52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Makita BO4556 Palm Sander,
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This review is from: Makita BO4556 240 V Palm Sander Plus Clamp (DIY & Tools)
I must firstly admit that I'm a bit of a Makita fan having bought quite a few of their tools.
This palm sander was purchased to replace a very tired old "cheap no name" machine of the same size that has come to the end of its useful working life. When first unpacked I was delighted at the solid feel of the Makita and was soon cutting lengths of sandpaper to try it out. This version of the Makita palm sander uses the flip over spring system of fastening paper which, although a bit fiddly,holds the paper securely. You also get a simple plastic tool that punches the paper so that the inbuilt dust extraction system works. This punch is extremely easy to use. The dust bag fits easily and quickly and is not obtrusive when the machine is in use.
Palm sanders of this size are extremely useful for many jobs and invaluable, for example, when sanding stairs where a larger random orbital sander has been used which cannot get into the corners. The high speed of the Makita gets the job done quickly, leaves a good finish, and is comfortable to handle. The power cord is a bit on the short side which means that you have to trail an extension lead around - but this is common with many tools of this type.
I have not awarded the machine five stars for two reasons.
Firstly: If, like me, you suffer from arthritic fingers the spring paper retaining system [whilst very effective] is a bit awkward to use. To solve this I have since bought a replacement pad for the sander [as fitted to the Makita BO4555] that uses Velcro to hold the paper in place - slightly more expensive in terms of sandpaper but easier to use.
Secondly: Palm sanders are all notorious for their ability to create dust, even when their dust extraction systems are fitted, and the Makita is no exception. Whilst the paper punch is simple to use it only makes very small holes in the paper which does not allow the bag to catch as much dust as it could. On many sanders you have an option to connect them to a workshop [or home] vacuum cleaner which is far more effective but, for some reason, the Makita does not have this facility as standard. This is an unfortunate oversight and, in my eyes, has helped it to loose one star.
Would I buy one of these sanders again? Yes, definitely! The quality of build is excellent, it is extremely efficient in use, and very easy to hold and control, and it will probably outlast me. As a DIY tool it's great and well worth the premium price over lesser "budget" machines.