Potent, versatile and compact, random orbital sanders are the jack of all trades of the sanding world. They can take on any task with ease and deliver great results all while being affordable and easy to use, making them an essential tool for both experts and DIY enthusiasts. Today we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 reasons why they dominate the competition and deserve to have a place in your tool cabinet!
- Excellent bang for the buck
When it comes to sheer value for the price, random orbital sanders stand at the top. Not only are the tools themselves generally inexpensive but their replacement pads are as well which combined with their durability and excellent performance makes them power houses of value. While a professional most likely has an arsenal of RO sanders, one will be enough for the occasional user or DIY’er so if you’re getting into woodworking and can only afford to get one tool, get one of these.
- Unmatched versatility
The most popular trait of random orbital sanders is their extreme versatility. No matter the task – big, small, easy or tough – these powerful beasts can successfully take care of them with ease. Nearly all have a variable speed function that lets you adapt the speed to the roughness of the surface. For rough stock removal you use a lower speed and to achieve a smooth, highly polished finish you simply turn the machine’s speed up and let it rip. Their circular sanding pad is also perfectly viable in any situation as it adapts to any surface’s shape. From simple plain surfaces to stairs, cabinets, decks and even car bodies, the ROS will reach every nook and cranny, adding to its already incredible versatility.
- Foolproof results
Another beloved quality of these machines is, as their name implies, the famous random orbital motion. While running, the sanding pad not only moves back and forth extremely fast but also rotates in orbits, in random fashion, ensuring that no matter the way you use it you’ll always get a beautiful scratch-free finish. This is helpful both for experts, as they can relax and finish pieces much faster, and for beginners as well since it means that even with their lack of expertise and practice, they’ll get a high-quality finish on whatever their work on. It’s also a trait that goes hand in hand with their versatility as even while using them on awkward angles or in hard to reach places, the motion will always ensure a good result.
- Compact Powerhouses
While some are smaller and others are bigger, random orbital sanders are always quite compact – as handheld machines should be – but don’t let their size fool you, they pack a mighty punch. Be it electrical or pneumatic (air-powered), they can easily reach more than 12,000 RPM and have highly powerful motors that operate on more than 6 AMP (the electric ones, of course). By now you can notice the synergy between this machine’s qualities, every one of them complements the other and brings the whole package together nicely.
- A lifetime of service
From the construction quality to the design, these machines are made to last. With motors and rotors that endure constant heavy use, exteriors that survive endless wear and tear plus rugged, sturdily built bodies, they’ll forever be your trusty woodworking sidearm. Now granted, not all of them have this amount the quality – only the best RO sanders. To ensure your happiness make sure to only buy tried and tested machines from reputable brands. I’ll expand more upon this on the bonus section below.
Bonus: Best Brands
To ensure you get a quality product, nothing’s more important than getting it from a trustworthy, high quality brand. They should have top notch customer service, fair prices, free warranties and a long track record of successful machines. Having this in mind, the best brands you can get a random orbital sander from are: Black+Decker, Porter Cable, Makita, DeWalt, Festool and my favorite, Bosch. No matter the model, you can’t go wrong with these. Throughout all my years as a woodworking professional, out of the countless machines I’ve had, the ones from these brands – be it sanders, saws, routers and everything in between – have never disappointed and I have most of them still with me even after countless years of heavy use.
And there you have it, the top 5 reasons why you need to get one of these beauties right now. From professional work to the occasional sanding task you’ve got waiting to be done at home, no other sander will do a better job than a random orbital.
My name’s James Draper, the editor of SanderScore.com, and it’s been a pleasure to help you!