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This past November I had carpal-tunnel surgery on my left hand, after having the right one done several years ago. Doctors said my problems were a direct result of 36 years using tools that shook and vibrated. I wish I’d owned the new Bosch low-vibration sander all of that time. It has significantly less vibration than any electric sander I’ve used, taking much of the drudgery out of the job while maintaining peak performance.
Dust eater. The Bosch sander has a filtered dust canister that works as well at collecting dust as a vacuum.
Drive with both hands. The sander is a bit heavy and tall, so for maximum control use two hands. But no worries, the lack of vibration means your hands won’t be numb afterward.
The sander is heavy, coming in at a touch more than 6 lb. with the dust canister installed. That weight makes the tool awkward to use with one hand, but a removable handle on the front makes it a comfortable two-hand sander. It’s great for sanding panels, tabletops, or any large surface where the added weight becomes a benefit. Variable speed and an easy-to-set trigger lock combine with comfortable grips to make big sanding chores as pleasant assanding gets.
The sander is exemplary at containing dust. In fact, the built-in system proved as effective as having the sander hooked up to a shop vacuum. I ran the same test with this sander that we used in our Tools & Shops survey in 2009 (FWW #202), and the results were a 91% collection rate with the onboard system and a 92% rate with the vacuum attached … impressive. The machine is reasonably quiet, too. At ear level I measured 91 decibels using P100-grit paper on a cherry board clamped tight to my workbench top. All in all, this sander is comparable in performance to the Best Overall in FWW #202 (Festool ETS 150/3 EQ).
You can buy the Bosch sander with either a 5- or 6-in. pad, or in a kit that has both sizes. If you’re buying one, I’d recommend the larger pad (shown here) because it feels better balanced.
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