The Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews | Top 7 Picks

Sanding is an important stage in any woodworking tasks, as it gives the work piece a smooth finish and prepares it for painting. Regardless of the kind of furniture you’re making, if you must do any serious work, then you need the best sander tool out there. For this purpose, you will not find a more efficient and reliable option than a random orbital sander (ROS). Every workshop deserves the best random orbital sander, and the reason is quite obvious. You can’t talk about advancing your craft without investing in the right tools. By following this review, you will escape the struggle many beginners face when shopping for a sander for the first time – which is choosing from so many options. In addition, you will also gain enough knowledge to pick the exact sander that will meet your needs. But before we get into all that, let’s see how the two major types of sanders compare.

In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top 5 Picks of Random Orbital Sanders

Random Orbital Sander Vs Belt Sander

When it comes to surface smoothing, there are two sanders that are most commonly used; the belt sander, and the random orbital sander. Although both tools generally perform the same function, there’s a large spectrum separating them, especially in terms of application and the power they deliver.

Belt Sanders

These are basically designed for aggressive straightforward sanding. They work best on wide flat surfaces and are suitable for stripping off both wood and paint. They are more targeted at obtaining uniform sanding on a large workpiece instead of producing fine finishes. Due to the high level of power they produce, they may create swirl marks or scratches on the surface of the workpiece.

Random Orbital Sanders

On the other hand, random orbital sanders possess less power but are more suitable for producing finer finishes. They are also good for removing varnish or paint coatings, but they are not designed for working on large workpiece. Since random orbital sanders are less aggressive than the belt sanders, they hardly create scratches or swirl marks on the wood surface. They are also easier to use and control.

Uses of a Random Orbital

Random orbital sanders are used mostly for completing a variety of DIY sanding jobs. These may include sanding furniture like tables, doors, skirting boards and so on. You may also use them whenever there’s need to smoothen out a wooden or wall surfaces in order to get a fine finish. A random orbital sander is the most common choice for completing tasks like these. It is generally more popular than the other types of sanders when it comes DIY projects. You may also hear random orbital sanders being referred to as palm or handheld sanders. This is just another indication that these sanders are comfortable to handle and control.

7 Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews

In order to help you avoid the hurdle of choosing from so many brands, we’ve come up with a list of the top contenders available. It is now left to you to pick a model that will best suit your needs.

1. BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander

If you’re operating on a tight budget but still need a sander that will perform, then you cannot go wrong with the BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander from Black and Decker. This unit comes at an economic price that makes it one of the most affordable orbital sanders out there. It has a compact size which makes it easy to use and control. Its cordless design makes it even more mobile and convenient to work with. Even though this sander costs far lesser than many high end models in the market, it still manages to deliver a decent performance; at least better than what you get with a lot of fixed speed sanders out there. No doubt, its 2-amp motor is not as powerful as the ones found in most of the other models we’ve reviewed, but it’s still sufficient for quick removal of materials. As earlier indicated, this unit is a fixed random orbital sander, which means you get a single speed setting to work with. Although this limits the number of jobs you can use it for, it’s still a great deal considering how much you are paying for the tool. With the fixed speed, comes a hook and loop system which allow for quick and easy paper changes, thereby saving you a lot of time on the job. This feature makes the Black and Decker BDERO100 very suitable for beginners. Apart from the ease of handling and control, the small compact size of the sander also makes it easy to store. You don’t need a lot of space to store it in your workshop. In addition, it also brings you closer to the workpiece thereby allowing you to achieve smoother and nicer finishes. The unit also comes with an in-built dust collector which helps to reduce the mess (dust) around the work area. A dust-sealed switch is also included for your safety and the longevity of the machine. Overall, the Black and Decker BDERO100 is a quality random orbital sander that offers a lot at a very affordable price. We have no doubt you will get a good value for your money.

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2. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander

The DeWalt DWE6421K is one of the top contenders you will find out there for the best random orbital sander under 100. The tool works great for many sanding projects; thanks to its 3-amp motor. It is the perfect upgrade for woodworking enthusiasts looking for a sander than a cheaper model like the Black and Decker BDERO100 we just reviewed above.However, like the BDERO100, the DeWalt DWE6421K has a fixed speed which obviously limits its usage. The sander also comes with an efficient dust collection system which includes a dust sealed switch to keep the work area clean and increase the durability of the machine. In other words, you can expect to use the unit for a long time before replacement. Its dust collector also features a locking dust bag and a dust port which easily integrates with several shop vacs. Interestingly, the dust bag is designed for locking with one hand which makes it very convenient to use. Thus, considering these features, it is safe to say that the DeWalt DWE6421K has a better dust collection system than most random orbital sanders in its category. In addition, it also operates with minimal vibration. This is largely connected to its counterweight design and the inclusion of rubber overmold in the critical areas of the machine. As a result, users are able to create quick and smooth finishes. The compact body of the sander also makes it easy to use. The surface provides a smooth grip which grants you quick access to the unit and allows for easy operation. Cleaning is also easy, as well as storage. You don’t need a lot of space to keep the unit when not in use. Overall, the DeWalt DWE6421K is a wonderful sander that comes at a reasonable price. It may not be the tool for getting ultra-smooth sanding but it works great for general sanding operations. Don’t hesitate to put out your money for it if it appeals to you. We are sure you won’t be disappointed.

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3. TACKLIFE PRS01A Random Orbit Sander

If you are thinking about jumping into the world of variable speed sanders and wondering which model would make the best choice, then you might want to consider the Tacklife 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander. Without doubts, this Tacklife model is one of the top contenders in the market for the best variable speed random orbital sander. It comes with a variable speed setting that allows you to adjust speed to up 13000 OPM, which is one of the highest around. Most high end variable speed sanders can only go as high as 120000 OPM, but with the Tacklife PRS01A you get extra. This makes the tool even more versatile. As such, it’s the choice sander for obtaining even more precise and smooth finishes. To be more exact, you get up to six speed options while working with this model. And you can move from one speed to another by simply turning the speed dial on the side of the sander. You can use a variety of sandpaper circles with the unit; thanks to the 5-inch head design. This works well for different applications where it might be difficult to get to some areas. This include removing plastic of corners or getting rid of paint from wood. Like many other high end models, the sander also comes with a dust collection system which includes a dust box to collect dust so that there’s less mess on the work area. This allows you to work in a clean environment, increasing your productivity in the process. However, it is advised not to use the sander for sanding walls to avoid blocking the dust collection system. It will also interest you to know that the unit is equipped with a 3-amp motor which provides more than enough power for various sanding projects. This is complemented by a compact design which makes the machine easy to use and control. The ball bearing construction also helps to greatly reduce the level of vibration produced by the tool when in use. Overall, this is a great sander with a reasonable price. You can expect to get good value for your money.

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4. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander

If you are looking for the best 5-inch orbital sander to obtain smooth wood finishes, then the Bosch ROS20VSC will make a great choice. The unit is equipped with a lot of interesting features which makes it well worth the price. It has a compact design which makes it easy to use even for the newbie woodworker. Its small size also makes it easy to store, so it doesn’t take up much space in your workshop. Like most high end models, the sander comes with a variable speed setting which allows you to adjust the speed depending on your project requirements. You can choose a value between 7500 – 12000 OPM by tweaking the speed dial. This allows you to choose a speed that matches the density of your workpiece so you can obtain super smooth finishes. The sander also comes with hook and loop disc attachment system which helps to keep the sanding pad in place while the device is in use. The unit is also designed in such a way to ensure you are able to handle it comfortably. This allows you to conveniently hold the sander from multiple positions. It is complemented by a soft-grip top. With 3/64-inch disc diameter, you can easily reach tight edges with the sander. This makes it even more versatile. The lightweight of the unit makes this a whole lot easier. You will less likely get swirl marks or scratches on your workpiece. In fact, the unit comes with a dampening system to further reduce the chance of this occurring. We are also impressed with the dust collection system of the sander which features a microfilter to prevent the tiniest dust particles from messing up your workspace. This arrangement makes the machine usable by anyone. Even people with allergies will enjoy working with the sander. Overall, the Bosch ROS20VSC is a good quality sander that comes at a fair price. We haven’t come across any major complaint about its functionality.

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5. Makita XOB01Z Cordless Random Orbit Sander

Makita is another brand you are most likely to come across when shopping for the best random orbital sanders in the market. The company has a strong reputation in the power tool industry with a product line that consists of some of the best models in various categories. The XOBO1Z LXT is one of the best 5-inch random orbital sanders in the market at the moment. And it boasts of having many interesting features with a decent price tag that makes it really attractive to users. First is the variable speed control which provides you with various speed options to work with. You can choose between 7000 – 11000 OPM depending on your job requirement and the level of smoothness you want to achieve. This makes the tool more versatile, especially when compared to the corded version, which only offers users with three speed settings. The mere fact that the sander is cordless grants you more mobility and ensures you have greater manoeuvrability on the work piece. The unit has 1/8-inch orbit which ensures quick removal of material making it possible to work at a faster rate. You will also be impressed with the small size of the sander as this makes it mobile and more comfortable to handle. It marks it easier to reach tight spaces and also produce fine quality finishes that are smooth. That said, people with large hands may not find it comfortable using a sander this small. We also feel the dust collection system of the unit could be better. As it traps less dust than the ones it misses. The idea of purchasing the tool battery and charger separately might not also go down well with some users. Notwithstanding, the Makita XOBO1Z is still one of the best cordless random orbital sanders out there. We think it’s a fair bargain for its price.

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6. PORTER-CABLE 382 Random Orbit Sander

If you are looking for a sander that can fit for various projects and achieve more precise work, then one of the best option you should consider is the Porter-Cable 385 Random Orbit Sander. Although Porter-Cable is a popular name in the power tool industry, they are one of the few brands that still manages to deliver quality machineries that do not break the bank. This is why their products are mostly preferred by budget buyers. This is what makes the Porter-Cable 385 even more attractive to shoppers. Apart from its reasonable pricing, this sander is equipped with a good load of interesting features that makes it reliable, efficient and durable. However, it doesn’t come with the extras you will commonly find in many high end models. Notwithstanding, it’s still a great deal for its price. In fact, you might not find a better alternative out there. The sander works well for different sanding jobs with precision requirements. It offers variable speed control which allows you to choose from various speed options. You can work with up to 12000 OPM; this makes the machine really versatile. Like many high end models, the unit also comes with an efficient dust collector which ensures the work area is free from too much dust making it more convenient to work with the sander. The body construction is largely made of sealed ball bearings which doesn’t only make it lightweight but also durable. The only aspect of the machine some users might not be impressed with is its motor power. At 1.9-amp, this doesn’t really pass as a very powerful orbit sander. But considering how much you are paying for the unit, this is still a fair bargain. Overall, we think this unit will make a good choice for light sanding jobs. If you need more power, then you can consider other models on the list.

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7. TOPVORK Random Orbit Sander

Last but definitely not the least sander on our list of the best rated random orbital sanders is TOPVORK. The unit comes with a lot of features that makes it a great option for DIY hobbyists. It also has a decent price point that makes it an attractive option for budget buyers. As expected, the unit offers variable speed control which runs between 7500 – 12000 OPM. It is powered by a 2.5-amp motor which delivers an efficient performance. Altogether, there are six variable speed option. This makes the tool suitable for various sanding operations including wood finishing, paint and varnish removal, polishing and so on. In other words, you can use this sander to complete virtually any sanding job in your home. Pressure indicator lights are also included with the device to remind you when you’re applying more force than required. Although many people might not consider this a big deal, but it will really help you in the long run. Applying brutal force to a sander can make the motor to burn off sooner, thereby reducing the lifespan of the machine. Thus having a reminder to prevent users from exerting so much force will make the tool to last much longer. You will also be impressed with the dust collection system of the unit as it ensures efficient dust removal keeping the workspace clean and leaving less mess behind after your work. This is made possible by the use of a micro-filter which ensures that even the tiniest dust particle is trapped. The machine is also comfortable to use and handle even with one hand. Minimal vibration is produced thus enabling you to use the sander for a longer period of time. Also included in the package is a 10pcs sandpaper which you can use for various sanding jobs. Overall, this is a nice sander with so much to offer for its price. Don’t hesitate to put out your money for it if you consider it a good fit for your project.

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How to Buy the Best Random Orbital Sanders

As earlier indicated, finding the right sander for your project can be a hectic task given the huge number of brands and models you have to sort through. Hopefully, with the right information, you can avoid this.

Regardless of your skill level, adhering to the points discussed below will help you find a random orbital sander you will be proud of.

With this in mind, let’s look at the factors you have to consider when shopping for the best random orbital sander for the money.

Power

This one is obvious. The power rating of the motor that comes with a sander is largely responsible for its performance and reliability. The same can be said for any power tool.

There are many things in a random orbital sander that is influenced by power, but the most important one is speed. With more power, the machine is likely to attain greater speed(s).

This is really important, especially in the case of a variable speed random orbital sander.

Most low priced sanders usually come with 2-3 amps motor. Some models could have a lower rating. However, it is very common for the high end models to have power rating from 3-5 amps. This increases their functionality and utility.

Except you are working on a small project, you should aim for a sander with a high power as this allows you to achieve finer finishes thus increasing the versatility of the tool.

Vibration Control

Another important thing to look out for when purchasing a random orbital sander is the level of vibration the machine produces.

Like many power tools, sanders are generally configured to release a lot of vibration, regardless of the type. However, too much vibration can stop users from using the tool for a long time as it causes fatigue in the arms, as well as a tingling sensation that can be very annoying.

As a result, it’s very important to go for a sander that doesn’t produce so much vibration.

Luckily, many random orbital sanders come with certain features to help reduce the level of vibration produced by the tool while in operation. This helps to minimize user fatigue and increase comfort making it possible to use the device for extended periods.

A sander may come with a simple vibration control feature such as a soft rubber overmold or it can be something more complex like a suspension system. Whatever the vibration mechanism is, it should be something that really works!

Speed Setting

When purchasing a random orbital sander, users are usually faced with the decision of choosing between a fixed speed unit or one that has variable speed.

Both types of sanders are popular, but they also come with their advantages and disadvantages.

Variable speed units offer users different speed options allowing them choose a speed that matches the quality of the surface you are working on and the sanding requirement. This enables you to achieve smoother finishes. They are also great for polishing tasks where precision and fineness are important.

Fixed random orbital units come with a single speed option which makes them ideal for regular sanding jobs. Although these units are not as precise as the variable speed models, they are cheaper.

If you have more money to spend, we advise going for a variable speed unit as it offers more control and versatility.

In addition to the speed setting of the sander, you also consider the speed range of the unit.

Lower speed ranges (4000-6000 OPM) are suitable for polishing tasks while 6000-1000 OPM works best for performing finish sanding. Higher speed values (above 10000 OPM) are ideal when doing general sanding operations (most times this will involve a coarse material).

Dust Collection

Dust collection is a very important criteria you must not overlook when shopping for a new sander or else you might end up with a unit that leaves a lot of mess behind. Perhaps a sander with a weak dust collector will be difficult to work with for long as you need a clean work area to work effectively.

This makes the dust collection system a very important component of any random orbital sander.

You may find some sanders with a dust collector that includes a canister and others that come with a dust bag.

The best dust systems are usually those that have attachment that allows you to connect a shop vac.

Apart from causing a lot of mess and making the sander less effective, too much dust from a sanding operation is not good for your respiratory health and could lead to some serious problems.

Many sanders cannot be used by people with allergies because they cannot properly remove dust. So make sure you get a sander with a good dust collection system.

Cord Length

Electric sander models are probably the most popular option out there, so it will not come as a surprise if you decided to go one.

In this case, you need to pay attention to the length of the power cord that comes with the unit. Many sanders come with long cords but there are also others that do not.

Having a long power cord is essential as it allows you to reach every part of the workpiece. With a short cord, you may need an extension cord, which may not always be convenient.

Make sure you go for a sander with a cord with at least 12-feet length.

However, even though you want to get a sander with a long cord, you must not compromise quality in the process. We think it’s better to buy a quality sander with a short cord than a low grade model with a very long cord.

Luckily, you don’t have to bother too much about this. Most of the electric models on the list above come with long power cord and they have high quality.

How Are Random Orbital Sanders Powered Up?

Most random orbital sanders work with electricity. These sanders usually come with a power cord which you need to plug to an electric outlet before you can use them.

However, you may also find some models that are powered by other means other than electricity. These mainly include the pneumatic and cordless options.

The cordless random orbital sanders run on batteries while the pneumatic models require compressors to work.

Each of these sanders have their advantages and disadvantages. Whichever one you decide to go for will depend on your need and situation.

If you have an existing compressor and airline, then you might consider using a pneumatic sander.

Cordless random orbital sanders tend to cost a little more than the other options. Since they are powered by batteries, you can use them in places where they are no power grid. However, they need to be charged often, which may limit their usability.

The electric models are still the most popular options. They are very affordable and provide uninterrupted power supply.

How to Use and Maintain Orbital Sander

Before you use an orbital sander, make sure you prepare beforehand. You should have the appropriate clothing as well as gloves, eye wear, and dust mask. Use the right sanding pads for every job and make sure all the delicate areas of the tool are covered to prevent accident.

Make sure you opt for a sander that is comfortable to work with. This will ensure you don’t get tired easily.

Don’t apply too much force on the device. The sanding operation relies largely on the spinning action of the tool and not your brute force. In fact, using a sander that way will make the motor to burn out sooner than you expect.

In terms of maintenance, most sanders need to be oiled regularly. This is required for the moving parts to continue functioning properly.

Proper maintenance is also required to ensure you use the sander for a long time. Most models can last as long as four years when used and maintained regularly. The machine can even last longer when not used daily.

Make sure you store properly after cleaning. Don’t leave it outside to avoid corrosion of any part.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions users normally ask when purchasing a random orbital sander.

1. Do I need to use any safety equipment when using a sander?

Yes. It is essential to protect yourself when using any power tool or while working in a workshop generally. Make sure you wear the appropriate clothing and have your safety goggles on to protect your eyes.

If the material you are working on is the type that flies around while sanding off, then you may want to wear a mouth guard.

2. Do I have to oil my sander regularly?

You may need to oil your sander from time to time in order for it to continue working properly. However, this might not always be the case. It all depends on the model you are working with.

Whatever the case, make sure you check the instruction manual to know if you need to do regular oiling or not.

3. What is the meaning of OPM?

OPM simply means orbit per minute. It is the standard unit of measurement for speed in most regular random orbital sanders.

4. What are the top random orbital sander brands in the market?

When it comes to the leading brands, Makita, Bosch and DeWalt are the most common names you will hear about. But products from these brands are often pricey, which may be beyond the reach of many DIY hobbyists on a budget.

However, there are also a few ROS brands that have some low-cost sanders with good quality and performance. A good example is Black and Decker, and Porter Cable.

5. Where can I get these products?

If you like any sander on the list, simply click on the corresponding link to go to the product page so you can make purchase.

Conclusion

Sanding is an important requirement to complete most woodworking tasks. As such, a good sander is a must have for the serious DIY hobbyists or professional.

While there are different kinds of sanders out there, the random orbital sander ranks on top because it tends to be more versatile, efficient and easier to use.

Luckily, we have taken away the stress of choosing from so many brands and models. With our list of the best random orbital sander reviews, you can easily pick the right sander for your next project.

Let us know if there’s any other question you will like us to answer.