Different Types Of Sanders

Last Updated on July 25, 2021

Different types of sanders are used for crafts. If you are not generally acquainted with the different types of sanders, it may be difficult to choose which one is best for your woodwork.

Your knowledge of the various types of sanders, helps you know which of the sanders is best for the particular purpose at hand.

The Different Types of Sanders

Sanders comes in different types, but there are 4 major types of it every woodworker should get conversant with. These 4 major types of Sanders include:

Belt Sander 

Makita 9403 Belt Sander

The best belt sander is a standard tool that will get the work done very fast, and it can also be used to get rid of excessive wood, especially from surfaces that are not smooth. A belt sander is a necessary tool that you should possess because there are instances in woodworking, where the tool would do a more excellent work than other tools.

Things to Note:

  • 2 to 3 pulleys are used to run a sandpaper belt. Sizes of the belt differ, but most of them have a sanding surface area of about 6 inches long by 3-4 inches wide.
  • Sand belts peel off large amounts of wood quickly. This is because of the big contact area and the rate at which the belt is moving.
  • The tool should only be operated where the belt’s movement corresponds with the patch of wood. If this is not done, the wood may be left with scratches or deep drills.
  • Newer models of the sander belt often come with dust extracting ports because the tool may produce much dust because of the large amount of wood that is being stripped off.

Random Orbital Sander

DEWALT D26453K Random Orbit Sander Kit

This is one of the best tools that you can find in a woodworking shop is the best random orbital sander. It can be used on nearly every work-piece. This sanding tool is inexpensive and is considered somewhat safe to use. They also work well on wood projects finishing. If you plan on being creative with any piece or you are just building furniture, a random orbital sander is the best option that you should choose.

Essential points about the tool:

  • Random orbital sander uses an eccentric orbital motion to operate. It doesn’t move in a circular motion but instead orbits around a center position but not in a spherical way. This works to get rid of scratches from the surface of the work.
  • The tool allows for dust removal as it comes with surface holes. To improve the sander’s productiveness, you can attach a vacuum that can help remove the dust in the air.
  • Changing of the machine’s pads is quite easy as the sandpaper is attached to the machine through a Velcro hook and loop system.
  • With the random orbital sander, you don’t have to worry about the direction of the wood grain.
  • One disappointing thing about the sander is that its round nature makes it very difficult to use it on corners.

Sheet Sander

Bosch OS50VC

The sheet sander could be referred to as a close acquaintance of the random orbital sander because they work similarly, but unique in certain aspects. It does not need Velcro system to attach its sanding pads; ¼ or ½ of a standard sheet of sandpaper are used. This sheet is clipped in the right place to the bottom of the sheet sander.

Other things to note:

  • It can get into corners easily because of its square design.
  • It can possess either a circular motion or a linear motion or even both (there’s a switch toggle between each mode). However, the moving of the sander back and forth needs to be done per the wood grain.
  • The circular movement of the sheet sander is a usually around a motion that may leave patches on wood but works quickly and is very useful.
  • The sheet sanders are usually handy and can be used for almost all woodworks.

Detail Sander

BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600 Mouse Detail Sander

With the aid of small triangular pads, this sander is designed to fit small and tight spaces. It can be used for different furniture works. For example, you may need to smoothen a tight corner of your woodwork; this can be done the help of the best detail sander.

Things to note:

  • The sander has triangular sanding pads that are commonly attached to the tool with an adhesive
  • Its sanding motion is of the random orbital style, and the direction of the wood grain is not an issue when using the sander.
  • You can use small sanding pads if you want detailed work in small or tight spaces.

Other Considerations 

When planning on getting any of these sanders, you need to put some things into consideration. Consider if it will fit in with your shop or if it is the best for your craft.

  • Dust Collection Ability

Sanders that have good collection ports are the best to buy for your woodshop. There are two reasons why you should consider this:

First, your shop and work surface does not have to take much dust. The second reason is that the efficacy and work productivity will be increased.

  • Compatibility

You need to get a sander that matches with the rest of your tools. You need to know if you need a 120lv or a cordless tool. In most cases, you should get tools that have the same brands like the one you already have because some brand has matching accessories.

Which One to Get

You may not need any of the types of sanders that have been discussed above. However, in starting, the random orbital sander is recommended because it can be used in various ways but if you already have a sander in mind that best fits your project, go for it!


There are different varieties of handheld sanders however only a few of them can be applied in all instances, while the uses of some are specific.

You should consider the merit and demerit of each sander and what you want to work on before going for any sander. This will guide you in getting the best sanders for your project.

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