First Impressions – Xu1 Oribital Sander


I was only a few minutes into the days workshop time when my old sander departed this world, and I had plenty of work planned for it so decided to replace it quickly.

The local superstore had just got the redesigned line of Xu1 tools into stock, and the sander was $20, perfectly priced for a quick replacement tool. I could have bought something a little better, but sometimes better isn’t what you need.

I’ve had success with this brand before, and I am led to believe they are the low-end offshoot of the ozito tools. With a 2 year walk into store and get a replacement warranty, you can’t really go that wrong for the price.

My first impression was that they were trying to make them more appealing – new box with colourful pictures instead of the plain cardboard one the older models came in, and new moulded blue casing. I’m not a huge fan of the plasticky look for tools so this wasn’t much of an improvement in my eyes.

I got it home and opened it up. The package comes with the sander, one sheet of bad quality sandpaper and the manual. I’ve ignored both of those items as I don’t need to read the manual and already have better sandpaper on hand.

I plugged it in and turned it on, and the first thing I noticed was how much more powerful it sounded compared to my old sander. Quite loud actually, though not overpowering. I ended up reaching for my earmuffs anyway, because it could become quite annoying over a long period of time.

I gave it a run on the plane blades and was quite impressed – the new casing actually feels quite sturdy and the unit does work well. I managed to knock the tip off one of the paper securing arms right away though, so that’s a negative. Those were a bit stiff too, though that can be a good thing as it held the paper on well.

Overall I’m quite pleased at the first impression, enough so that I considered going and getting my father one as an additional fathers day gift. I’ll check if he wants it first though.

Pros

  • – Cheap
  • – Quite powerful and does the job well

Cons

  • – Looks a bit plasticky
  • – Noisy