Best Sanders For Wood 2021 – 7 Top Woodworking Sanders Reviewed


When it comes to woodworking, sanding is always part of the task, and in most cases, you can’t really avoid it. Solid wood sander tools play a critical role in how your woodworking project turns out. Some form of mechanical sanding is imperative for any workshop.

Hence, when looking for the best sander for woodwork, it is vital that you review a variety of different factors. There are many different types of wood sanders available, so you need to make sure that you choose the one that fits your needs. 

Whether you are a professional woodworker or just do it for fun, this post will help you find the best wood sander for your woodworking projects – even DIY.

7 Best Sanders for Woodworking – Reviews

For this post, I have put together a list of best sanders for wood currently available. These provided reviews are after my own experience with the products, so it is more of a personalized review.

My #1 Choice

The Makita 9403 gets rave reviews all across the board.

2nd Best Choice

For finer detailed jobs, get the Black & Decker mouse.


3rd Best Choice

The Festool RO does complicated jobs with a variety of surfaces.

Best Sander for Professional Woodworking 

My #1 Recommendation – The Makita 9403

Got a deck, floor, or any other huge area in need of some serious sanding?

The Makita Belt Sander is right for the job. Dubbed the ‘best wood sander’ by the professionals, the Makita Belt Sander makes short work of large projects. 

Quick Facts

With its 4X24-inch sanding surface and a belt speed of 1,640 feet/minute, this powerful sander makes short work of big jobs. With this sander, you can prep wood for later cutting and use, and refinish large pieces of furniture or floor, among other jobs.

The reason why professional woodworkers like this the most is the fact that it operates at less than 85 decibels, which is comparatively less than other professional wood sander tools (and I absolutely agree).

It produces less noise, no matter how hard the wood surface is. Also, the sander features a rock-solid construction with an unusually large belt and a powerful motor; everything you need to complete a professional woodworking project.

However, there is one aspect that makes Makita Belt Sander not suitable for everyone – it weighs around 13 pounds. It is quite heavy and comes with the potential of messing up the piece of wood. Only a professional can use it carefully, making sure that there are no scratches or gouges in the wood piece.

PROS

  • Extremely sturdy build and design – built to last for years
  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful 11 AMP motor
  • Decimates rough, large surfaces in minutes
  • Large surface area

CONS

  • Clogs with dust during use
  • Rather pricey

Best Sander for Detail or Corner Woodworking

My #2 Choice – Black and Decker Mouse

Professional woodworking isn’t all about sanding a large wood surface to perfection. There are certain areas that your regular wood sander can’t access like small corners and other awkward areas.

If you are having such issues and are spending more hours sanding with your hand in specific corners and obstinate shapes, then you’ll need the Black+Decker Mouse Detail Sander.

Quick Facts

Unlike a regular wood sander, the Black+Decker Mouse Detail Sander comes with a triangular-shaped base plate that allows for easy sanding into complex corners and more awkward spaces like door trim, or sanding kitchen cabinets.

You can carry out more complex projects with this detail sander. You can perform awkward sanding jobs like grooves, slots, and window frames, among others easily and quickly. It is the most comfortable sander for woodworking, which is incredibly lightweight and serves its purpose. 

It is a handy sander for any woodworker, from the veteran to the rookie. This detail sander allows you to perfectly finish any wood piece, no matter how tight the corners get or how weird the angles are – thanks to its 3-position grip for ease of use in many applications and adequate control.   

PROS

  • Incredibly lightweight – 2.8 pounds
  • Easily fits into tight spaces – can sand even the hardest of spots
  • Affordable
  • Easy to Control

CONS

  • Quite Noisy
  • Not for heavy stock removal

Best Sander for Woodworking Workshops

My #3 Choice – Festool Rotex Sander

If you are looking for a wood sander machine that can perform both sanding and polishing, then you’ll find the Festool Rotex Sander super useful.

It is the best machine to own if you have a woodworking workshop where space is limited. This 2-in-1 sander makes woodworking projects easy and hassle-free. 

Quick Facts

The 6-ampere motor gives 720 watts of power, which is adequate to deal with most challenging jobs without any fuss.

You may well wonder if this sander is extremely heavy, considering it has such an amount of power, but it only weighs 5 pounds! I was quite shocked. This is the reason why I have labeled it has ‘the best sander for a woodworking workshop.’ 

The Festool Rotex Sander looks hulking and rugged but is remarkably agile when it is placed in your hands. When I talk about its build quality, I think that it’ll easily keep going for years without giving you any issues. What makes the Festool Rotex Sander one of the sturdiest wood sanders is that it has a fully enclosed gear system that keeps the innards of the sander free of contaminants.     

By switching on the ‘aggressive’ mode, you can remove large quantities of stock rapidly, or the ‘orbital’ mode allows you to perform fine sanding. 

PROS

  • Enclosed gear system keeps out external contaminants 
  • 2 modes – aggressive and orbital mode
  • Top-notch Jetstream dust extraction system 
  • Lightweight – weighs 5 pounds
  • Tool-free changing of pads 
  • Very easy to use

CONS

  • Expensive 
  • Some users have complained about its sanding pad’s faulty Velcro 

Best Sander for Large Woodworking Projects 

#4 Jet Drum Sander with Stand

The Jet Drum Sander is the best wood sander for people who have to deal with lots of wood projects. Unlike your traditional orbital sanders, this drum sander offers a wide working surface area.

It gives you enough surface area to comfortably move a large piece of wood above or beneath the sanding drum. In addition to that, you can control the sander’s height using an incorporated drum scale that helps you bring your woodworking project together as required. 

After using the Jet Drum Sander, I can certainly say that the manufacturer paid special attention to its steel-enforced conveyor belt. For starters, you can adjust the conveyor belt using a simple dial. This not only makes sanding easy but also reduces extra stress on the conveyor belt.  

The Jet is composed of two motors that offer the best possible performance while working on your projects. While one motor rotates the conveyor belt, the other turns the sander.

The two motors make the sanding experience excellent, offering consistent results in your woodworking projects. Plus it utilizes Sandsmart control technology, which makes sure that the drum is regulated depending on the load put on the unit. It helps enhance the efficiency of the sander while ensuring machine quality.  

Pros

  • Dust collection made easy with its 4-inch dust port 
  • High-quality 1.5 HP motor that produces up to 1720 revolutions/minute 
  • Parallelism adjust dial 
  • Sandsmart control technology monitors the load on the drum 
  • Dynamically balanced extruded aluminum drum 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not your everyday wood sander

Best for DIY Woodworking or Beginner Woodworker

#5 Black+Decker Max Sheet Sander

If you are looking for a cordless sander that’s best for DIY woodworking or a beginner woodworker, check out the Black+Decker Max Sheet Sander. It gives you the convenience and maneuverability you look for in a cordless wood sander machine without sacrificing performance, precision, or power.

For detail work and quick finishing, the Black+Decker Max Sheet Sander boasts 12,000 orbits/minute. This functionality is something that you won’t see in any budget sanders. 

What I liked about this model is its ergonomic design that features a two-position grip for hassle-free one-handed use. It was easy for me to use this tool with one hand. Even though it is powerful, the two-position grip allows for easy control when in use. 

The angled baseplate get into tight corners and awkward spaces, including harder-to-reach areas. The unit comes with a finger detail attachment as well.   

What else? The Black+Decker Max Sheet Sander also boasts an effective dust collection system to keep the work area clean. And when the sandpaper wears off, replacing it with a new one is easy using the simple hook and loop system.  

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Two-position grip for one-handed use
  • Detail finger attachment to help hard-to-reach surfaces 
  • The product comes with a 2-year limited warranty 
  • Perfect for beginners 

Cons

  • Poor battery performance 
  • Slightly heavy 

Also Best for Beginner Woodworkers or DIY Sanding

#6 Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander  

Bosch is a renowned name in the power tool industry. They have a huge fan following. Bosch products are known for quality and being the best at what they are made for, and the Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander is no different.

This is one of the best sanders for woodworking beginners and DIY sanding for small home projects. The Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander is the most user-friendly sander out there for many reasons. You only have to start the tool and place it on the surface to be smoothened. It does its work perfectly without any errors.

The sanding tool is equipped with a pad dampening system that helps prevent swirl marks on both contoured and flat surfaces. The hook and loop disc attachment system makes way for easy assembly of sanding pads. Plus it’s powered by a powerful 2.5-ampere motor that rotates at high speed, delivering quality work.  

What I really liked about this model is its dust collection system. It features a micro filter system that can trap particles as small as 1/2 micron in diameter. That’s Bosch’s technology for you. 

I recommend this sander for homeowners who have once a while small home improvement projects

Pros

  • Variable speed dial allows switching speed
  • The durable dust canister features twist-off detachable function which makes it easy to clean out 
  • Powerful motor that can go as low as 7500 OPM and as high as 12000 OPM
  • Durable

Cons

  • Poor quality sanding pad
  • It’s a bit pricey

Best for DIY Woodworkers 

#7 WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander

The WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander is a compact wood sander machine that is designed for occasional use. It comes with a powerful motor and has front rollers that allow for excellent, close-finish sanding in small spaces. 

This is a lightweight, easy-to-use model, which is suitable for every DIY homeowner and woodworker. I’d say that you should include the WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander in your household basic repair kit. 

While you can’t expect it to deliver heavy-duty or professional sanding functionality, it is great for those who want to have access to a suitable tool for quick home repairs. Stripping down doors, replacing banisters or sanding stairs is much easier with this model. 

Pros

  • Ideal for basic DIY projects 
  • It comes with a detachable dust bag
  • Quick-release sanding belt for hassle-free changing 
  • Lock-in safety feature allows constant sanding without having to hold on to the trigger 

Cons

  • 7-amp motor – 13 feet/second – not suitable for heavy projects 
  • Doesn’t come with sanding belt – buy it separately 

Also Read our reviews on the best belt disc sanders

man sanding wood

FAQ

If you’re looking for the best sanders for wood projects, then here are some of the most common questions I get:

1. Is a dust collection system really necessary in a wood sander machine? 

It depends on the type of sander you prefer. If you are a professional worker, then it is must that you use a sander that comes with a dust collection system. It helps with cleaning and keeps the clients happy, especially when you are working at their place!

2. What is the most comfortable sander for woodworking? 

There is no right answer to this question. There are different types of sanders available, all of which are designed to keep in mind specific wood surfaces and woodworking projects. There are basically 4 types of sanders available – brush, orbital, wide belt, and planar/knife. It depends what you’re doing with them.

3. What are the factors that need to be considered when buying the best sander for woodworking? 

When looking for the best wood sander, focus on the following features: 

  • Head type 
  • Machine width 
  • Power 
  • Portability 
  • Ease of use 

4. Can I use wood sanders on other surfaces? 

It depends on the model you are using. See if the manufacturer has specified the surface on which the sander can be used. However, in most cases, wood sanders can be used to grain aluminum and other metal surfaces as well.

Conclusion

The type of wood sander you choose depends on your requirements or woodworking projects. 

This concludes my product reviews of the best sanders for wood. If you have any queries regarding the products I have mentioned or any other thing related to woodworking sanding tools and accessories, feel free to ask.

I am more than happy to help you.

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David Harper

I'm David, and I've been a craft & woodworking enthusiast for over 10 years. Sanders Guide is the place where I share some tips, tricks and reviews on all things DIY, tools and of course sanding!

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