Pro Shop Talk

Bona Power Drive: Two Machines In One

Two Machines in One

As a floor sander, the Bona Power Drive gives you more control over the sanding process from start to finish. The Power Drive is equipped with a quad-head gear-drive that allows you to sand, screen, buff and even wire-brush flooring.

Integral to its design is the random orbital gear-drive. Easily sand in any direction with results that are smooth with no swirl marks. Eliminate those unsightly scratch patterns that are common with other rotary sanding machines. Another advantage is in it’s cutting path where it can reach within 1-1/2″ of walls and baseboards, reducing edger work. Additionally, the lighter portable profile allows for sanding in smaller confined areas like closets and hallways. It’s easy to learn and can help a novice look like an expert sander.

Watch a quick 2 minute overview from Bona about the Power Drive.

Can you really sand a whole floor from start to finish with the Power Drive?

For some projects, you can use the Power Drive from start to finish. Fortunately, in most instances the big machine (drum sander) is still best for the first, aggressive cut. Because “time is money”, the more quickly you can flatten a floor or remove the finish on re-sands the better. Effectively use the Power Drive for all intermediate cuts and buffing passes. Using the Power Drive for smaller jobs or hard to reach upstairs projects avoids lugging around the heavier drum machine.

Some users find sanding hallways, closets, and other hard-to-reach areas a breeze. For those smaller areas, using only the Power Drive is possible with high-quality abrasives as discussed in this video.

Additionally, the Power Drive makes sanding patterned floors a cinch due to its orbital sanding pattern. You don’t have to worry about sanding against the grain as you would with other non-planetary orbital buffers.

How to Operate the Power Drive

The adjustable handle can be raised or lowered to the position that works best for you. When using the gear-drive for sanding, it’s important to keep the handle as close to 90 degrees as possible. This allows the weight to be distributed proportionally across the four sanding heads. You can operate the Power Drive as a buffer by swapping the gear drive for a buffer plate or multi-disc. In this buffer-mode you operate it as you would any other buffer with the handle lowered.

Watch the video above for an overview of the accessories compatible with the Power Drive: dust skirt, wire brush kit, steel plate, weight kit, multi-disc, buffer plate, and diamond plate.

How much weight can you add to the machine?

Each weight is 15 lbs. with two weights per kit. Retrofit weight kits are available for older machines. Newer models have pre-drilled chassis to attach the weights as needed.

Adding extra weight gives more sanding power when using the lower grits to sand aggressively. It can also shorten your sanding time. Weights are applied lower on the machine to maximize cut point and ensure more sandpaper is contacting the flooring.

Important Note: When you move to higher grits, around 80-100, it’s recommended to remove the weight. Higher grits are finer and does not need added pressure. When more of the sandpaper is in contact with the flooring the machine can shut off due to the added stress on the motor because of too much weight.

What are the best practices for dust containment for the Power Drive?

When using dust containment (vacuum system) it protects your investment! By keeping the environment and mechanics cleaner there is less stress on your equipment. Anytime your jobsite is clean, it is also healthier for both your team, customers, and your machines. Trapped dust in your equipment can lead to overheating and damage– something easily avoided with dust containment.

What are easy pitfalls to avoid with the Power Drive?

Avoid problems by not lowering the handle when using the Power Drive gear-drive to sand. Just because it looks like a buffer, doesn’t mean that it should be run like one when sanding. As a reminder, keep the handle as near to 90 degrees for proper weight distribution. This will result in more consistent, flat and smooth floors.

Additionally, Bona highly recommends using a power station or power converter to dial in exactly the power required. This can prevent unnecessary damage to your machine’s motor and electronics. Always make sure you’re running the right voltage 220-230v to your Power Drive.

In this video, watch how Bona’s Wire Brush Kit allows you to create unique texture and accents in floors.

How to use the Power Drive Wire Brush Kit

In our Pro Shop Talk episode, we covered the Bona wire brush tool kit in depth. Designed with a hook-and-loop backing, the wire brush puck attaches to the gear drive for wire-brushing the flooring. The brushed grain texture results in giving your customers more custom options.

The Power Drive’s wire brush attachment may leave the surface a bit rough. We advise following up wire-brushing with a 120-grit diamond disc on the multi-head attachment or Tynex brushes. It’s a good idea to use a water sprayer before wire brushing to soften the wood grain. It also helps contain dust and keeps the steel brushes from getting to hot. Use a garden sprayer to mist each section as you make each pass.

Test Drive a Power Drive

Thinking about whether to add this new machine to your tool belt? Test drive one at your nearest RW Supply + Design ProShop or get set up with a Bona rep to do jobsite training.