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I have been looking at buying a Black & Decker Mouse sander which is 55W.
Will it be enough for general use such as sanding wood edges?

  • It's a mouse sander, so low power is appropriate to its size and the scale of the work it'll be asked to do. But personally I wouldn't buy one on a bet..... I highly recommend adopting the scraping > sanding mantra, since a well-prepped scraper will outperform any type of sanding in almost all cases, costs pennies and will last you for a decade or two. How's that for value for money? If needed you can finish off with a small bit of sanding and this can be done with minimal effort manually, using your final grit of paper and a sanding block. – Graphus May 31 '17 at 6:43
  • @Graphus: I am a huge advocate of scraping. But recently I have had to resort to sandpaper for small pieces, like a sawtill. Also some small greasepot boxes which Roy Underhill shows how to make. I just couldn't figure out how to such small pieces without slipping, tearing out, or digging into. And to my suprise, going up to 1200 grit sandpaper did achieve a finish smoother than I could get with scraping, even on a good day. Kind of disheartening but it is what it is. – jbord39 Jun 6 '17 at 16:01
  • @jbord39 I'd never advocate ditching the abrasives completely, everyone needs to sand at times. Sometimes it's faster to sand (many round profiles), sometimes the shape is just too awkward to scrape properly, and regrettably sometimes the wood doesn't respond well to a scraper. – Graphus Jun 7 '17 at 7:27
  • @jbord39 Re. the finish you've achieved with the 1200, no question you can sand and get an extraordinarily good surface if you go through the grits and end at a high enough number (take that "you should finish straight from the plane" dudes!) but the final finish should be taken into account as if you'll be using a film finish you're not gaining anything because the film is the eventual surface. If you're using a penetrating finish though very good idea to sand quite a bit more finely. – Graphus Jun 7 '17 at 7:32
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It depends on what you're doing. Those mouse detail sanders are for getting into corners and doing light-duty work. I would not call it a "general use" sander unless you have a lot of time to kill and enjoy having your hand go numb.

For sanding edges, it may not be much more efficient than hand sanding. If you are sanding a small end table, it will take a while but you can do it with a mouse sander. If you need to remove a lot of material, you would be better off with a belt sander or an aggressive orbital or random orbit sander, and if you need to sand a large tabletop and progress through finer and finer grits for a nice finish, you should consider a random orbit sander with a dust port that you can connect to a shop vacuum.

Note that there are many other features which have direct practical implications when it comes to sanders, such as dust removal, stroke length, ergonomics, and size of pad or belt. I've never even considered the wattage when purchasing of a handheld sander.

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I have the mouse sander and love it. I have used it mainly to refinish chairs as they have lots of nooks and crannies. However, it is very challenging to switch the tip out as the screw is teeny, and you will go through lots of sand paper as it seems to work through it rather quickly, and you will of course need to buy the paper that fits the sander. Also, don't overuse a sandpaper as it will hurt the velcro the paper attaches to, and will ruin the sander. Good little sander for small jobs and if you don't plan on doing lots of sanding down the road. It could easily be used to sand a table, chairs, even baseboards.

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