Review: Makita 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Some power sanders offer you a variable speed control, but the different speeds aren’t really that different. A variable speed option should give you a meaningful low and high OPM speed so you can maximize your woodworking efforts. The Makita 5-inch random orbit sander kit provides you with exactly what you need. The 3-amp motor allows for variable speeds of 4,000-12,000 OPM, allowing each user to better match their sanding speed with the need of their project.

The benefits of using this Makita power sander don’t just stop there. Here are some of our other observations about this useful tool.

#1. There is a textured rubberized grip for a secure hold. Although your hand grip must wrap around the machine for full control, Makita has given users access to multiple grip options. A wrap-around rubberized grip along the head of the sander gives you better open-grip control than most other sanders are able to provide. There’s also a top-handle grip that can be used for added downward pressure.

#2. A two-handed grip is supported with this design. Makita has included a knob at the front of the sander which sticks out in a forward position. There is also a handle built into the frame where the power cord supplies energy to the motor. If you turn this sander sideways, the two additions allow for a secure two-handed grip for the toughest of jobs.

#3. You can have continuous or intermittent use. Makita has a two-finger switch that has been equipped to this random orbit sander. Placed just underneath the handle by the power cord, you can either press and hold the trigger to initiate sanding or you can lock it into an “on” position for continuous sanding. When combined with the pad control system, users are in full control of the final finish.

#4. It has a large orbit action. Makita has equipped this 5-inch sander with a 1/8-inch random orbit action, creating a surface that is noticeably smoother when compared to what similar models can provide.

#5. It’s surprisingly lightweight. Even when the dust container and other features are considered, this random orbit sander only weighs 3 pounds. You can use it for an extended period of time and not feel the same levels of fatigue that other sanders can sometimes cause. It is one of the few affordable random orbit sanders that we would highly recommend for high production use.

#6. You can take advantage of a vacuum attachment. The standard setup includes a cloth dust bag, but you can also use a vacuum attachment with this sander. The latter does an excellent job of reducing the amount of dust that tends to float around a sanding project. We found that even in humid working conditions, at least half of the dust generated by sanding would be collected by the sander.

The Makita random orbit power sander does an excellent job of creating a consistent finish. Much of this is due to its unique design and variable speed output. It has definitely earned our recommendation.

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