Tool Comparison Test 07-2004

Black and Decker R0410 5-inch Random Orbit Palm Sander

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OUR FINDINGS:

We found the Black & Decker to be naturally squirrelly, and best controlled when using the top grip. When using the lower-body or rear 'jug' grip -- even in conjunction with the front handle -- a lot more vibration is felt and comfortable-use time is shortened. It operates at a loud volume -- nearly as loud as the Milwaukee, and the brake is slower than most of the others.

Test checklist:
Retail price: Under $90
Specifications: 120-volts, 2.4-amps
Weight of sander (fully loaded):
3-3/8 lbs.
Variable speed: No -- single speed only. Easy-to-use index- and middle-finger on and off buttons.
Dust collection/ vacuum attachment capabilities: Sander uses 'through-pad' dust collection to dust bag. The dust bag is wide, long, flat, and seemingly large. However, because the opening is so narrow, it was harder to empty than some of the others. The bag opening has a built-in wire frame that easily snaps it onto the plastic dust bag frame. A vacuum hose adapter came included -- a bonus.
Comfort of grip: Great, ergonomic grips. The sander has 3 different built-in grips for various holding positions, and each is lined with a gel grip surface. There is a top grip (basic palm handle), a 360-degree body grip around the extended, round body, and a jug grip (rear handle and palm knob) for optional two-handed operation.
Sanding disk attachment: Accommodates hook-and-loop sanding pads. Includes 3 pads of varying coarseness.
Length of power cord: 6-1/2 feet
Carrying case features: The case is excellent. It is small and compact, with individual compartments for the dust bag, vacuum adapter, cord, disks, and accessories, and a foam-padded compartment for the sander.
Accessories included: Sander, dust bag, vacuum adapter, 3 sanding disks.
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Loud
Warranty/ Guarantee: 2-year home-use warranty; 30- to 90-day return policy.
Features and notes:

* The inclusion of a vacuum hose adapter is a plus.
* Absence of variable speed makes this sander limiting in applications.
* The three gel-padded grip areas make this tool very comfortable to hold.
* Nice, compact, well-organized carrying case.
* Sander has a pad brake to prevent work-surface gouging.

—Gabriel Vandervort
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