Palm sanders are vibrating pad sanders small enough to be held entirely with one hand as you use it, leaving the other hand free to hold down whatever you're sanding. Palm sanders are much easier to use than larger, more powerful belt sanders, and they are better for trim work and small areas where a belt sander would be overkill. Black & Decker makes an extensive line of palm sanders.
Go over the trim or other wood surface with a nailset and hammer. Knock in any raised nail heads. Pull away any other obstructions you find.
Put on your work gloves. Rip the roughest full-size sandpaper sheet into quarters. Fold the full sheet in half the long way and bend it back and forth enough times to crease it. Tear it in half along the crease. Repeat the process for each half.
Unplug your Black & Decker palm sander. Open the clamps on both sides of the sanding pad. Tuck one edge of the sandpaper into one of the clamps. Close the clamp. Wrap the paper around the bottom of the pad and tuck the end into the other clamp. Close the clamp. The paper should be tight on the pad.
Attach the dust-collection bag to the sander, if it has one. Plug in the sander, making sure there is enough cord length to allow you to sand as far forward as needed.
Put on your safety glasses. Set the sander at one end of the area to be sanded. Hold one hand firmly over the grip knob at the top of the sander. Turn the sander on with the switch on the front or side (depending on the Black & Decker model). Move the sander forward and back, at moderate speed, going with the grain of the wood.
Sand the whole area. Reload your sander with the next grade of sandpaper. Repeat the sanding process. Continue until the surface is fully sanded and smooth.
You can buy pre-cut sheets of sandpaper that fit a palm sander, but they’re more expensive.
Tips and warnings
- You can buy pre-cut sheets of sandpaper that fit a palm sander, but they’re more expensive.