The 6 Best Detail Sanders of 2018

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Best Finishing Detail Sander
Best Palm Detail Sander
Best Hand Detail Sander

If you wish to advance in your DIY-ing career, getting a quality detail sander is evidently a large step forward. This power tool can be extremely effective when used in conjunction with other larger tools for handling various sanding jobs. A detail sander works great for reaching into those difficult places where a conventional sander can never get into. An example of a good use for this tool is the finishing of the corner or refinishing certain surfaces like those of window sills and staircases. You might also be interested in our articles about the best wood router and the best multi tools.

The market is populated with many interesting options if you consider buying a reliable detail sander. There are also various multitools which can work very efficiently as detail sanders. Homeowners looking for a reliable sander to tackle finishing projects will need to check some features closely before making the decision to invest in this type of power tool. The characteristics that you should evaluate are:

1. Power

The number of oscillations per minute represents a good starting point to figure out if this sander would be the right choice. Those may need some extra power are those that wish to be able to off a larger quantity of material from a surface and in a much quicker manner. Another advantage of having a more powerful detail sander is how you can tackle harder materials more easily.

2. Dust

Because dust will always be a problem when sanding materials, it’s important to choose a tool with a reliable dust management system. The usually available detail sander has a dust collection box, but there could also be models with which rely on external extraction systems. There are advantages and disadvantages on both of these methods. It’s usually recommended to use a detail sander with its own dust collection box because there are many situations when having to use a vacuum hose could be too inconvenient.

3. Construction

In terms of design, detail sanders could have either an elongated body with a sanding pad shaped like a triangle or they could be shaped ergonomically to hold them in your palm. The latter is also known as a palm sander. This is more of an individual preference thing. Some people prefer the more traditional first design as it resembles a power tool but others will enjoy the extra comfort of a palm sander. Whatever you choose, make sure you take into consideration the weight to be as low as possible to reduce fatigue if you’re working for a long time.

With these considerations in mind, let’s look at what the market has to offer when it comes to the most well-made, high-quality, and cost-effective detail sanders.

Best Finishing Detail Sander

1. BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600 Detail Sander

Black+Decker is a very well known name in the power tools industry and has evolved from a tiny machine shop to a global manufacturing powerhouse. Their line of products contains the BDEMS600 detail sander, which manages to offer a striking blend of versatility, power, and comfort in a very ergonomically designed tool.

The first thing that you will probably notice is the compactness of the sander. Thanks to its low profile and the relatively low weight, this has great potential for various sanding projects. This is an important aspect that helps with the overall comfort but there are other elements that contribute too.

It’s designed to work with three different types of grips. The first is the palm grip which is perfect for sanding various surfaces. Another one is the precision grip, which is used for obtaining superior maneuverability, and finally, there’s the handle grip to tackle tight spaces like corners. A very versatile unit, this sander is easy to use on both horizontal or vertical surfaces.

Besides the comfort, there are other features worth discussing regarding this detail sander. It runs at 14,000 orbits per minute which means it can perform well in many DIY tasks and the 1.2 amps of power are enough to make some quality finishes.

When it comes to dust collection, this model has a transparent dust canister system with micro-filtration to ensure a clean workspace. It may not be able to collect all the dust but it does a good job, reducing the overall amount. There’s a detail finger attachment which can be used for reaching those difficult small spaces. It’s not very hard to set up and control and can definitely add a solid level of flexibility.

Considering everything about the Black+Decker BDEMS600, its balanced size, decent performance, and solid comfort, this represents an excellent tool in the hands of any DIY enthusiast. At this price, this is hands-down one of the most cost-effective options for a detail sander. It can make you feel like a professional at home.

Key Features:

  • Compact size
  • 3-position grip
  • 1.2 amp motor
  • 14,000 orbits per minute
  • Sanding pad & finger attachment included

2. Genesis GMT15A Multi Purpose Detail Sander

The Genesis GMT15A is a multifunctional tool which can handle various home repair, restoration, and remodeling jobs. While it can be used for detail sanding, it also has other abilities for grinding or cutting. There are many useful accessories included with it and the price is incredibly reasonable for its versatility.

At a first look, you can clearly see that this tool has been designed for DIY enthusiasts who aren’t afraid of a little work around the home. It weighs less than 4 pounds, which is great for getting a comfortable handle without feeling like it tires you. Despite this lightness, the quality doesn’t leave off a cheap impression as the unit is made of durable die-cast aluminum.

If you’re interested in detail sanding, this could be a reliable solution. The only thing that you are required to do is to attach the special sanding pad complete with sandpaper that’s ready for tackling various surfaces including wood and plastic. Additionally, you can also add a flexible scraper blade which you need to purchase separately.

The best aspect of this little machine is most likely the versatility. You can use its 30-mm flush cutting saw blade for executing cuts along edges and to take advantage of superior precision in tight corners. Whether we’re talking about base molding or trimming narrow door jams, this tool makes the process a pleasure.

For cut-outs in wood or drywall, you have to attach the 3-inch flat saw blade. The scraper blade has a solid level of rigidity and is perfect for carpeting or remodeling your vinyl flooring. Another great use for the scraper is to chip away paint layers that don’t come off.

If you’re concerned about safety, it’s important to mention that a four-pin flange design will hold the accessories in a very secure manner. Taking into account the versatility of this multi-purpose tool, the construction, and the reasonable performance, this is definitely a smart investment. It’s especially recommended if you want more than just a detail sander.

Key Features:

  • 21000 oscillations per minute
  • Great for sanding, cutting, grinding, and scraping
  • Durable die-cast aluminum gear housing
  • 4-pin flange design
  • Good assortment of handy accessories included

Best Palm Detail Sander

3. WEN 6301 Detailing Palm Sander

Those looking for a high-quality palm sander should look no further than the Wen 6301. Even though it has a very lightweight design, it’s powered by a reliable one-amp motor and has all the features to ensure a smooth workflow.

The sanding pad on this model has specially designed holes for collecting the dust using a fan. This, in combination with the angled tip of the machine, offers a great level of precision for working in tight spaces. You can attach the base pad using a hook-and-loop system which ensures a convenient installation and removal to quickly change between grits.

In terms of performance, this detail sander provides 13,500 oscillations per minute, a considerable vibrational power if you also factor in the reduced size of the tool. The motor is powerful enough to sand away at various surfaces and in the meantime, you can collect all the resulting dust using the dedicated port. If you have a dust collection device, this model permits simple attachment to it.

One of the main highlights of this palm sander is by far the design. The ergonomic grip is perfectly shaped to the contour of your hand and to prevent slippage, the backing received a ribbed rubber treatment. When you also consider the weight of just two pounds, you can be sure that your hands will never get tired to work with the sander. The dust-sealed switch is fairly easy to access as it’s placed close to where your finger rests.

An inexpensive way to finish any detail sanding project, the Wen 6301 electric palm sander is a solid tool in all regards. The performance is adequate for many little DIY jobs around the home, the lightweight design provides excellent comfort, and overall the tool represents a valuable investment. It’s well built and performs exactly as expected.

Key Features:

  • Angled tip for extra precision
  • Lightweight design
  • 13,500 OPM due to its 1 amp motor
  • Velcro base pad
  • Dust collection port

4. BLACK+DECKER BDEQS300 Detail Sander

For anyone who wants to do some detail work and finish sanding, the Black+Decker BDEQS300 is worth some attention. This orbital sander boasts great versatility and efficiency and is designed to be as convenient and simple to use as possible.

The sander is fairly compact, though a bit larger than some other models on this list mainly due to the increased size of the motor. It packs 2.0 amps of power which have no problems in removing material from almost any surface. The 1,600 orbits per minute is also an efficient value to ensure the success of any finishing job.

In terms of user control, this unit can get into tight corners pretty easily and the overall design is ergonomic. There’s a simple paddle switch activation to quickly turn on or off the tool. It’s placed on the top of the unit and to activate it, you just naturally press down with your palm. You can lock it in position if you want to use it one-handed more conveniently.

Dust collection is handled by an ingenious system created for keeping your workspace clean. The machine is capable of delivering 270-degree flush sanding clearance and it’s also worth mentioning the tri-layer filtration feature. It may lack some premium features but for any DIY novice, it should suffice.

When you consider how easy to operate is this sander and the high performance for the cost, it’s safe to say that Black+Decker did a solid job with this little compact sander. The BDEQS300 is a balanced tool, tough and with a strong grip. It will make sanding furniture a breeze and won’t leave any strange marks like some other models. Worth the purchase.

Key Features:

  • 270-degree flush sanding clearance
  • Soft grip paddle switch
  • 2.0 amp motor
  • High-performance dust collection
  • Tri-layer filtration

Best Hand Detail Sander

5. Genesis GPS080 Corner Palm Sander

Another solid palm sander that you should check out is the Genesis GPS080. At 14,000 OPM, this is a fairly powerful machine, adequate for smaller projects and to deal with tight corners. It uses the hook-and-loop system for attaching accessories and it impresses with decent versatility and durability for the price.

This detail sander is a fitting choice for a varied range of applications as it can reach in many places where a standard sander can’t normally get into. It’s perfect for doing some quick DIY work around the house or wherever precise sanding is needed. You can breathe some new life into your old furniture or fixtures. Its unique iron shape works wonders for those who need a regular palm sander but it can be used very nicely for detailing work in difficult spots.

For efficient sanding, this little tool can work with a decent 14,000 orbits per minute, which is more than you could ask for at this price. There are three mouse sandpapers included in the package – 80, 120, and 240 grits. It’s also interesting to mention that the small sandpaper assortment supplied in the package is just the beginning as this sander is compatible with basically any typical mouse style sandpaper.

There’s a dust-protected switch for activating or powering down the tool. When it comes to comfort, Genesis added a rubber palm grip to ensure a stable workflow. Attaching accessories is done very quickly thanks to the straightforward fastening system which facilitates switching between sandpapers.

A drawback of this sander is the lack of a dust collection system which means that you are going to create a mess during sanding, but the good news is that you can connect it to a vacuum. All in all, the Genesis GPS080 is a decent product considering the price bracket where it belongs. Don’t expect amazing quality at this price but for some little DIY sanding projects, it can work pretty well and the compact size is sure to be appreciated.

Key Features:

  • 14,000 orbits per minute
  • Durable and ergonomic design
  • Mouse shape pad
  • Simple accessory fastening system
  • 3 sandpapers included

6. Festool DTS 400 EQ Detail Sander

A more professional option for a detail sander is the Festool DTS 400 EQ. It’s an orbital sander which can work well as an all-around sander. It comes with a compact design, ergonomic grip, true orbital sanding motion, and delivers when it comes to performance. More demanding DIY hobbyists will definitely pleased by what this tool can do.

Like many other sanders on the market, this model comes with the hook-and-loop system for quick and hassle-free sandpaper changing. The tool manages to capture a good combination of lightness and durability and you can feel like you can count on it for many sanding projects.

The Delta shape will be very handy when it’s time to do some detail work around corners and edges. It’s ideal for managing both overhead and vertical surfaces and one aspect where this tool does a particularly great job is when it comes to sanding shoulders and rabbets without shuddering or jolting.

Thanks to a tight orbital stroke, the unit can create a minimal sanding pattern to provide the best results. It features an internal dust extraction system and it’s equipped with a filter bag to ensure an efficient dust removal process. If you need to do some more intense work, you can always pair it with a capable vacuum dust extractor.

For keeping the fatigue to a minimum, this tool offers the Vibration Stop technology which means that the sander has a smoother operation for increased comfort. It will work on a multitude of materials and it has step-less variable speed. Considering also the fact that this is made in Germany and not China like some other cheaper units, you’re basically guaranteed a superior quality product.

Taking into account everything that’s been said about the Festool DTS 400 EQ, it can be said that it’s fully worth the money. It goes a bit over many casual hobbyists’ budgets, but it has the performance and technology to justify the cost. It can do more advanced work, reaching more tighter places than a basic detail sander so this is highly recommended.

Key Features:

  • Compact design
  • Easy one-handed usage
  • True orbital sanding motion
  • StickFix Hook & Loop system
  • Ergonomic grip