For all the advantages they offer, oscillating spindle sanders are some of the most underrated tools out there. Most people know that they exist only because of their ability to work with curved surfaces. But, there are many other reasons to consider them, too.oscillating spindle sanders are some of the most underrated tools out there. Most people know that they exist only because of their ability to work with curved surfaces. But, there are many other reasons to consider them, too.
Here, we not only look at why oscillating spindle sanders are worth buying and admiring but also the top 3 models available today.
The Things that Make an Oscillating Spindle Sander a Woodworker’s Best Friend
In the market, many different tools are available that can take care of the job that is sanding. Drum sanders, for example, do an excellent job of sanding plain surfaces. However, there is a unique reason why oscillating spindle sanders deserve the attention bestowed upon them by professional woodworkers. That reason is that, when it comes to sanding odd surfaces, oscillating spindle sanders do a far better job compared to other similar tools. They can expertly deal with arcs, contours, and all other kinds of unconventional shapes.
Variety is another aspect where spindle sanders score very highly. This is because every spindle sander comes with a number of different drums, each having a unique diameter. Due to this reason, even a cheap oscillating spindle sander can take care of almost every kind of odd sanding job out there. Usually, the lowest drum diameter tends to be 1 /2-inch. On the higher side, an oscillating sander mostly includes a drum that has a diameter of no less than 3-inches.
In addition to loving the above points, many woodworkers fancy oscillating sanders simply because they take up very less space. The simple fact of the matter is that spindle sanders are small tools, and hence, do not require a very large storage area, or working area. This, however, is not the case with drum sanders and other similar tools.
Lastly, oscillating spindle sanders can be bought for as low as $150 and still be expected to do their duty well. Said another way, compared to other sanding tools, spindle sanders provide cheap but reliable service.
The 3 Best Oscillating Sanders (Recommended by Our Staff)
While there is a large number of oscillating spindle sanders serving both amateur and professional woodworkers, we find these models to be the best:
WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander
WEN 6510 is currently attracting a lot of new customers, mainly because it promises to provide an incredible value for money. This 3.5-amp motored tool is capable of completing 58 oscillations in a minute, and it comes with spindle size of 1/2-inch. When allowed to rotate freely, it can complete 2000 revolutions in a minute.
The tool has a weight of only 35-pounds, which makes it quite portable. Despite that, it is a really powerful machine. The package contains 6 sleeve attachments in order to allow users to appropriately deal with different tasks, and the 5/8-inch stroke that the sander ensures does a sufficiently admirable job under most circumstances.
Apart from that, one of the main selling points of this spindle sander is its onboard storage, which allows woodworkers to store all the small things except the wrench that comes inside the package. Overall, the 6510 can be regarded as a complete sander that is also very cheap, available for only $150 in most online stores. It comes with 2-year warranty and 80-grit paper.
Grizzly G0538 Oscillating Spindle Sander
This 35-pound machine is not the most popular spindle sander out there; however, it is worth buying for a number of reasons. For one, it provides a very large table surface area, with dimensions of 20 by 14 inches. Other than that, to enhance the safety of operation, it comes with a toggle on and off switch.
Promising a speed of 1725RPM, this Grizzly aims to satisfy most woodworkers who have to regularly deal with curved surfaces. As far as build quality is concerned, the tool can be regarded as good, if not the best. However, the G0538 does carry its own share of problems. One thing that many of its users dislike is the absence of a storage area for the wrench and the washers.
Other than that, the machine is certainly not made for dealing with large pieces, which may disappoint a section of buyers. Still, it is able to make most customers happy by providing good reliability and usability. Inside the package, 3 80-grit sleeves, 3 150-grit sleeves, and 6 table inserts are included. In most stores, the G0538 can be bought for about $180.
Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander
The W1831 is a CSA-certified spindle sander which is somewhat less popular than the WEN, but more popular than the Grizzly. Weighing 30-pounds and having dimensions of 15 by 14 by 17 inches, this drum sander sports a body that is comparable to most of its competitors. Its table size of 11 by 15 inches is quite noteworthy, and its single-phase 1/2HP motor seems to be able to handle most tasks well.
The model comes with 6 different drum diameters, ranging from 1/2-inch to 3-inches. As the sander is able to ensure 58 oscillations every minute, it can produce even results on a consistent basis. The tool comes with a dust port of 1 and 1/ 2 inches in diameter, and there is a locking mechanism to prevent unauthorized use.
In terms of durability, the Shop Fox seems to be somewhat more durable than the Grizzly, mainly because of its rugged built and attention to detail. Customers seem to love its quiet operation, along with the fact that it comes with storage area for washers, sleeves, inserts, and spindles. Considering all aspects, its price tag of $150 seems very fair. Another good thing is that additional protection can be bought for a year, or two, by paying a little extra.
When looked at closely, oscillating sanders can prove to be really loyal and capable woodworking tools. All one needs to do is give them a chance to show their expertise.