Ryobi Corner Cat

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Don and I went to Home Depot the other day and I got a new toy, I mean tool.  I am the proud owner of a Ryobi Corner Cat which is a great all-around orbital finishing sander.

ryobi corner cat

As you know, we are working on a dining deck out back.  We have completed the deck and I needed to sand lumber marks off some of the boards.  I have a bigger belt sander but I was looking for an excuse – I mean I now had a need for a smaller hand sander and I was blessed with such a reason.

I had used the Ryobi Corner Cat at a couple of conferences I have been to lately and just loved the size and power.  The sander fits perfect in my hand and had the power to remove the marks, yet not damage the wood. Since we plan to seal the boards with Thompson’s Water Seal, I didn’t want any gouging or dips in the wood.

cat sander with my hand

Are you asking about now,” Just what are lumber marks?”  Lumber marks are what the lumber mills stamp on each piece of lumber to let the consumer know who milled it, size, grade and other pertinent information.  If the board is treated, it will also include preservation type and intended use (exterior, ground or marine).  The stamp is usually on one side of the board.  So you ask, “Why didn’t you just put the marked side down so that it didn’t show?”  Well, the answer to that is because it was the best looking side of the board AND remember, it gave me a reason need to get this handy little sander.

wood mark

Lumber Marks

sanded wood marks

After Sanding


The Ryobi Corner Cat Finish Sander is an Orbital Sander which produces a very quick and small circular motion of the sanding pad versus a belt sander that moves the sanding pad in one direction.  You would use a belt sander in the beginning of a building project as it can be very aggressive.

ryobi belt sander

Belt Sander

The Ryobi Corner Cat is a much less aggressive sander but still has plenty of power to get the job done.  This Corner Cat will provide a nice finish on just about any type of wood.  You should see the finish it put on the rough comma I cut out of inexpensive plywood while trying out some Ryobi Power Tools at the Haven Conference.


Isn’t My Comma – Just So Cute?

The Corner Cat Package comes with the sander, a heavy and light scrubbing pad and polishing pad for metal.  For wood there is a 60 (coarse sanding) 120 (light sanding) and 240 grit (finish sanding) sheet.   Additional sheets are available at Home Depot.

Remember:  When it comes to sandpaper – the higher the number, the less aggressive the paper is.

The sanding sheets attach to the hook and loop pad on the bottom of the sander – Easy On – Easy Off!  Really!  Think Velcro.  Cool thing about this little Corner Cat is that it can save you money.  The sanding sheets can actually be rotated so you detach and rotate the top two thirds of each sheet and extend the life of each sheet.  Tell the truth here – Who hasn’t sanded a hole right in the middle of your sandpaper and lost the majority of the use of that sheet.  Me – Me – Me

cat sander pad

cat sander with sanding pad

The sander does not come with a battery.  It uses the same battery pack as the Ryobi One+ Tools use.  Which is great, because it made the sander less expensive for me since I already have batteries that can be used.  If you don’t have any One+ Tools yet, you can purchase the battery separate and then when you do get another Ryobi One+ Tool (which you will because you will be so in love with their tool line), you will be set with at least one battery.

ryobi tool display

What A DIY Girl’s Dreams Are Made Of

Using the Corner Cat Finishing Sander is just as easy as putting the sanding pads on.

  • Make sure the piece you are going to sand is secure.  It can walk away from you  – or into you once the sander is put to it.
  • If you have long hair, it needs to be up or in a ponytail.  It can get caught up in the sanding motion and that would hurt.
  • Wear eye and ear protection.
  • Start the sander and let it build to its maximum speed and then lower the sander to the work piece.
  • Move the sander in slow circular motions and let it do the hard work.  You will need to keep pressure on the sander to keep in contact with the wood but you will not be killing yourself – let it sand for you.  Actually, too much pressure can damage the sander because you are making the motor work way too hard for its supper.
  • The sander will get hot after using it a while.   When this happened, I removed it from the lumber and then just let it run without making contact with anything.
  • I also found that it gave me a better finish AND saved my sanding pad by stopping every few minutes and after motion of the sander stopped, I brushed both the lumber surface and the sanding pad off with a medium sized brush.

The Corner Cat is designed to be able to get into small places and as the name suggests – into corners.   When working the corners, move the sander in a back and forth motion.

Well, in case you didn’t notice, I’m in love with my little Corner Cat and I’m using it to finish the rough edges on some of my wood signs that I paint – the ones that I don’t want looking “rustic”.  I’m hoping for a Ryobi Jigsaw for my birthday (hint hint) and I’ll be using this sander a ton more.

Enjoy your power tools!  Do not fear them!  Use them!

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