Tool Comparison Test 07-2004

Milwaukee 6019 5-inch Random Orbit Palm Sander

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We found the Milwaukee palm sander to be extremely difficult to control. It took two hands to turn off the power; one hand to hold the tool steady and the other hand to depress the 'off' button at the front of the tool. However, once power is turned off, the tool came to a complete stop very quickly. We found the snap-on dust bag to be ineffective: the seal is not as tight as those on most of the other sanders, and the inside of the dust bag was still squeaky clean after one minute of heavy sanding. The dust bag's plastic frame is the tool's weakest point... it shattered instantaneously under moderate pressure. We feel that this sander would perform best if regulated to sporadic, around-the-house applications.

Test checklist:
Retail price: Around $80.00
Specifications: 115-volts AC, 1.8-amps, 12,000 opm
Weight of sander (fully loaded):
3 lbs.
Variable speed: No variable speed.
Dust collection/ vacuum attachment capabilities: Small dust bag with zipper-opening on top mounts on a lightweight plastic frame. The zipper-opener is limiting and makes it difficult to empty all of the dust from the corners of the rectangular bag. We were disappointed to see that an additional accessory had to be purchased (cat. # 48-03-0100) to make the tool vacuum-compatible.
Comfort of grip: The sander has a diamond-shaped grip and large vent holes which keep the hands from covering them, which can cause the motor to overheat.
Sanding disk attachment: The unit accommodates standard hook-and-loop sanding pads. No sanding disks were included.
Length of power cord: 8 feet
Carrying case features: No case included.
Accessories included: Sander, dust bag.
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Noise was loud and high-pitched
Warranty/ Guarantee: Ambiguous warranty and replacement policy.
Features and notes:

* We like that this tool has large vent slats, so hands won't cover all the openings while in use.
* The tool's lightweight plastic construction made us concerned about just how well it would perform in workshop or on-site conditions.

—Gabriel Vandervort

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