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A-Check Sander

Best Random Orbital Sander for Wood in 2020

There are a number of different power sanders to choose from. The most basic of which is the belt sander – a table- or bench-mounted, stationary tool where you bring the material to the sanding belt to smooth and shape. But if you’re looking for something more compact and much more portable, then you’ll want to take a look handheld power sanders.

If you’re truly serious about upgrading your DIY game, then getting a random orbital sander should be high on your list of must-have power tools. A random orbital sander can give your wood-based art a smooth, silky finish will very little effort.

Orbital Sander vs. Random Orbital Sander

First of all, there are some things we need to clear up. There are two compact, palm sanding tools that cause quite a bit of confusion to first-time buyers and newbie DIY-ers.



Orbital Sander

The first is a regular orbital sander. This tool is used for finishing jobs, and they don’t pack the equipment to remove tons of rough material with each sweep of the tool. An orbital sander features a square pad that helps the tool reach corners so sanding assembled furniture and window sills is a breeze.

An orbital sander’s sanding pad moves in a front-to-back motion, thus leaving they scratch mark in its wake. It’s essential that you gradually progress from coarse to grit sanding pads in order to eliminate these unsightly marks from your finished product.

Random Orbital Sander

Random orbital sanders are completely different from regular orbital sanders. First of all, it comes with a round pad, so it’s not as great for sanding corners or making pointed edges. However, what it lacks in sharpness, it makes up for dramatically in every other regard.

The motion of the sanding pad isn’t a front-to-back or even a side-to-side. Instead, the pad spins at high speed while vibrating in random directions, practically eliminating scratch marks. However, you’ll still need to progress from coarse- to fine-grit sanding pads in order to truly give your product a smooth finish.

Finally, don’t let the “sander” in the tool’s name fool you. An orbital sander is much more than a handheld tool that sands the surface of wooden boards. With the right attachment, you can use your sander for a number of different applications, including but not limited to grinding, shaping, and removing layers of paint.

Random Orbital Sander Buying Guide

The hundreds, if not thousands, of random orbital sander models available on the market today can make finding the “right” sander a pain. This buying guide will assist you in finding what’s best for you based on what project you have on hand. In this article, we’re going to split this guide based on three common tasks: wood sanding and shaping, metal grinding and buffing, and paint removal.

Random Orbital Sander for Wood

One of the most common uses for random orbital sanders is obviously sanding wood and giving it a smooth, splinter-free surface. In this section, we’re going to discuss what qualities make for a good random orbital sander for wood-based projects.

Motor Power

The strength of the motor indicates how effective the tool will be at sanding your workpiece. The higher the motor’s amperage rating, the better it will be at sanding all sorts of materials. Since wood is pretty soft, the random orbital sander doesn’t need a super-strong motor. Something with at least two amps will suffice.

Variable Orbiting Speed

Speed plays an important role in giving wooden boards a beautifully smooth finish. We highly advise finding a model that can reach speeds of at least 10,000 OPM (orbits per minute).

Furthermore, to increase the tool’s versatility, we recommend that you find a model that comes with a variable orbiting speed dial or speed presets opposed to a fixed speed unit. You can always crank up the speed when rough sanding old boards and drop the speed when working with more delicate materials.

Dust Collection

All power sanders, including random orbital sanders, produce a ton of sawdust. In order to keep the sawdust from going airborne and getting into your lungs (always wear proper PPE), random orbital sanders come with suctions on the circular pad that pick up sawdust as soon as it’s produced. As for models without dust collection systems, they may still be worth the investment cost, but you’ll have to spend time after sanding to clean up your workspace.

Disc Size

The random orbital sander’s disc size an important thing to consider if you plan on sanding and smoothing large surface areas. If this is the case, then you can’t really go too big. However, note that a larger disc means having to be careful of how much downward pressure to apply to give the entire surface an even sanding.

The standard disc diameter is 5 inches which is just right for most sanding jobs. It’s small enough to give you full control when working, but it’s also large enough as to not cause frustration due to slow work.

Corded

Even though cordless power tools are all the rage, there’s nothing worse than getting in the groove of things and having the battery die out on you in the middle of work. The easiest solution if you decide to get a cordless random orbital sander would be to invest in multiple rechargeable batteries – one powers the unit while the other(s) wait their turn in the charging station.

However, in order to truly increase productivity, we’d recommend getting a corded unit. As long as there’s a constant flow of electricity coming from your workshop’s power outlets, you’ll have an infinite, uninterrupted amount of work time (minus resting to prevent motor burnout).

Random Orbital Sander for Metal

The “sander” in the tool’s name can be misleading since random orbital sanders are used for much more than just sanding jobs. These tools can also be used for metalwork, specifically buffing and grinding. This short guide will discuss what aspects make for a quality random orbital sander for preparing metal objects.

Motor Power

In order to grind and buff metal effectively, the random orbital sander needs to come with a beefier motor than two amps. A stronger motor not only makes the tool more efficient – e.g. quicker rotational speed – but it also helps counteract the resistance of hard materials like metal. A reliable motor for grinding and shaping metal would be at least five amps.

Orbiting Speed

When grinding away at metal, the speed of the random orbital sander’s disc determines how much or how little it removes when left in one spot. Obviously, you never want to leave the disc on a single area on your workpiece’s surface as it could end up removing more material than you originally planned, especially when the tool is cranked to its highest speed.

We recommend avoiding a single-speed sander if possible and opting for one with preset speeds or a variable speed dial. These two systems will give you maximum control in removing as little or as much material without going under or overboard. This is with the assumption that you’ve set the tool to the appropriate speed, of course.

Orbiting Action Distance

The thing that makes random orbital sanders so versatile is the orbiting action. The pad doesn’t just rotate at high speed, but it also oscillates in random directions. The distance at which the sand moves when it oscillates plays a role in ensuring that your workpiece is not left with ugly scratches, something that is extremely important when buffing metal or plastic. The standard orbiting distance is 1/8 of an inch. It’s okay to go slightly under 1/8, but anything over that will produce hard-to-remove gashes in metal.

Buffing and Grinding Attachments

Some random orbital sander models don’t come with buffing pads or grinding attachments. This means you’ll have to purchase them separately.
When shopping for buffing pads, make sure that the pad is compatible with your random orbital sander. The safest way to do this is by purchasing a pad that comes from the manufacturer of your tool, though many pads that are sold separately can be fitted on sanders of most makes and models.

Random Orbital Sander for Removing Paint

The ability to remove paint is another thing that makes a random orbital sander such a handy tool to have. Whether you need to strip paint from your car’s body, metal, plastic, or even wood, a random orbital sander is the tool to have. The lightweight, compact design makes it ideal for reaching spots that just aren’t as accessible by other power sanders. Next, we’ll go over the various factors that make a random orbital sander ideal for removing paint.

Motor Power

Removing paint is arguably the easiest thing that a random orbital sander can do. Paint isn’t that difficult to remove, even by using sandpaper and elbow grease, but this tool definitely makes the job go by much quicker.

That being said, if you’re using a random orbital sander exclusively for removing paint, it doesn’t need a tremendously large motor. Like sanding wood, you could get by with a 2-amp unit, but we recommend going slightly larger since removing paint is only one small aspect of the total capabilities of a random orbital sander.

Variable Speed

Removing paint can be done at both high speed and low speed. What you need to be mindful about is whether cranking the tool to its maximum speed setting is a good idea since it has a higher risk of removing thin layers of the material right below the paint. Because of this, we advise that you find a random orbital sander that works as slow as 5,000 RPM for removing thin layers of paint and as fast as 10,000-plus RPM for removing thicker coats of paint quicker.

Dust Collection

Whether you’re removing paint from wood, plastic, or metal, it’s a good idea to find a random orbital sander that has suctions holes on the pad. This’ll suck up any removed paint particles, preventing it from going airborne or falling to the ground. We’d recommend against dust collection bags since and instead opting for a unit with onboard dust ports since shop vacs and dust extractors work better at suctioning both tiny and larger particles.

Compact Design

Even though all random orbital sanders are naturally compact and lightweight, if you plan on using the tool to remove paint, try and find the lightest, most powerful unit available. Random orbital sanders can remove paint from almost any object – furniture, cars, fences, etc. – so it needs to be able to maneuver in tight spaces without the motor housing bumping into adjacent surfaces.

Final Remarks

After reading this guide, you should be able to distinguish between orbital sanders and random orbital sanders by their sanding pads. Orbital sanders user square/rectangular pads that are great for fitting into corners but also leave deep scratches in your workpiece. Random orbital sanders use circular pads and a wide variety of attachments for more than just sanding. In this article, we’ve focused on random orbital sanders as the more versatile and better sanding option.

Random orbital sanders can do a wide variety of tasks, including sanding wood, buffing, and grinding metal, as well as removing paint. Throughout this article, we’ve talked about how different random orbital sanders excel at particular job, though if you find a model that features a 5-plus-amp motor, an onboard dust port, a variable speed dial that delivers between 5,000 and more than 10,000 OPM, and is small enough to fit in tight spaces without needing to bend your arm at irregular angles, then that would be the best option to get.

Basically, when looking at various random orbital sanders, there won’t be a ton of difference in their design and capabilities. Minor features (variable speed dial or preset speeds, dust collection bag or port, disc size) don’t matter as much as the aforementioned specs. Thankfully, they’re not hard to come by. When it comes to random orbital sanders, bigger in terms of motor size and speed is always, ALWAYS better.




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A-Check Miscellaneous Sander

Palm Sander vs. Orbital Sander: What Tool to Use?

Finding the right sanding tool can be a pain in the neck. The first and foremost problem is deciding which type of power sander to purchase. Do you need a belt sanderWill an orbital sander workHow about random orbital sandersWhat about palm sanders?

In this article, we’re going to talk about two power sanders – palm and orbital sanders – that are both handheld but serve different functions. We’ll discuss in what areas of sanding each of these tools excel at, as well as some of their downsides. In the end, we’ll help you decide which of the two would be the more appropriate tool to have for general-purpose sanding.



What is a Palm Sander?

The real defining factor of a palm sander is its compact size. This tool is meant to be operated using a single hand instead of two like a handheld belt sander. Its small size makes it easy to control when doing the final sanding.

The shape of a palm sander’s sanding pad varies from model to model, but the most common shape would be triangular, similar to an iron. The size helps maneuver around odd shapes.

What can a Palm Sander do?

The small size of a palm sander makes it extremely easy to glide across the surfaces of large boards. Its compactness paired with the triangular sanding pad makes it a great tool to use when sanding curves and edges.

A palm sander is designed to be used for final sanding. This is because palm sanders come with weaker motors than other types of power sanders. The most compatible grits of sandpaper that attach to this tool’s sanding pad would be anything between 160- and 220-grit, so you don’t remove too much material per second.

Downsides of a Palm Sander

Since this tool is weaker than other types of power sanders, this isn’t the tool to use for treating rough lumber. If you need to flatten or straighten lumber, you’re going to have a difficult time doing that with this tool.

If you plan on using coarse-grit sandpaper – anything less than 160 – then this tool will most likely scratch the surface than sand it. This is because the smaller motor doesn’t give enough movement to let coarser grits remove more material.

This is a one-trick pony that is only to be used for adding final sanding touches to your project. This tool doesn’t provide enough sanding power to shape or get rid of blemishes on your stock.

Another thing we need to mention is that this tool requires you to purchase the right sized sanding paper sheets. This means spending a bit more money by periodically purchasing the correct size of sandpaper pads.

What is an Orbital Sander?

Something that you should know from the get-go is that an orbital sander and a random orbiting sander are two completely different tools. Both of them are handheld and can be used in a single hand, like a palm sander, but there are two ways in which they differ.

First, a regular orbital sander has a square or rectangular sanding pad, whereas a random orbital sander comes with a round sanding pad. The second difference is the sanding direction. An orbital sander’s sanding pad moves in a back-and-forth motion. A random orbital sander, on the other hand, moves in two directions – it rotates, and it orbits. For the rest of the article, we’re going to talk about regular orbital sanders.

An orbital sander is a tool that you would use to smoothen out any scratches after sanding your stock on a belt sander (another type of power sander!). It comes with a smaller motor than most types of power sanders you won’t be able to treat rough timber with this tool.

One of the greatest benefits of an orbital sander is that you don’t need to purchase special-sized sanding pads. Instead, you can purchase any sanding paper of any grit and cut it down to size. You can save a ton of money by purchasing sandpaper in bulk.

What can an Orbital Sander do?

This tool serves to smooth out any scratch marks left by a belt sander. Its weaker motor (compared to a drum sander) allows it to be used for finish sanding on your workpieces.

One area where this tool excels is being able to sand in corners. This is because of the square-shaped sanding pad; it can fit into corners without leaving any part of the workpiece un-sanded.

Downsides of an Orbital Sander

There are several downsides when using an orbital sander that you need to consider. First of all, this isn’t an aggressive tool so removing tons of material isn’t possible with an orbital sander. At most, it’ll create a smooth surface on pieces that have already been passed on a belt, drum, or disc sander.

The next drawback is that it can still leave scratch marks, regardless of sandpaper grit size. This tool moves the sand belt in one direction, so it has a greater chance of scratching the same spot continuously, both leaving deep gashes and removing slightly more material that you initially planned.

Another thing you need to consider is the size and shape of the orbital sander’s sanding pan. It has a square/rectangular shape that won’t work well on curves. This tool is meant to be used on large, flat surfaces. If you’re sanding curved edges, you could possibly ruin the curve you worked so hard to make.

Palm Sander vs. Orbital Sander – Which to Get

So looking at each of these tool’s ups and down, assuming you already have an aggressive sanding tool like a drum sander, you would be better off with palm sander. A palm sander can be a great finish sander. It won’t be able to fit in tight corners like an orbital sander, but it can sand the surface of large objects as well as curved edges.

If you don’t have a drum sander, then an orbital sander would be the better choice to get. This tool can use both coarse and fine sandpaper grit sizes. This allows it to both rough and finish sanding which is something that a palm sander is incapable of doing. This is the more versatile of the two options so you can do more with this tool in your arsenal.




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Miscellaneous Sander

Drum Sander vs Planer

It’s very easy to become confused when looking at woodworking tools. For instance, did you know that an impact driver is different from a regular power drillOr how about orbital sanders and an angle grinder fitted with a sanding padAnd the most important question of all – which of the two should you choose?

Planer vs Drum Sander

Planer

One question that pops up every now and again is whether to purchase a drum sander or a planer. They’re two completely different-looking tools that serve a similar purpose: removing material from your wood boards. To answer this question and put your mind at ease, in this article, we’re going to discuss various aspects of each tool, how you can benefit from them, and which to purchase first.



What is a Drum Sander?

A drum sander is a powerful tool that can be used to sand both wood and plastic. The result is a smooth, splinter-free surface for building furniture and frames.

A drum sander can either be a large piece of equipment with multiple drums (industry-grade) or a simple bench-top model with a single drum (home and garage workshop usage). Having several drums makes the sanding process go by much quicker since each drum is equipped with a different grit size. However, for most hobbyist woodworkers, swapping between sheets of sandpaper on a single-drum unit works just fine.

The purpose of a drum sander is to remove material quickly and cleanly. To accomplish this, you need to replace the drum’s sandpaper with increasingly higher grits of sandpaper. Many drum sander models come with mechanisms which clamp and unclamp the paper for easy swapping.

Drum Sander vs Planer

Drum Sander

How does a Drum Sander Work?

Using a drum sander is pretty simple. You turn the machine on and wait for the rotating drum to reach its maximum speed. After it’s as fast as it can go, while holding onto your workpiece with your hands, you bring the piece toward the drum until it makes contact.

Many drum sanders come with a variable speed feature which increases and decreases the speed of the drum. Cranking the speed makes the drum remove more material per second.

Drum sanders produce a LOT of sawdust. That’s why it’s important to have a dust management system in your workshop if you decide to purchase a drum sander. In addition to owning a shop vac, you should always wear the proper PPE to prevent accidents. The most important of which are safety goggles, ear plugs or ear muffs, a respirator, and gloves.

Downsides of a Drum Sander

Even though the rotating drum on a drum sander can reach several hundreds of RPMs, it is by no means a quick way of dimensioning boards. For instance, if you’re trying to produce a flat surface with parallel surfaces, it’s completely possible to do, but it’s by no means the most efficient way of doing so.

This tool is great for removing very thin layers off of wood or plastic pieces. However, doing it across the entire surface of a large workpiece means having steady hands and applying even pressure from end to end. You’re not going to be able to achieve the smoothness you’d like on an entire board’s surface without a few bumps and/or valleys.

Planer

Planer

What is a Planer?

A planer, also known as a thickness planer or a thicknesser, is a large, woodworking tool. The purpose of a planer is to plane or reduce the thickness of your workpiece by shaving off thin layers per pass.

There are two main types of planers – freestanding and benchtop. Freestanding planers require a bit of floor space and a ton of clearance at both the front and back ends of the machine. Benchtop models can either be placed on the floor or on a table. They have smaller metal infeed and outfeed tables, so they support smaller boards, thus not requiring as much clearance space as a freestanding model.

How does a Planer Work?

A planer shaves thin layers off the surface of a board with the help of multiple cutter heads. You feed a board horizontally through the machine, and rollers grasp the work piece and send it through to the other side. As it moves, the cutterheads repeatedly cut the board, reducing the thickness of the board by less than a fraction of an inch with each pass. As the board reaches the end, the machine should have shaved a thin layer off of the board evenly.

Many large woodworking projects call for the use of a planer, especially to dimension boards that are more than a foot wide and several inches thick.

Drum Sander

Drum Sander

Downsides of a Planer

The biggest downside of a planer is that it produces sniped ends – i.e., the head and tail ends of the board will have a few extra millimeters shaved off. This means that you could potentially waste an entire board simply by removing a little too much off of the ends. There are several ways to prevent snipe such as lifting the board ever-so-gently as it enters and exits the planer and adding sacrificial pieces to ends of the board.

The cost of a high-quality portable planer can also be considered a downside. If you’re not planning on spending upwards of $800 on a tool, then a planer is definitely out of the question. All we can say is that the price is justified if you’re a serious woodworker.

Drum Sander vs. Planer – Which to Get First

Now comes the difficult part – choosing one over the other. It’d be great if you could get them both, but if that’s not possible, then we have a few things to consider.

Planer vs Drum Sander: What to Choose?

Planer

If you’re planning on milling your own boards, then you’re going to need a planer. There’s really no way around this one; a planer will make all the faces of the board parallel to each other. The board will then be ready for use in furniture or for sale. You can sand the board using a sheet of regular sandpaper. It’s slow, but it’ll get the job done.

A drum sander would take forever to make all of the faces parallel to the opposite side. If you need a tool to do some light sanding or to remove a few millimeters off of a few parts of your work piece, then a drum sander would be the better tool to have. A planer is simply overkill in this scenario. It also doesn’t give you the freedom to remove only certain parts of one surface. A drum sander also sands the surface of a board to make it splinter-free and smooth to the touch – another thing that a planer can’t do.

Drum Sander vs Planer: What to Choose?

Drum Sander

Final Remarks

There you have it – the major differences between drum sanders and planers. As you can see, they are two completely different tools that serve similar material-removing purposes. However, they are by no means interchangeable so you can’t use a planer to sand, and you shouldn’t use a drum sander to reduce the thickness of a board (at least not efficiently).




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Miscellaneous Sander

Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander: What’s the Difference?

There is a ton of difference sanding tools out there to choose from. The tricky part is knowing which one of them you need. Sanders come in a wide variety of different shapes and serve different sanding purposes. We have belt sanders which are either handheld or mounted on a table. They utilize a long sheet of sandpaper for quickly sanding blanks for further processing. And then we have orbital sanders which are handheld and are glided along the surface of an object to give it a smooth, splinter-free finish.

Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander

Belt Sander

In today’s article, we’re going to discuss what makes a belt sander different from an orbital sander, what sort of projects each one would excel in, and finally which of the two, if any, you will need for your line of work.



What is a Belt Sander?

A belt sander is a sanding tool in which you strap on a length of sanding paper to the built-in drums. The drums are then spun by a motor which then turns the sandpaper. The quicker the speed, the more material the tool will remove per second.

There are also benchtop belt sander models in which two vertically standing drums quickly spin a long sheet of sandpaper. Instead of bringing the tool to the material, you bring the material to the tool. If you plan on getting a benchtop belt sander, or any power sander for that matter, make sure that you have the right PPE – gloves, respirator, safety goggles, and ear protection.

Orbital Sander vs Belt Sander

Orbital Sander

What can a Belt Sander do?

Handheld belt sanders are excellent for removing old finishes on your workpieces such as stains or varnish. It’s important to start with a coarse-grit sheet of sandpaper – 60-grit will do – and progressively increase the fineness of the grit to leave a smooth, handsome finish.

Even though handheld belt sanders can be used on a large stock, a benchtop belt sander would be more appropriate since it comes with a longer sanding belt, a more powerful motor, and a work table to help keep larger pieces balanced.

Belt sanders are the most aggressive type of sanding tool out there. They’re great for processing rough lumber, smoothing edges, adding curves, and removing beads of glue that bleed out from in between boards.

Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander: What's the Difference?

Belt Sander

Downsides of a Belt Sander

The main drawback of a belt sander is that no matter how fine a sheet of sandpaper you use there are always going to be unsightly sanding marks left on your workpiece. Essentially, a belt sander is for smoothing rough lumber in preparation for further sanding. It’s not a tool to use for final sanding or adding finishing touches to your project. Furthermore, when sanding where two different grains meet, you’re going to end up with some rather nasty scratches.

Another downside is the sheer power of a belt sander. It can be good for aggressively shaping and removing a considerable amount of material each second, but if you’re not careful, you could end up warping the shape of your workpiece in an instant.

What is an Orbital Sander?

One of the most common mistakes that any aspiring woodworker can make is equating an orbital sander to a random orbital sander. An orbital sander is a handheld sanding tool with a square or rectangular sanding pad. The pad moves back and forth at high speed to remove a very minimal amount of material. On the other hand, a random orbital sander uses a round sanding pad and includes an orbiting motion to the spin of the disc.

An orbital sander is a tool that you would most likely use to smooth out any scratches left over after using a belt sander. This tool is much gentler in sanding, but it does leave scratch marks going in one direction.

Orbital Sander: What's the Difference?

Orbital Sander

This tool doesn’t require purchasing large sheets of sandpaper. Instead, you need to purchase square or rectangular sandpaper sheets of varying coarseness – between 60 and 220 – and stick it onto the sanding pad. Unlike a random orbital sander, you don’t need to purchase individual discs or small sheets of sandpaper. Instead, you can buy sandpaper in bulk, manually cut it to the correct length and width, and stick it onto the square/rectangular sanding pad.

Belt Sander

Belt Sander

What can an Orbital Sander do?

An orbital sander is used to sand workpieces that have just been sanded by an aggressive belt sander. It smoothens the surface while eliminating deep gashes left by abrasive sandpaper. The forward and backward motion of the sanding sheet helps reduce the risk of deep scratch marks while making the surface as smooth and free of splinters as possible.

One of the greatest advantages that an orbital sander has over a belt sander or even a random orbital sander is that the square/rectangular sheet allows the tool to fit into corners and flush against edges. This makes sanding the underside of an assembled table or cabinet possible without leaving any parts untouched.

Orbital Sander vs Belt Sander: What's the Difference?

Orbital Sander

Downsides of an Orbital Sander

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages of using an orbital sander. First, the tool isn’t meant to remove a ton of material per second. It mildly scratches the top of your workpiece, meaning that you’ll spend a lot of time on one section while hardly removing anything.

Even though orbital sanders leave considerably fewer scratch marks than a belt sander, the marks are still quite noticeable. There’s no way around it – any one-direction sanding tool (belt sander and orbital sander) will leave visible marks. The best sander to eliminate or at least reduce the visibility of scratches is a random orbital sander.

Belt Sanders

Belt Sander

Belt Sander vs. Orbital Sander – Which to Get

In all honesty, most sanding projects can’t be completed with only one of these tools. You’ll need a belt sander for heavy-duty sanding and shaping. An orbital sander comes in handy when you need to eliminate deep gashes left by a belt sander and when dealing with pesky corners and edges. On top of that, you may need a random orbital sander to eliminate all unsightly marks that both of these sanders leave behind.

However, if we had to recommend one tool over the other, we’d say go with the belt sander. They use larger sheets of sandpaper for quicker sanding, and you can mount finer-coarse sandpaper for adding final touches. There’s no elegance in a belt sander, but when it comes time to sand large woodworking projects, it’s the more time-efficient tool.




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A-Check Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous Sander

Best Benchtop Belt Disc Sanders: Buying Guide

Any woodworking project calls for the use of a sander, whether it’s a belt sander, a disc sander, an orbital sander. Most of the time, one type of sanding tool cannot replace that of another. This is why it’s important to take a look at what each sander can do. In this article, we’re going to focus on one of the more versatile benchtop sanding tools – the belt-disc sander.

What is a Belt-Disc Sander

This is a two-in-one tool that features both a sanding belt and a sanding disc. Belt sanders are far better equipped for material removal, whereas a disc sander is used mainly for finish sanding before assembly. With one of these combo tools, you don’t need to decide which of the two to invest in; instead, you get the best of both worlds in a single benchtop tool.

Even though a benchtop belt-disc sander probably doesn’t make it on the list of top 5 tools you’d need in your home workshop, it’s still a rather impressive tool to have. It can be a pretty versatile tool for rough and finish sanding that professional handymen take advantage of. The best thing about benchtop belt-disc sanders is that they’re quite inexpensive and hardly take up any room. Any garage workshop would definitely benefit from having one of these mounted on a workbench.

The two main reasons why prices of benchtop belt-disc sanders have dropped considerably lately are better technology and the high number of manufacturers competing for a bigger slice of the market. So now there’s an incentive to get one, but should you just pick one up randomlyOf course not.

Benchtop Belt Disc Sander Buying Guide

Finding the right benchtop belt-disc sander requires knowing what to look for and knowing what each model has to offer. In this guide, we’ll describe the most crucial specs and features to be on the lookout for.

Motor Power

A sander is only as good as its motor. However, benchtop belt-disc sanders don’t exactly need the power of the sun to turn the belt/disc. Most benchtop models have either a 1/3-HP or ½-HP motor which is sufficiently powerful to remove material and shape your work. A beefier motor would be optimal for aggressive material removal of larger objects.

Belt Dimensions and Disc Diameter

The dimensions of the sanding belt and diameter of the sanding disc play an important role in determining how quickly you can remove material from stock. Essentially, longer, wider belts and discs can sand much quicker than small ones. The sizes of the belt and disc depend on the strength of the motor, so if you get a weaker tool, it’ll come with smaller sanding components. In our opinion, the smallest belts and discs that are easy to work with are 4 x 36-inch belts and 6-inch discs.

Belt Sander Orientation

In every benchtop belt-disc sander, the disc is always perpendicular to the base, but the orientation of the belt sander varies from model to model. Some have vertical-standing belts while others are parallel to the base. Some even have belt sanders that run horizontally but face upward, so you need to push your stock downward and into the moving belt. Whichever one you deem best is up to you since there’s no objective way to determine the superiority of one over the others.

Dust Management

The best belt-disc sanders come with a system that suctions or at least pushes away sawdust during sanding. They can either have a suction mechanism that collects the dust as it appears, a deflector that prevents dust from falling on the floor, or a simple chute where dust accumulates. We prefer suction models since you can connect a shop vac to the built-in chute. You may need an adaptor to get to fit your shop vac.

Weight

Even though being lightweight is a part of benchtop tools, lighter is not always better. Sure, benchtop belt-disc sanders can be mounted onto a workbench using long screws, but the weight and construction of the tool need to be able to withstand vibrations produced by the spinning sanding disc and belt. The weight isn’t the most important consideration so don’t be scared of seeing models weighing as light as 20 pounds or as heavy as 100 pounds or more.

Bevel Capacity

This is often the most overlooked criteria when shopping for a belt-disc sander, but it’s extremely important if you want to keep your fingers and knuckles away from the coarse sanding belt and disc. Ideally, you’d want both the belt sander and the disc sander to have a beveling table. This will help dramatically when shaping and sanding oddly shaped objects or when working at awkward angles. Most of these tables can bevel up to 90°, but many models only do 45°, and some don’t bevel at all.

Belt and Disc Changing System

As you already know, sanding belts and discs are not immortal. They can get clogged up with sawdust and require frequent changing. One of the most convenient ways to change sanding belts and discs is with a tool-less belt changing system. Some models require a flip of a switch to remove the sanding sheets while others can simply be pulled off and replaced. This doesn’t have anything to do with sanding performance; it’s more of a convenience.

Final Remarks

A benchtop disc-belt sander combines the best of two different tools so don’t need to consider investing in one over the other. The belt sander serves to remove a bunch for prepping and shaping lumber while the disc sander is for finish sanding prior to assembly. This is a great tool to have if you’re confused about which type of sander you need for woodworking projects.

Shopping for one of these tools can be quite challenging since there are plenty of models to choose from. When shopping for a benchtop belt-disc sander, the most important factors to consider are how powerful the motor is and how large the belt and disc are. The other features depend on personal preference, what’s available in your workshop, and how versatile you need your benchtop belt-disc sander to be.

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5 BUCKTOOL 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander

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4 RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Disc Sander

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3 JET J-41002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander

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2 Rockwell RK7866 Belt Disc Sander

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1 WEN 6502 4 x 36-Inch Belt and Disc Sander

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Best Benchtop Belt Disc Sanders

combination disc belt sander reviews

Benchtop Belt Disc Sanders

Benchtop Belt Disc Sander

Belt Disc Sander

disk and belt sander combo

best combination sander

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Best Benchtop Disc Sanders

Believe us when we tell you that choosing the right sander for your projects is a confusing task. Not only are there numerous types of sanders, but for each type, there are hundreds of different models from several manufacturers. So yeah, confusing is probably just an understatement.

bench belt sander

That is, unless, you know what you’re looking for. You see, sanders come in different shapes and sizes, and they each serve different purposes. One of the more misunderstood sanders is the disc sander.



What is a Disc Sander?

A disc sander is a tool with a large sanding wheel. The wheel is perpendicular to the work surface and spins at high speed. This tool is used by holding a piece of wood or plastic against the spinning disc to remove material. It is a lot more delicate than belt sanders, so if you need to give your pieces a final sanding before applying varnish, paint, or an oil finish, then a disc sander is the tool for you.

What a Disc Sander Can’t do

There are a few drawbacks to a disc sander. First of all, the size of the wheel needs to be enormous to remove material evenly to produce a flat surface. For instance, a 20-inch wheel would hardly be enough to flatten an 8- or 9-inch board.

Another thing to consider is that the wheel is used to sand rather than shape. Even though a coarse-grit wheel can remove more material per second, it’s not a tool that’s designed to process rough lumber.

Best Benchtop Disc Sander

Types of Disc Sanders

A disc sander can fall into one of two categories – floor-mounted or benchtop.

Floor-mounted disc sanders are the larger of the two types. They come with huge wheels for sanding large boards. They typically come with 1- to 1-1/2-HP motors for quicker removal of material. However, these models take up a tremendous amount of floor space – up to several square feet – so if you can hardly maneuver your way through your woodshop, you should consider getting a benchtop model instead.

A benchtop disc sander is tiny in comparison to a floor model. They generally come with ½-HP motors for lighter-duty sanding jobs on smaller pieces. As you can already assume, this tool is mounted onto a table or bench to give it stability and height. They come with smaller wheels for sanding smaller pieces. You have to pay extra attention to the guard that separates the left and right sides of the wheel since the direction of the spin will produce differently textured surfaces.

For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on benchtop models since they’re the more reasonable option to choose for both beginners and pros.

best benchtop belt sander reviews

Benchtop Disc Sander Buying Guide

Since there are numerous benchtop disc sander models out there, it’s important to be able to identify what makes a quality disc sander. In this section, we’ll go over the most important specs and features to look out for before adding one of these tools to your woodshop.

Motor

This compact sander won’t come with a beefy 1-1/2-HP motor, but considering the size of the wheel (more on this later), it won’t need it. However, power is important, especially if you plan on removing material from plastic objects. A good HP rating to be on the lookout for is ½ HP.

best combination sander

Disc Size

The size of the disc determines how large a workpiece the tool can sand evenly. A larger disc means being able to handle larger boards, but they will also require a larger motor. Most models will come with sanding discs of around 6 inches or so which, for the typical DIY-er or beginner woodworker, will be sufficient.

Disc Speed

The faster the disc spins, the more material it can remove per second. The best option would be to find a model that with variable speed which allows you to crank it when you want to give your piece an aggressive sanding. The speed range or speed cap is up to you to decide, but we typically favor models that can reach speeds of at least 3,000 RPM.

Belt Sander Combo

Just because a benchtop disc sander is small doesn’t mean it can’t be versatile. Many of the newer benchtop disc sander models come with a belt sander that’s positioned either parallel or perpendicular to the sanding wheel. We recommend getting one of these combo tools if possible. Make sure that the length of the distance between the disc sander’s drums accommodates sandpaper that is at least 36 inches long for better sanding quality.

best disc sander

Dust Port

Needless to say, sanding produces a heck of a lot of sawdust. You don’t want sawdust on the floor or hidden beneath your power tools since it can be a slipping hazard or even become kindling. Find a benchtop disc sander with a dust collector or port that’ll fit snugly with your shop vac’s suction hose (adapters are available and usually sold separately).

Weight

A benchtop disc sander has one quality that a floor model doesn’t – it’s lightweight. This means you can take the benchtop sander from place to place wherever it’s needed. The weight of a benchtop disc sander varies greatly from model to model; some can be as light as 10 pounds while others as heavy as 40. Keep in mind that more weight means more stability and being able to withstand vibrations more effectively.

benchtop sander

Final Remarks

Disc sanders are a type of power sander that’s made for final sanding jobs. It’s not something that removes a ton of material with every rotation of the wheel, so if you need to remove ingrained knots or shape your stock, then you need to find another type of sander.

A benchtop disc sander can be an especially handy sander to have in your home workshop, especially if it comes as a disc-belt sander combo. There are several things to keep an eye out for when picking up a benchtop disc sander, but the most important are the tool’s motor, disc size, and maximum speed.

belt disc sanders




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Best Benchtop Belt Sanders

Unless you’re built like The Hulk, you may not have the arms or the patience to sand your wood-based art manually. For the average carpenter and amateur woodworker, they can rely on belt sanders to give their workpieces an ultra-smooth finish.

best belt sander under $100

A belt sander is a tool that utilizes a fast-moving abrasive belt to smooth, splinter-free surfaces. Two drums turn a long loop of sandpaper, removing a huge amount of materials in a short amount of time. Other than giving your workpieces a nice, flat finish, a belt sander can also be used to shape rough stock and prepare it for further processing.

Types of Belt Sanders

Belt sanders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they typically fall into two different categories – handheld and benchtop.



Handheld Belt Sander

A handheld belt sander (palm or otherwise) is one that you can carry around. You use it by gripping the tool with both hands and running the rotating belt over your workpiece. The best thing about handheld belt sanders is that although they produce a ton of sawdust, they usually have large dust collection bags, so you don’t need to sweep/vacuum anything. However, using this tool requires having a steady hand since applying too much downward pressure can remove more material than intended.

Best Belt Sander

Benchtop Belt Sander

A benchtop belt sander is one where you take the material to the tool, not the other way around. This stationary belt sander is also portable, but it requires a bit of muscle in doing so. Also, you need to mount this tool to a workbench or other surface to keep it perfectly balanced. Any slight imbalances can lead to messy sanding.

In this article, we’re going to focus on benchtop belt sanders. The reason or doing this is simple: although they’re larger compared to their handheld counterparts, they’re still extremely portable and come with a wide range of features that make it an extremely handy tool to have in the workshop.

Benchtop Belt Sander Buying Guide

If you’re in the market for a benchtop belt sander but don’t know what to look for, we’re here to help. The following section will discuss the various specs and features to look out for, especially if you want a tool that’s both powerful and versatile.

Best Belt Sander Reviews and Comparison

Motor Power

The standard motor on a benchtop belt sander ranges between 1 and 6 amps. For average DIY guys and gals out there, a motor of about 4 amps will provide enough power for most, if not all, of your sanding needs. If you’re looking for more power for bigger projects, then try finding a 6-amp benchtop belt sander. A more powerful motor generally means quicker, more effective sanding.

Speed

When it comes to sanding, you’re going to want to find a high-speed tool. Quicker belt rotations mean removing more material in less time. However, you need to be mindful about how much pressure you’re applying to the belt with your workpiece since you could accidentally end up removing more than you’d originally planned.

A good speed to look for would be about 1,500 RPM or at least 2,300 SFPM (surface-feet-per-minute). Better yet, a variable speed feature would give you the option to do both light sanding and heavy-duty removal on one machine.

The 10 Best Belt Sanders

Belt Type

Even though belts are replaceable, it’s still a good idea to check what type of belt your sander comes with. The two choices available to you are aluminum oxide and zirconia. Both options work well in removing material, but many people prefer the more abrasive zirconia belt for both light and heavy sanding. If you didn’t get your hands on a zirconia belt, an aluminum oxide belt would work just fine; just make sure that you get the right grit size for either rough sanding or final sanding.

Belt Length and Width

There are two reasons why the size of the belt matters. First, longer belts have a longer lifespan so you won’t need to purchase replacement belts as frequently. Second, wider belts allow operators to sand larger workpieces with minimal movement and maneuvering. You don’t want something so small that you could risk sanding away your knuckles as you twist and turn your workpiece. A good size to be on the lookout for would be at least 3 inches wide by 18 inches long, but feel free to find something bigger or smaller depending on what you’re most comfortable with using.

Weight and Construction

Consider the weight and the materials used to make the benchtop belt sander. Even though this tool is technically portable, you really shouldn’t think of purchasing a model that weighs less than 30 pounds. Even if the belt sander is properly mounted onto your work surface, vibrations can cause the unit to rock unexpectedly.

The best benchtop belt sanders we’ve seen are typically made of steel and/or cast iron. These durable materials add much-needed weight to the tool to keep vibrations in check. If the tool is made out of plastic or aluminum, we recommend finding something else.

best benchtop belt sander

Disc Sander

One thing that manufacturers realize is that a belt sander can’t replace a disc sander and vice versa. To get the most out of your workbench belt sander, it’s a good idea to find a model that also includes a disc sander system. A vertical disc sander works a lot better at producing curved edges on your workpiece, so having the ability to sand, shape a point, and make curves in one machine is something you should definitely consider.

Bevel

This is one of the most overlooked features in a belt sander most people use this tool to sand and not shape. However, if you’re looking to make oddly shaped pieces of art of with a belt sander, ideally, the tool should have a bevel gauge and tilting work table. This will allow you to remove material from your stock at almost every angle without bumping your knuckles against the work table. The work table can usually bevel up to 45°, 90°, or not at all.

Dust Management System

Belt sanders produce a heck of a lot of sawdust – something that’s not exactly good for you in inhaled. You should only get a belt sander/disc sander combo if it comes with a reliable dust port. You can always purchase or 3D-print your own adapters if your shop vac’s hose doesn’t fit into the existing dust-collection port. An adjustable dust shoot that lets you redirect the direction of the port is a nice feature to have as well.

best benchtop belt sanders

Final Remarks

Both handheld and benchtop belt sanders are handy tools to have in your shop, but if you’re looking for ultra-sanding power and a multi-purpose tool, the benchtop belt sander is the way to go. You can sand large workpieces, shape pointed edges, and even make fancy curves without having to employ/purchase multiple tools. Basically, it makes sanding a whole lot easier and enjoyable to do compared to vigorously rubbing a sheet of sandpaper across the surfaces of your wood-based art.

If you’re planning on purchasing a benchtop belt sander, make sure that it comes with a strong motor (4 amps or more), is made of a durable material (steel, cast iron, or both), uses large-sized sanding belts (at least 3 by 18 inches), and comes with a reliable dust chute for ejecting sawdust. A tilting table and disc sander add-on are huge pluses.




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Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders

Sanding round workpieces by hand can be as impossible to do as it is time-consuming and tiring. Whether you’re a professional contractor/furniture-maker or just a DIY hobbyist, having the right set of tools that simplify your jobs would be great. If you find yourself sanding round or oddly shaped objects, one tool that you should consider is an oscillating spindle sander.

Best Oscillating Spindle Sander (6)

What Is An Oscillating Spindle Sander?

This sanding tool is designed to help you in producing smooth, flat finishes on wood. An oscillating spindle sander uses a cylindrical drum covered in sandpaper to get rid of saw marks, rough edges, and even sand the within hole cuts. Apart from the steady and consistent spinning of the spindle, the drum oscillates up and down, preventing marring and burn marks. This, in effect, extends the lifespan of the sanding sleeve significantly by distributing the wear across the entire surface of the sandpaper.

The main benefit you can get from an oscillating spindle sander is the ability to sand curved edges without distorting the shape of the stock. No longer will you have to manually sand wood pieces with your hands and risk leaving unsightly marks on furniture you’ve spent hours or even days building.



Types of Oscillating Spindle Sanders

There are three main oscillating spindle sander types that woodworkers should consider depending on the scale of which they built their products. These types include large floor models, bench-top machines, and hand-held spindle sanders. You can find below a brief description of each type of oscillating spindle sander and who might benefit from them most.

Wise Buys: Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sanders


Floor Model Oscillating Spindle Sander

Floor models are the largest type of oscillating spindle sander. They take up quite a bit of floor space, but they are better suited for larger projects. Large-scale businesses could benefit from this type of sander since they come with huge tables, larger spindles, and oftentimes faster sanding speeds. Even though DIY amateurs and furniture-making hobbyists could also find value in these large spindle sanders, there are two other options that are more cost-efficient.

Bench-Top Oscillating Spindle Sander

Bench-top models are perhaps the most popular type of oscillating spindle sander for small businesses and garage workshops. This type of spindle sander can be mounted onto your work surface for relative portability and better control when sanding. These are more compact than their floor model counterparts so you won’t need to dedicate a large space in your garage/workshop only for this machine.

Top 8 Spindle Sanders

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Portable Oscillating Spindle Sander

The portable variety of an oscillating spindle sander is a hand-held power tool, sometimes cordless, that you can take with you to various job sites or areas around your home. Due to their compact, easy-to-handle size, their main drawback is their lack of speed and power compared to bench-top and floor models. However, this doesn’t mean that these tools don’t have any value to offer; if you need to sand horizontal hole cuts, a portable oscillating spindle sander will prove the easiest tool to do the job without dismantling your work.

What to Look for in an Oscillating Spindle Sander

Now that we know what an oscillating spindle sander is, what sort of benefits we can expect from owning and using one, and the various types available, now it’s time to learn about what specs to keep in mind when searching for a potential sander for our workshop. The following segment will provide you with quick descriptions of the most crucial specs so you can make an educated purchase decision.

Motor Capacity

Typically, oscillating spindle sanders will come with motors with capacities ranging from between ½ HP to ¾ HP. A higher HP rating will indicate stronger sanding power. However, for most sanding jobs, you won’t actually need something as powerful as a ¾-HP machine since greater power can sometimes translate into a greater risk of losing control. We recommend oscillating spindle sander models that come with ½-HP motors.

In addition to looking at how powerful the motor is, it’s just as important to consider the speeds at which the tool sands and oscillates. The speed of the drum’s rotation, measured in RPMs, can be an indicator of how quickly you can sand away at your stock, whereas the oscillations per minute (OPM) shows how many times the drum goes up and down per minute. More OPMs can be beneficial when sanding smaller objects without leaving damage marks on the wood. We feel that the best speeds for an oscillating spindle sander are between 1,500 and 2,200 RPM and between 25 and 75 OPM.

Top 8: Best Spindle Sanders with Reviews

Spindle and Oscillating Lengths

When looking at potential oscillating spindle sanders to take home with you, try and find out how long the spindle is. The spindle’s length should tell you how wide or tall a piece of board the tool can sand evenly without needing to flip the stock over. We advise looking at models with spindles that are at least 4 inches long.

The oscillating length is the distance at which the spindle travels up and down while rotating. You don’t want something a traveling distance that’s so long that with each stroke will sand off more than you’d like. We recommend finding a model that delivers an oscillating length of 15/16 of an inch at most.

Sanding Drum Diameter

The diameter of the spindle plays an important role in giving you the right curve to sand odd-shaped edges without digging too far deep into your stock. Smaller diameters are better suited for sanding down tighter corners or turns, whereas larger drums can do a great job at sanding straight edges.

We suggest finding an oscillating spindle sander that comes with a series of different drum diameters. This gives you the flexibility to work on all sorts of edges and shapes. If you get a machine with just a single drum, you will either have to invest in additional drums as your skills in woodworking progress or purchase an entirely new machine if there aren’t any differently sized drums available for your model. We recommend looking for models with drums of ½, ¾, 1, 1-1/2, and 2-inch diameters.

The 5 Best Oscillating Spindle Sanders

Table Size and Material

The size of an oscillating spindle sander is of great importance. The table offers balance when sanding round edges of oddly shaped stock. In addition, the table also offers support, so your stock is perfectly perpendicular to the spindle, ensuring that you’re not sanding at an unwanted angle unless you’re intentionally sanding at a bevel (more about the table’s bevel later on). The table should be wide enough to accommodate easy sanding of relatively large stock, so you’re not left supporting the stock with your muscles while giving your digits enough clearance from the rapidly spinning drum.

The material used to construct the table is also something to consider. You don’t want a table that will leave scratches or other unsightly marks on the sides of your stock after sanding. Furthermore, if you opt for a portable, bench-top model, the table should be durable enough to withstand bumps and falls without warping its shape. We recommend finding an oscillating spindle sander that comes with a cast iron table. A cast iron table will help somewhat in controlling vibrations.

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Table Bevel

The ability to bevel a table is usually found in large, floor models. However, there are plenty of bench-top oscillating spindle sanders that come with bevel systems that let you sand your stock at an angle comfortably. We recommend looking for models with tilting tables that can provide up to 45° bevels. Any positive stops between 0° and 45° is a plus.

Size and Weight

Whether you get a floor model or a bench-top model, the size of the oscillating spindle sander is important. Floor models obviously take up floor space, and the larger the model is, the more space in your workshop you need to dedicate to the machine. There’s really no way around this, so be sure that your work area has enough room to accommodate a full-sized oscillating spindle sander. Otherwise, you should consider a bench-top model.

Bench-top oscillating spindle sanders take up less space and can be transported easily around your workshop. This doesn’t mean that any bench-top model will do; we recommend finding something that’s lightweight, compact, and can do everything you need from it. The dimensions of bench-top oscillating spindle sander can be somewhere around 18 x 18 inches, and it can weigh as little as 8 pounds or as heavy as 40 pounds.

Best Oscillating Spindle Sander?

Dust Port

A built-in dust port isn’t common in oscillating spindle sanders. Most of the time, sawdust will go flying around your workspace, so you’ll need to manually sweep up your floors and clear your tables after using this machine. However, for the models that come with a dust port, make sure that the port is the right size so you can connect your dust vacuum system to the machine, or you’ll need to purchase an adapter if the machine doesn’t come with one already.

Special Features

There are several other features that increase the value of an oscillating spindle sander. These include built-in storage space for your drums and sandpaper of various sizes and grits, and the ability to connect a belt sanding attachment. These features won’t exactly improve the machine’s performance, but they can improve your experience when using the machine on a regular basis.

The Best Spindle Sander in 2018

Top 5 Oscillating Spindle Sanders

The previous segment described some of the most important features to consider when choosing an oscillating spindle sander for your workshop. This segment will provide you with our picks of the top 5 models we’ve tested. Just a head’s up the five models we’ve chosen are all bench-top oscillating spindle sanders.

5 Delta Woodworking 31-483 Oscillating Bench Spindle Sander

The first item on our list of our top 5 oscillating spindle sanders is the 31-483 from Delta Woodworking. It comes with a powerful ½-HP motor that spins a ¼-inch spindle at up to 1,725 RPM. It comes with a 5-1/2-inch spindle that provides strokes of 15/16 of an inch at a rate of 29 OPM. The oscillating length serves to prolong the life of each sleeve of sandpaper since more of it is used with each stroke.

Delta Woodworking 31-483 Oscillating Bench Spindle Sander

The 31-483 come with five interchangeable spindles for you to use on a wide range of different edges and angles. The diameter of each of the spindles is ¼, ½, 5/8, 1-1/2, and 2 inches wide. There are dedicated storage spots for each of the spindle drums and discs.

The table that comes with the 31-483 is 14-3/4 x 14-3/4 inches and is made of cast iron. The body of the machine is constructed with heavy-duty steel. The choice of steel is to help prevent the entirety of the unit from vibrating which can cause you to lose control during when sanding. The table can be beveled up to 45° on one side while the other is beveled at 135°.

Even though the unit is constructed of heavy-duty steel and cast iron, the unit, fully assembled, weighs only about 8-3/4 pounds. Needless to say, lifting the unit from point A to point B shouldn’t cause any issues. We can safely say that this unit is portable and can withstand thumps and bumps during transport.

This unit also comes with a 2-1/4-inch dust port and a 4-inch adapter. There have been some complaints from customers regarding the dust port, especially regarding the 4-inch adapter. However, with a bit of sanding (you can do this on your 31-483), you can get the fitting adapter snug onto your shop vac.

Check how much you can save, buying the Delta Woodworking 31-483 Oscillating Spindle Sander on Amazon >>>

4 WEN 6523 Oscillating Belt & Spindle Sander

The next item on our list is the 6523 from WEN. It features a ½-HP motor that produces up to 2,000 RPM when the ½-inch spindle is mounted. The oscillating spindle does a 5/8 of an inch stroke up to 58 times per minute. The spindle travels less than that on the Delta Woodworking 31-483, but we find that you can still get the most work out of a single sleeve of sandpaper with hardly any waste.

WEN 6523 Oscillating Belt & Spindle Sander

The 6523 also comes with five different spindles – ½, ¾, 1, 1-1/2, and 2-inch drums. The 6523 also has storage spaces on the side of the machine where you can place unused spindles and their discs.

The entire unit, including the table, is made of heavy-duty aluminum for durability and lightweight. The table is a massive 18-1/2 x 16-1/2 inches for better support of larger stock. One side of the table can bevel up to 45° while the other side remains at the 90° position.

After assembly and with all the discs and spindle drums in storage, the entire 6523 weighs around 27 pounds. It’s far from being the lightest bench-top oscillating spindle sander, but the added weight really gives it stability when the spindle reaches its maximum speed. Transporting this unit from job site to job site shouldn’t be a big problem.

One of the things we absolutely love about the 6523 is that this is a spindle sander and belt sander combo tool. You can detach the spindle drum and attach mount the belt sander to the top of the unit. The size of the belt is 4 x 24 inches and rotates up to 1,575 RPM.

Check how much you can save, buying the WEN 6523 Oscillating Spindle Sander on Amazon >>>

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3 Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The W1831 from Shop Fox is another highly rated oscillating spindle sander model to consider. It features a ½-HP motor that delivers up to 2,000 RPM on the ¾-inch spindle. The 4-1/2-inch spindle offers up to 58 OPM with a stroke distance of 5/8 of an inch. Like the WEN, the spindle doesn’t travel very far upward and downward, but it still does the optimal amount of work per sandpaper sleeve.

Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The W1831 gives you six different spindle diameters to play around with – ¾, 1, 1-1/2, 2 and 3 inches. You can save the spindles and their discs along the side and backend of the unit. Some customers have complained about the built-in storage spaces being unable to hold the discs in place while the spindle is in motion.

The table is made of heavy-duty cast iron that offers perfect balance while sanding your stock. The table, though not a perfect rectangle, is about 15 x 11-1/2 inches. It’s not the largest table, but it’ll offer enough support for some of your smaller pieces of stock. Unfortunately, the table doesn’t bevel.

Fully assembled, the W1831 will weigh around 33 pounds. Like the WEN model above, this one is considerably heavier than the super-lightweight 31-483, but the added weight works to this unit’s advantage by keeping the entire unit safe and secure on your bench. The cast iron table and body will prevent the unit from receiving damage when loading it onto your truck and transporting it to your job site.

Check how much you can save, buying the Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander on Amazon >>>

2 Triton TSPS450 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The TSP450 from Triton is a ½-HP oscillating spindle sander that delivers up to 2,000 RPM with the ¾-inch sanding drum and up to 58 OPM. This spindle rocks 5/8 of an inch up and down and uses the entire length of the sleeve of sandpaper to prolong its life before needing to be replaced.

Triton TSPS450 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The tool comes with five different drum lengths – ¾, 1, 1-1/2, 2, and 3 inches – for maximum versatility and control when sanding edges and holes of any shape. The machine comes with dedicated slots to store your discs (around the sides) and unused drums (at the backend). The 1-1/2-inch dust port can also be found at the back. You’ll need to purchase or 3D print your own adapter if you plan on connecting this machine to a 4-inch shop vac system.

The entire machine is constructed with durable cast iron for stability and enhanced support. The table is rather small – only about 14-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches (half-oval shape) – so you’ll need to find supports for larger stock elsewhere. Unfortunately, the table doesn’t bevel, so you’re stuck sanding away at only 90°.

The entire unit weighs about 28 pounds which is rather lightweight, easy to carry, but heavy enough to prevent the unit from vibrating off of your work surface. We recommend mounting the unit onto your workbench prior to flipping the “on” switch.

Check how much you can save, buying the Triton TSPS450 Oscillating Spindle Sander on Amazon >>>

1 WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The final bench-top oscillating spindle sander on our list and the product we highly recommend above all others is the 6510 from WEN. This Chinese-based company is apparently an expert at crafting high-quality power tools, and they’re extremely cost-effective to boot.

WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander

The 6510 comes with a ½-HP motor that delivers up to 2,000 RPM (1/2-inch spindle) ad 58 OPM. It provides strokes of up to 5/8 with each oscillation for maximum sanding coverage and prolonged life of each sleeve of sandpaper.

The 6510 comes with six different spindle sizes – ½, ¾, 1, 1-1/2, 2, and 3 inches – for maximum compatibility with stock of any size and shape. There are also spaces dedicated to each center disc and spindle for easy storage and quick access. We also find a 1-1/2-inch dust port at the back of the unit. No adapters come with the kit so you’ll have to purchase a 4-inch adapter separately if your shop vac calls for one.

This oscillating spindle sander comes with a 15 x 11-1/2-inch work table made of heavy-duty cast iron for durability and maximum support when sanding large stock. Unfortunately, there is no beveling option for this machine.

With everything fully assembled, this unit weighs only around 9-1/4 pounds. This is super-lightweight, it makes it easy to take with you to various job sites, and the table can withstand bumps along the way. We recommend mounting this unit every time you use it using the predrilled screw holes on the base to prevent the machine from rocking back and forth while running.

Check how much you can save, buying the WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander on Amazon >>>


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Final Remarks

Oscillating spindle sanders, especially the bench-top variety, and ingenious machines that help sand odd shapes stock and holes with ease. Instead of repeatedly running your hand and sandpaper along the surface of a board, you can eliminate most of the manual labor by running the surface along the rapidly spinning sleeve of sandpaper that moves up and down for maximum removal.

Amazon Best Sellers: Best Power Spindle Sanders

When looking for a good oscillating spindle sander to use at the job site or at home, there are several features that you must consider. These include the motor capacity (HP, RPM, and OPM), how long the spindle is, how far the spindle oscillates up and down, what size drums come with the kit, the size of the table and materials used to construct it, whether the table bevels, the size and weight of the machine, the size of the dust port, and special features like a belt sander attachment or storage space. If you find a model that suits your needs in each of these departments, you won’t regret your decision at all.

Of the five models we’ve picked the best-performing bench-top oscillating spindle sanders, two of the spots belong to WEN, including our number one pick, the 6510. Whatever features this machine lacks, such as a beveling table and – let’s be honest – looks, the 6510 makes up for in performance. It’s a durable, lightweight, and powerful machine that exceeds all of our expectations. You just need to keep the unit mounted prior to flipping the switch to prevent the machine from vibrating itself off of your work surface and onto the floor.




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BLACK+DECKER vs PORTER-CABLE Polishers

Luxury is desired by all of us, especially when it comes to our cars. Thanks to dual-action polishers and orbital buffers, we can have that. Unlike traditional rotary buffers, dual-action polishers give you a wide range of options to complete that flashy new look for your car.

BLACK+DECKER WP900 vs PORTER-CABLE 7424XP: Polisher Comparison

BLACK+DECKER WP900

Whether you are enthusiastic about car polishing, or a skilled professional who is well aware of all the paint maintenance complexities, DA polishers are designed to strip you of your fears of unintentional burns and swirls in the finish. These just won’t happen.

Here are two polishers that will give you the best paint correction experience: the Porter-Cable 7424XP and the Black+Decker WP900. Let’s see which one is better.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP vs BLACK+DECKER WP900: Polisher Comparison

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP



Overview of the models

Porter-Cable
Porter Cable is an easy to operate dual-action polisher. It weighs only 5.5 pounds and has a bi-position (left and right) removable side handle which makes it handy to use for large projects that require holding the machine for longer periods of time. It comes with a 6-inch polishing pad and supports 5/16 to 24 spindle thread accessories. A variable-speed dial allows users to set the orbits per minute (OPM) from 2500 to 6800, which makes this power-tool ideal for detailed polishing and removing deep scratches from the metal body.

Black+Decker
Just as the Porter-Cable, the Black&Decker offers dual-action rotation which ensures a swirl-free finish and burn-free polishing experience. The weight is only 2.05 pounds, making it even easier to handle. It offers a random orbital motion at 4,400 orbits per minute (OPM). For a smooth application of wax or polish, it comes with a foam applicator. It also offers a polishing bonnet for that ever-wanted finish.

BLACK+DECKER WP900 vs PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

BLACK+DECKER WP900

Ideal Polishing and Waxing

Porter-Cable
With its advanced user-adjustable speed feature, this model allows the complete breakdown of polish in 10-12 passes. It can efficiently address minor car damages in no time. It offers a smooth hand-like movement of the polishing pad (at speeds up to 6800 OPM) which ensures even pressure and consistent contact with the surface for excellent polishing and waxing results.

Its two-position handle is designed to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed people.

Black+Decker
This model works in a similarly efficient manner, but instead of a variable-speed dial, the Black&Decker has an on and off switch which can be locked into position. And while this gives less control over the polishing process, it does not disappoint, nonetheless.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP vs BLACK+DECKER WP900

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

Its curved body offers a stable grip, making it extremely easy to use. The 10-feet long cord makes it possible to plug it inside your house and work in the driveway or garage without any major mobility issues. Lightweight and powerful, it is ideal for buffing old and worn-out furniture, floors and tiles. At only 60 Watts, the Black&Decker promises to become a valuable and loved maintenance ally.

Verdict: Both polishing machines are designed for wrinkle-free and brilliant polishing, sanding, waxing, and buffing. While the Black&Decker is suitable for lightweight jobs, the Porter-Cable comes with an advanced design and features that allow it to tackle bigger jobs and deeper damages to paint and varnish.

BLACK+DECKER WP900

BLACK+DECKER WP900

What Is a Variable-Speed Polisher and How to Use It?

Safety Mechanism

Porter-Cable
It’s very easy to understand why this variable-speed polisher is safer than old-fashioned polishing machines. Its free-floating spindle spins around a single axis point which offers high precision for detailed polishing along fine lines of car paint. It is a swift polisher and heats up quickly, but its spindle can be slowed down to handle the highest of pressures and to avoid unwanted damages and imperfections. This mechanism makes it non-aggressive without compromising its efficiency.

Black+Decker
The WP900 offers a similar polishing result as the Porter Cable, but without any user-adjustable speed dial. However, its dual action orbital rotation offers exceptional buffing and waxing under controlled speed, heat, and friction. Additionally, high-grade polishing pads further protect your car and furniture from unwanted damage.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

Verdict: Both polishing machines run with the same safety measures. The dual action or random orbital motion slows down the spinning of the buffing pad to avoid intensive burns and abrasions, resulting in exquisite finishes.

BLACK+DECKER WP900 vs PORTER-CABLE 7424XP: Final Words

Unlike old paints, modern-day paints only need remedial solutions to remove defects. This can often be achieved with a good-quality polisher and some pleasant weekend-long polishing work in the sun. Polishers are a great way to remove the hassle of working on paint damages with your hands. They are safe and easy to use.

BLACK+DECKER WP900 vs PORTER-CABLE 7424XP: Polisher Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the BLACK+DECKER WP900 on Amazon >>>

This review found that both the Porter-Cable 7424XP and Black+Decker WP900 offer convenient, robust, simple, uniform and glossy paint protection solution. Dual action and random orbital motion infuse users with confidence to work freely and ensures no additional harm to paint, or metal surface occurs.

And while the Black&Decker WP900 is an affordable polishing tool that is designed for the non-frequent needs of hobbyists, the Porter-Cable 7424XP has gained an unparalleled reputation due to its favorable design, variable-speed controller and thorough results. Overall, both machines ensure that your car or home furniture remain fresh and attractive.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP vs BLACK+DECKER WP900: Polisher Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP on Amazon >>>

Best Corded Polisher: Buying Guide




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Brand Guides Miscellaneous Sander

Best WEN Drywall Sanders: Brand Guide

Sanding drywall can be messy and time-consuming if you plan on tackling the task by hand. Luckily, dustless drywall sanders have changed the way we do things, significantly reducing the amount of time needed to handle the job.

WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander

In addition, drywall sanders are great at suctioning up the majority of whatever particles and debris go flying so cleanup also doesn’t take much time. However, there are several companies out there that produce upright drywall sanders so you’ll need to take some time to check what’s available.

WEN is a China-based manufacturer of high-quality and affordable power tools. They’ve been producing electronic hand-held and power tools since 1951. They’ve only recently expanded their line of hand-held electronic tools to include lightweight dustless drywall sanders. Although they’ve been in the business for more than 50 years, you’ll need to do a bit of research to understand how much value you’re getting. Without further ado, let’s take a jump right into our reviews of WEN’s best drywall sanders.

WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander Review

This standing tool by WEN is a powerful, well-built tool for sanding drywall. It’s an excellent device for people who are looking for an effective and cost-efficient drywall sander for personal and professional use. Customers have praised its quick sandpaper-changing mechanism, but this product is still far from perfect.

WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander

This power tool features an 8.5-inch pivoting head for easy movement, adjustable speed option starting from 600 to 1,500 RPM, a hook-and-loop pad for easy sandpaper change, a 5.0-amp motor mounted to the head of the unit, and an automated dust removal system that’s extremely reliable in getting rid of dust and other particles from the air. The dust removal system comes with a 15-foot hose made from durable rubber for thorough cleaning.

This kit also comes with six 8-inch hook-and-loop sandpaper discs (60, 80, 120, 10, 180, and 240 grit) covered by a two-year manufacturer warranty. In addition, this 6367 model has a telescoping feature which lets users reach spaces up to five feet away.

This WEN drywall sander makes quick work of remodeling houses. This tool is a definite time- and money-saver for both users and clients of professional workers. This unit offers precise work for drywalls, it’s user-friendly, and it’s an extremely lightweight (9 lbs) drywall sander so you won’t have trouble getting straight to work with this device.

This can be the perfect tool for regular work, but you might need to have a secondary drywall sander on hand because replaceable WEN-made sandpaper discs can be quite difficult to find at hardware stores. Other users have found that the sander does not lay flat and could cause expensive damage to your walls.

WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander

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WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander Review

They say that two heads are better than one, and the WEN Dual-Head Drywall Sander is proof of this old saying. The rotating heads can swivel in every direction, allowing the 6377 model to consistently sand every drywall surface flush. This head comes with detachable round and triangular heads, the perfect shapes for getting things done.

WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander

The two heads are easy to detach and replace without the use of external tools. Just slide back the discharge hook, pick the cushion shape and get to work. The speed of the heads starts from 600 to 1,500 RPM, so you have lots of different speeds to work with depending on what job you’re doing.

The 5.0 amp head-mounted motor is what allows the heads to rotate at varying speeds. The 15-foot hose that comes with the kit allows for easy clean-up when it’s time to pack up. Upon purchase, you’ll be given six sanding paper discs to use (60, 80, 120, 150, 180, and 240 grit) as well as an 11 ¼-inch triangular sandpaper plate.

The 9 lbs unit is easy to navigate and lift above your head to reach high places. The unit is only 47 ¼-inches long so you’ll still need to stand on a stool or ladder for high walls. Although the unit only weights 9 lbs, the weight will work against when you attempt to sand ceilings. This unit also goes through WEN-made sanding paper extremely quickly, so you’ll need to purchase replacements quite frequently in order to make repeated use out of this drywall sander.

WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander

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Best WEN Drywall Sanders: Conclusion

This concludes our review of WEN’s best drywall sanders. You can probably tell that these devices may not be the best option on the market, even at their price tag. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and come with adequate vacuum cleaning abilities, but operating the unit can be a risk. We recommend exercising extreme caution when operating these upright drywall sanders since you can lose control of the spinning action and actually cause damage to your drywall.

These are indeed budget-friendly tools for professionals or hobbyists but in the end, you might end up spending those savings on repairing your walls.