Best Orbital Sanders of 2020 – Ultimate Guide

If you are a home DIYer, then you will have quite a lot of different pieces of equipment stored in your garage, one of which will most definitely be a sander. If you are redoing a piece of old furniture and want to give it a professional and clean finish, these things come in handy. So, here we have discussed in detail the best orbital sanders that a woodworker must have!   

Comparison Chart of the Best Orbital Sanders

PRODUCTDETAILS
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DEWALT Rotary Sander DWE6401DS

  • High torque sanding thanks to 6 amp motor
  • Adjustable dust shroud is able to connect to vacuum
  • Increased balance with soft grip and side handle
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DEWALT Random Orbit Sander

  • Vibration is reduced with unique design
  • Dust-sealed switch enhances protection against dust ingestion
  • Fatigue is reduced with rubber over-mold
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DEWALT Electric Sander DWE6411

  • Best for the Money
  • Vacuum hose can be locked with dust-port system
  • Able to easily sand at 14 000 OPM
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PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

  • Best Random Orbital Sander
  • Smooth finishes thanks to fast sanding speeds
  • Equipped with powerful 1.9-amp moto
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Bosch Power Tools - GET75-6N

  • Best Electric Orbital Sander
  • Offers smooth finishes on many different surfaces
  • Tapered top handgrip allows easier use
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Air Dual Action Sander by ZHONG AN

  • Best Mini Orbital Sander
  • Sanding pad is flexible and durable to minimize heat transfer
  • Allows for easy one-hand operation
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Oreck Commercial ORB550MC

  • Best Orbital Floor Sander
  • Can loosen dirt from carpeted floors
  • Large areas cann be covered with 50-foot power cord
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FIXKIT Air Random Orbital Sander

  • Best Air Orbital Sander
  • Built-in regulator allows better speed control
  • Very good for rough grinding
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Powerworks XB 20V OSG304

  • Best Cordless Orbital Sander
  • Offers six different speeds to pick and choose from
  • Dust container is easy to remove and empty
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What is an Orbital Sander?

Sanders come in four main types, i.e., belt, orbital, disc, and finishing. They will differ depending on the size and power supply. The heavier ones are mostly used by professionals. Home users mostly use battery-powered and smaller sanders because they don’t require a lot of power.

Orbital sanders that we will review in this article have a round bottom rather than a square or rectangular one. Their production mainly started in 1982. Their purpose was to give speed and power combined with fine finishing. The fine finishing is accomplished by making as little scratches as possible. They are mainly 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

How Does an Orbital Sander Work?

Depending on which one you are using, i.e., random orbital or simple orbital sander, the mechanisms are different. 

A random orbital sander is more commonly used because of the random motion which removes swirling shapes. The circular pads spin in a circular motion just like a normal orbital sander while also moving along its axis, making the motion random. 

If you compare it with an orbital sander, the main difference will be that it only moves in one circular motion. To operate it, you have to follow the instructions it comes with, but the basics for all are the same, i.e., attach the sanding paper and plug it in.  

What is an Orbital Sander Used For?

Given their shape, orbital sanders can be used for a number of things. Some common applications include:

Removing Old Paint

Before applying a new layer of paint to your furniture or perhaps doors and walls, you can use this sander to remove older layers. Sometimes, we apply many layers upon layers of paint whenever we think about redoing our homes or rooms. But too many layers are never good, so before your next paint, you can use an orbital sander to first get rid of the old paint.

Cleaning

As we will mention below, some sanders are also used for cleaning. You can use them on old floors and carpets and get new, fresh-looking results. People also use them with a soap solution to get an even better result.  

Smoothing

The most common and initial use of sanders is smoothing out a surface. You can use them on wood and also on countertops to get a glossy finish.

Quick Take: Best Orbital Sanders

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best orbital sanders:

1. DEWALT Rotary Sander DWE6401DS
2. DEWALT Random Orbit Sander
3. DEWALT Electric Sander DWE6411

Review of the Best Orbital Sanders

Now that you know what they are used for and if they are something that you require, let’s look at the best of the best orbital sanders and their positives and negatives.

DEWALT Rotary Sander, Variable Speed, Dust Shroud, 5-Inch (DWE6401DS)

PROS

  • Variable speed up to 3700 OPM
  • High torque performance motor
  • Soft grip handles for less fatigue
  • Hook and loop paper attachment
  • An extra side handle for ease of use 

CONS

  • Vibrates a lot and can get hot

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that this is a very powerful sander with a sting motor attachment. You will need some getting used to it because of the vibrations, but it does its job well. The dust removal features work well. After some practice, you can easily accomplish detailed finishing with it as well. It can easily cover large areas with a powerful motor.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rotary sander has a 6 amp motor, which, for its size and operation, is very powerful and effective. The variable speed gives it another edge. You don’t always need the highest possible speed; some work requires a more gentle touch. 

Moreover, you can go as high as 3700 orbits per minute with it. It also has a dust shroud that you can connect to a vacuum, making your work environment safer. For ergonomics, it has two handles and a soft grip.

Who Will Use This Most

It takes 5 inches and 8 holes sanding paper with a hook and loop connection. Because it has variable speed, you can use it for different things. With the slower speed, you can sand more delicate surfaces. This also lets new users get accustomed to using it first; then, they can move to higher speeds.

Bottom Line

Dewalt is a name you will hear and read in many hardware-related things. They make power tools, hand tools, chainsaws, trimmers, and more. They have a trusted brand name when it comes to these things. This rotary sander is one of their many high-quality products, and it comes with a limited three-year warranty, making it a great investment. 

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6423K)

PROS

  • Designed to reduce vibrations
  • Dust-sealed design for a longer life
  • Rubber molded surfaces reduce fatigue
  • Variable speed of 8,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute
  • Small height lets the user get close to the workpiece

CONS

  • Not easy to connect to a vacuum

What Recent Buyers Report

It can hold up to extensive and hard work easily and does not fail. It will give you fine details and is easy to handle. The vibrations are very low, which improves its ergonomics. It provides quality service at a good price. You get the full package, including a dust bag and a tool bag to store your things.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main attraction of this sander is that it has a 3 amp motor with variable speed. It is designed to be ergonomic, which is accomplished by reducing vibrations as much as possible. It has rubber over the handles and a short height, which lets you get close to your work. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure on it. The switch has a dust-protected design to improve its life and hence the equipment’s life as well. 

Who Will Use This Most

Random orbital sanders are used when you need fine and smooth details with no scratches and swirl marks. This sander can be used for sanding wood, metal, and plastic, according to the manufacturers. Because it does not have a lot of vibrations, new users can get used to it easily.   

Bottom Line

It’s no secret that random orbital sanders are the most commonly used these days, especially among home users. This model has good speed, along with a powerful motor that doesn’t get too aggressive. It also has a reasonable price and is made from high-quality, lasting material. Its accessories include a dust bag and a tool bag. 

DEWALT Electric Sander, 1/4-Inch Sheet, Orbital (DWE6411)

PROS

  • Very low priced alternative
  • Dust-protected switch design
  • A smaller height for easy operation
  • Can be easily attached to a vacuum hose
  • Separate counterweight for reduced vibrations

CONS

  • Does not have variable speed

What Recent Buyers Report

According to users, it’s a good small-sized sander for little jobs. Many orbital sanders have a dust collection problem, but this one does not. You can easily attach a bag to it. It’s very easy to use and handle and comes at a budget-friendly price. It doesn’t produce a lot of vibrations and keeps the paper securely in place.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Given its size, the 2.3 amp motor works well and gives a speed of 14,000 orbits per minute. It has an ergonomic design with a counterweight design to reduce vibrations. The handles also have a rubber over-mold for comfort. The sanding paper is attached via a clamp, which keeps it securely in place. You can also attach a vacuum hose to it, and the switch has a dust-protected design.  

Who Will Use This Most

This model has a smaller design that comes in the palm sander category. The small size and weight make it suitable for people that are not used to a lot of vibrations and cannot handle more aggressive sanders. It can be used for small jobs around the house. 

Bottom Line

For users that don’t require heavy work and need a small, budget-friendly sander, this is the way to go. For a palm sander, it has good motor power. Moreover, it comes with a ¼ inches sheet, paper punch, manual, and dust bag.   

Best Random Orbital Sander:
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch  (382)

PROS

  • Maximum of 12,000 OPM speed 
  • Ergonomic design to reduce fatigue
  • Has a sturdy and dependable design
  • Variable pad speed for different work
  • Hook and loop feature for a more secure paper attachment

CONS

  • Not suitable for heavy use

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers' report state that this unit doesn’t have a lot of power, so it’s used for small jobs. Its material and build quality are great, given its price. You can hook a vacuum with it as well for dust removal. It has a long lifespan and a 90-days money-back guarantee, not that it is needed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a very small and lightweight design with a speed of up to 12,000 OPM. Its motion is random, so you don’t get swirls and marks on your workpiece. It has a dual-plane counterbalanced fan, which reduces fatigue for the user when used for long periods of time. 

It has 8 holes for dust removal and uses a hook and loop closure for secure attachment of paper. The 100% ball-bearing construction means it is very sturdy and durable.  

Who Will Use This Most

The random motion of this sander makes it suitable for fine finishing. It can be used for removing old paint and varnish or when you need to smooth out a new paint or varnish. You can also use it on wood, metal, and composite material.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a 5-inch orbital sander with random motion, so it’s applicable for different types of material and work. For its size and price, it is very high quality and has good overall speed. The design is ergonomic and gives minimum vibrations. 

Best Electric Orbital Sander:
Bosch Power Tools - GET75-6N

Bosch Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric Orbital Sander, Polisher - 7.5 Amp, Corded, 6'' Disc Size - features Two Sanding Modes: Random Orbit, Aggressive Turbo for Woodworking, Polishing, Carpentry

PROS

  • Powerful 7.5 amp motor
  • Gets work done fast and easily
  • Has a good dust removal system
  • Has two different sanding modes
  • 3300 to 7300 variable orbit speed

CONS

  • More expensive than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

It is a heavy-duty design that lets you work on large pieces easily. It is very durable but a little heavy. After some practice, the weight doesn’t seem to matter, and you get excellent results. For a sander of this size, you need as much help as you can get with handling. The grips on its handles are great for this purpose.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main feature of this sander is its two different modes. One is the random orbit mode, and the other is the eccentric mode. The eccentric is 5 times faster than the random orbit mode. Depending on what you want to do, you can easily switch between the two. 

It has a very powerful motor which is capable of variable speed of up to 7300 orbits per minute. It also comes with a vacuum hose adapter for dust removal.  

Who Will Use This Most

Because of its dual nature, it can be used for just about any kind of sanding. For aggressive work, you use the turbo driven eccentric mode, and for normal paint or varnish removal, you can use the random orbit mode. The random mode can also be used when you don’t want to leave marks on the surface.

Bottom Line

If budget is not an issue for you, then this is a good option. It can be considered an all-in-one sander with variable speed and different modes. Bosch is another hardware manufacturing company that has a good reputation. So, you can expect quality and durability from this unit.

Best Mini Orbital Sander:
Air Dual Action Sander by ZHONG AN

2 3-inch Mini Orbital Sander Air Dual Action Sander Air Polisher Super Smooth and Swirl Freely for Auto Body Work

PROS

  • Strong and durable design
  • Comes with an extra sanding pad
  • Light-weight design and one-handed operation
  • Adjustable air inlet for variable waxing and polishing speed
  • An exhaust for keeping the machine cool and usable for long periods

CONS

  • Rubber padding on the handle is of low quality

What Recent Buyers Report

As per reports, since this is is an air sander, you will need proper instructions for operation. It is great for cleaning work and is very low priced. It has some problems, but given its price, they are not too much of an issue. You can use it for small work.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What stands out about this model is the air inlet that has an adjustable regulator that changes airflow to control the speed of the device. The maximum speed you can get with it is 12,000 RMP. The air outlet has a silencer attached so it shouldn’t produce a lot of noise. 

It is very lightweight and easy to use with a one-handed operation. Moreover, its pad is made to minimize heat transfer and keep the equipment running longer.

Who Will Use This Most

This sander is used for polishing and waxing. It is more of a cleaning sander for things like headlights. It comes in 2 and 3 inches pad sizes and has a very low weight. You need to add 2-3 drops of oil before use for smooth running and use it for small tasks.

Bottom Line

You can attach different sanding attachments to it and use it with variable speed. The design is ergonomic, and it has a rubber handle for easy gripping. The vibrations are minimum, and it gives a no-swirl finish, which is important in varnishing and waxing.

Best Orbital Floor Sander:
Oreck Commercial ORB550MC

Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine

PROS

  • A long power cord for easy use
  • Has a good 175 RPM pad speed
  • Can be used as a carpet cleaner as well
  • Multi-purpose use for all kinds of material
  • Random motion for no brush marks or patterns

CONS

  • Can be a bit heavy for some people

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a powerful tool that you can use to clean just about anything. It will clean out even places that you didn’t know needed cleaning and give you bright and new-looking results. It will scrub away all the dirt like a vacuum cleaner but will produce better results.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It uses a brush head with a random motion that has no torque, which makes it suitable for all kinds of material and applications. It will not leave marks and has very simple control. It is a commercial-grade floor cleaner that is very versatile and has a quality build. 

Who Will Use This Most

This machine is used to clean floors, whether they are made from wood, tiles, concrete, brick, stone, or slate. You can even use it to clean vinyl and carpets. It scrubs, polishes, and cleans everything and gets in between the lines where a vacuum cleaner cannot get. You can use it with cleaning solutions as well.  

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about thoroughly cleaning your home and making it shine like new, then use this cleaner with different cleaning solutions, and your floor and carpets will be perfectly clean. It is designed like a vacuum cleaner but is suitable for more detailed jobs.  

Best Air Orbital Sander:
FIXKIT Air Random Orbital Sander

FIXKIT 6' Air Random Orbital Sander (Air sander)

PROS

  • Small size for easy use
  • An exhaust vent keeps it cool
  • Can attach a dust collection hose to it
  • Designed to be ergonomic and reduce vibrations
  • Variable speed with a 10,000 rpm maximum speed

CONS

  • Velcro for attaching sandpaper can lose its grip

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers state that this unit comes with everything you will need to operate it, including oil, and, given its price, it is something unexpected. It is of good quality and gets the job done. It is a small sander, and some suggest using a bigger air compressor with it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a regulator for controlling the speed of the pad with a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM. Its dust removal system includes a vacuum tube connection for keeping the working environment clean. It has a counterweight design and reduces vibrations for easy use. The long 3.28 ft. hose length makes it more comfortable to use. 

Who Will Use This Most

This sander can be used for cleaning cars, furniture, metal, and other surfaces. The manufacturer suggests its use for rough grinding, semi-grinding, grooving, and cutting. The sanding paper comes with the package, but you can add your own 6 inches paper.

Bottom Line

Air orbital sanders have good power and function and can do anything that an electric sander does. This one can handle all such tasks thanks to its efficient speed and performance. The thing with them is just that you have to remember to add a few drops of oil before every use.

Best Cordless Orbital Sander:
Powerworks XB 20V OSG304

POWERWORKS XB 20V Cordless 5-Inch Orbital Sander, Battery and Charger Not Included OSG304

PROS

  • Variable speed with 6 variations
  • Good speed of up to 24,000 SPM
  • An auxiliary handle for better grip
  • Has an in-built dust collection system
  • Battery can be used with any 40 and 20V tool 

CONS

  • Not for heavy-duty work

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that this machine is good for small house jobs. The battery life is very long and dependable. The interchangeable battery is a great money-saving feature. You can use it with many things, including a drill.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a five inches sander with a variable speed of up to 24,000 SMP. It is very fast and gets things done quickly. It gives you 6 different speed options for different work types. The switch has a dustproof design for durability. Moreover, the auxiliary handle gives you a better grip and makes using it easier.

Who Will Use This Most

It is low maintenance equipment that can be used with many different tools that use a 20 or 40V battery. If you are a home DIYer that uses these types of equipment a lot and wants to save money on batteries, then this is a good option for you.   

Bottom Line

This is a small sander, like most of the models on our list. This is the most suitable for small home jobs, and for that reason, it is well built and has good power and a stable battery. It has a budget-friendly price and a good design. 

Comparison Overview

As we discussed above, there are different types of sanders. They are different in their source of power, but one of the main differences is also their shape. Depending on the work you are doing, they can come in handy, so let’s see if they are something you might use over orbital sanders. We have already discussed orbital sanders in detail above, so let’s focus on the other types here.  

Orbital Sander vs. Sheet Sander

Sheet sanders are also called finish sanders and have a square shape. They are of different types, depending on the size of the sanding sheet they accept. Their motion is slow, so you will not mess up your work, but it will take longer to do the job. Their oval motion might leave some marks on the wood. They are better for beginners because of the low speed. 

Similarities

Both of them can be used for sanding, but that’s a given. Apart from that, there are hardly any similarities between the two. 

Differences

Orbital sanders are always round, but sheet sanders can be rectangular or square. This means they can use standard sanding sheets. Because of their slow-motion, they are not very aggressive. Given the square shape, they will get into corners easily. They are an older version, and nowadays, mostly round orbital sanders are used.

Orbital Sander vs. Palm Sander

Palm sanders are called so because of their small size and the fact that you can operate them easily with one hand. They can be either round or square. Because of the small size, they are used for small and light jobs.

Similarities

You can think of them as the smaller versions of orbital sanders. Mostly they use a ¼ sanding sheet.

Differences

Palm sanders are called so because of their size. That is the main difference between them and other orbital sanders. They are much smaller and can be used easily by novice users.

How to Use an Orbital Sander

Operating orbital sanders are very easy. Just remember that pressure is the key. But if you are new to this, then you can follow these steps, so you don’t ruin your wood.

  1. Attach the sanding paper to the disc by either hook and loop or just pasting it on, depending on your sander.

  2. Adjust the speed of the motor to your desired speed by the variable speed dial.

  3. For removing old paint, use a slow speed.

  4. For rough timber, use an abrasive paper with higher motor speed.

  5. Don’t forget to attach a dust extraction unit that comes with it.

For more tips on how and when to use orbital sanders, watch the video below.

Conclusion

In the end, there are many different types and manufacturers of sanders. All this can get confusing. The main thing you should focus on is the ease of use, power, variable speed, and dust removal options. 

Your sander should have a reliable power source, or else some areas will be less finely done than others. We have made sure to list only the best sanders, but which one you choose depends on your type of work.

People Also Ask

Since all these names of sanders are confusing and sometimes are used interchangeably for each other, it is not surprising that many people get confused when buying them. If your questions were not answered by the above article, you could refer to these frequently asked questions below.

What is the Difference Between Orbital Sander and Random Orbital Sander?

The main difference between the two is their motion. As the name suggests, a random orbital sander will give random motion. That is done by moving in both circular motion and along the axis. An orbital sander, on the other hand, moves in one consistent motion.

Is an Orbital Sander Good For Wood?

Yes, an orbital sander can be used for woodwork, whether it is removing old paint or after new paint for finishing. 

Why Do Orbital Sanders Have Holes?

Orbital sanders do have holes. They are used for dust extraction and are one of the main features to look for in any sander

FIXKIT Air Random Orbital Sander

Can I Use a Random Orbital Sander For Drywall?

Yes, random orbital sanders can be used on drywall.

Are All Orbital Sanders Random?

No, not all orbital sanders are random. As discussed above, you can buy an orbital sander, which has one consistent motion only.

Can You Use an Orbital Sander on Metal?

Orbital sanders can be used on metal. They are good for removing rust from the surface without damaging it.