My favorite far

Updated January 2, 2022.

For over a year I have been teaching a liquid metal class.  At each class I have tried to arrange to have a representative attend from one of the top rated sander companies.  Mirka, Festool, and SurfPrep so far. Below are my thoughts on each one.  If you are thinking of purchasing a new sander, reach out to the class attendees to hear their thoughts as well.  Keep into consideration that these have been used to sand/polish metal.  I should also mention that all 3 have great sanding adhesives.

If you also do a lot of sanding on wood, you may want to inquire with the manufacturer to find out which of their systems is good for both metal and wood.  

Price: $300+ depending on size and accessories.
Pros:  Small unit that is super easy to hold
Virtually no vibration
Fast sanding
Square design is great for corners
They have attachments for most other extractor brands.
Fantastic on wood.  In a test, it sanded a cabinet door in a breeze.  

Cons: Their "too many" ordering options are very confusing on website.
Confusing abrasives.  They are named fine, super fine, etc. instead of by grit number.  Makes it hard to figure out what to use/buy.

Abrasives: Their foam abrasives are fantastic.  They conform to the areas being sanded.  They beat out the Mirka and Festool abrasives and in my opinion they last longer.

Update April 2021:  I just spent a few days at the SurfPrep headquarters in Lake Elsinore and without a doubt these are the hand sanders I recommend for both wood and metal surfaces.  They are also in the process of relabeling their abrasives and will have the grit number printed on them.  

If you are interested in purchasing a SurfPrep product use discount code artfusion10 at checkout.

Price: $475+
Pros - Edge protector is great feature
Low vibration
Sander and polisher in a click of a button.
Gear driven
Comes with systainer

I think this is an excellent sander, however it was way too heavy for me.

Harder to hold if you have small handsShould use holding with both hands

Abrasives:  Great abrasives, but most expensive.

The only way to get a discount on Festool is through a retailer.

Price: $625+ just for the sander.
Pros - powerful
Low Vibration
Great extractor system

Cons - Expensive
Can only use with extractor 
Extractors are expensive
Hard to hold if you have small hands

Abrasives: Great abrasives 

With the exception of SurfPrep, you can go to an Acme, WoodCraft or Rockler store and check out the sanders.  Find the one that has the best weight and fit for you.  

I would love to hear from others who have used these sanders.


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