we added three additional test. One was vibration affects and arm fatigue. Another was weight applied to the sander before it bogs down. Third was how it finished work on softwood and hardwood.
Our first test was how vibration affected arm fatigue. Dewalt uses a dual plane counter balance fan. After using the sander for a while our hands did get tired. The vibrations are a lot less than other orbital sanders we have used, but grabbing the sander from the top did cause some arm fatigue. We found if you grab the sander on the side, you had more control and fatigue did not show up as soon. We are not sure if it has to do with the tool design or the counter balance, but either way the side hold is far better.
Our second test was weight factor. Here we wanted to see how much weight could be applied before the sander would stop. For this test all we did was put a 1 inch piece of plywood down on a scale and started the sander up. Well for a 2amp motor, we were impressed. At full speed we were able to push down to 50lbs and the sander still didn’t bog. Our scale only went to 50lbs. On the slow speed or number 1 position at 40lbs we could hear the sander start to strain, but it was still going at 50lbs. Not sure why you would every want to apply this much pressure with an orbital sander, but if need be it can handle this.
Our last test was the finish on softwood and hardwood. A lot of this has to do with the sandpaper, the pressure you apply and your variable speed setting. We still wanted to look and monitor the Dewalt Sander. We used a variety a different grits with different speeds on both softwood and hardwood. If you sand and use the correct speed for every type of wood, the final finish came out looking great. We even applied stain to help bring out any blemishes, but for the most part, this was not a finicky power tool. Therefore, you do not have to be dead on to produce perfect finishes.
Over all, our power tool review of the Dewalt random orbital sander is great. We were extremely impressed with this power tool. We like the dust covered power switch, the dust collector and the variable speed. If you are a woodworker, you will need an orbital sander. We would recommend getting a new model, as we bought this during their closeout special.
-- Toolman - http://www.professional-power-tool-guide.com