Sanders & Grinders

Add the right finish to all your projects. Sanders and grinders save time and energy by helping you to achieve consistent, speedy results.

A good sander is an indispensable part of your workshop, whether you work with wood on a regular basis or only occasionally.

Grinders, meanwhile, serve a bevy of useful functions ranging from rust removal and blade sharpening, to polishing and buffing.

Type of Sanders

Random Orbit Sander

Random Orbit Sander

Random orbit sanders feature a round pad that moves in a random pattern to prevent gouging, and can handle everything from rough to finish sanding. Random-orbit sanders are among the most versatile of all sanders, and are available in four models:

  • Palm-grip: Compact and lightweight; ideal for smaller projects such as sanding drywall or stripping furniture.
  • Pistol-grip: Larger and more powerful; provide smoother finishes; ideal for working on tabletops and casework.
  • Right-angle: Heavy-duty; work quickly for rough sanding.
  • Pneumatic sanders: Powered by compressors; powerful and versatile.
Belt Sander

Belt Sander

Belt sanders utilize a pulley-driven loop, and are ideal for removing large amounts of wood quickly. They are best used for large areas and rough sanding, such as sanding doors, tabletops and other uneven areas.

Finishing/Sheet Sander

Finishing/Sheet Sander

Finishing/sheet sanders feature a squared-off sanding pad that moves in a circular motion. They are ideal for delivering smooth, fine finishes to such materials as veneers and plywood. Also, because of their square base, they work well sanding corners.

Features

Sawdust Collection
Sanding of any kind creates a considerable amount of sawdust. Look for sanders with bags to collect dust or ports that give you the ability to hook the sander up to a dust collection system or wet/dry vacuum to whisk away debris it's created.
Trigger Lock
Trigger locks allow you to keep the unit locked in the on position without having to manually depress the trigger, freeing up your hands to focus on guiding and controlling the sander.
Clamps
Often used with smaller portable sanders, clamps allow you to lock sanders in an upside-down position to create a sanding stand. Rather than bringing the sander to the wood, clamps let you bring the wood to the sander for small, delicate items.
Pad Brakes
Pad brakes allow you to lift the sander from the work surface and put it back down without gouging the material. Once in place, you may want to remove them to ensure the highest-quality performance.

Types of Grinders

Bench-top Grinder

Bench-top Grinder

Bench-top grinders are ideal for heavy-duty polishing, grinding and sharpening. They generally feature two wheels, one with a lower grit for coarse work and the other with a higher grit for finer, more detailed results. Their wheels typically range in diameter from 5" to 10" and spin at roughly 3,500 RPM

An important consideration when buying a bench-top grinder is the purchase of a diamond wheel dressing tool. This is used to produce sharp, new edges on your grinding wheels for optimum performance.

Portable/angle Grinder

Portable/angle Grinder

Portable/angle grinders are generally smaller than bench-top grinders and have only one wheel ranging from 2" to 7" in diameter. These sanders often have a side handle that makes them easier to hold with two hands.

Use the chart below to help determine which wheels you'll need to use for a given job:

Wheel Type Use and Points to Consider
Silicone Carbide

Sharpening metal tools; rounding edges of metal pipes

Cleaning and sharpening sheet metal

Fibre

Removing burrs and rust from metal

Buffing

Buffing and polishing

Must apply wax to wheel before use

Sanding

Sanding and sharpening; prepping surfaces for painting

Wire/Brush

Cleaning metal; removing rust and paint; stripping and deburring

Flapper

Sharpening tools such as shovels, axes, scrappers

Aluminium Oxide

Woodworking and materials that easily crumble

Run cooler and resist clogging

Need frequent replacing

Dry-cut Diamond

Cutting tile, stone and concrete

Cutoff

Cutting bars, rods and bolts

Grinding

Restoring edges

Sharpening outdoor power equipment blades and hand tools

Tuck Pointing

Removing mortar

Features

Water Trays
Units with water trays provide a convenient place to cool down metal as you grind, helping to prevent it from overheating.
Variable Speed
Motors that allow for speed adjustment let you grind on slower speeds to prevent heat buildup.
Vacuum Attachment
A vacuum attachment allows you to connect your grinder to a vacuum to eliminate the ample amounts of dust created when tuck pointing brick.
Gearing
Metal gear housing aids in high-torque applications. Grinders with machine-cut gears generally last longer and require less maintenance, saving money over the long run, despite a slightly larger up-front investment.
Lighting Built-in lamps provide better illumination of the work area for increased accuracy.

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