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The Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders of 2021 – Top Picks and Buying Guide

Here’s our review of the best oscillating spindle sanders of 2021.

My personal experience tells me that it is crucial to take your time to choose a spindle sander. Making sure you pick the right sander will prevent future difficulties and ensure the sanding job will be done as expected.

A good spindle sander is one whose spindle not only rotates but also oscillates, such as our top pick, the Triton TSPS450. Oscillating spindle sanders give you cleaner results and avoid wood burn. And that’s why all spindle sanders reviewed in this guide are oscillating spindle sanders.

In this guide, we’ve done our best to try to make you understand which spindle sander is the best for you, depending on your situation and preferences.

Let’s get to it.

Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders – Our Picks

Because we want to give you the most actionable information, we’ve divided our picks into three categories that match the three different types of spindle sanders.

As they are usually the most popular spindle sanders, the first three picks are benchtop spindle sanders of different quality and prices. The third is a bit special, as it’s a sander that you can use both as a spindle sander or as a belt sander. 

If you’re looking for a portable spindle sander, take a look at the fourth pick.

And, if what you need is a floor-standing oscillating spindle sander, check out the fifth.

If you need some advice first or more details on the differences between the three types of spindle sanders, check out our tips for choosing an oscillating spindle sander.

Top Pick: Triton TSPS450 Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander

Type: Benchtop
Motor: 1/2 HP, 3.5A
Table Size: 14-1/2 in. x 11-1/2 in. 
Table Material: Cast iron
Table Tilts: No
Variable Speed: No
Spindle Speed: 2,000 RPM
Oscillations per minute: 58
Sanding Sleeves: 6 (1/2 to 3 in.)
Weight: 23.7 lbs
Dust Port: Yes (1-1/2 in.)

In our opinion, the Triton TSPS450 is the best oscillating spindle sander for most occasional users and woodworkers having smaller workshops. 

This 1/2 HP spindle sander is at the same time pretty powerful and solid while still being light enough to allow for being moved around easily. This is particularly interesting if you’re short on bench space and regularly need to store your benchtop power tools.

The TSPS450 runs at 2,000 RPM, and the spindle oscillates 58 times per minute to reduce friction heat to protect the wood and prolong the sleeves’ life. Talking about sleeves, this sander comes with 6 sanding sleeves or spindles ranging from 1/2 in. to 3 in. in diameter, which is enough for achieving most common sanding jobs. And, like all the spindle sanders we’ve selected for this review, it is equipped with a dust port to connect a vacuum or a dust collection system, which is essential to protect your lungs from the dust produced by the sanding process.

This oscillating spindle sander’s n°1 contender is the Shop Fox W1831. It has about the same characteristics and is of very similar quality, but costs a few more bucks. 

That’s why the Triton TSPS450 is our champion here, as it offers better value for the money.


Upgrade Pick: Jet JBOS-5 Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander

Type: Benchtop
Motor: 1/2 HP, 7.5A
Table Size: 14-1/2 in. x 14-1/2 in. 
Table Material: Cast iron/metal
Table Tilts: Yes (45°)
Variable Speed: No
Spindle Speed: 1,725 RPM
Oscillations per minute: 30
Sanding Sleeves: 5 (1/4 to 2 in.)
Weight: 82 lbs
Dust Port: Yes (2 in.)

For our top pick, we had to select the best spindle sander within the lower price range.

Now, if you have more money to spend and you’re looking for a stronger oscillating spindle sander, you’ll probably want to know about the Jet JBOS-5.

The JBOS-5 1/2 HP, 7.5A induction motor delivers very good power, which allows for achieving sanding projects easily and quickly. Its compact design and the quality materials used to make it strong and stable add quite a bit of weight compared to lower-range spindle sanders. And so, it is to be considered more a stationary machine tool than a use-and-store spindle sander.

The sander’s table can tilt to 45° to accommodate bevel sanding projects. Add to that the 5 sanding sleeves that come with the sander and a 2 in. dust port and you have a tool that allows for handling many different jobs and material sizes while avoiding damage to your lungs.

With its solid design, strong power, and useful additional features, the Jet JBOS-5 is a great pick, especially if you’re a more advanced woodworker.


Best Belt and Spindle: Triton TSPST450 Benchtop Oscillating Belt & Spindle Sander

Type: Benchtop
Motor: 1/2 HP, 3.5A
Table Size: 17 in. x 16 in. 
Table Material: Cast aluminum
Table Tilts: Yes (45°)
Variable Speed: No
Spindle Speed: 1,925 RPM
Oscillations per minute: 58
Sanding Sleeves: 5 (1/2 to 2 in.)
Belt: 4 in. x 24 in.
Belt Speed: 1575 ft/min
Weight: 28.4 lbs
Dust Port: Yes (1-1/2 in. + 4 in. adapter)

If versatility is your go-to, you may love the Triton TSPST450 oscillating belt and spindle sander.

This benchtop sander is basically a hybrid form of the one we selected as our top pick, the Triton TSPS450. The difference is you can choose between two types of sanding, spindle sanding or belt sanding, depending on which attachment you choose to mount on the sander. This is especially interesting if you’re short on space.

The good news is the TSPST450 does the job pretty well with both configurations, thanks to its 1/2 HP motor. That doesn’t mean it is a monster, but this tool is more than enough for achieving many sanding projects. And when you add the fact that this oscillating belt and spindle sander uses a 45° tilting table, you get a pretty clear picture regarding the amount of versatility it offers.

If such versatility is appealing to you, take a closer look at the Triton TSPST450.


Best Portable: Triton TSPSP650 Portable Oscillating Spindle Sander

Type: Portable
Motor: 650W, 5A
Table Size: /
Table Material: /
Table Tilts: /
Variable Speed: Yes
Spindle Speed: 1,800-3,200 RPM
Oscillations per minute: 50-90
Sanding Sleeves: 4 (1/2 to 1-1/2 in.)
Weight: 4.85 lbs
Dust Port: Yes (1-1/2 in.)

Here comes another Triton sander, the TSPSP650.

This portable spindle sander has a 650W, 5A motor that delivers a variable speed of 1,800-3,200 RPM and 50 to 90 oscillations per minute. All this makes up a pretty powerful sander that allows for precise and burn-free sanding.

It comes with a 1-1/2 in. dust port to reduce the amount of dust produced by the sanding process by connecting a vacuum or a dust collection system and 4 sanding sleeves ranging from 1/2 in. to 1-1/2 in. in diameter.

The sander is light and has pretty good ergonomics. This is pretty important for a portable sander, as it allows for performing repeated or long sanding jobs without difficulty.

Triton has done a very good job with the TSPSP650. In our opinion, this is the best portable oscillating spindle sander out there.


Best Floor-Standing: Jet JOSS-S Floor-Standing Oscillating Spindle Sander

Type: Floor-Standing
Motor: 1 HP, 11A
Table Size: 24-1/2 in. x 14-1/2 in.
Table Material: Cast iron
Table Tilts: Yes (45° front and 15° back)
Variable Speed: No
Spindle Speed: 1,720 RPM
Oscillations per minute: 75
Sanding Sleeves: 10 (1/4 to 4 in.)
Weight: 216 lbs
Dust Port: Yes (4 in.)

Finally, if you own a larger workshop and you’re looking to fill it with the best woodworking machine tools, you may want to consider the Jet JOSS-S oscillating spindle sander.

This floor-standing spindle sander uses a 1HP, 11A motor that sands every piece of wood that stands in its way, be it large, small, light, or heavy.

It has a large table that can tilt 45° to the front and 15° to the back, allowing for a variety of bevel angles and a lot of different sanding projects. 

The JOSS-S comes with 10 different sanding sleeves that range from 1/4 in. to 4 in. in diameter. 

The dust collection is pretty good. We estimated at 90 to 95% the amount of dust that gets sucked up in the sander’s dust port, using a good dust collector such as the DC-650.

The only disappointing thing is the absence of a variable speed feature, which could reasonably be expected on this type of expensive oscillating spindle sander.

To sum up, the Jet JOSS-S is a robust machine tool that will please the most serious – and richest – woodworkers.


Choosing the Best Oscillating Spindle Sander – Factors to Consider

To find the best spindle sander, the one you need, you have to pay attention to its features. 

Understanding how those features translate in practice and assessing your needs will help you sort between all available oscillating spindle sander models and ultimately select the one that’ll match your needs. 

So, to make sure that you’ll get the best out of your spindle sander, consider the following points.

Type of Spindle Sander

There are three different types of oscillating spindle sanders you can choose from, depending on whether you’re looking for power, ease of use, portability, or an in-between setup. Note that these three types of sanders have different sizes. And so your choice should also take into account the available space you have.

  • Floor-standing spindle sanders are the most powerful and easiest to use. But, they’re also the largest, heaviest (200 to 400 pounds), and most expensive models of oscillating spindle sanders.
  • Benchtop spindle sanders are by far the most popular spindle sanders. They’re preferred by many woodworkers and hobbyists because of their setup, similar to that of floor-standing sanders, smaller size, and lower price. They typically weigh between 30 and 40 pounds.
  • Although spindle sanders are usually stationary tools, some power tool manufacturers now make portable spindle sanders. These handheld sanders allow the user to do some sanding work directly on his project, without needing to bring a workpiece to a stationary sander.

Now that you know the different types of oscillating spindle sanders, you may be able to select one of the three and focus on finding the best within this type.  

Power

Once you’ve chosen the type of spindle sander you want, the first factor to consider is the sander’s power. It is essential to know the power rating of a spindle sander to assess the type of work you’ll be able to perform with it. 

If you’re looking for a portable or benchtop oscillating spindle sander, we’d advise you to look for one with around ½ horsepower (HP)(1). With this type of power, you’ll be able to perform both light-duty and heavier-duty work. 

Usually, floor-standing spindle sanders need to develop at least one horsepower to be considered good-quality sanders.

Taking a look at the motor amperage will give you another indication regarding the power and strength of the spindle sander. Simply remember that the higher the amps (A), the stronger the sander (2).

Speed

Most spindle sanders have maximum speeds between 1,500 and 3,000 RPM. 

When possible, try to look for an oscillating spindle sander that has a variable speed feature. This will allow you to adjust the sanding power to the job.

Oscillations per Minute

Give priority to a spindle sander with a high number of oscillations per minute. The more oscillations per minute the sander makes, the more the sanding paper is worn out evenly and the cleaner the job will be.

Material

Benchtop and floor-standing oscillating spindle sanders must have perfectly flat and smooth worktops. Regarding this, you should prefer a spindle sander that has an aluminum or cast iron worktop, on which you can use a bit of wax to keep it smooth and free of corrosion for a long time.

For better portability, it’s best to have lighter materials such as plastic housing for your portable spindle sander.

Additional Features

Oscillating spindle sanders may also have interesting additional features such as:

Different Spindle Sizes

For enhanced versatility, it’s better to purchase a kit with several spindle sizes. With different spindle/sanding sleeves sizes, you’ll be able to choose which one is most suitable for the type of curve you want to sand.

Dust Port

This feature allows for connecting a vacuum cleaner to collect the dust produced by the sanding process.

Tilting Table

For bevel sanding projects and for being able to accommodate a variety of jobs and material sizes, look for a spindle sander that uses a tilting table.

Durability

One other important factor to consider is the sander’s durability.

This factor is not so easy to assess beforehand. But when searching for information, you might learn about some brands or models that have been proven to be stronger than others. Once again, you can also look at the customer reviews to try to find more hints. You’ll probably come across reviews from people saying that they’ve been using such and such spindle sander for a long time without encountering any problems. Such reviews might be pretty good and accurate signs of the sander’s durability.

Price

Finally, let’s talk about spindle sander prices.


The cost first depends on the type of spindle sander you want. Understandably, a floor-standing spindle sander will cost you more money than a benchtop spindle sander. Same thing for benchtop sanders being more expensive than portable models.

Within the same spindle sander category, the price then depends on all the factors we mentioned above. The more the factors and the better they are, the more expensive the spindle sander. Simple as that.

FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions people usually have about spindle sanders. Check them out if you need general basic information.

What is a Spindle Sander?

A spindle sander is a power tool used for smoothing surfaces by abrasion, especially wood (3).  

It uses a circular piece of sandpaper mounted on a spindle. On an oscillating spindle sander, the spindle both rotates and oscillates up and down. This avoids causing grooves or scratches to the workpiece.

It is generally a stationary tool, but there are also a few portable models.

What is a Spindle Sander Used for?

With its circular shape, the spindle sander is the best for sanding circular surfaces, edges, curves, and contours that would otherwise be difficult to sand by hand or with other types of sanders.

How to Use a Spindle Sander?

Using a spindle sander is pretty easy. 

You simply start by mounting the spindle that is most appropriate to the curve you want to sand. 

Then you hold your workpiece flat on the sander’s worktop, start the sander up, and slide it against the rotating sandpaper to remove material. 

When you’re satisfied with the smoothness of the surface, stop the sander.

What Safety Equipment Should I Wear When Using a Spindle Sander?

A spindle sander can produce a very loud noise. You should always wear ear protection when using it.

Sanders also produce dust and may cause projections of material. That’s why you should also wear eye protection as well as a dust mask to avoid damages to your eyes and lungs.

Our Verdict

To make sure you’ll get the best out of your oscillating spindle sander, first assess your needs. Then, out of the sanders we’ve carefully selected for you, select the one that best matches those needs. That’s how you’ll pick the spindle sander that’s best for you.

As a reminder, our top pick is the Triton TSPS450. We believe the best portable spindle sander is the Triton TSPSP650. And the floor-standing oscillating spindle sander we advise for is the Jet JOSS-S.

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