PRODUCT REVIEW: 4 models under $100 put to the test
The spring-loaded cloth dust bag holds its shape, and a twist-lock feature keeps it securely in place; however, it extends off the sander at an odd angle, which sometimes gets in the way. The sander also has a built-in adapter that fits both 1 1/4- and 2 1/4-inch vacuum hoses. A smooth, powerful sander with a nice feel, it weighs in at 3 pounds 11 ounces.
DeWalt Model D26453K ($79, including sander, dust bag, and hard-shell carrying case): This was the heaviest of the bunch, at a hair over 4 pounds. It has a nice, slender feel to it that fits nicely in your hand, along with a rubber top pad that cushions your palm. The sealed on-off rocker switch is right at the front, and easy to operate with one finger. As with the Milwaukee, it has a 3-amp, soft-start motor.
The dust collection bag is spring-loaded with two positive twist locks for good security, and it extends directly off the rear of the sander. There's also built-in adapters for two standard vacuum cleaner hoses. It's another smooth, aggressive sander that's very easy to use.
DeWalt Model D26456 ($99, including the sander and dust bag): While the other three sanders are similar in height and general design, the 26456 is a low-profile sander. It's about 2 inches lower than the other sanders, and weighs just 3 pounds 6 ounces. The trade-off for the lower height is that the motor is wider, resulting in a wider grip.
It's still comfortable, but possibly not for everyone. A very nice feature of the 26456 is a new motor design that utilizes less wear on components for longer life, plus electronic load control and motor brake. The control switch, dust collection bag, and vacuum adaptor system are the same as on its taller brother.
Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org. All product reviews are based on the author's actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers.
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