Light weight, comfortable to hold and use, minimal vibration, good dust extraction, excellent sanding performance and three easily interchangeable sanding pads make this an ideal finish sander for any shop.
The new Bosch GSS18V-40 orbital sander has three interchangeable base plates and pads that make it easy to sand into corners and up against edges, and in places where you need to do more precise sanding.
Battery platform: 18V
Oscillations per minute: 6,000 to 10,000
Weight: 2.4 lbs (battery not installed)
Features: Brushless motor, soft start, constant speed under load,
Includes: 3 base plates with 3 H&L pads (1/4, 1/3, detail), hole punch, dust bag, 3 sanding sheets
Drill/driver, sander and router are the three indispensable power tools for woodworking – the ones that are most frequently used on a daily basis. Given how much we depend on these tools and how often we use them, I always recommend that you purchase the best quality tools you can afford.
In most woodworking shops you’re likely to find at least two types of sanders on hand – random orbital and finish sanders. RO sanders are the go-to sanders – they’re quick to use and leave an excellent finish. But because of their round sanding discs they’re less efficient sanding into corners and up against edges, and in places where you need to do more precise sanding. That’s where the finish sander shines.
Finish sanders come in different sizes based on the size and shape of the sheet of sandpaper they use. The most common are 1/4 sheet and 1/3 sheet sanders, and detail (aka delta or triangular) sanders. One of the benefits of these sanders is that they don’t remove material too quickly. I use a fair amount of veneer in my work. Commercially sourced veneer is about 1/42″ thick (compared to shop saw veneer that is in the 1/16 to 3-32″ range). To prevent sanding through – which can more easily happen with a RO sander – I prefer to use a finish sander.
What I particularly like about the new Bosch GSS18V-40 is that you get three sanding options in one unit. It comes with three plates and three hook and loop pads, and takes less than a minute to switch from one plate/pad to another. The plates mount on vibration feet, and coupled with a die-cast aluminum gear housing they do an excellent job of minimizing wobble and vibration. The set includes a punch plate that you can use to punch holes in 1/4 sheets of paper cut from a standard 9″ x 11″ sheet of sandpaper. These 1/4 sheets are then attached to the sanding pad by means of spring loaded clamps on the base plate. You can also use commercially available pre-cut 1/4 hook and loop sheets as you do for the 1/3 sheet and delta pads.
The GSS18V has a brushless motor that delivers 6,000 to 10,000 oscillations per minute. If you’re already a Bosch tool owner you can swap out any 4.0Ah or 8.0Ah 18V battery pack for use with the sander. Otherwise you’ll need to invest in a Bosch 18V battery and charger. The Bosch 18V 4.0Ah Starter Kit that includes one battery pack and a charger sells for around $190.
The dust bag is quite small, but surprisingly effective. Fortunately on a typical finish sanding session you aren’t going to be generating a barrel full of dust. To get close to 100 percent dust capture connect the sander to a dust extractor via the 1″ diameter dust port. The sander connects to any Bosch friction fit hose.
The Bosch GSS18V-40 delivers excellent sanding performance. It’s light weight, comfortable to hold and use, doesn’t have a lot of vibration, and has very good dust extraction with the included dust bag (and excellent dust extraction connect to a dust extractor). The three easily interchangeable sanding pads will cover the majority of your finishing work.