The Best Power Sheet Sanders for 2018 (Tested & Reviewed)

Sanding is either loved or hated by those who find themselves faced with the task. Regardless of your personal opinion on the subject, there is no denying that using the right sander for your job makes the tasks faster as well as leads to better results. Power sheet sanders, or finish sanders, are tasked to do just what the name implies—finish off a project.

Best Power Sheet Sanders

Unlike belt sanders or orbital sanders, a sheet sander isn’t built to strip off unwanted layers of material. What it can do, instead, is to apply the perfect finishing touches in preparation for a stain, paint job, or whatever else you have planned.

A suitable sheet sander should be compact, efficient, and durable—unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The relatively low cost makes these tools easy to produce and leads to a lot of low-end competition.

To help you find a tool that will give you the perfect finish for your upcoming tasks, and is also durable enough to let you avoid tool replacement costs, we have put together a quick guide to the best power sheet sanders available in 2018.

Every tool on the list is a worthy choice, and we have broken down both the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Best Power Sheet Sanders - Comparisons

Best Power Sheet Sanders Reviews

1. Bosch OS50VC

The Bosch OS50VC is a half-sheet orbital finishing sander with “vibration control and SheetLoc™ Supreme.” The vibration control refers to the proprietary suspension system housed inside the tool. This suspension system is used to offset the powerful 3.4-amp motor that puts out a no-load OPMof 8,000 - 11,000, adjusted with a variable speed control. 

The SheetLoc™ system is another awesome proprietary—this one gives you a paper-tension system that helps you get the perfect fit. This system also allows you to use a vast variety of papers, increasing the overall versatility of the tool.

One of the best features of this sander is the dust removal system. It actually works! If you have experience with sanders, you know how rare it is that a dust removal system actually operates as well as claimed. The port allows you to link it up with external dust collection vacuum accessories for near-perfect dust removal.

These features, coupled with the trigger lock mechanism, create a tool that lets you comfortably handle a vast range of sanding tasks both indoors and outdoors. This is a fantastic tool for professionals and homeowners looking for a long-term addition to their

What we liked

  • Dust removal actually works
  • Very versatile
  • Durable, comfortable, and easy-to-use

What we didn't like

  • Some of the features and the Bosch layout may take a bit to get used to

2. DEWALT DWE6411K

The DEWALT DWE6411K Sheet Palm Sander Kit comes packing a 2.3-amp motor that is rated at 14,000 OPM. To handle this power, the tool utilizes a shake reduction counterweight, which results in a pleasant sanding experience further augmented by the rubberized grip and compact size of the tool. This is a corded tool utilizing a paper clamp system.

The DEWALT DWE6411K also scores points in the cleanliness category with a one-handed locking dust bag and a port that can also be linked directly to the DWV010 and DWV012 dust collectors. There is also a rubber dust boot over the switch.

With these features highlighted, the ability to quickly switch between grits, and an above average vacuum system, this sanderis amongst the best for home improvement, auto painting, and plenty of other jobs. It should significantly reduce your prep time and is a breeze to use.

What we liked

  • Quiet, clean, and smooth
  • Easy to use
  • Effective enough for most DIY tasks

What we didn't like

  • The dust catch is temperamental
  • You will want to invest a few dollars more in good paper to get the most out of this tool

3. Makita BO3710 Finishing Sander

The Makita 1/3 Sheet BO3710 finishing sander is made with woodworkers and carpenters in mind who want something a bit quieter and with a “through the pad” dust collection system.

The design of the Makita BO3710 was made with comfort and ease of use in mind. It has a rubberized grip, a large 2-finger trigger switch, and an easy-to-trigger lock-on button. The clamping lever is also large and rubberized. These combine to make a tool perfect for reducing strain during larger projects.

There is an aluminum cast shoe base for some added durability, and the vacuum bag can be removed in favor of a vacuum adaptor. This Makita sander is a 1.7-amp corded tool that operates at 11,000 OPM and weighs in at just over 3 lbs. It uses three strips per sandpaper sheet instead of 4.

What we liked

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy-to-use features
  • Relatively quiet

What we didn't like

  • Vacuum system leaves much to be desired

4. Black & Decker BDEQS300 Sheet Orbital Sander

The Black & Decker BDEQS300 is a “1/4 Sheet Orbital Sander with Paddle Switch Actuation”. It is a comfortable and easy-to-use tool thanks in large part to the soft grip paddle switch, quick paper clamps, and the fact that the design allows you to sand flush on three sides, letting you get into tight spaces.

The motor works at 2.0-amp with 1,600 OPM. The tool is easy to use with one hand and can be locked into the “on” position, making it ideal for compact and awkward tasks. It weighs in at around 3 lbs, so you shouldn't have too much trouble holding it up or out in front of you for short periods of time. The dust collection is mediocre (as it is with almost all sanders) but it does do a good job of reducing the bulk of your dust.

The BDEQS300 is an excellent low-cost alternative to other sanders on this list but will likely have a bit shorter of a lifespan. 

What we liked

  • Great price
  • Good design allowing you to press into tight areas

What we didn't like

  • Sandpaper clasp is a bit flimsy

5. Makita BO4556K Finishing Sander

The Makita BO4556K is a corded, lightweight tool, coming in at just around 2.6 pounds, though it is built with a 2-ampmotor that brings you 14,000 OPM. 

The ball bearing construction was added in order to reduce vibration and noise from this weight disparity—this works well, and the rubberized grip allows your hand to contour nicely. The result is a comfortable experience that allows for quick and compartmental finishing sanding.

This sander also comes with a rubber seal on the switch to help reduce dust clogging your device as well as a through-the-pad dust removal system that works decently most of the time. The paper clips are simply to use and let you switch grits easily.

Overall, the power and comfort for long-time use make the Makita BO4556K a good short-term solution for both pro contractors and in-home shops.

What we liked

  • Powerful workhorse
  • Packed with features that provide solid comfort and ease of use

What we didn't like

  • Dust bag, as per usual, is finicky and may slip
  • The wire clamp can make centering sheets difficult

Porter-Cable 380 Finish Palm Sander

The Porter-Cable 380 1/4 Sheet Orbital Finish Palm Sander can give a superior finish with the 2.0-amp motor producing a dual-plane, counterbalanced, 13,500 OPM. The low vibration and reduced weight help keep you working throughout the day with greatly reduced discomfort.

The device is completely sealed, as is the switch, reducing dust infiltration into your tool and improving the overall lifespan of the unit. The operation is defined as a “less aggressive material removal device”, meaning it is a viable choice for more delicate surfaces.

All in all, this is another well-crafted and compact sander that is built around ease of use and durability—expect smooth operation and a lack of numb hands with the Porter-Cable 380.

What we liked

  • Compact and comfortable
  • Smooth and controlled operation

What we didn't like

  • Dust collection is very poor
  • Cheaper than comparable devices

7. Bosch GSS20

The Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander is driven by a 2.0-amp motor producing 12,000 OPM and was designed around allowing you to make exceptionally tight orbital motions and flush sanding.

The aluminum sanding plate helps increase tool longevity, as does the dust-sealed switch, giving you more overall bang for your buck. The clamp and pad design help you quickly cycle through different grit papers, as well as stick on paper.

The micro filter dust canister and filtration system is about on par with most of the other sanders out there, meaning it will work great some days and fail you on others—it is designed to vacuum away both broad and fine particles. 

Comfort is another high point with a soft grip that helps your hand contour comfortably and reduces vibration transferring into your hand. Above average comfort compared with most finishing sanders.

While finish carpenters and pro users will get a lot out of this tool, incredibly, it is still in the DIY price range.

What we liked

  • Precision-machined aluminum sanding plate
  • Flush sanding ability

What we didn't like

  • Built for longevity, but still has a lot of plastic pieces
  • Dust removal quality

8. Black & Decker QS900

The Black & Decker QS900 is a powerful ¼-sheet sander in a tight package. Built to be easy to handle and flush on three sides, this 4lb tool is excellent for getting precise results even when dealing with tougher materials. The 2.0-amp motor puts out a blister 16,000 OPMwhich is mildly offset by the soft full-grip handle.

With this tool, your home renovations will really be a breeze. Quickly strip away paint from wood, plastic, metal, or prep a surface for a finish. Black & Decker claims it is actually 20% faster in use than comparable ¼-sheet sanders.

The dust collection system doesprovide some added convenience but it won’t save you from doing a thorough cleanup afterward. This is not going to be your first choice if you plan on working indoors and can’t open some windows.

However, for the price and the power, this is the tool you will want for that upcoming tough renovation. 

What we liked

  • Small and powerful

What we didn't like

  • Dust collector woes—messy
  • Not built for a long life

Final Thoughts

With so many low-cost options out there, it can be tempting to just get a cheap sheet sander at relatively low risk and see how it performs. Repeat this four or five times (as a lot of us have done), and you’ll realize you could have bought a high-end version at the outset and been working in style this whole time—for the same eventual price.

Another thing to consider: the best tool for the job will be the one built to handle your specific task, not necessarily the most expensive one or the one with the largest number of features. Don’t lose sight of that when reviewing these tools—the best overall unit may have an Achilles heel when it comes to your exact needs.

Evaluate each of these sanders for yourself, as well as the workload ahead of you, and make a rational decision about what you will be paying, the features you want, and what you expect out of the tool.

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