Best Orbital Sander Reviews 2018

What delivers that perfect finishing on surfaces, if not the right orbit sander? There are countless sanders out there, and finding the best one can be a difficult task, but it will help determine how happy you or your clients will be. That is why we have eliminated some of your stress by doing a review of five of the best orbital sander brands, and one product from each as a showcase.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Sander Type
Size
Power
Color
Extras
Our Top Choice
Ingersoll-Rand 328B Geared Orbital Air Sander
When we think of improved efficiency, safety, and comfort in the work place, Ingersoll-Rand readily comes to mind. It delivers tested power tools that unleash your true potential.
Designed to fit your hand perfectly. Balanced ball bearing construction. Long-life and low-vibration performance. Dual-action pad motion. 1-year limited warranty.
Folks who bought this product 15 or more years ago suggest that the quality then was better even though they don’t dispute the fact that it’s still a great product.
8-inch
5.7 x 12.4 x 9.2 inches; 6 lbs
Info not provided
Red
Balanced ball bearing build
Best Value
Makita Random Orbit Sander
Makita makes quality and reliable products. Its wide array of tools has been carefully engineered to meet varying user preferences.
Very silent compared to other sanders. Doesn’t heat up when great pressure is applied. 3.0-amp motor. Lock-on button.
It picks up dust easily.
5 inch
7.5 x 16.3 x 10.3 inches; 3.1 lbs
3 amp, 4,000-12,000 OPM
Teal
Ergonomic rubberized palm grip
Bosch Dual-Mode Electronic Random Orbital Sander
Bosch is a leading manufacturer of high-tech, user-friendly, and environmentally-safe power tools.
Built to last. Great attention to user’s comfort. Change mode easily by just flipping a lever. Constant Response circuitry for maintaining the desired speed under load.
The vacuum hose slips off rather easily from the adapter. However, this can be easily fixed by just taping it with duct tape.
6-inch
6 x 12 x 6 inches; 5.3 lbs
6.5-amp; 3,100 – 6,650 OPM
Blue
Reduced start-up torque
PORTER-CABLE Variable-Speed Polisher
PORTER-CABLE has produced quality power tools for a very long time. Its products are well-engineered to meet high professional requirements.
Balances well in the hand. Speed can be regulated. Side handle is removable. Comes with counter balance.
It isn’t easy to clean.
6 inch
14 x 6.5 x 6 inches; 5.8 lbs
4.5 amp, 2,500-6,800 OPM
Gray
Two-position side handle
Dewalt Single Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit
DEWALT believes that productivity and versatility can be achieved if one has access to the right kind of tools, and it makes such tools.
Rubber over-mold in all of the important parts. Shorter height design. Improved dust collection. One-handed locking dust bag. Improved dust-seal switch for longer switch life.
For those who are used to a 2 ½” vacuum connector, its 1 ¼” connector might be an issue. However, that’s easily fixed with an adapter.
5-inch
6.2 x 10.4 x 7.2 inches; 2.9 lbs
3-amp; 12,000 OPM
Yellow
Certified frustration-free

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Orbital Sander?

Charles, a high-income earner, decided to get some furnishings for his recently acquired home and walked into the nearest furniture store, looking for the best wood work it had to offer. After walking around the store and feeling the surface of the furniture on display, he left without spending a single dollar. The next day, he walked into another furniture store. This time, after feeling the surface of the displayed items, he picked a complete rustic oak dining set, a wooden coffee table, and a mahogany rocking chair. Lots of money spent, right?

As a carpenter or wood worker, you wouldn’t want to lose the opportunity to sell your work to a potential “Charles” just because you refused to get the power tool that would offer you the best finishing solution for uneven and rough surfaces. This power tool is known as an orbital sander. You may want to debate its importance, but if you think carefully as to why Charles left the first furniture home, you would realize that no one would willingly spend hard-earned money on a rough table, chair, or any other wooden material as they could be rather uncomfortable and nasty to touch.

An orbital sander does the same job as a belt sander, but it operates by making use of an orbital motion which is usually powered by an amp-rated motor with a variable speed control. It’s a vital power tool that enables woodworkers to produce smooth surfaces without leaving any sanding marks behind.

Unlike Charles, who shops for his wooden furniture from professional woodworkers, you may be a hobbyist who’s interested in building that furniture from scratch. You, also, will need a good power sander when it’s time to finish your furniture, so don’t hesitate to get that orbit sander. It is an absolutely essential tool in woodworking, just like an angle grinder.

Before we go into other details in this buying guide, we'd like to point out that we saw other brands that make great orbital sanders. However, because we are limited to just five brands per review, we didn't include them in our highlighted products. Just so you know, Chicago Pneumatic, skil, and Black + Decker are top brands that also offer great sanders.

Here's an important note for folks who would be using their sanders just once in a while: The Black & Decker BDERO100 Orbital Sander is a great option and comes at a very low price (but don't let that fool you—it's top-quality, such as we've come to know B + D for).
Price
Most times, the ultimate decision to purchase an orbital sander solely rests on the price, irrespective of its features. But it is usually advisable to get an orbit sander that has the features required to produce a better work outcome no matter the cost.

An orbit sander that is capable of smoothing out tough surfaces with a good dust collection system, while leaving behind fewer scratches, can cost about $200. Another that handles just the basics without all the bells and whistles can go for as little as $30.

The level of dust management system, size, speed, and control of an orbital sander are some of the features that may affect the price. While you may be tempted to seek out cheap orbit sanders, it is important to note that the chances of not being satisfied with the services offered by them are quite high. The orbit sanders we’ve featured were carefully selected and are capable of giving you that pristine surface you desire.
Features
Making the right choice of orbital sander from a pool of several types is not always easy, which is why you need to know firsthand the important features that make the perfect choices. Knowing the key features is the first step to determining how well they will perform. Below are some of the factors to be considered before selecting an orbit sander:
  • Sander type
  • Speed and amperage
  • Dust management system
  • Size and dimensions
  • Comfort and control
  • Warranty
  • Extras (grip variations, additional case, polishing pad, grit size)
To know how these features can affect your choice, keep reading…
Construction and Design
It’s absolutely vital to check out the construction and design of an orbital sander before purchasing it. Some of the factors we think you should consider include what type it is, its speed options, its amperage, and its size/dimensions. Let’s take a closer look.

Type

There are two versions of orbit sanders available: sheet orbit sanders and random orbit sanders. The sheet sander is different from the random orbit sander in that it makes use of square or rectangular-shaped sandpaper. When powered on, the sheet sander operates in a little round pattern, with scratching being reduced if the sheet sander is pushed along the grain of the wood. Small spirals tend to occur if the sheet sander is pushed against the wood grain, requiring re-sanding. Orbit sheet sanders are available in several models and they offer different features such as dust elimination, different grip styles, and electronic speed controls.

The random orbit sander, on the other hand, operates by sanding a material in a random orbit cycle. It features an offset drive bearing that makes the sander’s pad act around the surface of the wood in both an elliptical and small circular pattern. Apart from its sanding pattern that leaves no swirl marks, the random orbit sander also prevents direction restriction, which allows you to sand diagonal to, against, and with the wood grain. There are also 3 style options of random orbit sanders: the palm-grip that is easy to hold and maneuver, the right-angle orbit sander for additional power, and the large in-line sander for large sanding projects.

Speed

An orbit sander with variable speed control is important if you’re working with materials other than wood, especially delicate materials. Because a higher speed will result to higher heat and vice versa, it is sometimes necessary to make use of the lower speed option which is safer for materials that are fragile. An orbit sander with a variable speed option can also help regulate the quantity of material removed during the sanding process. This is an important option if you are sanding thin materials. A lower speed also allows more control, preventing the sander from skipping off the surface or rounding off corners.

Amperage

The amperage of an orbit sander is the strength of an electric current that passes through the sander for a time period without exceeding the temperature limit and damaging the sander. More amps can be beneficial due to allowing the sander to run for quite a while without heating up so much. The amp rating on orbit sanders usually ranges from two amperes to more than five amperes.

Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of an orbit sander affect its portability and ease of holding. The most popular orbit sanders are usually five or six inches wide, with the five-inch sanders typically closer to the surface that requires sanding and therefore more efficient when compared to other widths.
Performance and Ease of Use
In the way of performance and ease of use, we suggest that you pay attention to the availability of a dust management system, any warranties or guarantees the sander has, and what other features it comes with. Below, we go into more detail on each of these factors.

Dust Management System

For wood work or any other material that may require sanding, it is very important to make plans for the dust and particles that may accumulate throughout the course of sanding. A dust management system allows you to keep your work space clean while preventing you from inhaling the dust particles that can be dangerous to your health.

Most orbit sanders, especially random orbit sanders, come with a dust collection bag or canister that accumulates and retains the dust particles. If you insist on purchasing an orbit sander without a dust-trapping mechanism in place, it is advisable for you to get a dust mask to prevent you from inhaling the dust particles. A dual-cartridge respirator should always be used if you are going to be sanding vanished or painted surfaces as these fumes may cause damage to your respiratory system.

Warranty/Guarantees

When purchasing a power tool, it is sometimes necessary to take note of the available warranty and guarantee associated with that product. The presence of such on an orbit sander often gives you the confidence to buy the sander, knowing that the manufacturer has you covered in case of any malfunctioning or defects.

Depending on the manufacturer, you could get a 90- or 30-day money-back warranty on your orbit sander. This means that your money may be returned to you if the sander fails to meet your level of satisfaction. You may also see orbit sanders with limited warranties varying from a period of one to three years. Other times, the manufacturer may offer a one- or two-year free service contract.

Please note that the different options of warranty don’t mean that one sander is better than the other, it just means that the manufacturer wants to boost your purchasing confidence.

Extra Features

There are several other features that can increase the performance of your orbital sander and they include an additional carrying case which makes portability easier, and pad brakes which are useful in avoiding gouges on the surface you’re sanding. Some orbit sanders possess a trigger lock which allows you to work freely with the orbit sander by keeping it clasped in the “on” position.

For more comfort and control, it is best to get a balanced orbit sander as it ensures that vibrations and hand fatigue are reduced. A sander with a comfortable grip will also ensure that your hand doesn’t get cramped after holding it for extended periods of time. If you want your orbit sander to last long, it is advisable to get one with a sealed switch. The sealed switch will prevent dust and particles from getting into your sander and causing it to malfunction.

What is the Best Orbital Sander?

When choosing a sander, you should consider a few things: ease of use, noise level, holding feel, and warranties or guarantees. As far as smooth finishing is concerned, however, if you have carefully read our buying guide, making the right choice won’t be too difficult.
Our Top Choice
Do you want an orbital sander that fits the hand perfectly and allows you to produce masterpieces without putting unnecessary pressure on your palms? Look no further than the Ingersoll-Rand 328B Geared Orbital Air Sander. Or would you prefer an orbital sander that's vacuum-ready and has superior dust extraction capability? Then check out the Ingersoll Rand IRT8201MAX.
Ingersoll-Rand 328B Heavy Duty Air Geared Orbital Sander – with Balanced Ball Bearing Construction

Ingersoll-Rand Orbital Sander - 328B


Features
Ingersoll-Rand, driven by a desire to create more-efficient work environments, delivers top-quality tools that the best of professionals and hobbyists cherish. Founded on a core value of integrity, you can rest assured that any tool with this brand name on it is efficient, comfortable, and safe. But more importantly, you can be sure that it works as advertised.

Ingersoll-Rand has taken the pains to build in the latest advances in technology into its orbital sanders. The 328B Geared Orbital Air Sander typifies that. It is designed in such a way that it fits your hand perfectly. Furthermore, your palm doesn't bear too much pressure as the lever throttle is designed to take it off. Talking about powered precision, you get what you need to breeze through even the most complicated of tasks. It doesn't matter if you have to remove body filler or heavy material on flat and large surfaces, the power and strength this sander delivers smoothly helps you achieve swirl-free and clean sanding. Suffice it to say that this orbital sander has other great features that you'll love, including...
  • Balanced ball bearing construction
  • Long-life and low-vibration performance
  • Dual-action pad motion (5/32-inch orbit)
  • 1-year limited warranty
Best Value
The Makita Random Orbit Sander has a great palm grip design, and a hook and loop abrasive paper that helps achieve a smooth and convenient finish. Check out the Makita BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit for convenient, fast, and very smooth finishing if the featured one does not capture your interest.
Makita 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit – Available With or Without Case

Makita Orbit Sander BO5041K – with Case


Features
Makita is a world-class manufacturer of power tools. It's located in California and operates an extensive distribution network for all its products. As a reliable company that always seeks after customer satisfaction, it has set in place a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its products. Its attention to detail is very obvious to all who use its tools.

The Makita Random Orbit Sander delivers speed and a perfect finish. It runs on a three-amp motor, and has a speed control system. This tool comes with a built-in vacuum port adapter to keep dust from contaminating it. Listed below are some of its other features:
  • Good palm grip design
  • Includes a hook and loop abrasive paper
  • Comes with a tool case (or without, if you prefer)
  • Adjustable front handles
  • Swirl-free design
If you’re in the market for a sander that’s built to last and to ensure your productivity in as much comfort as possible, you’ve found it in the Bosch Dual-Mode Electronic Random Orbital Sander. If a motor of 6.5 amps is a bit too much for your needs, we recommend you take a look at the Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit. It comes with all of Bosch’s goodness and a 2.5-amp motor.
Bosch 1250DEVS 6.5 Amp Corded 6-Inch Variable Speed Dual-Mode Electronic Random Orbital Sander/Polisher – Available with or without Hard or Soft Hook & Loop

Bosch Orbital Sander 1250DEVS – Standalone


Features
Over the years, Bosch has gained increased recognition and respect with its manufacture of world-class reliable power tools and other equipment. Its wide array of goods has been time-tested, and it has proven itself to be a maker of built-to-last products. With offices spread across Canada, the United States, and many other countries, Bosch has been able to maintain its leadership and meet its growing customer needs.

The 1250DEVS Orbital Sander is a member of a series that is designed for minimal noise and low vibration. It comes with a counterbalance mechanism that makes the dual bearing pad mount system possible. This system allows you to operate this sander with just a finger on a soft grip.

The 1250DEVS Orbital Sander has two sanding modes: a turbo mode that is meant for heavy sanding and a conventional random sanding mode which is meant for fine finishing or the removal of normal stock.

It comes with a passive dust collection system that's able to collect up to 96% of debris when used with a vacuum-based dust collection system. Great attention has also been paid to the user's comfort with the PowerGrip design, standard-equipment auxiliary handle, compact diameter circumference barrel, and its contoured head. But that's not all; there's more...
  • Change mode easily by just flipping a lever
  • Speed dial for setting the speed you want
  • Constant Response circuitry for maintaining the desired speed under load
  • Bosch microcellular hook-&-loop sanding pad for finer, smoother finishes
  • Built to last with special aluminum gear housing and more that are sealed against dust
You can purchase this orbital sander either as a standalone, or with a hard or soft hook-and-loop. Take your pick!
The PORTER-CABLE Variable-Speed Polisher is great for sanding automotive and marine projects. At six inches, this orbit sander has a 4.5-amp motor for high overload protection and gives you swirl-free finishing. Try the PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with removable side handles if this one is not what you're looking for.
PORTER-CABLE 6-Inch Variable-Speed Random Orbit Polisher – Available with or without Pad

PORTER-CABLE Orbit Sander 7424XP – without Pad


Features
For over a century, PORTER-CABLE has remained focused on one thing: production of service-quality power tools. It has employed quality-minded engineers in the design of its many products. In 2011, PORTER-CABLE received the TOOLS IN ACTION tool awards. Further, customers and fans can easily reach this brand via its open communication channels, so you are not left alone to figure out any challenges that may arise from your use of its products.

The Variable-Speed Polisher by PORTER-CABLE provides swirl-free polishing action and has a variable speed dial to suit user preference. Some of its other features include:
  • High-quality electric cord
  • Removable side handles for user comfort
  • Variable speed control
  • User manual
  • One-year warranty
Tired of using otherwise great sanders that are soon compromised by dust clogging critical parts? Then you’d love the special precautions that DEWALT has taken in the Single Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit. Would you prefer a sander with variable speed that comes with a dust bag? Then check out the DEWALT D26453K.
Dewalt DWE6421K 5-Inch Single Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit with Rubber Over-Mold Dust Protection

Dewalt Orbital Sander DWE6421K


Features
DEWALT was established in Pennsylvania in 1924. In 1941, it embarked on an expansion program to meet increased demand. It began production of its first line of cordless power tools in 1994. DEWALT now makes over 200 power tools and over 800 accessories. It has continued to create high-tech tools that empower its customers to deliver top-quality work more easily.

The DWE6421K 5" Single Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit lives up to the high standards set by DEWALT and is generally used for sanding metal, wood, and plastics. Designed with a separate counterweight, vibration is greatly reduced and that makes for increased comfort. This orbital sander comes loaded with a number of useful features which include the following...
  • 3.0-amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM to deliver the power you need to get your job done easily
  • Rubber over-mold in all of the important parts to ensure longer life, as those critical parts are protected
  • Shorter height design makes it possible for the user to work at a closer range to the piece
  • Improved dust collection keeps the work space cleaner, and protects the user and equipment
  • One-handed locking dust bag so you've got little excuse to NOT collect the sanding dust produced more efficiently
  • Improved dust-sealed switch ensures a longer life for your switch as it's better protected from dust

Get the Best Orbital Sander of 2018!

Now that you have taken the time to read this review, you should be better equipped with the right kind of information to help you choose the right sander, so feel free to place your order. Please, note that the five brands that we have chosen do have other amazing sanders and you are free to check them out if the ones featured here don’t have all the qualities you need.

Our Top Choice
Ingersoll-Rand 328B Geared Orbital Air Sander
Best Value
Makita Random Orbit Sander
Bosch Dual-Mode Electronic Random Orbital Sander
PORTER-CABLE Variable-Speed Polisher
Dewalt Single Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit