The 10 Best Random Orbital Sanders—Rated and Reviewed
Meta: What is the best random orbital sander for your woodworking needs? Check out our top ten picks to see which one comes out on top!
For anyone that does woodworking, an adequately sanded wood is essential for the finished product to look fantastic. However, sanding a project can take extensive amounts of time, primarily if you’re working on a much larger surface. This concern is where sanders have come into play to cut down on sanding time so that you can get to your finished project all the faster.
Regular orbital sanders can get the job done, but they tend to make noticeable patterns on the surface of the wood afterward. Random orbital sanders combat this problem by sanding in a random pattern that doesn’t leave any distinct markings behind it. To help you find the right version of this tool to add to your toolkit, we’ve compiled our guide to the ten best random orbital sanders.
Things to Look for When Purchasing a Random Orbital Sander
Depending on your work tendencies, you’ll want to find that random orbital sander that meets your needs. Things to keep an eye out for include the power source, the speed, the base plate, and the dust collection system to name a few.
Random orbital sanders tend to come in three types of power sources: there are corded-, battery-, and pneumatic-powered sanders. Cord and battery sanders work just the way you’d expect them to, while pneumatic sanders work off air pressure, requiring an air compressor to run.
Corded power tools tend to have much more power than their battery counterparts, and the inclusion of the power source adds weight to battery models. Likewise, you’re looking at the possibility to need to put the breaks on the work with battery sanders, while a corded tool means you’ll need to be near an outlet to get any use out of the thing. Overall, you’ll want to consider your power and portability needs.
Motor Power and Speed
The motor power is ultimately going to play a role in what speed your sander runs. Faster speeds make completing larger projects quicker, but slower speeds are more suited to working with plastics, which can melt with too much friction. You’re also likely to see variable sanders, which can be great for those who work with different scales of projects.
Even if you primarily work with smaller projects, it can be a good idea to select a higher speed if you expand your work habits.
The base plate is what you’re going to be attaching your sandpaper to—a poor-quality base plate may end up causing some poor-quality sanding as a result. As time goes on, you’ll ultimately need to replace your base plate or purchase a whole new sander. Some base plate replacements can be expensive, so consider that cost before you invest.
Dust Collection System
Once you start standing, you’re going to encounter plenty of sawdust. It may not seem like an issue at first, but after a while, you’ll start to get annoyed by it. A good dust mask can help you, but making sure your sander has an effective dust collection system will also do wonders. Most dust collection systems work by sucking in dust through the holes in the base plate and into the attached dust bag or canister system.
When you work with a sander for long periods of time, the vibration can cause fatigue and tingles in the hands. A good vibration reduction system can make your sander much easier to handle.
Orbital sanders have a variety of disc sizes suitable for different projects. In addition to making it easier to handle larger surfaces, a large-scale disc size will allow you to finish sanding faster.
The 10 Best Random Orbital Sanders
Now that you know what you should be looking for, here are our top picks for the ten best random orbital sanders you can find!
If you need a sander to get the job done without a lot of extra zings, then you’ll want to give the DeWalt D26453 Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander a try. This sander boasts a 5-inch disc and the 3-amp motor allows for variable speeds between 7,000 and 12,000 orbits per minute, letting you work your way through any project with ease. The controlled-finishing system helps prevent start-up errors.
This sander is reliable and durable, and the dust sealed switch make it suitable to the work you’re likely to put to through. It’s not the lightest sander on the market, but at 3.5 pounds with excellent vibration control, this sander is also easy to handle. It also comes with a zippered carrying case for secure storage. You also get a three-year warranty along with a 90-day money back guarantee.
- Easy to control
- Controlled-finishing system
- Built-in dust bag
- Comes with carrying case
- Not suited for smaller projects
For a large sander with a lot of versatility, look no farther than the Bosch 1250DEVS. This sander comes with a 6-inch disc that can handle massive projects with ease. The variable speed 6.5-amp motor packs a lot of punch, letting you sand at speeds of 3,100-6,500 orbits per minute. There’s also a port for a vacuum attachment to help collect dust.
This sander has an extra handle to help hold onto the sander, which also makes it possible for both left- and right-handed users to manage this product. There’s also a grip to hold the Bosch like a palm sander, which allows for more detailed work. Its large size does make this one of the weightier sanders around, though. Bosch provides a one-year warranty or this product.
- Multiple handles
- Can also handle like a palm sander
- Large disc size
The Black & Decker BDER0100 Random Orbit Sander is a product that has a 5-inch sanding pad and set 14,00 orbits per minute speed. The 2.4-amp motor doesn’t offer a lot of extensive power, but it gives more than enough to get any essential work done.
This sander is easily one of the budget options on our list, so you don’t get a lot of the features you can out of a more expensive model. It does have a dust-control system that, while it isn’t the most effective on the market, is surprising considering the price point. The Black & Decker comes with a two-year warranty. Any beginner looking to do some simple woodwork can get excellent value from this sander.
- High speed
- Suited for beginners
- No variable speed
- Won’t do well for more extensive projects
Another Bosch product, the ROS20VSC brings together a 2.5-amp motor with a 5-inch disc size, giving you a lot of flexibility when it comes to products. The variable speed motor lets you work between 7,500 and 12,000 orbits per minute, which only serves to increase your options. This sander has a one-year warranty.
Bosch put a lot of work into the hook-tight systems and pad breaking to make sure your finish is genuinely free of any unwanted swirl marks from the job.
There’s also an easily detachable dust canister that lets you monitor how much dust is inside so that you can empty it out before dealing with any blowback. The cartridge even has a microfilter system that catches even the smallest particles of dust as you work.
- Great dust canister
- Microfilter system
- Hook tight system to secure the pad
- Suited for both beginners and more advanced woodworkers
- Noisy to use
For more advanced woof workers who want to invest in a much more expensive sander, the ROS65VC-6 brings a lot of bang for those who are willing to spend the bucks. The 3.3-amp motor allows for variable speeds of 5,500 to 12,000 orbits per minute, providing an extensive range of versatility. The 6-inch disc also covers a lot of ground, while the whole product has excellent vibration control.
The ROS65VC-6 has a screw-off cap that will catch dust during smaller jobs, while the vacuum hose adapter makes it easy to keep continually working during more intensive sanding jobs. Weighing in at 5.3 pounds, it’s unsuited for overhead tasks. Considering the price of this Bosch sander, it would’ve been nice to have at least a carrying case included, but there is a one-year warranty.
- Vacuum adaptable for dust control
- A wide range of orbital speed
- Trigger lock
- Vibration control
The Porter Cable 7346SP brings excellent versatility in that it can work well not just with wood, but also with automotive and marine projects since it comes with a polishing pad in addition to the 6-inch sanding disc. The 4.5-amp motor lets you work with speeds between 2,500 and 6,800 orbits per minute.
Besides the polishing pad, this sander also has an adjustable side handle to allow for the better comfort and control. There is, unfortunately, no dust control, which may serve as a problem depending on the scope of your projects. Even so, the three-year warranty lets you use the Porter Cable worry free.
- Adjustable handles
- Comes with both sanding disc and polishing pad
- No dust control
Another inexpensive option for beginners comes with the HyperTough 2.4A Orbit Sander. As the name suggests, this orbital sander comes with a 2.4 amp motor, but it can operate at 12500 orbits per minute. That speed is impressive for such a smaller device. It also comes with a through-the-pad dust extraction with an included bag, which makes it more than sufficient for a lower cost device.
As a beginner model, this sander doesn’t have variable speeds. It’s also not meant for extensive work, and though it’s got a solid build, it doesn’t fare so well in impact. It’s also a little uncomfortable to hold since it doesn’t have a rubber or textured top, but it lightweight and easy to control.
- High speed for a small sander
- Includes dust-extraction and bag
- Won’t last through extensive and heavy work
- Uncomfortable to hold
If you know you’re going to be working on more heavy-duty projects, then you’ll want to consider the Festool 56810. This sander features a 6-inch disc that’s meant to hold up to tougher jobs. At the same time, it’s also very suited to more delicate woodwork, making it incredibly adaptable for a woodworker who handles more than one type of project. The variable speed control is also effortless to manage.
Festool’s Jetstream dust extraction removes dust quickly and efficiently, and the compact size makes for an even easier time at maneuvering through your sanding needs. Some users report difficulty with installing pads and sandpaper attachments. This corded sander has a three-year warranty.
- Suited for both intensive and more delicate projects
- Great dust extraction
- Possible difficulties with sanding pads
If you’re willing to put up with the potential pause in work to recharge your sander’s battery, then you’ll want a cordless that handles it all. The Makita XOB01Z operates with an 18-volt lithium-ion battery that can run for 20 minutes on the highest setting and 40 minutes on the lowest. Given that the speeds are 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000 orbits per minute, you’ll have enough time to take on most standing tasks.
Unlike some other battery-powered sanders, which can get rather heavy, the Makita XOB01Z is only 3.6 pounds, which isn’t too far off from comparable corded models. The speed control system prevents gouging when you’re starting your projects, and there’s also a dust-sealed switch and an attached dust collection bag. The biggest problem with this sander is that you’ll need to purchase the battery and charger separately, but since the sander itself isn’t overly expensive, you won’t have too hefty of a bill on your hands.
- Three different speed settings
- Lightweight for a battery-powered sander
- Attached dust-collection bag
- Need to purchase battery and charger separately
For the last of our picks, we have the Porter Cable 382. This sander has a 1.9-amp motor and, unlike the 7346SP, can only operate at the speed of 12,000 orbits per minute. The 5-inch disc size and light weight make this sander suited for users who want a simple, inexpensive option to only handle a few projects.
The Porter Cable 382 doesn’t offer any dust control, instead of using a dust seal to protect the sander; you, as the user, are on your own. It does have a fan that counterbalances vibrations, which makes it easier to get projects done thanks to the fast sanding speed. This sander has an excellent three-year warranty to help keep it running.
- Can handle projects quickly
- Counterbalances vibrations well
- No variable speed
- No dust control
No matter your sanding needs, you’ve probably found a product on this list to fit your needs. But part of our job is the crown the best random orbital sander, and our pick is the Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex.
This sander can tackle heavy-duty projects while still being able to handle more delicate sanding that other models can’t. The dust extraction is top notch, and the smooth operation and lighter weight make for a product that’s simple to use. The three-year warranty ensures that this already durable model will last long enough to get the job done.