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6 Best Drywall Sanders (2021 Review)

The best drywall sander should be able to give you a glass-like finish on plaster. Whether it’s handheld or telescopic, you should be looking for at least 600W of mains power and a variable speed dial or pre-sets that control a no-load speed that should range between 500 and 2,000 rpm. If you are looking for a telescopic drywall sander it should measure between 1 and 1.5 metres when closed and between 1.6m and 2m when extended. The best drywall sanders come with one or more bright LED work lights, great for showing up imperfections in the plaster. Some drywall sanders come with pivoting heads too.

One of the most important features though for this sander, and in fact any type of power sander, is the dust extraction facility. The best plasterboard sanders have effective vacuum systems that run the length of the handle and empty either into your shop vacuum or a special dust bag that is included with the sander.

I’ve pulled together the best ones on the market right now, so read on and see what I’ve found out…

What is the Best Drywall Sander For You?

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Comparing the Best Drywall Sanders

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Type
  • Power
  • Sanding Pad Diameter
  • No-Load Speed
  • Telescopic Length
  • LED Pivoting Head
  • Weight
  • Discs Included
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Drywall Sanders

Einhell Long Handle Drywall Sander Einhell Long Handle Drywall Sander

Best lightweight drywall sander

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.25
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Einhell Long Handle Drywall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Telescopic
  • Power: 600W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 600-1,500rpm
  • Telescopic Length: 1.65m
  • LED Pivoting Head: No
  • Weight: 3.6kg
  • Discs Included: 6

German tool brand Einhell are a recognisable name when it comes to home DIY power tools. Their TC-DW drywall sander is one of the best plasterboard sanders I’ve come across. Boasting the large size 225 mm sanding head, it should make short work of plastered walls and ceilings.

Compared to the Evolution wall sander, the 600-Watt motor might feel a little underpowered. But it’s also nearly half the weight. When you’ve got to sand big ceilings, your back and arms will thank you that the Einhell weighs a mere 3.2 kg. If you need a light weight and nippy tool, this is the best wall polisher you can get. It extends up to 165 cm, so will reach most ceilings.

The other thing I really like about the Einhell extendable drywall sander is the handle configuration. They’ve opted for a T-grip handle at the back. This comes into its own when you’re working above your head. You can push up with your palm for good ceiling contact. The only thing missing is a work light of any sort.

Pros

  • Having a case to store everything is great. When you’re dealing with a tool that has multiple accessories, somewhere to put everything is handy.
  • Drywall sanders are normally heavy bits of kit. Luckily, this one is about as light as they come. Seeing as you use them above your head a lot, any weight reduction is welcome!
  • The handles are well shaped and help you get the right grip for sanding ceilings. You can put plenty of upward pressure on the T-shaped rear handle.

Cons

  • The standard length (before you attach the extension) is short. At just over one metre it’s 40 cm shorter compared with the Grandma Shark telescopic sander.
  • I’ve found that LED lights on the sanding head make the job much easier. Not having any makes this sander a little less effective.
  • You only get 600 Watts of power to play with. Compared with the Evolution 069-0001 it’s got a lot less grunt.

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Orion Motor Tech Extendable Drywall Sander Orion Motor Tech Extendable Drywall Sander

Best for collecting dust

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Orion Motor Tech Extendable Drywall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Telescopic
  • Power: 800W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 500-1,800rpm
  • Telescopic Length: 1.8m
  • LED Pivoting Head: Yes
  • Weight: 4.75kg
  • Discs Included: 12

Boasting a large range of DIY and automotive tools, Orion Motor Tech have made one of the best budget drywall sanders that I’ve tried out. It’s not as refined as the Evolution telescopic sander, but it’s a solid tool that gets the job done.

The 800-Watt motor is more than enough to deal with lumpy plasterboard. You can set it to one of six different speeds depending on the task at hand. The vacuum dust extraction system is powerful enough to get rid of most particulate from the work area as well.

There’s a pair of LED light strips on the sanding head for finding those high spots. You can also remove portions of the brush head to get right up to the edge of the wall or ceiling. But what makes this one of the best drywall sanders is the included dust bag. If you don’t have access to a shop vac it collects the dust neatly for you. Very handy.

Pros

  • The wearable dust bag is a bit of a game changer. You don’t need to drag a heavy dust extractor about behind you. The only limit is the length of the power cord!
  • I’m always a fan when a manufacturer includes plenty of consumables. 12 sanding pads of two different grits will get you working straight away.
  • The telescopic length is quite impressive. Fully extended you can reach up to 1.8 metres, long enough for the highest ceilings.
  • The LED work lights are effective at illuminating the sanding area. It makes sanding in high corners a bit easier.
  • The detachable edging pad means you can get close to the edges of walls or ceilings. It’ll save you quite a lot of time to get that perfect finish.

Cons

  • This is a DIY level drywall sander. The components aren’t designed for heavy duty or professional use.
  • Several users have had problems with the included instructions. There’s some assembly required, and better illustrated guidance would be appreciated.
  • The dust bag frees you up from heavy extractors but doesn’t work as well. There’s limited suction, so don’t expect it to collect 100% of the dust.

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Evolution Power Tools Telescopic Dry Wall Sander Evolution Power Tools Telescopic Dry Wall Sander

Best for extended length

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Evolution Power Tools Telescopic Dry Wall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Telescopic
  • Power: 710W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 600-1,500rpm
  • Telescopic Length: 1.97m
  • LED Pivoting Head: Yes
  • Weight: 5.8kg
  • Discs Included: 6

Evolution’s telescopic drywall sander is the best choice for sanding walls and ceilings. It has a huge sanding head as well as unbeatable reach. The brilliant onboard lighting system illuminates even the darkest corners of a room.

The first thing I noticed about this is the size. It’s enormous compared to some of the competition. With close to two metres of reach it’ll tackle even the highest Georgian ceiling. The 225 mm wide sanding head makes all the difference when you’re sanding big walls as well.

You can choose variable speed settings up to 1,500 rpm. The handles are comfortable, but what makes this the best plasterboard sander is the lighting. The ring of LEDs creates a halo of bright light around the sanding head itself for maximum visibility. But if it’s still gloomy, you can turn on the powerful attached torch. It will show up any bits of rough plaster you missed the first time.

Pros

  • Unbeatable telescopic reach lets you reach up to almost two metres. Compared to the Einhell TC-DW 225, you get an extra 32 cm reach. It might make all the difference.
  • The 0 – 90° pivoting head allows you to comfortably sand walls or ceilings. It effortlessly follows the angle of the surface you’re working on.
  • The fact that there’s two separate lighting systems is excellent. Evolution have taken the time to understand the biggest problem with plasterboard sanding: visibility.
  • The dust extraction hose is nice and long. You should be able to work in most room sizes in a regular house.

Cons

  • There are much lighter drywall sanders available. Compared to the Evolution 069-0001 handheld sander, it’s a whole 3 kg heavier.
  • The range of speeds compared to the Orion Motor Tech sander aren’t as good. 600 – 1,500 rpm doesn’t give you as much control.
  • Some users have had issues with the LED lights. They might not be particularly durable.
  • Make sure you get the right sanding discs if you want the dust extraction to work. The 225 mm pads need to have eight extraction holes that line up correctly.
  • Unfortunately, in comparison with the Einhell TC-DW, it doesn’t come with any sort of case.

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Grandma Shark Drywall SanderGrandma Shark Drywall Sander

Best budget drywall sander

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Grandma Shark Drywall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Telescopic
  • Power: 750W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 500-1,800rpm
  • Telescopic Length: 1.78m
  • LED Pivoting Head: Yes
  • Weight: 8.1kg
  • Discs Included: 12

If you’re looking for a drywall sander with a strange name, the Grandma Shark is the tool for you. Bizarre name aside, it’s one of the best budget drywall sanders I’ve tried out so far.

With a 750 Watt motor, this drywall sander keeps up with the big boys. The six selectable speeds range from 500 – 1,800 rpm. Not bad for an inexpensive sander. Like the Einhell, Grandma Shark have opted for the super comfortable T-shaped rear handle. I’m a fan of this setup for ceiling sanding jobs.

You can connect it up to a dust extractor easily. Or for portability, strap the dust bag to you and collect the dust as you go. And for those high jobs, the telescopic attachment will help you reach up to nearly 1.8 metres.

Pros

  • I like the control setup. Everything you need to run the sander is in reach of one hand. Compare this with the Orion Motor Tech sander, you could almost call this a one-handed machine.
  • You can lock off the trigger, which will come in handy on long sanding jobs.
  • The handles are comfortable and well-designed. The rear “T” shaped handle is ideal for upward pressure.
  • Supplied with 12 sanding pads, there’s no reason why you can’t start work immediately.
  • Grandma Shark have included a large carry bag that everything fits into. I’m always a fan of included storage. It’s not a hard case, but this will do the trick.

Cons

  • It’s not as powerful compared with the Orion Motor Tech telescopic sander. There’s 750 Watts to play with, but it’s not got quite enough power for the heaviest jobs.
  • This is a seriously heavy bit of kit. For something you need to hold up against a ceiling for long periods of time, it’s a bit much.
  • I’m not sure how long this sander would last with heavy use. It’s fine for DIY use, but I wouldn’t take it on site.

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Evolution Power Tools Handheld Dry Wall SanderEvolution Power Tools Handheld Dry Wall Sander

Best handheld drywall sander

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Evolution Power Tools Handheld Dry Wall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 1,050W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 1,500-2,300rpm
  • Telescopic Length: n/a
  • LED Pivoting Head: No
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Discs Included: 8

Another contender from Evolution Power Tools is their handheld drywall sander. When you want ultimate control over wall and ceiling sanding, the handheld sander is just the ticket. The 1,050-Watt motor provides a ridiculous amount of power, but it’s still easy to handle at just 2.8 kg.

What makes this one of the best handheld drywall sanders is that it’s ready to work straight from the box. You get eight quality sanding pads and a long dust extraction hose. The topper is the large 25 litre dust bag that you sling over your shoulder to stay mobile.

It’s not the cheapest option you can get for a drywall sander, but you can see where the extra money goes. The sander is well made and robust feeling. The handle is rubberised and comfortable, and you can swap the secondary handle to the side that suits you best.

Pros

  • The power you get from the massive 1,050 Watt motor is easy to see. This sander will chew through plaster all day long.
  • It’s also fast. Compare it to the Evolution R225DWS and there’s an extra 800 rpm to play with.
  • Weighing just 2.8 kg, it’s easily the lightest sander on my list. Compared to the Grandma Shark it’s featherlight.
  • Evolution haven’t skimped on the extractor hose. You get 3 metres of it, which should be plenty even if you’re up a ladder.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re left or right handed. You can swap the side handle to either side as you need it.

Cons

  • This isn’t a telescopic drywall sander. You need to get up a ladder if you want to sand the ceiling.
  • All the extra rpm and motor power come at a cost. This is a noisy sander. I would recommend ear defenders.
  • There’s no way to lock off the trigger. It’s one of those extras that can make the job easier on your hands. It’s a shame they haven’t thought to include one.
  • Don’t underestimate the power available from the 1,050 Watt motor. You need to hang on tight!
  • Evolution haven’t added an LED light to this sander. I find them to be useful when doing any sanding job.

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Orion Motor Tech Handheld Drywall SanderOrion Motor Tech Handheld Drywall Sander

Best budget handheld drywall sander

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Orion Motor Tech Handheld Drywall Sander review

Specifications

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 750W
  • Sanding Pad Diameter: 225mm
  • No-Load Speed: 610-2,150rpm
  • Telescopic Length: n/a
  • LED Pivoting Head: Yes
  • Weight: 2.85kg
  • Discs Included: 12

Another worthy entry from Orion Motor Tech is their handheld drywall sander. Although this isn’t as refined as the Evolution handheld drywall sander, it’s nearly half the price. It’s lightweight and very portable but not telescopic.

Starting with the handles, there’s a nice bit of rubberised overmoulding. This should help to keep some vibrations down during operation. You also get a side handle for two-handed operation. All the controls are in easy reach with just one hand too.

Orion Motor Tech have made use of a powerful 750 Watt motor to spin the pads from 610 – 2,150 rpm. What I really like about this sander are the work lights. There are two separate light sections. One ring of LEDs for casting a wide arc, and another for lighting the wall in front of the sander.

Pros

  • With a maximum speed of 2,150 rpm, this sander can compare with the much more expensive Evolution handheld. If you’re on a budget, this is a great choice.
  • This sander has a wider range of speeds compared to the Evolution handheld as well. The low speed of 610 rpm is ideal for delicate sanding jobs.
  • Orion Motor Tech have included a massive 12 pack of sanding pads. They’re just another thing you won’t have to buy on top!
  • If you remove the light cover, you can sand close to the edges of walls or ceilings.

Cons

  • The build quality isn’t the best. Ideal for DIYers and light use, but I wouldn’t count on this in a professional setting.
  • Another non-telescopic drywall sander. If you want to get up high, I recommend a sander on a long pole.
  • I’ve got a feeling that the switches and buttons will get clogged with dust after a while. They’re not shrouded.

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Things to Know Before Buying a Drywall Sander

Most modern homes make use of drywall, or plasterboard, to line the walls and ceilings of homes. Once it’s up, you can easily plaster over the surface and get it ready for painting. But, for the best finish possible you need to sand it down first. And unless you want to spend hours and hours, you’ll need the best plasterboard sander you can afford.

Telescopic Sanders

Sanding high walls or ceilings is made easy with long handled drywall sanders- and the best wall polishers can reach up to two metres in length, more than enough for reaching even the highest ceilings in houses. If you’ve got a lot of ceilings to sand, having the extra reach pays for itself.

Handheld Sanders

When extreme reach isn’t at the top of your list, the best drywall sander is a simple handheld one. They’re similar in design to an angle grinder, a grip for one hand with a trigger and a side handle for stability and control. They’re a bit easier to handle, more powerful and come with wearable dust collection systems.

Dust Collection for Drywall Sanders

The particles that come off plaster are extremely fine and can be harmful to your health if you breathe them in. The best plasterboard sanders have effective vacuum systems that run the length of the handle and empty either into your shop vacuum or a special dust bag that is included with the sander.

Work Lights for Drywall Sanders

Most of the best drywall sanders come with one or more bright LED work lights. They’re not just gimmicks though, the bright halo of light around the sanding head shows up imperfections in the plaster and let you know where to sand next.

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Drywall Sander FAQs

Do I need an electric drywall sander?

Although it’s true that you can sand down your walls and ceiling by hand, it might take you hours or hard labour when an electric sander might take minutes of light work. The main benefit of electric systems is dust extraction- removing dust when you sand by hand is almost impossible.

Can I use my sander on anything other than plasterboard?

If it needs sanding, you can use your drywall sander. DIYers and professionals alike use them for paint and wallpaper removal and even for sanding floors. The long handle versions can save you from crawling on the floor when you need to sand down floorboards.

Why do I need to sand down my walls?

To get the best finish on your walls when you go to paint them, they need to be flat and “keyed” for the paint to stick properly. You’re going to look at your walls every day, so you might as well do the best job you can.

What is drywall?

Drywall, otherwise known as gypsum board, sheetrock (in the US), plasterboard or wallboard is an affordable and versatile building material use to construct interior walls and ceilings. It’s easy to work with and is much easier to plaster over than brick or block walls.

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