Best Sander Reviews

When it comes to woodworking, sanding is by no means an enjoyable element but you really can’t avoid it.

Some form of mechanical sanding is absolutely crucial for any workshop, big or small. If you invest in the best sander, it might not make the undertaking fun but it definitely makes it less taxing and helps you get the job done quickly. Most importantly, sanders deliver superb results and you really don’t need to spend a fortune to get an effective, reliable workhorse.

In today’s best sander reviews, we’ll give you a snapshot of 5 of the smartest choices on the market. Rather than attempting to cover every option at your disposal, we instead focused mainly on random orbit sanders with a couple of combination machines thrown in.

Editor's Choice

  • Random orbital action
  • Hook and loop
  • 3.2 pounds
  • ​Constant OPM (orbits per minute)
  • Sanding sheet and dust canister
Rated as
4.5/5
Budget Friendly

  • 2.5-amp motor
  • Variable speed from 7,500OPM to 12,000OPM
  • Hook and loop
  • Microfilter system
  • Dust canister
  • Damping ring
  • Case or bag depending on model
Rated as
4.5/5
Amazon's Choice

  • 3-amp motor
  • Variable speed from 4,000OPM to 12,000OPM
  • ​Front handle fully adjustable
  • Pad control system
  • Random orbit action (1/8-inch)
  • Lock-on button for trigger
  • Case available
Rated as
4.5/5

Review of the Best Sanders – Comparison Guide

​If you’re looking for a sander, you’re in for a treat today. As well as a comprehensive buying guide, we’ll walk you through 5 sander reviews to help you get the best tool for your needs.

First, here’s a handy look at 5 of the best sanders on the market…

Table of Contents

Main Features
  • Random orbital action
  • Hook and loop
  • 3.2 pounds
  • ​Constant OPM (orbits per minute)
  • Sanding sheet and dust canister
Rated as
4.5/5

First up in our best sander reviews is an incredibly cheap but highly effective little unit from the legendary BLACK + DECKER.

We’ll be frank, the very keen price of this sander is one of its key selling points. Don’t let that fool you, though. Whatever your skill level from beginner through to expert, the BDERO100 will serve you well even though it costs less than a round of drinks.

With so many options at your disposal, a random orbit is probably your soundest bet if you’re looking for a single tool for finishing work so read on to see what makes the BLACK + DECKER well worth further investigation…

One of the leading advantages of this sander, price set aside, is its ultra-compact nature. It weighs just a fraction over 3 pounds so you won’t get fatigued even if you undertake a larger project. It measures just 7 x 5 x 5 inches so you can use it one-handed. The rubberized, non-slip grip completes this ergonomic package and makes the BDERO100 a real pleasure to use.

With the sanding pad making miniature orbital rotations, you’ll get the smoothest of finishes while remaining confident your workpiece won’t get scratched up. Not only this, the orbital action also allows for a substantial removal rate so you can do more done in less time without compromising aesthetics.

By keeping the motor and sanding pad apart, you’ll be away to crack on with your work without being plagued by vibration. This is one of many in which the BDERO100 puts user comfort uppermost.

The 2-amp motor is not the hardest-hitting power plant available but it’s more than fit for purpose.

There’s no variable speed on offer with this sander. Your pad will move consistently at the same OPM (orbits per minute) although this is not as bad as it might sound. Although it won’t be possible to tweak the pace, you can simply swap the paper and use different grit sizes to tackle various applications. This way, you can still exercise control without needing to pay for the cost of a variable speed motor.

Removing and swapping out the paper can be a real chore with some sanders. The hook and loop system on this orbital unit, by contrast, renders it an absolute breeze. You literally peel away your sandpaper and replace it then you’re good to go. While this approach might seem to lack security, the paper will remain in place and there’s little chance of it falling off even with vigorous sanding sessions.

There’s a dinky dust canister thrown in. While we could complain that this doesn’t work brilliantly and is on the small side, it’s certainly better than nothing. This canister is easy to remove for the purposes of emptying and cleaning.

All corded tools are to some extent restrictive. The BLACK + DECKER only has a 6-foot cable but, in the plus column, it’s housed on top of the sander and you can move it out of your way with ease. Just make sure that length of cord gives you adequate room for maneuver.

Woodworking obviously creates a large volume of dust. Even if you have a dust extraction system in full flow, how about your tools themselves? BLACK + DECKER made sure to design a sealed switch so none of this fine debris works its way inside meaning your sander will last much longer.

Why we like it

  • Incredible value without stiffing you on performance
  • Leaves an impeccably smooth finish without marking so ideal for working with sensitive timber.
  • Orbital rotation perfect for preventing blemishes.
  • Super-lightweight at just over 3 pounds so work for long spells without tiring yourself.
  • Rubberized grip is non-slip and very nicely balanced.
  • Minimal vibration thanks to separation of motor and sanding pad.
  • Changing paper is an absolute breeze with hook and loop system.
  • Accessories limited to a sanding sheet and dust canister but you can’t expect much more at this price point.
  • 2-year limited warranty for peace of mind.

Conclusion

If you’re a beginner looking for your first sander or a more seasoned woodworker constrained by budget, the BLACK + DECKER BDERO100 is worthy of a place on your shortlist.

While you won’t be overloaded with accessories nor delivered a sander capable of continuous use on a job site, you shouldn’t expect that for this price. What you will get is a top-notch orbital sander capable of serving up a silky smooth and flaw-free finish in a compact unit that’s a joy to use.

While it would be inaccurate to claim the BDERO100 is a contender for the best sander on the market, it’s certainly fair to say that in its class and price point, it has no serious competitors.

Main Features
  • 2.5-amp motor
  • Variable speed from 7,500OPM to 12,000OPM
  • Hook and loop
  • Microfilter system
  • Dust canister
  • Damping ring
  • Case or bag depending on model
Rated as
4.5/5

Next on the list in our best sander reviews is another random orbit sander from the highly reputable Bosch.

While this sander is not as cheap as the BLACK + DECKER, it’s still remarkably affordable and it offers uprated functionality along with more power so it’s not money spent for nothing.

A glimpse at the main features before we explore this sander in detail…

Although it tips the scales at a mere 3.5 pounds, the poky 2.5-amp variable speed motor on the Bosch ensures its no lightweight when it comes to performance. You can fine-tune the running speed from as little as 7,500OPM right up through to 12,000OPM. This allows you to match the speed to your task without needing to fiddle around and change paper. Adjust the speed when required using a simple dial.

The motor also embraces smooth start technology. This is key for minimizing the likelihood of gouges.

You’ll get an orbit diameter of 3/32 inches and a radius of 3/64 inches. The eccentric offset also measures 3/64 inches.

Compact sanders like the Bosch are tailor-made for long and involved projects where a bulkier unit would leave you feeling weighed down. You can wield the ROS2OVSC in one hand and keep going for hours without straining yourself. You can grip this sander in a number of positions and both the grip and body feel very comfy in your hand. This is crucial if you plan to work on bigger, rougher projects without feeling like you’ve been mauled.

Although it’s a corded sander, the cable is 8 foot long so you should be able to move around the workshop without feeling hemmed in. The trade-off is that corded tools generally deliver far more power.

In common with all good random orbit sanders, you won’t be menaced by anything much in the way of vibration as you work away.

Another advantage of using a smaller sander is that you can kiss goodbye to swirl marks that spoil the finish. Even when you’re working with hard surfaces and endgrain boards, you’ll experience a superbly smooth finish every time.

This 5-inch sander harnesses the popular hook and loop system for attaching the discs. This is highly user-friendly while also ensuring that the discs don’t come hurtling off mid-flow. 35,000 top-tier hooks do their job in fine style.

Whether you’re a home woodworker, cabinet maker or professional carpenter, using a sander is a messy business. Luckily, Bosch has your back. This model features an integrated filtration system so that the very finest particles down to 0.5 microns are wicked away not spewed back in your eyes and mouth.

You can choose between a cheaper package with a soft bag or pay a little more for a hard case thrown in. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just make sure you think about your intended usage and buy accordingly.

Bosch offer a solid 1-year guarantee so you can invest in this sander without any real concerns.

Why we like it

  • 2.5-amp motor delivers a great punch for such a compact sander
  • Orbit and rotation combine to allow for rapid removal with a top-tier finish.
  • Variable speed motor so operate anywhere from 7,500 orbits per minute up to 12,000OPM at the top end.
  • Kiss goodbye to the plague of fine dust particles thanks to nifty microfilter system.
  • Dust canister twists off easily for emptying or cleaning and completes the dust elimination system letting you work safely and in comfort.
  • Sandpaper secured nicely with simple but effective hook and loop system so no risk of flying discs.
  • Changing the sandpaper is an absolute breeze.
  • Available with hard or soft carry case.

Conclusion

For anyone looking for a small sander that promises a finish you’d normally associate with a larger and more expensive model, the Bosch ROS2OVSC is well worth checking out.

Since Bosch started producing sanders, more and more woodworkers have switched to using them. You get great brand heritage, fantastic value and, perhaps most importantly, first-class results. There’s little point in buying an inexpensive tool if it lets you down. The ROS2OVSC is built to stay the distance.

If you are looking for a versatile random orbit sander at a pocket-friendly price point, pop the Bosch ROS2OVSC on your shortlist. It will not disappoint.

Main Features
  • 3-amp motor
  • Variable speed from 4,000OPM to 12,000OPM
  • ​Front handle fully adjustable
  • Pad control system
  • Random orbit action (1/8-inch)
  • Lock-on button for trigger
  • Case available
Rated as
4.5/5

Our third random orbit sander comes from Makita, a titan in the power tools space. While their products come in at a reasonable price, you get more than enough performance for use on the job site as well as the home workshop.

The B05041K is the range-topper in Makita’s line of 5-inch sanders. We chose this model because it’s affordable while also featuring variable speed, an elongated handle and a rotating fore grip not present in the cheaper pair of sanders.

We’ll have a quick look at the principal features of the Makita before digging into this to-notch sander in more depth…

Whether you’re a home woodworking enthusiast, a carpenter undertaking finish work or a contractor needing something portable yet powerful for the job site, the Makita hits the spot. We’d have to consider this 5-inch random orbit sander among the very best sanders in its class.

With a potent 3-amp motor kicking out a high rotation speed, the Makita lets you get through your sanding projects in double quick time. With large, sealed ball-bearings, the motor doesn’t just serve up plenty of power but it will last you longer into the bargain.

The pad control system that kicks in when you fire up the Makita puts paid to any nasty marks and gouges that can spoil your finish before you even get started.

The 1/8-inch orbit is fairly generous for a sander this compact. While the Makita will be obviously outflanked by more substantial sanders, for something this size it’s pretty tough to beat.

The handle is a pleasure to hold and you won’t feel the pinch even if you use this sander for lengthy spells of tough work. This handle rotates 360 degrees so you’ll have more latitude to work in line with the exigencies any given project. The trigger is designed to be used with 2 fingers and its nifty lock-on mechanism lets you carry out ongoing work without needing to maintain continuous pressure.

One serious issue with the Makita it’s worth being aware of is the way it vibrates excessively at lower speeds. This effectively limits using it to a few minutes at a time without running the risk of injuring yourself. You’ll also notice an unwelcome dip in power at lower speeds so think seriously about the type of work you have in mind before potentially wasting your money.

In the interests of fairness, this does disappear as you crank the speed up to halfway and above. At higher speeds, the B05041K is blissfully vibration-free and suitable to prolonged sanding.

Noise also varies considerably depending on speed. At full-clip, you’ll experience the terrible racket doled out by pretty much all compact sanders. Dial things back a notch and the Makita is surprisingly quiet.

Every sander stands or falls with finish quality and the Makita delivers work that’s beyond reproach with no visible marking at all and a supremely smooth surface you’ll be proud of.

There’s an abrasive disc, dust bag and tool case included with the Makita which goes some way to make up for the price. Also, if you’re not satisfied with your sander, you’ll have a month in which to claim a full refund. Beyond that, there’s the standard 1-year Makita warranty to cover all reasonable repairs without dipping into your pocket.

Why we like it

  • Powerhouse 3-amp motor
  • Outstanding finish quality offers you a rapid rate of removal along with a flawless finished product
  • Adjust the front handle to sand in any awkward spots and tight spaces fuss-free.
  • 2-finger trigger features lock-on functionality, perfect for continuous use without clawed fingers.
  • Comfortable to use and designed so you stay in full control at all times however demanding the project.
  • Operates almost silently at lower speeds.
  • Fore grip rotates through 360 degrees for maximum flexibility.
  • Pad control system when starting up to reduce the chance of any unsightly marking.
  • Wide range of applications from general carpentry and cabinetry through to decking and boat building.
  • Disc, dust bag and case chucked in adding to already great value.

Conclusion

While the Makita is not the cheapest option at your disposal, not everyone is on the trail of the lowest-priced product. In return for paying a little more, you’ll be rewarded with a truly versatile random orbit sander equally at home in your DIY workshop or out on the site.

The B05041K is a first-class sander which, if you’re prepared to cope with a few quirks and niggles, offers a wonderful finish alongside more than adequate power to churn through the most taxing projects.

Road test the Makita today and you will not be sorry you gave it a shot!

Main Features
  • 4 x 36 inch belt sander and 6 x 6 inch disc sander
  • 4.3-amp motor
  • 3600RPM
  • 2 ¼-inch dust port
  • Tension lever
Rated as
4/5

Next up in our best sander reviews is something rather different…

The WEN 6502 serves up 2-in-1 functionality operating as either a 6 x 6 inch disc sander or a 4 x 36 inch belt sander.

This benchtop unit is a lot bulkier than the random orbit sanders we have looked at but still keenly priced so read on to see if this is something that might fit the bill for your sanding needs…

This benchtop sander has such a reasonable price tag, it’s difficult to believe the multi-purpose functionality you’ll be rewarded with.

We’ll say straight off the bat that this sander is not perfect but it does offer a great scope of work and it doesn’t cost the earth either. If you have more modest sanding needs and you’re operating on a limited budget, the 6502 is the ideal solution.

Whatever the condition of your lumber, however ragged and splintered it might be, the WEN will ensure it ends up perfectly slick and smooth with the minimum of fanfare.

While the 1/2HP motor might not be the most powerful on the market, for its intended use, it’s more than fit for purpose. The 4.3-amp power plant will generate up to 3600RPM which is sufficient for most reasonable home-based sanding projects.

The belt is fully adjustable. You can tilt it with ease through a wide range of configurations depending on the work you’re undertaking.

Stability and vibration-dampening are key in a benchtop sander. The rugged cast iron base makes certain that the WEN won’t start wobbling or moving. You’ll get refreshingly little vibration either so you can focus fully on the job at hand.

A decent work table is crucial with a sander like this and, with the WEN, you’ll be able to accommodate even larger timber on the aluminum table. You’ll be able to miter up to 45 degrees and there’s a neat, removable miter fence included. This comes fully to the fore if you want to exercise unwavering control when sanding any angled edges.

When you also factor in the 6-inch side disc, imagination is your only limitation when it comes to sanding. There are no other sanders in this price range offering comparable breadth of scope.

The safety guard does more than stop your fingers or stray hairs getting snarled up in the works. It also functions as a stop for your workpiece so you can beaver away with real precision.

Thinking of safety, there’s nothing more conducive to accidents in the workshop than dust and debris everywhere. There’s a regular 2.5-inch port on the WEN so it’s no hassle at all to hook up your sander to a shop vac and keep everything immaculate and free of fine dust and irritating particles.

We should mention a couple of the less striking elements of the WEN so you are properly informed before making a possibly rash purchase…

If you need something rugged and able to cope with extended heavy use in a commercial setting, the power and build quality of the 6502 combine to make this a poor choice. The plastic might look attractive enough but this sander is not really resilient enough for more than home use. The power, too, is something of a letdown if you are expecting a real beast of a machine.

Why we like it

  • Incredibly straightforward to set up so get going straight out the box.
  • 4.3-amp 1/2HP motor offers serviceable power in a highly affordable benchtop unit.
  • Multi-purpose blade guard lessens the probability of any accidents while also funneling dust into the spout and acting as a wood stop.
  • Alter the belt from horizontal to vertical or somewhere between for the ultimate in adaptability.
  • Cast iron base gives you great stability keeping things centered even under heavy load.
  • 2 ½-inch dust collection port so hook up your favorite shop vac and keep the workshop spotless.
  • Belt changes are a walk in the park.
  • Sizeable table that bevels from 0 to 45 degrees and features a removable miter fence.
  • 80-grit sanding disc, 80-grit sanding belt, work table and miter gauge all included for a really generous package.

Conclusion

If you’re prepared to overlook the cheap-feeling plastic construction and the fact the WEN is not exactly supercharged with power, the 6502 has a great deal to recommend it…

Anyone not sure whether to roll with a belt sander or disc sander will find the 2-in-1 nature of this machine a godsend.

For any casual home woodworkers, the inbuilt flaws of this sander are not particularly relevant. For basic needs, you’ll have all the performance you need and the build quality is unlikely to let you down if you’re not pummeling it day in, day out on the job site.

This benchtop sander is well worth further investigation if you think it meshes well with your requirements. Check out the WEN 6502 at your earliest opportunity!

Like all WEN power tools, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive 2-year warranty. This lets you access a very helpful customer care department and you can avail yourself of their skilled technicians if required.

Main Features
  • Dual-mode sanding
  • Dust extraction system
  • Variable speed
  • Soft-start motor
  • Tool-free pad changing system
  • 6-inch disc
Rated as
5/5

We’ll round out our best sander reviews with an exceptional dual-mode sander from the colossus Festool.

Festool are the Rolls-Royce of power tools. If you’re on the hunt for one of the very best compact sanders money can buy, you’re in for a real treat.

Are you torn between buying a sander designed for coarse sanding and one capable of polishing and finer work?

If so, the Festool Rotex RO 150 FEQ steps in and saves you buying two sanders in the form of an extremely desirable single unit.

The 6-amp motor gives you 720 watts of power which is more than enough to deal with even exacting jobs fuss-free. This doesn’t mean you need to cope with a bulky sander, though. Weighing just 5 pounds, the Festool looks rugged and hulking but is surprisingly agile when it’s tucked in your hands.

Build quality means if you invest in a Festool, it will keep going for years on end. Extra bonuses like a fully enclose gear system add further longevity by keeping the innards of your sander free of contaminants.

Using a simple switch on the top, you can match up your sander according to the application. If you activate the more aggressive mode, you’ll be able to remove large quantities of material in record quick time. Flip to random orbital mode and you’re perfectly placed to take care of fine sanding. This renders the separate purchase of a belt sander unnecessary.

While in rotary orbital mode, there’s a winning combination of 2 movements. At the same time as the pad rotates, it also makes an eccentric pattern. Although this makes the Festool very forceful, it won’t end up scratching the material like belt sanders are prone to do. It also makes the Festool a great bet for any polishing needs you might have.

Efficient dust extraction is key with all sanders. The amount of dust that flies around the workshop means you need it sucked away to enjoy a clear line of sight and prevent any injuries from flying debris. The Jetstream extraction is a wonderful filtration system that effectively sucks away dust as you create it. You can also connect the Festool to a dust extraction system with ease. The connection port is located at the bottom rear of the machine.

You can change the 6-inch pads quickly and easily. The hook and loop design means this can be carried out without needing to reach for your toolkit.

Although this Festool sander is fit to grace any construction site, it’s also great for use at home. The compact and user-friendly sander is comfortable in any setting and for more or less all your sanding needs.

When it’s time to pack your sander away or move it around, Festool’s Systainer is a wonderful touch. You can slot everything neatly away and if you get confused, there’s even a thoughtful diagram to simplify things for you. Attention to detail with storage solutions like the Systainer are the kind of touch that sets the Festool apart from cheaper competitors.

Whether you need to sand the toughest materials or roll out finer finishes, this dual-mode Festool sander is a very strong contender for the best sander on the market.

Before wrapping up, a quick look at a summary of its upsides and drawbacks…

Why we like it

  • 2 modes: remove stock swiftly in geared mode or harness random orbital mode for polishing and fine finishes
  • First-class Jetstream dust extraction system keeps the air around you clear while extending pad and abrasive lifespan and imparting a superior finish
  • Extremely poky 720-watt, 6-amp motor kicks out enough power for the most demanding projects
  • Variable speed: Eccentric (3,300 to 6,800OPM) and Rotary (320 to 660RPM) for your convenience and best results whatever the surface
  • Acts as a polisher at low speeds to leave a beautiful high gloss finish on your workpiece when required
  • Tool-free changing of pads couldn’t be simpler
  • Weighs just 5 pounds so despite the jaw-dropping performance and flexibility, you’ll be able to beaver away for hours without feeling burdened
  • Enclosed gear system keeps out all foreign objects to maximize the life of your sander
  • Power cord twists and locks in place so no danger of tripping over the cable and pulling it out
  • MMC electronics prevents overload upon starting the sander

Conclusion

Those in the know gravitate toward Festool power tools since they unfailingly deliver fully, whatever the application. This Rotex sander is no exception.

We really can’t unearth anything negative to say about this dual-purpose sander aside from its steep pricing. Even with regard to this, it still represents stunning value for money when you consider the range of functionality you get in return.

If you have the budget to justify the purchase and you’re serious about getting the very best sander on the market, we have no hesitation in suggesting you buy the Festool immediately. It really is that good.

best sander: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.

Final Words...

For anyone carrying out any meaningful woodworking or home DIY, investing the time and money in getting the very best sander is time and money well spent.

We hope that through a combination of these sander reviews and the buying guide, you’re now perfectly placed to hunt down the ideal tool for your requirements.

As always, feel free to shoot us a message if you have any queries or feedback at all. We are working hard to keep expanding Miter Saw Judge so it encompasses all your power tool needs alongside plenty of handy hints and actionable information.

Before we close for today, we assembled 10 frequently asked questions to make your life even easier…

1 thought on “Best Sander Reviews

  1. You should check out the GET75-6N. I just got it and so far it’s amazing. Definitely a competitive option for people looking at the Festool Rotex!

    Reply

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