If you’ve ever put in the time to sand a large drywall job by hand, you know how long it takes to get the job done right. That’s why electric drywall sanders are such great tools. They cover a lot of area really quickly, plus, have a lot of special features to help you get the job done right.
In a rush?
Here’s a breakdown of 3 products you may be interested in…
- Festool 571579 – If you’re willing to invest to get the absolute best dustless drywall sander around, this is the one for you. Ideal for contractors and professionals who will use it regularly.
- POWER PRO 2100 – To get the most for your money, the POWER PRO 2100 has a lot of great features, including a unique head design to help get into small spaces.
- ALEKO 690E – With all the functions that much more expensive brands have at a mere fraction of the cost, our bargain drywall sander choice will not disappoint.
Best Drywall Sanders Compared
|1||Festool 571579||$$$$$||3 year||19.5 pounds||310 - 920
|2||POWER PRO 2100||$$$$||90 day parts & labor||10 pounds||1000 - 2100
|3||ALEKO 690E||$$$$||1 year||16 pounds||1000 - 2000
|4||ARKSEN 750W||$$$$$||unavailable||19 pounds||1000 - 2000
|5||PORTER-CABLE 7800||$$$$$||1 year||9 pounds||1400 - 2000
|6||WEN 6369||$$$$||2 year||9.2 pounds||600 - 1500
6 Drywall Sander Reviews
1. Festool 571579
- Power: 500 watts
- Pad size: about 8 ¾ inches
- RPM: 310-920
- Length: 3.6 feet/5.2 feet with extension
- Weight: 19.5 pounds
The Good: excellent quality, professional grade, very effective dust extraction, makes quick and easy work of the toughest jobs
The bad: very expensive, need to purchase additional dust extractor, heavy, did we mention it’s expensive?
If you’re looking for a high-quality tool that the professionals use, the Festool 571579 is it. This drywall sander gets walls and ceilings smooth in a fraction of the time it would take sanding by hand or even using another drywall sander. It comes with an expandable handle so you can easily reach any height and get an even, smooth finish.
The dust collection on this model is unlike anything else. Usually, dust collection systems on most tools are a bit unreliable, but not with the Festool 571579. Here’s the catch – you have to pair is with a Festool CT 36 AC Dust Extractor.
Will that cost you a significant amount of money? Yes. Are you already going to be paying a significant amount of money for the drywall sander? Yes. That being said, if you’re a contractor looking to give your business an edge, this tool will allow you to do nearly mess free, fast, and pristine work. It’s likely this will pay for itself even when you take the extra cost of the dust extractor into account.
Another time this would be a worthwhile purchase is if you’ve gotten a quote from a contractor to do similar work in your own home that’s significantly more than the cost of the Festoon sander and dust collector together. You might actually save money if you need a big job done and are willing to do it yourself with the right kind of equipment.
This is not the tool for occasional small jobs or for anything that isn’t going to involve a lot of time and effort, the financial investment is just too high to use for anything but large jobs; but, for a professional, you can’t do much better than this, especially when combined with the CT 36 AC Dust Extractor.
2. POWER PRO 2100
- Power: 710 watts
- Pad size: 9 inches
- RPM: 1000 – 2100
- Length: 4 feet/5.5 feet when expanded
- Weight: 10 pounds
The Good: high RPMs, extendable handle reaches up to 5.5 feet making it great for overhead work, comes with a lot of goodies including a wide range of sandpaper in different grits, lightweight.
The bad: it’s a little top heavy, bounces a bit if you’re not used to using it, the vacuum isn’t great, RPMs not low enough to handle softer materials.
The Power Pro 2100 has a variable 6-speed motor, high RPMs, and a handle that extends to 5.5 feet making this a versatile, powerful tool that is especially effective on ceilings. It’s made from strong, lightweight aluminum and hard plastic so it’s not only going to be able to handle a lot of stress but it’s also lightweight and won’t strain your arms or back.
A really special thing about this tool is that the head has a unique design that allows it to pivot in all directions. It’s easy to get into awkward angles because the head moves forward, backward, and side-to-side. With the variable RPMs, you can set it to low speeds for softer materials and fine finishing while higher speeds are perfect for hard walls and getting the job done fast.
This sander comes with a lot of extras – a carrying bag, vacuum hose, and a wide range of different sandpaper discs so you can get started on any project right away. The sandpaper easily attaches to the disc with strong, easy to use Velcro fasteners. This is a great tool for anyone, from a seasoned professional to a home DIYer.
We’re naming this one out best value drywall sander because you really get a lot of performance for a budget friendly price. It has a tendency to bounce if you’re not in total control of it and the RPMs don’t get slow enough to handle softer materials, but these things are easily worked around for the great performance you get from the Power Pro 2100.
3. ALEKO 690D
- Power: 800 watts
- Pad size: 9 inch
- RPM: 1000 to 2000
- Length: about 30 inches/ 4 feet when expanded
- Weight: 16 pounds
The Good: telescoping handle so you can easily do ceilings, bargain price, comes with 6 sanding discs, easy to assemble.
The bad: no low RPM setting for softer surfaces, heavy, vacuum hose not very compatible with a lot of dust extractors or shop vacs, difficult to get it into tight spaces or corners.
The ALEKO 690E is by far our best power sander for drywall bargain buy. The price is affordable and it’s still a top of the line performer. Included in the price are 6 sander discs of various grits and a vacuum hose so you can hook it up to a dust extractor and get started on your project right away.
Considering what you’ll pay for this sander, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it works. The large 9-inch sanding discs cover a lot of area and the telescopic handle makes it much easier to get to ceilings, though admittedly ceilings might be a little tough when you take into account the weight of this tool.
This is a pretty heavy tool and the grip can be a little uncomfortable so you may need to wear work gloves if you’re working for long stretches of time. It’s also a little tricky to get it into tight spaces and corners. The 9-inch sanding discs might be a little hard to find in most hardware stores and you may need to just order them online.
Homeowners will love this one for home projects, it works well and won’t break the bank. This might not be the best choice for a professional, though, as the weight could affect how easy it is to use it on ceilings day after day. For walls, though, this one is a great, fairly priced option for anyone.
4. ARKSEN 750W
- Power: 750 watts
- Pad size: 8 ⅞ inch
- RPM: 1000 – 2000
- Length: handle expands from 42 to 61 inches
- Weight: 19 pounds
The Good: swiveling sanding head makes it easy to get into small spaces, portable grip handle makes it easy to move around, variable speed setting, good price considering what you’re getting.
The Bad: heavy, goes through sandpaper quickly, dust collection is poor, difficult to get a comfortable grip on.
The ARKSEN 750W is a great choice for contractors or anyone who is looking for professional level performance without a huge financial investment. The aluminum frame is durable and sturdy and it comes with a nice package of accessories, including a 13-foot long vacuum hose, sanding disc, wrench, and screwdriver. The large sanding discs are easily attached with velcro straps for easy changes.
The cool thing about the ARKSEN 750W Drywall Sander is that the sanding head swivels, making it easy to get into corners and do 90 to 180-degree sanding. The telescoping handle expands from 42 to 61 inches, making it easy to reach high corners and ceilings.
The biggest drawback to this one is its weight. It’s one of the heaviest that we reviewed and you might have a hard time using it to complete long overhead jobs. Not only is this due to the weight, it’s also not designed with ergonomics in mind and it might be tricky to figure out how to hold this in a way that feels natural. It’s also really messy, despite the dust collection system. We’ve found that most dust collection systems don’t work as well as they should, but this one, in particular, left a lot to be desired.
This is still a great investment because it really does offer top of the range power for a really good price. The portable grip handle makes for easy movement and the high range RPM and 750 watts of power will get any job done in a hurry.
5. PORTER-CABLE 7800
- Power: 560 watts
- Pad size: 9 inch
- RPM: 1400 – 2000
- Length: 5 feet 4 inch, handle not adjustable
- Weight: 9 pounds
The Good: very lightweight, built with quality and durability in mind, long handle to reach ceilings, dust collection system actually works when used properly.
The Bad: Expensive, handle doesn’t adjust lengths, difficult to get a good grip on the handle, vacuum hose is difficult to fit some extractors.
This Porter Cable drywall sander review is no exception to the good name and quality of the brand. Measuring a little more than 5 feet long and weighing only around 9 pounds, this sander is much, much lighter than any other professional quality ones that we looked at. It’s not top heavy at all and the even weight distribution makes it easier to control and maintain nice, even passes.
The dust collection system on this tool is pretty good if you hook it up to the vacuum. The head of the vacuum constantly sucks in the dust as you work and, while you will not get everything, you’ll get around 90% of the mess. This is about as good as it’s going to get with tools like this because, in order to do their job, they have to make a mess. This is one sander that’s good at cleaning it up.
Although the price is a bit high with this one, it’s a quality tool from a trusted brand that will last you a lifetime. It’s durable and effective enough that it can be used by professionals. It’s actually probably a little too much power and investment for someone who is not going to use it a lot.
This one doesn’t have a telescoping handle, but the handle it does come with is nice and long and, don’t forget, it’s really lightweight so you’ll still be able to use it on ceilings without hurting your arms or back.
6. WEN 6369
- Power: unavailable
- Pad size: 9 inch
- RPM: 600 – 1500
- Length: adjusts to up to 5 feet long
- Weight: 9.2 pounds
The Good: pivoting head that makes it easy to get to any surface, really reasonable price, lightweight, handle telescopes to 5 feet long.
The Bad: difficult to buy additional pads, replacement pads are hard to find, included sanding discs wear out quickly, poor dust collection.
WEN is another brand that’s well known in the industry and they bring you the WEN 6369 drywall sander for a very reasonable price. It’s really lightweight at only 9 pounds and the adjustable handle that reaches up to 5 feet is an easy way to make sure you can easily reach ceilings without hurting your back.
The best thing about this sander is the pivoting head. It swivels in all directions which make it easy to get it flush up against any surface. This makes it easier to get it into tighter spaces, corners, and ceilings. Sanding discs are attached with velcro and 6 different grits come included so you’ll be able to get started right away.
And it’s a good thing they give you a few sanding pads to start with because these are non-standard and sometimes hard to find, even in a big box hardware store.
How to buy a drywall sander
All drywall sanders serve the same general purpose: to help prepare the walls for paint. In order to make sure the paint job looks as good as possible, the walls have to be as smooth as possible. Patches, seams, and holes all need to be taken care of before paint can be applied.
That’s where a drywall sander comes in.
Although you’ll likely still need to use a detail sander to get into tight edges and corners, an electric drywall sander can cover the rest of the wall in minutes. This is a job that, when done by hand, would take hours and hours, so if you want to save yourself a lot of time, a drywall sander is essential. Here are a few things to think about before you decide which one is the best one for you. Consider these things when looking at our reviews.
What am I using it for?
The first thing you need to do is decide what you’ll be using your drywall sander for. Obviously, to sand drywall, but there are other things to think about:
- Is this for a one time job or will I be using it for multiple jobs in the future?
- Am I only going to use it in my own home or will I be taking it to other places?
- Do I need to make sure I can easily sand the ceiling as well as the walls?
- Am I going to use this only on drywall?
Once you know what you’ll be doing with the sander, you can figure out what specifications you need to find the best electric sander for drywall that suits your needs.
This is one of the most important factors. The heavier the sander, the more difficult it’s going to be for you to use it for long periods of time. Also, take into consideration whether or not you’ll be using it to sand ceilings as well as walls or if the walls you’re going to be working with are particularly high.
The higher you need to go, the more you’re going to have to keep the sander lifted up and above your head. Don’t choose a sander that is so heavy, you can’t use it for the job you need to do.
Weight varies greatly with these sanders. The ones we reviewed range from about 9 to 19 pounds, a 10-pound difference. If you need to cover a large surface, ask yourself if you’re going to be able to work effectively using a 19-pound tool.
Generally, the heavier tools are equipped to be able to perform professional jobs. If you’re going to be using this tool over and over in different clients’ homes, you need something that’s a little more durable and ready to handle hour after hour, month after month of work. In this instance, weight might not be as important a factor to you as quality or performance.
Higher RPMs will get the job done faster but can also make the tool a little heavier and more difficult to control. Again, this is a situation where if you’re a homeowner who needs to do sand one wall or one room, you can probably get by with a lower RPM. But for a busy contractor, you’ll want one with the ability to hit a high RPM.
You can find drywall sanders that have a flexible head that makes it really easy to get it to work in small space and corners. Although this likely isn’t going to eliminate the need for some touch-up sanding by hand in really tight spots, the more you can cover with the electric sander, the better.
Most sanding discs will attach to the head of the machine with velcro, which is great and really convenient. But the thing you need to pay attention to is the disc size.
Some brands make theirs in non-standard sizes, meaning it won’t be easy to get replacements. If you want to be able to walk into any tool store and find more of the right size pads, make sure find out before you buy your sander if they replacement pads are easy to come by.
Some drywall sanders come with a set of various discs so you’ll at least have a few to start out with. It’s a good idea to do some digging about replacement discs when you’re figuring out which one to buy. We made an effort in to mention when this was an issue in the appropriate drywall sander review.
There are a lot of great drywall sanders on the market and we did our best to provide you with the knowledge and information you need to figure out which one is the best one for your needs. If you read through our electric drywall sander reviews and buyer’s guide, you should be able to get a clear idea of what you should be looking for.
If you want the absolute best sander for drywall, we have to recommend the Festool 571579. It has everything and, though it’s quite an investment, if you’re looking for something that will last for a long time and make all your drywall sanding easy, it’s the one you need to try.