1/4 sheet sander?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 05-08-2009 05:33 AM 7522 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13345 posts in 3697 days

05-08-2009 05:33 AM

I have a B&D 1/4 sheet sander It does a ok job when it has good paper on it, I am wondering should upgrade to a ROS Sander for better results.

28 replies so far

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4101 days

#1 posted 05-08-2009 06:09 AM

great question…i went through this last summer…i replaced my 1/4 sheet with another…because I had bought so much paper and did not want to waste the paper i had just bought…

but regretted that decision when i was working on the cutting board re-hab i did for a friend…so then I went out and bought my favorite: Ridgid ROS…cant remember the number…but I am really happy with it…i will try to get out to the garage this weekend to get the exact model number…PM me if i forget…

just after i bought it last year it reveied very well against other brands in either FWW or PW…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#2 posted 05-08-2009 06:11 AM

Ok Napaman

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 05-08-2009 06:21 AM

Hey begin….......
There is no comparison between a 1/4 sheet sander and a ros it’s like saying should I use a circular saw or a table saw the ROS is the table saw.Once you get one you will wonder why you didn’t get one years ago. I have six different models I like the milwaukee and Bosch best . They have variable speed an soft start. Happy sanding.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4051 days

#4 posted 05-08-2009 07:21 AM

I agree with you guys. Get the ROS ( I like the Ridgid too and would replace it with the Makita). I did keep my 1/4 for special uses but use the ROS 95% of the time. Don’t throw the 1/4” away because it is somewhat useful in corners and if you’re careful it’s really good for rounding over and smoothing not only edges but handles etc. you’ve formed with spokeshaves. I think it works well here because it’s not too aggressive with higher numbered paper (120 and up). Anything that helps with sanding is a good thing…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3378 days

#5 posted 05-08-2009 11:50 AM

The Bosch 5” ROS I bought Last year is better than the Metabo 6” I have had for a few years..
Go for it, Charles

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View lew's profile


12101 posts in 3779 days

#6 posted 05-08-2009 03:02 PM


All good advice here! You’ll never regret the purchase of a random orbital sander. The only part of the decision is do you get the type for PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive)- sticky backed- or hook and loop (Velcro). When I bought mine, I got PSA because the sanding disks were cheaper. What I didn’t realize was that most of the time a disk doesn’t get “used up” before you move on to the next grit size. Once you peel of the sticky pad, it never seems to stick as well again so you end up with a disk that won’t work but still has usable grit. Moral of the story, if I had it to do over again I would get the hook and loop. (They make conversion kits for the sander but not for the disks). I have one of the old Porter Cable, right angle head, variable speed, 5” sander. I don’t think they make them anymore. A nice palm sized ROS would be nice.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 3864 days

#7 posted 05-08-2009 03:39 PM

I have my second Makita 1/4 sheet sander. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It helps I get my sheet sand paper very cheap. They also cut it for me, for free, before they send it. I will get each grit 50 to 100 sheets all quartered. I got a Random Orbital Sander as an extra with my planer, but it’s never been out of the box. The discs are so darned expensive. If I worked on larger projects I might feel differently.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#8 posted 05-08-2009 05:16 PM

Thanks I am looking at a Bosch ROS20VSK.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4101 days

#9 posted 05-09-2009 12:08 AM

ooooh….LEW brings up a really good point…dont get the “sticky back” kind…you would waste a lot of sand paper….I try to pull mine off and then I write the type of wood on the back so that I can re-use it again on that wood…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Woodwrecker's profile


4153 posts in 3599 days

#10 posted 05-10-2009 04:03 AM

When my old DeWalt finally gave up I got one of those low profile Porter Cable ROS and I like it a lot.
The quick stop feature is nice and it sands real good.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 3986 days

#11 posted 05-10-2009 02:10 PM

I am sorry, but I do have a slight different opinion.

I have a B&D 1/4 sheet sander It does a ok job when it has good paper on it, I am wondering should upgrade to a ROS Sander for better results.

Time is money, sandpaper is cheap. If you change paper when you need to, that usually means before you think you need to, your sander will perform better. That being said, an addition of a ROS is a great idea too.

-- Berta in NC

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3768 days

#12 posted 05-10-2009 02:21 PM

Charles and Berta, I will agree with everyone else on this. I have a quarter sheet sander and I only keep it if I need to get into corners. I found it was leaving small swirl marks in the wood. The ROS sander doesn’t do that.
And yes, go with the hook and loop. You have to replace the pad occationaly, but it’s cheap and easy. Mirka paper is a good buy at Amazon.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4029 days

#13 posted 05-10-2009 02:23 PM

The 1/4 sheet buffer you describe is handy for loading with 220 sandpaper and sanding large areas of lacquer sanding sealer. Other than that, you wont see them in production woodwork environments. And for good reason. The ROS has made it obsolete.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#14 posted 05-10-2009 08:24 PM

Yes I see it has. Berta my sheet sander do perform better when I use Norton 3X Sandpaper. I will be getting some more soon. Thanks for the advise guys, I will be still adding the ROS but not now.

View Rob's profile


143 posts in 3954 days

#15 posted 05-10-2009 11:08 PM

You might also want to consider a Festool RO150 or ETS150/3. The RO150 has orbital and Random Orbital modes. Orbital mode is excellent for rapid stock removal, while the 5mm stroke gives an excellent finish in Random mode.
For a finish second to none, the ETS150/3 is the one to buy. Both sanders have been reviewed in the “Reviews” section.




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