Last week I picked up a Milwaukee 6021-21 Random Orbit Sander to assist us with sanding down the stipped ceiling in our kitchen. Painted stipple is entirely too resistant to hand sanding, and even a 1/4 sheet palm sander didn’t give us enough action to do the job as quickly as we wanted.
I’m happy to say that the Milwaukee performed great. I chose the sander for its variable speed motor (7000-12000 orbits per minute (OPM)), reasonably large dust bag, and sturdy carrying case. After using this sander for about an hour, here’s my synopsis of the pros and cons:
Pros of the Milwaukee Random Orbit Sander
- Rubber grip design is easy on the hands, even when used overhead as I did.
- Hook and loop pad held the sand paper like it was duct-taped in place. We experienced no slipping of pads in over an hour’s worth of work.
- Dust bag actually stays on during work.
- Very long cord (8 feet) eliminates the need for an extension cord in many spaces.
- Sturdy case includes space for extra discs.
- Includes a pressure-sensitive adhesive pad as an alternative (not tested).
- Comes with only two 80 grit sandpaper discs out of the box.
- Switch wore out quickly, then the unit stopped working. (See May, 2011 update below).
Price and Where to Buy
I bought the Milwaukee at our local Home Depot for $69.99.
Original Evaluation: Needless to say, I’m really happy with this tool. Milwaukee has hit a solid shot into the deep outfield. After a few months of use on other projects, I’ll follow this review up with a long-term test and hopefully we’ll find that they’ve hit a home run.
Update: May, 2011: The switch on the tool slowly wore out to where it was difficult to turn it off an on. Eventually, in April, 2011, the unit stopped working altogether. Milwaukee replaced the unit for us after some back-and-forth with one of their online retail representatives. Originally, they had talked of repairing the unit, but after considering the shipping costs, that just didn’t make sense. The model we received appears to be slightly upgraded. We will post an updated review when we can. As with all tools, our experience with reliability is only one data point. However, we hope to see the switch issue improved on future models from Milwaukee.
What do you think? Do you have experience with Milwaukee tools? What’s your experience been over the long haul?