Pros: Low vibration, comfortable, sand paper easily attaches, dust bag, soft grip housing, powerful
Cons: No storage case
My Black & Decker sander bit the dust so it was off to Lowes for a new one. As I was searching for another B&D to bring home, I was accosted by a nice, handsome, white bearded elderly gentleman saying, "You won't find an iron here." An iron? I'm a power tool girl (snort) and want a sander. What kind? B&D. What are you going to use it for? Well, duh. Sanding! I'm working on a bathroom vanity, have arthritis in my hands and need something I can handle fairly comfortably. I also have a metal door that needs sanding before I can paint it. Here, get this Hitachi. Why? I use mine all the time and it does a great job. What do you do? I'm a cabinet maker. Really? Where do you live? Lobelville. What's your name? John Doe (name changed). I've never been to Lobelville before. You need to come see us sometime.
A helpful Lowes employee said he'd see if he had any in stock so while he did his checking, I grabbed a pack of "hook-and-loop" 120 and 80 grit 5" sand paper. He returned with the sander saying he had 2 in stock so I was in luck. Cost? $50.00.
I kindly thanked both men for their help and checked out. Once I was home, I changed into work clothes and applied paint stripper to 4 doors and 2 drawers (front). Old paint immediately bubbled and it wasn't long until I could scrape it off. Paint remover isn't what it use to be, it's now great! Under the paint on my vanity was the original oak stain and I wanted both the polyurethane and stain removed.
To get started, I applied an 80 grit "hook-and-loop" sanding paper to my sander. I really liked how easy it was to apply. On my old B&D, I had to attach it to the bottom and then make sure it was tight before sanding. I could cut one sheet of paper into three strips so a sheet lasted longer than the round 5", 8 hole, "hook-and-loop" paper does but there's no aggravation of applying it either. Bend it down the middle along the axis of two holes, use those holes as a guide and press the paper on.
Never heard of "hook-and-loop" sandpaper? It's sandpaper with Velcro backing which is easy to attach to sanders. The sander has the hooks while the sandpaper has the loops. When you connect them, the loops hold the sandpaper securely.
Adjusting the speed to your project is a matter of using the dial which is located above the cord in back. There's illustrations in your manual showing you which speeds you may want to set it on. For example, setting it on the 1st speed will operate at a speed of 7,000 (min) and at 6th speed, 12,000 (min). Sanding scratches from either soft or hardwood, just set the dial to between 3 and 6. I used speeds 4 and 5 which did what I desired.
A long 6 ft cord gives you plenty of room to maneuver the sander but as I was working on the back porch with no outlets (have them in front, though), I used an extension cord. 120v current.
I spent my afternoon sanding all 4 doors and 2 drawers and then moved on to my back door which is metal (steel). It had rust spots on it and I wound up taking it down to the bare bones in certain areas.
The base of my vanity is in the bathroom so once the paint was removed from it, I attached the dust bag and proceeded to sand. Using that dust bag isn't great but it does help some with the dust. The vibration of the motor isn't really quiet in a small area, it's a sander and you're going to have noise but in my life time, I've used louder. I found the dust bag to be more of a nuisance than anything. It took time away from sanding, and even with the bag, I still had dust and plenty of it.
I've been using the HITACHI Single Speed Random Orbital Sander (hook-and-loop) for a couple of weeks now so have no long term experience with it but in the time I have used it, I'm highly pleased. Not only has it reduced time on my projects, its given me excellent results. Admittedly, I'm patient and thorough, have pride and believe in doing the best job I can when tackling a project (or life), so the tool attached to my right hand partly determines the quality of my work.
As always, handle power tools with care and respect as they're inherently dangerous.
5-year professional warranty
Made in China
ddustyrose October 3, 2010
Ray Stevens sings a song called Power Tools (Well, some folks say that grown up men are still just little boys, that really the only difference is the price of our toys, we go from macho symptoms like guns and running shoes, pick-up trucks, huntin' ducks and "brrrppt" power tools) and I gotta tell ya, he cracks me up. My husband and I have seen him in concert and he's well worth the price of admission.