What is a Detail Sander

What is a Detail Sander?

Detail sanders are a convenient type of power sander that can be used for sanding corners and other tight areas to achieve a smooth finish.

These power tools are great for detailed work in which you need precision and accuracy. Because of the unique shape of these sanders, you can reach difficult areas and create a smooth surface on all sorts of materials.

Just like with other power sanders, detail sanders can come in both corded or cordless models and they are much more efficient than hand sanding by using a sanding pad. They usually include a dust collection system and you can easily change the sanding sheets as they wear.

Detail sanders are a more recent power tool, manufactured by Bosch in the early 2000s.

When to Use a Detail Sander?

Black and Decker Detail Sander

Detail sanders are used for more detail sanding jobs. For example, if your project has tons of tight corners and spaces, using a detail sander might be required to reach them.

Because of their unique triangular shape, you should be able to easily access these areas to get a smooth, even finish that you’re looking for.

These sanders can remove paint, stain, and other debris thanks to its abrasive surface.

Some detail sanders are also multi-tools that come with other attachments which can be an added bonus.

If you have a large area to sand, using a detail sander isn’t your best option.

How Are Detail Sanders Different?

Detail sanders are different from other sanders in that they usually contain a smaller surface so you can reach tighter spaces.

  • Compared to a random orbital sander, detail sanders are much smaller and better for smaller jobs.
  • Compared to a belt sander, detail sanders aren’t as powerful or as large but they can reach much tighter spaces.
  • Compared to a finishing sheet sander, detail sanders are typically smaller and better for tight corners.

How to Use a Detail Sander?

When sanding corners or other hard to reach areas, using a detail sander is the best tool for the job. Sure, you might be able to use some sandpaper you have laying around – but this will require more time and effort on your part.

Here’s how to use a detail sander.

  1. Plug in the power cord of your sander (or ensure the battery is charged and secured properly if using a cordless model)
  2. Turn on the sander
  3. Apply light pressure to the sander and move it around the area in a circular motion

Check out the video below if you need more help!

If you don’t want to purchase a detail sander, but need to reach tight spaces, you can make your own. While this won’t be nearly as effective, it will get the job done.

Tips for Using a Detail Sander

  • Don’t apply too much pressure. While you might be tempted to add pressure to get the job done faster, this isn’t a good ideal. Not only will it cause pain in your arms, but it can also cause excess wear and tear on your device. Let the sander do the sanding by apply just a bit of pressure.
  • Keep your sander moving. When sanding, try to keep your sander moving back and forth. Leaving it in one spot can cause that area to be smoother than others and in some cases, the sandpaper can eat into the wood and lower the surface.
  • Use the right grit sandpaper. Sandpaper comes in a variety of “grits”, or how abrasive they are. High grit sandpaper is more fine, while low grit sandpaper is more coarse. Using the right grit sandpaper will help you to get the results you’re looking for. For example, if you’re sanding painted wood, you might opt for a coarse grit sandpaper. But if you’re completing the final touches on your piece by detail sanding, you might want to opt for a fine grit sandpaper.

My Favorite Detail Sander

If you’re ready to purchase a detail sander, my favorite product is the Milwaukee Detail Sander. This is a cordless model that’s powerful, versatile, and durable.

While it’s technically an oscillating tool that can be used for many different purposes, it’s great at sanding in tight spaces.

Milwaukee is a great brand that’s been around for years and this sander is a great option for a variety of projects.

Milwaukee Electric Tool 2426-22 M-12 Oscillating Tool Kit, 12-V
  • Compatible with most competitive Accessories
  • All metal gear case
  • Extended run time

Final Thoughts

If you’re working on more advanced woodworking projects or your projects require a perfect finish, you’re going to need a detail sander at some point.

These sanders are specifically made to reach difficult corners and areas that other sanders cannot reach.

Looking for the perfect sander for your needs? Check out these best sanders for deck refinishing!