Sanders

Makita BO5041 Review: Versatile Random Orbital Sander

Makita BO5041 Review

Photo: Makita

What We Like

  • Wide variable speed adjustment range (4000-12000 OPM)
  • Adjustable front handle
  • Ergonomic rubberized palm grip
  • Powerful 3-Amp motor
  • High capacity dust collection system

What We Don’t Like

  • Comes as a tool only (no abrasive paper or case)

Bottom Line

A versatile variable-speed random orbital sander that is ideal for different sanding applications and has a powerful motor for quick sanding.

Introduction

Random orbital sanders are designed to smoothen wood surfaces by turning abrasive discs in a random elliptical motion. This helps to prevent the creation of swirl marks.

Makita’s BO5041 is one such tool and it has a wide range of variable speed settings, which make it very versatile. The sander has much more to offer and all this is explained in this review below.

Makita BO5041 Review

Makita BO5041

Photo: Makita

Performance: Versatile Application

Makita’s BO5041 has a wide speed adjustment range that goes from 4000 to 12000 OPM. This is easily adjustable using a dial and it enables you to match the sanding speed to different applications.

That said, the dial is marked from 1 to 5 and the lowest speed (4000 OPM) is achieved by turning the dial towards 1. This slow speed going up to level 2 is ideal for fine polishing.

On the other hand, the medium speed range (setting 2-4) is ideal for finish sanding while the high-speed setting (4-5) is suitable for regular sanding. This makes it very versatile.

Power is provided by a 3-amp motor, which delivers smooth and fast sanding. This is controlled via a large two-finger trigger for variable speed adjustment. The motor delivers a large 1/8-inch random orbit action, which gives a swirl-free super-smooth finish in no time.

You also get a pad control system that controls the pad speed when starting up, a pad brake to reduce gouging and oversized sealed ball-bearing construction for smooth running.

It is worth mentioning that the tool is double insulated as per European standards and therefore, it can be plugged into sockets without the earth wire. Essentially, this means it is very safe to use because you are protected from electric shocks.

Note: You should not run the sander without the abrasive disc and the disc should be wider than the pad to avoid any damages. Also, don’t apply excessive pressure when sanding. This might reduce the sanding efficiency, damage the abrasive disc, or damage the tool.

Ease of Use: Quick Change System

This tool requires a 5-inch hook-and-loop abrasive paper disc, which provides a quick-change system that is very easy to use. The disc has a Velcro-like material and therefore, after positioning it correctly, you only have to attach it to the pad and you’re good to go.

Other than that, the sander has a large two-finger trigger that is much easier to press because by using two fingers, you experience minimal fatigue. Additionally, a trigger lock is built-in and this helps to eliminate continuous pressing during long periods of use.  

Dust Management: Efficient Dust Collection System

The BO5041 is equipped with an efficient dust collection system and this all begins with 8 holes on the pad. While installing the abrasive disc, you have to align its 8 holes with those on the pad for the dust collection system to work.

As the pad and disc spin, dust is pulled into these holes and is transferred into the dust bag for collection. The tool also has a built-in vacuum port adapter that can be hooked up to a shop vac, which would eliminate the frequent interruptions of emptying the dust bag.

This through-the-pad dust collection design is quite efficient because it leaves you with a cleaner working environment.

That said, if using the dust bag, you should empty it while it's about half full, and while installing it back to the sander, ensure the Makita logo is upright. These installation-and-emptying instructions are explained in detail in the user manual for better guidance.

Comfort: Ergonomic Grip and Handles

Apart from having a rubberized handle, Makita’s BO5041 has an ergonomic rubberized palm grip that gives you better comfort while allowing you to apply vertical pressure for better control.

On top of this, you get an adjustable front handle, which can be moved horizontally to the desired working position. This adjustability comes in very handy when you want to sand around corners and confined areas.

Additionally, this handle is removable, which is ideal for extremely tight spots or if you don’t want to use it.

Other than that, the tool has a vibration emission of 3.5 m/s2, which is measured when the work mode involves sanding a metal plate.

This is quite safe and comfortable because it is well below the Exposure Limit Value (ELV) that was set in the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (2005). The regulation limits the Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) to a maximum of 5 m/s2 for an 8-hour working period.

However, for the noise level, the sander emits 92 dB(A) as the sound power level, which is equivalent to the sound produced in the subway or a shouted conversation. Therefore, you need to wear ear protection for comfortable use.  

Price: Quite Affordable

Since it costs less than $100, Makita’s BO5041 is quite affordable in comparison with its peers. That said, the manufacturer has multiple random orbital sanders in their lineup but two stand out as the closest alternatives to the BO5041 in terms of features.

The Makita BO5031K is basically the same as the model under review but lacks the removable front handle and vibrates more (4 m/s2). However, it is lighter (3 lbs.) and comes with a plastic tool case, which makes it a bit more expensive.

On the other hand, the Makita BO6050J has a larger 6-inch pad and abrasive disc size, and a larger 7/32-inch orbit diameter, which gives a smoother swirl-free finish.

Though very expensive, it comes as a complete set with a large interlocking carrying case, a side handle, a hook-and-loop abrasive disc, and a pad protector, just to name a few.

However, it operates at slower speeds of 1600-6800 OPM but has a 2-mode switch for choosing between “random orbit” and “random orbit with forced rotation” for different uses.

That said, if you prefer the cordless type, you should check out the Makita XOB01Z, which offers decent sanding performance and runtime using 3-speed settings.

Verdict

A powerful and versatile random orbital sander that is easy to use and is recommended for DIY or professional use. 

With a 3-amp motor and 5-speed settings that range from 4000-12000 OPM, Makita’s BO5041 is very powerful and very versatile. This is because it can be used for fine polishing, finish sanding, and regular sanding while working at a quick pace and producing very smooth results.

Additionally, the machine is quite easy to use because it has a hook-and-loop quick-change system for switching the abrasive discs. All in all, these features make it ideal for DIY or professional use.

Specs

  • Product Name: Makita BO5041
  • Product Brand: Makita
  • Motor: 3-Amp
  • Speed: 4000-12000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 4-13/16 inches
  • Abrasive Disc Size: 5 inches
  • Orbit Diameter: 1/8 inches
  • Vibration Emission: 3.5 m/s2
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10-7/8 x 4-7/8 x 6 inches

Key Features

  • Variable speed control.
  • Powerful 3-Amp motor.
  • Ergonomic rubberized handle and palm grip.
  • Adjustable and removable front handle.
  • Pad speed control system.
  • Efficient dust collection system with a vacuum port adapter.
  • Quick change hook-n-loop abrasive paper.
  • Oversized sealed ball bearing for smooth running and enhanced durability.
  • Pad brake for reduced gouging.
  • Large two-finger trigger with a lock-on button.
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