Sanding might not be your favorite part of the project, but if you do a lot of DIY work around the home, it is pretty hard to avoid. Fortunately, you have a wide array of sander tools that help to make the job quicker and easier. You can opt for an oscillating multi-tool with sanding capabilities, or if you need something suited specifically for the task at hand, you can look for a tool whose main functionality is sanding.
Among the array of sander power tools, the varieties of random orbital palm sanders tend to be some of the most versatile and the most popular. In this post, we are going to take a closer look at these electric hand sanders and the different jobs to which they can be applied.
In general, a random orbital palm sander is for more versatile tasks than a standard orbit palm sander, which is mostly used for finishing purposes. Also, the random orbit sander has a round pad that spins as it moves in a circular motion, while the standard sander pad does not spin as it circles.
Here’s what else you need to know about these sander tools:
Random Orbital Palm Sander or Standard Orbit Palm Sander?
When you look at palm sanders, you have two basic types. You have the standard orbital palm sanders and the random orbit palm sanders. A standard orbital palm sander is a smaller power tool sander and it is designed specifically for finish work. A random orbital palm sander is usually a little bigger, and it can work for a wider range of jobs.
Beyond the size and power, there are some other important differences between these two different types of sander tools. Orbit palm sanders have a square pad that moves in tiny circles as it works.
Meanwhile, random orbital palm sanders have a round pad that not only moves in a circular motion, but the pad also spins. This creates the random orbits that give these power tool sanders their name, and it also helps to reduce the swirl pattern that can be created when using a standard orbital palm sander.
You’ll also find a lot more variation in the design of random orbital palm sanders. Most of them are palm sanders with a grip that is very similar to the grip on a standard orbit palm sander, but you also have electric hand sanders that come with a handle for better control. In addition to that, this type of power tool sander can also be found in 5-inch or 6-inch pads.
Uses for Orbital Palm Sanders
This type of sander power tool can be applied to a wide range of different sanding tasks. However, the differences in design between different models can make them better for specific purposes. If all you are doing is very fine finish work, a standard orbit palm sander is a good fit. However, if you need something that is a little more versatile, you will want to instead opt for a random orbital palm sander.
One of the most important factors in selecting a random orbital palm sander is the size of the pad. For most DIYers, a 5-inch model like the Rockwell 3.3 AMP 5-inch Vibrafree Random Orbit Sander should be a good fit. Both this size and an electric hand sander with a 6-inch pad can be used for finish work and for stripping material. Between the two, a 5-inch model will be slightly better for smoothing surfaces and a 6-inch model will be slightly better for stripping material and removing rust.
Even beyond pad size, you have some points to consider. Different handle designs can make these sander power tools easier to handle. You also have the different systems for attaching and removing sandpaper. If you are getting particular, you may also want to look into specs like power and oscillations per minute.