TESTED: Triton portable spindle sander
Review and photos: Damion Fauser
This latest offering from the Triton stable is a surprisingly versatile little tool, and Triton have clearly gone to great lengths to ensure it will function well for a wide range of woodworking, cabinetry and jobsite tasks.
At 262 x 84 x 261mm in size and a mere 2.2kg in mass, with ergonomic overmoulded grips at each end, it is very comfortable to use handheld, such as when smoothing or refining sink cutouts or edge trimming panels or larger templates. It has a small but effective flat reference surface for solid registration of the machine on a flat surface for cuts such as these.
Likewise, with the included non-slip pad and quick-fastening clamps, it can be inverted and fixed securely to a bench surface, allowing the workpiece to be brought to the machine, working on projects such as spoons, templates, profiled table legs and toy components.
The machine operates at a no-load speed range of 1800–3200rpm, continuously adjustable within this range via the rotating control switch on the side. The spindle stroke length is 6.5mm, which whilst not substantial, is appropriately proportionate to the scale of the tool. Oscillation frequency ranges from 50–90 oscillations/minute, varying with the selected speed setting. On the topic of controls, I did find the primary on/off switch a little small and fiddly – I suspect those with larger hands or with any ailments such as arthritis may find this switch difficult to use.
The spindles are 76mm long, allowing workpieces of various thicknesses to be worked, and they are easily loaded and secured with a threaded ergonomic nut. The spindles are symmetrical along their length, allowing them to be flipped lengthwise and loaded from the reverse end, ensuring maximum usability and life from the abrasive surface.
A set of four spindles (13/19/26/38mm) is included, ensuring a good range of radii for getting into varying curved surfaces where required. Replacement sleeve packs are available in grits of P80/150/240, with each pack costing $12.90 and containing a sleeve of each diameter in the chosen grit.
The removable edge guide is quickly and easily fastened around the spindle and designed to provide a controlled depth of cut. This is a clever feature that will appeal to many.
Dust control is provided via a removable plastic port which is sized to connect to common household and workshop vacuums. Triton make it appropriately clear that dust control is not as effective if not connected to a vacuum extraction system. As with many OSS machines, not all waste is collected and a mask is recommended when using this machine.
Noise output is rated at 97.4 decibels, and indeed I did find this to be a surprisingly loud machine to use, so hearing protection is a must. Vibration in use is minimal, but users will need to take care to avoid prolonged use to avoid that buzzing sensation in the arms that is sometimes felt from hanging onto power tools for extended periods.
The fit and finish, along with the quality of the included accessories, is suitable and appropriate for a machine at this price point. I do wonder, given the portable nature of the tool and its intended usability on job sites, if a little extra cost could have provided for a hard carry case for protection and storage of the tool and its accessories.
I believe $199 is an appropriate price point for a machine that offers surprising versatility to a wide range of woodworkers and job-site workers.
Review tool supplied by and available from Carbatec at www.woodreview.com.au
Damion Fauser is a Brisbane based furniture designer/maker who also teaches woodwork classes. See damionfauser.com