The Best Random Orbit Sander on the Market: Six Options

Sanding wood has come a long way: when electric and pneumatic sanders came out, it was a big leap in this technology.

Sanding your projects has a lot of benefits to it. It not only gives it a more polished and finished look but also helps shave off those nasty splinters from wood that can injure you or your children.

A random orbit sander is a machine that moves in both directions, or “random” orbits, making sure that there are no swirls on your finished project. It gives you the smoothest and cleanest finish for your projects. To know more about random orbit sander, check out the differences between orbit and random orbit sanders.

Considering the sheer number of options available on the market today, you need to be able to figure out which is the best random orbit sander for you. In this review, we talk about the six best options available today, what their pros and cons are, and which one of them would be the best choice for you based on your preferences.

1. Bosch 5-Inch Pad Rear-Handle Random Orbit Sander

This Random Orbit Sander from Bosch features a vibration control that is exclusive to Bosch systems. It minimizes vibrations and maximizes your comfort while using the machine, also preventing fatigue over long term use.

You have the option to regulate the speed on this machine, and the different OPM can help you sand different types of materials like wood, automotive parts, stone, or glass. It also comes with two dust collection systems, ensuring that your workspace remains clean.

Specifications

  • Sanding surface diameter — 5 inches, circular
  • Item weight — 7 pounds
  • Voltage — 120 volts
  • Power — 3.3 amperes
  • Speed — Variable

Pros

Pros
  • The sander comes with a dust collection back and a microfilter dust canister, giving it a dual dust collection system. This ensures efficient dust collection and a clean workspace.
  • You can regulate the speed on this sander, making it easier for you to conveniently switch between fast stock removal and smooth finishing.
  • The Bosch-exclusive suspension system ensures low vibration and more stability.

Cons

Cons
  • Weighing in at 7 pounds, this sander is quite heavy and might not be the best fit for someone looking for a lightweight or compact sander.
  • The sander might not work as well on wet materials.

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2. Milwaukee Electric Tools M18 Random Orbit Sander

This cordless sander from Milwaukee Electric Tools gives you the option to charge it and use it cordlessly, making it easier for you to work away from a power outlet.

The default grit size on this sander is very fine, making it great for smoothing and finishing projects. The random orbit nature of the sanding surface makes sure that you get a smooth, swirl-free finish.

Sitting at 2.7 pounds, this sander is very light and easy to use due to its compact nature.

Specifications

  • Sanding surface diameter — 5 inches, circular
  • Item weight — 2.7 pounds
  • Sanding speed — 7,000-12,000 OPM
  • Power source — Battery-powered, rechargeable
  • Runtime — 35 minutes

Pros

Pros
  • The cordless nature of the sander ensures that you have the freedom to work away from a power outlet.
  • The sander has a large 5-inch sanding surface and still manages to stay relatively lightweight, preventing fatigue.
  • With a relatively large battery, you can get a solid half-hour or more of sanding time with this tool.

Cons

Cons
  • Since it is a cordless sander, you might need to get an extra battery if you’re planning on working on bigger projects.
  • The handle on this sander is on the smaller side, and it might feel a bit awkward for people with large hands.

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3. Dewalt 20 Volt Max Random Orbit Sander

The Dewalt 20 Volt Random Orbit Sander is a cordless machine with a five-inch circular sanding surface. It has a grit number of 220, which makes it a great option for smoothing out very rough wood. The sanding speed can be easily regulated and ranges from 8,000 OPM to 12,000 OPM.

The sanding surface has an eight-hole hook and loop system, which makes attaching and removing sanding paper extremely convenient. The switch on this machine is sealed in a way that repels dust, giving you long-term and efficient use of the sander.

The motor present in this sander is brushless and provides enough runtime and efficiency to get the job done. As the machine is cordless, it means that it works on a battery.

Specifications

  • Sanding surface diameter — 5 inches, circular
  • Item weight — 4.84 pounds
  • Sanding speed — 8,000-12,000 OPM
  • Power source — Battery-powered, rechargeable
  • Grit — 220

Pros

Pros
  • The grit on this machine is toward the lower side, which means that it is a relatively rough sander. This makes it great for smoothing rough wood surfaces.
  • Variable speed on this sander gives you the option to work on large surfaces for quick jobs, or smaller surfaces with more precise sanding.
  • The cordless nature of this sander ensures that you do not have to be near a power outlet when you’re using it.

Cons

Cons
  • If you have a long-term project that requires hours of runtime, you might need an extra charged battery to keep up with its cordless functioning.
  • If you’re looking for a sander for detailing jobs that require 1000-plus grit, this might not be the best fit for you.

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4. Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Random Orbit Sander

This cordless sander from Makita works on an 18-volt battery and has a runtime of up to 20 minutes on high power and 40 minutes on low power. It has three speed settings: 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000 OPM — which help you do both removing and finishing jobs with high efficiency.

As it has a dual spinning orbital motion, you can be assured that there will be minimal swirls on your finished projects. It is also extremely easy to switch speeds on this sander, as it has a one-touch electronic speed control that switches it to fast, medium, and slow settings.

The switch is sealed for protection from dust, ensuring a long life and durability. It also comes with a dust bag for dust collection and a hook and loop sanding surface.

Specifications

  • Sanding surface diameter — 5 inches, circular
  • Item weight — 2.9 pounds
  • Sanding speed — 7,000-11,000 OPM
  • Power source — Battery-powered, rechargeable
  • Grit — 120

Pros

Pros
  • If you’re looking for a low grit sander that can help you smooth out rough wood with no problem, this is a good option for you.
  • The dust collection on the sander is a good system that helps you keep your workspace clean.
  • Up to 40 minutes of runtime ensures that your projects can be finished with no hassle.

Cons

Cons
  • You might want to have an extra battery or take breaks if you’re using the sander on high power, as it offers only 20 minutes of runtime.
  • The sander has a low 120 grit system, so if you’re working on projects that require more sanding and finishing options than smoothing functions, this might not be the best fit for you.

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5. Ingersoll-Rand 4151 6-inch Pneumatic Sander

As a free speed option with a maximum speed of 12,000 OPM, this orbital sander works with an air compressor. With a six-inch circular sanding area, you can work on a large surface quickly.

It is made in a way that reduces vibrations and even has interchangeable grip rings available to make the handle size convenient for your specific hand size. The vacuum sanding pad has 0.5-inch holes in it for efficient operation, taking in all the dust and keeping your workspace clean. The random orbital direction helps give your surface a polished look, free of swirls.

Specifications

  • Item weight — 1.92 pounds
  • Sanding surface size — Circular, 6 inches
  • Power source — Air compressor
  • Speed — 12,000 OPM

Pros

Pros
  • The large size of the sanding surface makes it easy to quickly finish large projects, and the high OPM gives you an efficient experience.
  • Keep a clean workspace all the time and prevent clogging with the vacuum system on this sander, which sucks away all the dust.
  • The option for interchangeable grip sizes is an excellent choice for people with large or small hands.

Cons

Cons
  • As with most air compressor based sanders, you will need a decent-sized compressor to obtain maximum efficiency from the tool.
  • There is no option for speed regulation, so if you’re looking for something that can be fine-tined, this might not be the best option for you.

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6. Makita 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

If you’re looking for something more than just a loose sander and want something that comes with an entire kit, this sanding kit by Makita can be a great option for you. With a battery-powered, cordless design, this sander ensures that your work is convenient and does not require you to be plugged into an outlet at all times.

With a 120 grit surface, the sander works uses 180 volts and has three-speed settings of 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000 for fast operation. You can use this sander for up to 65 minutes on the low-speed setting, and up to 32 minutes on the high-speed setting.

The sander also comes with a dust bag for dust collection, and the battery, charger, sanding discs, and a zipper bag for storage are included as well.

Specifications

  • Item weight — 0.16 ounces
  • Sanding surface size — Circular, 5 inches
  • Power source — Battery powered, cordless
  • Speed — 7,1000-11,000 OPM
  • Grit — 120

Pros

Pros
  • With a zipper bag, an abrasive sanding disc, a sander, a dust bag for collection, batteries, and charger, this sander is the complete package and can be used immediately.
  • Among battery powered sanders, a runtime of 65 minutes is a great performance window and you can get medium level projects completed without much or any hassle.
  • Switching between fast, medium, and low settings is extremely easy with a one-touch electronic switch.

Cons

Cons
  • If you need a sander that works for hours on end without a break, this might not be the best option for you.
  • Battery-powered models are not quite as powerful as corded sander models.

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Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know the specifications, pros, and cons of each sander on the list, we will talk about the benefits of each machine according to your preference so that you can pick out the best random orbit sander for you.

  1. Stability — If you’re looking for something that reduces fatigue by cutting down on vibration, you should check out the Bosch Rear-Handle Random Orbit Sander.
  2. The Complete Package — If you want a package that includes everything you need in one place, you could go for the Makita Random Orbit Sander Kit.
  3.  Power with a Compressor — If you have access to a decent air compressor and it is power and a large sanding surface that you’re looking for, you should check out the Ingersoll-Rand Pneumatic Air Sander.
  4. Runtime — If you want something that provides a good output while also giving you up to 40 minutes of runtime, you should check out the Makita 18V Random Orbit Sander.
  5. Efficiency — If you’re looking for a sander that churns out high OPM, you should check out the Dewalt Random Orbit Sander or the Milwaukee Tools Random Orbit Sander, which both offer a maximum speed of 12,000 OPM.

Wrap Up

Random Orbit sanders are boons to the woodworking industry, and nothing will give you a smoother finish and more polished look than finishing your projects with these machines.

If you’re interested in the topic of woodworking, stone working, automotive work, or other projects that require sanding, please feel free to check out our other reviews as well! We hope you find success in the projects you undertake!

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