In this guide we’ll take a look at the best orbital sanders for the UK market.
We’ve compared performance, features, build quality and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Orbital Sander?
More Detailed Orbital Sander Reviews
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Makita BO5031/2 240V 125mm Random Orbit Sander Review
The Makita BO5031/2 240V 125mm Random Orbit Sander has a 300-watt motor which delivers plenty of power to get the job done quickly. The variable speed of 12,000 to 24,000 orbits per minute makes this tool one of the best orbital sanders on the UK market 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 with its ergonomic design ensuring a perfect fit in the hand. There is also minimal vibration which is a huge bonus for any 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 firmly attached to the Velcro pad on the tool. It is always worth investing in a pack of good quality discs to accompany this tool however as cheaper sandpaper discs don’t stick so well and wear out more quickly.
Overall this is a versatile and reliable workhorse that is easy, comfortable and clean to use and in our opinion it’s one of the best sanders around!
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Dewalt DEWDWE6423 Random Orbital Sander Review
The Dewalt DEWDWE6423 Random Orbital Sander has a 280 Watt variable speed motor that can adjust from 8,000 – 12,000 orbits per minute. This makes it the best orbital sander 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.
This random orbital 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. It’s a great choice if you are looking for the best sander for walls, wood and doors.
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Bosch PEX220A Random Orbit Sander Review
The Bosch PEX220A Random Orbit Sander has a 220 Watt motor and a continuous speed of 24,000 opm, although it doesn’t have a variable speed function. The tool fits nicely into the hand and is comfortable to use. This random orbital sander can be used with both sanding and polishing discs and is one of the best sanders for wood, furniture and walls.
The sanding discs fit securely with the Velcro fastening and the microfilter system ensures the working area remains dust free. The machine can also be attached to a vacuum cleaner with a separately sold connector pack.
For a relatively cheap sander the build quality is excellent and it is light and comfortable to use. It’s one of the best budget orbital sanders on the market.
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Hi-Spec 2A 240W Random Orbit Sander Review
This Hi-Spec 2A 240W Random Orbit Sander has plenty of power for sanding and polishing tasks and provides 12,000 opm. It is reasonably quiet to use, and the vibration levels are acceptable. The kit comes with 10 Velcro sanding discs in a variety of grits.
The cord on this sander is quite short so you will probably need to use an extension lead. The discs are fine for medium to lightweight tasks. However if you have a heavy-duty job to tackle, it would be preferable to buy some good quality sanding sheets to accompany this machine.
The dust extraction isn’t great however so make sure you wear a mask when using this tool and work in a well-ventilated area.
However, for a cheap orbital sander this tool offers great value for money and is ideal if you want a machine for occasional use.
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VonHaus 430W 125mm Random Orbit Sander Review
With its 430 Watt motor and variable speed, which is adjustable from 6,000 to 13000 opm this VonHaus 430W 125mm Random Orbit Sander is a cheap electric sander that offers great value for money. It is a little noisy to use compared with the other products and does vibrate a little more, but it is still a good machine at this price point.
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.
Orbital Sander Buying Guide
We all know that sanding isn’t the most fun job when it comes to DIY or carpentry, but when done well it makes a huge difference to the finish of your project. Luckily choosing the best orbital 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.
When you select the best orbital sander you can be sure that tasks like removing paint and varnish, preparing and smoothing wood and metal surfaces, removing stains and blemishes and polishing glass, plastic or metal can all be handled with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of efficiency!
Like most power tools, choosing an orbital sander depends on the size of your tasks, how frequently you expect to use the tool and of course your budget. Quality, features and price will all play a part in your choice. Of course, if you only need a sander for a one-off job them a cheaper item may be more suitable. However if you plan on using your sander regularly 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 variable speed control and a good dust collection system, since this will avoiding unwanted scratches or gouges, as well as making the job more pleasant.
An orbital sander has a round surface to which sandpaper discs, backed with Velcro, are attached. When you turn the machine on, the surface will rotate and vibrate. This provides an even sand and ensures no circular patterns appear in the finished product.
There are several things to consider when choosing an orbital sander. Here are some key things to check before you buy.
The motor size dictates how much potential power your machine can generate. 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 the number, the quicker your sander will remove material and the sooner you will get the job done.
Orbital sanders come as both single and variable speed. We would recommend choosing a model with variable speed as this makes your sander more versatile and provides for a greater range of application – from tough wood preparation to light sanding of intricate work. Basically the more material you want to remove, the higher the speed you should use. If you only have a single speed model 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 work surfaces than a single speed sander will be fine.
All orbital sanders will vibrate to a greater or lesser degree. However, the amount of vibration will depend on the design and whether the machine is fitted with mechanisms that actually reduce vibration. In general lower end models will produce more noise and vibration than higher end models.
The effectiveness of a dust collection system 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. Dust gets everywhere, so if you are using a sander indoors you may well find dust spread throughout the house if you use a tool that doesn’t have an adequate dust extraction mechanism.
So either choose a machine with an effective integral dust collection solution or one that can be connected to a vacuum cleaner. You will reap the benefit of an effective dust collector in the reduced amount of clearing up you have to do. But always remember to wear a dust mask for extra protection.
Working without an efficient dust collection system also means that the dust collects on the work, clogs up the sandpaper and eventually damages the sander.
Comfort in use
If you are sanding flat horizontal surfaces, then the weight of the sander 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 lighter machine if you can. An ergonomic design and comfortable rubber grip handle also mean you can work for longer periods without fatigue.
What speed setting should I use on my random orbit sander for stripping 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. This not only warms up the paint and smears it, but clogs the sandpaper. Start with a medium setting and go from there. If the surface begins to feel warm after a few minutes and you notice paint smearing, then turn down the speed 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 60, will remove material faster. This is ideal for smoothing rough surfaces, but will leave a certain amount of scratching. Higher grit numbers, such as 180, will create a smoother finish. If you are finishing a piece of wood, start with a lower number and gradually change up 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 random orbit sander in order to achieve the best finish and avoid scratches, gouges and damage.
- Turn on the sander and let it spin up to speed before applying it
- Always sand in 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.