Every woodworker knows that achieving a smooth finish can be an incredibly laborious task if you do not have a good sander. But things can get even harder when sanding tight edges and corners if you do not have the best detail sanders.
Detail sanders are small and compact handheld sanders that are designed to be super easy to handle and maneuver which makes them perfect for sanding tight places such as corners and edges.
These sanders feature a triangular sanding pad that allows them to get in and out of the tight corners and edges or hard to reach places with ease. And they are also gentle enough to remove things like glue from workpieces without removing too much material and ruining it.
However, to get the best service from these finish sanders, you need to pick a good model. Below we explain how to choose one and also review some top-rated detail sanders for recommendations.
What To Check Before Buying Best Detail Sanders?
While our reviews above will give you an idea on the best detail sander brands and models to buy, picking between them can still be hectic. But, it should not be as you only need to consider the following points when choosing.
Power should always be one of the first and most important factors to consider when choosing detail sanders and any other sander types as it will determine the effectiveness of what you buy.
Like with most handheld sanders, a more powerful detail sander is always better. But, given the typical uses of these sanders, you will not necessarily need a lot of power. Something with at least a 1-amp motor like the Wen 6301 should be good enough.
However, an even better idea is going for a multipurpose sander that will not only be ideal for detail sanding but also for other sanding applications as it will be more powerful.
The speed that the detail sander provides matters as it not only determines how fast you finish the task but also the materials you can use it to sand because the rougher the wood the higher the speed required for sanding.
When shopping for a detail sander, you should make sure that whatever you buy can deliver a speed of at least 10,000 OPM as this will make it ideal for the most finish sanding task.
However, a detail sander with a variety of speed settings like Porter-Cable PCCW201B will be an even better buy as it will give you more options when sanding. But, also note that detail sanders with variable or extra speed settings are often the most expensive.
Generally, detail sanders are among the lightest handheld sanders, but when choosing one, you still need to consider its actual weight to determine whether it will be ideal to use for extended periods.
The heavier the detail sander the more fatigue you are likely to end up with when sanding large pieces or doing it for an extended period.
A detail sander’s weight matters even more for those that will often use it for sanding over shoulder weight because something that is not small and lightweight will not allow you to sand for long as it causes a lot of fatigue.
4. Dust Management
You will need to deal with the wood dust produced when sanding, and so the best corner sander for you is one that includes an efficient dust management system.
When it comes to dust management, these sanders will come with either a built-in dust port or an integrated dust collection system complete with a dust bag.
A dust port allows you to connect a vacuum hose so that the dust produced can be directed to your vacuum or the dust management system in your workshop. While this dust management system is often more efficient, the vacuum hose can be annoying to deal with.
Detail sanders with an integrated dust collection, on the other hand, might not have annoying hoses but you will need to empty the dust bag or container often.
When choosing a dust management system it is all up to your preferences and the amount of sanding you will be doing. For simple and occasional sanding, an integrated dust bag will be enough while a vacuum port is more preferred for regular use and high volume sanding.
There are still other features that woodworkers and DIYers need to take into account when choosing a detail sander. They include things like noise level, grip, and add-on accessories.
For noise levels, the quieter the sander the better as it will provide a more conducive work environment. But, it is hard to get a detail sander that is completely quiet, and so the wise idea is to look for something that produces the least amount of noise.
A detail sander also needs to provide a comfortable grip to make it easier to control and use. An ergonomic handle that is perfectly contoured and with nice padding and will fit well in the hand will be the best.
When it comes to the add-on accessories, detail grinders that come with small accessory pads like the finger attachment that clips at the front will be perfect as they offer more versatility.
9 Best Detail Sanders of 2021 Reviewed
1. Black & Decker BDEMS600 (Best Overall)
2. Black & Decker BDCMS20C (Cordless Convenience)
3. Wen 6301 (Lightweight, Easy to Use & More Affordable)
4. Enertwist ET-DS-100 (Compact & Efficient)
5. Genesis GPS080 (Unmatched Choice for Tight Budget)
6. Skil 7302-02 (Incredibly Versatile & High-performing)
7. Porter-Cable PCCW201B (Variable Speed & Cordless Operation)
8. VonHaus 15/171US (Top-notch 2-in-1 Sander)
9. Dobetter DIY-MS20 (Small but Versatile)
1. Black & Decker BDEMS600 – Best Overall
- Power: 1.2 Amp
- Speed: 14,000 OPM
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
Black & Decker BDEMS600 is a small and compact detail sander that has been designed to fit easily into tight spaces which makes it ideal for almost any finish sanding task.
The compact sander runs on a 1.2 Amp motor that delivers up to 14,000 OPM for fast and smooth sanding, and it also includes a 3-position grip that makes it easier to operate and maneuver.
It is a simple sander to set up and use as there is nothing much you need to do besides adding paper, and it includes some comfortable handholds.
With the included finger attachment, this sander also makes it easy to sand the hard-to-reach areas, and it will include an efficient dust collection system with microfiltration.
The included dust catcher, will not do a very good job if your sanding tasks generate a lot of dust or when doing lengthy projects, but for typical detail sanding tasks, it should still be good enough.
- High-performing dust collection system
- Compact and easily maneuverable
- Easy to set up and use
- Comfortable multi-position grip
- Handy finger attachment included
- Smaller dust catcher
- Wanting finger attachment quality
2. Black & Decker BDCMS20C – Cordless Convenience
- Power: 1.5 Ah
- Speed: 12,000 OPM
- Weight: 2.59 pounds
Nothing beats the convenience of a cordless detail sander, and if you are on the market for one, Black & Decker has you covered with their high performing BDCMS20C model.
It runs on a 1.5 Ah battery and will deliver a speed of 12,000 OPM to ensure fast and easy material remove to speed up your woodworking projects.
The compact and ergonomic design makes this top-rated detail sander easy to carry around and to handle. Also, using it is made even easier by the inclusion of a 2-position grip as it makes it super easy to handle.
Sanding hard to reach areas should not be a problem as Black & Decker also includes a handy detail finger attachment. And with the built-in dust port, managing wood dust should not be a big issue.
While this cordless mouse detail sander might not be as powerful as many other corded models, it still has what it takes to perform the typical tasks woodworkers would need a detail sander for.
- Compact and ergonomic
- Detail finger attachment included
- Easy to use and control
- Dust sealed switch
- Not very powerful
- A little pricier
3. Wen 6301 – Lightweight, Easy to Use & More Affordable
- Power: 1 Amp
- Speed: 13,500 OPM
- Weight: 1 pound
Wen never disappoints when it comes to the manufacturer of sanders and other woodworking tools. Their 6301 model detail sander lives up to their reputation as it combines a lightweight and easy to use design with a more affordable price tag to ensure users get great value for cash.
What makes it one of the best electric detail sanders out there is that it offers a more comfortable and ergonomic grip that provides easy control for more effective sanding.
Also, the sander has a dust-sealed switch that contributes to longer tool life, a hook-and-loop base that makes paper installation or removal easy, an efficient dust collection system that includes a port and some fan assisted dust slots, and it is one of the lightest on our list.
The paper that this Wen detail sander uses can be a little hard to find and the fact that the manufacturer only includes one in the package does not help the situation. However, this is a small issue to fix by ordering enough extra papers with it as they are easier to get online.
- Comfortable and ergonomic grip
- Super lightweight design
- Effective dust collection system
- Easy paper installation/removal
- Relatively more affordable
- Paper can be a little hard to find
- Motor could be more powerful
4. Enertwist ET-DS-100 – Compact & Efficient
- Power: 0.8 Amp
- Speed: 13,000 OPM
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
There are several things that make the feature-rich Enertwist ET-DS-100 one of the best small detail sanders but the quieter operation, when compared to other similar models, is one of the key ones.
This compact sander has been designed for efficiency and its 0.8 Amp motor will deliver up to 13,000 OPM for a higher material removal rate, faster sanding and more efficient overall performance.
With this top-notch detail sander, you get a lightweight and low profile that combines with the ergonomic palm grip to make it easy to handle. Also, the switch has been dust-sealed while leads to a longer tool life and paper changes will be easier and faster thanks to the hook and loop base.
Sanding tight corners and other hard to reach places should be easier with the upgraded finger attachment. And with clear view dust box and 21-hole extraction system, dust management should be more efficient.
While the 0.8 Amp motor might be among the least powerful on our list, for a detail sander, it is still more than enough as it delivers sufficient speed for fast and smooth sanding and should hence not be a dealbreaker.
- Compact, lightweight and low profile design
- Quieter operation
- Dust sealed switch for increased durability
- High performing dust extraction
- Easy sandpaper change
- Less powerful motor
- Poor switch location
5. Genesis GPS080 – Unmatched Choice for the Tight Budget Shoppers
- Power: 0.8 Amps
- Speed: 14,000 OPM
- Weight: 2.17 pounds
Speed is always a critical component of a detail sander, and so the fact that the Genesis GPS080 delivers up to 14,000 OPM makes it a perfect buy as it ensures fast and more efficient sanding.
While its 0.8 Amp motor is not as powerful as what you get from other options on our detail sander review, it is still good enough given that this is also the cheapest model on our list, which further makes it an excellent pick for those shopping on a tight budget.
With this Genesis mouse sander, you get a dust-sealed on/off switch to ensure a longer tool life, ergonomic design for comfortable operation and a convenient hook and loop fastening system for quick and easy sandpaper changes.
A dust box/catcher would have been a great addition to this mouse sander as it would have eliminated the need to hook up an awkward vacuum, but this should not be a turn off because for its price it is still amazing that it includes a nice dust port.
- More budget-friendly
- Higher sanding speed
- Dust protected switch
- Quick and easy sandpaper change
- Ergonomic and comfortable to operate
- No dust catcher
- Relatively less powerful motor
6. Skil 7302-02 – An Incredibly Versatile & High-performing
- Power: 1.2 Amps
- Speed: 12,000 OPM
- Weight: 3.9 pounds
Versatility is at the heart of the Skil 7302-02 Octo, and it is the kind of tool you can depend on whether you are sanding a hard-to-reach place or an awkward edge.
Its sanding versatility comes from the fact that it comes with 8 different detail sanding attachments which will also be super easy and quick to change thanks to the tool-less attachment changing system.
With the pressure control technology, you can sand without worrying about applying too much pressure and ruining the piece as this technology monitors the amount of pressure the sanding pad applies to ensure an optimal finish.
Managing dust in the workspace is also made easier by the micro-filtration that will capture all the fine dust and the clear view dust canister that will also ensure you never have to guess when it needs emptying.
The weight is the only notable shortcoming with this detail sander because 3.9 pounds is quite heavy when compared to others on our list. But, the good news is that any detail sander under 5 pounds is still easy enough to handle and maneuver, and so this should not be the dealbreaker.
- Pressure control technology for optimal finish
- Variety of attachments for versatility
- Efficient dust management system
- Quick and simple attachment change
- Quite heavy
- Smaller dust canister
7. Porter-Cable PCCW201B – Variable Speed & Cordless Operation in One Package
- Power: 4.0 Ah
- Speed: 9,000-11,000 OPM
- Weight: 2.49 pound
If convenience is at the top of your mind when shopping for the best corner sander, the Porter-Cable PCCW291B is as convenient as it can get as it offers both cordless operation and variable speed.
The variable 9,000-11,000 OPM makes it one of the best cordless detail sanders out there as it means one can use it for a variety of sanding applications. And the battery-operation allows you to carry and use it from almost anywhere.
Besides the variable speed and cordless operation, this detail sander comes in a low profile design and with a rubberized grip for easy operation and with a detachable dust bag for more efficient dust collection.
Long tool life is also guaranteed by the fact that the switch is dustproof and Porter-Cable uses high-quality materials for the housing and internal components.
Given that this is the priciest detail sander on our list, woodworkers need to spend a few extra bucks to get it but for a convenient cordless and variable speed sander it is worth the extra cost.
- Convenient and versatile variable speed
- Low profile design
- Highly effective dust collection
- Comfortable rubberized grip
- Durable dust-sealed switch
- A little pricier
- Battery not included
8. VonHaus 15/171US – A Top-notch Best 2-in-1
- Power: 1.1 Amp
- Speed: 14,000 OPM
- Weight: 2.95 pounds
VonHause makes this 2-in-1 sander to cater to different finish sanding needs in the workshop. What makes this one of the best electric detail sanders is that its design includes interchangeable square and triangular sanding pads that will be perfect for a variety of applications.
Also, the sander has what it takes to power both pads as its 1.1 Amp motor delivers up to 14,000 OPM for fast and smooth sanding. And with the 6-foot long power cord, woodworkers should get a long enough reach.
The lightweight and ergonomic design will make it ideal for extended use as it ensures you always get a comfortable grip while the hook and loop base design will make paper changes quick and effortless.
Included sandpaper might not last as long as many woodworkers would like, but the good news is that the paper is easy to get and quite cheap.
- Interchangeable square and triangular sanding pads (2-in-1 design)
- Hook and loop base for simple paper change
- Long enough power cord
- Ergonomically designed and comfortable to use
- Higher motor speed
- Included papers wear out quickly
- Limited sandpaper compatibility
9. Dobetter DIY-MS20 – Small but Versatile
- Power: 2 Amp
- Speed: 13,000 OPM
- Weight: 3.26 pounds
With the Dobetter DIY-MS20, you get two things that most woodworkers and DIYers look for in detail sanders which are a small and easily maneuverable size and more versatile performance.
Its versatility comes from the fact that it runs on a more powerful 2 Amp motor that delivers up to 13,000 OPM and different extension sander pads to make it ideal for a variety of sanding operations.
Also, this detail sander includes a convenient LED work light that makes it ideal to use in dark spaces, and it has a larger capacity dust box and some built-in filters to provide more efficient dust collection.
3.26 pounds is relatively heavy for a detail sander, and this is more so when you compare this to other models on our list. But, despite being a little heavier, this is still a small enough and easy sander to handle.
- Smaller and easily maneuverable
- More powerful motor
- Convenient LED work light included
- More versatile extension sander pads
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- Relatively heavier
Tips for Using Detail Sanders
While detail sanders might be small and lightweight, they are still quite powerful, and so you need to take precautions when using them and also use them correctly. Here are some simple tips for safe, easy and effective use of a detail sander.
Tip 1: Work Slowly
Given that the detail sander is designed to remove minimal material at a go, you should work slowly to achieve the best results. Working slowly will even be more important when sanding delicate pieces to ensure you do not cause unnecessary stress to the material or sander.
Tip 2: Do not Apply Pressure
It is true that detail sanders are very handy when sanding hard to reach places and tight corners, but you should not push them too much. Their motors are not designed to take a lot of pressure, and so you should not apply too much of it. Too much pressure can damage both the sander’s pad and the workpiece.
Tip 3: Switch Attachments
If you are not satisfied with the finish that you get when using a detail sander you can improve it by switching the attachments as most models will come with several attachments designed to provide a different kind of finish.
Tip 4: Never Sand Near Sparks/Flames
As obvious as this tip might sound, many woodworkers tend to overlook or ignore it. But, it is important to make sure that you do not sand near a flame or sparks as they might cause a fire hazard.
Tip 5: Wear Protective Gear
Even if your sander has the most effective dust collection system, the chances are there will still be some wood dust flying around. Hence, before you start sanding you should wear protective goggles and a dust mask.
Tip 6: Read Instructions
Most detail sanders look the same and they operate using similar technology, but it is always important to read the guideline booklet that comes with the specific tool that you buy as there can be essential information there that can help make the tool easier to use and more effective.
The small size and triangular/pointy tip make the detail sanders the best for sanding corners and hard to reach areas, but they are also great for general finish wood sanding.
Our detail sander review should be a perfect starting point for your search. And from these reviews, the more powerful, efficient and compact Black & Decker BDEMS600 is our best overall product, and hence out top recommendation. The Genesis GPS080 will be perfect for the budget shoppers as it is more affordable but still highly reliable.
In this post:
- What To Check Before Buying Best Detail Sanders?
- 9 Best Detail Sanders of 2021 Reviewed
- 1. Black & Decker BDEMS600 – Best Overall
- 2. Black & Decker BDCMS20C – Cordless Convenience
- 3. Wen 6301 – Lightweight, Easy to Use & More Affordable
- 4. Enertwist ET-DS-100 – Compact & Efficient
- 5. Genesis GPS080 – Unmatched Choice for the Tight Budget Shoppers
- 6. Skil 7302-02 – An Incredibly Versatile & High-performing
- 7. Porter-Cable PCCW201B – Variable Speed & Cordless Operation in One Package
- 8. VonHaus 15/171US – A Top-notch Best 2-in-1
- 9. Dobetter DIY-MS20 – Small but Versatile
- Tips for Using Detail Sanders