A sander is an essential power tool you need in your workshop if you are to take on any woodworking project. They can save you hours of manual sanding, as well as making the process a lot more enjoyable.
Finding the right one for the job can a bit confusing if you don’t know benefits of the different types. The main ones you should be aware of are:
Random orbital sanders: Are great for finishing. They have a round head that spins the disc while moving it in small ovals. This is what makes it ‘random’ as it is designed so that the sanding paper does not travel the same path twice during the same rotation.
Handheld Belt sanders: A handheld tool that is aggressive and best used in the beginning stages of sanding. They are great for removing any finishes or paint from wood. Sander paper is placed around the belt which then drives in one direction.
Belt Disc sanders: This is a benchtop version of the belt sander with an added vertical spinning disc sander on the side. Some models allow the belt sander to adjusted so that it is at an angle or completely vertical, depending on your needs.
Detail sanders: A handheld tool also known as a corner, or mouse sander. These come in handy when you need to finish wood in corners or tight spaces. They have a triangular head that vibrates at high speeds to achieve a fine finish.
Spindle sanders: A benchtop tool that can be used on wood as well as metal, depending on the brand, which makes it easier to sand curves and contours. This sander is mounted on a spindle and works by rotating and oscillating in and out or up and down along the axis of the spindle.
Electric Drywall sanders: A specialist tool designed quickly sand down drywalls and plaster. It has an oscillating head, and a long arm for easy reach. Most models have a vacuum to clear the dust and debris away.