Many DIY projects require sanding as a part of surface preparation. While this task can make a significant difference when it comes to the finish, it can be tedious and time-consuming. However, you can save time and reduce the amount of effort by getting a power sander to do most of the work.
With an electric sander and the right sandpaper grit, you can remove stock and get the surface smooth, but choosing the right type of sander is important. Different types of sanders operate in different ways, so each design is typically better suited to individual types of sanding tasks.
With so many sander tools available, it can be hard to pick the right one for the task at hand. In this post, we are going to look at a few of the more common sander types to help you pick the right one for your next DIY project. These different types of sanders include:
- orbital sanders;
- belt sanders;
- random orbital sanders;
- oscillating tools.
Orbital Sanders Are the Best Type of Sander for Fine Jobs
As you may have guessed, the orbital sander operates using an orbital action. This is the best hand sander for fine-finish sanding, but it is not efficient for jobs that require the removal of a lot of stock on a large surface.
The orbital sander has a square pad and uses a quarter sheet of standard 9×11-inch sandpaper fastened to the pad using spring-loaded clips. These electric sanders are also lightweight and have a palm grip at the top, making them easy to operate with one hand.
Use Your Belt Sander for Large Projects
A belt sander uses speed and power to remove stock quickly. If you are trying to smooth a workpiece that is large and flat, this sander tool will make the work quicker and easier. The power of this machine does increase the chance that you could damage the surface, but it also makes it great for jobs like removing paint from a door or smoothing out a large, uneven surface.
This sanding tool uses sanding belts fitted to a set of cylinders on the machine. The rear cylinder is the drive cylinder and the front spins freely. The sanding belts can be removed and replaced using a tension-release lever and they also have an adjustment knob to keep the belt centered on the cylinders.
A Random Orbital Sander is Among the Most Effective Electric Sanders
The random orbital sander can be good for both finish sanding and for quick stock removal. It won’t be as fast at removing stock as a belt sander, and it has a little more power than a standard orbital sander. But, with the right grit and different speeds, this electric sander can perform well for both purposes.
This type of sander tool does share some things in common with the standard orbital sander. They are both sanders that can be controlled with one hand, and they both use an orbiting action. However, the random orbital sander uses a round disc instead of a square pad, and in addition to the orbital motion of the pad, the disc also spins as it orbits.
The Rockwell 3.3 Amp 5” Vibrafree Random Orbital Sander is one of the best hand sanders in this category. It uses vibration-cancelling technology to make it easier to control, and it also has a cyclonic dust collection system to remove dust from the surface as you work.
Multi-Sanders Can Stand-in for Different Types of Sanders
If you are looking for a power sander that offers a lot of functions in a single tool, you might want to consider a multi-sander. These are sanders that come with different removable sanding pads and the ability to change the method of operation for different tasks.
Depending on the specific multi-sander you buy, it could come with a variety of functions. At the very least, the tool should be able to switch between working as a random orbital sander and a standard orbital sander. However, there are some that offer a broader array of sanding abilities, like this 5-in-1 Multi-Sander.
Your Oscillating Tool is an Effective Sanding Tool, Too
An oscillating multi-tool can be put to many purposes, so this is another option that is good for DIYers looking for a multi-functional tool. With the sanding pad attachment, an oscillating multi-tool can be great for sanding in tight spaces and around corners.
For home DIY, the Sonicrafter F303.5 Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool can be used for sawing and scraping. Add in the sanding pad, and it can also be a valuable piece in your collection of sanding tools. The triangle shape of the sanding pad makes it ideal for working in awkward places where other sanders can’t get.
It’s clear that different types of sanders are best used for different types of projects. Whether you’re just looking for something to get your next job started, or an electric sander that can perform multiple jobs, sanding tools are an essential part of any DIY project.
Find the best hand sander for your toolkit at Rockwell!