What is a dual-action sander? Why is it better than the other sanders? What are the different kinds of sanders?
You could be looking for a tool to bring back the lush of your hardwood floors or starting a new wood project with your kids. Either way, you must have come across the term dual-action sander during your research and thus you are here to find out more.
A DA sander is a very versatile tool that can make a permanent place in your tool kit quite effortlessly. Once you get used to using a DA sander, there is simply no going back.
What is a DA Sander?
You find yourself reading the harbor freight da sander review, or looking at the specs of Black & Decker sanders but you don’t understand what is the difference between a sander with dual action and the one without it.
A DA sander is a sander that combines the action of two different sanders that move in two entirely different ways and directions. A DA sander has different modes that offer the sanding action in one as other sanders do in different machines.
Here are the two sanders with different movement direction:
The Belt Sanders
As the name suggests this sander uses a belt of sandpaper to sand the wood. It is most effective for removing material quickly. They are known for their aggressive style of work.
These sanders are most effective on flat surfaces. If they are turned at an angle for any reason, they can leave dents and scratched and cause serious damage.
Moreover, because they are known for brute force if they are not handled properly they can remove more material than you might have intended and even leave holes in the material.
The Disk Sander
As the belt sander moves back and forth, the disk sander moves circularly. Also known as the orbital sander, it runs the sandpaper in orbits at a very high speed. This enables the sander to even out all the uneven and irregular surfaces.
You may have come across the term random orbital sanders. This adds to the motion of the sander and helps the sander getting into the surface with more power. These are mostly used to serve the purposes of a polisher or a grinder. If used carelessly they can also leave scratches and dents on the surface.
The Dual-Action Sander
Now that you know the two kinds of sanders, understanding an electric DA sander will be easier. As the name suggests, a dual-action sander electric device combines the action of the belt sander and the orbital sander in one.
This means that it moves both back and forth as well as in circles, acting like both the belt sander as well as the disk sander.
There is no way of saying that the da sander looks a certain type, it can look like either one of the sanders and have both the directions of movement built in it.
Why is a DA Sander a good thing?
You are nor alone in wondering why the need for such a sander? Many have thought o fit and they have all been given the same answers – efficiency.
There are a number of benefits that the da sander has over the other two sanders. It may move like them but it is an entirely different species. It is preferred over the other two types mostly because:
- It gives the perfect finish in just one go.
- It handles all kinds of surfaces in one, that the other sanders handle separately.
- It saves time, cost, power, and physical energy.
Things You Should Know Before Buying DA Sanders
Knowing about a new and efficient device is always interesting and exciting, surely you can’t get your hands on one of these. But wait just a little longer, as there are features that you need to know about if you are to buy the best DA sander for auto bodywork that can accommodate your needs.
The following are the basic features that will help you decide if the DA sander under consideration is up to par or not.
Type of the DA Sander
The first and foremost step is to decide the type of dual-action sander that you want. There are two basic types of DA sanders:
- Dual-action Sander Electric-powered
- Dual-Action Sander Air-Powered
As the name suggests, the electric DA sander operates on electric power. It is very suitable for beginners and simple home use. There is not a lot of technicalities involved that make it easy for anyone to use.
Air-powered DA sander or pneumatic sanders are best suited for professional work. They require a certain level of experience and expertise and so are much more sophisticated than electric da sanders. They require constant air pressure, as can be guessed by the name, which can get tricky and things get really messy really fast if you are not trained enough to handle it.
Size or Orbits of the DA Sander
Once you start looking for a device, you will see many products offering different kinds of sanding pads with different functions and sizes. These sizes help you with efficiency and precision.
A larger pad will, of course, have a larger orbit size. And that’s why it is suitable for bigger and larger jobs. So if you have a big project to work on, then you will want a larger pad.
However, a large pad no matter how good it works will fail to do jobs that need precision. For such tasks, you will need smaller sanding pads with smaller orbits.
And it doesn’t necessarily have to be two different projects, most times you need both of these in the same project together.
Vibration Dampeners of the DA Sanders
Since the sanders are meant to clash against a hard surface, as is their job, there can be a lot of vibrations as a result. While some may be able to work with it, it manages to cause fatigue.
Vibration dampeners are used to reduce the vibrations as much as possible. While they are not an essential part of the machine itself, they may be important for the person working the machine.
A vibration dampener basically helps you:
- Achieve a smoother and finer finish as there are minimum interruptions
- Work longer as it prevents as much fatigue as possible.
Durability & Warranty of the DA Sander
Sanding hardwood is real grunt work. It requires sheer will power and a lot of physical exertion. And all this only makes it work if the machine is able to handle the workload and last a long time.
You don’t want to be working with a machine and then have it break down in the middle of the project. And since it is pretty much costly, you don’t want it to last only through one project.
So it is important that you check the durability of the machine before you get one. Especially if you have a project that requires constant work and heavy-duty machines.
Just in case, it is always better to get a machine that has a warranty. This is also an indication of how much the company trusts its own product. A good company will always provide you with a better warranty.
List of the Best Dual-Action Sander Should You Get?
1. The Bosch 1250DEVS
Whether it is sanding a timber that has been cut rough or some old pallet planks, there are problems and difficulties involved. To minimize that from happening you need to try a dual-action sander and which is better than the BOSCH 1250DVES Random Orbital Sander.
It comes with a highly powerful motor of 6.5 Amp which guarantees good performance. It also offers variable speed range from 3100 opm to 6650 opm that makes it adaptable to any and all kinds of projects.
Considering the speed, it definitely is not the fastest sander you will find however that flaw is shadowed by the dual-mode design.
Dual-Mode Action: Turbo Mode and Finishing Mode
It comes with two different modes. The turbo mode and the finishing mode.
When using the turbo mode, you will totally forget all about the belt sanders. It is most effective when you need stock removal with power and aggression. As compared to the normal sanders, you will find that it removes up to 5 times more. This mode will make sure to remove any kind of irregularities that there might be on the wood surface.
It has a soft start-up function, that allows you to minimize the torque. This way you can use it for hours and work leaning on it. Even though it is an aggressive mode, there is a minimum chance of gouging the piece.
You do, however, need to get used to it and establish a strong grip before using it, otherwise, it can be a little hard to handle. If you are inexperienced, you can make use of the Auxilary handle and slowly ease into the use of the machine.
After you are done, you can simply flip the switch and change to the finishing mode with a random orbital sander with minimum swirls.
It comes with a power grip, a circumference barrel that has a diameter of 7 inches, a contoured head, and an auxiliary handle – that was mentioned above – that helps you establish control when using the turbo mode.
The casing is made out of hard plastic while rugged aluminum is used in the gear housing. Most importantly, as the sanders are pretty much surrounded by dust, the gears and the bearing are dust locked. This prevents the dust from damaging the material and increases the life of the machine in the longer run.
It comes with a default pad of 6-inches hook and loop. It is the larger pad for larger jobs. Other than that there are three different types of pads offered that you can choose from:
- The external soft pad: if you want to work on the contoured pieces, or simply get a finer finish, an external soft pad is the one for you.
- The soft pad: there is plastic support in these pads and they have an amazing ability to adapt to the piece that you are working on. So if you are looking for finer finish or smoother flat surfaces, then this is the pad for you.
- The hard pad: as the name suggests, this pad is for harder jobs. If you are looking to work with brute force and remove material mercilessly without a second thought then this is the pad that you need.
As you can see, you get to choose from these options depending on the need and flexibility that you need. Make note that you only get the soft pad with the packaging, if you need the other two pads you will need to purchase them separately.
The dust created while working with a sander can cause serious health concerns, that is why a dust collection mechanism is very important. Fortunately, this sander has a good one.
It comes with a vacuum port that helps you work almost dust-free with the shop vac attached.
It has a dust port where you can attach 1.5” or 1.25” hose, there is, however, no way to secure it there.
This sander has an amazing mechanism for vibration dampening. It comes with a dual-bearing pad mount which helps to minimize vibrations and wobbling to a level where you almost don’t feel it. A slight vibration may still be felt in turbo mode.
It is always best to use anti-vibration gloves when using a sander.
Dual-action sander will definitely make you forget about any other kind of sanders. And the best da sander for bodywork you can get on the market at a reasonable price is the Bosch 1250DEVS. With its two modes, it gives you the perfect finish at a perfect price.