Palm sanders are the smallest types of sanders being sold in the market. Their ¼ sheet sanding paper requirements and sanding pads are virtually the size of your palm and it’s where the moniker of these sanders come from. Their light frames and light touch motors make them the perfect assistants on home projects or hobby-level sanding jobs.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the DEWALT DWE6411K or DWE6411 for short. Many of you know DeWalt as one of the prime brands under the Black & Decker umbrella and its design imprint is obvious in this model.
Let’s take a look at why many reviewers give the DEWALT DWE6411K 4 or 5 stars and if it stands up to the hype.
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Is the DEWALT DWE6411K the Best Palm Sander in the Market?
DEWALT 6411/DEWALT DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander Review
DeWalt released the DWE6411K as their follow up to the DWE6411. What is awesome about this unit is how it retains the 1400 orbit per minute (OPM) power of the first generation 1/4 sheet sander while making the shell a lot smaller.
There are other orbital sanders out there with a more powerful output like the Milwaukee 6020-21 with a motor sitting at 3 amps or the RIDGID R2501 with a 2.4 amp one. The DeWalt DWE6411K’s 2.3 amp motor performs just as good and with its new ball-bearing design, it might even outlast the lifespan of its competitors.
The 4 and ¼-inch square sanding surface provides good coverage for smaller surface areas like steps or intimate projects like wooden picture frames. Users who expect to use the palm sander to smoothen floors will have to invest more time and sanding paper but the DeWalt DWE6411K can pull through a project that big.
If you give a fair assessment of what it’s supposed to do, like work on smaller projects rather than professional jobs, you can see the DeWalt DWE6411 is top of the palm sander class.
Form Factor and User Friendliness
The sander itself weighs around a flat 3 lbs, giving home users an easier time of working with the machine. Of course, the trade-off is DeWalt had to encase the motor in a rubber form factor to achieve this lightness.
This new lightweight design allows the DeWalt DWE6411K to address the pains of an untapped market for lighter power tools – female home renovators and elderly woodworkers. Its portability allows these underserved slices of power tools buyers to work on important projects without lugging around a heavy and expensive piece of equipment.
Aside from the weight, the design decision to use a lighter casing paid off since the rubber material allowed for overmolding in parts like the handle for better hand-feel. Its vibration-free operation means users will receive less stress or encounter less fatigue while sanding for longer hours
We also loved that the compact frame makes the DEWALT DWE6411K unobtrusive while working. We were able to see the project surface much better.
Users can use the DeWalt’s perforator pad to automatically punch holes into sanding papers. It’s a small innovation but this is proof that DeWalt’s product designers were listening to buyers. Users used to have to punch holes in sanding papers themselves with less accuracy.
The integrated paper clip system allows sanding papers to remain taut and tense for their life spans. To make the clips enough room to do their jobs better, users will have to cut the sheets a little more than the 4 and 1/4-inch sanding surface.
Overall, we’d give the DWE6411K for its user-friendliness and form factor a 5 out of 5 ratings.
Dust Collection and Safety
Unfortunately, the design has not helped dust collection one bit as copious amounts of dust remain on the project and the workshop. The best workaround to remediate this issue is to connect a shop vac to the larger port that connects to the dust bag. Since third-party adapters and shop vac systems may not play nice with the DeWalt’s port, it’s better if you’re using a DeWalt shop vac.
Users should also practice caution – it’s simply not safe to use this indoors without a mask. You can use this palm sander outdoors to also minimize safety and cleanliness concerns.
In case you’re curious about the difference between DEWALT DWE6411K and the DEWALT DWE6411, they’re actually the same palm sander. The DEWALT DWE6411K only comes with a carry bag you can use to travel with the palm sander or keep your sanding supplies in when not in use.
To recap, DEWALT DWE6411 is the bagless one, the DEWALT DWE6411K is the one with the bag. You can actually add a little extra when you order either one to get 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit mesh sheets from DeWalt along with your item.
What We Like:
- Powerful 2.3 Amp motor with a sanding speed of up to 14,000 orbits per minute for painting and prepping jobs.
- Vibration-free operation thanks to an innovative integrated counterweight in the sander’s form factor.
- Sander’s new compact size allows woodworkers more visibility of the surface they’re working on.
- New and improved sanding paper clamps to better keep abrasive sheets in place during sanding jobs.
- No more loose hoses because of the vacuum hose lock feature.
- Lightweight and compact form factor that makes this sander perfect for beginners and home users.
What We Don’t Like
- Dust collection leaves a lot to be desired even after making adjustments like perforating sanding paper. Attaching it to a shop vac solves this problem.
- No trial sanding sheet for the basic sander kit to at least allow testing of the product so make sure you have one sanding paper in advance.
All in all, this palm sander is a good investment for your money. If you’re already a fan of the DeWalt family of power tools, you should add the DWE6411K to your collection.
DeWalt’s ¼ sheet entry into the palm sander market surprisingly addresses the needs of an underserved segment in the population of power tools users: women and seniors. For a long time, manufacturers have been designing their power tools for a more masculine audience.
This direction of hardware design that DeWalt has taken maybe a rich, unmined node in the power tools total addressable market. Let’s see where the path leads.