Every woodworker enthusiast knows sanding is a very important task of furniture making. The finished project must come out smooth and pleasing to the eye, as well as to the touch – an effective way of reaching that perfection is by using a spindle sander! When it comes to designing any round shapes or other large projects like cabinet doors, these machines can turn serious hard work into child’s play, and because of that, spindle sanders, also known as oscillating spindle sanders, are a must in any woodworker’s shop. Not only is it a tool created and designed to help you achieve a smooth, flat finish in wood pieces, especially those that are detailed or have curved edges, but it can help you reach better results with less effort. There are many awesome models on the market, as SanderScore as shown us, but if you still don’t believe you need one to up your game, we’ll explain to you a bit more why they are the ideal addition to your woodworking arsenal:

1. Clean Cuts

The rotating cylindrical drum is covered with gritty sandpaper (you should use different grit values for different projects and even for different stages of the process), which enables it to smooth out saw marks, rough curved edges, and inside hole cuts. This tool is, for sure, one that will make it easier to sand smaller, more complex and detailed pieces without damaging the wood.

2. Clear Movements

In addition to the steady rotation of the drum, a spindle sander also moves it up and down – perfect for maintaining static friction, which otherwise could cause burns and band marks on the wood. It also increases the life of the sanding sleeve by spreading the wear across a wider surface area, so no more trips to the hardware shop every few days.

3. Versatility

A spindle sander comes in all types of models, so make sure you understand them and purchase the right one for your personal needs. For example, they can come in a large range of sizes, including floor machines that can stand alone, smaller models that sit on a benchtop, and even portable ones that are hand-held and incredibly practical. If you’re just a woodworker enthusiast, a bench-top model may be just right for you. They take up less room and will surely help you perform any type of DIY project. They are easily portable and cheaper than the floor models, which end up being more suitable for commercial projects.

4. Functionality & Safety 

If you opt for a smaller and portable sander you’ll notice that they are quite easy to work with, even though they might end up being a bit less safe. If you’re not that experienced, going for a cordless model always grants you more safety and room to use it. On the other side, a bench-top model will provide you the stability that’s necessary to complete the project, as it will allow you to move around the piece and choose a position you feel more comfortable in. Due to its security pedal, that works like turning a switch on and off, the spindle sander will stop at any time you take your feet from it.

5. Effort

Lastly, it will surely help save some time and energy by not having to hand sand that curved piece with a worn out sandpaper. The spindle sander simply does it for you! It sands efficiently with greater material removal, less burning, and longer abrasive life than you get with a non-oscillating drum.

Now that we’ve seen what a spindle sander can do for you, we’ll go through the best options on the market, at the moment. To get the right spindle sander, it’s important to weigh up every single factor and technical features, as you surely want to get the best end results without wasting money on the wrong one! So start by thinking about the type of woodworking projects you have in mind and the amount of money you have available. Here are some models that might help you get on the right track:

Top Picks

The Benchtop WEN 6510T

It has a powerful 1/2 HP and 3.5 amp motor, providing 58 OPM and 2000 RPM – a lot of numbers to tell you this is one hell of a machine.

It also includes six 80-grit sanding sleeve sizes for a variety of curvatures. It features an onboard storage for all accessories, along with a dust collection port for hooking in a dust extractor. It comes with a 15 by 11.5-inch worktable, which is designed to provide more than enough space for larger projects during the sanding. It also keeps you and the wood sturdy and stable so that your project runs smoothly and without a hitch.

By the way, something we’ve noticed is how quiet this machine can operate, meaning you can work longer without harming your ears or having your wife screaming at you at 2 am for making all this noise.

The Benchtop Triton TSPS450

Ideal for sanding contours, arcs, curves and other irregular shapes, this sander works with a rotating and oscillating action, which increases speed, efficiency and delivers a more precise finishing of intricate work! It has a powerful 3.5A (450W) motor  and comes with a large 370 x 295mm cast iron table for stability and enhanced material support. It comes with a dust port for connection to the extraction system, as well as with six different spindle sizes. The great thing about these spindles is that they each have their own unique washers, so you don’t have to worry about swapping them over each time you need to change – a big plus on its competitors.

The Benchtop Delta Woodworking 31-483

This is, personally, one of the best high-end benchtop spindle sanders on the market. This machine is considered, by a lot of experts, as an investment that will last a lifetime!

It starts with a fully enclosed, heavy-duty steel frame construction for minimum vibration, with a 5 interchangeable threaded spindles. Among other features, it comes with 4 table inserts and a dust port, helping to keep your workstation clean and tidy, as well as an onboard storage.

The unique bevel system will provide increased stability and long-lasting durability. But we’re not done yet! The smooth precision ball bearings support the main spindle, and a heavy-duty worm and gear mechanism drives the oscillations. However, there’s always a downside – it’s extremely heavy to move it around, so realistically, you should only consider it if you have a permanent working station.

Start Up Your Engines!

Now that you have everything you need to know about spindle sanders, it will surprise us if you don’t start counting your money to buy one as soon as you get off your computer. This machine is really a must in every woodworker’s shop, and you have plenty of options to choose the right one for you. So, if you need a portable sander for smaller jobs, or a sturdier one for more intricate projects, there’s something available to get the job done while making your life that much easier. What are you waiting for?

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