How to choose a random-orbit sander

Posted in Home Improvement on June 17, 2018

If you are planning on buying a small sander, you might be interested in knowing the difference between orbital sander and random-orbit sanders. Are they any good?

Compared to traditional orbital sanders, random-orbit sanders sand quicker, leave fewer swirl marks (those ugly pigtail-shaped scratches), can use coarser grits for rapid stock removal, and offer optional dust control devices. They also offer the convenience of self-stick sandpaper.

Most major tool manufacturers make random orbit sanders. Some are powerful, two-handed tools that resemble a body grinder; others are lighter weight and better for close quarters and finish work. Take your pick. I strongly recommend, however, that you choose a sander with some form of dust collector.

The sandpaper discs can be adhesive-backed or attached with a Velcro hook-and-loop system. Adhesive backed paper is less expensive and more readily available. while the hook-and-loop is more convenient and much longer-lasting.

Hook-and-loop is the best choice for users who switch grits a lot on small projects, because the pads can be removed and reused repeatedly.