Problem-Solving Products: Issue 41

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This article is from Issue 41 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Mirka Sander

Mirka Ceros Random-Orbit Sanders

When woodworkers first hear about Mirka’s new Ceros sander, two questions spring to mind: First, what the heck does “Ceros” mean? And, second, can a small finish sander really be worth $500? I wondered the same things.

It turns out that Ceros is an acronym for “compact electronic random-orbit sander.” Available in 5" and 6" sizes, these exceptionally compact finish sanders sport a brushless motor powered by a separate DC transformer unit. In size and shape, a Ceros sander resembles the type of lightweight airpowered sanders used in many commercial shops. As for that $500 price tag, well, I decided to put a 6" model to the test.

The Setup and Trial Run

Setting up the tool was a snap. Connect the sander to the transformer and to a 11⁄4" diameter dust-collection hose, plug the transformer into a regular 115-volt wall outlet, and you’re off. A top mounted paddle serves as the power switch. Two body-mounted buttons set the speed (from 4,000 to 10,000 rpm) and switch the sander from continuous to variable-speed modes.

While other finish sanders weigh in at 4 to 6 pounds, the 1.9 pound Ceros feels like a flyweight, but it has the muscle to match any finishing sander in the shop. In fact, I found it almost impossible to stall. In spite of its strength, the Ceros is surprisingly easy to control, primarily due to its light weight, superior balance, and low center of gravity.

As for dust-collection, the Ceros did not disappoint. With mesh-type Abranet paper and an attached vacuum, sanding was about as dust-free as it gets.

Mirka Sander

Best Applications

The Ceros is made for industrial-duty sanding that requires both strength and finesse. Capable of handling everything from small projects to large cabinets, tabletops, and solid-surface countertops, its light weight and exceptional maneuverability really shine when sanding vertical and contoured surfaces. And woodworkers with shops connected to their homes will appreciate the quiet motor and superior dust collection.

Tester’s Take

The Ceros is perfect for a professional cabinetmaker who’s been eyeing an airpowered sander but who doesn’t have a beast of a compressor or an interest in additional pneumatic tools. Beyond its plug-and-sand convenience, the sander’s size, weight, and quiet operation allow for long stints of stress-free sanding. The brushless motor promises a tool that should last for decades.

For the typical small-shop woodworker, the Ceros may be overkill, unless you’re looking for a tool that represents the best of its kind. If you appreciate the type of well made, thoughtfully designed, comfortable sander that helps you better enjoy your shop time, the $500 may be money well spent. I balked at the price myself until I calculated the cost of all the disappointing and/or deceased sanders I’ve owned over the years. Had I started with a Ceros, I might have even saved a few bucks.

Ceros Compact Electronic Random-Orbit Sander
6" #849395 $495.00
5" #849396 $495.00
Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk


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