* Prices may differ from that shown
Well it's the off season for me and have been holding the honey me do list for quite some time now. I started painting the dining room as I was painting the walls I notice how coarse my original slotted WaynesCoating was getting and I had to go to Lowe's anyway so now this was on my list to buy, a sander.
I checked the different varieties they offered and decided that the bargain would be this Black and Decker Mouse Sander/Polisher MS500. I got it out of the box and it did not look hard at all to use. Just put a piece of sandpaper on the Velcro bottom of the Mouse and just plug it in, simple as that. In seconds I was putting fine edges to the coarse bumps on my WaynesCoating.
I have used this machine for sanding the finishes on my bird houses. I have sanded the slots on my stairway going upstairs. I even have sanded rust off one of my major walk behind mowers with it.
It came with 18 extra pieces of sandpaper and three polishing scrubbers. I was on my hands and knees taking off the old wax on the kitchen floor with the coarse scrubber last weekend. It does an excellent job.
This little wonder does a fine job at what task that you might have. It does make a little noise but nothing unbearable. The vibrations are normal but much better that some sanders I have used. I also have found using other sand paper is just as easy to use if you use masking tape to stick to the Velcro bottom works well.
The six foot cord is ample enough room to work around things and if not there is always an extension cord close by. This sander/polisher runs on 120 volts AC only. It vibrates at 11,000 OPM's a minute. This Black and Decker Mouse Sander/Polisher comes with a two year warranty. I called them after three months of usage to see about how to get a new finger attachment, they sent me a new one at no charge.
The finger attachment is at the point of the sander that lets you get those hard to reach places like corners or the grooves of that old antique dresser that you've been sanding. Overall a very nice product to have. You might not need it every weekend, but you know it's there when than job comes up.
This is a decent enough sander but it is very small so you need to give a lot of thought as to what you plan to sand. For small detailed work, the shape and design of the sander will suit you nicely, but if you want to sand something bigger like a pine table top, it really isn't up to the job. I found myself trading up to the 3 in 1 sander from the same manufacturer.
If you just want to sand down a few small things than this model is fine. It is reliable, has a good comfortable grip, is not too noisy and it gets the job done. If you get the sanding bug, then you'll soon be trading up like I did.
Worth mentioning for those who aren't aware - the cost of replacement sheets is very high so this needs to be taken into account when you are making your purchase.
I do most of the maintenance work on an old apartment building with a lot of wood windows.
I have a DeWalt random orbit sander which is very good for flat surfaces. It is fast, easily controlled, and does a very good job of dust collection, but it is useless for corners and difficult to use on interior edges like the rabbet that the glass fits into in a wood window.
I just bought the B & D corded mouse sander and it has turned out to be a perfect addition to the random orbital sander. It has improved the speed and quality of several tasks that I do routinely. The mouse sander works great on corners and interior edges.
The mouse sander can function as your only power sanding tool as the two previous reviews suggested, but for routine sanding of flat surfaces, IMHO, almost every other sander style would be better. Although the mouse sander is much quieter and easier to handle than almost any other power sander style.
When I purchased the mouse sander I noticed that B & D also made a larger mouse like sander that seemed to be more general purpose. Perhaps if one is only going to buy one power sander that might fit his needs better than the more specialized mouse sander.
The mouse that I am about to describe is a little creature with a finger. Ever seen a mouse with a finger ? Well I have and I was a little concerned when I first saw this wee beastie because I thought that maybe it was one of those Gizmos that you use for a little while and then put away in the cupboard.
Bear with me. I am going to explain this from a female point of view rather than a mans because I have been struggling with boys toys for years, and my husbands sander was amongst them. It was noisy, hard to handle, made my arm ache, and being a belt sander sometimes got a little carried away, or maybe that was me.
With the birth of the Black and Decker Mouse, all this changed. Suddenly I had a tool that was lady friendly, a little like an iron and about the same weight. Its rubber grip makes it fit comfortably in your hand and I honestly believe that Black and Decker must at last have a female designer who thought about users a little more than they have on their grosser tools.
The Mouse comes in a carry case which is nice because you can keep all your sanding papers and the mouse snugly safe in their case and it is extremely easy to transport from job to job. The instruction leaflet is easy to understand and basic, and having achieved the basics, you really do find the gadget easy to use.
SO WHAT DOES THE MOUSE DO
Well it sands, buffs and polishes. Sanding is easy because you simply attach the sanding sheet to the bottom of the gadget and it is attached with Velcro. Just line the dust extraction holes up and stick the sheet of sandpaper in the required grade on the bottom of the machine and youre off.
SANDING Now here the mouse comes into its own. There is no other sander as light as this and as easy to use. Being iron shaped, you can get into corners easily on panelled doors, and it has a nifty finger with pads of its own that tackle the little places that no other sander can. This comes into its own on wrought iron fencing. Do you remember sanding rust spots in wrought iron fencing ? Well the finger gets into all the places that other sanders cannot. A smooth ironing like movement over the surface creates a clean finish ready for painting or varnish.
BUFFING I didnt think I would use the buffers but I was wrong. I used them on the legs of furniture that had been neglected over the years and they buff up splendidly.
POLISHING The polishing papers give you a finish when you have done the sanding and buffing and is really more impressive than I thought. I have used this believe it or not on ceramic tiles and it worked a treat. There were little bits of paint that had splashed on the tiles surface and I had tried removing them to no avail by traditional methods. The mouse took them off straight away, possibly more pursuasive than a human hand was.
Another inventive way in which I used the mouse was getting the paint off glass where maybe the paintbrush had slipped. You know those tacky little marks you get around the window. Well it removed them with little effort.
MAINTENANCE OF TOOLS
As with any tools, it is wise to clean the tool when you have finished with it. It actually prolongs the life of power tools to keep them clean and to have a routine that allows you to clean your machinery before putting it away.
55W 11000 RPM
As with all sanders, common sense comes into play. Keep away from little hands because it looks like a toy. Also wear safety glasses to stop particles going into your eyes, and a small mask so that you do not inhale dust.
Here I was disappointed a little bit to find that the current price is a lot less than I paid. They are now available from Argos as £25.99 and I paid £35.00.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE PRICE ?
For this price, you get the machine with a 3 metre long cable which goes into the back of the sander (a little like an iron cable), a case with handy pockets to carry the tool around, and 23 assorted heads for the sander which is sufficient to get you up and running. Second base attachment with finger.
My sander was guaranteed for 3 years.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION.
Not only is this little tool robust, it is completely practical. It is transported easily from job to job, and does what it purports to do. It is lightweight and easy to use and I love my little mouse because I no longer need to use my husbands huge sander.
The mouse runs fairly quietly and with much less vibration than a traditional sander. The sandpaper attachments are easy to change, and are always available in the shops at the equivalent of £3.50 for three sheets. This may sound expensive, but they last well.
The finger attachment is very useful and allows me to sand places that were a pain beforehand, little crevices and beading and shaped tops to skirting boards.
I am very impressed with this tool and would have no doubt about recommending it. Its long lead makes it reach the job at hand, and the only disadvantage that I can see is that it is not really suitable for huge areas such as walls where a traditional sander would be better and give a better finish.
This is a ladies tool and superb and has never let me down. Parts are available easily and I have never had to complain to the makers, but I am sure that with a name like Black and Decker, that I would have no difficulty. The Company are well established in the Do It Yourself equipment field.
So my mouse does not squeak and is not edible to cats, but by goodness, its my favourite of all my tools.
I bought one because we moved into a new flat, and it has lot of wood that needed to be repainted. The mouse sander does everything I need it to. It can get into the more difficult nooks and crannies, and with the piece you clip on to the front, for more precise applications, it is useful for sanding door panels, where a conventional sander cannot reach, and would therefore have to be done by hand. It is an orbital sander, so you need to use fine grade sandpaper if you are going to leave bare wood exposed. Otherwise you will get sanding marks. This needs to be considered if the bare wood finish is required. I found that there are sanding sheets available in the DIY store that are not B&D, so are a lot cheaper. Just make sure they are velcro backed. One good trick is that if you need to use the 'precision attachement', is to buy normal cheap sanding sheets, and then cut them to the correct size. Providing then are velcro backed, they work just as well, and are a lot cheaper. We had huge amounts of word work to strip, and found that the best approach was a hot air sander to remove 100 years worth of paint layers, then a chemical stripper to remove the last. Then the sander to finish the surface, and to remove any burn marks from the hot air stripper. We have really put ours through a lot of use and abuse, and so far, I would suggest one to anybody. The only negative is the vibration, which can get too much after a few hours of use, especially when held up high.