The best inventions are often those that beg the question, “why hasn’t it been done before?”, and that’s certainly been the direction of travel of the Mirka range over the last couple of years.
“When we first launched the Dual Voltage LEROS the first reaction from many of our customers was to ask how more manufacturers haven’t adopted what is such a convenient concept for the trades,” explains Chris Proffit, Business Sector Manager — Construction & Decoration at the company. “Merchants only need to stock one tool, and the builder can invest in just a single machine, as well as eliminate the need to carry around a heavy and cumbersome transformer.”
Developed as a result of a demand for a site-work compatible 110V machine to go alongside the existing 230V, the Finnish manufacturer’s answer was to create a two-in-one solution, where only the lead needs to be changed to switch between the two voltages. Powered by the constant speed, efficiency and reliability that a brushless motor affords, the unit’s 180° flexible head, and 5mm random orbital motion guarantees a professional finish, whether it’s on site or in domestic renovation jobs.
With the recent introduction of the Mirka LEROS-S 950CV (LEROS-Short), the latest addition to the wall and ceiling sander range takes the concept in a compact direction. Only available as Dual Voltage, the machine combines the same features as its bigger brother in the product family with a size that makes working in confined spaces a much easier proposition.
In addition, thanks to dust-free net abrasives, working in tandem with suitable dust extraction, end users can enjoy the virtually dust free operation that the company has consistently pioneered.
Not only that, but great attention has been paid to the ergonomics of the tool when in use, with a comfortable 3.2kg weight, complemented by two grip points, and a balanced feel regardless of the angle at which the machine is being asked to sand.
Mirka is a company that champions innovation in its own tools, but the firm is also quick to support the latest trends in building techniques, not least the increasing adoption of spray plaster. Previously the preserve of larger commercial and residential sites, it is now finding a place on smaller jobsites. In response, the manufacturer has been working in partnership with Knauf to develop the best ways to finish their airless plaster product, this includes a new range of skimming blades.
Designed to be used to smooth plastered surfaces before sanding the final finish with a Mirka LEROS, the tool is available in a wide range of sizes — from 15cm to 100cm, together with the added convenience of an extension pole. The blade’s shape has been designed to deliver the control that plasterers need, but within a lightweight construction.
The most common sander in the range remains the DEROS 150mm random orbital machine. The “original and the best”, it is described as a great all-rounder — and reportedly still the lightest tool of its type available on the market — that will tackle a wide range of applications, from walls to woodwork.
It is, however, the case that a round pad is not necessarily compatible with square corners, and that’s where the DEOS becomes an invaluable addition to the armoury of the painter and decorator. “We often see tradespeople progressing through the range,” enthuses Chris, “where they experience the features and benefits of dust free sanding that a DEROS provides and then expand further into our product portfolio.”
Throughout its history Mirka has quietly led where others then follow. Where some power tool makers made capital on the adoption of brushless motors, for example, Mirka has always used the technology in its sanders.
“Our guiding principle has always been about compact, lightweight and ergonomically designed tools,” reveals Chris, “and that’s a theme that runs through all of our launches. For a painter and decorator, it’s all about improving the finish and we’re supplying the means to do just that.”
The view from the trade
Professional painter and decorator Trevor Mangan from TJ Painting and Decorating gives his view on the Mirka LEROS. He said: “Since buying the LEROS-S it has been a massive time saver on all the jobs we have used it on because it has enabled us to work smarter not harder.
“In addition, having access to the LEROS-S has allowed us to teach Max, our young trainee, a valuable lesson in terms of how tools assist us. We did this by giving him a “1980’s” pole sander to use, so he could appreciate and understand how much of a difference Mirka’s tools make when it comes to level of prep being carried out alongside the time saved, which then can be spent on other jobs.”