Customer Reviews: 3M 03209 Clean Sand Kit, incl. assorted pack of abrasives
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3.7 out of 5 stars75
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VINE VOICEon October 20, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am currently in the middle of remodeling major portions of my house, which is why I decided to try this product as an Amazon Vine reviewer. The product works well, and I used it with my ShopVac around the house for various projects. As noted, it works well and kept the dust down, but it still takes a lot of "elbow grease" to use this for any length of time. I was sanding doorways and trim with it, and in the end I just decided that my power sander with the dust bag worked just as good, and did all the heavy lifting for me.

If you don't own power sanders with dust bags, and you're only going to be working on small projects like a bookshelf or coffee table, this might be perfect for the job. But for jobs of any size or duration, this clearly isn't the best tool. It is well-made and decently priced, and would be nice for a hobbyist. If you are going to use it regularly for larger jobs, go for a power sander. You can buy small electric sanders with dust bags for just $15 more than this costs, so to me that would be a no-brainer.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Summary: This is a small, hollow plastic, hand-sanding block with a vacuum hose attached. I used it for some plaster patch sanding, and it performed OK, but not great. It does not appear to be made out of anti-static plastic, so dust tends to cling to it. The vacuum adapter is inferior in every way to plain duct tape. You must remember to adjust the vacuum relief port when sanding on flat surfaces.


First, do not confuse this with some vacuum POWERED sanders that oscillate as well as pick up dust. Those are more elaborate and vibrate similarly to an electric sander when the vacuum is turned on to an attached hose. This unit looks like one of those in the photos, but both the verbiage and the unit are not that. This is simply a hollow MANUAL plastic sanding block attached to a 1" vacuum hose. You supply all sanding power with your muscles.

My application for this unit is to sand off spackle (patching plaster) that I used to patch nail holes in applied moulding in my home. The device worked fine for the sanding portion of the test. That is, it sanded perfectly well. The vacuum feature helped keep the dust off the surface i was sanding (door casing), but a fair amount of dust seemed to get away and fall on the floor. I would say I had a 20% or so escape rate. Now, that is a lot better than the normal 100%, but it is actually more dust that I'd hoped for given the perforations in the sand paper, etc.

The hose is flexible and long enough for me to sand all around the door casings (7' at top). I think it could reach as far as 8' comfortably without raising the vacuum, but remember as you get higher there is some spring tension in the hose which gets uncomfortable after a while.

A strong, perhaps the strongest negative, is that the vacuum hose adapter is about useless or worse. It is a cone that really only stays attached to the vacuum while the vacuum is running. Someone was too clever by far on this part. Their likely thoughts were "simple, universal, cheap" vs. "works well". Since it will fall out every time the vacuum stops, and any time you pull on it very hard, I tossed the useless cone immediately and went for duct tape. Yeah, you have to remove it when you're done, but this is not nearly as annoying as having the adapter fall off every time something moves. Wait! It's a hand sander that you move in order to make it work! So, until you duct tape (or otherwise fix it), the assembly falls apart and you have to stick it back on while the vacuum is running, making noise and consuming electricity.

Here's a weird thing that is easily overcome, but you need to consider. If you are sanding a flat surface with this device, you will need to turn the vacuum down a bit in order to keep it from sticking. There is a valve collar built into the sander where the hose attaches to it. When sanding on flat surfaces, you will need to open it enough to allow you to move the sander freely. Otherwise, the sander will just stick to the surface as I have shown in an accompanying photo. How much to open the collar will depend on your strength, the strength of your vacuum, grit of the sandpaper, etc. If you have a fancy vacuum with power control, you can reduce the vacuum there, too. Finally, there is a similar port on many normal vacuums. My preference is the one on the unit because it can potentially suck up a bit more dust. I mention this in detail because the tendency is to think, "More suction power is better ...".

The sandpaper and velcro type attachment are very good. The holes for the vacuum effect are cleanly cut. The paper performed well in my test using the 180 grit. The abrasive appears to be a pretty normal stearated garnet, although I did not verify this. The plaster dust did not easily clog it.

Detail sanding is not a forte of this block. One reason for this is that the paper is about a quarter inch bigger than the block's velcro section. The advantage of this is that it is less likely to scratch flat surfaces and you can roll the edge a little to use it on inside curves. The disadvantage is that there is no sharp and hard edge to get into tighter corners with. I got by with it, but soon found myself thinking it would be about the same result in these corners to use another tool that doesn't manage the dust, but is able to get into the details more. In fact, when you are using the corners or edges of the block, a lot of the dust just falls and is not picked up by the vacuum. In my opinion, this is because the block lacks holes on the sides to pick up dust that escapes from under the paper. Powered sanders tend to have some side pickup as well as the baseplate holes. Since even my small house vac had plenty of power for this unit (it can stick it to a vertical flat surface), having extra suction vents would be likely OK.

SO, what will I do going forward for in-home dustless sanding? I will probably just go to the slightly greater trouble of getting out my Fein Multimaster with vacuum attachment and detail sanding tools. I realize this is twenty times more expensive, but since I have one, and it is faster and leaves less dust, I will go ahead and use it despite the greater set up time. Just saying this to point out that the time you save in setup with the 3M will not likely make up for the downstream effort if you have any other more accomplished dust capturing sander.

Finally, since this device uses special velcro backed sandpaper, you should make sure you know the relative expense of these special sheets compared to plain sandpaper or other alternatives.

If you can get this sander for cheap, as well as the sheets of sandpaper, it works OK and may be a good value for you if you only sand infrequently and do not have better alternative tools available.
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on August 26, 2015
i was looking for something like this˜!!! have not used it yet but its 3M..... they run the world.... pretty much set the standards,.... so its gotta be good cause i bet there isnt any better.... cause if there was... its probably still made by 3M
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a do-it-yourself-'er of many years and have done a lot of sanding in my day. I find the 3M 03209 sand kit to be not worth the trouble and awkward to use. Hand sanding typically does not distribute sand dust all over the place anyway but tends to fall down straight for the most part. This is easily dealt with by keeping a vacuum next to where one is sanding and just sucking it up once in a while.
The hose makes my sanding style cumbersome and awkward, not to mention that getting it hooked up to my shop vac is quite a hassle, and so is changing the sand paper because the contraption has to be reattached to the shop vac every time the sand paper is changed.

Dragging the hose around is a real drag.
The quality seems rather flimsy as well.
I also would rather hand sand in peace and quiet without hearing a loud shop vac going the whole time.

The bottom line: If this attachment were made for an electric sander that blows stuff all over the place then maybe it would be tolerable.
For hand sanding I will stick to the old fashioned way! Unfortunately I don't see the need for this type of gadget.
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on August 20, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This sanding kit is designed for mainly automotive and marine vehicle body use but it does say it can be used on drywall and wood. I found it appealing for the primary use on drywall. I am repainting a few rooms in my home and have been patching holes and sanding like crazy before painting. The sanding debris collection on the baseboards was getting on my nerves as vacuuming baseboards is a pain.

The kit consists of:

-A sand block (smaller than I thought it would be)
-8' plastic flex hose
-Vacuum attachment cone

The kit comes with a five pack of assorted grit sheets (sized 2.75"x5.5"). Additional packs are available for around $8.00 per 5 pack.

It is fairly simple to put the pieces together (there are only 4 steps) but I found it a bit tedious to attach the flex hose to the sand block. You have to twist and twist and if you aren't careful I could see the thin plastic tearing. I added a tie wrap at the base of the hose just to make sure it stayed on. Then you attach the other end of the hose to the vacuum attachment cone. This end went on very easily. The cone then fits inside your regular vacuum wand or to your shop vac hose. You simply then turn on the vac and start sanding.

While I really like the concept of a sander being directly attached to a vacuum, I felt that the parts of the sander kit were a bit cheap. I feel like the hose will crack in places after a while.

The product does what it claims. The sandpaper sheet stays on well without any slippage. Although I won't be using it on an auto body, I can see how convenient it would be for smaller auto body jobs. I gave it 4 stars because I feel the cost of additional sand grit could be more reasonably priced.
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on September 26, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As noted in some of the other reviews here - the bulk of this item is a very flimsy plastic to which attaches the sandpaper of various widths. I tried it out on a drywall project I've been working on it and just .... was more hassle than help. I think I was able to sand better just holding the paper in my hand and rubbing it up and down the drywall seams.

But what of the vacuum action you ask? Well, we ALL would like to minimize the mess and if this had actually worked well I'd be all enthusiastic about it. Unfortunately, after struggling with hooking the hose to my shopvac and trying to use this I realized, it is pretty much easier just to sand by hand and then vacuum it up the old fashioned way.

I'd take a pass on this. It is a nice idea but the details just don't work out well.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is not all that much I can add to what has already been said. When I received this product I had two job that needed to be done and one job that I made up (busy work) just to see if the product worked as it claimed to work. I did use two different shop-vacs; one large and one small and it fit both with no problem.

The first project was removing the old and original paint from some very old metal lawn chairs in preparation for repainting...which was about 20 years over due. This machine handled the job well, removing the paint as well and making fast work of the many rust spots. The dust was sucked up nicely and the mess was at a minimum.

The second project was some drywall repair that I had been putting off. This of course was in the house where dust is a more critical factor. Again, this machine performed as advertized. It did indeed cut way, way down on the mess this sort of task normally creates.

The third task, the one I did just to see if it worked, was to sand down the rough edges on some canes I am making. I normally do this on the back porch where I do my carving but in the winder this is moved into my office and having sawdust in the office does not make my wife happy. Normally I carve and sand over a small tarp. This machine again performed the task that it was meant to perform and did it well.

The plastic this sander is made of is sort of on the flimsy side so I cannot say that it will last all that long and it most certainly will not stand up to abusive treatment. It is light and the paper is easy to attach and it holds well.

All in all I am satisfied with this product.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My husband is a professional maintenance/painter/remodeling person and was very interested in testing out this sander. Although it tends to lean more toward the car end of things, he managed to make it work fine for wall sanding, doors, and some fine sanding jobs that he found to test it on. He worked a little on his van with it and I will update as he uses it on his van more with input.

The sand paper wears down really fast (but he was not surprised by that), and in order to use this with the shop vac, he found that it had to be modified a bit. The cone thing had to be put into the vacuum in a different way because it did not work as it was supposed to with the hose or set up. The paper included in this unit seem to lean more toward auto work, by the way.

As for longevity, he said that it is fine for doing with light sanding jobs, but for bigger jobs, it would be better to get something more solidly constructed. He said that it was okay and decent for small jobs, but would not recommend it for doing an entire house or a large amount of automotive work. He felt that it was a bit too flimsy for that.

All in all he rated this four stars and after watching him use this and assemble it, I would have to agree. It is not awful, but it is not for heavy duty work or long jobs.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
2. Read #1 again.

Very clever, compact adapter kit for your HOME vacuum OR Shop-Vac! Worked great to clean up some drywall work I'd done -- no noticeable dust on the ground, but YOU WANT TO USE THIS WEARING AN OSHA APPROVED MASK. Seriously. Do not substitute your lungs for a decent cheap mask, right?

This will hook up to your HOME vacuum, no Shop-Vac necessary, though the adapter will fit any size Shop-Vac hose.

Convenient, clever and a whole lot cheaper than other solutions I'd seen to keep sanding dust to a minimum (keep the wife happy). The hose is good and long (find a spare 5 gallon bucket to store it in), the sanding head is small enough to afford control. The price for replacement pads seems a bit steep, but you probably won't use this for major renovations, just the occasional clean-up after home improvement projects. I'm pleased with this gadget's performance. Of course, if I could ever learn how to lay down a CLEAN skim coat, I wouldn't have to use it... at least my drywall work is better than my welding... one part welding to two parts grinding if you know what I mean.

Great little tool. Can't remember seeing anything like this before. Put a smile on my face, it did.
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VINE VOICEon September 19, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Clean Sanding Kit is a good idea that needs just a little further development.
Basically, it is a hose, and a plastic sanding block with a few different grits of sandpaper cut to fit the block.
The box indicates that it is useful for automotive/metal sanding as well as for wood.

It arrived just in time for me to sand the rust off a tow bar before painting. It worked like a charm. The hose must to be connected to a vacuum or shopvac, so the directions say. If sanding metal I recommend ONLY using the shopvac. The vacuum I use in the home has a few hepa filters that would not appreciate the fine metal flakes from the sanding block. I would probably never get them out. Sawdust may not be so great for a hepa filter either.
In fact, I think the directions should make a point of this even if wood sanding were done.
That is the only fault I find with this Clean Sand Kit. It did a neat job on the tow bar. It stores away in a tidy spot.
It is a practical and efficient plastic tool. It probably will not last long because it is not metal, but it is otherwise good.
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