Edge sanders are the perfect electric woodworking power tool for smoothing and finishing. You can choose from two basic types: handheld floor sanders and belt sanders. The type of tool you will use depends on a combination of your intended application and personal preferences. You see, handheld floor sanders are great for hard-to-reach areas.
They are designed to make these spaces easier to access and modify. With a traditional floor sander, certain areas are not always possible to treat, such as spaces against baseboards, walls, and railings. Belt sanders are beneficial for carpentry projects that involve smoothing edges. The structural design allows for more precision with less effort.
Edge Floor Sanders
Edge floor sanders are a popular asset for wood floor refinishing projects because they effectively smooth and polish wood flooring, removing surface blemishes like dents, dings, and more. They are similar to drum sanders in terms of power since they both offer a great deal of it; however, the edge sander is portable, like an orbital sander, making it more convenient to transport and use.
Some have complained that they are a little on the bulky side, but many have also mentioned that they are very easy to operate with just one person. With a removable sanding disc on the bottom and an easy-to-grip handle on the top, it is no surprise they are easy to work with. Simply pressing the handle on top initiates the discs to lower, press, and rotate against the floor.
Edge Belt Sanders
These popular woodworking power tools are also known as oscillating edge sanders. They are preferred by many since they rest on top of a table, counter, or cabinet, making them at a work-surface level for users. This level of height makes it easier for many people to work with wood for smoothing and finishing purposes. It also gives users a great view of their pieces while they work.
They operate by a continuous rotating belt that is made of sandpaper. The belt can be any grade of sandpaper, from fine grit to coarse grit. It all depends on the specific application. This sandpaper belt is stretched across two metal drums, which spin as the belt rotates. It is very similar to a conveyor belt. Users simply touch the belt with their item, and apply different amounts of pressure and movement to smooth out imperfections or create curves in the wood.
Which One To Get?
The type of edge sander you choose will depend on a few factors. Your preference and project needs are the top factors to consider. It is helpful to know that floor sanders generally come with a dust bag to collect the debris produced from woodworking, and belt sanders do not come with this option. This sometimes has some weight to it for consumers.
Both devices can be used with several different grades of sandpaper, and are priced similarly in stores. However, it is a challenge to find them in your average hardware store. To purchase a quality device, you would have to contact rental facilities or a commercial carpentry store. If you are wondering which sander to choose, the best option is to acquire both. That way, you are prepared for all kinds of woodworking and carpentry applications!