Last Updated: March 2019
Best Orbital Sander
An orbital sander is one of the best tools that you can have for woodworking projects. But there are a lot of choices out there and it is difficult to know which one is right for you. We’ve chosen five of the best orbital sanders currently on the market to make that choice easier. Let’s take a look at each one in detail, including the features, pros and cons and customer reviews from each. Each one is a little bit different, but there is no doubt that if you choose one of these five you’re going to be getting one of the best orbital sanders available.
Types of Orbital Sanders
The first thing that you should understand is that there are two different types of orbital sanders. The first is the orbital finishing sander, which is easy to use and will be difficult to mismanage to damage what you are working on. However, the limitations that give you this safety net also make it useless for more complex applications. A far more useful type of sander is the random orbit sander, and that’s the one that we’re going to be discussing here. It takes a little more practice and skill to use, but it can do so much more than a finishing sander. Let’s look at the best types of random orbital sanders.
Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander
This Bosch random orbit sander has a lot of great features that you will find extremely useful. This is the perfect combination of rotation and orbit that makes this one of the most useful sanding and polishing tools that you will ever own. Bosch makes quality products, and this is intended to meet your needs on almost any project. Let’s look at the specs.
Variable speed dial
Hook and loop disc attachment
35,000+ grip hooks
Micro filter for trapping dust and particles
Easy to remove dust canister
This is a 5-inch random orbit sander and polisher kit that has a perfectly optimized pad orbit and rotation combo that delivers a smooth finish with enough versatility to be used on cabinets, furniture and a variety of woodworking applications. This is suitable for professional use, as it allows carpenters to finish a woodworking task quickly to their exact specifications without leaving swirls. With a variable speed knob, you can choose how much power you need on a sand or polish, and it includes an air filtration system for getting rid of the dust and particles. This is also one of the most comfortable sanders that you’ll ever use. The top features a soft grip and you can change your position to whatever works best for you. Single grip sanders leave you feeling fatigued after a short time, but this solves that problem with multiple grip options. The micro filter system traps particles as small as half a micron so you can be sure that you are just breathing in clean air.
This sander is affordable and easy to use, with features like the microfilter and multiple grip positions. It also has the advantage of a terrific price, a variable speed knob and enough power to be able to work on professional projects and make them look amazing, plus this Bosch product is designed to eliminate swirl marks.
However, what you should know is that this is not truly a professional sander. It is lightweight and powerful enough for small to medium-size jobs, but if you are planning to use it long term on a daily basis, you might be better off going with a higher-end sander. This has all the features you need, but it just isn’t going to stand up to tons of use.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers are really happy with the sander, saying that it works perfectly as advertise, leaving no swirl marks and getting the job done. However, there were a couple of warnings that this will not work on veneer, but for the most part this was an extremely high rated product.
DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander, 5″
Next up is this DeWalt corded random orbital sander with the powerful three amp motor and 5 inches of surface area. Anyone who knows tools knows that DeWalt is a brand that you can trust for quality products, and this is definitely no exception. With adjustable 8,00 to 12,000 OPM and some great features, this is one of the best orbital sanders out there. Let’s check the specs.
5-Inch Random orbit Sander
Cloth Dust Bag
adjustable 8,00 to 12,000 OPM
Pneumatics, Sander & Grinder use
Anti-slip comfort grip
Dust sealed switch so it lasts longer
Controllable pad speed
Dust bag with vacuum adapter
This DeWalt corded sander is one of the most versatile sanders that are on the market right now. It comes with a cloth dust bag, and it can be used for sanders, grinders and pneumatics. This is a very smooth sander and polisher with a 5 inch surface area and a very well designed controlled finishing system, as well as multiple grips for both comfort and added control. In addition, this sander is meant to last for a long time with the dust sealed switch protected against wear and tear and a powerful three amp motor the delivers 8,000 to 12,000 OPM.
This orbital sander has even more features as well including technology that prevents gouging when you first start sanding and anti-vibration design that makes it extremely easy to use. Dust and particles will not be a problem since they collect in the bag and you’ll be able to use this just about anywhere.
Advantages of this particular sander includes the fact that it is lightweight and easy to use; while still providing a level of quality sanding and polishing the can be used in professional applications and features that make for a very smooth operation with comfortable grips that will allow you to keep sanding for as long as you want.
The main disadvantage of this sander is that the vacuum connections that are listed in the product specs do not fit most vacuums. There are two DeWalt vacs that it is made to fit but you will have a hard time hooking them up on most of your shop vacs and regular vacs.
What Customers Are Saying
This product has some of the best reviews of any product out there – not necessarily restricted to orbital standards. Everyone seems to love this product with only one complaint found, having to do with the misleading vacuum attachment that was mentioned in the disadvantages section.
Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
The third sander on our list is from Makita, and it is another 5-inch sander that is a random orbital model. This sander features a brightly colored casing and lots of power to give you everything you need to sand or polish your projects. There are lots of great features, but let’s start with the specifications.
Variable speeds to give you custom control
3 amp motor
12,000 OPM max
Rubber palm grips and handle that is adjustable for corners and tight spaces
Two finger trigger with a button to lock it into place
Pad control system
Dust collection system that starts in the pad itself
Pad brake to prevent gouging
There are so many things to love about this polisher that you will have a hard time coming up with reasons not to buy it. This variable speed sander is Makita’s model BO5041K, and it has plenty of power and speed to give you the performance that you’ve come to expect from a sander and polisher. You get plenty of versatility with the adjustable front handle – something you don’t see with very many of these sanders, making this an ideal tool for polishing, woodworking, carpentry and any type of construction. The main features of this sander are convenience, performance and comfort. It’s convenient because it includes a two-finger trigger switch that is easy to use and has a locking button when you don’t want to hold the trigger. The pad brake is designed to prevent gouging and create a polish or sanding that is professional. Plus, the front handle is adjustable so that you can use it just about anywhere, from corners and tight spaces to confined areas that other sanders just won’t reach.
This variable speed sander and polisher allows you to choose between 4000 and 12,000 OPM so you get exactly as much power as you need without getting too much and creating mistakes. Plus, this has a feature that eliminates swirls and reduces the chance of gouging to almost nothing. Also, the vibration that this has is barely noticeable so you can use it for hours if you want.
Really, the only problem with this is how fast the pads wear out. They last about 15 hours and then you have to buy a new one, which can get really expensive if you use this all the time.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers cannot say enough good things about this product. There were virtually no complaints.
Makita BO5030K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
This is definitely one of the lower budget options on this list, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it doesn’t have what you need. This is still one of the best random orbit sanders out there, and with all of the features that this has, the price is worth every penny. Let’s get started with the specifications of this sander.
3 amp motor
5 inch surface area
Durable carrying case
Includes abrasive disc
Simple to use
This is the lower budget model on our list of sanders and polishers, and it comes again from Makita. The model is 5030K, which is a few models prior to the more expensive and fully-featured 5041K in the last entry. But there is still a lot to love when it comes to this sander. First is the Makita guarantee, which comes with this and the other models listed here – 30 days to return it with no questions asked plus a one-year warranty. Makita guarantees that the product will be free of defects or they will replace it or refund it – period. Plus, this simply has some great features like the pad control system, the powerful 3-amp motor that gives you as much juice as the more expensive five-inch sanders out there. You’ll be able to use it easily with the ergonomic design that fits in your hand with no problems, and the fabric dust bag is solidly attached and is easy to dump.
You have 30 days to send this back for a refund if you aren’t satisfied with it, and Makita offers a one-year warranty as well. This unit also has the advantage of just about every feature that you would find on the more expensive sanders, but without the mega price tag. This is simply one of the best sanders out there at a budget price.
The only real problem with this sander is that it is difficult to use on narrow parts because of the corners. You have to keep the sander flat in order to get the results you want. But it works just fine on everything else.
What Customers Are Saying
As for what the customers are saying about this product, it isn’t quite as highly rated as the last entry on our list, but it is close enough not to notice. There is no specific complaint just down to personal preference.
Random Orbit Sander, Tacklife 6 Variable Speed 3.0A 350W / 13000
This is the bottom of the list when it comes to price, but the features are pretty incredible regardless. There are a few disadvantages, but the bottom line is that this easily stacks up as one of the best sanders out there. Let’s look at this Tacklife product in detail and that starts with evaluating the specifications.
Variable with 6 speeds
5 inches of surface area
13,000 max OPM
Easy to use speed dial
3 amp motor
Dust collection system
Compact and portable
Comes with 12 sandpapers, sanding discs and a whole lot more
While some might try to tell you that buying the cheapest product means buying the worst, the truth is that even with the lowest price among the others on this list it stacks up amazingly well. In fact, for the price, the feature list for this sander and polisher are pretty staggering. First of all, while the other entries on this list have a max OPM of 12K, this unit goes all the way up to 13,000. But you don’t have to get 13,000 orbits. In fact, you can choose whatever you need for the type of job you are doing because there are six speed adjustments available. It also comes with a lot of stuff that you’ll need. It comes with extra sandpaper, sanding discs and instructions on how to use this sander for different applications like removing paint from various surfaces and getting it into hard-to-reach areas. Since this catches all of the dust and particulate, you don’t have to worry about using it outdoors and it features a rubber palm grip that is very comfortable and a switch that is easily within reach. There is very little vibration and even less noise, and you will really enjoy using this sander. It almost seems impossible to believe that this is the lowest priced unit on our list of five, but it definitely deserves its spot as one of the best sanders and polishers available.
When it comes to advantages of this product, you get the lowest price of any on this list, a whole slew of features, and lots of accessories and extras that you might not get with another sander. In addition, this has more power than any of the other sanders on this list with a max orbits per minute of 13,000 as opposed to 12,000.
The main problem is that even though this is a great sander it isn’t going to last as long as the others on this list. This is definitely a budget option with plenty to offer, but if you want more longevity, you might want to choose one of the others listed here.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers are big fans of this sander and polisher, with nearly 80% rating it at five stars. There were a couple of problems with it expiring before its time, but for the most part people were really happy. The sander worked as expected and did professional jobs with the same abilities as the more expensive units. This one just won’t last as long as the rest on this list.
What does OPM mean?
OPM means Orbits Per Minute, the more orbits the sander does per minute the quicker it will get the job done.
What are Amps?
Amps or amperes is the unit used to measure electric current. If you do not have enough amps then the device will probably not work and certainly not to the best of its ability. It will not run efficiently and may cause overheating. Too many amps is not a problem as the tool will only take the amps it needs.