Sanding is a difficult task, and if you are thinking of sanding a huge deck by hand, that will be exhausting. To save trouble, you should invest in some good quality sanding machines that can take care of your deck and help you with other wooden projects. Maintaining a deck is pretty expensive, so doing it yourself is always a good idea. If you were thinking the same, then welcome aboard. Here we will recommend some of the best sanders for your deck so that you can look at their specifications and functions to figure out what you need. This might be a long read, but we have tried our best to make it straightforward so that you do not feel like wasting time here.
Different Types Of Sanders For Woodworking
There are a variety of sanding machines available in the market. We will not be wasting your time discussing every single of them. However, we will discuss some of the famous, versatile, and best sanding machines for the deck here. They are-
The belt sander is a device run by electricity with an abrasive coated belt that rotates and sands the surface. Belts are mounted on two cylinder-shaped drums. When the electric motor runs, the belt gains speed. It is one of the most common types of sanders available in the market. These come in different price ranges so that everyone can afford one in their budget.
Random Orbital Sander
The random orbital sander has round discs with sandpaper attached to it. They are portable, versatile, and lightweight. It has two types of movement, like revolving in a circular motion while vibrating in a circle. It creates a swirl-free polished look while working. Random orbital sanders help smooth or polish surfaces.
Wood Floor Sander
The wood floor sander is usually a big and heavy sanding machine that commercial users mostly use. Usually, drum, planer, sheet, or orbital sanders are the ones they use for sanding decks. These are quite heavy and hard to move from here to there. Some of them might weigh over 100 pounds or so. They are extremely powerful and can damage the wooden surface if not handled by a professional.
These sanders have a flat surface that can take belts of 9×11 inch sandpaper. This means that the sander can cover large flat areas. Interestingly, the sander uses tiny orbital vibrations to sand down surfaces to sand a wooden deck from any direction quite effectively.
Confused About The Sandpaper?
There are tons of sandpapers to choose from to sand your wooden deck. But the question remains, are they all effective, or will you just be wasting your money? If you are new, make sure to research first and find the sandpapers that are especially suitable for wooden surfaces because these sandpapers use natural abrasives that work well to remove stains and uneven materials. Another important part is deciding the grit of the sandpaper you will work with. This depends on the type of work and the type of wood you have on your deck. You can start with 80 grit sandpaper to remove materials and smooth out the surfaces, and if some are still left, you can go over with 150 grit sandpaper. These sandpapers will ensure there are no rough spots so that your deck is smooth as butter.
Tips For Sanding A Wooden Deck
Sanding a wooden deck might sound easy, but it is not. You could think that all you have to do is get some sanding machines and sand away. But that is not the case here. Before sanding any wooden deck, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to consider power washing the deck. You usually need to power-wash the deck every year to get rid of any dirt build-ups or staining. It is necessary to power wash before sanding because the wash might cause the wood grain to rise and uneven the deck. In that case, you need the best sander for removing deck stain to prolong its longevity. When you sand the deck, you can make it even again to end up with a smooth deck.
Secondly, you must check the deck for any nails and screws that can cause problems when using your sanding machine. Countersink all those nails and screws with a nail punch for a safe workspace.
Lastly, make sure you sand the railings properly. When you first look at a deck, the first thing you notice is the railings. If you do not sand them properly, it will seem like the whole deck has been sanded poorly. So ensure that the railings are well sanded, and all the splinters have been taken care of. Use your hand to sand difficult corners that your sanding machine cannot reach.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best Deck Sanding Machines
Sanding a deck is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and effort. If you are not hiring a professional for this job and thinking about going on your own, then make sure to go through the buyer’s guide to know the dos and don’ts. Here we have discussed all that you need to keep in mind before buying a sanding machine.
Choosing the right type of sander is very important in this case. To work on a deck, we will suggest you go for the belt sanders over orbital sanders. These sanders are perfect for refinishing with their speed and powerful motor. Some might recommend the random orbit sander, as they are lightweight and attractive. But they work in a controlled manner to give a precise finish which takes a lot of time to cover a large area.
If you have ever sanded anything, you know how messy it gets. Sanding a big area like a deck can create a lot of dust that can cause severe health issues. So it is essential to have a dust collection system with the sander. However, even with a dust collection system, you still need proper precautions like masks and safety gear. The dust collection system will gather all the dust in a bag rather than spray it around the workspace. It helps to keep the place neat. A deck is a large place that will create a lot of dust while working with a sander. To avoid that, you can attach the dust port with a vacuum hose so that it can suck down all the dust and keep the environment clean. Make sure the sanding machine you are buying supports attaching a vacuum hose.
Corded or Cordless?
Here is another thing that confuses people. They do not know whether they should go for the corded sanders or the cordless ones. No worry, we are here to answer all your questions. We suggest going for the corded sanders if you work on a large wide surface like the deck. The cordless sanders use batteries instead of electric power. They might be portable, but they are not suitable for these works. You will get tired of changing the batteries frequently and spending money over it while the corded ones will need nothing and work for constant long hours.
Another necessary thing to look at is the noise level of the sanders. The sanding machines create loud noises, which is uncomfortable. There are two solutions to this. First, you can invest in good quality ear protection that will go over your ears to protect them from noise. They can get a bit uncomfortable to keep on for long hours. Secondly, you can spend extra money to get a sanding machine with lower decibels, meaning they create less noise. We suggest getting a sander that generates low noise so that you can have fewer angry neighbors.
You will not have to spend an enormous amount of money behind sanders to get the right one. There are tons of sanders available with different features and price ranges. Some have the same features but offer a budget-friendly friendly price and also perform well. Comparing the prices and functionality can help decide the best one. If you buy a sanding machine to only sand your deck and for no other purposes, do not go for those with fancy features. Look for those that are good in power and speed and can work for long hours.
Some of the sanders come with a fixed speed, and some come with a variable speed option. The speed depends on what type of work you are going to do. High speed is helpful to sand out the top layer of the deck, and then you can lower down the settings to get an even smooth surface. The variable speed dial controls the speed of a sander. It can come in handy when you work on the railings of your deck.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Buying a Sander For Deck
Before sanding the deck, ensure that the deck is fully dry. It has to stay dry throughout the entire process. You must avoid sanding it if it is even slightly moist or damp. Check on the weather before starting to work. Still, if the weather hits hard, you have to wait till the deck dries completely before continuing the work.
Safety Issues You Must Know
You need to read out the safety instructions before using any electronic machines. Here you will have to take the exact safety measurements when working on a small wooden project at home. A large area like a deck can create a lot of dust which can enter the lungs and eyes and cause irritation. Moreover, some chemical coating on top of the deck also mixes with the dust and enters the body. To prevent this, you will have to wear a protective mask or eye-protecting gear. You might also consider getting some hearing protection to save your eardrums from the loud noise of the sanding machine. Lastly, try to get some knee pads to protect your knees, as you will mostly be on your knees while working on the deck.
What is The Best Sander for Decks? Top 10 List
If you are thinking about sanding your deck, you need some tools to help you with that. It is not possible to sand the whole deck by hand all by yourself. Here are some of the best sanders that are suitable for the decks for you to check. There are sanders of different brands, types, sizes, and functionality. We have chosen the most popular ones that had the support of satisfied customer reviews. Moreover, we have also added the pros and cons, and specifications to ensure you know all the details before purchasing any sander. Read till the end, and I assure you, you will find the one you need right here.
Makita 9403 Belt Sander With Rotatable Dust Bag
Makita 9403 is the famous belt sander in the market. It is well known for its low noise and a dust bag that rotates 360 degrees for user convenience. The belt is 4×24 inches which means it is wide enough to handle any big project. With an 11 amp motor, it can reach a speed of 1640 feet per minute. There is no adjustable speed option, but there is a rotatable dust bag that is adjustable. It means you can move around the dust bag according to your convenience and reach the corners or the edges without the dust bag getting in the way. Makita 9403 sanding machine is durable and specially designed for flush sanding across the wall.
Pros of Makita 9403 Belt Sander
- High power motor takes on rough materials well
- Wide belt covers a large area
- Best belt sander for deck
- Dust bag swivels 360 degrees
- Comes with a long power cord
- Has a large front grip
- Low noise level
- Labyrinth construction saves the ball bearings from contamination
- no variable speed dial
- no auto-tracking belt
Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Disc Random Orbit Sander For Deck
This random orbit sander from Makita comes with a wide 5-inch disc and a strong 3 amp motor. As it weighs only about 3.09 pounds, it is lightweight and portable. Easy to work with for long hours without getting fatigued or tired. It has an exclusive extra adjustable and removable handle, which allows you to hold this sander in three different ways according to your needs. Also, a pad braking system in this sander will stop extra gouging and increase performance. Makita BO5041K belt sander has a lock-on button that keeps the sander on while you use the sander freely. The dust collection system is as always quite impressive, which is common in the Makitas.
Things We Like About Makita BO5041K Random Orbit Sander
- Variable speed control allows using the sander in low or high speed
- Pad braking system prevents extra gouging
- Extra adjustable and removable handle
- Hook and loop sandpaper is easily replaceable
- Rubberized palm grip ensures a comfortable hold
- Dust collection port can attach to a vacuum hose or a dust bag
- Does not come with an adapter to attach it to a vacuum hose
Cordless DEWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander
Dewalt presents a cordless and brushless orbital sander that provides enough power and runtime you will need to get your job done. This lightweight Dewalt DCW210B orbital sander weighs only 2.56 pounds, which helps to work a long time without getting fatigued. The tiny cordless sander has a variable speed option that allows choosing between 8000 to 12000 OPM.
Pros of Dewalt DCW210B Orbital Sander
- Cordless and brushless
- Works on 20V battery
- Low height makes it easy to reach places
- Variable speed option
- 8 hole hook and loop sanding pad is easy to change
- Dust sealed switch
- Dust port can attach to vacuum hoses
- Texturized overmold grip
- The charger and batteries do not come with the sander. You will have to buy them separately.
BOSCH GET75-6N Electric Orbital Sander Featuring Two Sanding Modes
Unlike the regular orbital sanders available in the market, the Bosch GET75-6N orbital sander comes with two sanding modes to choose from. One is the standard random orbital sander that removes an average amount of material. The other is turbo-driven eccentric orbit mode that runs five times faster than the normal mode making it suitable for aggressive stock removal. The price might be high, but it will save you so much time and hassle that you would agree that this was worth every penny.
- Weighing only 5.7 pounds
- Has a powerful 7.5 amp motor
- Turbo mode that will get rid of rough edges fast
- Versatile designs lower the vibration
- Ergonomic and comfortable grip
- Comes with a dust box to collect all messy dust
- Dust port is attachable to a vacuum hose
- Pad dampening braking system prevents swirl marks
- Microcellular hook and loop pads are easy to attach
- Multi holed pads are compatible with various abrasive discs
- Replacement pads are hard to find
Ingersoll Rand 311A Quiet Air Sander Suitable for Heavy-Duty
The exclusive ball-bearing construction ensures improved handling and control in this sander. Ingersoll Rand 311A weighs only about 4.2 pounds but comes with a 6-inch disc that makes your work easier and more efficient. It can handle heavy-duty jobs pretty easily as the dual-action sander creates swirl-free smooth finishes. This heavy-duty air sander is perfect for feather edging, metal preparation, and other sophisticated fine detailed work. An adjustable speed gives you the freedom to choose the speed you need.
What are the Features of Ingersoll Rand 311A Quiet Air Sander?
- Compact and lightweight
- Dual-action swirl-free performance
- Built in silencer makes this sander quiet
- Ball bearing construction makes it controllable
- Low vibration
- Variable speed control
- Optimum precision
- One year warranty
- It consumes much more air than other air sanders
Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander With Enormous Machine (Ideal For Professionals)
This sander is probably the most expensive and the heaviest of them all. The Lagler Hummel belt floor sander is the best floor sander ever known. It comes with an enormous machine power that can take on any surface and deliver quality results. Also, it combines an aggressive sanding drum, a three-stage drum pressure regulation, and a belt tensioning device with auto belt guidance to ensure good quality sanding.
Things We Like About Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander
- Weighs about 175 pounds
- Has a LED light
- Also comes with a paddle handle
- High power extreme sanding
- Belts are changeable within seconds
- Three times adjustable pressure
- Low dust emissions
- Spacious dust bag for collecting dust effectively
- Lifespan is over 30 years
- Has 33 feet or more long power cord
- It is quite expensive
Low Vibration Makita BO4900V 1/2 Sheet Finishing Sander
Weighing only about 5.94 pounds, the Makita BO4900V sheet finishing sander comes with a 2.9 amp motor which is powerful enough to take on the rough edges. The ergonomic handles have rubber grips that also minimize vibration. It also has a speed variable system that controls the speed, going high up to 10000 OPM and low till 4000 OPM. This sheet sander uses sandpaper that attaches in a hook and loop system, making it easier to find and replace. The dust collection system is also quite accurate as it collects dust from the holes in the sheet, and it works better if you are using a vacuum. It sucks up all the dust, and so you will not even need a mask to keep you safe from the dust.
Pros of Makita BO4900V Sheet Finishing Sander
- Variable speed
- Accurate dust collection system
- Standard paper sizes
- Comfortable and sturdy grip
- Low vibrations
- Cam-lock clamping lever for easy paper changes
- Large trigger switch
- For sandpaper it has a hook and loop system
- Regular sandpaper needs to get punched holes to match the machine
Cons of Makita BO4900V Sheet Finishing Sander
- Does not come with a punch plate
- It is expensive
Lightweight SKIL SR250801 Corded Detail Sander
This sander from SKIL is the lightest among all the previous sanders we have talked about. This mini-sized sander weighs only about 2.31 pounds and comes with a 1 amp motor. However, it is really powerful when it starts to work. It works with 120 grit sandpaper to do the detailed work. The weight and motor power might deceive you till you see the speed. It can reach 12000 orbits per minute which is higher than many other sanding machines with a more powerful motor. This tough SKIL SR250801 sander has a tiny dust collector with a micro filtering system attached to it. To assure comfort, it also has a counterweight system that lowers the vibration.
Features of SKIL SR250801 Detailed Sanding Machine
- 1 amp motor creates a speed of 12000 OPM
- Low vibration
- Easily changeable sandpapers
- Micro filtering, transparent dust collection system
- Rubber grip for comfort
- Dust sealed on/off switch
- One year warranty
- Can reach tight places
- Suitable sandpapers are hard to find
Durable Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander with Variable Speed
This random orbital sander from Bosch is quite famous in the market. It has been a long time, and it is still in demand. The Bosch Ros20vsc palm sander has a pad dampening system that eliminates the annoying swirl marks left after sanding. With a 2.5 amp motor, the sander offers a variable speed option so that you can choose a high or low speed according to your need. It also has an improved dust collection system that collects micro particles of dust. Now you can have a clean, dust-free work area without any hassle of cleaning for hours. Replacing the sanding pad is also quite easy for the hook and loop system that works and sticks like a Velcro.
Pros Of The Bosch Ros20vsc Palm Sander
- Micro filtering dust collection system
- Pad dampening system eliminates swirl marks
- Variable speed control
- Hook and loop system makes it easy to replace sanding discs
- Portable with a comfy grip
- Strong motor helps with high speed
- Dust port can connect with a vacuum hose
- Does not come with a hard case
Cordless Ryobi P411 One+ Random Orbit Power Best Sander for Small Deck
This battery-powered random orbit sander works pretty well with a low voltage of 18 volts. Also, it is lightweight as it weighs only 2.5 pounds which makes it easy to use and handle. Ryobi P411 One+ works on battery, so you will not have a limited work range with a cord. You can take this anywhere to work and get splinter-free projects. The sander can work pretty fast, going at a rate of 10000 orbits per minute. However, the experts have advised using this for small household projects as it might not be suitable for professional work in large areas.
Advantages Of Ryobi P411 One+ Random Orbit Sanding Machine
- Cordless, no issues with cords
- Rubber overgrip gives a comfortable hold
- Low vibrations
- Compact size
- Comes with a dust bag
- Vacuum hose is attachable too
- Hook and loop system makes changing sanding pads easy
- It does not come with a battery or any charger
Working on sanding decks can be exhausting, but it will all be worth it seeing the results. Sanding machines are there to give you finesse and perfection. Using the right tools can save a lot of money and hard work. This article has most of the details you would need about sanders suitable for you. Choose one that suits your budget and requirements. Sanding machines are a useful thing to keep in the house. It can help repair small wooden objects and also help you in some DIY projects. Most of the sanders mentioned here come with a warranty, so the sanders will not disappoint you.
Is it better if I sand or power wash the deck?
If your deck has a splinter, rough edges, or cracks, you can sand the deck first and then power-wash it. However, if it has moss, mold, or other things growing on it, the deck will need some treatments for that.
Can I use floor sanders for sanding my deck?
Some homeowners prefer buying a floor sander for their deck. However, this is not that of a great idea. The floor sanders are suitable for flat surfaces only, and the deck is usually slightly curved. So it will not be able to do even sanding.
Which grit sandpaper is suitable for the deck?
For the main deck boards, you can use 60 or 80 grit sandpaper and on the handrails, try to use 80 to 100 grit sandpapers. Ensure you have a good dust collection system that will not let any dust settle on the newly sanded surface.
Do I need to wash the deck after sanding?
Yes. You need to clean the deck after sanding it. There are some deck cleaners or deck wash that help to lift dirt from the deck surfaces.
What happens if it rains while sanding the deck?
The deck needs to be dry when you sand, no matter what. If it is not completely dry but moist or damp, you cannot work on it. So if it rains in the middle of your work, you will go to step one phase, where you dry the deck thoroughly then start all over again. So you need to acquire the right sander for the outdoor deck.
Should I sand a deck before oiling?
If you own a deck and want it to stay good as new for a long time, you will have to sand and oil it regularly. Before oiling, the deck must be smooth and clean, and free from all kinds of debris. If it has splinters, cracks, or rough edges, you will have to sand it down and make it smooth again.
What happens if I skip sanding and go straight to staining?
If you skip sanding, the stain can highlight imperfections like scratches and bumps in the wood and look unattractive. The purpose of sanding is to smooth out the surface so that the stain comes clean and the deck looks polished and stylish.