In this guide we’ll take a look at the best random orbit sanders.
I’ve compared performance, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Random Orbit Sander?
More Detailed Random Orbit Sander Reviews
This Makita random orbit sander has a 300-watt motor which delivers plenty of power to get the job done quickly. The variable speed of between 12,000 and 24,000 orbits per minute makes this tool easy to use and means you can work with delicate items without risk of damage as well as powering through larger, more robust items.
The built-in dust collector is really impressive, and you can also attach the machine to a vacuum cleaner to virtually eliminate mess.
The build quality is good, and the sander is very comfortable to use due to its ergonomic design which means it fits perfectly in the hand. The vibration produced is minimal which is a huge bonus for a sander. It is also very compact and manoeuvrable making it easy to sand delicate items and rounded surfaces.
The unit comes with one sanding disc which works well and stays attached firmly with to the Velcro pad on the tool. I would advise investing in a pack of good quality discs to go with this tool as in my experience the cheaper sandpaper discs don’t stick very well and wear out more quickly.
Overall this is a versatile and reliable workhorse that is easy, comfortable and clean to use.
The DEWALT DWE6423 Random Orbit Sander has a 280-watt variable speed motor that adjusts from 8,000-12,000 orbits per minute. This makes it ideal for a range of materials and for both tough jobs such as paint stripping and more delicate work. The low vibration and ergonomic design makes this sander comfortable to use even for long periods.
The sander has a very effective dust extraction system including a dust bag, however, it can also be connected to a dust extractor. The sanding sheets are easy to change due to the Velcro surface on the base plate and sheets.
This is a light, yet sturdy, good quality machine that will get the job done quietly and without mess.
The Bosch random orbit sander has a 220-watt motor and a continuous speed of 24,000 rpm. however, it doesn’t have a variable speed. The tool fits nicely into the hand and is comfortable to use. The sander can be used with both sanding and polishing discs to make light work of these DIY tasks.
The sanding discs fit securely with the Velcro fastening and the microfilter system ensures the working area remains fairly dust free. The machine can also be attached to a vacuum cleaner with a separately sold connector pack.
The build quality for this sander is excellent and it is light and comfortable to use.
This 240-watt sander has plenty of power for sanding and polishing tasks and provides 12,000 opm. It is reasonably quiet to use, and the vibration created is acceptable. The kit comes with 10 Velcro sanding discs in a variety of grits.
The cord on this sander was quite short so you will probably need to use an extension lead. The provided discs are a little flimsy but okay for medium to lightweight tasks. If you have a heavy-duty job to tackle, I would recommend buying some good quality sanding sheets to go with this machine
The dust extraction is fairly ineffective so make sure you wear a mask when using this tool and work in a well-ventilated area.
However, this machine still offers great value for money and is ideal if you want a tool for a one-off job or occasional use.
With its 430-watt motor and variable speed which is adjustable from 6000 to 13000 rpm this sander offers great value for money. It is a little noisy to use compared with the other products and does vibrate a bit more, but it is still a good machine at this price point. The dust extraction is not the most effective either.
However, the sander is light and easy to use and, in contrast to other models, this one has 2 handles so would be a good choice if you struggle to use a sander with one hand. It also comes with 9 sanding discs and 3 polishing pads which are of reasonable quality.
Random Orbit Sander Buying Guide
Sanding isn’t the most fun DIY or carpentry job, however, when done well it makes a huge difference to the finish of your project. Luckily, a random orbit sander can take out a lot of the hard work. You will get the job done in a fraction of the time and be ready for the more fun job of applying paints and finishes.
A random orbit sander can be used for a variety of DIY tasks including removing paint and varnish, preparing and smoothing wood and metal surfaces, removing stains and blemishes and polishing glass, plastic or metal.
The random orbit sander you choose will depend on the size of your task, how frequently you expect to use it and your budget. Sanders come in a range of prices and qualities with a variety of features. Of course, if you only need your it for a one-off job them a cheaper item may be more suitable. However, if you plan on using your sander a lot it might be worth investing in a higher end product that will give you the power, versatility and durability you need.
Either way, you should look for a sander with a variable speed and a good dust collection system as this will make the job more pleasant as well as avoiding unwanted scratches or gouges.
A random orbital sander has a round surface to which you can attach sandpaper discs with Velcro. When you turn the machine on, it will rotate and vibrate this surface. This provides an even sand with no circular patterns in the finished product.
There are several things to consider when buying a random orbit sander. Here are some key things to check before you buy.
The motor size will affect how powerful your machine is, however, it is not the only factor to consider. You should also look at the orbits or revolutions per minute that the sander can achieve. The higher this number, the quicker your sander will remove material and the sooner you will get the job done.
Random orbit sanders come in both single speed and variable speed varieties. I would recommend choosing a model with variable speed as this will be suitable for a range of applications from tough wood preparation to light sanding of intricate work. Basically, the more material you want to remove, the higher the speed you will use. If you only have a single speed you are more likely to damage delicate surfaces and create gouges and scratches. However, if you simply want to sand large, flat surfaces like doors and worksurfaces than a single speed sander will be fine.
It is part of the nature of sanders that they will vibrate. However, the amount of vibration will depend on the design and whether the machine is fitted with mechanisms to reduce vibration. In general, the lower end models will produce more noise and vibration than higher end models.
The effectiveness of the dust collection is a major factor in choosing a sander. Sanding wood and painted surfaces creates a lot of dust and mess and this can be harmful to the lungs. It also gets everywhere, so if you are using a sander indoors you may well find dust throughout the house if you use a tool that doesn’t have an adequate dust extraction system.
Ideally, choose a machine with an effective integral dust collection mechanism or choose one that can be connected to a vacuum cleaner. Even then, you should still wear a mask for extra protection. You will reap the benefit of an effective dust collector in the reduced amount of clearing up you have to do.
In addition, working without efficient dust collection means that the dust collects on the work and can wear out the sandpaper and damage the sander.
Comfort in use
If you are sanding flat horizontal surfaces, then weight might not be much of an issue. However, using a heavy sander to sand vertically or above your head can be wearing, so choose a light machine. An ergonomic design and comfortable rubber grip handle also mean you can work for longer without fatigue.
What speed setting should I use on my random orbit sander to strip gloss paint from a door?
Most tough sanding jobs are easier with a higher speed setting. However, when stripping paint, especially oil-based paints, a high speed can create a lot of heat which warms up the paint and smears it as well as clogging the sandpaper. I would recommend starting with a medium setting and see how it goes. If the surface begins to feel warm after a few minutes and you notice paint smearing, then turn the speed down a little.
What grit sandpaper discs should I use with my random orbit sander?
The grit you use depends on the task you are working on. A low grit number, such as will 60 remove material faster so are ideal for smoothing down a rough surface, but they will leave a certain amount of scratching. Higher grit numbers, such as 180 will create a smooth finish. If you are finishing a piece of wood, you should start with a lower number and gradually change to a medium and then higher number to achieve a silky-smooth finish.
I sometimes get random gouges in the wood when I use my random orbit sander. How can I prevent this?
There are a few guidelines you should follow when using your sander in order to get the best finish and avoid scratches, gouges and damage.
- Turn on the sander and let it spin up to speed before applying it to the wood.
- Always sand with the direction of the grain
- Do not apply much pressure to the sander, just enough to keep it in contact with the surface
- Remove the sander from the wood before turning it off.
- When sanding a flat surface, ensure that 2/3 of the sander is in contact with the wood at all times to keep it level. If you go off the edges you can round them and create an uneven surface.