It's hard to tell if you've sanded a board smooth when you can't feel your fingers. That's the dilemma with random-orbit sanders, which work the wood's surface using a round pad that not only spins but also slides from side to side randomly in all directions—in effect orbiting the center of the device. That shaking motion is great for removing material without gouging the wood. Unfortunately, it also rattles your hands, causing numbness and even lasting nerve and circulatory damage.
Craftsman VibraFree Sander
Weight: 3.3 lbs.
Pad Type: 5-in., Velcro-attached
Orbits per minute: 12,000
Get it: craftsman.com
I totally know what they are talking about. The vibration in sanders drive me crazy. This is a good idea and should go over really well with the public. They need to get the word out now. I had not heard of this sander until Popsci said something about it.
I bought this sander early on in July 2008. The sandpaper that came with it was a good heavyweight resin bond red cloth disc, which worked extemely well with this sander. It performed as outlined by this article and the one I just read in my current issue received on 10/11/2008. There is a but here and it is very disappointing. I went and tried to order new sandpaper off a Craftsman Club ad dated July 20th to 27th which pictured the high gtade resin bond red cloth sandpaper which they did not have in stock and came to find out was not even on the market. This order was placed and expected date of delivery was at first 08/07/08. This never happenned and the delivery date was pushed back every month until it arrived October 9th 2008. Here is the real kicker the resin cloth disc was not delivered as pictured and in it's place was a cheap non coated A grade paper thsat will not stand up to the aggressive action of this sander. Yes, it sands vibration free, but only performs as tested with the red resin bond cloth discs as originally supplied with the sander. Sears has totally flubbed this introduction of what I feel is a fabulous innovation and has turned my off. I feel cheated and have every intention of returning my unit and suggest all stay away. You are trapped because the sandpaper is so unique there is no other suppliers at this time.