Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews (2019): The Top Tools To Use
Sanders are a pretty simple tool. After all, they just move a sanding pad or disc so that you can smooth out a surface and create a lot of dust. The best random orbital sanders have come a long way since the days of creating big circular patterns in the wood you were working on. With the right tool, you can produce a surface finish that you’re going to love – as long as you have the features you need.
Our Favorite Random Orbital Sanders
Sanders may have dramatically improved over the past few years to provide a very consistent result, but not every model can produce the same finish. You should demand the very best. These top-rated random orbital sanders will give you the opportunity to maximize your woodworking skills.
|Picture||Product||Our Rating||Max OPM||Price|
|Porter Cable 5-Inch||4.4||12,000||$$|
|Black and Decker BDERO100||4.5||12,000||$|
|Black and Decker BDERO600||4.9||14,000||$$|
What Features Do the Best Random Orbital Sanders Have?
If you’re looking for the best random orbital sander, then it is important to find the one that has the features you need to get the job done. That’s where the reviews in this category can provide you with real benefits. Not only do you need the feature to be present, but you also need it to actually work as intended.
Here are the best features to consider having when looking to add a sander to your toolbox today.
- Sawdust collection. Many random orbital sanders will collect some dust in an attached bag or container. The best sanders tend to include air filtering with the dust collection so that you don’t have extra particulates floating in your air for some time.
- Handle length. If your random orbital sander has a longer handle, then it will be able to support two-handed use. Although this isn’t always necessary with this type of tool, it can give you an advantage when you have a stubborn work piece that you’re trying to finish.
- Sanding discs. Many sanders use a standard sanding disc that can be purchased just about anywhere. Some models, however, such as some Craftsman orbital sanders, use a two-piece abrasive disc instead and these can be difficult to find sometimes – even when shopping online.
Additional features to consider looking at include OPM speed, cord length, and motor amps. A longer cord will give you greater tool flexibility. Some models use a rechargeable battery to eliminate the cord tether altogether. OPM speed is a reflection of the sanding disc movement, but it can also be a reflection of the vibration to expect when using this tool. Motor amps is a good feature to look at if you’re expecting to use your sander for long periods of time on a daily basis.
How a Random Orbital Sander is Different than Other Sanders
In Woodworking Nation, the term “orbital sander” is a widely used description for just about any power sander that doesn’t use a belt. There are some key differences to consider between the best random orbital sanders and other sanding tools. Compare to make sure you’re getting the right tool to get your work done.
A random orbital sander is equipped with a circular sanding disc. Some rechargeable models may be equipped with a triangular disc or a two-part disc. In comparison, a standard orbital standard is equipped with a square sanding disc. This difference allows the random orbital sander to produce a smoother finish in tighter spaces.
A random orbital sander creates more of a natural finish because it creates a random sanding pattern through its vibration. Sheet sanders and similar designs can still create a smooth finish, but without the randomness, so you’re forced to confine yourself to grain sanding patterns to create a good result.
What Are the Different Types of Random Orbital Sanders?
There are three different types of random orbital sanders that are available today. The differences in each type are rather subtle and can often be overlooked, especially if a particular model is feature-rich. Yet each type of sander is able to produce a specific result that your woodworking projects may need.
- Right Angle Sanders. These tend to be the most common sanders that are available. They give you extra power and speed, giving you the opportunity to remove stubborn imperfections with relative ease. The size and design also allow for tough sanding without much risk to the working piece.
- Palm Grip Sanders. This type of sander tends to be smaller and designed for finishing fine surfaces. Framing and trim really benefit from a touch-up by a palm grip sander, especially since its size allows the user to reach areas that other orbital sanders may not be able to reach.
- Inline Sanders. If you have a big sanding project that needs to be completed, then this is the best random orbital sander for you. This type of sander tends to have the strongest motors, offer variable speeds, and give you the most personal control over the tool.
In all of these different categories, you’ll find that there are still a lot of similarities. Most random orbital sanders have been equipped with a motor that can produce at least 7,000 orbits per minute, with some having an OPM rating above 14,000. Variable speed models may go as slow as 1,500 orbits per minute.
Each will also typically offer sanding discs that are 5-7 inches in diameter. It is a good idea to search for replacement discs when purchasing your sander just to make sure they are available.
Having taken everything into account, we’ve decided that the title of best random orbital sander should go to the Porter-Cable 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander – an affordable yet effective choice for most users.
What will it cost me to buy the Best Random Orbital Sanders?
Most random orbital sanders can be purchased for about the same price you’d pay for sanding papers to complete a woodworking project. It is a tool that almost always costs less than $100, with several models hovering around the $50 price point.
Professional tools for daily use, such as a carpenter or a general contractor may need, come with a higher cost. Expect these sanders to be priced around $250.
Let’s Have a Look at Some Reviews
This sander is able to produce consistent results, whether you’re performing heavy duty sanding or you just have light sanding needs. It works best when you’re sanding veneer or a soft wood where you’re trying to even out the surface, but can tackle tougher jobs as well. It’s not quite an all-purpose sander, but it comes pretty close. It’s a no-frills product that goes about the business of getting some sanding done. All you need to do is choose your preferred grit, take advantage of the hook and loop system, and then get to work.
We found the finish that this random orbit sander to be comparable to models that cost 3-4 times more than this little tool. The 5-inch size is a little small for larger projects if you’re looking for complete consistency, but that’s the only real drawback we see here. If you want a smooth surface, this sander will create it in no time at all. You can quickly change out your sandpaper disc with this power sander thanks to the attachment system it includes. The seal is stronger than other models tend to provide as well, allowing you to have a secure fit for a longer period of time.
All power sanders struggle to collect dust. Let’s just get that straight right now. Where some models might spray dust everywhere and hope a little bit is collected, DeWalt has created a sander that attempts to deposit the mess into a soft collection bag. It’s not perfect, but it is better than any other model we looked at, so it earns a recommendation here. The dust bag also features a one-hand locking system.
Although your hand grip must wrap around the machine for full control, Makita has given users access to multiple grip options. A wrap-around rubberized grip along the head of the sander gives you better open-grip control than most other sanders are able to provide. There’s also a top-handle grip that can be used for added downward pressure. The manufacturer has also equipped this 5-inch sander with a 1/8-inch random orbit action, creating a surface that is noticeably smoother when compared to what similar models can provide.
The variable speed dial is conveniently placed so that you can quickly change speeds based on the tasks you need to complete. It is possible to accidentally bump the dial, however, so hand placement is critical when using this random orbit sander. We also felt that the hand grip on this Bosch sander is ergonomically comfortable. It’s also large enough to handle a two-handed grip for those moments when you may have a rough sanding project to complete. One of the most common complaints about the use of a random orbit sander is that the tool leaves rounded swirl marks in the wood. We did not have this issue at all thanks to the pad dampening system that Bosch has included with this tool.
This orbital sander comes with 9 sanding pads and 3 polishing pads, allowing woodworkers to get right back to finishing their project. The 3.5-amp motor is appropriately powerful, giving you variable speeds of 6000-13,000 RPM with consistency. The base pad is of the standard design, keeping your papers or polishers secure under most operating conditions. The dust collection bag and port does tend to get jammed up pretty easily, but that doesn’t affect the actual sanding result. It’s a good price on a consistent sander, so it’s worthwhile for everyone to give it a closer look.
We liked the extra-large size of this random orbital sander, providing 6.5 inches of actual coverage. This makes quick work of larger projects, but doesn’t disturb the finish that you’re able to achieve. The best part about this sander is its “turbo mode,” which gives you an aggressive sanding experience that quickly removes roughness or foreign items from your working piece. If you like to do refinishing work, then this is going to be the sander that you’ll want to have at home or in your shop.
This random orbit sander gives you a slightly lower sanding speed than some other models. It also has less speed variation than other models. Yet the 3-amp motor helps it to provide consistent and predictable results. If you’re trying to achieve a smooth finish, then this is the tool that can provide it for you. The features are somewhat basic, but the grips included on the design give you a stable grip with minimal vibration. We were highly pleased with the results achieved and believe you will be as well.
It’s a smaller random orbit sander that provides a high OPM rate (14,000), but from just a 2.4-amp motor. The end result is a high speed sanding that doesn’t put a lot of pressure onto your working piece, giving you the ability to create a polished finish with relative ease. The dust collection component of this sander is satisfactory, though you will see sawdust on your working piece. The paddle-switch makes activation easy and the top grip allows for added pressure when you may need it. This sander is an excellent value purchase by any definition.
10. SKIL 2.8-Amp
This 5-inch random orbit sander gives you the precise pressure controls you need to create a finished product. The actual power and movement is somewhat average on this sander, coming in at 2.8-amps and 12,500 OPM. It’s four levels of pressure control, indicated by an LED ranking system on the side of the sander, that makes this corded unit stand out. By understanding your pressure, you can create a smooth, level surface every single time. It performed consistently well and earned its recommendation from us.
The best random orbital sander reviews will help you to find the one tool that will make quick work of your finishing needs. Find it today and then let your creativity shine throughout the woodworking nation.