It doesn’t suck

For some reason, the one task I hate about home ownership is painting.  I have fixed more bullet-holes over the years where previous owners yanked pictures off the wall and worse.  I think it’s the fear of spilling paint.  I have gotten pretty good at this and I love the way hardware stores do the paint-match thing.  I’ve taken in some tiny paint chips (OK, fragments) that have been matched perfectly.

My wife now hates painting and sanding too so when I told her what I was doing, she asked, “Don’t they make a power-sander with a vacuum cleaner built in?”   To avoid having to hold the vacuum cleaner hose in place while I sanded the spots I was fixing, we bought one.  I was skeptical but after I turned it on and saw the little bag inflate, I tried it in our dining room.  No dust.  The dried spackle is sanded smooth and I’m standing there looking amazed, thrilled to have been wrong.

Sanding pad punch to allow vac to collect dust through sandpaper


To my surprise, after a few holes, the tool isn’t even dusty.  Where did the dust go?  The way the tool works is that they give you a plastic punch the same size as the sanding pad.  You punch corresponding holes in the sand paper and the vacuum pulls the dust into the little bag.   To avoid over-filling the bag, I decided to empty the bag before continuing.  Somehow things have now taken a turn.  Now that the bag has been emptied, the combination sander and vacuum is starting to kick out some dust.  At one point, I had even sanded down a spot above the thermostat and I put my hand over that box just to protect it.  I had NO dust on my hand.  Now we’re kicking out some major dust but I don’t know what changed.

Collection bag

I looked on their site for any advice but it seems like all had to do with emptying the bag, which I had done.  When I looked up consumer tips, I got the typical, “Don’t buy that one.  It’s crap.  Buy one of these” (pointing me to another company’s unity).   I may try another tool but I went from skeptical to amazed to disappointed in the span of an hour or so.   They recommended hooking the sander up to your shop-vac.  After the project turned from skeptical victory to “disappointing”, I tried that too.  No luck for me.

If you have any experience with these sanders, please share and make recommendations.   I was ready to tell the world about this cool new drywall repair tool.  Now that I’ve watched several videos on You Tube and seen some other testimonials, I may have to find another option.  I’m a power tool nut and I own dozens of them for all sorts of uses.  I was sure I could make this thing do what it did when I first fired it up.  This is even a brand I like a LOT.

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