A random orbital sander is one of the best solutions to sand wood when the wood grain pattern changes, which combines oscillating and spinning to avoid sanding marks. But there are many models available on the market, how can you know which one is the best for you?
In this post, we will help you answer this question by showing you how to choose the best random orbital sander for woodworking.
Here are the best random orbital sanders for woodworking you can buy in 2021:
- Best Overall (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): Makita BO5030K
- Best For Tight Spaces (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
- Best For Professional Woodworkers (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): Bosch ROS65VC-6
- Best Overall (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Black & Decker BDCRO20C
- Best For Swirl-Free Finish (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Makita XOB01Z
- Consistent Performance (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Ryobi P411
- Best Overall (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317
- Best For Small Projects (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Autolock Pneumatic Palm Sander
- Best For Overhead Sanding Applications (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Dynabrade 59020
|9 Best Random Orbital Sanders For Woodworking|
Best For Tight Spaces
|TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander|
Best For Professional Woodworkers
|Black & Decker BDCRO20C|
Best For Swirl-Free Finish
|3M Random Orbital Sander 20317|
Best For Small Projects
|Autolock Pneumatic Palm Sander|
Best For Overhead Sanding Applications
Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander
Best Overall (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): Makita BO5030K
- Long-lasting - Oversized sealed-ball bearing
- Powerful, work smoothly and fast – the 3.0 AMP motor & Large 1/8
- Useless instructions
Compared to other random orbital sanders that we’ve tested, the Makita BO5030K is definitely a step above.
It’s powerful, comfortable, and runs quietly. Using this tool, you completely don’t need to wear earmuffs as there’s no fuss about the noise. The power output allows it to work fast and smoothly for various applications.
Besides, it is easy to control and perfect for DIY-ers, hobby work, or beginners.
All the ball bearings are constructed with precision for an extended lifespan, which is a big bonus. Last but not least, its dust collection system is a breeze.
|Makita BO5030K Specifications|
3.0 AMP motor
Oversized sealed-ball bearing
the 3.0 AMP motor & Large 1/8" random orbit action
Conveniently located on/off switch, pad control system & rubberized grip
a functional dust collection system
The Makita BO5030K is by far the best overall option on our list when it comes to corded electric random orbital sander for woodworking
Best For Tight Spaces (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
- Able to easily go into tight spaces – ergonomic design & a compact size
- Versatile and meet various woodworking applications - 12 pieces of sandpapers & six adjustable speed dial
- Affordable - 30% less expensive than the well-known brand names
- No storage bag is provided
Lots of DIY homeowners suggest this random orbital sander for woodworking because of not only its decent power output but also its ergonomic design plus a compact size.
Unlike other full-size counterparts, it can get into the tightest spaces like a breeze with great control. This tool can work on various materials, such as plastic, metal, and wood as well as can meet different applications in woodworking.
That’s a big thank you to the 12 pieces of sandpapers and six adjustable speed dial.
|TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Specifications|
ergonomic design & a compact size
12 pieces of sandpapers & six adjustable speed dial
The TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander is ideal for DIY homeowners who need something that can easily go into tight spaces for sanding and polishing.
Best For Professional Woodworkers (Corded Electric Random Orbital Sander): Bosch ROS65VC-6
- Not numb your hands during extended woodworking jobs – Bosch’s exclusive Vibration Control a suspension system
- Reduce swirl marks efficiently - integral pad dampening braking system
- Collect dust well - dual dust collection systems
- A bit heavy
This is a very impressive option that we highly recommend for professionals who use their sanders often.
It’s very easy to assemble, very powerful, and vibration-free so that your hands won’t get numbed terribly after using this for a long time. The dust canister works great and there is an added vacuum adapter as well.
It is great for any horizontal sanding, solid surface, and panel work. If used properly, the tool never leaves small swirls.
All-in-all, this is comparable to the Festool but features a more ergonomic design, which is not only perfect for huge furniture but also other smaller ones.
|Bosch ROS65VC-6 Specifications|
5,500-12,000 No-Load OPM
Bosch’s exclusive Vibration Control a suspension system
integral pad dampening braking system
dual dust collection systems
If you frequently find yourself stuck with your sander for a long time, then our recommendation is the Bosch ROS65VC-6. It’s perfect for professional woodworkers.
Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander
Best Overall (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Black & Decker BDCRO20C
- Perfect for quick touches and small woodworking jobs – a compact size & lightweight
- Able to handle different tasks - 12K OPM
- No messy workplace – helpful dust collection
- No adjustable speed
- A bit noisy
For convenience, this is a good add-on to anyone’s tool shed. It is powerful, easy to use, and comfortable to hold for a long time. It doesn’t bog down when you put some pressure on it.
The battery life lasts a respectable amount of time but if your woodworking jobs require a lot of sanding for an extended time, it’d be better to keep a few spares.
Charging is fast, which is a big bonus.
|Black & Decker BDCRO20C Specifications|
a compact size & lightweight
helpful dust collection
Looking for the best overall battery-powered random orbital sander? Don’t overlook the Black & Decker BDCRO20C
Best For Swirl-Free Finish (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Makita XOB01Z
- Ideal for small to medium woodworking jobs – long runtime & high power output
- Adjustable for different uses - three-speed options
- Sand fast & deliver swirl-free finish - 1/8
- Wish it was stronger
- The loop disk on the bottom wears out fast
Despite its modest silhouette, this option does sanding tasks the fastest with a swirl-free finish, which pleasantly surprised us.
There are three-speed options in this tool, including 7000, 9500, and 11000 OPM at no load that is adjusted by a one-touch electronic switch. Combined with its ergonomic grips and body design, it is very comfortable to use.
On a single charge, it can last up to 20 minutes at high speed and 40 minutes at low speed, which is great for small to medium jobs.
|Makita XOB01Z Specifications|
long runtime & high power output
1/8" random orbit action
Highlighting a 1/8” random orbit action, the Makita XOB01Z is great for a swirl-free finish
Consistent Performance (Battery-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Ryobi P411
- Deliver consistent performance at longer runtime - compatibility with the Ryobi One+ battery system
- Ideal for sanding and polishing jobs - 10,000 OPM at no load
- No variable speed option
While the stock battery of this random orbital sander is only 1.5 Ah, which only lasts for around 30 minutes of continuous work, a good thing is a compatibility with the Ryobi One+ battery system. This helps extend the tool’s runtime for consistent three-hour use.
It’s not the most powerful random orbital sander here, but the 10,000 OPM at no load is perfect for all small tasks, like sanding and polishing.
A plus is that it’s vibration-free and comfortable to hold, thanks to the rubber overgrip.
|Ryobi P411 Specifications|
compatibility with the Ryobi One+ battery system
10,000 OPM at no load
While most battery-powered sanders can’t last long enough for extended woodworking tasks, the Ryobi P41 can thanks to its compatibility with the Ryobi One+ battery system. That means it will give you superbly consistent performance.
Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander
Best Overall (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317
- Not numb your hands during extended jobs - Low-profile, balanced design
- Durable - composite cover & Aluminum body
- Powerful and smooth operation - Precision balanced motor
The 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317 works like a champ. Great quality, feel comfortable in the hand, relatively quiet with nearly no vibration. Moreover, its speed control functions well.
The 0.28HP motor delivers up to 12,000 RPM that can finish quickly any time-consuming sanding and polishing jobs.
Besides, it gives you hours of constant use thanks to the pneumatic power. Lots of customers also give compliments for its durability that can last a long time, all thanks to the robust composite cover and aluminum body.
|3M Random Orbital Sander 20317 Specifications|
Low-profile, balanced design
composite cover & Aluminum body
Precision balanced motor
The 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317 is among the best tested, making it our Best Overall Choice Award winner this year in terms of air-powered random orbital sanders.
Best For Small Projects (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Autolock Pneumatic Palm Sander
- Easily handle various woodworking applications – deliver 12,000 RPM of speed
- Straightforward to use - a big 6” sandpaper disc
- Easy one-handed capability - Precision balanced motor, lightness, low height, & Autolock’s Dual Action Pneumatic Sande
- No complaint
This is a big 6” sandpaper disc, features a regulator for up to 12,000 RPM of speed, and can work with a 2-gallon tank to 110PSI.
In other words, it easily handles various woodworking applications, like cutting, waxing, polishing, grinding, and sanding. It’s ideal for metal products, furniture wood, and auto body.
The tool also offers easy one-handed capability with great control.
On the other hand, the provided seven pieces of 120-grit sandpaper are wear-resistant, perfect for long-term use.
|Autolock Pneumatic Palm Sander Specifications|
deliver 12,000 RPM of speed
a big 6” sandpaper disc
Precision balanced motor, lightness, low height, & Autolock’s Dual Action Pneumatic Sande
Easy to use, comfortable to hold, and vibration-free, the Autolock Pneumatic Palm Sander is our favorite pick for small projects.
Best For Overhead Sanding Applications (Air-Powered Random Orbital Sander): Dynabrade 59020
- Ideal for overhead and vertical sanding jobs – lightweight air-motor assembly
- Better wrist and hand support - throttle lever and comfort platform
- High working efficiency - five blades
- No hook pad
Thanks to its lightweight air-motor assembly, the Dynabrade 59020 is extremely ideal for overhead and vertical sanding jobs.
The lightness, combined with the throttle lever and comfort platform, reduces strain on your palm effectively, allowing for better wrist and hand support as well as reducing stress on your palm.
The best part is its five blades that consume less air while delivering more usable power for higher efficiency. As a result, it remains consistent.
|Dynabrade 59020 Specifications|
lightweight air-motor assembly
throttle lever and comfort platform
For overhead sanding tasks, a lightweight random orbital sander like the Dynabrade 59020 is a perfect choice.
How To Choose The Best Random Orbital Sander For Woodworking?
Type of power
The first thing to consider when you choose an orbital sander is the type of power, including corded, battery-powered, and air-powered.
- Corded: provided that there is an electrical outlet close by, you can use a corded sander for as long as you want. All you need to do is plug it in.
- Battery-powered: if there isn’t a socket nearby, this type of sander is a great solution. However, its run time is limited to 30-45 minutes on one charge, so you should consider buying spare batteries if you have to work for an extended time.
- Air-powered: this type of sanders is powered by compressed air, making it a good choice for those who already have an air compressor. However, note that you will need a compressor of at least 40CFM power.
While most random orbital sanders offer only one speed, there are models with multiple speed options to adjust the tool’s aggressiveness.
If you want to grind down roughness fast, a higher speed is more suitable, but for fine sanding, you should opt for a lower speed. All in all, if you can, you should always opt for a sander with variable speed.
The typical random orbital sander has a disc diameter of 5 inches. But the disc size can also range from 1 to 4 inches.
If you are working on tight spots, you should choose a smaller disc, if you are working on larger projects, you will need a disc diameter of 6 inches or more. Therefore, when choosing the disc size, you should keep the size of your project in mind.
Which Brands Make The Best Random Orbital Sander For Woodworking?
Founded in 1886, this brand focuses on innovation and precision to offer the best products for consumers and professionals. Here, you will surely find a sander that meets your needs.
Since its establishment in 1915 as an electric tool company. It offers products with unmatched durability and quality through the strength of its research and development.
This is a manufacturer that aims at making life more convenient and secure. In addition to high quality and portability, its products also come at competitive prices.
Can you use a random orbital sander on wood?
Yes, you can use the random orbital sander to sand wood.
Will an orbital sander leave swirl marks?
Yes, it will, but this is just how sanders work. In other cases, if you get a very noticeable mark, there is likely something stuck between the wood and the sandpaper.
How do you stop swirl marks when sanding?
Experienced users have come up with different ways to avoid swirl marks when sanding. One says that they use half of the sheet sander with high grit paper, which has proven very effective.
Another user shares that fast movements cause noticeable swirl marks, so you should move the sander slowly. Besides, you can use a vacuum system for picking up dust when sanding.
When should you stop sanding?
Normally, you should stop sanding at 180 or 220 for staining the wood.
Can I use an orbital sander to remove paint?
Yes, you can. The orbital sander is also great for removing paint from hardwood floors, metal surfaces, and plain door frames. But for molded baseboards, you will need a chemical paint stripper to avoid destroying contours.
We hope that this post has made it easier for you to choose the best random orbital sander for woodworking. Hopefully, you will be able to pick out the perfect tool for your woodworking in no time. Good luck!