Different Types of Sanders

There are many different types of sanders, each have their own specific uses. In this article, we will take a look at three of the most common types and how to choose the right one for your project.

When choosing between the different types of power sanders, you should make sure that the machine you’re buying is capable of the type of work you’ll be doing.

While a cordless random orbital sander may be cheaper, you might find yourself doing a lot more work than you thought. You’ll need to finish a job quickly, and a belt sander may be the way to go.

List of Power Sander Types

Random orbital sanders

Random orbital sanders are very versatile – they can be used for almost any sanding job. They can perform all the functions of a belt sander while having a smaller footprint than a belt sander. Random orbital sanders are one of the best sanders for stairs.

The random orbital sander is the most widely used type of electric sander found on store shelves today and is easily the most flexible. The orbital part of the name derives due to the circular motion of the sanding disc. This random part comes from the eccentric motions the head can make in addition to the orbit.

If you had to choose the one type of sander that you could purchase for your home the most likely choice would be an random orbital sander as it is versatile as well as inexpensive and simple to operate.

Random orbital sanders avoid scratches and scarring of wood if you happen to move in the opposite direction of. This type of sander can be simpler to operate than a rotary or belt sander because its action is more like the vibration.

Changing sandpaper is extremely easy and is as easy as attaching the paper to the sander’s hook-and loop surface.

If the random orbital sander happens to be your only sander You may end up seeking to expand its capabilities. It is not a good choice for projects where you need to drastically reduce the weight of wood.

Random orbital sanders can be used for fine projects furniture, tables, chairs or trim and baseboards in which the condition of the surface is highly important.

Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbit Sander

Palm Sanders

The palm sander is the most commonly used in the modern workshop. This sander is versatile and has a large sanding belt that wraps around two drums.

The back drum is powered by an electric motor while the front one is free-spinning. Most models have a tension release lever so that you can change the belt on the fly. Most of these types of sanders have tracking adjustment knobs that adjust the amount of sanding action.

A power sander is a tool that can be used to smooth the surface of a material. A sander is a great tool to use for a variety of DIY projects. You can reduce the amount of time you spend on sanding by adjusting the speed of the tool. You can use a sander for any type of sanding job, such as preparing floors for painting.

Most sanders have variable speeds, and random orbital sanders are the most expensive. They can be used for both large and small projects.

There are also some types of hand-operated sanders. For those who need more precision and control, a handheld model is the best choice.

DEWALT Palm Sander, 1/4 Sheet (DWE6411K)

Rotary Sanders

A rotary sander is any sander, handheld or floor-mounted which has its head turning around in circles. Rotary sanders let you reach the edges of your work area and are suitable for use on almost all materials.

It is possible to use a Rotary sander to sand wood flooring close to the baseboards where other sanders won’t reach. Also, you can utilize an rotary sander for smoothing the trim to create a mirror-like surface. Rotary sanders can get out of control, so they’re best for people who are skilled at DIY.

DEWALT Rotary Sander, Variable Speed, Dust Shroud, 5-Inch (DWE6401DS)

Drum Sander

A drum sander is special belt-style floor sander. Drum sanders are positioned on the floor and are operated with a handle like a lawnmowers. Too expensive for most homeowners to buy, sanders are typically available at rental stores.

Drum sanders must be used to sand floors made of solid timber only. Do not try to use drum sanders on engineered wood flooring or other flooring.

Drum sanders have such power that they’re capable of sanding off all sorts of substances you would like removed from your hardwood flooring: gouges, bumps, stains, paint, adhesives and Mastic.

Note: before sanding any flooring adhesives, test to make sure it is safe to use and don’t contain asbestos.

Drum sanders are very heavy and require two people for transport. If you aren’t careful, you can easily gouge into the flooring of your wood because the machines are so powerful.

As with belt sanders that are manually operated, drum sanders are difficult to adjust to keep the belts running straight.

JET JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander, 115V 1PH, 1 HP (723510)

Disc Sanders

Disc sanders are handheld models that are usually round. These are great for large projects, since they are more versatile than their counterparts.

Disc sanders are more expensive than other types, so you may need a higher quality model to complete the job. You can also purchase portable sanders for a smaller area. Depending on your needs, they can do anything from sanding to sanding a small surface to large areas.

Belt Sanders

A belt sander has a continuous loop of sandpaper (called a sanding conveyor) that runs through the machine, similar as the way the cutting chain runs through the chainsaw.

Belt sanders are great for taking off the rougher, initial phases of any sanding job. Contrary to random orbital sanders which causes the sandpaper to shake, a belt sander actually is able to move the belt that is used to sand. This is a distinct difference that you’ll notice when you are required to sand down rougher areas.

Changing the sanding belt and keeping it rotating straight can be difficult with belt sanders. In the end, you might end up with broken belts that require to be replaced often.

WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base

Because of their limited space they are not suitable for use near walls or other edges. Belts sanders are best used for removing paint from the exterior as well as hitting high-pitch areas on wood flooring, as well as getting rid of wood debris.

The belt-disc sander has two drums with a motor on the inside that spins the belt in two different directions. They can be a good choice if you want to sand a large surface quickly. These sanders are designed with a comfortable body grip to ensure that you can easily hold them.

Spindle Sander & Disk Sander

The disk and spindle sanders are mounted on tables, which provide more stability than hand-held machines. When using spindle sanders, sandpaper is mounted on an aluminum tube that is a base.

Disk sanders are a type of sander where the sandpaper is positioned on a disc, which is essentially a table-mounted version of the handheld orbital sander.

Disk and spindle sanders work the best choice for sanding smaller items for woodworking projects. It can be difficult to control the work materials when using these sanders.

However, it’s simple to control the machine as it is stationary. However control of the material is achievable with the right the right amount of care and practice.

WEN 6524 Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander


If you’re just starting to begin making your own workshop, we strongly recommend purchasing a lot of sandpaper as you’ll use it quickly.

If your budget permits we suggest purchasing an orbital or palm sander that can handle the majority of your tasks and handle odd tasks around the house and then the belt sander and disk sander.

When you’ve got these tools, it will become evident if you require detailing sanders such as the sanding sticks as well as the file sander.

Different Types of Sanders FAQ

What are the different types of sanders?

The different types of Sanders are:
1. Random orbital sanders
2. Palm Sanders
3. Rotary Sanders
4. Drum Sander
5. Disc Sanders
6. Belt Sanders
7. Spindle Sander & Disk Sander