These versatile tools are a must-have for woodworking professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. To help you select which one is best for you, I have outlined the various features below along with a list of the best random orbital sanders currently available.
UPDATED: November 23, 2021.
MY TOP PICK:
If you are looking for the best overall, I recommend theDEWALT DCW210Bbecause it features variable speed control for a range of projects and a low-profile design for getting into tight spaces.
What is a random orbit sander?
Random orbit sanders are hand-held power tools for sanding in which the sanding blade delivers a random-orbit action. That is, the angle of rotation of the head and disk is variable.
How does it work?
This tool is different from a standardbelt sanderin that the random orbit sanding pattern is produced by simultaneously spinning the sanding disk and moving it in small ellipses. This ensures that no single part of the abrasive material travels the same path twice during the same rotation.
Because of this random sanding action, the tool does not leave swirl marks and is not sensitive to the direction of the wood grain.This makes it useful when sanding two pieces of wood that will be fastened at right angles.
If you are just getting started, check out this brief video that covers some of the basic features and provides a demonstation of this type of sander:
Random orbital sanders use sandpaper disks that are attached using either pressure-sensitive adhesives or a hook and loop system. This allows the disks to be quickly replaced or swapped out for a different grit.
On models equipped with a dust collection feature, a vacuum sucks discharged dust through holes in the disk, feeding it to a bag,shop vac, or filter canister. The simple dust bag option is usually the most affordable choice but it is not the most effective method of dust mitigation.
Many sanders allow for a shop vac to be connected which greatly enhances the dust collection but it can be cumbersome to work with a hose attachment. The best of both words are the filter canisters that collect and contain the dust while allowing for maximum maneuverability. However, this does come at a cost premium.
Orbits Per Minute
Some models offer variable speeds which allow you to control the Orbits Per Minute (OPM) within a specified range. The OPMs will vary by manufacturer but typically fall in the 5,000 to 14,000 range. Obviously, the higher the number the more material will be removed in the same time period.
根据模型,大多数这些工具variable speed that is typically controlled through a dial on the side of the unit. This allows for greater flexibility when working on a range of applications and woodworking projects.
Corded vs. Cordless
As with most power tools today the same pros and cons apply when comparing the corded and cordless models. Corded have the advantage of never running low on power but lack the freedom and maneuvering that cordless sanders offer.
Cordless offers the benefit of complete freedom while working but can limit the work time based on the charge and number of batteries you have. In addition, cordless is usually a more expensive option when compared to corded sanders. Based on your projects and way of working, you will need to determine what is the best power method for your situation.
Also, if you already have other cordless tools you may want to pair the sander with the same brand so they can share battery packs.Check to make sure it is indeed the same battery, as it can differ even within the same brand.
Since you are often holding these tools at awkward positions it is important to note the weight, as working with a heavy tool can quickly cause fatigue. For cordless options, the weight provided by the manufacturer will oftenexclude the battery weight.So take into consideration the additional weight of the battery you will be using. Keep in mind that typically a higher voltage battery does mean a longer run time but at an increased weight.
The following random orbital sanders are excellent for many types of finish work and can be used in conjunction with, for example, anelectric hand planerto get the desired wood surface.
So here is my list of The Best Random Orbital Sanders for 2021.
Best Overall: DEWALT DCW210B 5” Random Orbital Sander
The DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCW210B features a dial that provides variable speed control from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM.
Features a low-profile design that allows for getting close to the workpiece.
Uses a replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad (DW64233) for quick changes.
Includes a dust-sealed switch to reduce the risk of infiltration of debris.
Equipped with a rubber overmold grip for comfortable sanding.
Features a one-handed locking dust bag for quick and easy removal.
Runner-up: Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbital Sander
The Makita BO5041K combines power, speed and performance with better grip and control, including an innovative adjustable front handle.
Features a 3 AMP motor with oversized sealed ball bearing construction for longer tool life.
Features variable speed control dial (4,000 to 12,000 OPM) allows the user to match the sanding speed to the material.
Includes a large two-finger trigger switch with conveniently located lock-on button for continuous use and increased operator comfort.
Features 1/8-inch random orbit action for fast and smooth sanding with a swirl-free finish.
Additional comfort and ease-of-use features include an adjustable front handle.
Uses quick-change five-inch eight-hole hook-and-loop abrasive disc, and has an efficient through-the-pad dust collection system.
Includes a high-capacity dust collection system with built-in vacuum port adapter.
Features a rubberized palm grip and top handle.
Don't forget the sanding discs.
Best for Polishing: Bosch GET75-6N 6" Random Orbital Sander
The Bosch GET75-6N features both a standard random-orbit mode and a direct-drive, eccentric-orbit turbo mode for more aggressive stock removal.
Features an enhanced multi-hole pad system that is compatible with a range of discs.
Equipped with a pad-dampening system that helps to prevent swirl marks.
Features a removable pad guard helps stop it from rubbing surfaces on the sides.
Includes an auxiliary handle that can mount on either side.
Uses a VAC024 vacuum adapter for connection to a range of hose diameters including 35 mm, 1-1/4 in. and 1-1/2 in.
Best Compact Design: Makita XOB01Z Cordless 5" Random Orbital Sander
The 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander delivers increased efficiency and mobility to woodworkers.
Features three speed settings, superior ergonomics and up to 40 minutes of run time on a single charge.
Equipped with three speed settings: 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000 OPM, changed with a one-touch electronic control switch.
Features a large 1/8" random orbit action is designed for efficient sanding.
Includes a pad brake that reduces free-spin for an improved overall finish.
Features a control system that regulates pad speed at start-up.
Uses quick-change 5" (8-hole) hook-and-loop abrasive paper.
Best High Speed Option: BLACK+DECKER BDERO600 Random Orbital Sander
The BLACK+DECKER BDERO600 2.4 amp 5-inch random orbit sander features the shortest sander in its class for easy maneuverability.
Powered by a 2.4-Amp motor for up to 14,000 orbits per minute.
Includes a paddle switch allows for easy on/off during application.
Features an on/off lock for convenient, one-handed use.
Offers dust collection to provide a clean work area and surface.
Features a compact and ergonomic design.
Best Filter: Bosch ROS20VSK 5" Random Orbital Sander
The Bosch ROS20VSK features an integral pad dampening braking system to diminish swirl marks.
Features variable-speeds to match the needs of the workpiece.
Includes a built-in microfilter system that traps particles as small as 1/2 micron in diameter.
Equipped with a twist-off, transparent dust canister that shows the dust level.
Includes a microfilter system for filtering fine dust.
Features a hook-and-loop disc attachment with over 35,000 long-life hooks.
Includes a soft palm grip top and body design.
Uses industry-standard 8-hole 5" discs.
Best Value: DEWALT DWE6423K 5” Random Orbital Sander
The DEWALT DWE6423K 5" Random Orbit Sander is equipped with variable speed control that spins the pad from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM.
Features a short overall height that offers the opportunity to get close to the workpiece for more precise sanding.
Equipped with a rubber over-mold in the areas for holding to reduce user fatigue.
Features a separate counterweight design that reduces vibration for improved comfort.
Improved dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life.
Features a dust bag that has a one-hand locking system.
Includes a dust port that will work with DWV010 or DWV012 collectors.
Best Grip: SKIL SR211601 5" Random Orbital Sander
The SKIL SR211601 is powered by a 2.8-Amp motor with up to 13,000 orbits per minute.
Features variable speed control to vary the OPM depending on the workpiece.
Features an ergonomic design with a soft rubber grip.
Offers a compact design for access to confined spaces.
Equipped with a sealed on/off switch to reduce dust infiltration.
Features the x-flow collector that uses cyclone force to collect dust into the clear container.
Best Budget Option: BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 Random Orbital Sander
The BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 5-inch random orbit sander provides fast, efficient material removal. Compact, ergonomic, and versatile, this sander is a great addition for the DIY homeowner.
Features random orbital action for a high removal rate and a high-quality finish.
Hook and loop system allows users to make fast and easy paper changes.
Dust sealed switch to keep all dust and debris out, to extend tool life.
I hope this list of the best random orbital sanders] was helpful.
If you think I left out one that is important or have a suggestion for a future article, let me know in the comments below.
Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C