Wise Buys: Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sanders
Why buy? Nothing beats a spindle sander for smoothing curved edges. Because the spindle oscillates up and down as it spins, it sands efficiently with greater stock removal, less burning, and longer abrasive life than you get with a non-oscillating drum. These benchtop models will handle nearly any curve-sanding task, for a fraction of the cost of a heavier floor model. We tested seven models and recommend these four. All have sufficient power, come with at least four sanding drums, and include onboard storage for all parts.
6 sanding drums: 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 2", and 3" in diameter
Includes: 6 insert rings, wrenches
Weight: 34 lbs
The Grizzly G0538 features a 14x20" laminate-covered MDF top with the spindle offset. I like that, because most of the time I'm working on the right side of the spindle. Despite its small size, it sands with gusto while still being easy to finesse. My shop-vacuum hose connected easily to the 2-1/2" port below the table and sucked up all the dust. I had to anchor it to my workbench, though, because the lightweight unit scooted around when unsecured.
--Tested by Jeff Mertz, Design Editor
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