I'm curious as to the differences in finishing abilities of a palm sander and a
ROS. I assume the ROS is more aggressive. My palm sander died the other day
and I am debating about buying another one or a ROS in its place. In an ideal
world, I'd just buy both and not worry about it, but right now it's not an
option. The majority of my items are small and some can be very fragile
(fretwork pieces). I have a stationary belt/disc sander which along with my
hands have been filling the void.
Thanks for any advice.
PC Speedbloc. You'll want one after you get your ROS anyway.
http://www.woodworkingshop.com/ Has 'em, and though not necessarily at the
lowest price, you'll want to get your rolls of paper at the same time.
Leaving it up to you which to choose, PSA, Velcro or regular. Let the grit
be aggressive where you need it to be.
Don't you presand fretwork? I'd hate to think of sanding it after I'd put
the time in it.
I find the palm sander to be gentler then the ros and easier to use on then
wood. The palm seems to give a Slightly smother surface then the ros with
the same grit paper. For edge work the palm has no peer and the ros is not
the tool to use. For very small items the palm is better then the ros.
That being said I use my ros close to 10 times more then my palm, it cuts
faster and easier then the palm on most projects especially when you use a
router pad. For very then small fret work (1/8" or thinner) of solid wood
the palm sander is better, other wise I go with the ros and maybe a once
over with the palm. JMO
For small work that simply needs to be smoothed you want a finish sander and
or a palm sander. A ROS is going to be more aggressive PLUS the defined
path is hard to negotiate in coffined spaces and on small objects. Since
the circular sanding pad on a ROS goes in a random orbit the edge of its
travel while holding the sander in one place can vary as much as 1 inch from
one side of the sander to the other. As George has indicated, the PC
SpeedBloc would probably be your last sander if you choose that one.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin Daly) wrote in message
I had never used a ROS until last year when I bought one. I was tired
of using the palm sander, it took FOREVER. The ROS is like heaven on
earth. I think the finish is MUCH better than the palm, and it's so
I have both.
There are some applications where a finish sander is preferable, but 9 times
(or more) out of 10 you will reach for the ROS.
I *never* use the finish sander anymore. The ROS rocks. Yes it's generally
more agressive, but my latest has variable speed which is surprisingly
I generally do the last pass of sanding by hand with the grain anyway.
Buy an ROS.
I'm with Steve, if you can only buy one, buy a ROS. And do the
finishing work by hand and a palm sander is cheap enough that, with
the right hints, makes a great Christmas present from someone near and
I agree Leon, but reread this fromn the O.P.
"My palm sander died the other day and I am debating about buying another
one or a ROS in its place. In an ideal world, I'd just buy both and not
worry about it, but right now it's not an option"
Paraphrased: If I could only have one, which would it be?
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