One of the five models in our mixed category test of variable-speed rear-handle and right-angle 5-inch random orbit sanders; this tool is one of the three high-speed, fine-finishing models. And it’s among the newer generation of rear-handle sanders with a removable front handle. This lightweight tool is the most like a common palm-grip sander with its ability to be easily operated with one hand--either on top of the tool or wrapped around the tool down low with a body grip.
Makita BO5041K Specs
Amp Rating: 3.0
Orbits Per Minute (OPM): 4,000–12,000
Orbit Size: 1/8 inch
Cord Length: 6’-9”
Weight (w/ dust bag): 3.56 pounds
Country of Origin: Assembled in USA
Online Price: $106
Finish quality was determined by feel and by eye. To show the scratch pattern created by the sander we made a single pass over clear acrylic (photo above) with 150 grit paper. The scratches left by this sander are barely discernible.
Finish quality: Very Good
Barely any 150 grit scratch marks discernable under magnification.
Stock Removal: Fair
Amount of material sanded off maple in 3-minute trials with fresh 100-grit disk: 12 grams (click here to compare to other models tested)
Dust Collection: Fair
Efficiency of dust container collection in trials: 65% (click here to compare to other models tested)
Comments and Ratings
Good to Very Good overall.
Lightweight, mild-mannered sander that is very easy to control and the tool with the greatest grip versatility.
The front handle can be locked in place at any point around the tool. Positioning it off the side as shown will increase your reach a little while securing it opposite the rear handle provides the most even distribution of downward force.
Switch: Very Good
Single-speed trigger with lock-on button easy to operate, even with gloves on.
Speed dial: Very Good
Recessed dial within easy reach right at the front of the rear handle.
Grip: Very Good
Soft gripping surfaces everywhere possible.
Four different grip positions maximize maneuverability and help fight fatigue.
(Two-handed grips include rear and front handles or rear handle and top of tool. One-handed grips include top of tool or body grip down low.)
The rubber covered front handle unscrews without the need for any tools for fast repositioning or removal.
Very Good (low vibration)
A gentle and smooth feeling tool all around.
This lightweight model is easily controlled with one hand like a palm-grip sander.
For the widest range of motion or in circumstances when you need to secure your work with your free hand, removing the front handle affords the freedom of a top-handle grip, or the lower, more stable body grip.
Lands on work: Very Good
Has a very restrictive pad brake that virtually stops the pad rotation when lifted off the work.
Tracking: Very Good
Again, a very gentle and smooth tool.
Dust container: Good
The small cloth bag works alright but is less efficient and sophisticated than pleated filter models.
Vacuum: Fair to Good
35mm o.d. “Euro” vac hose fits loosely over the skinny dust port but it stays put well enough during most uses.
Variable-speed motor; common 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad.
Has a compact dust collection bag, an easily removable front handle, and a too-short cord which means you are always pulling against the extension cord.
Can’t run the tool all the way all the way across sheetgoods without the cord hanging up.
Comes with: Plastic case.
The main story and detailed reviews of the other models tested can be found by clicking the links below.
Festool Rotex RO125 FEQ