Comparing Drywall Sanders: Traditional vs. Cordless vs. Brushless

Drywall Finishing Applications For interior walls, drywall continues to be the most ...

September 17, 2021

Drywall Finishing Applications

For interior walls, drywall continues to be the most popular choice for contractors. Following the hanging of the sheets of drywall, the next step is the taping and plastering of the seams. Drywall finishing generally requires at least three layers of joint compound, with sanding required after each layer. For many years, this sanding was done manually with a pole sander, and was a labor-intensive, dusty, and tedious task, making it a significant bottleneck in the finishing process.  The solution was the long-reach electric drywall sander, with a universal motor powering the sanding disc by a flexible drive cable.

Traditional Drywall Sander’s Problems

Even though the traditional drywall sander is a proven time-saver in the market, there are some lingering problems with them. Some problems are associated with maintenance: Since these sanders tend to be used for long periods of continuous operation, the motor’s carbon brushes need to be replaced often. Another problem is that the flexible drive cables are prone to early failure. Attempting to alleviate this drive cable problem by mounting the motor directly on the sanding head results in imbalanced weight in exactly the worst place, with all the leverage working against you. Which leads us to the most intractable problem of all: weight. With the typical drywall sander weighing about 4 kg, fatigue begins to be a serious concern. Operators spend a lot of time holding the weight of the machine above their shoulders, which becomes very tiring, affecting their work efficiency. So where weight is concerned, every gram counts.

Cordless Drywall Sander’s Pro And Cons

There are a few models of new cordless drywall sanders on the market which are attempting to innovate, but they completely miss the mark. Since the sander is still tethered to the vacuum cleaner, being cordless adds absolutely no convenience or mobility whatsoever. Rather than improving the traditional corded drywall sander’s inherent problems, they create a set of new problems which are even worse. Since long periods of continuous operation are required, the cordless tool will need to continually recharge battery packs, so endurance becomes a new problem which didn’t exist before. Secondly, operators need more power to get the job done faster, and cordless motors have significantly less power than corded. So cordless, which can be quite useful in some other scenarios, ends up being a fundamental mismatch for this application. Worse yet, since the operator is now having to carry the power source with the tool, the total operating weight is even more, at about 5 kg!

SB9 Corded Brushless Drywall Sander Solution

The rotary action SB9 addresses all these shortcomings and adds further boosts in performance and usability, making it the best tool available for this application. By using a corded high frequency brushless motor, we have increased the efficiency, and thus the power-to-weight ratio of the motor. This allows the motor to have the same output as before, but in a much lighter package. Its motor is now so light that it can be mounted directly on the sanding head without being too heavy, thus eliminating the flexible drive shaft completely and further saving weight. And since the motor is brushless, there are naturally no brushes to replace. So, in one blow, we’ve eliminated the existing maintenance problems faced by other sanders.  Since the electrical current first passes through a converter before going to the motor, a wider range of input voltages can be tolerated, which allows the tool to operate with a long extension cord without any effective voltage drop to the motor.

SB9 Comparing with Corded Brushless Drywall Sander

There do exist a few other corded brushless sanders now on the market, but these use orbital action rather than the rotary action of the SB9. Orbital action is gentler than rotary, but is much slower, thus reducing work efficiency. In addition, none of these machines can come close to matching the SB9’s industry-leading lightness of weight.

Add to this, the additional electronic innovations, such as LED display, hours counter, and various protections, and you have the optimal drywall sander.

AGP Drywall Sander Comparison Table