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Sander/Carpel Tunnel

2463 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  depictureboy
I've been using a porter cable ROS for several years now and now it's starting to leave me in pain and discomfort. Is there anyone else with Carpel Tunnel and if so, what sander/brand do you use that dosen't leave you in pain and discomfort?

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+1 to Skarp. My hands buzzed for years with Bosch, Makita and DeWalt. About 2 years ago, I bought a Festool RO 150 EQ. It made a huge difference, not only in my hands, but in the sand.
I know the feeling at work we have pneumatic ROS palm sanders and you have to keep them turned on with your palm while holding them and after a few mins they kill. I just developed different ways to hold it and still apply pressure to sort of ease the pain on my hand. try that maybe?
I just started using an air sander-its an Ingersoll-Rand IR 4151 6 Inch Random Orbit Finishing Sander.
it is not loud , it stops fast and you can power sand when you need it . it is smooth.
I like it so much I bought two one with HL pad the other PS pad so when I catch paper on sale I can use whats on sale.
Thanks for ideas, but, Festool is way out of my reach right now. Air sander won't work too well since they use alot of cfm's and my little compressor won't hold up. I've been using anti vibration gloves for several years but I guess my CPS is just too far gone. I guess I was just hoping to find a brand out there that's not too expensive and dosen't vibrate to much.

Thanks for the above comments
I have a PC, Bosch, and Makita ROS. I find that the ones where my hand is directly over the motor are the most comfortable vs the ones that have a barrel motor and the handle off the side. I find the barrel motor type tires my wrist.
I used to often hold orbital sanders by the strain reliever. You're not
supposed to apply pressure, the weight of the sander is sufficient and
you'll wear it out if you press on it.

I have Festool barrel-grip sanders now but I still steer them by the cord
too. They are the best I've used but my hands still go numb when I
do a lot of sanding with them.

The Bosch 6" dual mode sanders are very similar to the Festool and much
less money to buy. I'm not saying they are the same, but they allegedly
come out of the same factory and it's clear from looking at them that
they share many design characteristics.
Have you had surgery yet? Surgery corrected mine and now I use all my sanders without problems. PC Random Orbit, Makita 1/4 sheet sander, Dremel Multimax.

Maybe check out some of the Duragrit products. I think they are supposed to be more aggressive and get the job done sooner?
No, I rejected the surgery at the time cause a friend's wife had it done and they totally botched one of her wrist. Took 2 years for her to go back to work. Today I used it with my speed control from my Router Table and that seemed a little better, but not enough for comfort.
I understand. Try using a 'cock-up splint', wearing it to bed every night and take Motrin before sanding. Just a thought. I'm a nurse so always trying to fix things. If I've crossed a line, I'm sorry. Also, there should be other ortho surgeons in your area. Keep looking until you find one everyone speaks highly of.
I am sitting here with bandaged wrist after carpal surgery last week. If you think you have carpal - v. normal vibration irritation - see a neurologist ASAP and plan on something more scientific than guessing/swapping brands. The neurologist can test, maybe an EMG, and decide if necessary to see an orthopedist, depending largely on insurance provisions. Vicki suggests a splint which may or may not be appropriate for your condition - don't make that decision by yourself. You might be too late for a splint - I was.

Sorry to say this, but I got rid of my various sanders because of the vibration and racket and now have a full Festool lineup as to that question.
Here's my 2 cents. I'm an Occupational Therapist and agree that you should see a neuro or ortho. They will do some tests to determine the cause and severity of your problem. They will likely do a Tinels Sign and Phalen's test, which are very simple tests to gather some basic info. Do other activities cause numbness and/or pain? Make sure you are not gripping the sander too tightly, as this may also cause these symptoms. The position of your grasp will make a difference too. I would try the anti-vibration gloves and as mentioned in previous response, you shouldn't be applying any pressure to the sander-only guide it in the direction you want to go.
Don't forget to call the MD, then get a second opinion. Good luck.

Funny thing is I've seen these for the first time a few hours ago on the Highland WW site. I've heard of them, but never saw them before this evening. May be worth a try for about $17.00, especially if you don't get any symptoms at other times.
Again, thanks to all. Yes, I did see a Neurologist at the time when I had insurance and he had me try different hand and wrist exercises as well as a wrist splint but now the splint just irritates it more. The gloves worked years ago but I've gotten worst now so they do little for me. No Vicki, you didn't cross a line. I appreciate ALL advice and comments. I guess I'm just going to have to figure something else out for now.

Thanks Again
One last thought then. Before I had my ROS I used a 1/4 sheet sander for many years. It did as well, just needed to remember not to go in circles. It was smaller and lighter and never bothered my wrist.
I hold ROS at the base with three fingers and wrist not even touching it. Much better balance and control without any discomfort regardless of the brand. I second what Loren said about applying pressure.
I use trigger point therapy to keep mine under control, my wrists were bad from several years of keyboarding, but now I dont have any problems(knock on wood) and I have actually been keyboarding more. Sometimes I get the numbness, but its from posture or pressure on my elbows…if I start to get the twinge I start massaging the TPs and the pain subsides…I keep up the massaging over a couple days and I am back to normal…
depictureboy, do you apply this yourself? What kind of training do you have?
None, I was at one time going to try my hand at massage therapy, but it fell through and I became an applications programmer.

Yes I apply it myself, its not hard at all, the general location is both sides of the neck on and just behind the tendon you can feel in your neck if you turn your head 90 degrees. use lots of pressure with your thumb in a downward stroke from just behind your ear down to the point where your neck ends. There are links that show it pretty good on the internet, you want to find information on scalenes..
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