If you have come across this article, you’re into powerful hand-held tools for sure. If you want to add a random orbital sander to your collection of tools, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will help you choose the best random orbital sander (ROS) on the market for your needs. In addition, we will digest the benefits of each model to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.
Characteristics of a Good Orbital Sander
When buying, we always want a good balance between economy and quality. Therefore, you need to ensure that your product has the following characteristics:
Good Motor Quality
The motor is the heart of the operation of every ROS. It drives the disc to spin ad ensure uniform motion across the surface. Hence, it is important that your motor capacity matches your purpose and workload.
Adjustable Rotations Per Minute
Although this is related to the motor capacity, it is equally important to evaluate the rotations per minute or RPM. Generally, these devices run at 12000 rpm. However, there are models running as slow as 1600 rpm depending on the use. for versatility purposes, some users prefer variable speed sanders where you have the option to choose a speed that suits your work.
Most likely, you will be carrying the tool all throughout your work. Therefore, you need to select a product that you can carry easily. This will allow you to finish your work with less stress and strain on your arms. More importantly, you have full control on the motion of the sander.
Some products may cost you hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, there are models that cost less. In order to be a smart buyer, you need to weigh the pros and cons in terms of performance and costs. For example, I will prefer a product that costs a little extra but long lasting over a cheap sander that breaks down easily.
Ample Size of Disc
Usually, most products use 5-inch discs as this is the most ideal dimension of an effective sander disc. However, on special cases, you may want to select a smaller or bigger disc as needed.
Now that you know what to look for, here are some reviews of the best tools in this category that you may want to consider buying:
If you’re looking for a product that offers a smooth finish and controlled operation, this might be ideal sander for you. Porter Cable 382 has a 5-inch disc compatible with 5 and 8 hole hook and loop paper. This product is ideal for prepping a surface before painting or staining. More importantly, it transforms your DIY works into a professional work of art. It is equipped with 1.9 amp motor capable of 12,000 rpm that allows you to work both in huge and small surfaces.
- Compact and lightweight
- Dual Plane counter
- Offers long switch life
- Offers maximum sanding speed of 12,000 for extra smooth finish
- Counter-balanced fan to minimize fatigue
- One year free service contract and 90-day money back guarantee
There’s no reason for you not to fall in love with this product. Click here to learn more about this random orbital sander:
VonHaus 3.5 Amp 5-inch ROS
Achieving a clean finish on your workpiece will never be that hard with this product. VonHaus 3.5 Amp 5-inch Random Orbit Sander smoothens any surface without leaving any sanding marks. Built with 3.5 amp motor, you can expect unbeatable performance all the time. In addition, it comes with three polishing pad made of cotton, wool, and sponge. This allows you to cater a wide range of material. More importantly, this product has an adjustable speed between 6,000 to 13,000 rpm.
- Extra powerful 3.5 amp motor
- Variable speed (6,000 – 13,000 rpm)
- Has a huge 5-inch sanding surface
- Ergonomically lightweight and compact
- Durable and made to last long.
- Very affordable
This product proves that you don’t need to spend more for a quality product. If you think this is the tool for you, click on this link to purchase it today:
This is another product that will never disappoint you. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander optimizes every rotation of its 5-inch sander to deliver a professional looking finish on any surface. Also, it allows you to work in perfect speed and control. For a complete performance, this product includes 1 soft backing pad, 1 sanding disc, 1 vacuum hose adapter, and 1 control bag. Weighing only 3.5 lbs, there’s no reason for you not to get the job done fast and hassle-free.
- Adjustable speed between 7,500 to 12,000 rpm
- 5 amp motor
- Comfortable soft grip top
- Has built in micro filter system to trap small dust and particles
- Has 35,000 long-life hook for better grip
- Compact and lightweight
- 30-day money back guarantee and 1-year manufacturer warranty
Below is the link for this product in Amazon:
Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
If you’re looking for a mid to high-end R.O. sander, this is the one for you. Makita is not only known for manufacturing drills and other hand-held tools. Apparently, they also manufacture quality orbital sanders for any surface. It has 3 amp motor with oversized ball bearings which are sealed to last longer. For better results, choose among it varying speed between 4,000 to 12,000 rpm. This allows you to match your sanding speed to the surface that you’re working on. Finally, it includes abrasive disc, dust bag, and tool case to ensure maximum performance.
- 3 amp motor for smoother finish
- 4,000 – 12,000 variable sanding speed
- Comfortable rubberized grip
- Adjustable front handle
- Double insulation
- 5-inch quick-change hook and loop abrasive paper
- Two-finger trigger switch
- 30-day replacement or refund
Although Makita BO5041K costs more compared to other products on our list, it is worth your investments. Should you think this sander can help you finish your job quickly, click on the link below to purchase:
How to Use a Random Orbital Sander
To achieve the best result when using an orbital sander, it is vital to understand the tool, its main function as well as how it is used. Well, this is a handheld power tool mainly used to sand surfaces especially wooden surfaces by employing sanding blade which delivers a random-orbit action. It is able to produce a finer and elegant finish which is as a result of a combination of abilities. As a matter of fact, it combines the sander belt abilities such as speed and aggressiveness to achieve a random circular action.
Following the fact that this is a hand-held tool, it thus requires expertise of an experienced tool. Failure to ensure this then the end results will not be pleasing. It is also vital to mention that through this tool, various distinctive designs can be produced. This is achieved when a sanding disk is spin simultaneously into small ellipses. The main advantage of using this tool is that it does not leave swirl marks which tend to be irritating thus making a piece of work to have undesirable qualities. Another fact that will make you want to use this tool is the fact that they come with integrated dust collectors hence they are environmental friendly.
Well, now it is time to start using the sander step by step until a desirable finish is achieved:
First of all, one needs to prepare the working surface using old newspapers to ensure safety and ease during work. Then consider assembling all the required materials that will enable you to transform a rough surfaced piece of wood to that desirable, appealing and beautiful finish. For instance, when using any sander one requires safety glasses, sandpaper, dust mask, hearing protection, old newspapers and clamps to mention a few things.
Did you know that you can employ two random orbit sanders at the same time to speed up the action and save time? Other than spinning it around the orbit, it will as well gyrate which will be influenced by the movement of your hands. At the end of the day, this will probably lead to a scratch free surface.
Double the action: Following the fact that this is a light hand-held tool, a professional can easily double the action and the effect by grabbing a second one. Now using both hands, this indicates that the rate of sanding is doubled. When employing the double effect technique, the sanders must be kept close to each other and sand as if you are using the same tool or one tool. Well, it is also important to be conscious while using this technique as in case the hands will stay apart while sanding then chances are that you will over sand the fabric.
Sand faster with suction: the whole process of sanding through this tool can be made simple and enjoyable only if one opts for the right grit. Well, the following are some sanding grits to put into consideration: 240,120 and 60 respectively. 60 is for the roughest, 120 is for medium and 240 for the smoothest. To make the work easier, set the right grit for specific texture. For instance, if the piece of wood is rough, start with 60 and before anything else, it’s crucial to align the holes for the suction
Skip grit: I know this will sound funny but I wish to inform you that you need not to use each grit while sanding. You can use 70-230, 120-180-240 among others. This will require an expert who had done such work before who will be able to observe the piece of wood and choose the right grit as sanding continues.
Stop the swirls: actually a good an experienced expert will know when to stop the swirls. Did you know that too much pressure as well as speed creates tiny swirling scratches? For this case, one is only needed to rest the hand on the sander without pressing it. Swirls will probably interfere with the end results of your piece of work hence ensure that they are avoided at all cost.
Know when to stop: since most woodworkers can measure the smoothness that they would require, they say that one should know when to stop which depends on the type of wood that is being worked on. For instance, open grain is best for hardwood such as mahogany while grain is good for softwood such as cherry. This will also depend on the kind of finish that is employed for instance one stops at 150 when they are employing thick coatings.
Gang sanding across the grain to save time: when there are lots of work to be finished within no time, one only needs o sand across a bunch of edges in a single pass.
It is vital to mention that the end results of using a R.O. sander depends on the professionalism of the user. It requires experience and knowledge to manipulate it across the wood so that a quality and desirable smoothness is achieved. Without this, then one will realize lots of shortcomings such as having swirls all over the wood. Moreover, the right selection of these tools also plays significant roles in achieving the best results.
It is worth mentioning that the best random orbital sanders come in different designs hence one can use those that accept peel-and-stick as well as use hook-and-loop discs respectively. They are easy to use, affordable and faster hence saves time.