Updated: Oct 12, 2016
Spindle Sander Reviews:
- What is a spindle sander?
- Benefits of using an oscillating spindle sander
- How much do spindle sanders cost? Which should I buy?
When it comes to sanders, we will agree that spindle sanders may not be the most important type. However, they do come in handy when sanding curves on furniture or stair treads. Woodworkers know the value of a solid machine or tool and spindle sanders have their purpose. They are designed to sand those hard to reach areas - deep hole cuts, curved edges, furniture legs, and more.
A spindle sander is perfect for those that refinish furniture or even manufacture it. We have an old teak set of furniture with intricate detail work around the legs and backs of the chairs and couch and a professional woodworker here in Portland helped us refinish it with the help of his spindle sander.
The video below shows the basic functions of a JET spindle sander:
What to look for in a spindle sander?
Spindle sanders come in 3 types - floor machine, benchtop models and hand held portable models. The floor spindle sanders are the most expensive of the lot and usually only found in commercial shops. The benchtop spindle sanders are very affordable and a common tool found in home workshops.
Hand held spindle sanders are not as popular, but they are versatile and portable which makes them great for those moving from jobsite to jobsite. Or perhaps the wood you need to sand is not so easy to get up on the benchtop model, the handheld spindle sander can go to the wood - something the others just can't do.
For the longest time you saw spindle sandles as attachments on drill presses but there are problems that occur with this option (burn marks on wood). The sander drum spins around on a traditional spindle sander and the oscillating type allow the drum to move up and down at the same time. This provides for less static friction and will help the sanding sleeve last longer.
The benchtop models, like the one from Jet, are quite popular and very useful for home workshops and even some industrial users. The high end General International 15-020M1 Oscillating Spindle Sander is a floor machine that would probably only be seen in a professional workshop.
Top brands include Jet, Powertec, Rockwell, Delta, Grizzly, Porter Cable, Triton, and General International. Prices start at $150 and go up to $3000. A good mid-range model should cost between $200 and $500. You can find spindle sander reviews online at websites like Newwoodworker.com, Epinions, Finewoodworking.com, and Sawdustshavings.com.
We have included a Youtube Video above with a nice review of the Jet sander. Read the Ridgid EB4424 Sander review on Amazon and see what others have to say about that model. You can browse the best selling oscillating spindle sanders here.
Best Spindle Sanders:
RECOMMENDED - In all the reviews we could find online and in magazines, it seems that Jet runs this category. Owner and expert reviews for Jet Spindle Sanders are very good. The quality of Jet has never been questioned and their high end spindle sanders hold up quite well.
The top selling JET 708404 has been near the top ranks for almost a decade. The 1/2 HP motor can handle heavy duty sanding projects and the table tilts to 45 degrees so angled materials are no problem. The oscillating action will provide for longer sleeve life.
The JBOS-5 features non skid rubber feet so the unit remains stable throughout your project. Spindle changes are practically seamless as they have threaded ends which allows for quick work. The 1 inch spindle gives you scratch free finishes. The Jet oscillating spindle sander weighs just above 80 pounds and comes with a 5 year warranty.
What's in the box? Jet delivers a 1/4, 1/2, 5/8, and 1 1/2 and 2 inch spindle assemblies. You also get two round table inserts and two oblong table inserts. Owners say the Jet sander runs quiet and they like the all metal table top. Jet offers the high end 708411 JOVS-10 for $1100 but reviews are mixed. With more spindles (up to 4 inch) and more motor HP (1HP motor), the Jet 708411 is an incredible machine.
Reports on Amazon show that the spindle sander shipped with gear oil all over the place when it arrived. Those that got a machine that was oil free (in terms of leaking) said the Jet performs flawlessly.
To check out how to use a spindle sander in your woodworking shop - click the image below to go to video.
Oscillating Spindle Sander:
BEST - A lessor known brand is Powertec and their POWERTEC OS1000 gets great feedback on websites like Amazon from owners. Most agree that the "value" on this oscillating spindle sander is what makes it a great buy. The Powertec will sand curves, arcs, contours and many irregular shapes and the oscillating spindle reduces friction keeping wood from burning.
The 18" diameter cast iron table is plenty large enough for most items and the drum diameter can handle 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/2, 2, and 3 inch spindles. The 2/5 HP, 2.6 amp motor will generate up to 1725 RPMs and the spindle speed is 30 SPM. Owner reviews call it a "great machine" and "good bang for the buck". We say that for $200 it's a good bet for those that are hobbyist woodworkers and don't to spend $500 or more for an industrial spindle sander.
Hand Held Oscillating Spindle Sander:
The #1 seller in this category (there are few competitors) is the Porter-Cable 121 6 Amp Hand Held Oscillating Spindle Sander which sells for $270. You are paying a premium over the basic benchtop models because with the Porter Cable 121 you get a niche product that serves you well. Great for those hard to reach places that benchtop models just can't do. Those involved with cabinet making, trim, flooring, remodeling, and woodworking will find this portable spindle sander very useful.
It's lightweight and ergonomic which means you can use it for hours and not get hand fatigue. The variable speeds range from 2400 to 3600 RPM and you get 38 to 60 oscillations per minute with the PC. Use it to clean up burn marks from routers or sand saw marks. You can use drums and drum paper from 1/2 inch to 2 inches in diameter. There is also a 1 inch vacuum port to handle the dust control.
Users say in reviews that the Porter Cable "works great on jigsaw cleanup" and the only complaint we read was that some wish it had a carrying case. That's a reasonable thing to ask for given the price.
More videos and resources are here on our Spindle Sanders Resource Page.
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