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A base model that doesn't perform like a base model.
Sep 13, 2009 (Updated Sep 14, 2009)
Review by skcampola
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Inexpensive. Comfortable. Lightweight. Dust collection. Attractive.
Cons:No shock absorption.
The Bottom Line: A surprising value for only $30.
When I bought a house and decided to refinish a bunch of hand-me-down furniture, I decided to save my arms the trouble of hand sanding and bought the Ryobi 1/4 Sheet Sander at my local Home Depot.
Recommend this product?
There are many models out there, but I settled on this one because the price was right. I do not need the top of the line sander for the kind of projects I do. This was the base model and I feel like it works just fine for me.
The first thing you notice about the sander is the on board dust collection. Instead of shooting dust everywhere, a good portion of it stays in the bag.
I had this sander for about a week when I went to swap out a new sheet of sandpaper. The plastic tipped wire clips that hold the sandpaper in place snapped off leaving a raw metal edge. Though the industry has adopted these wire clips to make it much faster to change paper, it worries me that they could snap off that easily. I took the item back and exchanged it.
I have had the second one for about 3 months and haven't had the clip snap off yet (knock on wood). Fingers crossed it doesn't.
This model feels ergonomically designed to fit nicely in the palm of your hand. It is fairly lightweight so it makes sanding vertical or overhead surfaces a breeze.
This sander performs pretty well for the most part. I am a firm believer that the right choice of sandpaper makes a bigger difference than the sander you use. As long as the sander has enough weight to apply pressure and has a constant vibration, it will work just fine. This sander works wonders and cuts through jobs pretty quickly.
I also really like the durable zippered case the sander comes in. It is a nice break from the hard, black plastic briefcase style cases where the lock inevitably breaks after a year. It even has a nice little pouch in the top to store extra sandpaper (or whatever).
The only thing I would like to see Ryobi incorporate into the next model would be some sort of shock absorber on top of the sander. If you only use it a couple minutes at a time, it is no big deal. But, if you are working on a big project, when you are done sanding, your hand definitely feels rattled.
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