Makita Orbital Sander
Friday 22 January 2010
Matt Long tests the latest 1/3 sheet orbital sander from Makita
Makita have a fine reputation for powertools, so we got hold of one of their finishing sanders and put it through its paces.
As you know, I like simple tools that perform their job well. And as this is as simple as it gets, I can't have any complaints on that front. It's a case of pull out of the box, fit your paper, plug in and go.
The 1/3 Sheet Orbital Sander BO3711 came complete with 120grit finishing paper, with a steerate anti-clogging compound. I stuck a piece of lacewood on the bench and gave it a good going over. Guess what? It did the job.
The sander is equipped with a speed control and comes with an extraction bag. The port for the extraction bag is quite small, and if you were thinking of harnessing it to powered extraction, you would need to get an adaptor.
The tool has a nice feel to it. It is solid and comfortable to handle, and comes supplied with a punch to create the dust extraction holes in the paper, which is clipped on.
I must admit I was a little surprised that the sander didn't come with the ubiquitous Velcro paper, as most other sanders seem to these days. It still uses the old fashioned spring clip mechanism to hold the paper. This will either be a selling point for you, or not, depending on your preferences. Some like the ease of Velcro paper, but some want the flexibility to use the paper they want to on a sander. You pays your money, you takes your choice.
Overall, there is isn't a lot to say about this bit of kit. If you want a decent orbital finishing sander then you won't go far wrong here. You may prefer the clip paper loading option here, so the choice is yours.