Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tool Review-Milwaukee 6021-21 Random Orbit Palm Sander

First of all, you need to know that I am an "old school" type of guy who generally cringes at the use of any kind of power sander unless I am coerced by extreme arm twisting. I do nearly all my sanding by hand with no more than patience, sweat and sometimes a sanding block such as this one from 3M.

If you are looking for the best possible result, zero sanding marks, and don't mind spending countless hours sanding, a sanding block is the way to go. This one is available in our online store and it is very inexpensive. I consider a sanding block to be a staple item and is something that no respectable woodworker should be without. Click Here for details on this 3M Sanding Block.

Now, for those of you who hate sanding by hand, don't have the patience of a patron saint, and will settle for great quality, instead of pristine and flawless, you are going to need a power sander. One of the companies making power sanders that I like a lot is Milwaukee. The Milwaukee name has always had a great deal of respect within the woodworking industry, with a reputation for tough power tools. This Milwaukee 6021-21 Orbit Palm Sander is no exception to the rule. It is lightweight, easy to use, and is a tough little guy. Orbital sanders like this one are mainly designed for smaller projects and finish sanding and this model does that job very well. It has variable speed and comes with a case and dust collector. Sandpaper changes are a breeze with the hook and loop style pad. For those of you who want a lightweight, easy to use sander, for small to medium projects, I recommend the Milwaukee 6021-21.


Bird said...

Rory I heart tool too! But don't know what to do with them sometimes... :)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Bird, Thank you so much for dropping by and following. Tools are my specialty. This site is for craftswomen like you, that could use a little advice once in a while. It would be my pleasure to help you, if you have a crafting question. Rory

Katie @ BurbTales said...

Hi Rory - my question is a little late since I see this post is from April. I'm planning to paint my kitchen cabinets soon and I think sanding will produce a better finish than not sanding. But...I'm worried about making a big dust mess in the house. Are the dust bags/catchers on the sanders effective? Is there any other way to minimize sanding dust in the house? (PS the Sherwin Williams guy said there's no need to sand...but I'm not convinced)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Birdie,

I love your question. Here is the honest answer to it. Do not expect dust collectors on sanders to be real efficient. Even large commercial dust collectors leave something to be desired. They can be helpful, but you will probably still have a mess on your hands if you sand in the kitchen.

I would remove the doors from the cabinets and sand them outside. The time it takes to remove the doors will more than pay for itself in clean up time.

As for your Sherwin Williams guy, I totaly disagree with him. Here's why..

1.) Wherever there is a kitchen, there is a certain unavoidable amount of grease on cabinets that paint has trouble sticking to. Sanding will solve a lot of the grease issues.

2.) Even if you were the most fabulous housekeeper in the world, and your cabinets were grease free (practcally impossible) I would still recommend light sanding. Sanding ahead of time with 220 grit sandpaper will give the wood some " tooth ", creating a nice surface for your paint to bond to.

You dont need to sand down to the bare wood. The idea is to evenly scuff the surface with 220 grit. Oversanding will just create a bigger dust problem.

Please let me know if you need further assistance. I am here to help. Rory