Of all of the metalworking or woodworking projects you complete around your home or office, you’ll most likely agree that sanding is one of the most time-consuming and unpleasant ones to tackle. However, an orbital sander can help make this job much easier and faster to accomplish. Not only will it streamline your processes, but it also works great to give you a smooth and even finish. In turn, your entire project will look neat and professional. This is great if you’re refinishing your deck, creating a piece of furniture, or working around the inside of your home.
Orbital sanders are also very versatile, and this allows you to use them on a broad range of tasks. However, there are dozens of quality brands available, and orbital sanders come with different settings and styles that make it challenging to narrow down the best pick. This is why I’ve chosen 10 high-quality orbital sanders and reviewed them for you. I have a top pick, something for people on a budget, and much more. Once you look at them, you can glance through the short buyer’s guide to help make your final choice.
Home improvement projects go so much quicker when you have all of the proper tools on-hand. Orbital sanders can help you complete a broad range of indoor and outdoor projects by giving you a smooth and clean surface to work on.
DEWALT 20V Orbital Sander Kit – Top Pick
The DeWalt orbital sander kit claims the spot as my top pick because it’s a highly versatile machine that can help you sand your hardwood flooring to refinish it, or you can easily use it for smaller-scale projects around the house. There is a low height on this model that allows you to get very close to the work surface, and this helps to ensure you get professional-grade results when you use it. Another point that boosted this product into the top pick category is the fact that it comes with variable speeds to help better match to whatever application you want to use it for.
The textured rubber overmold grip on this orbital sander keeps you comfortable when you use it for larger projects and longer clips, and it also helps you get and keep a firm grip. The brushless motor gives you a longer runtime than you’ll get with other models on a single charge, and you get a sleek battery charger with a durable storage bag to help keep all of the parts together and ready to pick up and go. Finally, there is a replaceable eight-hole hook and loop sanding pad that makes it fast and easy to switch out paper without interrupting your workflow.
- Sits lower to the ground
- Has a textured rubberized grip
- Easy and quick to swap out sandpaper
- Durable storage bag
- Variable speed settings
- Powerful brushless motor
- Sleek black and yellow coloring
- Slow with larger areas
Makita BO5041 Orbital Sander – Step-Up Pick
The step-up pick is slightly more affordable without sacrificing durability or power, and it comes from a reputable company, Makita. You get a boost of power with this product that gives you a very smooth finish with faster sanding capabilities, and it’s perfect for people who are on a slightly tighter budget. The variable speed control starts at 4,000 OPM and goes up to 12,000 OPM, and you can tailor your speed to your project to get great results with minimal effort on your part. It works well for indoor and outdoor applications, and it’s quick and easy to switch between settings.
The front handle on this orbital sander adjusts to allow you to squeeze the tool into confined areas or get right up into corners without hitting anything, and the 3.0-amp motor is powerful enough to tackle a broad range of applications. The handle comes with an ergonomic rubberized palm grip that improves your control levels while keeping you comfortable, even with extended use. You can choose from the tool only or a tool with a case when you purchase it.
- Case is hard-sided
- Variable speed control range
- Front handle moves and flexes
- Comes from a reputable company
- Rubberized palm grip
- Powerful 3.0-amp motor
- Longer cord improves maneuverability
- Throws disks after heavy use
Bosch ROS20VSC Orbital Palm Sander – Mid-End Budget Pick
If you don’t have a huge budget on your hands but you’d like an orbital sander to help you finish your outdoor benches, Bosch’s option is a nice middle-ground option. It cuts the price without removing the features or power you need to complete the project, and the corded design ensures you’ll have enough power to complete whatever you start in one go. There are features you’d expect to see on higher-priced sanders like a pad dampening system to help eliminate swirls marks on contoured and flat surfaces, and it’s very easy to attach the different discs using the Hook-and-Loop attachment system.
The 2.5-amp motor on this sander and variable speed control settings let you work while matching your speed to the task at-hand to prevent mistakes. You’ll get a dust collection canister with a micro filter system to help keep your working area tidy when you sand. It will show you the dust levels so you know when it’s time to empty it, and it detaches for a mess-free cleanup. The kit comes with a carrying case, vacuum adapter, dust canister, damping ring, sanding disc, and sanding pad so you’re ready to go straight away.
- Cost-effective with solid features
- Compact but durable
- 2.5-amp motor
- Dust collection canister
- Has a vacuum adapter
- Carrying case included
- Longer cord
- Very noise when running
Ginour Orbital Sander – Bargain Budget Pick
This bargain budget orbital sander pick comes from Ginour, and it’s a bargain because it’s under $40 but still packs power and useful features that allow you to use it both indoors and out. It has a 2.5-amp motor with six variable speed settings to give you efficient and powerful performance, and it can get up to 13,000 OPM to give you a smooth surface to work on. The compact design makes it very easy to control, and you get 15 pieces of various-grit sandpaper with the sander when you order. You also get a wool and sponge disc to help remove varnish, paint, blemishes, stains, and more.
There is a dust box on this sander that is very easy to take apart and empty when you fill it, and this helps to keep the dust out of the air and off your project to make it easier to work. The dust-proof switch won’t clog or stall, and this can extend your sander’s life. The rubberized palm grip will help to keep you comfortable as you work, and it has a low vibration and low noise to help you work undisturbed. It comes equipped with a lifetime warranty and free replacements to give you better peace of mind.
- Lifetime warranty
- Dust box
- 15 pieces of sandpaper included
- Has a carrying case
- Rubberized grip
- Low noise and vibration
- Filter allows dust particles through
Ryobi RS290G Corded Orbital Sander – Best for Large Projects
Ryobi’s orbital sander claims the spot for the best option for large projects due to the corded design that ensures you get a constant feed of power from the start to the finish, and it has a larger dust bag equipped that will help keep your workspace neat. It protects you from blowback while keeping your target easily visible. The hook and loop pad replacement allows you to work virtually uninterrupted because changing out the pads is very quick. It weighs in at just four pounds to make it a very lightweight and compact model, and you get three sanding discs included in each purchase.
There is a hex notch rubber grip that gives you a firm grip on this sander in dry and wet conditions, and there is a conveniently located on/off switch right on the handle to ensure you get precision control. The sander won’t slip away from you with this switch position. It’s an excellent choice for smoothing out your deck after you patch it with wood filler, and the 2.5-amp motor is powerful enough to strip away layers while leaving you with a smooth and even surface to work on.
- Compact and lightweight
- 2.5-amp motor
- Comes with three sanding discs
- Corded design
- Gives constant power
- Dust collection port
- Convenient on/off switch
- Very tall design
GALAX PRO Electric Orbital Sander – Best for Detail Work
When it comes to detail work, you need an orbital sander that is flexible and can get you right up to the edge of your projects. This is why the Galaxy Pro sander works well because it has a 360° rotatable plate that turns right or left 360° without stalling. There is a slightly smaller 1.6-amp motor, but it can still put on 12,000 OPM for fast and efficient work on projects of all sizes. When you order this product, it comes with the detail sander and 10 pieces of sandpaper so you can get to work straight away. It has a slightly forward-tilted design that helps you get right up to the walls or edges without nicking anything.
There is a detachable dust box that neatly collects the dust as you sand to help you with all of those small details because it keeps your work area clean and clear of debris. It has an anti-falling design with firm anchor points to the sander to prevent accidental spills. The handle has a soft comfort-grip rubber material on it that allows you to easily operate this sander with one hand, and you’ll get a firm grip that won’t accidentally slip while you work.
- 360° rotatable plate
- Forward-tilted design
- Dust box with secure attachment
- Comfort-grip handle
- 10 pieces of sandpaper included
- Small and agile design
- One-handed operation
- Vibrates a lot
CRAFTSMAN Random Orbital Sander – Best for Woodworking Projects
Anyone looking to use a wood burning kit to create garden signs can use Craftsman’s orbital sander to get a smooth surface before you design it. This sander comes with a 3.0-amp motor that can put out 12,000 OPM to help you fly through your projects without losing control, and you can slow down to get all of those small details in your woodworking projects to stand out. There is a 11/4-inch vacuum hose with a high-performance dust collection port on this sander with an onboard dust bag that traps and locks dust away from your working area to give you an excellent line of sight.
The switch on this sander comes sealed against dust, and this can help make your tool last much longer because you won’t have to worry about dust getting into the motor. You get a sample sandpaper and the dust bag when you order this product, and it has a versatile peg hook that makes it easy to store out of your way between uses. The three-year limited warranty will help to protect you from mechanical failure, and the company will replace your item once you contact their support team.
- Up to 12,000 OPM
- Dust-sealed switch
- Vacuum hose attachment
- 3.0-amp motor
- Peg hook
- Three-year limited warranty
- Larger handle
- Dust bag is thin
TACKLIFE 5-Inch Orbital Sander – Best for Stripping Floors
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Stripping floors can be a big job to take on if you don’t have the right tools, but Tacklife’s orbital sander runs on 12-volts and offers six variable speed settings that let you match your sander’s output power to your needs. It can put out up to 13,000 OPM to help strip away layers of varnish or sealant on your floors, and you get 12 pieces of sandpaper when you order so you can go straight to work. It comes with six pieces of 80-grit sandpaper and six pieces of 180-grit sandpaper that will help peel the paint or varnish from the wood to give you a smooth area to work with.
The high-performance dust collector provides a very cleaning working environment, and this is great if you’re in a smaller room where a lot of dust could create breathing problems. The sander has a more compact design that allows it to fit into tight quarters with ease while maximizing your control levels. The rubberized grip helps to improve your control while keeping you comfortable, and you push down with your palm to activate the on/off switch for a seamless operation.
- All-ball bearing construction
- Reduced vibration and noise
- Large on/off switch
- Six speed dials
- Comes with sandpaper
- Dust port keeps the air clean
- Longer cord
- Very heavy and bulky
BLACK+DECKER Orbital Sander – Best for Sanding Patios
If you’re trying to clean up an area on your patio for your faux fireplace, allow Black+Decker’s orbital sander to help you smooth out the floor so you can stain it again to seal out the moisture and make it look like new. You get a high removal rate that will easily strip away varnish, finish, sealants, paint, blemishes, and things that could make your patio look dingy. You get a sander, sanding sheet, and a dust bag with each order, and this is enough to get you started so you can get a good feel for how this tool works. You’ll end up with a smooth and professional-grade finish that looks and feels nice.
There is a patented hook and loop system that attaches your sandpaper to the tool, and this makes it very quick to swap out sandpaper discs. You’ll be able to work steadily through with minimal interruptions to your day, and this can help you complete your project faster. The dust-sealed switch on this tool helps keep debris and dust from slipping inside the sander and ruining the motor, and this extends the life of the tool. It has a slightly larger handle that is comfortable to hold with a sleek color scheme.
- High removal rate
- Dust bag included
- Hook and loop disc system
- Larger grip
- Switch has a dust sealant
- One-handed operation
- Constant power flow
- Dust catcher isn’t effective
FIXKIT Air Orbital Sander – Best for Indoor Work
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The final orbital sander on the list comes from Fixkit, and it excels at all of those smaller indoor projects you have like sanding stairs or baseboards. This is a professional-grade sander that sits securely into the palm of your hand, and it comes with seven pieces of 240-grit sandpaper that allows you to get to work right when you get it. There is a built-in regulator that gives you excellent speed control and up to 1,000 RPM that allows you to have precision control when you work. This dual-action sander works well for a huge range of applications like metal products, wooden furniture, or car bodies.
The dust suction system on this sander ensures you won’t have heavy dust debris when you use it, and the exhaust emissions form siphon-like effects that pull the debris safely into a suction hose so it doesn’t end up in your face. You get an ergonomic and balanced design that reduces vibrations and user fatigue levels, and this makes it a good choice for those detailed projects where you have to work slower. All of the switches are conveniently right under your palm.
- Dust suction system
- Counterbalanced design
- Comes with sandpaper
- Professional-grade materials
- Suction hose included
- Ergonomic handle
- Rubberized grip
- Need a larger air compressor to work
Orbital Sander Buyer’s Guide
When it comes time to pick out your new orbital sander to help you finish your new staircase once you build it, there are several important considerations you want to keep in mind. These considerations will help you compare various products and narrow down your choices to the best one that is versatile enough to help you tackle all of your home improvement projects.
Motor Size and Power
One of the first factors you want to look at when you shop for an orbital sander or any tool is the motor size and power output. This helps determine the tool’s reliability, efficiency, and performance, including the sanding speed. Most sanders have motors that range from 2-amps to 5-amps. The more power your motor can put out when it runs, the more orbits per minute your sandpaper will make. In turn, you’ll sand faster with a higher power motor.
Matching your motor size and the speeds to your projects allows you to get much better control over your sander as you work. If you don’t and use the wrong sander, it could take too much out of the wood and leave you with gouges or markings.
Variable or Fixed Speeds
Do you want a variable or fixed speed tool? Both are very popular, so you want to consider the types of surfaces you’ll use it on. For example, it’ll take more speed to sand a larger outdoor storage shed than it will a small patio railing. The fixed speed orbital sanders are cheaper, but their single speed setting usually falls between 10,000 and 12,000 OPM. Variable speed tools allow you to set the speed between 4,000 and 12,000 OPM, and this allows you more flexibility. You can use variable models to generalized sanding, finish sanding, and polishing, so it’s a good idea to go with a variable speed.
You want to be comfortable when you use your orbital sander, and the grip will play a large role in this. Look at the grip design and grip and consider how it’ll feel in your hand. Grips with a soft overmold or a rubberized coating will be more comfortable, and some sanders even come with an extra handle that makes it easier to grip and control.
When you buy a variable speed sander to help you sand wood before you stain it, consider the speed range. Speed ranges falling between 10,000 and 12,000 OPM are great when you’re working with more coarse materials or generalized sanding. Mid-range speeds falling between 6,000 to 10,000 OPM are great for finish sanding, and low-range speeds of 4,000 to 6,000 OPM work well when you work on veneer or polish with soft materials.
If you use your sander correctly, it greatly minimizes the chances of getting splitters or slivers when you touch or walk on any wood surfaces inside out outside of your home. It also gives you an even surface to apply your stain, paint, sealant, or varnish.
Almost every orbital sander you use will have some level of vibrations, but the goal is to find the sander that has the lowest levels possible. Going for one that promises reduced vibrations can help fight off user fatigue, and they’re generally more comfortable to use in the long run. Even if they don’t promise low vibrations, having something like a rubberized grip or a comfort-grip overmold can help cut the overall vibration levels you feel when it runs.
Dust Collection System
Dust isn’t a huge problem when you work outside, but it can quickly turn into an issue if you work inside in confined spaces. Not only can dust get into the air, but it can obscure your vision and make you make simple mistakes that impact how your finished project looks. Many sanders come with a dust collection system attached that include bags, canisters, and hoses that let you attach it directly to a shop vac.
Length of the Cord
One of the final things you should consider is the cord length. If you’re just going to work in your tool storage area or in a confined space, the cord length won’t be a big deal. However, having a cord that is around 12 feet long is very convenient because it allows you to move around without getting stuck. If possible, go for a slightly longer cord length if you choose a corded sander to improve your flexibility.
Picking out an orbital sander should be a task that you consider carefully because you want to get a tool that you use for years at a time. I’ve picked out 10 options for you for any price point and needs from reputable brands. You can compare them side-by-side before using the buying guide to find out which one will work best for you. When you settle on one, ship it straight to your door and finish all of those home improvement projects.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.