The Makita BO5041 is a 5 inch random orbital sander with a lot of features that make it one of the best wood sanders in their lineup. It’s very compact with a lightweight design (3.5 pounds) so you can easily use it for hours on your projects without tiring. The different methods of holding it also help as you can hold it like a standard orbit sander or use the long handle out front. With a size of around 11 inches by 5 inches it is big enough to hold with a steady hand. Comfort and usability were at the top of the list when Makita designed this model.
Overall it is one of the best looking sanders you will find today. The stock Makita blue clashes nice with the black rubber, and the outer plastic is very solid. The BO5041 has the look of a tool that will hold up to many years of use. While appearance isn’t the most important quality it does give a good indication of the overall quality of construction. This Makita passes the eyeball test for sure!
Variable Power with Ample Speed
The power rating is 3 amps which is pretty standard in the industry. It is more of a finishing sander so it doesn’t need the power to quickly remove a bunch of stock. The power is controlled by a trigger and a variable speed dial that can set the speed to between 4,000 and 12,000 RPMs. You could consider the speed adjustment continuous, but it can be a difficult task to get it just right during use. It will take some time to get used to the perfect speed setting for the different types of woodworking tasks and material.
Since the power is trigger activated it is much easier to do a lot of starting and stopping. When sanding you are likely to start, stop, and then start again so Makita built in the capability to make this as easy as possible. A 7 foot electrical cord is decent for the industry but our one complaint here is it could be longer. There is also a large trigger lock which can be used when holding the tool at different angles. Again, ease of use is a big consideration when buying the BO5041.
Dust Collection – An Important Consideration
The basic dust collection on the BO5041 is adequate but not tremendous. When operating the sander at slower speeds you can encounter some problems as the motor doesn’t produce enough pressure to really pick up a lot of dust. Usually you don’t generate enough dust at this speed but depending on the material this can become an issue. Once the speed gets faster then the situation changes for the better. As the RPMs go up the sander and collection bag do a much better job at picking up the dust particles. The key is to keep the bag clean and free of debris so there is enough room for additional particles. This will keep the pressure higher so the motor can do its’ job.
One good thing about the Makita BO5041 random orbit sander is it can be outfitted with an external collector or vacuum hose. If you like to keep your work table clean and free of dust, and will be using it at a variety of speeds then this is a recommended accessory. Most orbital sanders don’t come with the hose unless you purchase the kit but it really should be included.
Here is a quick video of it in action:
- Has an abrasive disc size of 125 mm and uses quick change 5 inch (8 hole) hook and loop sanding paper. Experiment with the different grits to find the best one for each type of wood surface.
- The front handle is adjustable so you can spin it around for different angles or positions. This is much easier than trying to maneuver the sander into awkward angles itself.
- The relatively large 1/8 inch orbit combined with the high speed settings make this one of the faster orbital sanders of its’ size. While it isn’t built for removing a lot of stock it can handle larger jobs with no issues.
- Even at full speed it is one of the quieter power sanders on the market. Some of the brands make a tremendous amount of sounds but not this Makita, it sounds like you would want a sander to sound.
- Available case (BO5041K model) is made of double walled hard plastic that can hold up to a lot of abuse on the jobsite.
- Rubber palm grip and the top handle go hand-in-hand in providing a comfortable and ergonomic experience during use.
And A Couple Negatives
- At slower speeds the BO5041 tends to vibrate more than you would expect. It isn’t unbearable but it is noticeable, especially since it sands so smoothly at higher speed settings. The adjustable handle helps but cannot completely eliminate the shaking.
- Electric power cord is short so you need to use an extension cord or operate it near an outlet.
- Dust collection bag can be difficult to keep attached when it is filling. This can be solved by using a vacuum hose or other external collection system.
The Makita BO5041 orbital sander is primarily designed for cabinetry, furniture, wood boat construction, deck installation, and general carpentry repair/installation. It does a great job with your woodworking projects as it really feels like a solidly built compact sander with a mostly smooth operation. Slow speed sanding takes some getting used to but it more than makes up for that with smooth results and ease of use.
It fits into fairly tight spaces and can sand right up to those difficult corners (moving the handle around helps with this). This little Makita is a great value for the purchase price. Click here to visit our recommended tool supplier, where you can read online consumer reviews and compare it to other brands.