Many people enjoy woodworking or doing DIY tasks around the house, but doing so can require you to own a lot of tools. Finding the best tool for the job can be an arduous process, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. For many people, using an orbital sander on their projects is not only a way to save time but also frustration from using other methods.
But how do you know what to look for in an orbital sander, and which features make it worth your hard-earned money?
To help, we wanted to provide a look at our top choices on the market today and give you the features we like and what you should look for in an orbital sander.
If you’re ready…
Best Random Orbital Sanders Review
1. Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
The Makita BO5041K is the best random orbital sander for woodworking. While being on the smaller side among other sanders with 3.0-amp motors, the sander from Makita stands out for its performance and affordable price.
The ergonomics of the sander allow it to be one of the top choices among this type of sander. The rubber grips on the sander are placed perfectly for control and the handle on the front of the sander can be moved to the side, allowing the device to be used in corners.
The two-finger trigger button and large locking button are just a couple of small details that Makita pays attention to with their sanding kit. This helps to keep their place in consumers’ minds as a maker of high-quality professional hand tools. It is sold as a complete kit, with a hard plastic carrying case, dust bag, and abrasive disc.
One of the sander’s highlights is the dust collection system, which works quite well with a dust bag that is practical with regards to the size of the sander. While a vacuum connection is still the best choice, the one provided by the Makita sander beats its competition. With a very balanced feel, any sense of vibration is almost completely eliminated.
Choosing the Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit will almost certainly give you a sander that will last for a very long time and will be worth the money time and again.
- Great ergonomic design
- Brand quality
- Exceptional dust control
- Size of the main handle
- Design leaves many areas for dust to infiltrate
2. DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander, 5″
One universal issue with many people who use an orbital sander in their woodworking and other projects is the amount of fatigue that can occur. An orbital sander can create vibrations that help you create a smooth finish for your project but can also tire you out.
However, the DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander, 5″ cam fight this fatigue with a rubber over-mold padding in critical grip areas of the sander, which lessens the amount of vibration the user experiences.
Dust collection is an issue that just about every orbital sander addresses, regardless of the design. Some may spray dust throughout the area and some may try to contain the dust in a collection bag like the sander from DeWalt does. While far from perfect, it does work better than many other options on the market, and features a one-hand locking system.
The technical aspects of the sander make it a powerful little unit, with a motor that has 3 amps, which is more than strong enough to handle most sanding tasks that you would ask it to perform; it can even be useful sanding plastic or metal, as well.
The minimum speed of the motor is a little bit faster than hoped for at 8000 OPM/. While it still gets the job done, it’s a bit fast for a variable-speed sander, meaning that rough-grit papers aren’t going to perform as well as fine-grit papers.
- Dust collection
- Strong motor
- Ease of sheet changing
- Motor speed
3. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5″
DeWalt is a brand known for high-quality tools that can help both professionals and DIYers alike finish any project, and with the DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5″ you can certainly get any project done quickly. It is an innovative power tool that comes with many features that can attract almost any buyer. A locking system on the sander makes it easy for you to lock the sander when not in use and is done easily with one hand; you can unlock it just as easily.
The dust created by any sander can cause your work area to be a mess, and the dust collections system from Dewalt works ideally to collect whatever dust it can while not interfering with the sander’s locking system. A dust-sealed power switch keeps dust out of the machine and helps to extend the life of the sander,
The 3.0 AMP motor makes it easy for you to get any job done, while the speed of the machine makes even tough jobs easier. The maximum speed of the sander is equal to 12,000 OPM.
- Easy to use
- Easy to carry
- Easy to store
- Low airflow
4. Bosch Random Orbit 5-inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC with Carrying Bag
The Bosch Random Orbit 5-inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC is a 5-inch random orbital sander that is a popular model among consumers looking to purchase a quality sander without spending an arm and a leg.
Powered by a 2.5 AMP motor, the sander from Bosch has variable speeds between 7,500 and 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM) and is controlled by a simple, easy-to-use dial. For anyone who may not have experience with a random orbital sander, being able to adjust the speed is a good thing.
While overlooked by many manufacturers, the feel and control that you experience when using the sander are important, especially if you’ve ever used a cheaper or lesser quality sander that feels clumsy in your hand.
This can be caused by excessive vibration, which can tear the paper and cause damage to the surface you are working on. The Bosch Random Orbit 5 inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC has been designed to offer minimal vibration. Along with a dampening system that can help prevent swirls, soft grips make using it an easy experience.
- Durable dust container
- Variable speed dial
- Micro-filter dust system
- Durability of machine
5. Makita BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
When it comes time for you to buy a random orbital sander, you want to make sure that, for your money, you’re getting a high-quality sander that is easy to use and will last a long time. The BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit from Makita easily fits all of these criteria.
Comparable to many other high-end sanders on the market, the sander measures up as an equal and, in some cases, surpasses them. Like many other orbital sanders, this one also comes with a strong 3.0 Ampere motor and variable speed control, making it easier to handle any tough job.
While using the standard hook-and-loop system to hold the sandpaper in place, the dust that you create while you work will not affect it from powering on, as the electric switches are sealed in order to prevent any sawdust from getting in and causing problems.
Being comfortable while using any tool, from a sander to a hammer, is very important. The grips on the sander from Makita do a great job of keeping the vibrations coming from the pad from affecting the user, making it very easy on the arms.
- Powerful Motor
- Comfortable handling
- Affordable price
- Dust collection system
- Location of the on/off switch
- Not good for high stock removal
6. BLACK+DECKER BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch
Black & Decker is one of those companies whose tools might be found in just about any store, and the quality of their construction is what keeps them flying off the shelves. Their BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch model, is no different. With an affordable price, this small sander is a good choice if you need to remove lots of stock quickly and leave a high-quality finish. With all that sawdust you’re kicking up, a dust-sealed switch keeps that dust and debris out of the machine.
The sander’s small size and weight, measuring in at 3.2 pounds and 7x6x5 inches, makes it perfect for anyone. The cord measures at just over six feet long, which means that you may not have to break out the extension cord right away. With all of its plusses, the minuses are unfortunately common among random orbital sanders. The dust collection system is not as good as it could be and never really works that well.
- Compact design
- Cord length
- Dust collection system
- Switch location
- Dust collection system is subpar
7. Tacklife 5″ Random Orbit Sander
An orbital sander can be used for many different types of projects. Anywhere from a construction site to your garage, you’re sure to find a random orbital sander that fits your needs.
The Tacklife 5″ Random Orbit Sander is a sander that, while good for jobs around the house, is not one that you would want to use day after day on a job site. While not as strong as some other sanders, the 2.8-amp motor in the Tacklife 5″ Random Orbit Sander is powerful enough for stock removal and perfect for finish work.
Comfort is where this sander shines. The location of the on/off switch near the top of the sander feels natural. You can choose to lock it in the on position, so you don’t need to continuously press the button.
When you’re doing some serious sanding, having sawdust in your face becomes a major distraction, so having good dust collection is essential.
With the dust collection system on the sander from Tacklife, you won’t have to worry about random sawdust, and it’s lightweight design, coming in at a little over three pounds, means that it’s light enough for you to hold for hours without any discomfort.
- Motor strength
- One-handed operation
- Worth the money
- Cord length
- Dust collector may fall off
8. PORTER-CABLE 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
For every bell and whistle that manufacturers add to their products, there will always be consumers who are looking for a tool without all of the frills that won’t break their budget.
For those DIY-ers, the PORTER-CABLE 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander fits their needs. With a reasonable price point and the Porter-Cable name and its 100-year history behind it, you know you are getting a quality orbital sander.
Housing a 1.9 Amp motor that can reach up to 12,000 OPM, the sander from Porter-Cable may not be able to take on every sanding job you need to be done, but, for a beginner, it’s a great piece of hardware. The well-balanced design on the sander makes it easy on your hands and comes with a dual plane counterbalance fan to help reduce vibrations while you work.
One shortcoming of the sander is its dust collection ability. While it does a good job, it could do better. While you’re working, the sander can leave dust trails on whatever you may be working on. However, with it’s large, multi-port adapter, you can attach a vacuum and keep your work area dust free.
- Fatigue resistance
- Brand recognition
- Budget friendly
- Dust collection
- No rubber cover for on/off switch
- No rubber grip
9. Bosch 120-V 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander/Polisher with Vibration Control ROS65VC-6
For many people, a random orbital sander needs to be able to complete as many jobs as possible. This is why sanders such as the Bosch 120-V 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander/Polisher with Vibration Control ROS65VC-6 are a good choice.
With its vibration control suspension system, the amount of vibration you feel is minimized so you can have excellent handling and maximum comfort. One feature that helps the sander stand out is its dust collection system.
A microfilter dust canister can help keep annoying sawdust and other nuisance dust off of your work surface. If you are able to, you can also hook the sander up to a vacuum system for ultimate dust collection.
The random orbital sander comes with a 3.3-amp motor. This means that it has the power behind it to handle just about any job, but it may not be the best option for people who have never used a sander before.
- Powerful motor
- Dust collection
- Affordable cost
- Heat generation
- Ease of use
10. SKIL 7492-02 2.8 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander With Pressure Control
Depending on the surface that you’re sending, you may need to use more pressure to get past whatever varnish or paint you may be trying to remove. The SKIL 7492-02 2.8 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander has built-in pressure control technology to help make the sander much more responsive, which makes your experience that much better overall. With a 2.8 Amp motor, this sander is a good choice for professionals and weekend hobbyists alike.
A built-in vacuum port, as well as a Clear Filtration Dust Container, helps to keep not only your workspace clean but the air around you as well. Weighing only four pounds, the sander from Skil is light enough to use every day without fatigue but also strong enough to handle just about any job you need it to. This all-around sander is a good buy for anybody looking for a sander to use on their weekend DIY projects.
- Ergonomic design
- Power output
- Specific to certain consumers
11. Bosch 1250DEVS 5-Inch Random Orbital Sander
Many woodworkers have those projects for which they need a sander for everyday jobs, and they have ones like the Bosch 1250DEVS 5-Inch Random Orbital Sander. This device is great for heavy sanding jobs, with its dual-modes and strong 6.5 AMP motor which runs at 270-600 no-load RPMs, generating speeds from 3100 to 6500 OPM.
A neat feature of the sander is that a flip of a lever switches the mode from normal random orbit sanding to aggressive eccentric sanding, which can remove a lot of material quickly.
The sander from Bosch comes with many great features that help you get any project done as efficiently as possible. Response circuitry is designed to maintain the speed of the pad when the sander is under loads and helps to protect against overloads, plus a pad dampening system helps prevent the sander from creating swirl marks on the surface.
- High Power
- Dual modes
- Sturdy construction
- Dust collection System
- Price point
Different Types of Orbital Sander
When you go online or to your local hardware store looking for a sander to use on your newest project or home renovation, there are a lot of options, which can be confusing if you don’t recognize what you are looking at. To offer some help, let’s go over the different types so you know exactly what you are looking for and you can make the best choice.
Palm grip sanders are the smallest and most mobile types of sander and the easiest to use. These types of sanders are typically used when sanding drywall and can be a great choice if you’re stripping furniture or doing any general woodworking projects.
A pistol grip sander has a bit more power than a palm grip sander. They typically work best as a tabletop sander. Designed to make it easier to sand hard-to-reach areas, its durable construction and composite body feel good in your hand. A pistol grip sander can be a great choice if you do a lot of sanding in a controlled environment such as a woodshop.
Right angle sander
Right angle sanders are designed to be used on heavy-duty projects. These are a great option if you need to do any rough sanding. These types of sanders are typically found on job sites, boatyards, or cabinet shops. This type of sander can be very similar to a belt sander in some cases. Before purchasing a right-angle sander, make sure that a belt sander isn’t better suited for your sanding project.
Pneumatic palm grip
Another heavy-duty sander type, a pneumatic palm grip sander is powered by an air compressor. While this can be a great sander if you are a professional, the power of this type of sander may not be the best choice if you have causal sanding to do, as it can be a bit complex.
What To Look For In a Random Orbital Sander
Choosing a random orbital sander might be as easy as picking the first one you see online or on a store shelf, but choosing one without researching the best one for your needs could cause you to spend more money when the one you choose doesn’t work for your project.
To help, we wanted to give you a handy guide on what to look for when you are searching for the best option for your project. When choosing a sander, you should typically research the following:
Many sanding jobs will require you to change paper grits to get the project done. The easiest way to attach sandpaper disks is with a hook-and-loop attachment system. Essentially, this type of system makes changing sanding papers easy. Just peel off the old disc and apply a new one, quickly and easy.
For a smooth finish to your woodworking project, you need to have control. An important part of that control is variable speed. Although it can add more to the cost of the sander, having a sander that allows you to slow it down when working on veneered materials or at a lower speed to use when smoothing a finish.
When you’re working hard, the last thing you want to worry about is dust collecting in the air or on the surface you’re working on.
Choosing a sander with different options can be a good thing. While many come with either a dust collection bag or canister, some are compatible with a vacuum attachment, which can make the sawdust created nearly non-existent.
How a sander is going to feel in your hand can be tough to judge, as there can be many variables including hand size and hand strength. The best way to get a clear idea as to how the sander will feel in your hand is to stop by the store and hold each one.
Check to see how easily your hand reaches around the sander and if you can reach the on/off switch easily. For comfort, you may want to try finding one with over-mold on the grip, which can help reduce vibration and fatigue during use
Our Top Pick
After looking at and testing all of the sanders that we have listed here, we realized that we needed to pick the one we liked best so that you would know which one to go out and buy. Without further ado, our pick for the Best Random Orbital Sander in 2019 is-
DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander, 5″
With its combination of a powerful motor, competitive pricing, and ergonomic shape to help limit hand fatigue, this sander is our top choice in 2018. Dewalt has proven themselves over and over again with the quality construction and brand name recognition behind each tool that they manufacture.
Superior features, as well as performance, just put this sander over the top when compared to its competition. If you’re looking for a quality random orbital sander that will be able to handle any job and last for years, you can’t go wrong with the DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander.
Choosing what’s best for you
We know that when you decide which random orbital sander is right for you, you may have certain criteria that we may not have thought of. With our expert guide and reviews, we hope we were able to give you some helpful information you can use when making your decision.