If your field is woodworking, you already know the importance of a good power sander. However, if you are new to the profession, or if this is your first time purchasing your own equipment, you may find yourself overwhelmed. There are different kinds of power sanders, and each has its own purpose and kind of job it does well.
Benefits of Using a Power Sander
- Time-Saving: A power sander can complete in minutes what would take hours if manually sanded with sandpaper.
- Bigger Jobs: Power sanders can handle bigger and more complex jobs than sanding manually.
- Versatile: Many power sanders can perform multiple functions and can be used on a variety of surfaces and projects.
Types of Power Sanders for Woodworking
There are many kinds of power sanders used in woodworking. Here are some common ones:
- Belt Sander: Belt sanders are used to smooth and flatten wood surfaces. They are the most common type of power sander.
- Disc Sander: Disc sanders can be tabletop or handheld/portable. They are also used for smoothing and finishing, but disc sanders can cover a larger area and can be used on curves and corners.
- Combination Disc and Belt Sander: These are used to sand edges with precision and flatten edges.
- Oscillating Spindle Sander: Comprised of a sanding drum that protrudes from a table or bench, an oscillating spindle sander is used for finishing curved and straight edges, smoothing board edges, and can be used to create beveled edges.
- Orbital Sander: These sanders have a rectangular sanding pad that moves in small circles or orbits. They are used for finishing large surfaces that have been pre-sanded with a belt sander. They leave a visible swirl pattern in the wood.
- Random Orbital Sander – Similar to the orbital sander, only this sander has a round pad and spins as well as moving in circles. This creates a smooth finish without swirl marks.
Again, there are more types of power sanders out there from different brands and with different price points. We have curated a list of the most common types of power sanders for woodworking and ranked them according to value, ratings, and functions. Check out our list of the ten best power sanders for woodworking below:
Best Power Sanders For Woodworking
DEWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander
Top Pick: Our top pick is this highly rated orbital sander by renowned tool manufacturer DEWALT. The brush motor provides a long run time and the low profile design allows for precise sanding.
Makita 7-inch Disc Sander
Runner Up: The runner-up in our picks is Makita’s 7-inch disc sander. It has variable speeds of 2,500 – 4,700 rpm, as well as a soft start, electronic speed control, and a motor-over-pad design for better balance.
WEN Belt and Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base
Best Value: Our best budget pick is a popular combination belt and disc sander from WEN. It includes both a 4×36 inch belt and a 6×6 inch disc and has a cast iron base to prevent vibration. The belt tilts from 0 to 90 degrees.
BOSCH Corded 5 in. Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit
Bosch’s 5-inch random orbital sander/polisher has variable speeds between 7500 – 12,000 OPM and features a microfilter dust canister, low vibration operation, and an integral pad dampening system to prevent swirl marks. A hard carrying case is included.
Worx 20 volt Power Share Cordless Detail Sander
This lightweight detail sander weighs just 1.8 ounces without the battery and is cordless. It features 13000 OPM, 1 hour charge time, and an attached dust collector canister. This sander uses Worx’s Power Share battery.
Rikon Oscillating Spindle Sander
The spindle sander by Rikon includes multiple spindles and inserts, dual tool holders and two dust ports. The table tilts forward 0-45°.
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Sheet Sander
This sheet sander quickly clears away material with its 12,000 OPM. Its compact design allows for working in corners and tight spaces. It runs on a 20V MAX 1.5Ah lithium-ion battery (included) and has an easy-empty dust bag.
CRAFTSMAN Belt Sander
This 7.0 amp belt sander has an angled belt design to sand closer to adjoining surfaces. Features include a tool-free belt release for easy belt changes, a max 800 FPM for fast material removal and an onboard dust bag.
JET 10-Inch Benchtop Drum Sander
This benchtop drum sander is made from heavy-duty die-cast aluminum and steel, providing a sturdy working surface. It features a reinforced steel conveyor bed, variable speed control, and toolless abrasive takeup fasteners.
BUCKTOOL Bench Belt Sander and Disc Sander with 3/4HP Direct-drive Motor
Rounding off our list is another combination of belt and disc sander. This corded sander is driven by the motor shaft, 3/4 HP High Power Motor and 3450 RPM Disc Speed. The belt can be placed horizontally or vertically and the worktable can be tilted 0-45 degrees. The disc size is 8″ and the belt size is 4 x 36″.
What to Look for When Buying A Power Sander
Regardless of the kind of sander you need, there are some qualities that separate the good from the bad. Here are some important factors to consider while shopping for a power sander:
- Variable Speed: A good sander will give you the option of changing speeds
- Dust Collection System: Sanding creates a lot of dust, so look for a unit with a built-in dust bag and filters.
- Sealed Switches: Sanders often fail because their switches get clogged with dust. Look for sanders with dust-sealed switches
- Vibration Protection: Look for models with molded and/or padded handles for comfortable use.
- Weight: If you’re getting a hand-held tool, make sure it is maneuverable and easy to hold and work with.
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