Orbital power sanders are the best, fastest, and easiest way to sand wood smooth. In short, they’re the best way to make an excruciating task a little more pleasant. There are many different sizes and types of sanders available, but below are detailed descriptions of the three most versatile types.
If you’re really serious about advancing your craft, you can not put off buying a random orbital sander for long. If you’re already considering buying one, which in my opinion is a very smart move. Then keep on reading the article.
The process of buying your first OS is both exciting and confusing. I want to deduct the intimidation & the confusion so that you can fully enjoy the excitement. Keeping that in mind, I’ve created a comprehensive guide that will help you find the right Orbital Sander for your needs.
We have divided this article into two parts. The first part covers our top 3 models on the market. Going through this section will help you establish a baseline for what to expect from a great OS. From there, the second part will push your understanding towards the pros & cons & what factors to remember while buying a new OB. You’ll learn what factors to pick, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to balance price and performance. So, if you’re ready, keep on reading.
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5″” Random Orbit Sander, Tool Only
This 18V Makita XOB01Z LXT Lithium-Ion random orbit sander delivers increased mobility and absolute efficiency to the woodworkers. This models comes with a lot of interesting features that includes three speed settings that are 7000, 9500 and 11000 OPM.
On a single charge, it provides a maximum of 40 minutes of run-time with high class ergonomics. The battery and charger for this orbital sander is sold separately. A one-touch electronic control switch changes the speed settings for this tool.
MakitaXOB01Z LXT is perfectly engineered and designed for fast material removal, efficient sanding and a swirl-free finish. For improved overall finish, the pad brake minimizes the free spin. The control system performs outstanding and modulate speed at the start-up. For improved versatility, the Makita XOB01Z LXT uses 5” hook-and-loop abrasive disc.
For a clean working environment, an efficient dust collection system is designed. The bearing and switch are dust-sealed in order to give the tool a longer life. The construction of the ball bearing also enhances the product life-cycle. The weight of the item is only 3 pounds.
- Compact and powerful
- Battery powered – 40 minutes run time only
BLACK+DECKER BDERO600 Random Orbit Sander with Paddle Switch Actuation
Black & Decker is famous for providing tools for daily use. This model BEDRO600 from Black & Decker also comes with some great specifications. For easily turning it on and off during the use, a paddle switch for activation is provided.
This orbital sander utilizes power of 2.4 amperes and runs with a speed of 1400 orbits/minute for absolute material removal. Its unique design and compact size allows maximum user control as it can get into tight and small spaces.
This orbital sander provides high performance and a cleaner work environment through its extraordinary dust collection system. It only weighs 2.9 pounds. It doesn’t require any battery for operation and operates only through an electric corded power source.
- Perfect for doing light to medium sanding jobs
- Light in weight
- High quality
- Easy to change pads
- Much Smaller in size, so might not be of use to some people.
DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander, 5″
This random orbit sander from DEWALT comes with a motor of 3 amperes with hook-and-loop pad. It is a variable speed orbital sander that delivers speed in the range of 8000 orbits/minute to 12,000 orbits/minute. Vibrations are reduced due to the separate counterweight.
The grip is rubber over-mold and it provides ease and comfort while sanding and reduces user fatigue. The DEWALT DWE6423K is designed shorter in height in order to allow the users to get closer to the work surface.
It also features a dust bag that can be locked one-handedly and can be attached to the sander securely to help in dust collection. It also comes with an improved switch that protects it for a longer life-span against dust ingestion. This model weighs only 4 pounds and the power source it utilizes is an electric-corded. It doesn’t require any battery for operation.
- Small Orbital Sander
- Smooth Sander
- Quality product
- Low vibration
- Might not connect to the older vacuum versions
- AC is limited to 110V (Warning for buyers from outside US)
Important Factors to consider before buying orbital sanders:
People who use a random orbital sander usually describe their experience as optimal when the following factors fall into place:
- Superior Dust Collection:Sanding produces a lot of fine sawdust. If allowed to float around your woodshop, the fine dust leads to respiratory diseases. It also makes your workshop hard to clean. Investing in a OS with high-quality dust collection eliminates these problems. There are many other advantages that are Mentioned above in the article. By now you might have got an Idea why you should go for some good OS and why stop using the old ways of sanding.
- Shop Vacuum Compatibility:While working on huge projects, such as sanding a table top, the dust collection bag’s capacity falls short. On large projects, working with the OS makes more sense. That’s why you must make sure the OS fits your place either directly or through an adapter.
- Dust Protected Body: The dust that sanders create are just as harmful to the tool as they are to the user. Fine dust passing through the tool’s body can harm the motor and bearings. It can also ruin the switching mechanism. In the interest of longevity, buy a tool that protects its internal parts from dust.
- Multi-Grip: Most random orbital sanders offer only one-handed grip, some models offer two handed grip, and a few of them offer both. Two-handed grip improves control, but it creates accessibility issues. One handed grip allows you to sand hard to reach areas, but grants less control. The best way around is to get a tool that allows you to switch between the two grips easily.
- Variable Speed: The OS community doesn’t give variable speed as much credit as it deserves. This is an important feature. If you plan on owning just one OS, it must be a variable speed OS. Variable speed allows you to decrease the orbits per minute (OPM) for fine sanding and increase the OPM for fast material removal. You can achieve the same effect with a single speed OS by changing the grit of the sanding pad. But, why do things the hard way when there is an affordable alternative?
- Consider The Available Power And Speed An important factor to remember with random orbital sanders is that the higher the power they have, the faster you can be able to perform sanding tasks using them. To know the amount of power a sander has to offer, check on its wattage as well as the motor size.
- Check Whether It Has The On-Board Dust Collection Feature: The onboard dust collection is important feature that will save you the time and effort you would have invested in cleaning up your random orbital sander once you’re done using it. A sander that works exceptionally well in dust collection is fitted with suction holes built into the sanding pad which sucks up the dust immediately it forms when sanding.
- Check On How Comfortable It Is To Handle:The level of comfort of the random orbital sander is a huge factor to consider especially if you will be using it for long hours. Check whether the sander has rubberized grips that make it comfortable to handle when holding it with your hands.
- Consider The Sander’s Switch: The position of the switch in the random orbital sander matters a lot. Most sanders have been designed in such a way that you can turn them on or off through the rocker-style switch using just one finger. Some sanders, however, have switches that slide through the body.
- Check On The Price: Price goes hand in hand with the quality and the features that the sander has to offer. It’s easy to buy a cheap sander with low durability or an expensive sander that isn’t worth its price.
So, we learned based on our in-depth analysis of random orbital sanders, that avoid low-cost random orbital sanders if you can. But, if you must buy one, the Black & Decker BDERO100 and the Porter Cable 382 are your best options. Next, if high cost isn’t an issue, buy the DEWALT DWE6423K along with the DEWALT Universal Quick Connector.
Alternatively, you have another option the Makita BO5041K, which is the best performing ROS on our list. Thus, you will miss out on DEWALT’s amazing warranty offer. Lastly, there’s the Bosch ROS20VSC for those who seek the middle ground between low-cost and high-end models.
Fortunately, the information here creates a sound framework for you to compare products. With this guide by your side, you can make informed decisions about what you want and don’t want in your random orbital sander. Using what you learn here, you can easily find the right random orbital sander with no trouble at all.