If you have ever gotten cramps in both hands from hours of sanding the intricate curves on a woodworking project, you will certainly understand the value of a spindle sander. A spindle sander can provide a precision finish without the fatigue of sanding by hand and it will complete the task a whole lot faster too. When it comes to sanding those curves, there is no substitute for getting your hands on the best spindle sander available.
Whether you are a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, you need to read our spindle sander reviews and buyer's guide before investing your hard-earned money in a spindle sander. Here is how we can help:
With those objectives in mind, let’s compare 8 top spindle sanders.
8 Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders Review
The compact design and quiet operation of the WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander make short work of curves, arcs, contours and other odd shapes. Its ½ HP 3.5 Amp motor generates 58 oscillations with a 5/8 inch stroke and 2000 rpms to speed up the process of sanding without the fatigue of doing it by hand. Along with the sander are 6 easy-to-change drums from ½” to 3” for greater versatility and they can be stored in a specially designed holder on the back of the unit.
Also included is a 1 ½” dust port, which is compatible with a dust extractor for keeping your work space clean while you work and minimizing cleanup afterward. It weighs in at only 35 pounds and its small footprint allow you to use it without taking up a lot of work spaces. In addition, there is a nationwide network of skilled service technicians to help if you need it and the unit is backed by a 2 year warranty.
Stability and enhanced material support for a larger stock are part of what draws attention to the Triton TSPS450 Oscillating Spindle Sander. The cast iron table on this sander measures 11 ½” x 14 ½” and provides a more stable surface to work on. The oscillating spindle spins at 2000 rpms and travels 5/8” in oscillation at a rate of 58 opms. It is powered by a ½ HP, 3.5 Amp motor for quieter operation. It comes with the versatility of 6 rubber drums and sanding sleeves at sizes from ½” up to 3” in diameter, all of which can be stored onboard the unit itself.
This unit weighs just under 36 pounds and has a small enough footprint to be used on your workbench without taking up a lot of space. Its easy setup and operation make it a great sander for beginners, but it still does the work that a pro needs.
Built for durability and reliable performance, the JET 708404 JBOS- Oscillating Spindle Sander is a tool that you will have the pleasure of using for a long time. A 14 ¾” square cast iron table sits atop a base constructed of durable metal for greater stability and longevity. Its single phase ½ HP induction motor powers the spindle on this unit at 2000 rpm and it has a full 1” spindle stroke for longer wear and less friction.
Additional features of this heavyweight include 5 different spindle sizes from ¼” to 2”, but it will accommodate a 3” drum (not included) with spindle and washer storage on the unit itself. This sander also comes with a tilting table for bevel sanding, which will tilt up to 45-degrees and a 2” dust port for keeping your workspace clean is also a part of the package.
Another heavy-duty sander to keep in mind is the Delta Woodworking 31-483 Oscillating Spindle Sander. The durable, precision performance of this unit is provided for with an all-metal base and 14 ¾” cast iron table. It utilizes a single phase, ½ HP motor to run this sander at 1725 rpms, making it run a bit cooler and it has a 15/16” stroke at 29 oscillations per minute, providing for a better length of wear on the sleeves.
Additional features on this spindle sander boost its value and include a 2 ¼” dust port (expandable to 4”), an up to 45-degree tilting table, and 5 interchangeable spindles from ¼” up to 2”. Onboard storage of spindles, washers, and discs is provided for, making them easily available for quick and easy change out. This unit is also backed by a 5 year warranty.
Despite this being considered a heavy-duty spindle sander, it’s relatively small, but not small enough to make it convenient. The weight makes it difficult to move it from location to location and considering it to be portable would be a mistake. Many consumers either hated the small size or hated the weight considering the smaller size which is something to consider.
Another noticeable problem is there is no 3” spindle available. For a heavy duty spindle sander, this is a huge deterrence and something that diehard professionals depend on.
The Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander is quiet, powerful and durable. This unit is powered by a 3.5 amp, single phase, ½ HP motor, which operates its spindle at 2000 rpms and oscillates 5/8” at 58 opms. The durable cast iron table top on this sander measures 15” x 11 ½” and sits on a lightweight base, making it a portable 30 pounds.
Among the other features of this unit is a built-in 1 ½” dust port to help keep your workspace tidy and 6 different spindles from ½” to 3” for greater versatility. Spindle and washer storage are all onboard the unit for easy access when it comes time to change accessories. Safety is another feature on this unit with a locking power switch and removable key, preventing accidents and unauthorized access. It also comes with a 2-year warranty.
The larger table surface on this Grizzly G0538 Oscillating Spindle Sander is one of its major attractions because it allows you to work with larger stock. The cast iron table on this sander measures in at 20” x 14” and sets on a lightweight base, making it fully portable. It comes with a 4 amp, 1/3 HP, single phase motor that powers its spindle at 1725 rpms, making it run cooler and its oscillator moves 5/8” at a rate of 72 opm.
This oscillating spindle sander is a lightweight 35 pounds with a small footprint for both workspace conservation and portability. It comes with 6 spindles from ½” to 3” for great versatility in sanding and all accessories, including drums, discs and washers can be stored onboard for quick and easy access. A 2 ½” dust port is provided on this machine and it comes with a locking safety tab.
The two in one function of the Rigid EB4424 Oscillating Sander makes it a bit more appealing for those who prefer a multifunction tool. This sander allows for straight or beveled edge sanding of straight or curved edges depending upon how it is adjusted. It is powered by a 5 amp, ¾ HP motor, which operates the sander at 1725 rpms on the spindle and 1350 rpms on the belt reducing its friction ratio to keep things cooler. The oscillation of this unit is a ¾” stroke at 60 opm, which helps it to conserve sandpaper wear. The table on this unit can be adjusted up to 48-degrees for beveled edges as well.
This sander comes with a 4” x 24” belt as well as 5 sanding drums and sleeves from ½” up to 2” in diameter. Also included in the design of this lightweight, multi-purpose unit is a large capacity dust port to keep your workspace cleaner and for faster cleanup when you finish. With two functions in a single unit, the price-point on this sander is extremely affordable.
Affordable is a major selling point for the POWERTEC OS1400 Oscillating Spindle Sander. This unit has a 14” diameter sanding table made of cast iron. It is powered by a 2.6 amp, induction motor, which powers the spindle on this unit at 1800 rpms, helping to prevent scorching. The oscillation on this machine has a 5/8” stroke and a speed of 30 opm, which also prevents burning your stock and ruining your finish.
Features that are included on this sander are 6 spindles from ½” to 3” in diameter for greater versatility, a built-in dust port for a cleaner workspace, and onboard storage of discs, washers, and spindles for quicker and easier access when it comes time to change them out. At only 31 pounds, and with a small footprint, this sander takes up little workbench space and is very portable.
Buyers Guide: Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders
What benefits can you expect from a spindle sander?
Before spindle sanders, round edges had to be sanded by hand, not only was it a more labor intensive process, but the potential for less precision was more likely as well. Those issues change when a spindle sander is in your shop.
A spindle sander reduces fatigue and strain.
Hand sanding requires a lot of elbow grease, as the old timers would say. Though elbow grease might build character, it also produces a lot of strain and fatigue in your hand, wrist, wrist and arm. The fatigue of hand sanding slows down getting your project finished and might even cause you to not do an adequate job of sanding.
A spindle sander works faster and with greater precision.
Because the sander drum turns at a consistent speed, the oscillation has a consistent stroke and the curvature of the drum is consistent, you get greater precision when you sand with less of a chance of over-sanding or under-sanding in certain areas. In addition, those consistencies work much faster than sanding by hand, especially when you consider having to go back and fix errors.
What features should you look for in a spindle sander?
Being able to select the best spindle sander will depend upon your needs, personal preferences and what your budget can handle. Where those criteria may vary from one individual to another, there are some general features to keep in mind when choosing the spindle sander that will work best for you. Let’s take a quick look at those features, which include:
Spindle sander motors typically run from ½ to 1 HP. Your spindle sander will be more powerful and better able to withstand a greater workload, but a lower HP motor is often the better choice when it comes to lighter precision work. The more important result of how your sander is powered is related to RPMs, which can speed up the sanding process.
Dimensions and weight:
Balance comes into play when considering dimensions and weight. Though you will want a lighter machine if you have to move it around a lot, a heavier machine provides greater stability and less vibration. When it comes to dimensions, storage and workspace are certainly considerations, but the most important consideration is the dimensions of the sanding table. If you work with wider and longer stock, you will want a larger table to accommodate those larger pieces. That larger table, which is typically made of cast iron, is going to significantly add to the overall weight of the unit as well.
Most spindle sanders come with various sizes of drums for different types of curves and applications. With more accessories included, you are provided with greater versatility. In addition, consider how and where these accessories can be stored for quick access, after all, who wants to stop working and go hunt for a different sanding drum in the bottom of your toolbox (if you’re lucky).
Changing out the attachments and sleeves of various grit types and sizes is also something to keep in mind. There really should not be many ways to make this complicated, yet some manufacturers find a way. Sleeves should easily slip onto the drums and easily lock in place without a lot of effort. Changing the drums should also be a relatively simple task as well.
Though there is not much to a spindle sander, there are some additional features you might keep an eye out for. Such as:• A safety shutoff paddle.
• A longer oscillation stroke helps to save sandpaper and avoids friction.
• A dust port, which helps to keep your work area clean of debris.
• A tilting table, which allows you to sand on an edge.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Many users who are considering spindle sanders have similar questions to ask concerning various aspects of spindle sanders. We will address some of those questions in this section.
How important is a 3” drum?
A lot of spindle sanders only provide a drum up to 2” while others provide larger drums. The difference can be a matter of budget, but if this is the only issue separating you between purchasing one model over another, it is best to go ahead and purchase the 3” drum. The 3” drum saves time and wear on the sandpaper sheets and is the one most often used by those who work with spindle sanders on a daily basis.
Can you get replacement parts and sleeves for your spindle sander?
Rubber drums do not last forever and neither do sleeves, so getting replacement parts is a pretty necessary part of owning and using a spindle sander. Before purchasing a spindle sander, it pays to look around at your local hardware and home improvement stores to see which brands, sizes and additional accessories you can get your hands on without having to sit and wait on an order to come in.
Is a dust port really necessary on a spindle sander?
Many woodworking tools come with a dust port, which helps to clear away debris from the work surface while you work. This is especially necessary when it comes to planers, saws and the like because the debris is often slivers and chunks of wood as well as dust. Since a spindle sander does not have larger debris, many manufacturers do not include a dust port. However, when it comes to precision woodworking and keeping your work area clean, a dust port makes a lot of sense.
Is a tilting table necessary on a spindle sander?
Though it is not used a great deal of the time, there are occasions when sanding needs to be done at a particular angle. Many users make wooden sine plates or wedges with a particular angle and use them on a flat table to achieve a similar effect to what might be accomplished with a tilting table. The advantage of the tilting table over these sine plates is that it can be easily adjusted to varying degrees of tilt, but you will need several sine plates with different angles on them and you will have to keep track of them.
Are there any typical safety issues to be aware of when using a spindle sander?
As simple and non-threatening as a spindle sander is, it can be dangerous to operate if not used properly. There are four specific safety issues to be aware of:
• Long hair or loose clothing can get wrapped up in the spindle.
• Feed stock from right to left so that you have more control.
• Do not press too hard into the spindle as it can grab the board and transfer the force of the spindle into slinging the board into you or others nearby.
• Do not lower stock with a hole in it over a spinning spindle for the same reason we just mentioned. When sanding a hole, be certain that the machine is off and the sanding drum is significantly smaller than the hole.
Following common sense and these few safety tips, you can operate a spindle sander without causing harm to you or others nearby.
Selecting the best spindle sander to meet your needs, personal preferences and budget can be something of a challenge. Fortunately, our buyer’s guide and reviews of 8 top spindle sanders should provide you with enough information to make a more qualified decision when it comes time to make your purchase.
In our spindle sander reviews we looked mostly at bench-top models which could provide lightweight to heavy-duty spindle sanding. Within those reviews, considerations of price, versatility, power, durability and overall functionality were compared. Some of the models we looked at accounted for more of these qualities in their design than others, while maintaining a balance between value and the price of investment.
No doubt some of the sanders we reviewed were more appealing than other for various reasons, but all-in-all, you should be able to make a well-qualified purchasing decision when it comes to time to reduce fatigue and provide a quicker, more precise finish of a oscillating spindle sander.
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