Not only since Lester Freamons outstanding role in the TV drama „The Wire“ we know that making dollhouse furniture is a surprisingly pleasant hobby and a great way to put your mind at ease. This is only true, if you are using the right tools, of course! For someone new to modelmaking, it is really hard to pick the right tools to do the job. I would guess that most of us have already a basement full of basic tools, but they’re too clumsy to do the job right. Dollhouse miniatures are very delicate in design and obviously extremly small. One common problem pertains to the use of sanding paper to create smooth surfaces. It is possible to sand miniature chairs, drawers and the like with regular sandpaper. Still, you might find it very difficult to get anything done. The reason: Rocking the paper back and forth is very hard to do if you are sanding the nooks and cranies of a small piece of furniture. If you apply too much pressure, you run the risk of crushing your model and destroying hours of work. This is why a pen sander is a handy tool. In this review, i’m going to take a closer look at the Proxxon Sanding Pen. This Micro Sander has recieved mixed reviews on Amazon, and most people are wondering, if this tool is worth their time and money.
Facts and Info
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As you can see, the Proxxon Micro Sander is a real lightweight at just under 10 ounces. This is really important. This is not a matter of having enough stamina, no. Performing delicate work, sanding doll house furniture or working on a model airplane requires a finetuned and lightweight power tool, so you won’t make any costly mistakes. You will see that your work will flow much more easily with a tool as light as a feather! If you take a look at the technical specifications, you’ll quickly discover the reason why using a micro sander is superior to sanding by hand. It’s 8000 strokes per minute linear motor will get your work done in no time. But more importantly, it performs 3/32-Inch (or 2.5mm) strokes, which makes this tool suitable for even the tightest corners and slots. The device comes with several adhesive sanding discs as you can see if you take a look at the table above.
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It is good to know that you get different sanding paper strength with your order so you can start to really refine your model’s surfaces. By the way: The Proxxon also works with metal surfaces! Unfortunatly, the needed power adapter is not included. You can use a regular one (12-18V, 1 Amp), or order the Proxxon 38704 Heavy Duty Transformer NG 5/E, which comes with the added benefit of controlling the motor speed RPM. It depends on how serious you are. Your call!
If you are looking to buy the proxxon micro pen sander, you may have come across quite a few “negative” reviews of this tool. I will adress the critique quickly.
The first complaint has to do with the sanding discs: They get worn out rather quickly. There are two reasons for that. Proxxon has decided to include finer, less agressive grits in their package. While this is good for fine tuning wooden surfaces, a more agressive grit does not seem to hurt in many situations – and it lasts longer! Don’t forget that this tool rotates at 8000rpm – try to emulate that manually! This basically means, that the pads wear out quickly, but you’re also getting a lot of work done. I would really recommend you to make sanding discs yourself using quality sanding paper. This does not only safe you a lot of money if you are serious about your hobby. It also eliminates one of the biggest CONs of this product. And finally, you can also treat metal surfaces with these more coarse papers.
Buying the optional transformer also allows you to conserve sanding paper by lowering the speed. This makes the proxxon microsander a real flexible tool and is a worthwhile, yet costly addon.
The second “problem” people seem to be having is the fact, that the proxxon comes with a linear motor. It is not a rotary tool in that it moves back and forth – or sideways, depending on how you hold it. Now some people say that a rotating action would have been preferered for some work. But what stops you from simply rotating the tool if need be? Some people are just really lazy or dumb – i don’t know!
If you are into arts and crafts, modelmaking or involved in any other delicate work involving precision tools, the proxxon pen sander is here to make your life a little easier. Sure, it is possibly to smooth surfaces by hand, but this can be a time consuming task. The product in question does come with several flaws and there is potential for improvement. But since you can overcome the main problems that come with this unit, it is still worth a buy. Especially if you consider the small pricepoint. Still, i would encourage proxxon to pay a bit more attention to detail – because their customers are by nature very detail oriented.
(The link leads you straight to amazon, my favourite Vendor. The reason: They usually ship very fast and it is pretty easy to return products if you don’t like them. They’re also very VERY service oriented and have competitive prices. This is why amazon is my to-go shop, not only for tools.)