Makita is a great brand that’s known for its lower-priced power tools. They’ve been around for years and have become a brand most people trust, which is why I was excited to review their latest model, the BO5030K five-inch palm sander. It’s equipped with a powerful motor and a rubberized grip for improved user comfort. But is this a model you can rely on for many of your major woodworking projects? Let’s find out.
Our Verdict: The sander offers a better than average performance in terms of sanding power and efficiency. The big drawback here is the dust collection system which cannot perform well when the speed of the sander is set to low. In fact, suction and collection as basically non-existent. So, if you plan on using the dust collection system, plan on keeping the tool’s motor at a higher speed. Aside from that, this model has an ergonomic design and a powerful motor, both of which can promote longer use while minimizing user fatigue. This is also a reasonably priced power tool and one that offers the type of solid performance that DIYers and the pros are looking for.
Keep on reading to learn more about this random orbital sander by Makita, learn more about how it performs when put to the test and find out how it measures up to the competition.
Overview and Features
With most models of lower-priced sanders you’ll run the risk of ending up struggling to keep the sandpaper on. Fortunately, this model uses the hook and loop attachment design, which works much better compared to sanders that use the adhesive sandpaper. It comes with some other great design features including a five-inch sanding surface, dust-sealed switches, and a powerful motor, just to name a few.
Is this model by Makita really the best palm sander in this price range? Well, to start, it does have an ergonomic design, so you can plan on using it for several hours at a time without experiencing user fatigue. This is a huge plus if you want a model you can use to tackle medium to large-sized major projects in your workshop, around the home, or at work.
This power tool features 12,000 OPMs and is loaded with a three-amp motor, which provides better than average sanding speed and the type of power you need if you’re working with large surface areas. Its smooth, superfast action is due to the variable speed settings, which allow you to choose the right speed based on job size and material type.
The tool’s build quality is top-tier, although there are some exceptions. The large knob located on top of the sander works as the main grip and is encased in thick rubber. The design of the tool itself allows it to easily and comfortably fit the contours of the hand.
On the nose of the sander, you’ll find the power switch, which is dust-sealed via a rubber membrane. The placement of the switch can make it easy to turn the sander on and off if you accidentally bump it.
The cord measures in at seven feet. If you’re sanding hardwood floors then you can anticipate needing an extension cord or two.
As I briefly touched on earlier, this is a variable speed model. The speed dial that’s located on top of the sander can be set between four thousand up to twenty-two thousand RPMs. If you normally sand while wearing gloves then you may find it hard to adjust the dial.
Dust Collection System
The tool’s dust collection system is really hit or miss. While the dust collection bag does work well, you can plan on having to empty it out frequently. Once the bag is full it causes a dip in the sander’s performance until it’s emptied. When set to a lower speed the dust collection system’s efficiency suffers. The fan that creates the system’s suction is linked directly to the motor. When placed on a slower speed there’s just not enough suction to allow the system to suck up sawdust and debris. Unfortunately, this model also doesn’t come with an adapter that you can use to connect a shop vac to, so you’ll have to rely on the dust bag setup or purchase a shop vac adapter.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Lightweight design
- Powerful motor
- Dust-sealed switches
- Ergonomic design
- Hook and loop sandpaper disc system
- Dust collection system struggles when the motor is at a low power setting
- Poor placement of the power switch
If you don’t mind the issues with the dust collection system when the sander is placed on a lower setting, then you’ll find that this is actually a pretty powerful, efficient sander and one that you’ll want to use for your next big project. It’s designed for continuous use and can handle jobs of any size, so if you have a big project around the home, this is a power tool that you’ll find you can really rely on. The lightweight, ergonomic design also allows you to use the sander for a longer period of time, without becoming fatigued.
How it Measures Up to the Competition
If you’re learning how to use orbital sander, then the Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander may be a better option, considering its dust collection system earned a much higher rating than this model’s and it features more intuitive controls. However, the competition doesn’t have a motor that’s quite as powerful, coming in at just 2.5 amps. If you can handle the lackluster dust collection system, then for medium to large-sized jobs, I’d stick with the Makita. For smaller jobs around the home, the Bosch power tool is a better option.
Conclusion and Rating
Offered at a reasonable priced and equipped with a powerful motor, this Makita random orbit sander is a great choice for those challenging jobs around the home or in your workshop. However, for some, the low-powered dust collection system may be a deal-breaker. Overall, this sander provides a powerful, efficient performance and is considered much more versatile than many other models in this price range. I gave this power tool a rating of four and a half out of five stars.