3 Reasons the Pros Choose Dust-Free Sanding Tools
For your next sanding project, whether you're sanding drywall or refinishing furniture, take a cue from the pros and use dust-free tools that will minimize mess, protect your health, and leave you with a truly polished finish.
Sanding certainly isn’t the most fun part of a furniture or room makeover. Still, it’s a vital step in the prep work before almost any paint job, whether it’s on a secondhand wooden dresser or freshly installed drywall. Sanding is also undeniably messy, no matter how careful you are.
For professional woodworkers, craftspeople, and drywall finishers—people who sand all the time—reducing dust is a must. How they do it is no big secret; it just requires the right set of innovative dust-busting tools. Keep reading to learn three key reasons why you should cut down on dust during your next home repair, redesign, or renovation project, and find out about some tools that can help keep dust at bay.
1. SUPPRESS THE MESS
One of the first things you notice when you finish your first drywall job is the mess you’ve left behind. Copious amounts of superfine dust settle on everything that’s not covered in sheeting—open storage, carpeting, furniture, even your clothing. And that dust somehow always manages to find its way underneath doors and outside the room in which you were working, leaving a fine layer of white dust throughout the house.
Before you started, you probably tried to protect your home from drywall dust as best you could, removing furnishings and other objects from the room, laying a plastic drop cloth over the floors, and taping plastic sheeting over doorways and vents to seal off adjacent rooms. (Even just one return-air vent left uncovered could let drywall dust circulate through your HVAC system, forcing you to dust every room in your house for the next week to remove the settling particles.) It goes without saying that this prep work is time-consuming, as is the cleanup required to take care of any dust that leaks out—which it often does.
There is a better way! Rather than stress about the number of plastic drop cloths you’ve laid down, or worry that the room isn’t sealed off tightly enough, try a different sort of preventive measure: Hyde Tools’ Dust-Free Vacuum Pole Sander Kit. Its heavy-duty sanding head swivels so it can be used on drywall joints at any angle without lifting or repositioning the sander. The kit’s vacuum pole adjusts from three to six feet in length to reach high or low, and the six-foot-long hose carries all those fine particles straight from the sanding head to the tank of a hooked-up wet/dry vacuum. That straight shot enables the Dust-Free Vacuum Pole Sander to remove 95 percent of the sanding dust that would otherwise wind up scattered inside your home!
Before you start, make sure you have a good-quality filter in your wet/dry vac to prevent reintroducing dust into the air. When you’re done sanding, tidying up is as easy as dumping out the vacuum canister and cleaning the filter.
2. HEALTH CONCERNS
Not only does drywall dust invade the home, but if you’re not wearing airtight goggles and a full respirator mask, that fine white dust can also end up in your eyes and lungs. Uncovered eyes can get irritated and red, and exposed skin can dry out, but that dust is especially bad for the respiratory system. Inhaling it can lead to an increased risk of respiratory and sinus disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and inhaling silica—a mineral present in some types of drywall compound—can increase the risk of lung cancer.
While you could cover up every inch of yourself the next time you need to sand the walls, it would be smarter to stick with standard protective gear, including dust mask and eyewear, and rely on a specialized set of tools to keep the dust from flying: specifically, the Dust-Free Vacuum Hand Sander Kit from Hyde Tools. The kit attaches to any wet/dry vacuum hose. As you sand, suction from the vacuum draws the dust through the sanding head (an abrasive mesh sanding screen) and into the vacuum before it has a chance to become airborne. The easy-to-grip head and six-foot-long hose let you work both high and low for as long as necessary to get the job done with minimal fatigue.
The fine white dust produced when you sand drywall isn’t the only sanding byproduct that can negatively impact your health. Lacquered cabinets, treated wood, painted molding—almost anything you sand can create airborne dust that’s dangerous to inhale. For sanding wood furniture or other wood surfaces in preparation for painting or staining, try Hyde Tools’ Dust-Free Sponge Sander. Like the drywall sander, the sponge sander attaches to a wet/dry vacuum hose and features a palm-grip sanding head that holds a standard sanding sponge. Just turn on the vacuum and start sanding your painted, varnished, or bare wood surface. As you work, the dust you create will enter the sanding head and travel to the vacuum tank rather than your lungs.
3. BETTER QUALITY FOR LESS EFFORT
Not only can dust-free sanding tools keep your work area clean and protect your personal well-being, they can also improve your results, especially if you’re working on an intricate wood refinishing project. Standard practice for sanding wood typically involves working with various grits of sandpaper, used either in a sanding machine (for large surface areas) or in sheets for hand-sanding. While a folded square of sandpaper works pretty well on the types of contoured surfaces found on window trim and baseboard molding, it still doesn’t perfectly conform to the curves and details.
For even greater control on sanding those persnickety curves and ridges, turn to the Dust-Free Sponge Sander from Hyde Tools. Designed to enable dust-free sanding on surfaces that are more challenging than drywall, this sponge sander connects to a wet/dry vac via a three-foot flexible hose. Turn on the vacuum, insert your choice of flexible sanding sponge into the lightweight hand sander, and you’ll be able to pass more quickly and effectively over detailed molding. No more having to stop to refold a piece of sandpaper or grab a fresh sheet. Even better, sanding sponges last longer than paper, and when you’re done for the day, just wash off all the dust and they’ll be ready for the next job.
Because it’s handheld and manual, the Dust-Free Sponge Sander also makes it easier to sand consistently with the grain, which is key to obtaining a fine finish when sanding off a layer of paint or stain. Working against the grain can leave cross-grain marks on the wood that are difficult to hide, even with a new coat of color. That’s why craftsmen with real attention to detail often prefer sanding with paper or sponge over power-sanding with an orbital sander. And we suspect that you’ll feel the same after you’ve used the Dust-Free Sponge Sander to refinish that flea market find or family heirloom.
This content has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.