The Top 4 Random Orbital Sanders for Any Job 2021
Every woodworker worth their stock should have a trusty, powerful random orbital sander in their tool shed. It can be tough to determine which model, type, or brand is the right fit for your project and your needs, so we’ve broken down the options in this user-friendly guide for the top random orbital sanders.
There are lots of different sanders out there, and it’s important to know the difference. The random orbital sander is powerful enough to grind off a good amount of material when needed, and capable of gently creating a smooth finish. In other words, if you’re looking for the best all-around sanding tool for basic woodworking projects, this is your tool.
The random orbital sander is a powerful machine designed to remove materials using an oscillating and rotating motion. The “random” part of the name describes the irregular circular movement of the sanding pad, which means that no spiral patterns or circular marks are left on your finished piece (a common issue with other orbital sanders).
Want to skip ahead? Here are our top choices:
- Best Overall — BOSCH ROS20VSC The best performer for both low-vibration and dust control
- Most Power-Packed - DEWALT DWE6423K When it comes to getting a job done and done quickly, nothing beats this sander
- Best for Budget — BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 Budget-friendly and efficient, this handy option is a great first-time sander
- Best for Big Jobs — Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Lighter than the competition and more comfortable to maneuver, this is the best model for big projects
Important features of random orbital sanders
There are three types of power sources when it comes to random orbital sanders: Pneumatic, (powered by an air compressor), corded (powered by electricity), and cordless (powered by battery).
Though cordless sanders may seem like the best option if you’re sanding a large space and want to go untethered (like a big table or deck), they do have a limited run time (we’re talking 30-45 minutes), which can get bothersome if you’ve gotten into a good sanding groove. If you’re going the cordless route, it’s a good idea to have a backup battery charged and ready. Keep in mind also that cordless sanders have that additional weight and bulk of the battery.
Corded sanders are our pick for an all-around great sanding tool, and as long as you have a good extension cord handy, you don’t have to fret too much about being hooked up to an outlet.
The punch behind your random orbital sander is all in the motor power, which is most commonly measured in amps. It’s not truly as straightforward as that— the amp measure refers to the amount of electricity being used to power the motor, not the output of the motor— but it is a good proxy to illustrate the overall sander power.
Most medium-priced sanders range from 2-4 amps, depending on their size and model. Typically, sanders with more motor power will remove stock more quickly and more easily. Keep in mind, more powerful doesn’t always mean better when it comes to random orbital sanders. With more power, you run the risk of creating sand through (literally sanding through more material than you intended) and high vibration and noise.