I often rely on reviews I find online when I'm looking to purchase something new. I thought I would pass along some love for my new power tool.
Last fall, my sander decided to go up in flames. Literally. I was in the middle of sanding a desk I got for free, and it started sparking and smoking. I shouldn't have been surprised. Sanders don't have a long life and this one was a hand-me-down from my father over 6 years ago.
I really liked my sander (an old Black & Decker one) because it wasn't a palm sander. It had a handle I could get my abnormally small hands around. (You know that BK commercial about small hands. That's me in real life.)
So, I added a sander to my Christmas list with the one caveat. It had to fit my small hands. I tried out a couple in the store and they were all too big. I know power tools are geared towards guys, but come on! Every family I know the woman is the one that uses the sander!
I ended up getting the Black & Decker Mouse sander for Christmas from my in-laws. I played around with it that day, and it seemed that it was going to work for my mini-me hands.
I finally used it for the first time last night. Let me tell you, it's amazing! First of all, the size is great. It's a little on the heavy side especially compared to my former sander, but it's more compact, so I guess that's an okay trade off.
It's definitely quieter than my last sander which was as loud as a freight train. The pointed tip makes it very easy to sand in corners which is great for anything like a desk or bookcase. There is also a more detailed attachment for small spaces, and a curved one for something like a spindle. (Which would save me from hand sanding those curved details.
This sander has one feature my previous one didn't. It has a "dust trap". I haven't used it in a situation where you could notice a difference, but I have a feeling without a vacuum system, it's probably more for show than functionality.
The only downside is my previous sander would allow me to cut a piece of sandpaper to size so it was very simple to find replacement paper. This sander uses a velcro/hook & loop system that may present some issues with finding refills especially if the sander itself is discontinued.
Over-all, if you're looking for a reasonably priced unit with lots of extra features that can fit a woman's hand, the Black & Decker Mouse is a pretty good bet. I'm sure I'll be using it quite a bit this summer.