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Black & Decker KA161BC Multi Sander
This sander also referred to as the Mouse detailed sander is a pretty nifty tool to have in your tool kit. I bought this for my partner for his birthday back in August as we wanted to make some seats for the garden out of pallets but knew we would need to sand them down. Instead of opting for sanding sheets which often hurt your hands, I looked on Amazon and found this for £19.99. It came within a few days so once the chairs were made, we were able to sand it down using this. I think since buying it, I've used this sander more than James has as he is usually doing something else with his jigsaw or fixing this that and the other so I go for the sanding job which is pretty fun!
I wasn't happy with the sheets that came with this mouse as they weren't coarse enough and were taking a long time to sand down a rough pallet so we took a trip to B&Q to find something a bit coarser. We bought the coarsest ones available and went home to test it out. It was perfect and got all the splinters and rough patches off and now the wood looks brilliant.
What comes in the box?
In the box comes your mouse sander which has a good length of cord on it for you to be able to move around easily whilst sanding and it's plugged in. There is a dust extractor to attach to the back which looks like a black tube. I haven't yet seen the benefit it this part as there is always dust flying around from sanding that you can't much tell the difference!. There is 19 pieces of sanding sheets which 6 are the big sheets and it has 13 spare parts for the point of the sander. It also comes with 2 foam pads which can be used to buff and polish ornaments
You also receive a handy little black bag for you to put all the items in to keep them together. If we are using the sander, we will bring the bag with us as often we need to replace the point as it is used a lot more than the rest of the sander.
How to work it?
To get started on sanding you need to chose which type of sheet you need. If you are sanding down something that has been varnished and you want to go back to it's original wood then I suggest buying the coarser sheets as the ones that come with it aren't rough enough for the job. I went with P40 for mine as it was the coarsest one in the store and It felt like it was going to make the job quicker and easier. The sheets have a fluffy kind of material on the back which sticks to the velcro underneath the sander and get's you on your way. If you are sanding something then take it outside as it does make a bit of a mess. Definitely wear goggles or something to protect your eyes as depending on where the wind is blowing, it can get into your eyes and I often get it all over my clothes and in my hair. I wear my sunglasses rather than safety goggles/glasses.
The next step is pretty obvious! turn it on and get sanding. The sander is shaped into a point which makes it so easy getting into corners and really good for getting chips and scratches worn down. I have a task to sand down a new welsh dresser I have not long bought. We have previously sanded down a sideboard which was varnished and looked a bit too orange/yellow for my liking and it came up brilliant. I've sanded down the cupboard doors and the drawers so far which looks amazing. Using the P40 sheets on this make it so much easier and quicker to do that when I did the sideboard with a P80.
Not only does sanding items down make them look new again, but it also shows all the grain of the wood and makes them look so much better than when covered in wood stains or varnishes. I prefer to have my furniture made from real wood (not this rubbish flat pack stuff made from wood chippings) and for it to be untreated. Treating wood with varnish just makes it go a very orange/yellow colour and it ruins the look of it. As long as it's well looked after then keeping the wood bare shouldn't be a problem and any scratches or chip can just be sanded back out!
I haven't yet tried out the foam pads as I don't have anything that I need buffering up or polishing but I will keep the pads safe just in case. The extra sheets and pads for this sander are pretty expensive. I paid £8.49 for 5 sheets in B&Q but found them much cheaper on Amazon for £4.49 which seems like a much better deal. The sheets come with extra tip tabs, you have 3 per sheet so in effect you are getting 15 of the tip tabs and 5 of the bottom sheets. The bottom sheets don't need replacing as much as the tips do as the tip is the part mainly used for us. We use it to do the edges of doors, in the corners of things and to rub out any scratches so it does need replacing much more.
This sander can be annoyingly noisy when in use. It vibrates to be able to sand it down whilst you are holding it so it makes a bit of a racket. It also makes your hands feel very strange after using it. Mine felt incredibly soft because of the vibrations it has given off. It does get tiresome to hold and hurts your wrists after an hour or so from all the vibration so I would recommend stopping for short breaks to relax your hands.
Do I Recommend this product?
Definitely! I give this 5/5 stars. It is quite noisy but I don't think this should effect the use of the product. It does the job that it's supposed to do and works extremely well. I like that it has so many different functions and reading through the instructions will give you an idea of how many different things this could be used for. I really enjoy the outcome of this and it does the job effectively and easily without me having to put too much effort into it like I would have to with ordinary sand paper sheets. We've bought 2 second hand pieces of furniture since purchasing this sander just because we knew we had the right tools to give it some TLC and get it how we wanted it to look. I am so pleased with how well it works and give it a big recommendation.This can now now be purchased from Amazon for £24.95 or £19.99 in Argos. (price January 2014)
Thanks for reading my review
I'm reviewing my little Black & Decker mouse sander.
And no......it isn't for sanding mice.
It costs around £20 from various retailers and comes with a selection of extras.
- 1x Mouse Detail Sander
- 1x Dust Extractor Attachment
- 1x Carry Bag
- 2x Polishing Pads
- 6x Sanding Pads
From the Instruction Leaflet,
- Input Voltage: 240v
- Power Input: 55W
- No-Load Speed: 11,000rpm
- Weight: 1Kg
- Paper attachment: Quick fit hook and loop.
I'm a bit of a DIY fan and this was a present from my husband because he knows me so well.
=MY USING and OPINION=
To be honest I'd never have thought of buying one of these at all. My DIY projects tend to be nothing massive and I was quite happy just sanding by hand and on the few occasions I'd needed to use a sander I simply borrowed my big brother's.
Then around three years ago we had a massive refurb and extension added to our home and once the basic hard core stuff was done we opted to do the extras ourselves to save (quite) a bit of cash. This is where this little thing came in handy.
We used reclaimed pine doors and while most were really well preserved there were a few that needed sanding down to tidy them up to a decent degree and this little mouse sander was ideal for getting into the corners of panels and saved us hours of painstaking hand sanding those doors with basic paper.
As you can imagine the minor 'finishing off' jobs in a newly built extension and refurb were endless and this sander seemed to be eternally plugged into an extension lead ready for use when needed.
When using it I sometimes find I need to add a tiny bit of pressure by pressing it down with my free hand , but this needs a really light touch (as in two fingers rather than heel of the hand) .....that sounds contradictory, but I mean DON'T press too hard.
You get just 6 sanding pads with it, which frankly I think a bit mean and these get used up pretty fast , but replacement sets are easily available in DIY shops and online. We bought replacements once only. Then my brother explained that if I bought good quality sandpaper and cut it to fit the worn pads then I could simply glue the newly cut shape TO the old worn pad and that helped save a few quid. I love my big brother (and his extensive DIY knowledge). But in truth you DO need to buy 'proper' ones at times too.
The pads are attached to the plate in the "hook & loop" system .........that's velcro to you and I.
This is NOT top of the range by any means and in fact big bro tutted and hummed and hawed when he saw it, but having been in the building trade himself he is used to heavy duty "big boys toys" so something this basic is not his idea of a great tool (he calls it Sis's Mickey Mouse sander.....very droll !)......but it has served 90% of our needs well and I really can't fault it for minor work around the home. It isn't heavy at 1kg so using it on vertical areas where I had to take the weight of it as well as applying enough pressure wasn't too bad at all.
It comes with a dust extractor fitting which I've honestly never used, because I understand that DIY equals mucho mess and it bothers me not a jot. When you are up to your eyes in plaster dust and surrounded by wood chippings and offcuts a bit of dust won't make much difference . May as well clear up a big mess as a not-so-big mess I say. Anyway this is used outdoors a lot of the time now that actual indoor fittings and fixtures have been sorted.
It comes with a bag but it's a bit rubbish. So I bought a good leather "granny style" handbag from a charity shop for £1 for storing mine in and that protects it and keeps all the bits and bobs together.
I'm removing one star for the fact that I found the pads wear quite quickly and they don't supply very many,certainly not enough to complete a decent project in my opinion.
I'd advise picking up a pack of those little basic disposable face masks for use with this because they are needed at times. I keep a pack in the granny bag with the sander. They are available in the Pound stores in packs of ten or more. For £1 obviously.
Would I recommend it ? Yes, for very minor jobs and occasional use, but not for big projects.
Thank you for reading and I hope this was useful~~~myloh.
I don't really care that much about my nails honest!
But, I do hate sanding! However, unless you want your decorating to look rubbish, it's got to be done. For years I have been a traditional block and paper sander just like my dad taught me. I did buy a big old electric sander some years ago but it nearly shook my fillings out, wore through paper in seconds and didn't really work. But... "enter the mouse".
This thing is SO GOOD, a mate swore by his, made me try it, and I bought my own - I'm only a DIY'er but this was seriously worth the money.
It fits in your hand really well which is important as you will be using it for some time.
Importantly it actually sands really well and it's claim to get in awkward places is NOT just hype - I have not really found anywhere it will not reach - the point is less than 90 degrees so you can really get in corners well.
A funky design point is that the little pads are attached by velcro which makes changing them so easy, and the replacements are not too expensive and come with 2 spare "pointy" bits for the tip which always gets worn out first! Brilliant sensible design.
Go on - get one - you'll never look back
I bought this little sander on amazon for just under £20 and was expecting it to be a bit powerless to be honest. But as I only needed something small for hardwood detail sanding, I figured that for 20 quid it was worth a try.
It arrived with the list of bits and bobs in the listing (see below) including some sanding sheets.
Now if you buy the branded sheets they are very expensive but there are plenty of generic ones available on Amazon so get those.
The sander was put through its paces stripping thick violin varnish and sanding the bevelled edges that I needed on the oak harps that I was making. It did a good job and although not the most powerful thing in the world, it managed to cope being with being used for half a day.
The sponge pad bit which the velcro base is attached to started to look a bit frazzled and grotty which was annoying but then I had hammered it. I used the sander for about a week before it blew up!
Amazon very kindly sent me out a new one very quickly and that one has been going strong ever since. For 20 quid this is a bargain but is really only suited to softwood sanding or light use. It is however a very useful bit of kit in my toolbox and when I wear this one out then I will definately get another.
Detail base is designed to give better results when sanding intricate areas
Tear drop shaped base to access tight corners
Removable tips allowing other profile tips to be added for greater versatility
Quick fit sanding paper for faster sanding action and easier paper fitment
Rotatable base allows user to rotate paper as it wears, extending the life of the sanding paper
1 x Black & Decker KA161BC Mouse detail sander
2 x foam pads
2 x P80 sanding sheets
3 x P120 sanding sheets
1 x P180 sanding sheet
1 x tip
4 x tip sanding sheets
1 x bag
1 x dust extraction adaptor
Black and Decker Mouse Detail Sander
It is because of a spur-of-the-moment decision to change the colour of our kitchen that I came into possession of this funky looking sander. The task at hand was to transform the wooden kitchen cupboards from a dirty looking varnished brown to a pristine clean white colour. Like all DIY jobs though, this turned out to be a much greater task that it first appeared. Before any paint could be opened and before I could kneel on any upturned paint lids, some de-varnishing had to be done.
To do said job, I bought this sander from Argos for the price of £18, reduced from the £30 full price. Currently, Argos sell this sander (with included accessories) for £19.99 which is still a great deal and well worth the asking price if you ask me.
Because my cupboard doors have an awkward design and are not completely flat, I required something that would be able to sand into corners easily. The Black and Decker mouse sander boasts a pointy tip specifically for this task and also comes with a detail attachment which I figured would be useful for navigating around the grooves and tight corners of my cupboard. At under £20 and with the included accessories (including several sanding sheets) I decided that this was the sander for the task.
>> Accessories? Yes, that's right...
Included in the set: The sander (fortunately), 5 sheets of medium-grain sandpaper, 10 extra sanding tip pieces, a detail sanding attachment, 5 detail tool sanding sheets, 1 polishing sheet, 1 rust removal sheet, a vacuum pipe attachment and finally a black drawsting bag to keep it all together.
>> Getting Started
As a true DIY amateur with zero experience of using a power sander I was very impressed with the easy set-up involved. To get started I attached one of the sanding sheets to the base of the sander using the handy quick-fit design. Each sheet has a Velcro backing which attaches firmly to the underside of the sander whilst still being easy to remove when it's time to replace.
Once this is done, a brief but handy set of instruction ensures you know what you are supposed to do - i.e. sand slowly and smoothly allowing the sander to do the work and not you. So, in other words, don't go attacking any surfaces like you're scrubbing the kitchen floor. Instead, you only need to press the sander down gently onto the surface and move it around slowly (!) whilst the vibration of the sander does the work.
The 3m power cable was also sufficient for me to be able to manoeuvre the sander around the cupboards without the wire getting in the way (and getting sanded in the process).
>> Things to consider
Protective equipment is essential because of the dust created whilst sanding. Even outside, the volume of dust is inescapable. Windy days are also no help at all. To combat this I wore some old clothes and donned a sinister looking facemask. Completing my psychopathic image were a pair of rather fetching safety goggles.
It goes without saying (so to speak) that inhaling varnish and/or paint dust is not a good idea. Therefore, keep in mind that you will need your own similar stylish attire.
>> Vacuum attachment
There is a vacuum attachment that allows you to connect the sander to the hosepipe of your vacuum to suck up dust before it has chance to fly everywhere. Unfortunately though, I found this most cumbersome and pretty useless. You basically then have the power sander on the end of your vacuum pipe which makes it very difficult to manoeuvre. Also, my Dyson nozzle was not the snuggest fit with the supposedly universal attachment so the darn thing kept coming loose. Fortunately though, my cupboard doors were easily removed and so I could do the majority of the sanding outdoors and didn't have to worry about making too much of a mess.
Other sanders I have seen include a dust sucking facility and bag which is fitted to the sander to collect dust as it's created. This would be a handy addition if you are doing a lot of indoor sanding and so unfortunately this sander falls short in this department. However, the prices of said sanders are higher to reflect this additional feature so you might need to trade off price against features when making the decision to buy.
>> Ease of use
At less than 1kg the sander is easy to move about and not too heavy to work into tight corners when it isn't resting on a surface. It is also moulded ergonomically with soft rubber parts to fit the hand comfortably. At 16x10x25cm (H/W/D) it is small enough to fit easily in and be controlled by one hand.
The sander does kick up a bit of a fuss when it's working though. It certainly does nothing to warrant the name 'mouse' when it comes to the noise it makes. The racket is quite brutal and is enough to wake the neighbours so pick your times accordingly (!) I don't see any other sander faring much better though as the combined sound of the motor and the sanding is naturally going to be noisy. Although, I found it just about bearable and was able to withstand the noise without going insane.
Also, the vibration of the sander whilst using it was enough to give my forearm a good old rattle. You will have to hold on fairly tightly whilst using the sander to maintain control. That said though, I found it easy to hold in one hand comfortable due to the shape of the body and 'steer' it around the surfaces without too much trouble. I'd recommend against sanding for more than 10 minutes though without a rest just to allow your arm and senses to recover (as well as your neighbours).
As previously said, the task of getting the varnish off my cupboards before painting them was a time-consuming one. Happily though, the sander did a good job at removing the multi-year old lacquer without too much effort from myself.
I did find it a bit difficult at first to move the sander around slowly and really wanted to get the job done quickly so I had to resist the urge to start swishing the thing about like a deranged window cleaner. Adopting the 'slowly-does-it' approach was very effective though. The sander did a thorough job at removing the varnish from my cupboard doors quickly and evenly. As I had several cupboards to sand down, the process was slow and tedious but it would certainly have taken a lot longer sanding it by hand.
The pointy tip helped hugely to get into the corners of the cupboard doors and only a small bit of manual sandpapering was required to get into those very hard to reach places.
Each sanding sheet lasted quite a long time as well; certainly much longer than I had first anticipated. The included sheets can also be swivelled around on the base because of the triangular design so that the worn part (near the front tip) can be replaced without needing a new sheet. The included spare tip pieces also greatly increased the longevity of each sanding sheet. These fit onto the pointed bit at the front replacing the tip of the sanding base (where it wears out the fastest). I found this very handy as I could continue to use the same main base sheet, which wears out more slowly, and thus get more value from each sheet.
When the sheets do need replacing, it is easy to peel them off from their Velcro attachment and place another one on. The sheets stay in place during sanding remarkably well considering the Velcro design.
Extra sheets can be purchased separately in a pack of 5 from amazon for £5.79 (inc. delivery). I think this is very reasonable considering the amount of use you will get out of each sheet.
>> Other features
I didn't use the detail sanding attachment because the pointed shape of the main plate did the job for me. The attachment fits on via a curious combination of Velcro and a screw which fits into the base plate. It looks like a bit of a faff to me and certainly not something that can be swiftly put on and off.
I also didn't have need for the polishing or rust removal sheets which are a bit like fuzzy pieces of carpet that attach to the sander in the same way as the regular sheets. These are designed to buff up your metalwork but I can't comment on their effectiveness since I didn't use them.
Now I know you're all wondering about that handy contents bag. Well, it's nothing much to write home about. It's a black drawstring bag which fits the sander and cable in easily. Cramming the rest of the accessories in is a bit of a squeeze but can be done. I find the bag very handy to keep everything together as I'm sure I'd lose the spare sheets if I kept them elsewhere.
I would definitely recommend this sander if you have a small to medium DIY task afoot. The included accessory pack makes this an extremely good value purchase and the pointy design means you will have to do less by hand with regular sandpapering. The sander is very easy to use and therefore suitable for novices such as myself. However, if you are planning on doing a big DIY job which requires sanding large areas such as stripping the paint off a door then I would recommend a large belt sander. The size of the mouse sander is not really ideal for large surfaces and a belt sander would do the job much more quickly. But for the job I required it for - a process of sanding small surfaces and intricate areas - it worked wonderfully.
With a 2 year manufacturer's guarantee for peace of mind you can currently find this sander at Argos for £19.99. Accompanying psychotic attire can be sourced from any good DIY store.
Thanks for reading :)