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The Best Orbital Sanders with Reviews
Here’s a list of the best random orbital sanders we found:
1. Festool 574993 Random Orbital Sander
- High quality build – made in Germany.
- Jetstream design delivers a very efficient dust collection system.
- Balanced vibration stop design = better finish results & smooth operation.
- Lightweight design makes for easier use.
- Ideal for the professional who needs quality, power & performance.
Not so Good
- Does not come with a dust collection hose.
- High quality comes with high price.
- Overkill for the casual user.
2. DEWALT DCW210B Cordless Orbital Sander
- Latest model from DEWALT.
- One of the few quality cordless models available.
- Variable speed to match the speed to the application.
- Brushless motor provides long run time.
- Works with DeWalt’s 20V Max battery range.
Not so Good
- Battery & Charger Sold Separately.
- May need multiple batteries for bigger projects.
- May not provide the power needed for harder woods.
3. Black & Decker BDERO100 Electric Orbital Sander
- Very popular model
- Well reviewed by users
- Best sander for someone on a budget because of its low-cost and performance
- Small and compact for easy use and control.
Not so Good
- Not recommended for heavy users
- Some users report it only lasts for a few months of frequent use
The Black and Decker BDERO100 random orbit sander is really inexpensive but still manages to perform as well as other sanders that cost a lot more. It’s a small, compact size that makes it easy to use. Its size also puts it closer to the wood surface, making it a little easier to control the pressure you’re applying when using it.
It’s cordless, which is somewhat of a unique trait among other sanders we reviewed for this list. Again, we have to mention the price because it’s exceptionally affordable. If you find yourself needed a random orbital sander for a one time job or project and don’t want to invest in something you won’t use when it’s over, this is one to look into.
Maybe you aren’t sure if you need a random orbital sander and you want to try one out before investing in a higher end model, this is a good sander to start with. You’ll get an appreciation for the tool while also being budget friendly.
Some users reported this sander didn’t last beyond a few months and complained that some of the screws had loosened up over time. That said, it does come with a 2-year warranty to cover major things if they go wrong.
4. DeWalt DW6423K Orbital Hand Sander
- Rubber over mold makes it more comfortable to use
- Short height which lets the user get closer to wood being worked on
- Improved dust collection and compatibility with the brand’s vacuum locking system
- Dust bag has one hand locking system so it’s easy to use without making a mess
- Strong enough to sand wood, metal, and plastics
Not so Good
- Dust collection system doesn’t hook up to vacuum tubing easily.
This DeWalt DW6423K sander is really powerful while also being short and compact. This keeps it close to the surface you’re working on to help with control and maintain even contact. It also comes with a convenient dust bag and carrying bag.
What makes this 5-inch orbital sander unique is the short height and over mold. It’s not only easier to control, it’s more comfortable to use so you can work for longer stretches of time. It’s generally very user-friendly and a great choice for someone new to woodworking.
The DeWalt DWE6423K random orbital sander is in the midrange as far as price goes. It’s highly rated and performs well. One of the things that make it a great buy is the 3-year warranty. DeWalt is one of the few brands we reviewed with a warranty that long.
Some users complain about the dust collection system. The one it comes with performs well, but anyone wishing to attach a shop vacuum hose might find it a little difficult. There’s no easy way to do it and it has taken some ingenuity on the part of users to get it to work.
5. Makita BO5041K Random Orbit Sander Kit
- Rubberized palm grip for comfort
- Adjustable front handle to better reach tight areas and corners
- Collects dust through the pad for less mess
- Oversized sealed ball bearing construction so it lasts longer
- Trigger lock enables continuous work
Not so Good
- Some users report that the dust collection system is ineffective and difficult to fit with a vacuum hose
- Trigger button can be awkward to use if not placed in lock setting
- Some users say that over time it loses its ability to hold sandpaper effectively
The Makita BO5041K is the best orbital sander of the ones that we reviewed. It has a range of speeds and a great ergonomic grip that makes it easy and comfortable to use. The front handle makes it easier to maneuver into smaller spaces and some corners. Plus, changing the sanding pad it straightforward. If you are going to be sanding in hard to reach corners, then you will be better off looking at our best detail sander reviews.
The front handle is something that is really unique about this sander because it makes it a little easy to handle. This helps maintain even movement and pressure which makes for a smoother, more even finish.
For a sander with the quality and performance of the Makita BO5041K, it’s well worth the modest price you’ll pay for it. There are a lot of sanders that are much more expensive that might not perform as well.
Some users report problems with dust collection, either it isn’t working like it should be or it’s difficult to find a vacuum hose that fits the port properly. Despite that, this Makita random orbital sander is very highly rated and a great random orbital sander to consider.
6. DeWalt DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit
- Power switch is dust sealed to prolong life
- Shorter height makes it easier to get closer to the workspace
- Convenient one-handed locking dust bag
Not so Good
- Not suitable for professionals
- Only has one speed
The DeWalt DWE6421K is the best value of all the sanders we reviewed. If you’re looking for something with high performance that is also an affordable price, this one is worth checking out. It has a compact, solid construction while still being relatively lightweight. The textured body gives it a nice grip, making it easy to control hold on to.
One thing that sticks out about this sander is that people who have used it seem pleasantly surprised with its dust collection system. From all the reviews on this list, a lot of people have trouble finding a sander with an adequate dust collection system. Users of the DeWalt DWE6421K seem happy with it.
While this isn’t the least expensive choice on our list, it’s our best value because its performance is so good for what you’ll pay for it. It’s more durable than some of the less expensive options while still fitting within your budget.
There really aren’t many user complaints about this sander. One drawback is that its single speed, so it might not be the best choice if you’re looking for something to use on multiple large projects.
7. Bosch 3727DEVS Orbit Palm Sander
- Large 6-inch pad covers more surface area and gets jobs done more quickly
- Dust collection port easy to hook up to vacuum systems with Bosch specific adaptor
- Two sanding modes: regular and turbo.
Not so Good
- Heavier than other models
- Some users complained that it was too powerful on the turbo setting for their project
The Bosch 3727DEVS is one of the few 6-inch sanders that we’re reviewing. While a difference of one inch between this and the 5-inch sanders might not seem like a lot, the larger surface area does make jobs go a little faster and look a little smoother. This is because less movement is required to cover the same area, which makes each pass of the sander look more uniform.
A unique feature about this sander is that there are two modes. Regular, which you would use for normal sanding and finishing. But there’s also turbo mode, which moves at five times the regular rate for when you need to sand through coarser or more heavy-duty items.
This sander is the priciest one that we reviewed, but it has the power and features to justify the price. The different modes alone make it more useful than some other sanders. Plus its powerful motor and range in speed make it effective on a variety of jobs, including heavier jobs that the other sanders we reviewed might not be able to hand as well.
There are few user complaints about this sander, but one that came up a few times was about how heavy it is. It outweighs the others on this list by about two pounds but, again, it’s a durable tool that can do a lot of work. In fact, a few users even said that it was too powerful, but that really depends on what job it’s being used for.
- Sealed ball-bearing construction for durability
- Controllable pad speeds to avoid gouges
- Great value
Not so Good
- Lack of power makes it unsuitable for larger or more difficult jobs.
The Porter-Cable 382 sander has controllable pad speeds that help start smoothly and avoid gouging the surface. It has a completely sealed ball-bearing construction to make it durable and sturdy so it can keep going job after job.
While this sander doesn’t have many extra features, it’s a durable, reliable option for anyone looking for something to have for DIY jobs. It fits in the hand well and is very easy to use and control. It’s a great basic sander that will give a nice smooth finish on most wood projects.
This sander is inexpensive but still reliable. Its motor isn’t very powerful so it’s good for small jobs and projects. If you’re looking for something basic, this is one you should strongly consider. For a professional or for someone who wants a tool to use every day, this one probably won’t hold up very well.
Some users have said that they’re disappointed in the power this sander delivers, but the motor is only 1.9 AMP and lower power is to be expected. There are also a few user complaints that the switch is a little hard to use.
9. Bosch ROS20VSC Variable Speed
- Compact design is easy to maneuver
- Microfilter system to catch even the tiniest particles of dust
Not so Good
- It’s a little heavy for its small size
- Some have found it difficult to get the discs on straight
This Bosch ROS20VSC orbital sander has a small compact design that makes it great for beginners and easy to get into smaller spaces and corners. It also comes complete with a sanding pad, dust canister, vacuum hose adapter, sanding disc, dampening ring, and a carrying case.
What’s great about this orbital sander is the dust collection system has a microfilter, so it stops even the tiniest particles of dust from being spread around. Anyone will benefit from this, but for people with allergies or breathing problems such as asthma, this is a feature that can really make woodworking more enjoyable.
This sander also comes at an exceptionally fair price considering how well it’s rated. There aren’t many major complaints from users about its performance.
Users have had some minor complaints about this sander, including that it’s difficult to get the discs on straight. While it is a small sander, it’s a little on the heavy side but that is something that is personal preference. Some people might like a tool that feels like it has some weight behind it, some might not.
For someone who is just starting to learn about tools, it might be a little confusing that an orbital sander and a random orbital sander are, in fact, two different tools. The main difference between the two is in the way they move.
An orbital sander spins the disc around in a circle. That’s the only way it moves. A random orbital sander, on the other hand, spins in a circle and oscillates around. This keeps the sanding pattern more random, eliminating any visible scratches and creating a smoother finish.
If you’re looking for a random orbital sander, there are some things you should keep in mind before deciding which one is right for you.
Motor and OPM
The motors usually vary from about 2 – 6 AMP. This is the amount of power that’s needed to operate the sander. It should be noted that how this translates to performance depends on the sander. Just because two sanders have the same AMP doesn’t mean they will perform the same. What matters is how effectively they use that power.
OPM stands for orbits per minute and is a measurement of how fast the sanding disc spins. The higher the number, the faster the sanding will be. Some sanders are single speed and only perform at the high-end of the range, roughly 12,000 OPM. Other sanders are variable and have a range of OPM that will allow them to do finer work. Because they don’t always operate at a really high-speed, it’s a little easier to control them with different projects.
Random orbital sanders typically have three different options for power sources. Corded, cordless/battery operated, or pneumatic. While pneumatic powered sanders are really powerful and require the addition of an air compressor to operate. They’re usually used by professionals, so we stuck with corded and cordless/battery operated ones in our reviews.
The power source will affect the sanders weight, power, and reliability. There are pros and cons to each.
A corded random orbital sander will have more power and be more reliable because you won’t need to worry about how much charge the battery has. But the cord can sometimes be cumbersome and get in the way when you’re working.
A cordless/battery operated random orbital sander won’t have the problem of a cord getting in the way, but won’t provide the power and reliability of a sander with a cord.
The base plate is the part of the sander where the sandpaper is attached. There are usually a few options associated with it.
First, this is the part of the sander that will determine the size of the sanding area. Random orbital sanders come in two sizes, 5 or 6 inches. Anything smaller than 5 inches is technically called a finishing sander and anything larger is typically a professional tool powered with an air compressor.
Another option is how you will attach the sanding discs. Some sanders use adhesive discs that stick right onto the plate, but these are somewhat unreliable as they can wear and come off when the machine is working. Most brands are moving toward a hook and loop system to attach the sanding paper. This is a little more reliable and easier to do.
One other thing to look for on the base plate is holes. This is where the dust removal system works by sucking up the sawdust as it’s created. It keeps the mess somewhat contained but also keep the sawdust off of the surface of the wood to avoid any tiny scratches.
The foam covering of the base plate will wear over time and need replacing. This can mean either replacing the foam itself or the entire sander. Keep this in mind when comparing your options. If you’re investing in an expensive sander, you’ll probably want to make sure the pads are replaceable.
Dust Collection Systems
Most sanders come with a self-contained dust collection system that can be modified into a vacuum collection system. They will come with some kind of a bag that attaches to the dust collection port and holds the sawdust.
Often, you can remove this bag and attach a vacuum hose to the sander for added suction and efficiency. Make sure you check the size of the dust collection port as well as whatever tubing you have for your shop VAC. Sometimes, it’s not easy to connect the two and you will usually need to find some kind of adaptor.
Considering all of these factors, we’ve chosen the Festool as the best random orbital sander of the ones that we reviewed. Performance, quality and reliability makes it the top choice.
The rubberized grip makes it easy to hold and control while the range of OPM means it can effectively do a lot of jobs. Another great thing about it is its front handle, which makes it easy to apply even pressure to get the smoothest finish possible. It’s not as powerful as some of the other sanders we reviewed, but for common household projects, it is more than enough to get the nice, smooth surface you’re looking for.