Customer Reviews

216
4.6 out of 5 stars
Makita BO4556K 2.0 Amp 4-1/2-Inch Finishing Sander with Case
Style Name: Tool with CaseChange
Price:$56.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Style Name: Tool with CaseVerified Purchase
I needed a finishing sander to sand the stairs in my house before putting a polyurethane coat. It may not be very fast, but you can get to all corners with it.
These sanders are not very expensive, so I wanted to get the best one. Limited my choices to Dewalt, Bosh, Milwaukee and Makita. Started looking at Amazon reviews and to my surprise all of them except Makita had very poor customer feedback. Being an engineer I went to Lowes and Home Depot to verify it first hand.

Bosh and Milwaukee both have a modern way of holding the paper. At first I liked it because of easy paper loading, but I have to trust other reviewers in that these new clamps are not holding the paper securely. So these two names are crossed away from my list.

I always had a lot of respect for Dewalt and their line of professionally looking tools. Recently my opinion started to deteriorate after I have learned that many if not all their 20V little cordless drills have chucks with unacceptably high runout. How come they allowed that to happen to their very expensive tools? For comparison I can say that my recently purchased 2 no good name cordless drills exibit practically no runout and they cost only a fraction of the Dewalt's cost.
Amazon reviews say that many Dewalt sanders model D26441K fail due to a problem with their plastic platen, which holds the sanding pad. Plastic breaks under load and pieces get jammed in the motor. Not very good... In addition somebody said that their pad is too big to accept a 1/4 sheet of paper. I have compared Dewalt and Makita side by side and can testify that Dewalt's pad is bigger. What good is the sander if it cannot take the paper?

So I desided to take my chances with Makita for which I could not find really horrible reviews. It is the most expensive among 4 big names (due to the plastic case which I wanted)and has only 1 year warranty (Milwaukee has 5 years). Yesterday I finished my sanding project. Based on my experience with this tool I can say that it is pretty good. It is powerfull, paper clamping is easy and secure, vibration is low due to a special balancer on the motor shaft. The pad is just the right size to accept a 1/4 sheet of 9"x11" paper. This sander does not collect all the dust, but about 90% of it, which is very good without the help from a vacuum cleaner. Other sanders can accept a vacuum hose, but on the stairs it is impossible to manipulate with it. So Makita was the perfect tool for the job. I gave it 5 stars.

Unfortunately I cannot say the same about Amazon performance. I have ordered the sander on May 6, it was not shipped until May 11 and was delivered On May 14. I have lost a good weekend of work due to this delay. To make matters worse it was shipped from the warehouse in Allentown, Pa and I am in York, PA. They could have it delivered in 2 days with no trouble at all, but they elected not to. This was the free super saver shipping case and they were not obligated to deliver it quickly. I cannot prove it, but somehow I've got an impression they waited intentionally. Sorry for venting it out, but this is not the first and not the second bad experience with Amazon.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
Style Name: Tool with CaseVerified Purchase
WOW; I've been using this little work-horse for three days now and it has been more impressive each day. Bought it specifically to sand down old nasty caulking scars and paint goobs while repainting my wood siding. Today, I noted the installation time for a fresh piece of paper was well under 15 seconds while standing on a ladder and I got right back to work with each fresh piece as I worked my way down a long sanding run. The catch release knobs are well sized and not hard plastic. The clamps are quick and sure. When I put some gnarly 60 grit on it, it chews right through years old caulking and paint, and can leave a smooth paint-ready finish with the same paper. If I could get my 15 yo to hold it against the house, it would be the perfect tool. I will always look at Makita products first from now on.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2010
Style Name: Tool with CaseVerified Purchase
I picked this Makita sander up to supplement an aging 1/3 sheet sander that has served me well. I was a little concerned that this wouldn't do the job as quickly or handle as smoothly as the larger sander, but these concerns quickly vanished. This little sander is quick and efficient, and very easy to handle.

Pros:
Lightweight but not flimsy
Very sturdy paper clamps are easy to operate
Plenty of power
Smooth handling
Suprisingly effective dust collection (better than any other sanders I've worked with)
Very usable case

Cons:
Sealed power switch could be easier to operate
Dust bag doesn't lock on

The bottom line is that I'm very impressed with what this sander can do and how easily it does it.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 28, 2009
Style Name: Tool with Case
I picked one of these up off the clearance rack at Home Depot just because it was too cheap to pass up. I ended up liking it more than any other sander I owned. It's small, light, and easy to control, and the dust bag works better than you'd think it would.

I'm not crazy about the way the paper clamps work, or about the noise it makes (it's louder than my belt sander), but for the price I paid, I can't complain at all.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2011
Style Name: Tool Only
I use this sander pretty often, and it actually works very well. As others have said, the vibration isn't bad. It sands effectively and evenly. I don't bother with the sandpaper that you're suspposed to use with this, rather, I just buy sand paper and rip it into fours and use that instead. It's cheaper and it works equally as well. My only issue with this is the dust catcher. I don't find that it actually cuts down that much on dust, but worse, the dust catcher doesn't stay on. I've tried everything, and it just continues to fall off. Maybe I've gotten a faulty one, but when this one goes, I'll probably replace it with another brand that has a better dust catcher.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 8, 2009
Style Name: Tool Only
Anyone familiar with power tools knows that Makita is one of the best power tool manufacturers. This sander is typical of the Makita brand: rugged and scrupulously attentive to ergonomic detail. I like the way the wire clamps hold onto the sandpaper and the tool's lack of vibration; you could use this thing all day without discomfort. Nice sander, and probably not my last Makita purchase.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2014
Style Name: Tool with CaseVerified Purchase
I purchased this sander because of Makita's (former) reputation as a quality maker of handheld sanding equipment. I WANTED this sander to be a quality piece of sanding equipment. When I took the sander out of the case, I could see immediately that the base was bent/warped. If you will notice in the reviews, the best reviews are the OLD reviews. Makita tools used to be made in Japan and were quality made tools. Now they are made in China and do not live up to the name they used to have. I am returning this sander for a refund and will continue to use my Bosch random orbital sander even though it is a larger tool. I wish I had known years ago that companies would be outsourcing to China. I would have bought every tool I could afford before that happened.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2008
Style Name: Tool with Case
This is a high quality professional quality tool. The enclosed switch is a feature that protects the product from dust. This feature was not available on earlier models. It will take a 8.5 X 11 sheet after you divide the sheet into 4 pieces. This is more econmical than buying pre cut sheets.Makita BO4556K 2.0 Amp 4-1/2-inch Finishing Sander w/Case
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2012
Style Name: Tool with CaseVerified Purchase
I am giving this Makita sander one star because of a bent sanding pad. When I opened the box today, I immediately noticed that the front-left corner of the sanding pad was bent away from the tool base about 1/8 of an inch. I was stunned because this defect had been reported several times in these customer reviews, and I naturally assumed Makita or Amazon had taken care of the problem. But, no, this sander is still being shipped with bent corners on the sanding pad.

I am not going to return this unit because I need to use it right away, and because the bent sanding pad is fairly easy to fix. Here is how to fix the sanding pad:

Note the position of the bent corner(s). You will want to re-assemble the sanding pad in the same position. Turn the tool over and remove the four Philips screws that hold the sanding pad to the tool base. The sanding pad itself is bonded to a thin aluminum backing plate with adhesive. Using a pair of regular pliers, you must bend the aluminum backing plate and the pad together as a unit. So you must take care not to damage the face of the pad. Protect it by placing a piece of cardboard or plastic or wood between the pad face and one jaw of the pliers. Gently bend the backing plate corner until it is flat. Try the assembly on the tool base to check your work without screwing it into place. Continue gently bending the backing plate until it fits flat on the tool base, then re-assemble using the four screws. Make sure the screws are as tight as you can get them. (You might also try hammering the backing plate flat, but that might crush the sanding pad, which is somewhat fragile. I got good results simply by bending the backing plate with pliers.)

After I actually get to use this sander, I will write an update. NOTE TO AMAZON: Stop selling this Makita sander with a known defect!

///

Update, July 13, 2012: I have had a chance to use this Makita sander on 160 lin. ft. of 1X2 pine that I am turning into molding. The sander is very powerful and very smooth, that is, it has low vibration, good balance, and is easy to control. It is also fairly quiet, at least compared to the 1/4 sheet Craftsman sander I was using previously, which blew apart after years of use and abuse.

Cutting a full sheet of sanding paper exactly into one-quarter sections, however, does not leave a lot of excess paper to catch the paper clamps on the sander. I was a little leery of this and half expected the paper to fly off. But the clamps held the paper very tightly. Note: My wife cut the paper, so I am not completely sure they were exactly one-quarter sheet :)

Since I was sanding outdoors, I did not punch the sand paper or use the dust bag on the machine, and therefore I cannot comment on the dust pick up ability of the unit.

All in all, I think this is a well-designed and well-built sander. What remains to be seen is its longevity.

I am still keeping my one-star rating because I am still annoyed about the bent sanding plate. But maybe I will mellow out as time goes by and raise my rating.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2009
Style Name: Tool with Case
This is a good product. It's my latest Makita .. I've lost track of how many I have. They are always quality. The sander makes surfaces silky smooth and your hand doesn't get numb holding it. It comes with a clever little device to punch holes in the sandpaper for dust collection. My only complain would be the dust collection system. My shop vac connects directly to the plastic adapter. That's great! But the plastic adapter keeps coming apart from the unit. Not a huge deal since having a hose in the way is a big hassle anyway. I guess I just need to build that down-draft table.
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