Some of the first rules when woodworking is sand in the direction of the woodgrain. Doing this avoids creating cross-grain marks that ruin the finish of your piece. However, when woodgrain patterns change, such as on parquet flooring and the grain runs in all directions, it’s challenging to sand without causing a handful of flaws.
In such situations, the best and fastest way to tackle these kinds of jobs is to use random orbital sanders, where they feature sanding pads which spin and orbit (two separate directions) in an ellipse pattern. That magical blend of gyration and oscillation dramatically lessens the chance of sanding marks.
Here are the top five reviews of the best random orbital sanders you can find for all budgets and skill levels. You can find the key features of these power tools. You will also see how to find the best of the bunch with our buying guide. (Read Best Belt Sanders Guide)
Why You Need a Random Orbital Sander
When you are deciding why you need a random orbital sander, these following reasons can make the decision much clearer.
Versatility: A popular trait of your random orbital sander is versatility. Regardless of job size, be it large, small.
These powerful tools can take care of any job with ease. Most come with variable speed for different surfaces. Circular sanding pads are viable in many situations as they adapt to any surface shape.
Great Results: With the sanding pad moving in all directions, you can achieve fantastic results no matter your skill level.
The random actions make these handheld sanders suitable for experts and novices. To get a high-quality finish, no matter what you’re working on. They can also deliver results at any angle.
Top Random Orbital Sanders Reviews
1. BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch
The Black+Decker BDERO100 is a great entry-level machine and ideal for homeowners with small sanding jobs or anyone trying out basic DIY work. The Black+Decker sander is easy to handle thanks to its low weight. It is shipped at 3.16 lbs., making it one of the lightest tools you can find. It fits well in hand and glides smoothly over most surfaces.
Although Black and Decker’s orbital sander has a powerful 12,000 OPM spin speed, it has struggled to handle larger jobs during testing. For small jobs, the random orbital motion of the grinder delivers excellent results and surface finishes. This random movement prevents any gauges and marks from being placed on the surface whilst sanding.
The Black and Decker orbital sander uses a hook and eye system to attach the sanding pads, making them easy to attach and remove.
- Good performance
- Very silent in use
- Lightweight and ergonomic
- Easy change sandpaper
- Doesn’t offer variable speed
- Only comes with a small dust collector
The Black and Decker orbital sander model BDERO100 has a guide price of just over $55 and includes a small but efficient dust collector. With the purchase of this sander, you receive 1 sanding sheet and two years manufacturer’s warranty.
2. Makita BO5030K 5” Random Orbit Sander, with Tool Case
Makita’s 5-inch random orbit sander, model BO5030K, delivers fast, smooth performance with improved grip, is ideal for woodworkers and carpenters who want an exceptional finish. The BO5030K features a pad control system that allows a controlled pad speed when starting the tool. It also features a powerful 3 AMP motor for extended operation.
You get full 1/8-inch random orbital motion in conjunction with a 12,000 OPM. To ensure this, there is a precision-machined ball bearing design to ensure longer tool life. The Makita orbital sanders have an ergonomic, rubberized handle that sits comfortably in hand. It also enables even pressure and control.
The BO5030K also has a quick-replaceable five-inch abrasive disc with Velcro fastener.
- High-Performance Bearings
- A high dust collection system
- One-handed operation
- Dust sealed switches
- Toggle switch hard to reach
- None conventional hose size
With a suggested retail price of approximately $70, it climbs the scale but comes with a dust bag and toolbox. The sealed switches minimize dust contamination, which also increases the lifetime.
An efficient dust collection system contributes to a cleaner workshop. It also has a wide opening on the bag to facilitate emptying.
3. Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander
The M18 5-inch random orbital sander delivers lots of power with variable 7,000-12,000 speeds. This offers more control to suit the application. The powerful motor allows you to remove more material per charge. However, the M18 random orbit sander battery only delivers up to 35 minutes of run-time per charge.
You have plenty of control over the performance of the tool for many applications, from heavy-duty wood removal to sanding with fine detail.
- Variable speeds
- Large orbital diameter
- Dust canister with filter
- Universal hose connector
- Short run time from a full charge
- Dust canister leaks
The sander has a suggested retail price of just over $100, so you get a premium grinder. It features a durable dust container with an integrated filter for efficient dust filtration. Besides, it has a universal hose adapter that allows connection to the most common suction hose sizes.
4. Makita BO5041 3-Amp 4000-12000 OPM D-Handle Random Orbit Sander
Makita is a 5 in. variable-speed random orbit sander that combines speed and power with improved grip and control. This is mainly due to the adjustable front handle. The sander is perfect for woodworkers, carpenters, or contractors. The BO5041 is supplied with Makita’s 3-A motor and an oversized sealed ball bearing construction.
The variable speeds are controlled by a dial and range from 4,000 – 12,000 OPM, so you can adjust the sanding speed to suit the task and the material. It provides a reasonable 1/8 inch random orbit, and you will find a swirl-free surface.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Low vibration
- Low heat generation
- Off-size hose fitting
- No single-hand use
With a suggested retail price of approximately $90, you get value for your money, a high-performance dust extraction system, and a suction port adapter. As with other orbit sanders in this range, you will get a controlled cushion speed when you start. The BO5041 sander uses a quick-change 5-inch Velcro sanding disc system with efficient dust extraction through the sanding pad.
5. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Random Orbital Sander
The Porter-Cable orbital sander is a no-frills single-speed sander that is ideal for small jobs. It offers a detachable dust bag for clean operation, which is angled conveniently out of the way. It is possible to use one hand, although there is more than enough power from the 20V lithium-ion battery.
- High capacity lithium-ion battery
- A detachable dust collection bag
- Low vibration
- Can be used as a benchtop sander (with clamp use)
- Wrist strain when using vacuum
- No variable speed
With a guide price of just under $60, you are in the middle of the market, yet you do get orbit sanders from one of the biggest names in the industry. You also get the satisfaction of as 3-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee.
Random Orbital Sanders Buying Guide
When buying an orbital sander, there are a few things to think of, as these are unlike any other sanders, yet still one of the best beginning woodworking tools rather than jumping right to a Bosch random orbital sander.
Here are things to look out for when checking the best random orbital sanders.
Type of Grip
Most orbital sanders are easy to hold in one hand in comparison to other types of sanders. The palm grip rests in your hand so you can guide the sander across the face of the wood.
Pistol grip sanders offer larger sizes, and most often, they come powered by compressed air (pneumatic).
Sanders that offer to lock of the trigger can ease fatigue as you are working. It is much easier to control the sander without focusing on pulling the trigger for the sander to run.
Many small orbit sanders can be used with clamps. What this allows you to do is present the material to the sander. You can easily fasten these clamps to your best portable workbench when working around the home.
You will get lots of dust coming off your sander, so to make work more comfortable, you need a good dust collection from the sander. Some allow you to connect vacuum hoses to the sander, although certain brands have an off size which means you need to use their fittings.
Depending on the types of work you are doing, it can be handy to have a variable speed orbit sander. What this does is allow you to change the revolutions per minute, although this isn’t available on all models or orbiting sander. (Find the Best Porter Cable Random Orbit Sanders)
In testing, it was clear which sander was pulling out in front from a price per performance point of view. The BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch, offers lots of power thanks to it being a corded option. While this could restrict where you use the sander, all the other features compensate for the lack of portability. It was a treat to use this powerful sander while doing this random orbital sander review.
With a 2-year manufacturer warranty, this could be the best random orbital sanders you can find to meet most tasks you can do around the home. (Read Best Nail Gun)