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Sandpaper is an acrobatic tool, flexible enough to bend into crevices and around corners. But sanding also requires pressure, which can be hard to apply with just your fingers. A hand sander—often a simple handle attached to a flat surface where sandpaper is mounted—can make sanding jobs a fast and comfortable task. For five options that will get the job done, read our recommendations below.
1. 3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit
3M has a double win with this kit. First, the sander has a curved handle that’s comfortable to grasp, made of a lightweight foam that has some give to it. Second, it comes with 3M’s Pro Grade sandpaper, which uses technology found in industrial abrasives. It lasts much longer than standard paper and can be used wet or dry. The main drawback is the refill system: The sheets attach by a Velcro-like material, so you can’t swap in just any garden-variety sandpaper, and it’s tough to track down replacements. In fact, you’ll have a much easier time buying a whole new kit.
3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit
2. Warner Sanding Block Hand Sander
If you prefer a doorknob-style handle, this no-nonsense option from Warner is worth trying. The hard plastic construction allows you to apply serious pressure for jobs that require extra elbow grease. Warner’s sander works with any sandpaper as long as it’s cut to size. The paper tucks into the long sides of the tool; the design makes for a sturdy hold but doesn’t sacrifice ease.
Warner Sanding Block Hand Sander
3. Lanney Sanding Block Hand Sander
Lanney’s kit will likely fill most, or even all, of your sanding needs. You get two tools—a sanding block and a teardrop-shaped accessory for getting into grooves and tight places—as well as 20 sheets of precut sandpaper in 10 different grits ranging from 180 to ultrafine 2500. The paper is a wet-dry version made with durable silicon carbide. The sanding block itself is quite large, measuring 6.5 inches long and 3.3 inches wide. The size makes for quick work, but it can be somewhat unwieldy for smaller hands.
Lanney Sanding Block Hand Sander
4. Dewalt Electric Sander
Orbital sanders use a unique motion—rotating along circular and elliptical tracks—to ensure that your surface will bear no marks or streaks from the sanding process. They’re also just a lot less work than manual sanders. This corded orbital sander from Dewalt is reasonably priced and built to last. The counterweight design reduces vibration so you won’t be phantom-sanding into the night. It’s lightweight, can be used with any sandpaper, and has a bag you can connect to a vacuum hose for dust-free sanding.
Dewalt Electric Sander
5. Microzip Detail Sander
Some surfaces and edges are too small for you to use a standard-size sanding block on. The Microzip sander, with a 3.5-by-1-inch sanding surface, can fill the gap. It fits in your fingertips, with indents for your index finger and thumb that improve grip and comfort. Like the 3M block, it uses a hook-and-loop system to securely attach specialized sandpaper, but unlike the 3M block, it is easy to purchase refill packs.
Microzip Detail Sander