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.

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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.

Power Source

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


1. Bosch ROS20VSK 5" Random Orbital Sander Best for Professionals

If you are looking for a Random Orbit Sander that delivers an outstanding performance using its pad orbit coupled with angle rotation to ensure effective elimination of swirl marks and ultra-polished finish. 

The Bosch ROS20VSK 5-inch Random Orbit Sander has been the go-to machine for carpenters, furniture makers, and woodworkers, who needs precision and thorough sanding.

Powered by a capable 2.5-amp motor with a variable speed that ranges 7,500 - 12,000 orbits per minute, this tool will give you the leeway to match sanding speed to the strength of material.

 It combines integral pad dampening braking and hook tight systems to get rid of unwanted marks and produce a swirl-free finish.

You will need not worry about dust taking over your work space, as this orbital sandercomes with built-in micro-filter system paired with an easily detachable Twist-Off Dust Canister.

Whether yours are flat or contoured surfaces, sanding with this tool will surely leave you with good experience; a fine, smooth and precise finish as you ever desired. Thanks to its microcellular backing pad.

Pros

  • Long power cord
  • Great dust collection
  • Comes with sanding disc, carriage case and hose adapter
  •  Low vibration

Cons

  • Not very powerful
  • 1-year warranty compare to others 2-3

2. Bosch ROS65VC-6 6" Random Orbital Sander Best for Long-term Projects

Built with comfort in mind, Bosch ROS65VC-6 6" Random Orbital Sander is theperfect machine for workers who love consistency and long-term projects. Just as efficient as comfortable, the usability of this machine will make you sand forever without fatigue.

Starting with it adjustable sander's speed, you can dial between its wide range of 5,500 and 12,000 orbits per minute for speed to task match-up, thanks to its capable 3.3-amp motor fueler.

At only 5.3 lbs. the ROS65VC-6in its die-cast aluminum gear housing is indeed a light machine and will accept Bosch high-performance 5 inches and 6 inches sanding pads.

For your outstanding comfort, this machine features a Vibration Control suspension system which reduces the extent of vibration that reaches your hand; an l pad-dampening braking system to get rid of swirl marks; two dust collection system to keep your ambience free of dust; and a number of more and more comfy features intended to give you great sanding days.

Pros

  • Minimized vibration.
  • 5 or 6 inch pads switching option
  • Multiple soft grip and comfortable handles
  • Outstanding user comfort

Cons

  • Can’t be used by amateurs
  • May throw up lots of heat

3. Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbital Sander – Most Comfortable to Use

Are you looking for a versatile and comfortable orbit sander that won’t wear you out as you sand your stock and give your finished workpiece a smooth surface? Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbital Sanderis the real deal, it is efficient, adaptable, comfortable and easy to use.

This machine can do whatever sanding you need, it features an intuitive front grip that let you sand in edges and corners, plus a number of rubberized grips to help you get right in, anywhere on your workpiece.

To allow you match speed to the task, its adjustable speed configuration (4,000 - 12,000 OPM) can be triggered by a well located 2-finger switch with a seamless lock-on button for users’ comfort.

This 5 inches’ machine features a 3-amp motor with enclosed large ball bearing build for longer life span. Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbital Sanderis engineered with high capacity through-the-pad dust collection system, combined with built-in vacuum port adapter to give you a workspace that’s free of dust.

This mighty tool also comes with an efficient pad control system to give you a swirl-free, fine and smooth finish.

Pros

  • Operatable with both hands
  • Great orbit per minutes speed range
  • Good for corners sanding
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Poor dust collection
  • Expensive

Woodworkers looking for across-the-board quality for their everyday workload will definitely appreciate the DEWALT DWE6423Kfor its durability and usability. Designed to keep up with a life time of woodwork, this itemwill advertise your craftsmanship with it user-friendly features and top-notch performance.

With a strong motor of 3.0-amp variable speed, that can be adjusted from 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute and anywhere within, this machine is indeed up for the game.

It features an exclusive controlled finishing system that marries perfectly into its ergonomic body design with a number of textured grips, to give users 3 synchronic benefits, eliminate swirls and scuffs; reduces vibration; and gives all round ease of operation. 

Want you workshop to remain cleanest after usage?  DEWALT DWE6423K 5" Random Orbital Sanderfeatures an in built dust bag plus a vacuum adapter to help collect dust and keep it out of the machine internal operation.

This short height sanding machine in its rubber over-mold will get you closer to your workpiece without fatigue, for long time smooth out and stock removal.

Pros

  • Powerful 3.0-amp motor
  • User-friendly and take care of fatigue
  • Great price value
  • Dust collection easy and effective

Cons

  • Emptying canister is difficult

A 2.4 amp 5-inch random orbit sander is probably the shortest ever sander you can get on the market and will be the perfect fit for DIYer's and homeowners looking to smooth out any rough patch.

At 14,000 orbits per minute powerful speed, BLACK+DECKER BDERO600Random Orbital Sanderhelp users provide quick and efficient stock removal with easy maneuverability.

Just on top of the sander, the paddle switch is activated by a press down button and you can decide to have it locked in either on or off condition for a convenient one hand operation.

You need not worry about dust when doing your next home improvement, this device features a high quality dust collection system that will keep dust away from your work surface.

At only 5-inch, this compact and easy to maneuver machine will get you into tight corners with ease and optimize your operational control to give your workpiece an all-round fineness. Thanks to its ergonomic design and 3 pounds’ weight size.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great worth
  • Ergonomic and compact design
  • Easily maneuvered

Cons

  • Vibrates bit louder
  • Underpowered

Whether you are a hobbyist that need some finishing touches on a workshop piece, or you are a refurnisher that’s handling a big home improvement task, the SKIL 7492-02 5-inch Random Orbital Sandercould be your ultimate companion to a fine finish and smooth stock removal. 

 Although, not on the high end, this basic random orbit sander uses a 2.8-amp motor to drive up to 12,500 opm fixed speed.

This little machine features a pad brake system which helps in minimizing scuffs to give a swirl free finish while also eliminating gouging during operation. It comes with a pressure control indicator that notifies you when there is accurate or over pressure.

This machinecomes with a micro-filtration system with a sealed switch to capture dust particles from dispersing into your environment and keeping your surface tidier. The dust canister has a transparent casing, hence, emptying its content is as easy as you see it.

Pros

  • Excellent dust collection
  • Entry-level price
  • Lightweight
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Relatively low power
  • Not good for pros

How to Use Random Orbital Sanders

Operating any random orbital sanders is and should be as simple as A-B-C, on the basics, you shouldn’t have much to do than, affixing a sanding pad to the machine, connect to the power source (if corded), and switching it on.

Then, you can start using the machine on your workpiece by monitoring the pressure application until everything smooths out.

Of course, that’s is a very generic instruction, and since every sander, to some extent is a little bit distinct in mode of operation, it’s highly recommendable, as always, for you to consult the instructional manual that comes with your machine in order to get more specific instructions and information on how to operate your sander. More so, random orbital sanders differ in speed range, variability and motor size motor.

In addition, here’s is a video that get you through the step by step method on how to use a random orbital sander.

Frequently asked questions about random orbital sanders

Can I use a random orbital sander for shaping wood?

Yes, if shaping wood is just an occasional thing, any sander that has 3-amp motor power and above will do a great deal of shaping, however, if your primary purpose is wood shaping, you’d be better off with a dedicated machine for shaping.

What random orbital sander is good for drywall?

Although you can use one with variable speed, provided it’s a one-off work, it’s not recommendable.  A dedicated drywall sander is the tool for that.

In addition to the above answers, here is a video guide on mistakes to avoid when using a random orbital sander.


Conclusion

By now, selecting a random orbital sander for your project should come with no headache at all, whether you are a carpenter, homeowner, or a hobbyist.

The performance, comfortability, quality and reliabilityof your sander depends mostly on the factors above, so visit the market and make informed decision by picking the perfect fit for your purpose.

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