No matter if you are a professional, an amateur, or just a beginner, as long as you are working with wood, you need a sander to give it a fine finish. But be careful what you try; there are different types of sanders, and not all of them are perfect for all kinds of wooden work.
If you have a hand sander, which is an amazing fit for small spaces and detailed designs, it can hardly help with finishing an entire floor of wooden tile. When you try to do it completely by hand, besides taking forever, it costs you an awful amount of hard work you can only imagine!
Image source: woodworkingtoolkit.com
However, for large scale sanding work, there are electric sanders with absolutely no other machine for it. They not only keep your job fast and light, but also ensure your desired finish.
But again, electric sanders come in variations with different specifications, so you must know what you need in order to pick the right one for you. Although all of them are capable of doing similar kinds of work, they have subtle yet definite differences that have a lot to do with comfort and productivity.
Types of Electric Wood Sanders
There are four basic types of wood sanders:
- Belt Sanders: It is the roughest one and highly productive.
- Random Orbital Sanders: This one is the most versatile.
- Disc Sanders: They have the most variation.
- Finishing Sanders: They are what you need for a finishing touch.
If you are someone for whom wood work is a passion or profession, buying all four kinds of sanders would not be a bad investment; rather, it can only add fineness to your work. However, it’s not a solution for everyone since it involves a good amount of money.
Here are some aspects you should consider you choose to buy a wood sander:
- The sole purpose of buying the wood sander.
- The average size, shape, and type of your usual or expected wooden job.
- The level of quality you are aiming to achieve.
- Your physical strength and targeted working hours.
- Level of your proficiency.
- Your budget.
Now, while keeping all these in mind, let’s find out which sander can be the most perfect for you, depending on their significance:
1. Belt Sanders
Regardless of the proportion of your work, belt sanders are an effective and very powerful sanding machine as long as you are not using it to sand something delicate or are aiming for perfection.
This sort of sander is usually ideal for large, flat wood pieces and works its best when sanded with the grain. If a belt sander is what you aim to buy, then you must consider the belt side to ensure your optimum comfort.
- Very easy to use, and can be held or mounted as per your preference.
- Very powerful, an excellent tool when you have a bulk of work to complete.
- Perfect to remove a lot of material in a short time.
- They go with any grit sandpaper.
- Can be used on metal.
- Can be too powerful for some jobs and may end up damaging the surface.
- They are loud machines.
- Not good for drywalls.
- Not recommended for work that demands a perfect finish.
2. Random Orbital Sanders
With their amazing features, they must be all of the maestro carpenters’ most favorite sanders as they especially work best on large-area pieces. While you can do the primary sanding with the belt sander and a final finish with your hand sander, random orbit sanders can be a great intermediary tool.
- Helps you in achieving a very smooth finish.
- Removes materials very efficiently.
- Easily change hook and loop discs.
- Better with dust collection.
- Some units come with variable speeds.
- Bigger motors.
- Kinder on your hands.
- The one-handed operation makes them more comfortable to handle.
- Rather expensive to purchase and costly to operate.
- Sanding discs may not always be available.
- Sometimes can be too powerful of a work and may cause damage.
- Hook and loop on the pad can become too dirty to hold the disc.
- Sanding quality may get affected by a damaged sanding pad.
- Circular pads are not useful for corners/tight spaces
3. Disc Sanders
As a matter of fact, all random orbital sanders are disc sanders, but not all disc sanders are random orbital ones; there are belt versions as well. These sanders are known for their distinct look and variety of use. They come in a variety of avatars as well.
- They can be large or small.
- There can be a one-handed application or it may require both hands.
- Can be corded or cordless.
- Their performance can be regular or specialized depending on the model. With a right angle disc sander, you can sand corners too.
4. Finishing Sanders
Your sanding work is never done without a finishing sander. After all your sanding, when you need a super polished look, a high quality finishing sander is what you need, and they offer a kind of sanding that is not achievable with other types of sanding machines.
The most convincing finishing sanders have a square or rectangular sanding pad. Finishing sanders can be both with a cord or cordless. Feel free to buy according to your convenience, as all of them work very well and are almost equal in their performances.
They can be also selected between in-line action and orbital motion based on your preferences.
A few more things to remember
Besides considering the type of sander you buy, there are also some features you should look out for:
1. Speed Control– Lets you sand at your desired speed.
2. Hand Grip– Lets you sand in a controllable manner.
3. Dust Collection– An attached bag that collects wood dust created while sanding to keep things less messy.
4. Trigger Locks– Lets you lock your sander while working to free your hands if needed.
Electric wood sanders are tools that have not only made your sanding job amazingly easy, but are also safe and very desirable to use for their high quality services. I hope you can use the information given in this article and thus get yourself the most perfect sander for your needs.