FAQ: best sander

The grade of sandpaper reflects the amount of abrasive material per square inch. Higher numbers mean a finer grit with lower numbers indicating coarser grits.


Extra fine: 280-320
Very fine: 220-240
Fine: 150-180
Medium: 80-120

These fine grit sandpapers get rid of the scratches left by coarser grits. They are used for finishing.

Coarse grit sandpapers remove lots of material quickly. They are a great way to save time in the early stages before moving on to progressively finer grits to apply your finishing touches.

You should always sand in the direction of the grain. If you choose to sand across or against the grain, you’re likely to end up with some very unattractive sanding spirals totally ruining the finish.

It’s possible but that doesn’t mean it’s a wise idea. Some people do use spray bottles alongside their sanders but this is a job best reserved for hand sanding. As everyone knows, water and electricity are not the best mix!

These are caused by removing your sander from the workpiece and placing it back down again mid-flow. Try to keep the sander constantly moving over the material to avoid these distressing marks.

A belt sander is often used for form sanding. The belt will run its way over a form specially constructed to create the intended shape of your finished piece. Form sanding comes into its own in small shops where you need to round out edges and bevel more rapidly than you could by hand or using a wood router.

This is when you get a belt and disc sander mounted on the same machine. They share the same motor but perform different tasks giving you a much wider scope of work without needing 2 machines.

No! Let the sander do all the work, keep it moving and avoid using excessive downward pressure for a superior finish.

Even if you invest in the best sander, you’ll still occasionally need to hand sand something. Using a sanding sponge helps you to contour to the piece and is great for curves and detail work. The sponge helps you get a more even finish and it’s also easier to access tight spots.

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.