Written By Nikola Petrovski
Published Dec. 18, 2020

An electric sander is a handy, extremely useful tool, whether you’re a professional or a DIY enthusiast. With a high-quality electric sander in your workshop, you can finish your woodworking projects or repair your home’s walls, ceilings, trim, and more. You can work on intricately carved woodworking projects, restore something you found at a yard sale, and even remove rust from your lawn and garden tools. Owning a reliable and powerful electric sander is a smart idea. 

With recent advances in technology, more and more options are available for electric sanders in the marketplace. Whether you are looking for great value, durability, versatility, or portability, we took a look at the best electric sanders available. Read on to see which electric sander is the best fit for your needs.

The Best Electric Sanders

This electric sander comes as part of a kit that includes a sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter, and a convenient carrying case. This model features excellent dust control, with a microfilter system built to trap particles as small as a half micron in diameter. The dust canister allows you to conveniently see the dust collection level and easily detaches for a mess-free workspace. This corded electric sander includes a powerful 2.5-amp motor with variable speed control. The pad dampening system is designed to eliminate swirl marks on both flat and contoured surfaces for an extremely smooth finish.

One issue with the Bosch Palm Sander is its variable speed control dial.  Since the dial is very easy to access—located directly behind the handle—it is easy to bump the dial by accident and move it out of position.

Key Features
  • Kit includes a sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter, and a carrying case
  • Microfilter system traps particles as small as a half micron in diameter
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model ROS20VSC
  • Weight 3.5 pounds
PROS

Dust canister allows you to conveniently see the dust collection level

Includes a powerful 2.5-amp motor with variable speed control

Pad dampening system is designed to eliminate swirl marks

CONS

It is easy to bump the variable speed control dial by accident and move it out of position

In addition to the electric sander, the package includes one sanding sheet and one dust bag. There is a dust-sealed switch designed to keep all dust and debris out of your sander. A hook and loop system allows for fast and easy sandpaper changes of any 5-inch disc. The sander features a two-amp motor that gets 12,000 orbits per minute and random orbital action for a high removal rate and a high-quality finish. The compact and lightweight size allow you to work close to the work surface for extended periods without fatigue.

The two-amp motor is considerably less powerful than some other options on the market. It also does not come with a vacuum hose adapter or carrying case. However, if you are into DIY projects or looking to just work on simple projects, this electric sander does a great job for its price.

Key Features
  • Perfect product if you are on a budget or looking for a quality sander for DIY projects
  • One sanding sheet and one dust bag are included
Specification
  • Brand Black+Decker
  • Model BDERO100
  • Weight 3.16 pounds
PROS

Dust-sealed switch is designed to keep all dust and debris out of your sander

A hook and loop system allow for fast and easy sandpaper changes of any 5-inch disc

It features a two-amp motor and a sanding speed of 12,000 orbits per minute

CONS

Two-amp motor is considerably less powerful than some other options on the market

Does not come with a vacuum hose adapter or carrying case

This electric sander features three speed settings: 7,000 orbits per minute, 9,500 orbits per minute, and 11,000 orbits per minute. The 18-volt LXT lithium-ion rechargeable battery has a run time of up to 65 minutes on low speed and 32 minutes on high speed. This electric sander comes with a kit that includes two 18-volt LXT lithium-ion 5.0Ah batteries, a charger, a dust bag, a 5-inch round abrasive sanding disc, and a convenient tool bag. The large 1/8-inch random orbit action is designed for efficient sanding and a swirl-free finish. The innovative pad break is meant to reduce free spin and improve the overall finish of your wood.

Although it is a bit pricey, the kit includes many additional accessories. So unlike some comparable products, this electric sander provides excellent value with its included features.

Key Features
  • Extremely user-friendly and can remove materials quickly
  • Features three speed settings: 7,000 orbits per minute, 9,500 orbits per minute, and 11,000 orbits per minute
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model XOB01T
  • Weight 3.6 pounds
PROS

18-volt LXT lithium-ion rechargeable battery has a run time of up to 65 minutes on low speed and 32 minutes on high speed

Large 1/8-inch random orbit action designed for efficient sanding

Innovative pad break reduces free spin and improves overall finish

CONS

Priced at a premium, but the kit does include a sander, two rechargeable batteries, charger, and carrying case

This electric sander weighs just about three pounds, and it is an excellent product for its compact size. The 20-volt random orbit sander is completely cordless for added convenience. It is a great sander for small projects, quick touch-ups, and DIY projects around your home. A 20-volt 1.5Ah rechargeable battery, charger, and two 5-inch round sandpaper sheets are included with this sander. With a speed of up to 12,000 orbits per minute, this sander can easily remove material like paint or stain from wood surfaces. There is even a dust collection feature to help keep your workspace clean.

Some customers have complained that the rechargeable battery will only hold a charge for a few minutes. If you are looking to work on a long project or for extended periods, you may want to consider purchasing an extra battery to use as a backup.

Key Features
  • Ideal portable product
  • The 20-volt random orbit sander is completely cordless for added convenience
Specification
  • Brand Black+Decker
  • Model BDCRO20C
  • Weight 3.3 pounds
PROS

Great sander for small projects, quick touch ups, and DIY projects

A 20-volt 1.5Ah rechargeable battery, charger, and two 5-inch round sandpaper sheets are included

Speed of up to 12,000 orbits can remove material like paint or stain from wood surfaces

CONS

Some customers have complained that the rechargeable battery will only hold a charge for a few minutes

This electric sander includes some excellent dust collection features, like a detachable dust bag. There is also a vacuum port to attach up to a 1 1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection. This cordless sander is designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads. A dust bag and three sandpaper sheets are included with each purchase, as well as a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. The sander works with any rechargeable 20-volt max lithium-ion battery. The rubberized grip is designed for a more comfortable and reliable sanding experience. With a speed of up to 12,000 orbits per minute, the sander is equipped to sand a variety of materials easily.

There is no battery included with this product, so be aware of that before making your final purchase. You will need to purchase a separate 20-volt battery to operate this orbital sander.

Key Features
  • A portable, cordless option
  • Includes some excellent dust collection features, like a detachable dust bag
  • A vacuum port attaches to a 1 1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection
Specification
  • Brand Porter-Cable
  • Model PCCW205B
  • Weight 2.66 pounds
PROS

Designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads

A dust bag and three sandpaper sheets are included

Works with any rechargeable 20-volt max lithium ion battery

Comes with a three-year limited manufacturer's warranty

Rubberized grip is designed for a more comfortable and reliable sanding experience

CONS

You will need to purchase a separate 20-volt battery in order to operate this orbital sander

This electric sander features three amps of power and a speed of up to 12,000 orbits per minute to complete various professional and DIY tasks. One dust bag and sample sandpaper are included with each purchase, as well as a three-year limited warranty. A dust-sealed switch provides added reliability and durability. There is also a vacuum port to attach up to a 1 1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection. The 5-inch orbital sander can be used for various projects, including surface preparation, smoothing seams, and removing paint or varnish. The low profile, ergonomic design provides added control and reduced vibration while working. 

If you are working on a large or extensive project, then you will want to attach the sander to a hose through its vacuum port. Otherwise, the dust bag has been known to fill up in just a few minutes while working.

Key Features
  • Features three amps of power and a speed of up to 12,000 orbits per minute
  • One dust bag and sample sandpaper are included with each purchase
Specification
  • Brand Craftsman
  • Model CMEW231
  • Weight 3.5 pounds
PROS

A dust-sealed switch provides added reliability and durability

Vacuum port attaches to a 1 1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection

A three-year limited warranty is included with each purchase

CONS

The dust bag has been known to fill up in just a few minutes while working

The DeWalt electric sander features a variable speed control between 8,000 orbits per minute and 12,000 orbits per minute, designed to match the speed to the application. Its brushless motor provides excellent runtime and efficiency. The low profile design allows you to get close to the workspace for precision sanding. There is a replaceable eight-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad, which allows for quick and easy paper changing. This cordless model is designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads. A dust-sealed switch provides excellent dust protection for added reliability. A lithium-ion battery charger, lithium-ion battery pack, carrying bag, and dust bag are included.

Some customers have said that their sander was broken during transit, so make sure to inspect your product and try it out upon delivery. If something is broken or not working properly, reach out to DeWalt regarding a possible refund or replacement product.

Key Features
  • One of the most durable sanders on the market
  • Features a variable speed control between 8,000 orbits per minute and 12,000 orbits per minute
  • Brushless motor provides excellent runtime and efficiency
Specification
  • Brand DeWalt
  • Model DCW210D1
  • Weight 4.8 pounds
PROS

Replaceable eight-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad allows for quick and easy paper changing

Designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads

A dust-sealed switch provides excellent dust protection for added reliability

CONS

Some customers’ sanders have been broken in transit

This product features a patented AirGuard technology, designed to collect up to 90 percent of the dust from your workspace. There is a dust-sealed switch, which adds to the excellent dust collection capabilities. A vacuum port can even be attached to a 1 1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection. A tight-fitting dust-bag collar prevents any dust from collecting on your workspace while sanding. This cordless model is designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads. There is a replaceable eight-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad, which allows for quick and easy paper changing. It requires a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery charger, purchased separately, to maximize this electric sander’s functionality.

There is no battery included with this product, so be aware of that before making your final purchase. You will need to purchase a separate rechargeable lithium battery and battery charger to operate this orbital sander.

Key Features
  • Patented AirGuard technology collects up to 90 percent of the dust from your workspace
  • Dust-sealed switch adds to the dust collection capabilities
  • A vacuum port can be attached to a 1-1/4 inch hose for high-volume dust collection
Specification
  • Brand Ridgid
  • Model R8606B
  • Weight 3.62 pounds
PROS

A tight-fitting dust-bag collar prevents any dust from collecting

Designed to work with most 5-inch orbital sanding pads

Replaceable eight-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad allows for quick and easy paper changing

CONS

You will need to purchase a separate rechargeable lithium battery and battery charger in order to operate this orbital sander

Best Electric Sanders Buying Guide & FAQ

Electric sanders come in a variety of different types, styles, shapes, and sizes. They can be used for various projects, ranging from professional woodworking to DIY home projects. A high-quality electric sander allows you to work on intricate, detailed projects without leaving any swirl marks on your working surface.

Electric sanders are typically easy to use, extremely versatile, and portable, yet they are still a potent tool built to withstand the test of time. Electric sanders come in different sizes, and they are usually available in corded or cordless varieties.

The Advantages of Owning an Electric Sander

There are several key advantages to using an electric sander. This tool typically features a round orbital sanding pad about five to six inches in diameter. These sanders spin in a random circular motion, allowing you to easily sand across the grain of your working surface without leaving any trace of swirl marks.

Most electric sanders are extremely easy to use, very portable, and can be used on various woodworking projects. Some sanders even feature multiple speed settings, allowing you to easily adjust the orbits per minute of your sander depending on the type of project you are working on.

  • An important feature of electric sanders is their shape. The compact, square shape allows you to reach corners and around various edges of your working space. 
  • Another important aspect of electric sanders is that they are user-friendly. Compared to other sanders, they are easy to use, either by professionals or for DIY projects. They leave fewer marks, allowing you to sand without worrying about any swirl marks left behind.
  • Electric sanders are also a very compact option. They are typically very lightweight and easy to travel with. You can use most electric sanders for extended periods without having to worry about possible fatigue or stress on your arm.

Types of Electric Sanders

There are two main types of electric sanders, and each one comes with its own unique set of features and advantages. Depending on the type of project you will be working on and your workplace setting, you may need a specific type of electric sander to fit your needs best. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the different types of sanders before making your final purchase.

Man working with an electric sander over a wooden surface

Corded

Corded electric sanders are the most common type, and they feature cords of various lengths. The main benefit of this type of electric sander is that you only need to rely on a power outlet to complete your work.

Corded sanders allow you to work for extended periods without having to worry about your battery power running out. The only downside of corded sanders is that your range is limited. You cannot bring corded sanders with you to remote locations unless there is an available outlet or an extension cord.

Cordless

Cordless electric sanders are an excellent compact travel option. Cordless sanders are very portable and extremely versatile. This type of sander allows you to work remotely and easily load your sander into your work bag or vehicle.

Cordless electric sanders are lightweight yet still provide enough power to complete your projects. They are especially useful if you are climbing a ladder or working from a great height on your sanding project. Cordless sanders typically feature rechargeable lithium batteries. If you plan to work for an extended time, you may want to carry a fully charged backup battery with you if your battery runs out of power.

What to Consider When Buying Electric Sanders

Make sure to look at both corded and cordless electric sanders from a variety of different reputable companies. Keep in mind a sander’s versatility, durability, reliability, and ease of use. Consider what kind of working conditions you will be using your sander and what kind of projects.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with each electric sander’s different types, brands, and features before making your final purchase.

The Most Important Features of Electric Sanders

Whether you are into DIY projects or a professional, there are many key features of electric sanders that can help improve your efficiency while sanding. It is important to consider these features before deciding on which electric sander is the best fit for your needs.

Dust Collection

One of the biggest issues with sanding is that it creates a large amount of dust on your workspace. The best electric sanders include dust collection technology for added convenience to help with the cleanup of your workspace.

Several models of electric sanders have built-in dust bags to assist with catching and collecting the dust as you sand. Other electric sanders feature dust-sealed switches, which provide excellent dust protection and added reliability. A vacuum port can even be used to attach to a hose for high-volume dust collection and cleanup.

Speed

If you own an electric sander with variable speed control, it can be a huge asset. It is essential to slow down the orbital speed of your sander when working on intricate projects or polishing work. Many of these sanders feature throttles and user-friendly buttons to easily switch speeds while working.

The typical speed of an electric sander ranges between 8,000 orbits per minute and 12,000 orbits per minute. If you can vary your sander’s speed, it allows for more versatility and working on a broader range of projects.

Grips

Sanding can be a dangerous activity. Owning an electric sander with high-quality grips allows you to safely hold your sander while working on all your woodworking projects.

The most powerful sanders can have quite a bit of vibration, and some projects require quite a bit of control to sand the finest details of your home projects. A quality grip control makes it easy to hold and control your sander while working on even the most complicated projects.

Care and Maintenance for Electric Sanders

Electric sanders can be a convenient tool, whether you are a professional or into DIY home woodworking projects. It is critical to know precisely how to use your electric sander to maximize its efficiency and operation. Misusing your electric sander could result in issues with your sanding or damage to the sander itself. Make sure to follow these helpful maintenance tips to get the most out of your electric sander.

  • Make sure to clean your working surface thoroughly before and while working on your sanding project. When moving between grit levels, make sure to vacuum the working surface clean with a hose and brush attachment.
  • Do not skip more than one grade of grit as you are working on your project. Move through each size of grit, from coarse to smoothest, for the best results.
  • Be careful when sanding near the edges of your working surface. If the sander tips near the edges, it will round them off, which is likely an undesirable result.
Man with work gloves working with an electric sander on a wooden surface

Best Electric Sanders FAQs:

Understanding the different types of electric sanders and how to use them is essential to your project’s efficiency. While we’ve broken down the most important things you need to know, you may still have some lingering questions when it comes to electric sanders. 

Q: Is an orbital sander better than a sheet sander?

Both orbital sanders and sheet sanders move in a circular pattern. However, a sheet sander uses sheets of sandpaper, while an orbital sander uses special sanding discs. These discs come in multiple grits, and they tend to cost more than regular sandpaper. 

Q: What sander is best for removing paint?

Many sanders can be used to remove paint. Make sure to read your sander’s instruction manual and use the proper grit to remove the paint properly.

Q: What kind of sander is best for refinishing furniture?

There are several different sanders on the market that are great for refinishing furniture. Be sure to work through the various grits to achieve the best results.

Our Top Pick

The Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander is our choice for the best overall electric sander. It features excellent dust control, with a microfilter system for fine dust and built to trap particles as small as a half micron in diameter. The dust canister allows you to conveniently see the dust collection level and easily detaches for a mess-free workspace.

Final Thoughts

For the best overall electric sander, consider the Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander, which includes a powerful 2.5-amp motor with variable speed control, or the Black+Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, featuring a dust-sealed switch to keep all dust and debris out of your sander while working.

Sources:

  1. Sander – Wikipedia

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