It’s often difficult to settle on a cheap random orbit sander. You’re stuck between two worlds: you either get a low OPM solution that doesn’t sand well; or you get an overpowered unit that puts swirl patterns into your working piece. The Black and Decker random orbit sander, model BDERO100, is a good compromise between functionality and price.
Here are the observations we made when taking a recent look at this small, but quite useful, power sander.
#1. It offers users a high removal rate. 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.
#2. The dust-sealed switch isn’t as useful as you might think. The dust collection system is somewhat useful on this random orbit sander. Black and Decker has created a dust-sealed switch that keeps dust and debris out of that compartment, but you’ll find dust creeping into the machine through the air intake and exhaust points. We found it necessary to blow out the sander after every other use in order to maintain it.
#3. The hook and loop system is useful. 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.
#4. The grip on this power sander is not comfortable at all. Instead of gripping the top of the sander in order to use it, Black and Decker encourages you to grasp the sander from the side. This means you’re forced to use the sander with an open grip. With the vibration and natural movement of the randomized orbits, it makes you feel like you’re not in complete control of the experience. It’s the biggest complaint we have about the design and functionality of this sander.
#5. It’s power cord is just 6-feet in length. You really don’t want to use an extension cord with this power sander. It reduces the maximum OPM that can be produced when you do, which can create inconsistent results. The cord is just long enough at 6 feet to be useful on a workbench or for on-site work. If that doesn’t fit your needs, then the best random orbit sander for you might be a rechargeable model.
#6. This sander has plastic bushings that hold the head to the main body. We can see the natural vibrations of the sander wearing out the plastic bushings over time, especially if you plan on using this sander extensively.
If you’re looking for an affordable power sander for occasional woodworking, then the Black and Decker random orbit sander can get the job done. It has a few faults for sure, but it also has the strength to tackle a tough project here and there to produce a reliable result.