What Is a Palm Sander?

Woodworkers use palm sanders for smoothing a finish or removing materials from small wood pieces. If you want to smooth a surface after sanding, then a palm sander is one of the most important tools available for that. They don’t leave swirl marks on the surface, unlike other sanders. That’s why they are one of the most used tools in a woodworking workshop.

What is a Palm sander?

A palm sander can be defined as a smaller version of an orbital sander.  It uses rectangular sandpaper of quarter(¼) size sheet. That is why it is also called a 1/4 sheet sander. It fits into the palm of your hand, therefore it is named a palm sander.

A palm sander has the weakest motor comparing to the other power sanders, which makes it suitable for small & medium sanding jobs. It is ideal for jobs like paint removal or polishing wood pieces.

If you have any experience of using an orbital sander then operating a palm sander is going to be an easy task for you. Because they both have almost similar operations.

It can also have round sanding pads in some models. And for those, normal sanding discs or hook & loop sanding discs are used.

 It is designed in a way so that it can be used comfortably by one hand. Normally other sanders require the use of two hands & often they are a bit heavy. Whereas palm sanders are small & more lightweight. It can be carried anywhere easily & also can be operated smoothly.


Types of a Palm Sander

There are basically two types of Palm sander. 

  1. Orbital palm sander
  2. Random orbit palm sander

When people say palm sander, they mostly refer to the standard orbit palm sander.

A random orbital palm sander is usually bigger & has more variety of uses. It has round sanding pads. It is a powerful tool. That’s why it is not often considered a palm sander.


What is a Palm Sander Used for?

Palm sander does a wide range of jobs. Mostly jobs that require lightweight sanding. They are often used for smoothing or removing paint from surfaces. They can also remove materials from small wood pieces. If you are not planning to paint a wood piece after making it, then you can go for a palm sander to smooth the finish. They are also used for sanding edges.

If you are not very much into sanding, then palm sanders are good to go for smaller projects. You don’t have to face problems with the simple operations of palm sanders. Which makes it ideal for DIY’ers & home users.

They are ideal to work on smaller pieces of wood. The smaller size of the sander gives precision to work. Also, gives good control over the sander while sanding.

They are not suitable for heavy-duty sanding. As the sander is small, it doesn’t have that much power to do rough work. For heavy-duty sanding, a Random orbital sander is recommended.


How to Put Sandpaper on a Palm Sander?

You will have to change sandpaper frequently as your work needs. So you have to learn how to change a paper properly.

Putting sandpaper or changing the sandpaper is quite easy in a palm sander. Normally, all the palm sanders have clips/clamp locks on them which keep the sandpaper secured. You just have to release the clip while removing the existing sandpaper & put the new one. After that, tighten the clip. That’s how simple the process is!

Make sure your sandpaper size is matched with your sander. If your sandpaper is bigger than the sanding pad, fold the sandpaper a bit & match with the sanding pad. Then tuck up the sandpaper on both sides of the sanding pad & tie up the clips. Make sure the paper is well secured to the sanding pad.

For hook & loop discs, the process becomes even easier. You don’t have to go through any time-consuming process. Just remove the back cover of the disc &  attach it to the sanding pad.


Note: Read our TACKLIFE PSS02A Sheet Sander Review



Having a palm sander in your workshop or home will definitely help you in a lot of works. The easiness of use & affordable price makes it a favorite among the users.

 Also the result you will get using a palm sander, will definitely satisfy you.

What is Palm Sander


  • How does a palm sander work?

Palm Sanders vibrates & oscillates at the same time. For that dual movement, it smoothens the surface perfectly. Palm sanders are used by moving back & forth while sanding.

  • What’s better, Orbital sander or palm sander?

 Orbital sanders are used in bigger projects & also can be used in medium or small jobs. But palm sanders are ideal for medium & small projects. It depends on what kind of job you are going to do.  Both sanders have different advantages. Both are good in their own way.


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