Have you ever tried using sandpaper by hand? It’s something that can quickly turn into an annoyance, leaving your hands tired and wishing that there was a way to do it all automatically. Orbital sanders allow you to smooth down wooden surfaces quickly, all without the burden of getting your arms tired from moving back and forth for long stretches of time.
Their durability is strong and contains bags that trap excess sawdust inside. The result is clean woodworking that’s easy to clean up after you’re done. Below are reviews of five orbital sanders, of which are effective at refining woodworking projects of all kinds.
After that, don’t forget to go over the Buyer’s Guide that’ll assist you getting the product that’s catered to your specific needs. Then look at the Conclusion to see which of those come with the highest recommendations.
What is the Best Random Orbital Sander for Woodworking in 2020?
This basic comparison list shows the specifications of each product’s OPM, size, and power. If there’s anything more specific that you need to know, just refer to the links shown next to each product’s name.
1. Makita BO5041K
Best Random Orbital Sander for Woodworking
This sander fits five-inch abrasive discs, has 4,000-12,000 OPM and powers at 3.0 Amps
2. Bosch ROS20VSC
Best Orbital Sander for Dust Collection
Having great rotation speed, this five-inch orbital sander goes up to 12,000 OPM and has 2.5 Amps total.
3. BLACK+DECKER BDERO100
Best Orbital Sander for Handling
This five-inch sander has a fixed OPM of 12,000, along with an orbital diameter of 1/8 inches. The current numbers at 2.8 Amps.
4. DEWALT DWE6423K
Best Orbital Sander for Durability
Another variable speed power tool, this Dewalt sander goes down to 8,000 OPM and maxes out at 12,000. It will fit 5-inch discs and power at a solid 3.0 Amps.
1. Makita BO5041K – Best Random Orbital Sander for Woodworking (Editor’s Choice)
The Makita BO5041K was designed with comfort in mind. It houses two handles that will help you increase your grip for the entirety that it’s used.
The dust collector is also built well and blocks all sawdust from leaking as you work.
It also has a nice on/off switch, of which will lock up the sander quickly if needed.
This is a variable speed sander, which means that the OPM isn’t fixed.
You can dial it down to a slow pace or crack up the power to a cap of 12,000 oscillations per minute.
Overall, this sander is one of the best that you’ll find anywhere, and is recommended for nearly any type of sanding.
- Prevents dust from spreading on the surface of the wood being sanded
- The on/off switch can be locked to avert accidentally hitting it while at work
- There are two handles in all, each of which can be held simultaneously to maintain control
- Speed settings are variable and operate in tune with the material in contact
- Slight shaking when the speed dial is set at a lower level (starting at 3)
- The sandbag may come off the sander on rare occasions
- Velcro on the other side of the discs sometimes separates from the machine while in operation (more likely to occur when using old discs)
2. Bosch ROS20VSC – Best Orbital Sander for Dust Collection (People’s Choice)
The Bosch ROS20VSC is the second best buy featured, a silent sander. It’s very quiet and won’t alert your entire neighborhood to your woodworking activities.
Looking further into this, the root to its low volume is less vibration. And the less a sander shake, the easier it will be for you to handle without needing to take breaks.
The build is well crafted and should last for years without needing a replacement.
And for those who are worried about dust collection, no irritating leaks will happen fast during your sanding.
You may experience a little bit of sawdust escaping in between the o-ring at times though. And don’t forget to empty out the bag as you go to avoid it clogging up when you’re working.
Truth be told, there’s not much to criticize about the ROS20VSC. It’s equally as impressive as the Makita brand and should rank high on anyone’s list of orbital sanders that deserve a future purchase.
- Not only sands with finesse, but does it with less noise than many competing orbital sanders
- Vibration is reduced, even at the highest speeds
- Durable construction that won’t break easily
- Outstanding dust collection that has a built-in filter to increase its effectiveness
- Although the filter and dust collector function well, it may at times clog and be unable to gather sawdust until cleaned again
- Sawdust may leak in between the collector and machine, regardless of whether or not the o-ring is cleaned
3. BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 – Best Orbital Sander for Handling (Best Price)
The Black and Decker BDERO100 is an orange sander and, unlike the product that was reviewed first, contains only one grip.
But don’t take that as a put down; it’s still a powerhouse that’s a breeze to control and use. The size is small but durable, making it easy to grasp in a way that will not tire your arms out.
You can even sand away those tight corners that would otherwise require a manual scrub down.
Furthermore, the discs you place on the rotator should last you for a surprisingly long time without losing abrasion, even after a full day of work with the same paper.
If you’re searching for an orbital sander that’s lightweight and remains cool to the touch after strenuous use, then this Black and Decker is definitely a worthy pick.
- Doesn’t heat up even after the sander has been used for long periods
- Very compact construction that’s easy to hold without feeling fatigue in the hands
- Has the ability to sand corners to the farthest edge
- Compatible with nearly any orbital sandpaper sold separately
- Doesn’t wear down paper quickly, discs will stay abrasive for a long time
- Small portions of sawdust seep out of the unit
- When using for the first several times, the sender may produce a lingering burning smell (goes away over time)
- The power cord is short and may necessitate an extension cord if outlets are far away
4. DEWALT DWE6423K – Best Orbital Sander for Durability
Dewalt is famous for its power tools, and the DWE6423K doesn’t fail to impress.
It takes away the burdens that are often problems found on other orbital sanders, such as vibration.
While it does produce some movement when turned on, it stays low enough to the point where you’ll likely forget about it.
It’s a well-built tool and can handle the roughest of environments without breaking easily.
That doesn’t mean that you should be too rough on it though.
Issues could arise if you’re looking at getting an external vacuum, as the o-ring is very short and not compatible with many models.
Other than that, most of the other issues are minor, so look into the DWE6423K when you need durability over everything else.
- Low vibration; easy to grasp without risk of slipping
- Well crafted build that can withstand rough environments without becoming damaged
- No dust leaks from the bag, which stays securely fastened to the sander (doesn’t dislodge)
- Sold with a water-resistant carrying bag
- The o-ring is short and may not fit some external vacuums
- The on/off switch awkwardly rests above a rubber cover that makes it difficult to deactivate fast
- Rough portions are hard to smoothen without relying on handheld sandpaper to complete work
5. SKIL SR211601 – Best Variable Speed Orbital Sander
The last product is the Skil SR211601, another wired sander with variable control for its speed. It’s another Orbital that puts the emphasis of comfortability.
Volume output stays low and is much quieter than many of its competitors. The speed can quickly change from a crawl to lightning fast and has a great OPM of over 13,000.
Because of its high rotation, heavy-duty jobs will be particularly easy to work on with this sander. But you might want to acquire a vacuum with it, as the collector included may leak out of the bag, which is somewhat wide.
And if no leaks occur, it’s possible that you may end up spilling it from simply brushing up against its exterior during operation. Regardless, the SR211601 could be the right sanding tool for you if in need of woodworking that won’t cut it at anything less than 12,000 OPM.
- Solid variable speed settings
- The base relies on Velcro to attach to discs but holds very well at low or high variable speeds
- Holds steady without any annoying shaking
- The dust collector may spill lots of dust periodically due to its size (easy to brush); the unit is recommended to be used with a vacuum, if possible
- May become hot during heavy use
How to Choose Random Orbital Sander for Woodworking – Buyer’s Guide
As you know, getting a new Orbital Sander isn’t as easy as looking for sandpaper that you would use manually. While the product is often identical is shape and size, their features are differed vastly when examined further.
And because minor contrasts can greatly determine whether you’ll have a machine that will be enjoyed or not, it’s important that you know what you’re getting before finalizing a checkout.
This Buyer’s Guide will help you confidently pick the orbital that contains all the attributes you want to make your woodworking easier.
Orbital Sanders utilize dust collectors to hold sawdust when the machines are in operation.
The mechanism is very similar to a vacuum, whereby the particles are sucked into a small case that’s usually located to the rear of the rotator. It attaches to an o-ring that prevents anything from seeping out in between the transfer.
Problems may arise when too much sawdust collects inside, resulting in spillage (by the o-ring) that is difficult to clean. If your sander has this problem, you could purchase a bag device that pushes the debris into a container that has more room.
And there’s also hoses, which takes away the hassle of having to frequently empty out the smaller adapters.
If you think that the collectors included with the products above are too tiny for a future sanding project, consider getting something bigger. If not, then there shouldn’t be too much issue with what’s available.
Today’s sanders will incorporate either one or two grips.
If you’ve never used one before, you should consider those with two, as it’s less likely to make mistake since your grasp with remain firm no matter how tired your hands become. While one grip should be enough for most people, having an extra hand would be well-served in situations where the orbital will be put to lots of work.
Carpenters or anyone expecting to use it on a daily basis will be pleased to have more sway in its hold. But truthfully, this doesn’t make or break most of the products and much of this is dependent on what you personally want.
Orbital sanders, like many power tools, rely on electricity to function. That means the machines will generate movement as they are in motion.
Because of this, vibration develops that can potentially become an annoyance. Most of the products shown above will minimize the effect. Still, some shaking will remain regardless.
However, it’s not always easy to tell which will vibrate less than another, but higher quality machines tend to have fewer jitters than those of a poorer standard. Not only that, but the sound produced may also have a high volume that can be easily heard from another room.
Of course, this isn’t always the case but is more common in cheaper brands. And just because the orbital has a high OPM doesn’t necessarily mean that reverberations won’t be of concern.
If you’re looking for an orbital sander that operates with a wired electrical adapter, pay attention the product’s description to see whether or not the cord is long enough for you to use without relying on an extension cord.
Many brands have cord lengths that are very short and must be attached to an external appliance that enables it to be used from a long distance. The average is around five feet but some are even shorter.
Regardless, it’s still a good idea to have an extension around just in case you find yourself in a circumstance that requires you to work in an area that doesn’t have any nearby outlets.
Most people will be okay with this (assuming that there’s a cord stashed in your garage at the moment) but don’t forget to gauge the extent of the wire to be certain.
Variable speed controls allow the operator better freedom in how much power they want the orbital sander to use when in contact with a wooden surface. Speed on models with this feature can range from very slow to over 11,000 oscillations every minute (OPM).
Yet not everyone needs to work at a slow pace but can be useful in sanding areas that don’t need to be completely smooth. Variable speed can also act as a feature to aid in better overall control.
How Long the Grit Lasts
Speaking of grit, the discs that attach to an orbital sander can either last for extended intervals or become useless very quickly. Another feature that could extend the time you’ll need for a replacement is Velcro.
It sticks to the opposite end up the disc and prevents it from moving awkwardly while sanding, which in turn could allow it’s abrasiveness to last longer. Of course, you’ll have to get more at some point. Remember to acquire lots of discs if you’re planning on sanding large pieces with lots of corners and crevices.
Some brands will have a few included with the machine itself, along with tool bag. The point is that you want to be prepared prior to the sanding arriving at your door, so don’t overlook any accessories while you’re checking out how good the brand stacks up in features.
There’s a good chance that you’ll be using the orbital sander for jobs that warrant it to have a heavy duty build quality. Those shown above are made from hard, thick casings; materials that won’t wear it down are lead to dents and scratches in the surface.
Depending on your grip, the handles may wear away on some models but isn’t something that’ll materialize unless you’re storing it in a bad location.
Always place your orbital sander in a cool, dry place when you’re not using it so it stays in a new condition long after it’s bought.
It’s hopeful that you have a good idea on which orbital sander you want to send to your home. But if not, there are some on the list that is highly recommended. The Makita BO5041K and Bosch ROS20VSC two of the best in terms of speed settings and ease of control.
However, this isn’t an insinuation that the others are poor in performance. In fact, they may offer something in their attributes that would be better for your woodworking than what’s suggested.
Whichever sander you buy, it’s a given that your purchase will be well-served and produce the results that you expect from automatic sanding. These are the best that you’ll find anywhere and will make your wood appliances in stellar shape!