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Dustless Drywall Sander Review

Updated on June 4, 2014

When you have a big renovation project on the go and your are at the stage of needing to sand drywalls smooth ready for painting or wall papering, there are one or two options you can take to get the job done. The first is to use a standard drywall sander that will do a good job but in the process will kick up an enormous amount of dust, or you can opt for a dustless drywall sander which uses a vacuum system to suck up all the dust before it gets a chance to hit the atmosphere.

There are advantages and disadvantages of using a dustless drywall sander and these will be looked at in the Hub Page. Also covered will be one or two brand name makes and soem advice on the best way to tackle what is a fairly tough job to do.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Dustless Drywall Sander

The advantages of using a dustless drywall sander are its obvious removal of dust before the machine operator gets a chance to breathe it in. Now a job such as drywall sanding requires that a machine operator wears a dust mask at all times, as well as safety goggles to protect his eyes. But even when you take these measures, the amount of dust that a standard drywall sanding machine can kick up is quite incredible. That dust is very fine and can get past most industrial dust masks by getting in at the sides or around the nose as they never are a perfect fit.

A dustless sanding machine negates this hazard by taking almost all of the dust into its vacuum system and not allowing it into the atmosphere where it can do untold harm to the lungs and respiratory tract of the machine operator.

Another advantage of a good quality, professional dustless drywall sander such as the popular Porter Cable Drywall Sander is that it will get the job done in less time than a smaller machine thanks to its aggressive sanding action.

The disadvantages of a dustless drywall sander is that it is heavy. The Porter Cable Drywall Sander weighs in at a hefty 8.5 pounds (4kg) which might not sound like much, but once you have been holding a beast like that at shoulder level for more than a few minutes, your arms will really start to ache and muscle fatigue sets in. This means taking lots of breaks to recover and that means the length of the job increasing considerably.

Another disadvantage of this type of professional drywall sander is its price and this can run into several hundreds of dollars. This may be beyond the budget of the average homeowner who may only be doing this job the once. Not so for the professional builder or construction company who will get a lot of use from a top rated machine such as this.

Professional vs Domestic DIY Dustless Drywall Sanders

When it comes to squeezing into tight spaces such as awkward bathroom corners around shower units or other obstacles, a professional vacuum sander may not be the best choice as its large sanding head may make it difficult to get into those tight spaces. In this case, domestic vacuum sanders do better because of their smaller sanding heads.

The only problem with domestic DIY sanders is that the vacuum systems is not as powerful as a professional or industrial unit and this means that more dust can escape into the atmosphere. For small jobs, this is not such a great problem as between the vacuum system and a good dust mask, the operator will not breathe in enough dust to be a problem.

The last consideration for the homeowner when deciding on a domestic or professional drywall sander is the cost of the sandpaper. A domestic machine uses smaller sandpaper sheets which are cheaper to buy, especially in bulk packs. A professional machine uses larger sandpaper sheets which can cost a lot more to buy, although they do tend to be able to cover a much larger area per sheet than domestic models, so the cost does balance out on a pro rata cost basis.

The choice is always up to the homeowner. If they are going to tackle the job of sanding drywalls themselves, then a domestic DIY sander will be a lot cheaper than a bigger, heavier professional machine and it will be easier to use. It will take longer to do the job because of its smaller sanding area plus the vacuum system will not be as efficient as that of a professional unit. The choice is up to you and your budget options.

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  • profile image

    sandlutions 8 years ago

    Has anyone tried the Vacuu-sponge, its a very portable innexpensive dustless sanding sponge. not power operated but perfect for small jobs for under $10.00 go to

  • Authorite profile image

    Authorite 8 years ago from UK

    Ha! I know what you mean. I used to do a load of stuff by hand before I wised up to using power tools.

  • Manna in the wild profile image

    Manna in the wild 8 years ago from Australia

    I wish I had one of those before sanding (by hand) 6 rooms! If I'd have seen this first, I might have bought one.