Best Random Orbital Sanders In 2020 – Top Picks and Reviews
Sander, for any meaningful woodworker is a must and not an option, while there are several categories of sanders woodworkers can pick from, random orbital sanders are unique and stand out for their versatility, efficiency and comfortability.
The closest in hierarchy to random orbital sanders are called orbital sanders, which may be confusing by how similar the name appears, but there are indeed significant differences between the two.
Aside that, selecting an ideal random orbital sander for your purpose may be a daunting endeavor, you can mistake an orbital sander for a random orbital sander, plus, random orbital sanders differ in purpose and function and the market is flooded with hundreds
As it addresses the difference between orbital sanders and random orbital sanders, this guide will help you make a weighty decision when going to the market for your next random orbital sanders; what to look for in your next sander, how random orbital sanders work, the upsides and downsides of random orbital sanders. With it, you will be equipped with all necessary know-how to pick the perfect match for your purpose.
Difference Between Orbital Sanders and Random Orbital Sanders
Yes, the names are fairly similar; orbital sanders and random orbital sanders, even though both are used for sanding, there exist significant differences in their attributes and functionality.
The first major distinction is their movement, orbital sanders move only in a single circular direction while random orbital sanders as implies by the name, move in random oscillatory motion and hence prevents marks and swirls that are inevitable in other sanders.
This means that random orbital sander run two operations simultaneously, the operation of the traditional sander, it moves in a circular motion like the traditional orbital sander, and at the same time, its circular pad rotates along a main axis, causing a complete random motion. This random motion is important for reducing marks and produce a smoother surface.
Another difference is in the shape of these two machines, random orbital sander has rounded base which enable its round sanding pad to oscillate and spin around for effectual sanding. Orbital sander, on the other hand, has a square basethat allow its square sanding pad get into tight corners with ease.
It is a universal truth that, the operations of random orbital sanders are more user-friendly, versatile, comfortable when compared to the traditional orbital sanders. Who wants stress and trouble?
Choosing the Best Random Orbital Sander?
For anyone, selecting a random orbital sander is a function of goals and purposes. If you are well informed, picking one depends on your long or short term goal.
For the hobbyists, who only need occasional sanding and stock removal, a small machine with little frills should do, while heavy woodworkers like cabinet makers and carpenters will surely require a more powerful machine that can deliver great performance consistently for a long period of time.
When going for your next random orbital sander, it’s imperative you review some factors, most importantly, operational factors and its ability to give your desired end-product. For that reason, the following are prominent factors any serious woodworker should consider before investing:
The Base Plate
The part of your random orbital sander where sandpaper is attached is called the base plate. Generally, there are 3 major areas of concern about the base plate, if your sander is to live up to expectation.
The base plate of any random orbital sander determines the size of the sanding area, mostrandom orbital sanders comes in either 5 or 6 inches, any sander below 5 inches are known as finishing sanders while those above 6 inches are the pneumatic sander for industrial use.
Your next area of concern should be how sanding disc attaches, some sanding disc are attached with adhesive, which is somewhat not reliable as there is every probability of wearing, hence, coming off while the machine is in use.
Manufacturers of latest sanders are moving towards the more reliable hook and loop system, its easier to do and durable and you might want to consider this over that.
Another thing you should watch out for is the base plate hole for dust removal, the majority of sanders on the market comes with holes on the base plate, which helps in sucking up dust created by the machine. Its better you go with baseplate of high quality or you will be coming back to market in no time.
Motor and speed (OPM)
Don’t be confused, the input power of a random orbitals sander is not directly proportional to its output. Irrespective of the input, the performance of your sander is determined by how effective your machine use power.
Most sanders come with motor that ranges between 2-5 amps’ power, called the input power, which is the amount of power needed for the sander to operate.The most important is the output power,which is the measure of how fast the sanding disc oscillates,referred to as orbit per minutes (OPM), that is, the number of oscillations a sander can go in a single minute.
The higher the number, the faster your sanding will be done. The speed, on the overall is generally between 4,000 – 14,000 orbits per minute.
For you to select which is which for your woodworking needs, it’s preferable to consider the diversity of your project. A sander will either have single or variable speed, fixed speed sanders with roughly 12,000 OPM are designed for high-end woodworking and will only perform in such realm.
Variable speed sanders on the other end, have a range of OPM from as low as 4,000 to the highest 14,000 OPM, and at such, are more versatile and can be used for more wide application in woodworking, they are easier to control, adjust, customize and produce a more finer work.
The dependability, weight and power of a random sander also depends on its power source, typically, there are three power sources for random orbital sandals; cordless (battery operated), corded andpneumatic, each of which has advantage and disadvantages, but nowadays, there are sanders that are battery operated and corded at the same time.
Corded sanders are more powerful and more reliable, because you need not worry about battery charge level, but you will have to cope with cord getting in your way while working.
Cordless or battery operated sanderswon’t give you the cord headache, but you won’t get the power and reliability of corded sanders. Pneumatic sanders are professional machines and require air compressors to operate.
Whichever you prefer, there is a better option you might want to consider, nowadays, there are sanders that are battery operated and corded at the same time. But they come at a fairly high price.
Dust Collection System
You should know that, the dust collection system in almost all sander are self-contained, the best you can go with are those you can modify into a vacuum dust collection system for more dust suck-up.
The original collection system mostly comes with a small bag that can be connected through the dust collection port to hold sawdust.
If you are in for an intense sanding, emptying the bag can be a major sore point, due to the small size of the bag. To get rid of this, make sure the dust collection port of your sander conform with your shop tubing VAC, hence, you detach it carrying bag and attach a vacuum hose for faster, efficient suck-up and you won’t need to worry about emptying every now and again.
Now that you’ve learned how to choose the best random orbital sander for your woodworking project, to save you time and effort, we’ve helped you select the 6 of the best random orbital sanders in the market, and are reviewed below.
Best Random Orbital Sanders in 2020