Last Updated on 2020-11-07 by Harry Masterton
The advantages that some power tools offer users might not be obvious to you at first. Some tools are almost mufti-functional, while others like the detail sander are designed for very specific tasks.
In A Hurry? Go To The best Detail Sander Reviews In Each Category
- Black+Decker Detail Sander
- The Best Sander For Intricate Work
- The Best Detail Sander For Furniture
- The Best Detail Sander With Dust Collection
- The Best Best Variable Speed Sander
- Black & Decker Cordless Detail Sander
- The Best Cordless Detail Sander
As a woodworker, you might ask, “What is a detail sander used for?” Simply put, the detail sander can reach into corners and perpendicular joints that larger sanders can not.
This sander design uses a triangular-shaped base plate instead of the round or square plate found on other types of sanders. The tip allows you to reach into the corner of your project to achieve the same results found elsewhere. Detail sanders often include other attachments that produce smooth results along perpendicular boards, between cut-outs, and delicate pieces.
Another answer to “What is a detail sander used for” would be light sanding. As you read the best detail sander reviews below, the power output and size will highlight fine sanding. The features lend themselves to craft items and small cabinetry projects.
Some woodworkers also find detail sanders to be the ideal size for smoothing the edges of a woodworking project. They find the smaller base easier to keep flat, without rounding the edges as they sand. A less-aggressive sander is also easier to operate on board edges as it does not take off as much material as other types of sanders.
What follows is the best detail sander reviews based on our research. The detailed look at design features will help you make a wise investment on a power tool that will meet your needs within your hobby. A detail sander should improve your sanding results and keep woodworking fun!
Table Of Contents
- 1 The Best Detail Sander Reviews
- 1.1 Detail sander vs palm sander
- 1.2 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Lets Start With The Original ‘Mouse Sander'
- 1.3 BLACK+DECKER Mouse Compact Detail Sander Detail Video
- 1.4 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best For Intricate Work
- 1.5 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best For Furniture
- 1.6 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Dust Collection
- 1.7 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Variable Speed
- 1.8 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Black & Decker Cordless
- 1.9 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Cordless Detail Sander
- 1.10 The Best Detail Sander Reviews – The Finish Is In The Details
The Best Detail Sander Reviews
Detail sander vs palm sander
Instead of asking, “What is a detail sander used for,” you might find yourself wondering if a palm sander can do the same jobs.
The answer is no.
Before looking through the best detail sander reviews, it might be beneficial to compare the detail sander vs palm sander. Both sand lightly and move in an orbital motion, but there are important differences:
- Base plate: Palm sanders have a rectangular plate, while the detail sander uses a triangular plate with a tip
- Orbital marks: Palm sanders use larger movements and leave orbital marks, a smaller detail sander does not
- Dust collection: Palm sanders often provide dust collection features, detail sanders are often too small for dust ports
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Lets Start With The Original ‘Mouse Sander'
Black+Decker BDEMS600 Mouse Compact Detail Sander
Recommended for: Woodworkers looking for the multiple hand position options featured on this black and decker detail sander.4.5 out of 5.0 stars
The best detail sander reviews start with the BDEMS600, an reasonably priced model from Black and Decker. It provides micro-filtration with the plastic debris canister that connects to the rear of the mouse sander. You may need to remove it when sanding corners in small boxes or other tight spaces, however.
Black+Decker BDEMS600 – Features
This black and decker detail sander allows you to hold it in the palm of your hand, with a handle, or in a position in-between. That offers a lot of versatility with your hand control. You can maintain even surface contact at any angle.
Another feature on this black and decker detail sander is the 1.2-amp electric motor. That is plenty of power to orbit the plate around your project without scaring the surface. You should note that this does not offer variable speed settings, though.
It generates up to 14,000 Orbits Per Minute (OPM) under no-load conditions. The motor should maintain near that unless you are using too much pressure.
A detailed finger attachment is included, providing access between cut-outs and between chair spokes. You also get two sheets of sandpaper to get you started straight from the box.
Black+Decker BDEMS600 – Things We Like
- It offers three different grip positions. This allows you to maintain control at different angles and reach.
- An ergonomic design. The hand positions place your hand in natural holding positions that are comfortable.
- The dust canister is clear. You will see when it is full and requires dumping.
Black+Decker BDEMS600 – Not So Good
- The dust collector could get in the way. You will have to remove it in tight spaces.
- Less durable plastics. The materials used feel a bit flimsy compared to other manufacturer's selections.
BLACK+DECKER Mouse Compact Detail Sander Detail Video
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best For Intricate Work
SKIL SR250801 Corded Detail Sander with Sanding Paper and Dust Box4.6 out of 5.0 stars
The best detail sander reviews continue with the SR250801 by SKIL. This corded model has a nice price tag that makes it appealing to new woodworkers and those who are starting their power tool collection.
SKIL SR250801 – Features
This lightweight detail sander uses a one-amp electric motor. It generates adequate power for sanding and runs quietly when compared to larger sanders. The single-speed motor creates 12,000 Orbits Per Minute under no-load conditions.
One design element that makes it the best sander for intricate work is the dust collection. It comes with a micro-filter dust box and a 1 1/4 inch dust port. That diameter will match up with many shop vac hoses as well as adaptor kits.
The power switch is on the front of the sander and can be activated and deactivated while you hold it. It is also sealed, preventing dust from entering the switch and damaging it.
SKIL uses a soft rubber on the grip that makes it comfortable to hold. This material also reduces vibrations created by the plate. That helps to eliminate vibration transfer into your hand, helping to make it the best sander for intricate work on larger projects.
SKIL SR250801 – Things We Like
- A lower price point. This tool is affordable for any shop budget.
- Six foot power cord. You could plug this in for a quick clean on smaller boards without an extension cord.
- Weighs 2.31-pounds. That is light for this size of detail sander.
SKIL SR250801 – Not So Good
- Sanding paper wears unevenly. The paper wears along the plate edge unless you are sanding flat surfaces.
- It can be difficult to replace sandpaper. The design takes some time to get used to.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best For Furniture
SKIL SR232301 Corded Multi-Function Detail Sander with 3 Additional Detail Attachments4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Versatility is showcased with this entry on the best detail sander reviews. Woodworkers who make chairs, tables and other furniture will appreciate the SR232301 for its ability to sand various surfaces. Using this tool provides smooth texture on curves, spokes, and flat pieces.
SKIL SR232301 – Features
A stand out feature on this sander is the multiple attachments SKIL includes. The base plate can be used on its own or with one of three different attachments. This four-in-one design is easy to use and helps to make this the best detail sander for furniture on this list.
Dimensions of 6.8-inches by 4.1-inches x 5.2-inches keep it compact, allowing it to be used in narrow shelves or box interiors. The 2.31-pounds of weight will not fatigue users and makes it the best detail sander for furniture pieces with larger surfaces.
This model comes with sandpaper wedges that are shaped to fit each attachment. That allows you to get sanding straight from the box. You will find that change-outs with the sandpaper are easy to do, and the paper will hold once in place.
SKIL SR232301 – Things We Like
- Works on multiple surfaces. This is good for cabinetry work like chairs and other furniture with different shapes.
- No-tool attachments. The accessories can be changed without wrenches or screwdrivers.
- Added texture on the top pad. It will help keep the sander secure as you work.
SKIL SR232301 – Not So Good
- Costs more for what you get. It is not the most economical choice if you do not need the accessories.
- Attachments can become loose with use. You have to secure the properly the first time.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Dust Collection
Hammerhead HADS014 1.4-Amp Multi-Function Detail Sander with Dust Collection System and Detail Attachment
4.4 out of 5.0 stars
Keeping your home or shop clean while you work helps place the HADS014 from Hammerhead on the best detail sander reviews list. Using the dust box with micro-filtration prevents dust from building up, and the hose attachment will allow you to use your shop vac for even more cleaning capabilities.
Hammerhead HADS014 – Features
The extra power of this product's electric motor will generate enough dust to require the best detail sander with dust collection options. Its 1.4-amp rating will create up to 12,000 Orbits Per Minute. That will take down wood grain without removing a lot of material at once.
That motor also increases the suction provided during sanding. It will keep the surface free from dust and chips as you work. That will help sandpaper to last longer and work more effectively as well.
Its dust box uses clear plastic along the bottom portion. You can see into it, allowing you to know when it needs to be cleaned out. The vacuum attachment slips into place easily and provides a secure connection, another feature that makes this the best detail sander with dust collection.
Each detail attachment can be installed by hand, making them a tool-free accessory.
Hammerhead HADS014 – Things We Like
- Includes dust attachments. You can use either the dust box or the hose attachment for your shop vac.
- A 1.4-amp electric motor. This provides a bit more power than other designs on this list.
- Hook-and-loop attachment. This is the cleanest and easiest sandpaper attachment method.
Hammerhead HADS014 – Not So Good
- The sandpaper is not the best quality. It will wear quickly, meaning more frequent change-outs.
- No rubberized grip on the sides of the housing. You will feel more vibration through your fingers when using it.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Variable Speed
PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B 20V MAX Sheet Sander Without Battery
Recommended for: Anyone looking for the adjustability that the best variable speed detail sander can provide.4.6 out of 5.0 stars
The PCCW201B enters the best detail sander reviews list as the best professional detail sander. Its rubber grip provides the comfort needed for continuous use in busy shop conditions. A low profile also allows you better control as you sand.
PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B – Features
The best variable speed detail sander uses a dial to adjust settings. Users can select options ranging from 9,000 to 12,000 Orbits Per Minute. You can adjust for a more or less-aggressive sanding, based on the type of material you are sanding with it.
Another feature that the best variable speed detail sander offers is a strong battery pack. The 20V MAX system runs optimally at 18-volts. Its 20-volt maximum storage capacity will provide a more consistent level of power for a longer length of time.
The battery is thin, so it does not stand proud from the handle. It does not make the sander handle-heavy, preventing the sander from becoming unbalanced once the battery pack is installed.
The Porter-Cable PCCW201B has a vacuum port which will take a 1 1/4″ dust hose for excellent dust removal. This puts the Porter-Cable PCCW201B firmly on the list of best detail sander with dust collection.
PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B – Things We Like
- Cordless design offers mobility. You can use it anywhere and cords will not get into the way.
- The 20V MAX battery design. It provides optimal power for longer periods than standard 18-volt platforms can.
- Variable speed control. This allows you to match sanding speed with the attachment as well as wood grain.
PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B – Not So Good
- This is a tool only purchase. You will need to buy a battery and charger separately if you do not already own other PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX products.
- The bag is hard to cleanout. Debris and dust particles tend to stick in the fabric.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Black & Decker Cordless
BLACK+DECKER BDCMS20C 20V MAX Sheet Sander
4.6 out of 5.0 stars
The BDCMS20C offers a great two-handed design with a pistol grip, helping it to make the best detail sander reviews. This handle sits behind the sander housing, allowing you to push and pull the sander while keeping the plate in contact with the wood grain. Its battery slides into the base of the handle, and the thin battery shell does not get in the way while you are working.
BLACK+DECKER BDCMS20C – Features
This Black and Decker cordless detail sander uses a 20-volt maximum capacity design. It will provide consistent performance as the battery discharges, allowing you to take full advantage of the 1.5 amp-hours of power between charges.
A finger attachment offers as reach onto surfaces that the base plate might struggle to make contact with. You get sandpaper for the sander and the finger attachment in the box.
Another consideration that makes this Black and Decker cordless detail sander worth a second look is the manufacturer's warranty package. Customers get a 90-day money-back guarantee and one year of free service on the sander. Black and Decker also offer a three-year limited warranty on the BDCMS20C.
BLACK+DECKER BDCMS20C – Things We Like
- The pistol grip. This design feels comfortable to hold and use, especially compared to knob hand placement.
- A front end hand position. This provides a place for your second hand, offering increased control and pressure.
- Its 2.59-pounds weight. That is reasonably light for a sander and battery pack.
BLACK+DECKER BDCMS20C – Not So Good
- The handle and battery pack make it longer. The length may keep it from fitting into tighter spaces.
- This pistol grip design is not balanced. You may experience fatigue in your wrist and forearm with longer sanding sessions.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – Best Cordless Detail Sander
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Our final entry on the best detail sander reviews is the WX822L from WORX. It comes with a finger sanding attachment and paper to get you started right away. This kit also includes a battery pack, charger, dust canister, and a carrying bag.
WORX WX822L – Features
The best cordless detail sander uses a familiar 20-volt maximum charge battery pack. A key difference is that this battery is rated at 2.0 amp-hours, a noticeable increase from previous selections. That longer run time is achieved through the charger (it does require five hours for a full charge, however) design and individual cells in the pack that provide that increase.
It does come with a finger attachment and sandpaper, like other models reviewed previously. A nice edition is the carry bag that allows you to store everything together in one place.
12,000 Orbits Per Minute provides the speed to take off material without going overboard. The single-speed design should provide those OPMs under most conditions. That consistency is another detail that makes this the best cordless detail sander.
A small dust bag is also included, but you will find that it fills up fairly quickly. It will suffice for small projects or local work on wider surfaces, though.
WORX WX822L – Things We Like
- The sander comes with a battery pack and charger. This is convenient, especially at this price.
- Its Power Share battery design is powerful. It can be used in 20-volt or 40-volt power tools.
- A carry bag is included. This helps to keep things together and allows you to transport it easily.
WORX WX822L – Not So Good
- A lack of hand cushioning. The handle is hard plastic, making it less-comfortable and transfers more vibrations.
- Heat can build up. You may feel the sander getting hot as you work over an extended period.
If you like our best detail sander reviews then checkout our complete coverage (constantly updated) of the essential woodworking power tools for your shop with links to reviews for each category.
The Best Detail Sander Reviews – The Finish Is In The Details
The best detail sander reviews showcase the variety of features that manufacturers include in today's detail sander designs. The best sander for you and your shop will rely on matching the product to your needs as a hobbyist or professional.
The Black+Decker BDEMS600 Mouse Compact Detail Sander is a corded design that offers you three different hand grips. It is ergonomic as well, allowing you to operate it for longer without getting cramped or tired.
SKIL's Corded Detail Sander, the SR250801, is designed to handle intricate workloads. A one-amp electric motor drives the oscillation without taking off too much material at once.
The SKIL SR232301 Corded Multi-Function Detail Sander is great for working on furniture. That is due to the multiple attachments that are included with the detail sander that can work on a variety of spaces and shapes.
The Hammerhead HADS014 1.4-Amp Multi-Function Detail Sander with Dust Collection System and Detail Attachment stands out with its dust collection capabilities. It can help to keep an area clean, which can be critical for shops and projects in the home.
The PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B 20V MAX Sheet Sander Tool Only stands out on the best detail sander reviews list for its variable speed settings. Matching OPMs with the project can create stunning results.
The BLACK+DECKER BDCMS20C 20V MAX Sheet Sander excels in two-handed applications. This design allows you to keep consistent contact with the wood while applying adequate pressure.
The WORX WX822L represents the best in cordless designs. Users will appreciate the increased amp-hours offered by this battery platform system.
Just remember, no matter which design stands out to you, the best detail sander reviews are designed to keep your hobby enjoyable while smoothing out your project's surface and giving them that perfect finish.