Woodworking is one of the most popular hobbies. It is not very hard, it does not require much thinking, and it is very relaxing. It is every man’s dream to come home from work and get involved in a hobby for an hour or two, especially to a hobby like woodworking. However, just as every hobby out there, woodworking requires some tools, one of which is an orbital sander. It is not an expensive tool, and it is not hard to use either. However, not everyone knows how to buy one. If you are a beginner and do not know from where to start, you have come to the right place.
What is an orbital sander?
So let’s start with the basics. An orbital sander is just as the name suggests, a sander, a tool that will help you give a nice, smooth finish to the wood. It is orbital because the tool uses an orbital motion to do the sanding. The sanding pad is put in motion by a shaft which is driven by an offset center mechanism. So basically, the shaft spins and moves the pad around in an orbital manner. Simple as that.
Keep in mind, though, that the sanding pad itself does not move. Quite the contrary, it is fixed in place. The pad moves around a bit, but just enough to do the work it is supposed to do.
Why not a random orbital sander?
You might have heard that there are random orbital sanders as well. However, even though the name is slightly different, the differences between an orbital sander and a random orbital sander are quite big. Firstly, a random orbit sander has a round sanding pad instead of the square. Secondly, the random orbit sander has a more complicated sanding mechanism than the orbital sander.The round pad moves in random orbits, which means it vibrates in small circles, but at the same time, it spins in circles.
The random orbital sander is a very good tool, but it is meant for heavy work, while the orbital sander is meant for finishing work, as in detailed.
Types of orbital sanders
Although the principle is the same, there are several designs. That is because the necessities differ. Sometimes you need a large sander, while sometimes you may need something very small. Here are the most common orbital sanders you can find.
- ü The mouse orbital sander – this tool received its name because it looks like a mouse, but not the animal. It is a very small sander compared to the normal-sized one, and it is very useful for tiny details. The sanding pad resembles a drop of water so that you can use the tip in very hard-to-reach places. It is most than useful when you have some detailed work to do.
- ü The quarter sheet orbital sander –the name of this one is given by the fact that one sheet of sandpaper can be cut into four pieces (quarters). They are almost entirely square, and they provide more sanding than the mouse orbital sander. However, they cannot reach tight spaces. The good news is that the sanding paper is more available for this model than for the previous.
- ü The half sheet orbital sander – this sander is just like the previous one. The only difference is that the sanding paper can be cut off in half rather than quarters.
- ü Corded orbital sander – this is the oldest model there is. The idea is simple: you plug the sander in, and you go to town. Usually, orbital sanders need a standard 120V.
- ü Cordless orbitalsander – just as the name suggests, these orbital sanders use batteries instead of a power cord. They are relatively new on the market, but since the battery technology became better, people prefer this model.It is more portable than the corded sander, and it can last for hours. Not to mention that you can have a spare battery.
- ü Pneumatic orbital sander – just like any other pneumatic power tool, the pneumatic orbital sander use compressed air for power. This model is more often used in auto shops for finishing techniques that require wet sanding because you cannot put water and electricity in the same equation and get out intact.
How to choose the best orbital sander?
Now that you know the basics, you have to learn how to choose the best orbital sander for your needs. Here are a few things you need to consider.
- ü Power – when it comes to power, you need to pay attention to the motor size. Orbital sanders that use a cord for power are rated in amps. The bigger the sander, the more power its motor has. For example, the mouse orbital sanders have smaller motors than the rest. However, the cordless orbital sanders are rated according to voltage. Even so, with cordless tools, morevoltage does not necessarily mean better motor. What you should be interested in is the battery capacity, just so you know for how long the tool will work before charging it again.
- ü Size – the size depends on what you need the sander for. If you work mainly on large projects, you will need a big sander, like a half sheet. If details are what you are into, then a mouse orbital sander is what you need.
- ü Sanding pads availability – as I mentioned previously, sanding pads for mouse orbital sanders are difficult to come by. That is why the common recommendation is to go with the sander for which you can easily find the sanding pads. However, if you really need the mouse sander, then you should know that they come on special order.
- ü Dust collection – if you like to work neatly, then a dust collection is a must. Usually, cheaper products do not have it, but they can make a real mess, especially if you work on a project inside the house. If you work in a shop, that may not be an issue, but it would still be nice not toclean up after every sanding session.
- ü Speed – each orbital sander comes with a particular speed, but some people like to get one with variable speed. I just want to clarify that this aspect is not very important unless you plan on working with plastic. When you sand wood, you want to finish as fast as possible, so a high speed is all you need. However, plastic melts at high speeds, so you need something less fast.
- ü Handle – comfort is important, which is why you need to choose a product that allows a smooth grip and a comfortable handle. You do not need hand pain when you work on something delicate.
What are the best orbital sanders?
If by this time you still cannot make a choice, here are three products that will fit your requirements. They are not the cheapest, but they are not the most expensive either. Surely one of them is what you are looking for.
Black+Decker BDEQS 300 ¼ – Sheet Orbital Sander
The BDEQS 300 model from Black+Decker is a reliable tool that will help you sand whatever project you may be working on. It is true you cannot use it for very small jobs, but only you know if you indeed need it or not. Nonetheless, you can use it for detailed work, and all the features found in this tool make it one of the best orbital sanders I came across, which is why I chose to present it to you.
This sanding tool has 2.0 amp motor, which means it can provide approximately 1600 orbits per minute. With that power, you can finish a project in a relatively short amount of time. It also provides a 270-degree flush sanding clearance, and it has a tri-layer filtration. You can activate the sander with the help of a paddle switch, which makes it very easy during application.
The handle of the orbital sander is very comfortable, and the size is just right for a reliable and safe grip. You can feel that the moment you hold the tool in your hands. Moreover, the BDEQS 300 comes with a high-performance dust collection that will keep your work area clean at all times. You can even work inside the house and still keep it clean. The Black+Decker comes with a single sandpaper sheet, but more are available for purchase. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Dewalt D26441K Orbital ¼ – Sheet Sander
If you are looking for something a bit more professional than the previous model, the Dewalt will not disappoint. It is an imported product, but that only makes it even better. The materials used for its manufacture are high-quality, and it is very easy to use and install.
The Dewalt has a 2.4 amp motor, which means it can generate about 14000 orbits per minute. That will make your task easy and fast. This tool is one of the fastest orbital sanders in this price range, and I am sure you will love working with it. The finish is better than with most orbital sanders on the market. The switch is dust-sealed, which means the manufacturer made sure that the tool has an extended lifespan.
The handle is superior to most orbital sanders. It is coated with an anti-slip top for maximum precision and comfort, and the grip is one of the safest and most comfortable you will ever use. Moreover, the Dewalt has a low-vibration design that will reduce fatigue while using it. Just as the previous model, this one has a high-capacity dust bag. However, except for the bag, it also has a built-in vacuum adapter for maximum dust collection. But even if you do not connect a vacuum, your work space will remain clean at all times. It is a brilliant touch that qualifies this orbital sander for top three. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Porter-Cable 380 ¼ – Sheet Orbital Finish Palm Sander
This model is somewhere between the two previous models. It has a less powerful motor than the Dewalt, with only 2.0 amps just like the Black+Decker, but at the same time, it can generate 13500 orbits per minute. That is a lot from such a small motor. However, it will do an excellent job no matter what you throw at it.
The Porter Cable model is suitable for corner sanding even though it is a ¼ sheet orbital sander. That is because of its size. It is a bit smaller than the previous models. Just as the title suggests, you can easily palm it. Also, the design is meant to reduce fatigue and provide comfort during usage. The switch is dual-sealed, which means that dust ingestion is not an issue. Thus, your product will last for years to come.
This orbital sander provides a reliable and safe grip. It is easy to use and will do an excellent job. It has a dust collection that will make your cleaning time very easy, and the material used for its manufacture are high-quality. You can use it for the next 20 years if you like. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
You probably noticed that I only went for ¼ sheet orbital sanders. That is because they are the most common. Also, I did not choose a cordless model. The reason behind it is that not many people go anywhere with their orbital sanders. An orbital sander is one of those tools that mostly remain inside the workshop, where you have an outlet. From my point of view, although necessary at times, an orbital sander does not require batteries since you are not going anywhere with it.
As for my number one recommendation, I choose the Dewalt D26441K Orbital ¼ – Sheet Sander. Its features and sturdiness make it one of the best orbital sanders out there. The price is not bad either.
Having the right power tools will make your hobby more enjoyable. That is because you will not stumble upon silly issues like an imperfect finish. It would be a shame to put in all that work only to fail in the end. One of the three products I described above will satisfy your needs, which is why I strongly recommend you purchase one of them. You will not regret it. Click here to buy on Amazon
- Whispered Electric Sander Secrets
- Underrated Questions About Best Random Orbital Sander
- Drum Sander Exposed
- The Dewalt Sander Stories
- All About Palm Sander
- Valuable Strategies for Hand Sander You Can Use Starting Immediately
- Finding the Best Belt Sander
- Key Pieces of Orbital Sander
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Random Orbital Sander
- Why Almost Everything You’ve Learned About Makita Orbital Sander Is Wrong and What You Should Know
- Brief Article Teaches You the Ins and Outs of Black and Decker Sander and What You Should Do Today
- Handheld Sander at a Glance
- If You Read Nothing Else Today, Read This Report on Cordless Sander
- Secret Solutions to Air Sander Revealed
- Electric Orbital Sander Reviews & Tips
- Rumored Buzz on Da Sander Revealed
- Best Sander Tips & Guide
- The Wood Sanders Cover Up
- Practical Techniques for Power Sander You Can Use Starting Today
- Things You Won’t Like About Best Hand Sander and Things You Will
- Who is Talking About Random Orbital Sander Review and Why You Need to Be Worried
- The Indisputable Truth About Dewalt Random Orbital Sander That No One Is Sharing With You
- The Most Popular Palm Sander Reviews
- Notes on Bosch Sander in an Easy to Follow Manner
- Sensitive Info About Mouse Sander That Only the Experts Know About
- Why Everybody Is Talking About Detail Sander and What You Have to Do
- The Chronicles of Hand Held Sander
- The Argument About Disc Sander
- Unbiased Report Exposes the Unanswered Questions on Best Palm Sander
- A Guide to Festool Sander
- Most Noticeable Circular Sander
- What’s Really Going on with Bosch Orbital Sander
- Best Belt Sander Tips & Guide
- Facts, Fiction and Orbital Sander Reviews
- The Definitive Solution for Dewalt Orbital Sander You Can Learn About Today