LAST UPDATED: September 23, 2019
Best Random Orbital Sanders: Make Sanding Easier and Faster
Choose one of these random orbital sanders for faster sanding with less effort
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 23, 2019
A random orbital sander makes your sanding work infinitely easier and much faster. Featuring variable speeds and versatile sizes, these sanders offer maneuverability and the power you need for heavy sanding as well as a smooth, final finish. Choose one of these quality sanders from the guide below to help you get the job done.
There’s a textured rubber overmold grip to make holding it comfortable. It also has a dust port that fits a bag or directly onto a dust collector.
The motor can randomly die after extended use. The unit also doesn’t come with a battery or charger.
The 2.4-amp motor in this sander achieves 12,000 orbits per minute. It has a built-in dust bag. Fits 5-inch sanding pads.
The sander features an adjustable grip with three possible positions. The dust collector is easy to pop off and empty to make working faster.
The collection bag isn’t very big and could fill quickly. The unit may not be durable enough for repeated and heavy use.
Reduced vibration sander that has a 3.0 amp motor and operates at 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute.
The sander is short, so it reduces the distance between the work object and the operator. Only one hand needed to remove the dust bag. The design, including the rubber “over-mold” in some areas, reduces fatigue.
Does not include connections to a standard Shop-Vac. The battery isn’t included.
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Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This 20V orbital sander is battery-powered and has a variable adjustable speed. It can achieve 8,000 to 12,000 orbital rotations per minute. It’s compatible with 5-inch sanding pads. There’s an attached bag for dust collection.
What’s nice about using this sander is that the handle is comfortable to grip. It has a textured rubberized overmold grip on the handle. The dust port is convertible, so you can attach a dust collection bag or attach a separately purchased dust collector for bigger projects.
Unfortunately, the motor may randomly die after extended use. The unit also doesn’t come with a battery or charger. These need to be purchased separately.
This sander comes with a 2.4-amp motor, which has a sanding power of 12,000 orbits per minute. It has an adjustable grip and built-in dust bag. You can use 5-inch sanding pads with it.
You’ll appreciate the details with this sander that make it pleasurable to use. The grip is adjustable into three positions to make sanding comfortable at any angle. The dust bag is effective and easy to empty. There’s a filter to help keep the air clean and your workspace clear. When it’s full you just pop it off, empty it, and put it back on.
The downside of this unit is that the dust bag that’s included isn’t very big. This will cause it to fill quickly and you’ll have to repeatedly stop and empty it. This will slow down your progress. The unit may also not be durable enough for heavy and repeated use.
Adjust this orbital sander to give you 7,000 to 12,000 orbital rotations per minute. You can use 5-inch sanding pads on it. The hook and loop functionality makes changing the pads quick and easy. There is overmold cushioning in key places to reduce the stress and fatigue on your hands.
This sander is battery-powered but it still delivers plenty of power. It uses red lithium battery technology to give you 35 minutes of runtime on a single charge. You’ll also find that this sander is quite short, which reduces the distance between you and the object you’re working on.
The biggest downside of this sander is that the battery is sold separately. The bulky size and shape of this sander makes it hard to use on surfaces that are anything but large and flat.
This pneumatic orbital sander will give you professional-quality results. It has a low-profile design to make it better balanced and easier to use for larger projects. Inside is a .28 hp motor that delivers 12,000 rotations per minute. The unit is designed to have reduced vibration.
This sander stands out because it’s built for durability. Its body is aluminum and covered in protective composite, which reduces the risk of cracking. The smoother operation of the motor and included 3M Stikit Disc Pad kit ensures you get a smooth, even, and swirl-free finished surface.
The downside of this unit is that it’s air-powered, which can make using it louder and more difficult as you need an air compressor. The other drawback is that it doesn’t have an included dust collection bag. This can make using it messy since dust isn’t kept out of your work area.
This air-powered orbital sander delivers a dual-action pad motion for a smoother and more even sanding action. This professional-quality sander is durable and features low-vibration styling. It has ball bearing construction to help it stay balanced for an easier and more pleasant sanding experience. It’s compatible with 8-inch sanding pads. Use the variable control to adjust the speed.
You’ll love this sander if you have larger surface areas to sand because the sanding pads are bigger than the other sanders on this list. The low vibration and ball bearing balancing make it easier to achieve an even and smooth surface.
Unfortunately, this is a sander that you need an air compressor to run. If you don’t have a large enough compressor, the sander will bog down. It also doesn’t come with a compatible dust collection system.
This 2.6-amp orbital sander generates 12,500 orbits per minute. You can use 5-inch hook-and-loop sanding pads with it. The sander also comes with a dust bag and three pads. The attached dust bag will collect the dust created to make sanding easier and prevent blowback.
You’ll find using this sander to be comfortable thanks to the ergonomic handle. It has a hex-notched rubber design. The on/off switch is also conveniently located right next to the grip.
Unfortunately, the design of the sander isn’t very stable and the tabs that hold the sanding pad in place can pop out while you’re using it. This makes the entire tool unstable. The dust catcher bag isn’t very durable and can tear, causing dust to go everywhere.
This 5-inch orbital sander has a 1.9-amp motor that generates 12,000 orbits per minute. It’s compact and lightweight. It features a dual-plane counter-balanced fan to extend the run time while also reducing fatigue through your hand and arm. You can use 5-inch eight-hole hook-and-loop sandpaper.
What makes this sander stand out is the sealed 100-percent ball-bearing construction. This makes it incredibly durable and sturdy. You’ll also avoid gouging and achieve a super smooth finish thanks to the PORTER CABLE Controlled Finishing System. This system gives you controlled speed as it starts up.
However, the motor in this sander is smaller than other units on this list. This results in it lacking power, which makes it difficult to achieve a perfectly smooth result. The lightweight plastic makes the unit feel cheap and not very durable.
This orbital sander has a 3-amp motor that generates 12,000 orbits per minute. It creates a large ⅛-inch random orbit action to create a uniform and smooth surface. It has a rubberized grip to give your hand comfort and better sanding control. The entire unit is dust-sealed to minimize contamination on the interior. This gives the sander durability. There’s also an included dust catcher bag to make using the unit cleaner.
What makes this sander stand out is that you have the option of buying the case with it. This protects the sander and means you don’t have to buy a separate case. It also makes sanding easier with a pad control system to provide gradual speed upon starting.
Unfortunately, the sander only has one speed once it’s going, which makes its use limited. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the gaskets as they can melt from the heat generated during extended use.
The 3-amp motor on this orbital sander can produce 12,000 orbits per minute. There’s an onboard dust bag for dust collection through an 1-¼ inch vacuum hose. The entire unit is dust-sealed to give the unit durability and longevity. The sander surface is 5 inches.
You’ll like this orbital sander because it comes ready to use right out of the box. It comes with a dust bag and sample sandpaper pad. You can also skip the dust collection bag and connect it to your compatible vacuum hose.
Unfortunately, you may struggle to get the sander to connect to your vacuum hose. You’ll need to purchase a separate part to make the connection possible. The speed is also fixed on this sander, so there’s no adjustment or refinement when working with different materials. There’s also no soft on/off to gently ease your way into sanding for a smooth transition.
This orbital sander has a 2.8-amp motor that can achieve 13,000 orbits per minute. There’s a dust container on the back that uses cyclone force to collect the dust you generate while sanding. It’s transparent so you know exactly when it needs emptying. While sanding, you can use the variable speed control to have the exact amount of power that you need. The sander is compact so that it fits into tighter spaces.
What makes this sander stand out is the low vibration. It’s incredibly comfortable to hold thanks to the ergonomic design, rubber grip, and low vibration production. It also has an internal counterweight to reduce hand and arm fatigue.
Unfortunately, the dust collector will continually pop off and even when it is on, it struggles to effectively collect all of the dust. The pad that holds the sanding pads is not very durable or secure. It can peel or break off with heavy use.
- Always wear eye protection when sanding and grinding. Also wear a dust mask or, better yet, a respirator. Using a random orbital sander produces large amounts of fine dust particles that can produce lung damage and breathing problems.
- When sanding small areas or objects, it’s possible to hold your work in one hand and the random orbital sander in the other. But it’s better to use a clamp or hold-down to stabilize the object for better control and safety. Some recommend a piece of carpet hold-down for this.
Q: What is the difference between a traditional orbital sander and a random orbital sander?
A: A traditional orbital sander has a square sanding pad and moves in an orbital manner. A random orbital sander, on the other hand, has a circular sanding pad and it moves in an elliptical manner. Use a random orbital sander for making major changes to metal or wood or for finer finishes.
Q: Are there different types of random orbital sanders?
A: Yes. Some random orbital sanders are pneumatic-powered and some are electrical-powered. Some sanders are cordless, while some are corded. Many random orbital sanders have some form of dust collection system. Most of these sanders are either 5- or 6-inch (the diameter of the sanding pad).
Q: What grade of sanding pad do I use?
A: It depends on what you are sanding. Grades range from 60 (coarse) to 240 (fine). A large, rough project requires a coarse pad; for smooth, final finishes, you should use a fine-grained pad.
Our choice for the best random orbital sander overall is the Bosch 120V 6-Inch Orbital Sander/Polisher because it is powerful and features variable speed control.
If you’re looking for a great value, consider the well-built Milwaukee Electric Tools Random Orbit Sander.