Hutchins Wet Sander: Model 7544 Waterbug III
As we’ve been able to expand the amount of automotive coverage we offer through Shop Tool Reviews, we’re able to bring in a wider variety of tools we see like the Model 7544 Hutchins wet sander.
Hutchins has been in business since 1955 as a family-owned, Made in the USA brand with plenty of patents to their name.
A quick look at their product line shows you they’re hyper-focused on surface prep – namely sanders.
Wet Sanding 101
The Water Bug III is the latest version of the Hutchins wet sander in its 6″ variety and sands at 10,000 RPM with a 3/32″ offset. Being an air sander opens up the ability to pull water without as much concern as you have with an electric or battery sander. So what’s the advantage of pulling water through a sander?
For those of you prepping metal or fiberglass surfaces, wet sanding helps even out the finish prior to buffing with what many woodworkers might call extreme grits up to 2000. However, woodworkers can take advantage of the same kind of concept to remove stroke marks from applying finish via brush.
Granted, the Hutchins wet sander and others in the same class are geared toward automotive much more than woodworking, so let’s get back on task.
The Water Bug III uses a 20′ Wayer high-pressure hose to deliver water to your work surface. The 11.0 CFM air consumption rating isn’t out of line for this size of sander considering it’s pulling water.
The water flow is variable, making it a viable option in a variety of scenarios. One of the questions that Robert Bellew tackles in his review is the issue of the sander’s ability to pull water through the entire 20′ hose considering it’s a bucket drop-in design rather than a pressurized source.
Price and Place
The Water Bug III has been on the market for quite a while – well over a decade. The $450 manufacturer’s price tag creeps just under the $300 mark online currently. Even with this much time on the market, the quality of the materials and Made in the USA build combine with massive time savings over standard wet sanding techniques to give it the longevity it’s enjoying.
It’s no surprise that the time savings are what gives this Hutchins wet sander its value. So how well does the Water Big III actually work?
For thoughts on performance, we’ll turn it over to Robert Bellew at Shop Tool Reviews. He gives it a rating of 4.5 out 5 – be sure to check out why!
Hutchins Wet Sander Key Features
- Water Bug III offers the ultimate in wet color/clear sanding prior to buffing.
- Same Venturi driven through the pad water delivery system as the Water Bug II.
- Comes with Hookit pad, foam interface pad, 20′ high-pressure Wayer hose and built-in pad release feature.
Hutchins Wet Sander Specifications
- Model: Hutchins 7544
- RPM: 10,000+
- Pad Size: 6″
- Air Consumption: 11.0 cfm @ 90 PSI
- Noise level: 80 dBa.
- Weight: 2 Lbs. 4 Oz.
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $298.97