Product Review: Makita Finishing Sander Model BO4552

All home improvement projects require a variety of tools to do the job properly. Having the proper tools at hand allows for a more efficient, safer, and quicker completion of home improvement projects. My favorite tool for finish sanding is the Makita Finishing Sander Model BO 4552. This sander weighs about two pounds, has a 1.6 A motor, and operates at a speed of 14000 OPM. It is double insulated. Double insulation eliminates the need for a grounded electric cord and allows tools to be used on both grounded (3-wire) and ungrounded (2-wire) circuits.

I have used this sander after receiving it as a gift several years ago and have never had a problem with it. It takes a quarter sheet of sandpaper which you can either cut yourself or buy precut. Cutting your own sandpaper is much less expensive, although not as convenient, as buying the precut quarter sheets. Cost verses convenience, the choice is yours.

I have used this sander for drywall finishing as well as for wood working projects. It works well for either application. My preference for finishing drywall, however, is sanding by hand. In my opinion, this sander or any other power sander for that matter just kicks up way too much dust. Professional drywall finishers, with access to respirators, may feel differently as power sanding sure makes the job go quicker. I use my Makita Finishing Sander almost exclusively to prepare wood for finishing with polyurethane and to lightly sand in between application of subsequent coats of finish.

This sander is perfect for me for many reasons. First of all, it is lightweight and easy to handle. It has a comfortable grip for smaller hands. I have used other palm sanders in the past and found them awkward to use because they were simply too big for my hand. Another feature that makes the Makita Finishing Sander stand out for me is the relative ease of changing paper. The levers on the sides are easy to manipulate and allow for quicker paper changes than other manufacturers models that I have used. This sander also has a dust bag that helps keep some of the sawdust contained. The Makita Finishing Sander Model BO4552 also seems to vibrate less and creates a little less noise than other finishing sanders that I have tried.

On the down side, the position of the on and off switch allows for unintentional starting when changing paper. Similarly, the position of the switch is such that I often inadvertently turn the sander off when I do not intend to. The dust bag, although it does remove some of the sawdust, really doesn’t do a good enough job to warrant it being in the way at times. When finishing drywall, it does very little to help with the dust.

The Makita Finishing Sander Model BO4552 retails for about $50.00.

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