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A cordless convert

I finally decided to try a tool I’ve resisted for years and bought a cordless sander.

You know I love cordless tools. Not counting stationary and benchtop machines, every tool I use is cordless, with a few exceptions. I’ve tried a few cordless routers but found them uncomfortably top-heavy and hard to balance, plus most of my routing is table-based anyway.

I also never warmed to the idea of a cordless random orbit sander, due to weight and runtime concerns. But both of my other RO sanders need minor maintenance like new brushes and internal cleaning. Easy enough – I’ve done it many times over the decades – but just thinking about sanders got me to considering a new one.

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Researching online, I found that virtually every maker has a cordless version now, and a lot of the reviews were positive. And since I’d always still have my two corded sanders, I decided to get that Milwaukee cordless above.

My first impression was that it wasn’t nearly as heavy as I thought it would be. In fact, the sander with battery weighs about the same as my Makita sander. Balance is good, although it’s more comfortable using with a barrel grip than holding it by the top. The dust canister works very well.

Switching it on, it felt good. Vibration is low, and it’s considerably quieter than any corded sander I’ve used. The manual says I should get around 35 minutes runtime using a 3.0 Ah battery, but I never sand continuously for a half hour. I did manage to completely sand a couple cabinets and barely moved the battery’s LED fuel gauge.

But the biggest plus of this cordless sander, well, is that it doesn’t have a cord. The number one thing I hate about power sanding is that I’m constantly getting tangled up in the cord, catching the cord on a corner, or finding the cord too short when sanding around larger projects. The absence of a cord is a real blessing.

I’ll need to really put this thing through its paces before making a final judgment, but my initial reaction is that I like it a lot and that I perhaps shouldn’t have been holding on to a years-long poor opinion of the concept. In fact, maybe I need to rethink the idea of a cordless router.

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