When you’re looking for an orbital sander, it’s important to consider a variety of factors. Make sure you ask yourself a few key questions to determine the type of sander you need, and then go ahead and take a look at our list of top contenders for best orbital sander below. We have both corded and cordless options, as well as a handy buying guide and an FAQ for new buyers at the end.
2 – Makita DBO180Z
3 – Bosch PSM 18 LI
Our selection of the best orbital sanders available in the market in 2017!
Best Cordless Random Orbital Sander
Orbital Sander Buying Guide
While the six sanders above are our top picks for everyone, we do have a few general tips for everyone who’s currently in the market for a sander. These tips are important to keep in mind when you go shopping, so that way you can make sure you get the best sander for you and your needs.
- What type of sander do you need? – There are three main types of sanders, and you need to consider what types of projects you’ll be engaged in. For casual users and lighter projects, a palm grip should be enough. If you need a little more power, then consider a right angle sander, which will allow you to apply more force to your project. For truly large projects you can always consider an inline sander, which allows you to use both hands to control the sander.
- Is it easy to change the paper? – You don’t want to have to fuss and struggle with your tool every time you have to change your paper. Make sure that your sander has an easy release, like velcro or hook and loop fastening.
- Is it easy to vary the speed? – Being able to vary the speeds not only means that your projects will be easier to finish and perfect, it also lends versatility to your sander and means that you can use it for more projects in the future.
- Is the grip comfortable? – You want to make sure that your sander will have a grip that is comfortable for your hands, and easy for you to grip. Weight will be a factor here too, you want to make sure that your tool won’t overwork your arms and hands.
- Is the power cord long enough? – Many users rely on battery power to keep their tools portable and easy to move around with. However, battery powered sanders come with their own challenges, and no one wants to be juggling chargers and extra batteries. If you do go for a power cord, make sure you know how long it is, and how much room you’ll have to work with.
- Is the switch sealed? – Making sure your switch is kept clean and free from dust and debris will extend the life of your tool, as well as preventing several maintenance issues that occur when dirt and grit get below your switch.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions many first-time sander users have about their tools and how to maintain them.
Q: What are orbital saws most often used for?
A: They are most often used for sanding down finishes on woodworking projects and automotive projects. The random portion of the orbit means that you can get an even finish without having any swirl marks that some sanders leave behind.
Q: Are the plates on the sander removable/replaceable?
A: Usually no. The sanders are fitted with plates, then with discs on top of those plates that you change out when the sandpaper runs out. The plate is the solid part of the tool. The exception to this would be the Bosch PSM, which will allow you to rotate the plate to make the sander more customisable.
Q: Is there a warranty available?
A: Warranties will be brand specific, but most industry standards are at two years. Most brands also allow you to extend or purchase a separate warranty as well.
Q: Do you have to use brand specific sanding disks?
A: Not as long as you get a sander that has a standard attachment point. Most sanders have either velcro or hook and loop attachments that mean you can swap out disks from any brand, as long as they fit.
Q: How fast should the sander spin?
A: That depends on the model you have and the OPMs it uses. The OPMS are orbits per minute, and any variable models will allow you to adjust this speed as needed.
While there are many brands and types of sanders that will serve you well, some brands stand above the rest. These brands below are always a good place to start if you don’t quite know a good jumping off point or just want some general direction.
- Bosch – Bosch boasts superior quality and variety, meaning that everyone can find a tool to fit their specific needs.
- DeWalt – DeWalt is a brand that’s endured for a long time, and their reputation for quality and reliability is well earned.
- Makita – Makita’s focus on ergonomics and user ease make them an ideal brand for hobbyists or casual users.
- Black & Decker – Black & Decker is a brand that’s known for its affordability and its reliability. With over 100 years in the business, Black & Decker is an industry leader and a standard for quality.