At the moment we’re working in the living room annex dining room (it’s basically one big J-shaped room next to the kitchen). We’re at the stage where we need to do a lot of sanding. A lot. Since I don’t own a sheet sander (yet, I borrowed one in the past), I decided it was time to get one myself.

 

I learned the hard way that you get what you pay for. I own an el-mucho-cheapo drill that’s probably still alive, lying somewhere inside a cupboard in my work shed, but it’s a hazard to work with. Like real life-threatening hazardous. I also own an angle grinder that was a bit less el-cheapo (but still), that has a disc cover that needs loosening every time you want to put it away. That cover is held in place with four screws, out of which one doesn’t hold any longer, and another one has already been half eaten up by my screwdriver so I don’t dare tightening it very hard. But other than those, I wisened up.

For the sander I decided to get a decent one. At least Bosch Green or Black + Decker. If possible, Makita or Metabo. All depending on the cost.

First I poked Google, to see if somebody already made some kind of shortlist recently. No luck there, nothing that could help me further. So it’s my turn now.

All I want is a half or one third sheet (who invents these names anyway?) finishing sander with variable rpm (to be able to adjust to the surface I am going to sand), doesn’t weigh too much (I’ll be using it vertically, above my head, you name it), and doesn’t break the bank (less than 100 euro would be perfect for the Makita or Metabo, 60 euro or so for the Bosch or Black + Decker).

First I made a list of brands I know and trust enough to check out. Candidates are Black + Decker, Bosch Blue and Green, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, Metabo, Milwaukee. Out of those, two didn’t make the cut simply because they don’t offer a variable speed sander: Hitachi and Milwaukee. For the others, I present you…

The candidates

candidates overview

I’ll provide some basic specifications I found on each respective site first, before diving deeper.

Black + Decker KA320EKA

Power 240 W
Rpm 7000 – 15000 rpm
Diameter 2 mm
Sanding area 91 X 189 mm
Cord length 2.3 m
Weight 2.5 kg

Bosch Blue GSS 23 AE

Power 190 W
Rpm 7000 – 12000 rpm
Diameter 2 mm
Sanding area 92 X 182 mm
Cord length
Weight 1.7 kg

Bosch Green PSS 250 AE

Power 250 W
Rpm 14000 – 24000 rpm
Diameter 2 mm
Sanding area 92 X 182 mm
Cord length
Weight 1.6 kg

DeWalt D26422

Power 350 W
Rpm 12000 – 22000 rpm
Diameter 2.5 mm
Sanding area 92 X 190 mm
Cord length
Weight 2.6 kg

Makita BO3711

Power 190 W
Rpm 4000 – 11000 rpm
Diameter 2 mm
Sanding area 93 X 185 mm
Cord length 2 m
Weight 1.6 kg

Metabo SRE 4350

Power 350 W
Rpm 8400 – 22000 rpm
Diameter 2.2 mm
Sanding area 92 X 184 mm
Cord length 4 m
Weight 2.5 kg

Taking it down… to one!

First thing I did when I drafted this list, was go to the kitchen and take out three packs of sugar: two full and one half, so about 2.5 kg worth. Try it yourself, that’s a lot to hold on if you want to use it vertically. Even 1.5 kg is still more than enough, so the heavier machines were kicked off the list. Adios Metabo, DeWalt and Black + Decker! Not really a big deal anyway, as the first two were way out of my price league anyway.

Left with both Bosch machines and a Makita, I dug up prices. The Green Bosch would be around 75 euro, the Makita 90 euro and the Blue Bosch 125 euro. With those prices, choosing the Makita over the Green Bosch was a no-brainer. Makita versus Blue Bosch was a bit harder to bite. I dug further into the specifications, to find that the Makita should be a bit friendlier on the operator in its vibration regime. Some more Googling later and I found that most of the times the Makita came out as the better of the two, so my choice was made: the Makita fits within the price range, it’s a reputable brand, it has all the features I want.

I went ahead and ordered it already, together with some paper. I expect it very soon (perhaps even before you’re reading this), so I’ll keep you updated! What are your thoughts?