They say the Devil is in the detail, and if you’ve ever tried to use a regular sander in a tight space, you’ll know how true this is. You need the right tool for the right job; it’s obvious but always worth repeating. And if you’re trying to get the perfect finish on anything that isn’t flat, you need a detail sander.

Why Is It So Important To Choose The Right Detail Sander?

Sanding is a fine art because you can take away, but you can’t put back. One careless step and you can ruin your project right at the final stage.

Careful and precise work with the help of the correct detail sander will give you that perfect, professionally smooth finish.

But there are all kinds of detail sander. Perhaps you need one that is versatile enough to work on a variety of different woods, materials, and projects.  Are you looking for a sander to use repeatedly on similar work? Perhaps you need a palm-held product with plenty of orbit speed and motor power to work on your hardwood furniture projects. Or maybe you’re a guitar maker, and you need something delicate enough to give a soft smoothness to those laminate curves.

Whatever you want from your detail sander, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you through the ten best detail sanders on the market. We’ve put them through their paces, so you don’t have to, and you can dial right in on the one that has your name on it.

What Specifications Does A Detail Sander Have?

We’ll go into more detail in the buyers’ guide but let’s have a quick look at the most important features and specifications of a detail sander. This will give you a clear understanding of what to look out for when reading our reviews of the ten best detail sanders.

Weight

A detail sander is a vibrating hand-held tool, and you might need to use it for long periods. It’s important to know the weight of the product you’ll be buying.

Dimensions

The whole idea of a detail sander is to allow you to sand corners and places that are hard to reach. Clearly a compact, well-designed tool will make this easier.

Motor

A more powerful motor gives your sander more oomph. Whether or not you need a powerful detail sander depends on whether you’re using it on soft or hard substances.

Accessories

Detail sanders usually ship with a selection of sandpapers, sometimes of varying grades. Take a look at what accessories come with the product, and make sure that they are suited to the jobs you will be doing. For example, there’s no benefit in buying a sander with rough grit pads if you’re going to be doing fine sanding work.

Power Source

Some detail sanders are battery-operated, and some are mains powered. Your preferences and needs will help you choose which power option you prefer.

Orbits per minute

Sander speed is measured in orbits per minute or OPM. Faster sanders get the job done quicker, although they vibrate more and can be tricky to use over long periods.

Dust Collection Tray

Most detailed sanders come with a dust collection tray (or bag), and when these work effectively, it makes for better working conditions and easier cleaning.

Grip Positions

Detail sanders typically have an over-the-top palm grip that gives you good control. But some Sanders offer two or even three grip positions. Think about how you like to grip tools and choose a product that fits your working style.

The 10 Best Detail Sanders For 2021

TLDR:

1. BEST BUDGET DETAIL SANDER – TECCPO 14,000 OPM COMPACT ELECTRIC SANDER -TAMS22P

2. BEST VALUE DETAIL SANDERBLACK+DECKER MOUSE DETAIL SANDER, COMPACT DETAIL – BDEMS600

3. BEST LOW VIBRATION, LOW NOISE SANDERTACKLIFE CLASSIC MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – PMS01A

4. BEST BATTERY-POWERED DETAIL SANDERBLACK+DECKER 20V MAX SHEET SANDER – BDCMS20C

5. BEST VALUE BATTERY-POWERED DETAIL SANDERRYOBI P411 ONE+ RANDOM ORBIT POWER SANDER

6. BEST MIDPRICE DETAIL SANDERTECCPO COMPACT MOUSE DETAIL SANDER 14,000 OPM

7. MOST VERSATILE DETAIL SANDERSKIL CORDED MULTI-FUNCTION DETAIL SANDER – SR232301

8. BEST COMPACT DETAIL SANDERENERTWIST MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – ET-DS-100

9. BEST DETAIL SANDER FOR PRECISION SANDINGTACKLIFE MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – PMS02B

10. BEST MULTI-OPTION SANDER/CUTTER – DEWALT 20V MAX XR OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL KIT, VARIABLE SPEED – DCS356D1

 

1. BEST BUDGET DETAIL SANDER – TECCPO 14,000 OPM COMPACT ELECTRIC SANDER -TAMS22P

Weight: 2.64 pounds

Dimensions: 7.08 x 5.51 x 4.72 inches

Motor: 1.1 Amp

Accessories: 12pcs sandpaper (60 grits*6 & 120 grits*6) (138mm*97mm)

Power Source: Corded Electric

Orbits per minute: 14,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This little Teccpo is an excellent choice if you want a fully-featured detail sander at a budget price. It’s a small unit with a characteristic “mouse” body shape and a comfortable overhand palm grip that gives excellent control.

At just over 2 ½ pounds, it doesn’t feel like it weighs much at all, and using it for prolonged periods isn’t a problem. Although at 1.1 A, it doesn’t have the biggest motor, this sander gives you a very respectable 14,000 orbits per minute.

The sandpapers, like most units, fix on with a Velcro-style. This is the standard format these days, but if, like me, you remember those awful days of loose and torn sandpaper, then you’ll still be amazed and grateful about this little leap in technology.

Overall this Teccpo represents the best value for money entry-level sander. The twelve sandpapers should keep you going for quite a long time without buying any more accessories.

PROS

  • A well-featured tool with good accessories at an excellent price point
  • Comes with plenty of sandpaper in two grits
  • compact size that makes getting into those tight corners a piece of cake.

CONS

  • Despite the dust collection bag, a lot of dust still gets into the air.

Check price on amazon

2. BLACK+DECKER MOUSE DETAIL SANDER, COMPACT DETAIL (BDEMS600): BEST VALUE DETAIL SANDER


Weight: 2.4 pounds

Dimensions: 10.25 x 4.63 x 5.44 inches

Motor: 1.2 Amps

Accessories: Mouse Detail Sander, Sanding pad, Finger attachment

Power Source: Corded-Electric

Orbits per minute: 14,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 3

This Black & Decker sander offers a terrific specification at a great price. This machine packs in a three-way grip and ergonomic design, a handy finger pad attachment for fine detail work, and a powerful motor that drives 14,000 orbits per minute.

Perhaps my only gripe, and it’s a small one, is that I’d be happy to pay more and have more sheets of sandpaper included. Just bear in mind that you’ll use the two pieces of sandpaper very quickly, so you might as well order some more right away.

PROS

  • Light weight and three grip positions make it comfortable to use
  • Powerful motor with 14,000 orbits per minute
  • It comes with a handy finger attachment

CONS

  • Only ships with two sheets of sandpaper; order more when you order the unit

Check price on amazon

3. TACKLIFE CLASSIC MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – PMS01A: BEST LOW VIBRATION, LOW NOISE SANDER

Weight: 3.08 pounds

Dimensions: 8.9 x 4 x 5.9 inches

Motor: 1.1 Amps

Accessories: 80 Grits Sandpapers – 6 pieces,180 Grits Sandpapers – 6 pieces

Power Source: Corded-Electric

Orbits per minute: 12,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This is a reasonably priced detail sander with a great look and design. It’s strong and well built and comfortable to grip with an easy to access on-off switch.

At over 3 pounds, this is one of the heavier sanders on this list. That’s not much of a weight difference, but that extra half-pound or so will start to tell if you plan to use it for long spells.
But this is a well-designed unit with low vibration and low noise as well, so if noise is something that bothers you, this is right up your street.

PROS

  • Excellent specifications for the price
  • Comes with plenty of sandpaper
  • Ergonomic design

CONS

  • Heavier than many other detail sanders

Check price on amazon

4. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX SHEET SANDER (BDCMS20C) – BEST BATTERY-POWERED DETAIL SANDER

Weight: 2.59 pounds

Dimensions: 4 x 10 x 9 inches

Motor: 1.5 Amps

Accessories: (1) 20V MAX* 1.5Ah Battery, (1) Charger, (1) Detail Finger Attachment, (2) Sheets paper, (1) Sheet Detail Finger Paper, (4) Extra Sheets Tip Paper

Power Source: Lithium-Ion Battery

Orbits per minute: 12,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 2

We all know that your detail sander is all about getting into those little nooks and crannies and that a power cable can really get in your way. It’s great to have the freedom of the battery-powered tool when you’re doing precise work in tight spots, and this is the best battery-powered detail sander around.

But (and there’s always a but isn’t there?) this sander is quite a bit more expensive than similar mains-powered machines. It’s excellent that rechargeable batteries and a charger are included, but this bumps up the price. You just need to decide whether the freedom of going cordless justifies the extra expense.

There’s a powerful 1.5 amp motor driving the sander at a respectable but not amazing 12,000 orbits per minute.

This is a light and easy-to-use sander with a dual grip which will come in handy if you aren’t comfortable with the over-the-top palm grip used in most detail sanders.

PROS

  • The powerful 1.5 amp motor makes short work of hard surfaces
  • Effective and unobtrusive dust collection bag
  • Rechargeable batteries and charger included

CONS

  • the shape and grip are versatile but might not be for everyone

Check price on amazon

5. RYOBI P411 ONE+ 18 VOLT 5 INCH CORDLESS BATTERY OPERATED RANDOM ORBIT POWER SANDER – BEST VALUE BATTERY OPERATED DETAIL SANDER

Weight: 2.87 Pounds

Dimensions: 7.6 x 7.3 x 7.4 inches

Accessories: None

Power Source: Battery (Not Included)

Orbits per minute: 10,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This Ryobi product is a good entry-level cordless detail sander. It doesn’t boast the specifications of some other products on the market, but if you want an affordable cordless sander, then this is a well-made machine.

An 18 V battery drives the sander at 10,000 orbits per minute, which is (just) enough for finishing and detail work.

I’m a great believer in plug-and-play, and it’s always a bit of a disappointment to find that batteries don’t come with the product. I’d rather pay a little more and have them included, anything for an easy life, right?

PROS

  • Battery operation frees you from the power cable
  • light and compact for ease of use.
  • well-designed dust collection system.

CONS

  • you’re sacrificing some performance for the convenience of going cordless.

Check price on amazon

6. TECCPO COMPACT MOUSE DETAIL SANDER 14,000 OPM – BEST MIDPRICE DETAIL SANDER

Weight: 2.69 pounds

Dimensions: 7.08 x 5.51 x 4.72 inches

Motor: 1.1 Amps

Accessories: 6 X 60 Grits sandpapers, 6 X 120 Grits sandpapers

Power Source: Corded-Electric

Orbits per minute: 14,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This detail sander looks fantastic right from the get-go. You can tell right away that a lot of thought has gone into the design, which is confirmed when you start to use it. The sander is well balanced and very comfortable to use with the standard palm grip. There is a powerful motor, and at 14,000 orbits per minute, this sander packs plenty of punch.

My only criticism is that for such a comprehensive tool, it would be a nice touch to add a finger attachment (like some of the other sanders reviewed here).

This detail sander offers you an excellent combination of power, comfort, and rugged design at only a slightly higher price than an entry-level model.

PROS

  • Compact size, ergonomic design, and easy-to-use controls
  • 14,000 orbits per minute around a large 1.5 mm high eccentric orbit gets the job done quickly
  • low vibration makes the machine easy to use

CONS

  • It’s a shame there is no finger attachment

Check price on amazon

7. SKIL CORDED MULTI-FUNCTION DETAIL SANDER – SR232301 – MOST VERSATILE DETAIL SANDER

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Dimensions: 7.87 x 3.98 x 5.63 inches

Motor: 1.2 Amp

Accessories: 12pcs Sanding Paper, Dust Box, 3 Detail Attachments

Power Source: Corded-Electric

Orbits per minute: 13,500

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This Skil sander is a compact but rugged piece of kit. It has a good-sized motor that puts plenty of power behind its impressive 13,500 orbits per minute.

I find the feature that sets this product ahead of its mid-range competition is the three attachments that come with it; a sharp point, a finger blade, and a handy little square pad.

The whole point of your detail sander is to let you boldly sand where no sanders have gone before, and this tool gives you the control to do that.

The sanding sheets, both for the central unit and the attachments, are easy to apply and remove. And the collection tray is well designed, with a good capacity, but its shape doesn’t get in your way

PROS

  • The three different attachments that ship with the sander make it highly versatile.
  • This machine is very easy-to-use, with low vibration and a comfortable grip.
  • Sturdy dust box that works well

CONS

  • Ships with a bit of sandpaper, but you’ll soon need to order more.

Check price on amazon

8. ENERTWIST MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – ET-DS-100 – BEST COMPACT DETAIL SANDER

Weight: 1.72 pounds

Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.7 x 4.3 inches

Motor: 0.8 Amp

Accessories: (10) Sheets Sand Paper (2*80/ 2*120/ 1*240G), (1) Detail Finger Attachment, (5) Finger Sand Paper (2*80/ 2*120/ 1*240G), (1)Scrubbing-pad, (1)Abrasive-pad, (1)Lock Screw, (1)Nylon Carrying Bag

Power Source: Corded Electric

Orbits per minute: 13,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

Unpacking this item for the first time, you’ll be amazed at just how small and lightweight it is. You will also be impressed at what a comprehensive package you get for the price. Even though it’s one of the cheapest detail sanders on this list, it ships with a finger pad attachment, five sheets of sandpaper (in three different grades), and some sandpapers for the finger pad attachment. And you get a carrying bag too!

But the tiny 0.8 amp motor is a drawback. Sure, I mean it’s great that it doesn’t make much noise when it’s working, but if you’re going to do a lot of sanding, then the motor heats up very quickly, and you will need to take breaks to let it cool down.

This is an excellent machine if you’re doing occasional details sanding and want a superlative level of control. But if you want a rugged and sturdy tool that will last you through lots of long sanding jobs, then there are better products on the market stop

PROS

  • Lightweight and compact size make this the easiest sander to work with.
  • Quiet operation
  • Finger sanding pads for getting into those tight corners.

CONS

  • the small motor doesn’t pack as much punch as most detail sanders.

Check price on amazon

9. TACKLIFE MOUSE DETAIL SANDER – PMS02B – BEST DETAIL SANDER FOR PRECISION SANDING

Weight: 2.43lbs

Dimensions: 9.45 x 6.3 x 3.54 inches

Motor: 1.67 Amps

Accessories: sandpaper(5Pcs*80 & 5Pcs*120 Grits)& 10*finger sandpaper

Power Source: Corded-electric

Orbits per minute: 12,000

Dust Collection Tray: Yes

Grip Positions: 1

This sander comes with a clip-on finger pad attachment, and accompanying sandpapers are perfect if you want to get into even the tightest corners. It’s an excellent feature, especially because you’re buying a detail sander for just that purpose.

Another excellent feature is the 360° rotatable sanding pad. Basically, you can turn the face of the sander right or left by 90°. This maneuverability is a superb feature since turning the sander face by 90° saves you from performing contortions to squeeze yourself into those out-of-the-way places.

The sander comes with ten sheets of regular sandpaper in two grits and also ten pieces of finger sandpaper, so it’s ready to go right out of the box without any additional purchases.

PROS

  • finger pad attachment is perfect for getting into the tightest corners
  • The 360° rotatable Sanding pad gives you excellent control
  • at 1.67 Amps, the motor has all the power that you will need

CONS

  • 12,000 orbits per minute isn’t the quickest on the market, but it won’t slow you down much.

Check price on amazon

10. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit, Variable Speed (DCS356D1): BEST MULTI-OPTION SANDER/CUTTER

Weight: 2.33 Pounds

Dimensions: 17.15 x 5.03 x 9.65 inches

Motor: 20V

Accessories: (1) DCS356 3 Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool, (1) Sanding Pad, (1) Accessory Storage Box, (25) Sheets of Sand Paper, (1) Wood with Nails Blade, (1) Charger, (1) Kit Bag, (1) 2 Ah Battery, (1) Universal Accessory Adapter, (1) Fast Cut Wood Blade, (1) Depth Guide

Power Source: Batteries/Charger Included

Orbits per minute: 20,000

Dust Collection Tray: No

Grip Positions: 2

Okay, first up, this isn’t really a detail sander; it’s a pricy tool that does the job of detail sanding as well as coming with several cutting attachments. So, it’s a cordless multitool with a cool quick-change accessory system allowing you to clip the different attachments on and off with ease.

I found it powerful and well-designed, light and maneuverable. It’s a lot of fun to use, and of course, it’s cordless, giving you that extra element of control.

I wouldn’t advocate buying this unless you plan to use all of the different attachments it comes with because it’s an expensive bit of kit. But it’s also excellently designed and can save you having to purchase two or three different tools to perform the same range of tasks. If you’re planning to do a lot of work with it, then it will justify your investment.

PROS

  • The Swiss army knife of sanding and cutting fine detail woodworking tools.
  • The LED light is a great feature, lighting up those hard to see areas
  • 20,000 orbits per minute are way more than the competition

CONS

  • This is a complete sanding and finishing tool, but it’s expensive. It’s only worth it if you plan to use all the features.

Check price on amazon

A Buyer’s Guide To Detail Sanders

Woodworkers are artists. But you know that already, don’t you? You wouldn’t be reading an article about the best detail sander if you didn’t take pride in your work and have the drive and skills to produce masterpieces in wood.

But, however talented and experienced you are,  you will know that an artisan is only as skillful as the tools he uses. After all, Michelangelo didn’t sculpt David with a sledgehammer, did he?

Since you’re going to use your detailed sander for the most delicate and precise parts of your project, it’s essential that you know how to choose the right product. So this here buyer’s guide takes you through the most important things to consider when selecting your detail sander.

FACTORING IN THE THE FORM FACTOR

Form factor is important in a finesse tool like a detail sander. The size, weight, and shape of the device are vital because the sander needs to be comfortable enough to give you complete control and small enough to allow you to get into those small spaces and do the detail work. Look at the size and shape of different products, and imagine them in your hand, then decide which one you think will best suit your working style

HOW MUCH POWER?

An orbital sander is a high-speed tool, and the and Amperage of the motor tells you just how much power it has. Typical motor sizes range from 0.8 A to 1.5 Amps. You’ll know just how powerful a sander you’ll need by considering what you will use it for. If you plan to use it for extensive, time-consuming work, look for a 1.2 – 1.5 Amp model.

ORBITS PER MINUTE & FLEXIBILITY

you measure the orbit speed of a detail sander in Orbits per Minute or OPM. Faster sanders have a speed of around 14,000 OPM, and this quicker speed means, basically, that they can sand stuff more quickly and effectively. The faster the sander, the faster the job.

WHAT COMES WITH THE PRODUCT?

Most detail sanders ship with some free stuff. Most commonly, your purchase package includes sandpaper. After all, this is the business end of the product, and it’s what will wear out most quickly. Ten pieces are typical, but some products offer more or less.

Other bits and pieces might be included as well. Carrying cases are very handy since they make it easy to transport the tool and store it safely, extending its life.

Some sanders also have “finger” attachments and other design features to help you get into tight corners and small gaps. These are very useful since the whole object of detail sanding is to sort out the tricky stuff.

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

How long a tool lasts depends on how well made it is and how much you use it. A good rule of thumb when buying any device is to check the warranty, which is kind of like the manufacturer’s best guess of how long you can expect trouble-free operation. Better products often have extended warranties. Two years is a standard warranty, but some manufacturers offer up to 5 years warranty.

If you plan to use this tool frequently, this is an important factor, and you’ll be looking for the sturdiest and most durable sander. Conversely, if this is a tool for occasional work, you still want something that will last, but durability won’t be the deciding factor.