Disc Sanders

May 31, 2011 by  

Review of two Skil Disc Sanders

The 5 inch Random Orbit Sander

skil sander

The Octo Multi-Finishing Sander

octo sander

When I think of finishing furniture, the part that I dread the most is the sanding.  Thinking about refinishing my dining room table was not a happy thought.

dining room tableI was thrilled when I found out I was going to get to review these two Skil Sanders.  The job didn’t seem nearly so scary anymore.

I also was going to refinish an Ikea table

Ikea table

I set up my work area in the garage. The 5 inch random sander came with several specifically  cut pieces of sand paper.  It also has the dust collector. What a great benefit that was. I didn’t have to worry about massive amount of saw dust all over me, all over the garage, all over everything!

The 5 inch Random Orbit Sander

random orbit sander

I wanted to start with this sander because it was going to be the main one I was going to use for the surface of the dining room table and the Ikea table.

Here is the bottom of the sander…. why look at that…. the same holes that are on the sandpaper. lol


skil sanderThe gray surface has a bit of a “Velcro” feel to it … it is rough and then the bottom of the sandpaper is almost “felt like”.  When you place the sandpaper on the sander… it grabs and sticks on.  It isn’t hard to line up the holes either.

skil sander

Now to test to see how it works.

The on/off switch is really handy. It is right where your index finger goes… so if there is any reason you have to stop it fast… it is right there.

skil sanderThere is also a light guide to let you know if you are putting too much pressure  (light turns red) or if the pressure is just right (green light that is lit now).  The dust goes into the particle filter. It is so nice to not have all that saw dust coming up all over the place!

skil sander

My son was dying to help me out! lol  He couldn’t wait to use it.

skil sanderI did try the other sander on the legs (I’ll show more of that sander later).  It would have worked, but there would have been a lot of changing of the sanding tips… and I had four volunteers (lol) who each got a leg to sand.

sanded dining room table

You have to be sure to remember the leaves of your table too if you are going to refinish a dining room table.

table leaf

It made sanding the table top So fast and easy.  We also used it on the Ikea table. That surface was much different, but it still worked fine.

The Octo Multi-Finishing Sander

Look at this cool sander!  The Octo Multi-Finishing Sander has  eight different sanding tips (hence the octo) to be able to sand different surfaces.  (Check out the video on their site that shows this sander in action)

octo skil sanderWith all the tips and the sand paper to fit each of the tips, it is nice that it also comes with this bag.

skil sander

It isn’t too hard to change the tips, but I did use the directions to see how to change things out. The different tips fit into the slots and snap in place.

skil sander

The white on my hand is not saw dust, it is actually primer that was a pain to get off!

Putting on the sandpaper pieces worked the same way as the other sander. There are several cut pieces of sandpaper for each tip.  I didn’t realize at first (but did before I actually used it) that the sandpaper had the different grades.  I used the 120 grit for my projects.  I do realize you would have to purchase replacements pretty quick if you were doing much sanding though.

octo sanderI did try using it on the legs.  It worked, but as I mentioned earlier in the post… it would have had me changing the tips for the different angles and surfaces.

octo sander

Since I had willing participants… I spent my time working on other projects with the sander.

sanding table

I had an old mirror to refinish and it had scroll work on it.

mirror refinishing I was able to use several of the different tips.  I think I liked this tip the best, to do the curves.

sanderI used all of these tips

skil sanderThe corner attachments were really nice to do in the little creases …. and also the long side of the mirror. The longer tip wasn’t as useful for this mirror.  I used it to try and get on the flat main surface at the edges of the scroll work. You can see how the sandpaper did. I don’t know if I was putting too much pressure on the tip and that is why it wore out so fast or not. I didn’t feel it was as useful as the others on this mirror.  But I am counting on it to get in between the rungs of my chairs when I refinish them.

I also refinished this little chest of drawers that goes on the wall.  I did use that longer tip on this for the corners and it worked nicely.

skil sander


skil sander

I was very happy with the sanders. It helped save some real time along with muscle in sanding the several pieces that I worked on.

I loved the 5 inch random orbit sander for the flat surfaces.  The Octo multi-finishing sander was very handy for different edges and surfaces.

I think it is going to really help me when I refinish my chairs. I don’t think those spindles will be any problem at all.

I would recommend it for sure if you had a lot of sanding to do with those surfaces.  If you didn’t have much to sand, I would say it would probably be easier to do it by hand rather than changing the tips several times for a small area.

The weight of the sanders and handling of them were great. They worked easily and I felt very comfortable using them. They definitely saved me some time.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend someone purchase one of these if they have some refinishing projects to do.

You can check out all the Skil sanders and tools by going to the Skil.com site.  You can also find them on Facebook.

I very much appreciate Skil for giving me these two sanders to use and keep.  This did not influence my opinion on the sanders.  The pictures and projects are my own.








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2 Responses to “Disc Sanders”
  1. karenM says:

    I like that handy guide light.. I used to do a lot of wood work when the kids were younger.. you can’t go wrong with the help of a sander. I was checking around to get one for Father’s Day, this review has helped me make my decision.. great photos.. love that table. Keep us posted as you progress.

  2. Sandy says:

    Awesome… thanks Karen!

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