Sanding can be a particularly tedious chore, so luckily there are a series of tools available to help you with the task. While belt sanders and orbital sanders are useful for either large rough projects or smaller delicate projects, if you only want to purchase one tool then the best random orbital sander could be exactly what you are looking for.
Random orbital sanders fall in the midpoint between belt sanders and orbital sanders, and can be operated for any sanding project that you have whether it be a large need such as smoothing flat boards, or more precision work like rounding sharp edges.
Finding the right random orbital sander can be tricky, though, with many on the market. To help you with this we have put together these random orbital sander reviews where we look at five of the best orbital sanders out there.
Not sure if you need an orbital sander or a random orbital sander? Read our comparison!
Best Random Orbital Sander Comparison
Counterweight to reduce vibrations
Black & Decker
Small and compact
Wide range of operating speed
Worth Thinking About
Random orbital sanders are designed to be a midway point between the more specialized machines that focus on the more intensive or delicate sanding work. This means that they won’t necessarily be the absolute best tool for the job, but their ability to work at variable speeds means that they can adapt to most situations, e.g. for sanding worn-out floors.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose tool to add to your workshop without getting more specific devices, then a random orbital sander is probably exactly what you need. If you are looking for something to deal solely with high intensity jobs, the random orbital sanders will likely be underpowered for your needs and you should have a look at belt sanders instead.
Random Orbital Sander Reviews
This Dewalt random orbital sander is portable and powerful. It could be exactly what you need if you’re looking for a multi-use sander that will do a good job with whatever materials you are working with.
The variable speed option allows you to control the effects, ranging from 8,000 OPM for more delicate work to 12,000 OPM for the more intensive projects. This machine has been carefully designed to allow you to stay close to your work piece so you can closely monitor the area you are working on, and have greater control for precision sanding.
Some handheld sanders can intensely vibrate which takes its toll on the user when working for a long time, but this one has been designed with that in mind and has an inbuilt counterweight to significantly reduce this effect. This allows you to continue working for long periods without enduring pressures that other devices can cause.
Another concern with handheld sanders is that dust gets everywhere, including within the switches of the device itself, and can cause damage and a great deal of mess. Luckily this sander has rubber molds around each switch and vulnerable point, which protects it from these effects and prolongs its operating life. The dust bag catches most dust that is released through the sanding process, and features a one-handed locking mechanism to make operation very easy.
This sander is advertised for sanding wood, metal, and plastics and according to customer reviews, does not disappoint. People are impressed by the power of the machine, and its usefulness for a wide variety of tasks.
This best random orbital sander from Black & Decker is a cheap and cheerful option for you if you are looking for a multi purpose sander to have around the home for the various jobs that may come up.
It is a small and compact design that means it won’t take up much storage space, but still provides decent power. The inbuilt dust collector and rubber seals ensure that mess doesn’t build up or break the machine during use, and the sturdy design reduces vibrations that can be an all too common problem with a machine like this.
The random orbital movement of the sanding pad removes surfaces in an effective way and leaves a nice smooth finish. You will also be close to the surface using this product, because it is small and unobtrusive. The hook and loop system for holding the paper in place makes it super easy to change so you can continue working without having to stop for ages to change everything around.
Handheld sanders like this make sanding round uneven shapes really easy, so smoothing the sides of those tables and posts will be a breeze with a device like this. It isn’t so good for edges, though, because the circular shape of the pad won’t quite fit. Because of that, and the lower power output in comparison with larger machines, this product isn’t so great for high intensity tasks such as flooring, but will definitely be a useful addition if you have sanding projects at the less complicated range of the scale.
Available at a very low price, customer reviews of this product on Amazon are very positive- mainly because of its ability to help in a multitude of tasks. It could be a great choice for you if you are looking for a lightweight, compact sander to have around the home. If, however, you are looking for a more durable and powerful machine, then this is not the one for you.
- Counterbalanced fan to reduce vibration
- Constructed using ball-bearings
- Variable pad speed of up to 12,000 OPM
- Compatible with 5 inch, 8 hole hook and loop paper
- Dust sealed switch to increase tool life
- Check current price on Amazon
The Porter-Cable 382 random orbit sander is designed for a multitude of uses across jobs involving precise work or more intense sanding requirements. The variable speed of up to 12,000 OPM ensures you will have the power you need to complete the task at hand, and the dust collector makes sure you won’t create too much mess when using it.
The tool life is protected by sealing the switches to stop dust from getting into the delicate parts, and a counterbalanced fan stops the machine vibrating too much and makes it far easier to use for longer periods of time.
It is a perfect tool for preparing a surface before painting or staining, and for smoothing seams or removing old coats. A great feature is the ‘controlled finishing system’ that minimizes any gouging, and gives a consistent finish across the project. It is constructed from sealed 100 percent ball bearings, which makes it durable and lightweight.
Using 5-inch 8-hole hook and loop sandpaper, it’s easy to change the paper when it has worn out and you can use any brand of paper you want. Porter-Cable are so confident with the durability and design of this product that they offer a 90 day money back guarantee, a 1 year service contract, and a 3 year product warranty.
Reviews of this sander show lots of happy customers who find it to be a great all round tool, particularly for amateur users. There are a few concerns with the build quality with some people finding that the dust bag refuses to stay in place, but apart from that niggling issue that can be solved with some tape, the power and effectiveness of the sander is great.
If you have a variety of high-powered needs from your sander then this may not be the best choice for you, but if you are looking for a great all-rounder to have in your workshop, then this could be a great option.
- Variable speed between 7,500 and 12,000 OPM
- Microfilter system to filter particles as small as ½ micron
- Easily detachable dust canister
- Hook and loop disc attachment system with over 35,000 hooks
- Soft grip body for user comfort
- Check current price on Amazon
The random orbit sander from Bosch is made with a compact design, and is ideal for all of those sanding jobs you have around the home. The adjustable speed option allows you to adjust the sanding effects to the demands of the task at hand, and goes up to 12,000 Opm, which is plenty for most jobs you would need it for.
The disc diameter is 3/64-inch, which is wider than the rest of the device to allow you to reach tight edges, and the lightweight design means you will find this sander extremely easy to use. Like other orbital sanders, the pad movement does not leave any swirl marks, and this one has what they call an “integral pad dampening system” to further reduce unwanted marks.
The designers have focused on eliminating the difficulties associated with other sanders, and have designed a hook and loop system to keep the sanding pad firmly held to the device. With over 35,000 longlife hooks on the machine and a microcellular backing pad on the sanding disc, the idea is that this product can provide a more even finish than others out there.
It’s a nicely designed sander with rubber grips to aid with comfort, and an easily detachable dust canister that traps fine dust particles using the inbuilt microfilter system. Bosch include a 30-day money back guarantee, 1 year warranty, and a 1 year service protection plan within the cost of the product which will add peace of mind to you if you have had issues with the reliability of devices that you have bought before.
Amazon customers have been overwhelmingly positive when reviewing this orbital sander, and have been particularly impressed by the dust collection filter in comparison to those found on other products.
If you are looking for a neat, compact, multi-use orbital sander then this one may well be just what you need. It’s simple to use, won’t take up much space, and leaves a smooth finish.
- Variable speed of between 4,000 and 12,000 OPM
- Rubber grips and large trigger switch for user comfort
- Pad control feature that controls the pad on startup
- High capacity dust collection system
- Adjustable front handle to allow you to reach anywhere
- Check current price on Amazon
This orbital sander from Makita is a serious piece of machinery. It’s towards the top of the price range of the ones we are looking at in this buyer's guide, but comes packed full of features that the other don’t have.
First of all, it is light and comfortable to use. It is made from oversized sealed ball bearings, which makes it lighter and increases its lifespan, and has an ergonomic rubber palm grip to make it simple to hold. The trigger switch is particularly handy on this device because it is nice and big and really easy to use when you are working.
The variable speeds of this sander range from 4,000 OPM to 12,000 OPM, which allows you to adjust intensity to match the needs of the project you are working on, and the handles have been designed in a way that lets you get into those difficult, confined areas. The 5-inch discs provide a great area of effect, and the hook-and-loop system makes it simple to replace the paper when it’s worn down. This won’t take you long so if you have to stop in the middle of a job you’ll be going again in no time.
As a general carpentry tool, Makita have made a great option for you in the BO5041K. It’ll be great for cabinetry, furniture construction, and preparing smoother surfaces for painting. The 3 AMP motor means it packs a punch and will be helpful for all but the most intensive of requirements.
The reviewers on Amazon have been very happy with this product. Of particular mention are the surprisingly quiet motor, the comfort of the grip, and the minimal vibrations.
Orbital Sander Reviews: The Bottom Line
There are a lot of orbital sanders available on Amazon, let alone the different types of sanders as well, so it can be a tricky decision to choose which one is the best orbital sander for your purposes. The good thing with these tools is that you can get one at a cheap price if you just want to try one out without all of the more advanced features, or you can spend a bit more and find out why these are such favorites of carpenters around the world.
Our choice for the best random orbital sander is the Makita BO5041K. It’s one of the more expensive ones, but for the price you get a series of features that let it adapt to whatever project you are working on with ease. It’s comfortable to use and leaves very little mess around your work area.
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