Although hand-sanding will eventually get the results you want, it can be a time-consuming, messy and laborious task. Use an electric sander, on the other hand, and the job gets done quickly, cleanly and with far less effort.
Projects come in all shapes and sizes, with different materials to sand. So choosing the most appropriate electric sander is crucial for achieving the best results. Here we take a look at four easy-to-use electric sanders that make easy work of a variety of sanding tasks.
If you need a sander that gets into tight corners, the Mac Allister 110W Corner Sander MSCS110 is for you. Looking like a small clothes iron, its pointed front will sand all those tricky-to-get-to areas.
The sander’s flat base can take on large surfaces, such as tables and window sills, and a simple hook and loop system means different grades of sandpaper can be fitted in seconds.
With low noise and little vibration, the corner sander fits comfortably in your hand and is ideal for tasks ranging from stripping doors and preparing skirting boards to sanding furniture and removing paint.
For more versatility, the Mac Allister Corded 200W 1/3 Sheet Sander MSSS200 takes the prize. With increased power and variable speed, this light yet robust sheet sander is designed to take on a wide variety of applications, whether involving wood, plastic, metal, filler or coated surfaces.
Fitting neatly beneath the palm of your hand to aid control and manoeuvrability, this multipurpose sander can quickly transform a rough surface to smooth perfection.
Its rectangular plate takes abrasive sheets from a roll, widely available and typically more cost-effective than individual sheets, that attach using the simple hook and loop system with additional clamps for when the going gets tough. The sander also comes with a hole punch, so you can put holes in the sheets for improved dust collection.
Belt sanders are the big beasts of the sanding jungle. They tear through some of the toughest jobs: removing thick paint, eliminating hardened glue, smoothing reclaimed timber and stripping floorboards. In our opinion, the king of the jungle is the Mac Allister 800W 533mm Belt Sander MSBS800.
Because of its uncompromising effectiveness, we recommend practising first on some scrap material before you use it on your project. Once you are familiar with the controls and its capabilities, you’ll find this belt sander copes with most heavy-duty tasks.
With variable speed control and a lock-on trigger for bigger jobs, the belt sander is also precise enough to sand close to edges. If sanding boards, we recommend using a technique called ‘gang sanding’, where several boards are clamped together to prevent rounding their edges. When working on lighter tasks, use less-abrasive belts.
The Mac Allister Corded 400W Random-Orbit Sander MEOS400 is a palm-sized tool that achieves a smooth finish without leaving sanding marks. It can be used for all types of sanding work, from stripping down paint to smoothing furniture.
Round discs of sandpaper move in an apparently random fashion so that, when used with fine abrasives, the sander gives a very satisfying finish with no scratches or swirl marks.
With a variable speed control and anti-vibration system, the Mac Allister Random-Orbit Sander needs only a light touch to deliver fast and effective results across a range of applications.
Practical features for better results
The sanders are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, allowing them to be used for prolonged periods. For this reason, they are all corded – you wouldn’t want a battery to run out before you completed your task!
While you should always wear an appropriate mask, goggles and ear protectors, all the Mac Allister sanders featured in this article incorporate built-in dust extraction features plus adaptors to connect to vacuum cleaners. Please remember not to sand old paints that may contain harmful lead or ceiling and wall coverings that may contain asbestos. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
The full range of Mac Allister sanders are available exclusively at B&Q.