The 9 Best Random Orbital Sanders

Stuart Wellbert
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Orbital and random-orbital sanders were once quite niche additions to the workshop, but have now become extremely popular as they are very useful.

There are two different types of random orbital sander: the type that doesn’t rotate and the type that does. Depending on what you need to sand, you can choose between the two kinds.

At their most basic point, these sanders are among the most effective and useful tools a DIY enthusiast can have, especially in a workshop. However, they also have some more advanced features and the best models come with a variety of features, including the following:

Sandpaper or paperless sanding: while most come with sticky paper, which holds the sanding material together, some just use a rubber pad or disks. Here is a list of the best random (orbital) sanders with a variety of budget options for you to choose from.

NameCategoryProduct
DEWALT Random Orbit SanderBest OverallDEWALT Random Orbit Sander
BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit SanderBudget PickBLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander
Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode SanderUpgrade PickFestool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander

1. DEWALT Random Orbit Sander

Our rating: 9 / 10

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Durable for heavy work
  • Great paint removal
  • Great for hardwoods

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • A bit loud
  • Not easy to control
  • Poor dust extraction

Random orbital sanders can be an essential tool for many woodworkers. It allows fast work, even finish and dust-free when sanding.

The DEWALT DWE6423K is a versatile sander that gives you lots of control. The Orbit Sander has variable speed control from 4,500 OPM to 6,800 OPM and can push up to 1,600 pin-watts of power.

This productivity tool is durable too due to rubber over-molding, a powerful motor and strong gearbox. With the DEWALT DWE6423K, cleanup is easy too with the convenient tool-free pad clamp.

2. Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

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Pros:

  • Three year limited warranty
  • Has a soft grip handle
  • Includes a dust collector

Cons:

  • Heavy, at over 9 lbs
  • A bit more expensive than other models
  • The dust collector is a bit clumsy to attach and use

This palm sander from Bosch is a disappointment.

The first thing that we noticed about this sander is that it’s way too heavy, at almost ten pounds. Yes, it’s got a sturdy design that feels premium in your hand, but for a handheld tool, the weight is a bit of a bummer.

The other thing we didn’t like about this palm sander is the 5-inch sanding pad. 5-inch sanding pads are okay for non-professional, occasional use. We much prefer 7-inch sanding discs; they’re more versatile !

3. Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

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Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Quick and efficient
  • Well made

The Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit with Case is a tool which will allow you to achieve any sanding project you wish from fine finishing to complete stripping and restoration of wood, metal, plastics and even composites. It features 3M PSA hook and loop paper that will work even with fine composites and drum-sanded surfaces.

It has a variable speed control dial that will provide you with a fast 0-1750 RPM at 40,000 RPMS with a less vibration than a standard sander and allow remove any signs of blemishes you might find.

There is even a hook and loop flexible dust collection hose included as well as a spindle lock that will allow you to change paper without having to remove the base.

4. BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander

Our rating: 8 / 10

BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

  • Large, comfortable grip for easy maneuvering
  • Lightweight for easy use and storage
  • Fast dust collection
  • Impressive sanding power
  • Variable speed
  • Good brand name
  • Almost noise-free
  • Doesn’t leave swirl marks
  • Quiet
  • Great for all types of wood

Cons:

  • Less portability
  • Might leave swirl marks if used too quickly

If you want a random orbital sander that provides a consistent finish without leaving swirl marks, then this is the tool for you. It is a very versatile sander that can help you in any aspect of woodworking. It can remove large sections of sanding, so it’s great for demolition projects.

In addition, the sander is easy to grip and it’s lightweight, giving you optimal control and precision on your sanding projects. There’s no vibration when you use this tool, which is great for long sanding sessions.

This tool also comes with a dust bag to catch the dust that’s been removed from your woodworking projects, so all you have to do is empty it when it’s full.

5. Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander

Our rating: 7 / 10

Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander

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Pros:

  • Built in vibration control
  • Speed dials
  • High-end dust collection system
  • Feels comfortable in hand
  • Different sanding pads included
  • Super easy for beginners to use

The Festool RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander/Polisher is a powerful sander with plenty of features that will surely help you in your projects.

It uses both normal and fine grits to smoothen and polish the surface of your wood, metal, or plastic items. This will help you remove the fine scratches on them or any other imperfections you might see.

It features a speed dial that you can easily adjust them to the desired settings. Moreover, it comes with a powerful dust collection system that guides all the dust to a vacuum for easy clean-up.

6. PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

Our rating: 6 / 10

PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander

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We have to admit, didn’t expect to see this model finish in the top 10. However, the versatility of the Porter-Cable 5382 is one of its strong points.

Its 5-inch pad diameter allows you to finish large surfaces with fewer passes, which is nice to minimize the time you spend sanding. The medium speed of 9,500 orbit and 12-amp motor are just the right values for this sander to help you finish the task on hand.

The Porter-Cable 5382 can be connected to a vacuum system to make sure you can easily clear off the dust from the surface you’re working on.

7. Bosch 120-V 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander/Polisher

Our rating: 6 / 10

Bosch 120-V 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander/Polisher

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Pros:

  • Powerful, lightweight motor
  • 3-position orbital polishing system
  • Machine-balanced for precision and a smooth finish
  • Dust-sealed application
  • Indicator light when change is needed
  • Fast removal of stock paint
  • Ergonomic body grip
  • Compatible with Bosch accessories
  • Variable speed control dial

If you are looking for the best 6 inch random orbital sander then the ROS65VC-6PK is a top rated choice.

Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIYer, this trusty sander is a great companion for every workshop.

Specially designed to ensure a majority of the fine swirl marks that you get from a buffing machine are removed without being visible.

8. SKIL 7492-02 2.8 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

Our rating: 6 / 10

SKIL 7492-02 2.8 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to switch between vibration levels
  • Powerful motor
  • Great grip
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Lower vibration levels
  • Cord is inefficient on longer reaches
  • Dust bag is hard to change

The SKIL 7492-02 is a great random orbital sander. It performs well overall in the two major areas of a sander: sanding and finish quality.

The motor in this sander is fairly strong and it’s capable of handling a good variety of different material types. The random orbital action keeps the dust under control, and the cord is quite long.

Not all the features of the 7492-02 are positives, though. The dust bag on this unit is somewhat hard to get to when it’s time to change it out. The connection between the sander and the cord isn’t very strong either, so you’ll want to be careful not to let the cord get hung up on anything.

9. Bosch Power Tools

Our rating: 6 / 10

Bosch Power Tools

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Pros:

  • Dual-mode function
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal vibration
  • 7.5A motor
  • Effective dust extraction
  • 22% extra dust canister
  • Auto-resetting metal disc brake
  • 6-inch disc pad

Auto Detailing, Laboratory, Hobby.

Thorfire Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander with Cloth Dust Bag, 5.8A – Electric Portable Drill Built-in & Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander for Wood, Plastic, and Paint or Multi-purpose Tool for Car, Boat, Sanding In The Cradle, Dirt Cleaning Carpentry, Metal Working

Reilly, James C. (2013-03-14). "5 random orbital sanders face-off!". Retrieved 2016-10-15.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best random orbital sander?

A random orbital sander is a machine whose head is capable of rotating with respect to the surface that it is working on, making it well suited to sanding general surfaces.

When using an orbital sander, it is important to realize that you should never try to sand near a concrete edge like a stair stanchion or along the edge of a partial slab. This type of edging is often not suitable for delicate sanding and could cause injury to you or to anyone around you.

Always buy a machine whose speed can alter with ease and whose available sandpaper can change without a lot of difficulty. These are nice features to have, especially when you may be using a variety of different sandpaper, such as coarse and fine textures.

How do I choose a random orbital sander?

Typically, random orbital sanders are the primary tool in the shop or on the jobsite. For a long time, they were really the only choice that DIYers and professional woodworkers had to quickly remove material from a surface. For people who simply needed to sand a few boards or a piece of furniture, random orbital sanders were incredibly useful.

Generally, the basic design of a random orbital sander consists of a tool that spins around a center point (like the head of a drumstick) and has a pad that spins in a random direction. This direction actually ends up almost being in a circle, which is why it's called a random orbital sander.

Is a random orbital sander better?

A random orbital sander, in which the head of the sander moves in a circular motion (hence the name) instead of on an angle, is a safer all-around sander to use. The random movement prevents gouging and swirling effects, such as on a belt sander.

Additionally, a random orbital sander is much lighter and easier to handle than a serious belt sander.

The question is: what are the best random orbit sanders on the market?

Cheap and relatively slow, random orbital sanders are great for a quick sanding job. However, if you want to truly smooth out the finish on a finished piece of wood, belt sanders are the way to go.

What is the difference between an orbital sander and a random orbital sander?

Since first invention in 1940, the random orbital sander has been steadily keeping pace with technological innovation and quality standards. It was a true classic from the get-go, and has never lost its appeal, proving that it is one of the best-made and most useful tools available in the market.

The random orbital sander is widely used because of its unparalleled performance, and we think you can benefit greatly from its vast potential.

As we know, a good tool can really improve the quality of your work. It can make your job easier, simpler and a lot less tiring. The cost of getting a good orbital sander depends on the number of features included.

Some might say that price is not an issue when it comes to buying a good tool but in this case, you wouldn't want to break your budget just to get a decent sander.

Conclusion

An orbital sander, also known as a random orbital sander, is a must-have in DIY projects. They are incredibly useful in sanding any woodwork or other materials such as metal, paper, plastic, and drywall. Since there are plenty of options out there, you may find it hard to choose the best random orbital sander for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
DEWALT Random Orbit SanderBest OverallDEWALT Random Orbit Sander
BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit SanderBudget PickBLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander
Festool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode SanderUpgrade PickFestool 575074 Rotex RO 150 FEQ Dual-Mode Sander