Palm Sander Uses: Is A Palm Sander The Best Option For You?

This is a great option for anyone that is relatively less experienced with using a sander. It is easy to control as you can move it in any direction, unlike the other types of sanders available on the market. It features a square pad that moves in small, orbits which aid in creating ultra-smooth finishes. Along with this, it is good with corners and finishing but it is not recommended for heavy jobs. This affordable sander holds small squares of sandpaper in place with the use of spring-loaded clips. Added to its appeal, the sander is quiet and lightweight.

What Can You Use The Palm Sander For?


A palm sander is also commonly known as a sheet sander or ¼ sheet sander since it typically uses a quarter of a standard 9 X 11” sandpaper sheet. In terms of grit range, the palm sander typically uses sandpaper in the range of 160 to 220 grit. Because of this, it is considered an ideal type of sander for light jobs such as smoothing a finishes woodwork that you are not going to paint.

Edges and Corners:

One of the advantages of its relatively compact design is its ability to sand edges and corners very effectively. This is something most people look at when deciding on a sander as nit most sanders are able to do this job. A palm sander is one of them that is able to do this without any problems.

Removing Paint:

Something that a sander is commonly used to do is remove paint off of wood. This is no different with a palm sander and it can be used to effectively remove paint off of plywood. However, something to be noted is that although you can remove paint, you should not paint wood that has been sanded by a palm sander. This can be because doing with will highlight ay scratches left on the wood.
A handy tip when choosing a palm sander is to opt for a model that has a piercing plate for punching holes through the paper to aid in dust collection.

What Is This Tool Not Ideal For?

On the other hand, this is not the right tool for you if you are wanting to remove any stubborn rust or other materials. This is because the sheer power needed to remove these imperfections is not there. Along with this, do not try to apply too much pressure or push the sander into the workpiece. Since the sander is designed to work with a relatively light touch, pushing it down too strong will in fact damage your palm sander. If you do happen to do this, you can expect to get a lot of worn-out pads from this type of approach.

Palm Sander vs. Random Orbital Sander

If you need to sand a larger surface area of wood, it would be better to use an Orbital Sander. It is designed to smoothen a broader and larger piece of wood that has a flat surface. Added to this, it is incredibly easy to use for removing paint and varnish. It is designed with a significantly bigger build than that of a palm sander, an Orbital Sander is versatile enough to use in sanding curved wood.

Random Orbital Sander: Palm Sander (Sheet Sander)

Head Shape: Round Rectangular
Sanding Material: Standard circular sheet that can be Velcro attached. You can use a cut sheet. Standard sheets are also available
Sheet Size: 5-inches and 6-inches sheet. A quarter of a standard 9×11” sheet.
Motion: Circular and orbiting motion. Orbiting motion.
Uses: Smoothen rough surfaces, removes paint, and finishing. Light duty finishing work.
Price: Moderate. Cheap.

Generally speaking, you will be able to get a lot more done with an orbital sander than you would with a palm sander. Therefore, it is recommended that if you are faced with the option of between a palm sander and an orbital sander, you should choose an orbital sander. This is, however, if you are looking to do a variety of different types of jobs. If you are looking to focus on corners and finishing, then a palm sander would be your best bet.

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About Sergio

Sergio is an author and editor of Abbey Power Tools. DIY enthusiast, and once a retail assistant at B&Q, loves to write and now gives advice on everything home improvement to everyone visiting this website.

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