Sanding is as important as any other step in a woodworking project. This process can help you give the finishing touches to a piece; whether it’s polishing, smooshing, or shaping a piece, sanding is crucial if you want your piece to look as good as possible. There are currently many ways to sand an object, and the best one depends on what your project needs and how much power you want.
However, one of the best ways to sand a piece is by using a random orbital sander. These are one of the most powerful and versatile power tools on the market, and they can be used to satisfy a wide variety of needs. Random orbital sanders (Also called orbiting sanders or orbit random sander) are also used to remove unwanted materials, such as rust. You can use them on wood, sheet steel, plastic, and other materials!
An orbiting sander is considered a staple in most woodworkers’ gear, and for a good reason. If you want a high degree of performance in your work, this tool has to go into your collection. If you want to know more about random orbit sanders, we’ve compiled all the information that you need in this article so that you know what you’re looking for. We’re also adding some random orbital sander reviews so that you can find out what the best options are for you!
Table of Contents
- What is a Random Orbital Sander?
- What Makes a Random Orbital Sander Different?
- Can You Buff with a Random Orbital Sander?
- How to Choose the Best Random Orbital Sander for You
- Product Reviews
A random orbital sander works a bit differently than the other types of sanders. These sanders work with a circular motion that moves in a randomized pattern, which helps to achieve a smoother finish on your piece. You need to consider many features before buying the best random orbital sander for you, but in most cases, it’s a great investment.
Our top pick, in this case, is the Black+Decker BDERO100. It provides a powerful 2.4 amp motor that does a fantastic job at sanding most surfaces. On the other hand, if you want a more budget-friendly option, you can get the SKIL 7492-02, which features a slightly more powerful 2.8-amp motor that delivers fewer orbits per minute than the Black+Decker model, but it still packs a punch.
What is a Random Orbital Sander?
Random orbital sanders are slightly different from regular sanders, so it’s important that you understand how they work. In essence, a random orbital sander is a hand-held tool that you can use for sanding your pieces. A random orbital sander works by driving the sanding pad in a random orbiting action (hence the name).
This random-moving pattern reduces the number of swirl marks that other models can leave on your pieces. If you want to achieve a uniform surface in a short amount of time, this tool can help you do that. Using random orbital sanders is relatively easy; you just have to install the sanding pad on the machine, turn it on, and you’re done!
To move a random orbital sander, you have to apply some pressure to the piece’s surface to sand it properly. While that’s the basic instructions, there are a lot of extra features that you can discover in the best random orbit sanders. The sandpaper disks are installed by using a hook and loop feature or by using adhesives.
In most cases, random orbital sanders come with everything that you need to start working right away, but you still can get some additional things, such as sandpaper disks that fit your needs better. Because of the randomized pattern in which they work, random orbital sanders are not as fast as other sanders. However, it offers more performance and versatility, so it’s a fair exchange.
What Makes a Random Orbital Sander Different?
In essence, all sanders do one main job: Sanding. However, as we stated before, the difference is in the way that they do it. Random orbital sanders use a random pattern to move, whereas other sanders usually move in a consistent back and forth or circular motion. For example, while a regular orbit sander spins in a circular motion, a random orbit sander makes the same circular movement, but with an unpredictable pattern.
Another main difference is that regular sanders use a square pad, whereas a random orbit sander uses a round pad. With the round pad, you can use the hook and look feature to attach the sanding paper to it, but with a square pad, you have to use clamps.
A random orbit sander uses a special type of sandpaper disks. They mainly come in a 5-inch or 6-inch diameter, and they come with some holes that you can use to align the disk with the round sanding pad. This is to avoid as much sawdust as possible, which is great news if you plan on working for long periods.
Keep in mind that because of the randomized nature of the random orbit sander, they work more aggressively, and therefore, they can remove more stock from pieces of wood. This produces a smoother finish, but you can end up sanding way more than you were supposed to if you don’t pay attention to it. Thankfully, the best random orbital sanders come with variable speed settings, which means that you can adjust the power tool’s aggressiveness.
Overall, this is an easy tool to use, but you need to know how to use it properly if you want to avoid mistakes. As you are going to see in our random orbital sander review page, each model comes with specific features that you can take into account before deciding to buy it.
Can You Buff with a Random Orbital Sander?
Yes! Random orbital sanders are great for polishing. However, keep in mind that you need to have control of the sander to avoid issues for polishing jobs. To guarantee an effective job, look for a sander with a variable speed feature and the necessary attachments.
For example, if you want to polish a car, you need to install a polishing pad and use a hook and loop paper. Not all models include these attachments, so if you’re looking to turn your sander into a buffer, make sure that the model that you’re buying has all that you need.
How to Choose the Best Random Orbital Sander for You
If you’ve decided to get a random orbital sander for your project, congratulations! Now all you have to do is to take a thorough look at each feature, so you ensure that you’re getting a proper sander that suits your needs. There are many basic things that should always be included with your sander, such as a powerful motor, variable speed control settings, dust collection system, etc. We are going to go through each important feature so that you have a clearer idea of what to expect.
Most models come with a 2 to 3 amp-motor, which is enough for most of the sanding you are going to be doing with the power tool. The more powerful the motor is, the easier it’s going to sand each piece, but keep in mind that it also means that it’s going to be more aggressive on your pieces.
Variable Speed Adjustment
This is an essential feature that all the best random orbital sanders have. A variable speed control system allows you to set the aggressiveness in which the sander is going to work. If you always work at the highest setting, you can remove too much stock material, which is not the goal. A random orbital sander with this feature allows you to get more control over your sanding work.
This may not seem as important as other features, but if you’re looking for comfort while working, consider looking at the type of handle. The best random orbital sanders come with a palm grip design, which allows you to control the power tool without any issues.
A palm grip design also allows you to keep your hand from getting fatigued. However, some models have very large handles, making it easy to grab for people with big hands, but harder to hold for people with smaller hands.
Some random orbit sanders come with D-handles, which provides even more control over the power tool. If you want some added stability, look for random orbit sanders with auxiliary handles.
You can find a random orbit sander in two main settings: Corded or cordless. Both models have their advantages, so you have to choose one depending on the type of project you’re working with. Corded sanders are better suited for people who work indoors and/or have an electrical outlet nearby.
On the other hand, a cordless sander is better for people who don’t have access to an electrical outlet or work outdoors. Keep in mind that a cordless sander uses batteries that may run out of energy after a certain period. If you don’t want to worry about limited usage, consider getting a corded sander.
In most cases, 5-inch random orbital sanders work perfectly for your project. 5-inch sanding disks are more affordable and lightweight, so if you’re working with small projects, this is the way to go. However, if you want to tackle more complicated and heavy-duty tasks, it would be best if you got a 6-inch random orbital sander.
Dust Collection System
If you want to have a good experience with a random orbital sander, you need one that provides a proper dust collection system. The best random orbital sanders come with a dust bag and dust-sealed ports, which help you contain as much sawdust as possible. However, the bag’s size or the port may vary from sander to sander, so make sure that you get one appropriate for your needs.
Black+Decker BDERO100 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
If you’re a homeowner who wants a powerful tool for their DIY projects, this Black+Decker random orbit sander does a perfect job for its price! This sander comes with a 2.4-amp motor that runs at 14,000 orbits per minute, which is great for most sanding needs. As for the extra features, the Black+Decker BDERO100 comes with a hook and loop system that allows for easy paper changes.
You don’t have to worry about dust containment; this sander comes with a dust-sealed switch that helps to prevent dust from getting out of the workstation. One of the most remarkable features about this product is that it’s easy and comfortable to carry. You can take it into your pieces without any issues, making it versatile enough for most projects.
Overall, this is a reliable power tool that you can use to make your project easier. If you want to read more about the Black+Decker BDERO100, click here!
- It comes with a hook and loop system to make the sandpaper switch easy.
- It has a dust-sealed switch.
- It’s perfect for small DIY projects.
- It may not be suitable for heavy-duty woodworking projects.
DeWALT DWE6420 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
When it comes to power tools, DeWALT is one of the best manufacturers out there! The DeWALT DWE6420 is a high-quality tool that you can get at an affordable price. This model comes with a 3-amp motor that runs at 12,000 orbits per minute. An interesting thing about this sander is that it comes with a separate counterweight design that helps to reduce vibrations, which can make your work easier.
The DeWALT DWE6420 sander comes with a short height design, which allows you to get closer to the piece you’re working on. This may not be as important as other features, but it’s still nice to have it. As for the variable speed control, you can set the power tool to either low and high settings. This comes in handy when you’re working with rough surfaces, and you need more aggressive sanding power.
If your hand gets continually fatigued, this sander’s rubberized palm grip helps to get better control of the tool. Adding everything up, you’re getting a product with an amazing dust collection system, ergonomic design, and a powerful motor. If you want to read more about this orbital sander, click here.
- It has a powerful motor with a high speed of 12,000 orbits per minute.
- It comes with a high-quality dust collection system.
- It has great build quality.
- It’s an affordable product.
- The dust port may not fit all kinds of shop-vacs.
- It doesn’t come with a hook and loop system.
SKIL 7492-02 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
This orbital sander isn’t as versatile as the other models, but it still gets the job done. If you want a reliable product for small projects, this may be an appropriate choice for you. It has a 2.8-amp motor that runs at 12,500 orbits per minute, and it comes with some features that help to make your experience a bit easier.
The 5-inch disk size is lightweight and suitable for small DIY projects. As for the features, it comes with a micro-filtration dust canister, a vacuum dust collection port, a dust-sealed switch, and a pad break. This sander is relatively easy to use, and it doesn’t require much set up on your behalf. It comes with three sanding disks, so you can get to work right away.
If you don’t need all the previous models’ extra features, and you want to save some money on your orbital sander, consider getting this model! You can read more about it here.
- It’s easy to use.
- It has an excellent dust collection system.
- The motor provides enough power for most small-medium projects.
- It’s an affordable product.
- It’s not made from durable materials.
- It’s not suitable for heavy-duty projects.
- It doesn’t come with a variable speed setting.
Makita XOB01T 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
This is one of the best random orbital sanders that you can get if you’re looking for the complete experience. Unlike the previous models on this list, this sander is cordless, which means that you can move around with it freely. If you don’t have any electrical outlets nearby, this is the best choice for you.
This sander comes with a powerful motor that provides a variable speed setting. You can set it up to run at 7,000, 9,500, or 11,000 orbits per minute, depending on your needs. The Makita XOB01T comes with an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery that ensures up to 65 minutes of run time (depending on the speed), which is an excellent rate for a cordless sander.
To make things easier, this orbit sander comes with a one-touch speed control switch so that you don’t waste time changing the speeds on your sander. As for the sanding motion, you get a large 1/8-inch random orbit action, which ensures a faster work that prevents swirls.
With this package, you obtain the sander, a battery charger, a dust bag, a 5-inch sanding disk, and a tool bag. If you want to read more about it, click here.
- It provides amazing sanding quality.
- It has great build quality.
- It has a variable speed feature.
- It has a limited run time.
Dynabrade 59020 Dynorbital-Spirit Random Orbital Sander
This sander is best suited for small to medium projects, so if you’re in this category, this is a powerful tool that’s easy to use! This sander was made with steel components and an ergonomic tool grip, making it a comfortable and durable product.
It comes with a speed control feature that allows you to regulate the power tool’s aggressiveness with your thumb. Overall, this is a premium-quality sander that can suit a wide variety of projects with ease. However, keep in mind that this sander doesn’t come with a dust vacuum system; if you want to contain dust, you need to buy a conversion kit.
This is a product that’s easy on your hands, and it provides enough power for every basic project. If you want to read more about this product, click here.
- It’s made from high-quality materials.
- It’s suited for small to medium projects.
- It has one of the best ergonomic designs on the list.
- It doesn’t come with a dust collection system.
- It’s not an affordable product.
Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbital Sander
While this is a cordless product, it still has enough power to work through most projects! This sander can drive the sanding pad from 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute. To make things easier, you have a one-button switch on the handle that you can use to change between the different speeds.
As for the contents, you obtain a plastic dust bag, an extension adapter, a universal hose adapter, and two units of sanding paper. It doesn’t come with a lot of extra features. Still, it compensates with high-quality build material and excellent performance, so if you can spend a bit more on your orbital sander, consider getting this product!
You can read more about the Milwaukee 2648-20 M18 here!
- It has great build quality.
- It has a variable speed feature.
- It’s not an affordable product.
- The package doesn’t include any batteries.
When choosing the best random orbital sander, you have to consider your project’s needs. Not every model may suit you, so you have to take a closer look at the features so that you make a smarter purchase.