MSRP: $109.97 (includes 4.0Ah battery, charger, 3 sheet of sandpaper)
Ryobi’s new 18v ONE+ Cordless 1/4 Sheet Sander runs at 14,000 orbits per minute and features onboard dust collection. The kit includes a 4ah battery, charger, and three sheets of sandpaper. It can also be purchased as a bare tool.
Who’s It For?
While sheet sanders don’t get a lot of love in the fine woodworking world, they’re an indispensable tool for many. They’re great for refinishing, replacement sandpaper is cheap and readily available, and they tend to be less expensive than random orbit sanders. The biggest drawback is that they’re not the most efficient at removing material. The PCL401 doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s a solid all-around choice. In testing it was comfortable, removed material efficiently (for a sheet sander), and had fairly good battery life.
Ryobi eschewed the brushless motor trend to keep costs down, and I don’t think it really hurt anything, though I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit quieter. The design of the dust collector is the same as the random orbit sander I tested a few months back, but I had no issues this time with the dust bag flying off… yet. I will say that I prefer the basic round shape, flaws and all, to the weird proprietary shapes some sanders have. Being able to easily attach a vacuum or dust collection hose is a huge plus. I found the sandpaper clamp system easy to use, which is good, because the included sheets of sandpaper lasted about 30 seconds apiece. Though that’s the norm for any sort of consumable bundled with a tool.
At the end of the day, the new PCL401 isn’t going to revolutionize the sanding world, but it’s a great option, especially if you are already in the Ryobi battery ecosystem.