Orbital sanders are different from the usual belt sanders we see in the market. An orbital sander is a woodworking tool with an abrasive disc that spins in a circle while the pad twists in an oval shape. However, you do not need to be a woodworker to get a sander. You can use this sander for things like smoothing drywall, removing rust, taking out the rough edge on metal, and so on. Different varieties of sanders do different jobs, but there is always something for everyone if you look for it. There are sanders for beginners, professionals, occasional users, low-budget users, and whatnot.
Before jumping into the best Orbital sander reviews, let’s discuss some factors that we need to know before buying a random orbital sander. It will give you a thorough knowledge about what you are adding to your workshop.
Things You Must Consider Before Buying A Random Orbital Sander
Here is a small discussion to help you know more about the features and varieties random orbital sanders have. You need to consider these things while looking for the best orbital sander for wood.
Variety in Power
The available random orbital sanders in the market come in different power options. They can be corded, which means they run by electricity, battery-powered, meaning cordless, and lastly, they can also be pneumatic which means they run by compressed air.
- Cordless- the cordless sanders come in handy when you cannot have a power source at your workplace and you need something portable. They run by batteries that are often rechargeable. However, these sanders cannot work for long as the batteries run out of power and need frequent battery changes.
- Corded- the corded sanders are the most used in the world. As long as you have a source of electricity and an extension cord, you are good to go.
- Pneumatic or air-powered- people use this type of sander commercially without needing any dust extraction system. The compressed air gives enough power to sand through wood and metal. These are quite expensive and suitable for the experts.
Some sanders come with a speed variation option, and some do not. It is not even a big deal for some users as some only prefer to use the single high speed even with a variable speed option. But some projects need low speed, and the new learners also need to start from the low settings to control the tool better. Make sure you check if the sander you are choosing has the feature you need.
The compact-sized sanders weigh around 2 to 3 pounds, while heavier ones reach up to 7 pounds. However, weight plays a vital role in a sander. If you like to work on a horizontal or vertical surface, you will have to lift a lightweight sander without getting tired. Moreover, heavy sanders are also important when you are working on a flat surface. The weight of the sander will create enough pressure to get the job done.
The standard size of a random orbital sander is 5-inches in diameter. There are different grits of sandpaper available of this size. You can find many sanding machines that will offer you different-sized sanding discs according to your needs. Some sanding discs are easily replaceable because of the unique hook and loop system that works like Velcro.
The handles need to be comfortable to get a good grip while working and not get tired after long hours. Some palm sanders have a soft grip on the top but do not come with handles, and some come with extra handles for more flexibility. Which type of handle will make you feel comfortable depends on your work and holding style.
Sanding can get really messy if you do not have a good dust collection system in the sander you are using. Some random orbital sanders come with a dust collection bag, and some just have the port that needs a connection to a vacuum hose. However, not every sander supports a vacuum. So make sure the sander you choose has a good dust collection system to keep your workplace and your internal organs clean. It would be best to get an Orbital sander with a vacuum attachment.
Cordless Or Corded
We have looked at both the cordless and the corded orbital sanders. If you wonder if the cordless ones are heavier because of the battery weight, then let me tell you that they both weigh almost the same. The thing you will have to consider is the length of the cord. If it is too short, then you need to get some extensions to help you out. However, cordless sanders come in handy if you are working up a ladder or at someplace where you cannot get the sander to connect to electricity. Unlike the corded sanders, the battery-powered ones will not confine your mobility. But if you are working on a piece of furniture at your workplace and do not need to move much, a corded sander will give you perfection.
What is the Best Orbital Sander to Buy? Check Reviews
As you already know what to look for when choosing the right sander for you, we will discuss some of the most famous random orbit sanders here to help you out. Let’s dive into these sanders that were top reviewed by the customers and look at the specifications and functionality of each sander. We have also added the good aspects and the drawbacks of individual sanders to ensure you are well guided. Read till the end so that you do not miss any minor details about the sanders you want.
DEWALT (DCW210B) 20V MAX Battery Powered Orbital Sander
If you are tired of using corded sanders and limited movement space, then look at this cordless orbital sander from Dewalt. The Dewalt DCW210B is a battery-powered 20v orbital sander that will give you the portability, power, and runtime to get your job done. It weighs only 2.56 pounds and needs one lithium-ion battery to run. This 5-inch brushless cordless sander has a variable speed option to control speed from 8000 to 12000 OPM. There is a textured rubber grip on top of the sander that helps by giving a comfortable grip.
Good Aspects of Dewalt DCW210B Orbital Sander
- Brushless, cordless, and battery-powered
- Variable speed control
- Comfortable rubber grip
- 8 hole hook and loop pads are easily replaceable
- One-handed locking dust bag
- It does not come with a battery and charger
Versatile Festool ETS 125 REQ-Plus Best Random Orbital Sander for Woodworking
Festool ETS 125 is an ideal one-handed tool that has the finest sanding stroke of 5/64 inches. It is lightweight, weighing only about 2.4 pounds, it is suitable for vertical and horizontal sanding. This sander comes with a Jetstream design that allows it to remove dust effectively and efficiently. The Festool ETS 125 orbital sander is known to have low vibrations, taking away all the fatigue and tiredness you get from working long hours.
Good Sides of The Festool ETS 125
- Designed to fit in almost every sized hand
- Low vibrations
- Jetstream design ensures efficient dust removal
- Stepless variable speed option
- balanced vibration stop design allows smooth operation
- comes with interchangeable 5-inch discs
- easy to use both horizontally and vertically
- dust extraction port is about 1-1/6 inch and can attach to vacuum hoses
- a bit expensive
Makita BO5041 5-inch Random Orbit Sander With Variable Speed
This model of Makita is one of the most popular orbital sanders in the market. Like all other Makita products, it also comes with a long cord and a ball bearing system that keeps it all sealed and makes it last longer. The Makita BO5041 sander comes with an extra handle that is adjustable and also removable. So you can hold the sander in three different positions according to your convenience. Although it comes with a dust bag, you can still attach it to a vacuum hose for better clean-up. The variable speed option varies the speed from 4000 to 12000 OPM so that you can choose either the low speed or the high speed according to your needs.
Things We Like About The Makita BO5041
- pad braking system reduces gouging
- variable speed option
- comfortable, rubberized grip handles
- adjustable and also extra removable handle
- a good dust collection system
- Extremely lightweight
- 3 amp motor is powerful for tough jobs
- 5-inch discs have a hook and loop system, which makes them easily replaceable
- It has a lock-on trigger button that keeps the machine on while you work freely
- It does not come with an adapter that connects it to a vacuum hose
BLACK+DECKER (BDERO100) Random Orbit Sander With 5-Inch Sanding Disc
This sander is lightweight, comes with a 2 amp motor, and is budget-friendly. The BLACK+DECKER sander suits small projects like tabletop, chairs, or getting paint off of walls. It is powerful enough to work for long hours and strong enough with a suitable grit to take off materials from the surface. There is also a dust-sealed on and off switch so that no dust can damage it. This durable sanding machine shows efficiency with its 12000 OPM speed that is no less than other sanders.
Pros of The BLACK+DECKER (BDERO100)
- Lightweight but strong
- High-Speed accuracy
- Handy lock-on paddle switch
- Comfortable grip handle
- Easily replaceable sandpapers
- A built-in dust collection bag
- Compact size fits in the palm perfectly
- the dust collection system might not collect dust efficiently
Bosch GEX125-1AE Random Orbit Sander With Micro Filter
This sander is smooth and comfortable to use as if it is an extension of your hand while the tool does all the work. The Bosch GEX125-1AE orbit sander weighs about 2.87 pounds, meaning it gives less fatigue while working. This sander is suitable for professionals who like to work outside in the field. As the disc not only vibrates, it also rotates in a circular motion that makes it aggressive enough to remove paint from any surface but also gentle enough to polish and refinish an object. It is an all-in-one sanding machine that has a thumbwheel to maintain speed and a long cord. This sander might be a bit costly, but it is worth all the features that it provides.
Good Aspects Of Bosch GEX125-1AE
- compact and ergonomic built up
- speed control system
- speed range is between 7500-12000 OPM
- an impressive dust collection system
- 125mm disc diameter
- Low vibrations
- Easy attachable and removable sanding discs
- Variable grip positions available
- A bit expensive
Milwaukee 2648-20 M18 Cordless Random Orbit Sander Review
Here is another battery-powered orbital sander for you. Unlike the corded sander, these sanders are lightweight and portable. You can take the sander with you, wherever you want to work. Milwaukee M18 orbital sander weighs 4 pounds and is a bit heavier than other orbital sanders. However, this has a 5-inch disc and a variable speed option that lets you choose speeds from a range of 7000 to 12000 OPM. It is designed to create less vibration, making it suitable for both the beginner and the professionals. So if you are searching for the best cordless orbital sander, then this unit would be a great choice.
What are the features?
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to handle
- Variable speed settings
- Sanding disc is easily replaceable
- Low vibration
- Moderate price
- A good dust collection system
Lacks in The Milwaukee M18
- The batteries come separately, so buying them will cost you extra money
Durable CRAFTSMAN (CMEW231) Corded Random Orbit Sanders
Craftsman is well known for its good quality and durable random orbit sanders in the market. This one is corded. The advantage of buying a corded sander is that you do not need to purchase and replace batteries often. This saves you money, time, and extra effort. However, Craftsman CMEW231 comes with a 3 amp motor that reaches the speed of 12000 OPM. As this sander weighs only about 3.5 pounds, it is considered light compared to other corded sanders. Moreover, its low-profile design adds more control and reduces vibration.
What We Like About The Craftsman CMEW231
- Onboard dust bag keeps the area clean
- You can attach a vacuum hose to a dust port
- It has a single high speed to take on a rough surface
- Durable and lightweight
- Extended best corded orbital sander
- It comes with a 3-year warranty
- It has 5-inch discs that are quite common in the market
- Powerful motor but easily controlled sander
What we don’t like
- Sometimes the vacuum hose does not connect to the dust collection port
Compact 3M 20317 Random Orbital Pneumatic Palm Sander Machine
The Pneumatic sanders do not get power from the electricity or the battery. They gain power from compressed air. These types of sanders work well in places where you do not need to extract dust. The 3M 20317 random orbital sander gives a professional performance with its 0.28 horsepower motor. It can take down wood, metal, and many other materials. The pneumatic power allows it to work for longer hours.
- Powerful motor gives smooth finishing
- The aluminum body ensures durability
- It comes with Skitkit adhesive-backed sanding discs
- Low profile design helps reach tough places
- Pneumatic power exceeds electric power while giving it the ability to work longer.
- Low vibrations
- Suitable for commercial uses that need high production
- A bit expensive
Single Speed PORTER-CABLE 382 Random Orbit Sander With 5-Inch Disc
This sander from Porter-Cable is perfect for beginners. It is budget-friendly and comes with a 1.9 amp motor which might not look like much, but it is quite strong. The Porter-Cable 382 orbit sander has a single speed option for its 12000 OPM speed. Compared with other sanders, the motor power is not that much, but it can do the same job with this motor power and impressive speed. It works clean and leaves no scratches whatsoever. Moreover, it only weighs about 3.6 pounds which makes it easy to handle and carry.
Things we like
- Moderate price
- Single-speed option
- Low noise
- Creates less vibration
- Sealed ball-bearing construction
- Dual plane counter
- Gives smooth finishes
- Longer switch life
- It comes with a three-year limited warranty
Things we don’t like
- No variable speed option
- Not so impressive dust collection system
DEWALT (DWE6423K) Random Orbit Sander With Variable Speed
You will find many Dewalt products on this list because they provide good performance and unique features that professionals look for. With a 3 amp motor, this 3.96 pounds sander comes with a variable speed option. Fancy features like these make it suitable for all kinds of users. It might be a bit expensive but still is in an affordable range for everyone. They have added a rubber over-mold and a dust-sealed switch to make this durable.
Good Aspects of Dewalt DWE6423K
- The short height allows it to reach tough spaces
- Improved dust-sealed switch
- Single hand locking dust bag
- Improved dust collection system can attach the port with a vacuum hose
- Variable speed dial
- Low vibration
- Hook and loop sanding discs are easily replaceable
- Comfortable rubber grip
- 3 years warranty
- It does not come with a starter sanding disc
Battery Operated Ryobi P411 One+ Random Orbit Power Sander
The Ryobi P411 is an orbital sander that runs on 18 volts. Also, it gives the speed of 10000 orbits per minute which makes the surface smooth and swirl free. It comes with an onboard dust collection system that collects the dust and keeps your environment clean. As it is cordless and also weighs only 2.5 pounds, you can take it anywhere you want. It will need frequent changes of batteries to keep up with your work, so it is better if you choose this for small projects. Professionals need a sander that can work for long hours, so I would not recommend this for them.
- Lightweight and cordless
- Enough speed to polish and sand a surface well
- Sanding pads are included
- Pads are easily changeable
- Rubber grip ensures comfort
- Dust bag helps keep the place clean
- Dust port attached to a vacuum works more efficiently
- Creates swirl-free smooth finishes
- The dust collection system only works well if it is attached to a vacuum
Ingersoll Rand 328B Heavy Duty Orbital Sander Powered By Air
This sander will get your attention at first glance with its attractive red exterior. Unlike the regular sanders, this does not run on electricity. Rather, it runs on air. But it is powerful enough to work on woods and even on metals. Ingersoll Rand 328B orbital sander is specially designed for heavy-duty works. The dual-action pad motion is capable of creating swirl-free smooth finishes with its wide 8-inch disc. Professional workers would love this because it has a system that will make sure you do not tire your wrist. There is a lever throttle that will take all the pressure from your palm and wrist. This sander is a bit heavy as the whole body is metal covered in plastic. But the weight is helpful as it does all the work and all you have to do is glide the sander on the surface.
Good Aspects of Ingersoll Rand 328B
- Works on air power
- Low vibration
- Durable with .25 horsepower
- Variable speed
- Dual-action pad motion
- A wide 8-inch belt will cover a large area
- Balanced ball bearing construction
- Sturdy enough to handle heavy-duty work
- Not suitable to work in a confined, tight place
SKIL SR211601 Orbital Sander with Cyclonic Dust Box
Here is another sander from SKIL, which has a unique feature of a cyclonic dust box that is not present in other sanding machines. The SKIL SR211601 is a sander that is budget-friendly, easy to use, and high functioning. It has a powerful 2.8 amp motor that helps the disc run 13000 orbits per minute. The speed matches the famous sanders that come at higher prices. This is perfect for the newbies who want to work with professional tools but cannot afford them.
Features we like
- It comes with a speed control dial
- Powerful motor that delivers high speed
- Low vibration
- Can get into tight spaces
- Compact sized
- Ergonomic design
- Soft rubber grip for a comfortable hold
- Easy on/off switch
- It has a transparent dust collector that collects dust in an x-flow using a cyclone force.
- Easy to clean the dust collector
- Small dust collector
Safety Precautions You Should Follow
Anything can happen if you are careful enough while working with an electric machine. Here are some safety reminders to make sure your work is safe and you stay unharmed.
- Read the instructions and manual thoroughly before starting the machine
- Use protections like a dust mask and eye goggles so that the dust particle cannot cause trouble
- If there is a variable speed option, start from the lower speed for better control
- Do not wear loose fitted clothes that can get in the way while sanding
- Keep your hands steady and have a strong grip on the machine when it is at full speed
- Work in a clean, spacious area
- Try not to ship the sander on the edges if you do not want to round them
- Change the sanding paper grits step by step according to your need
- Make sure the sander is unplugged when you change the sanding disc
If you are here, that means you have been patient enough to go through every detail we had collected about orbital sanders. For sure, you are now clear about the types of orbital sanders available in the market and what they do. Based on the functionality, budget, performance, and customer satisfaction, we think Makita BO5041K is the preferable orbital sander available in recent times. Both professionals and newbies can use it easily. However, just because we chose the Makita BO5041K as the best orbital sander, it will not be suitable for you. The choice of everyone will not be the same as the work, and the needs will not match one another. So, choose the orbital sander that you like and make your dream projects come to life.
Are orbital sanders too costly?
There are numerous orbital sanders available in the market. They come at different price ranges. If you want something cheap, you will find sanders under 35 dollars, and if you are looking for high functioning professional ones, you will find them there too. An orbital sander is cheaper than a belt sander.
Are variable speed orbit sanders better?
This depends on your preference of whether your projects need a lower speed option or not. If you are new and learning how to handle a sander, I suggest getting a variable speed option to get comfortable first.
What is random orbital sander best used for?
The random orbital sanders are best used for ultra-smooth sanding. The tiny circular vibrations of the orbital sander can work on any wood, plastic, and metal, making it smooth and polished.
Are orbital sanders better than sheet sanders?
Orbital sanders are more versatile than any other sanders. While the 1/2 or 1/4 sheet sander can only smooth out flat surfaces, an orbital sander can round edges, take out rusts, polish, and many more. Different sanders do different jobs, but having an orbital sander can do many things on its own.