Black & Decker SmartSelect Multi-Sander

Four sanding modes in one tool make this ideal for DIYers and hobbyists

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Black & Decker SmartSelect Multi-Sander



The Black and Decker Multi-Sander (MS2000) is part of the B&D SmartSelect family of power tools designed for home hobbyists and DIYers. SmartSelect tools employ an icon-based system that enables users to visually select the right setting to use for the specific application at hand. On the MS2000 the SmartSelect feature consists of a dial on the front of the sander that identifies four different sanding options - random orbital sanding (ROS), finish sanding, flush sanding, and detail sanding. Essentially, the dial selects, for the user, the right sanding speed for the sanding application. There are two interchangeable sanding bases that snap onto the bottom of the sander, depending on which sanding option is chosen.



In theory, and in practice, this works quite well. The photos on the SmartSelect dial are intuitive, and large enough to see clearly. When you turn the dial to one of the sanding options, you also see an image of the appropriate base to use. The bases snap onto the bottom of the sander - you know they're properly seated when you hear an audible 'click'.
 

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SmartSelect dial
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Interchangeable bases snap on
It's then just a matter of pressing the on/off switch and you're good to go. The MS2000 is most comfortable to hold single handed; I found the knob on the front of the handle a bit too small for two handed use.



To use the MS2000 as a ROS you install the ROS base. It uses standard 5" 8-hole hook and loop sandpaper. My guess is that the sander will get most of its use in this configuration. The other three sanding configurations use the 'large detail sanding base'. The sanding sheets for the detail sanding base appear to be the same hook and loop sheets used on the B&D Mouse sander. They are available in 120, 180 and 240 grits (#74-583 to 74-586). 



With the square end facing forward it becomes a flush sander. In this mode it functions like a conventional 1/4 sheet sander. By simply turning the base 180° it becomes a finish sander. The pointed shape enables you to get into narrow spaces that you can't reach with the ROS or flush sander. Switching between these three modes is very quick. However, to use the fourth sanding mode, the detail sander, you need to remove a screw from the bottom of the detail sanding base. I found this very inconvenient. You run the risk of 'misplacing' the screw (and the detail finger base.)
 
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ROS base
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Large detail sanding base: flush sanding orientation
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Large detail sanding base: finish sanding orientation
The MS2000 is louder than other sanders I'm familiar with. Under load at high speed (in ROS and finish sanding mode) the noise level measured 94.6dB. At low speed (in detail and flush sanding mode) the level was 86.3dB. I could live with this for occasional sanding, however if using the sander on a daily basis it would definitely be an issue.



The MS2000 vibrates quite a bit in use, particularly at the high speed setting; you need to maintain a good  grip on the sander. The oscillating orbit must be large (I would guess 1/4") as it sands very aggressively. You can, of course, select the slower speed simply by turning the SmartSelect dial.
 

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Adding the detail sander base
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Detail sanding mode
The MS2000 uses a filtered dust canister (you can't attached the sander to a shop vac). The canister does a very good job of picking up the dust. When partly full you can remove the canister and knock the dust out, and then clean it out with compressed air. The filter can't be removed from the canister for cleaning.

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The storage bag is a head scratcher; it's only big enough to hold the accessories, not the sander. A soft sided storage case would be preferred. The 6' power cord is short; I would have preferred a 10' or 12' cord.



Clearly, the MS2000 isn't designed for extended periods of use, or in a professional shop. Rather, a multi-tool like the MS2000 is a reasonable choice for the home hobbyist or DIYer who works on occasional projects; it alleviates the need to purchase multiple sanders for different applications, is budget priced, yet comes with a decent two year warranty. It would also make a good first time sander for someone just getting into woodworking.
 

KEY FEATURES:
  • 2 amps
  • 8,500 - 13,000 RPM
  • 2 interchangeable bases with tool free change over
  • Dust-sealed on/off switch
  • Filtered dust canister
  • 6' ppower cord
  • 2 year warranty
  • Includes: assorted sandpaper, storage bag
MANUFACTURER:Black & Decker
AVAILABLE FROM:Home Depot, Lowes
RETAIL PRICE:$69.99
MODEL #:MS2000
MADE IN:China
Carl Duguay, September 2010
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