Another type of sander we’d like to discuss is the orbital model. And just like we mentioned on our best random orbital sander review, it, too, has a circular base and compact design. Woodworkers who often need detailing or finishing works done – and promptly – should find this tool very advantageous.
Recently, we did a run-through of the best orbital sanders currently on the market, and we realized one thing: There are so many different models to choose from! Moreover, each one has its own set of best features, applications, and price points, which only complicates the decision for consumers like you. As such, we’ve decided to summarize all the information we collected into this easy-to-read article. Aside from sharing what an orbital sander is for, we’ll also be highlighting the top contender worthy of this distinction.
So for those currently in search of the best option, we strongly advise you to continue reading. Doing so will definitely be worth your while.
Orbital Sander Comparison Table
- A SheetLoc Paper Clamping System keeps sanding pads firmly in place, even on rough work sessions
- Constructed with a larger body – approximately 9-inches wide – so that it covers more space in a shorter period of time
- Its 2.4-AMP motor is strong enough not only for sanding, but also polishing rough wood
- An increase in height affords better control, which leads to less errors as you work
- Equipped with perfectly-gripped handles that are well-suited for hands of different sizes; it also offers better control
- The flat base and 2.5-lb weight is quite easy to carry around and puts minimal stress on your body
- Ergonomically designed to significantly reduce vibrations; those that require precise actions will appreciate this a lot
- Almost all openings, including the power switch, are dust-sealed to prevent any harmful particles from entering
- The triple-layer filtration accumulates dust of all sizes, ridding your air – and work area – of any harmful contaminants
- Includes 2 years of warranty so both your tool and investment are both protected against damage
- Built with a precision-machined aluminum base so that the texture produced is extremely smooth
- Its dust collection system runs efficiently to capture residue as small as 0.5 microns in size and simplifies waste disposal
Orbital Sander Reviews
Hearing the brand name Bosch is almost synonymous with high-performing and extremely user-friendly products. Their innovation, the OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander, is no different. This unit is quite large at approximately 9-inches, making it perfect for use on large surfaces because of its ability to cut – and your effort – virtually in half.
This orbital sander comes with Bosch’s patented SheetLoc Paper Clamping System, a method to load and unload sandpaper on your device. It uses a front and rear level system that allows you to remove and insert these accessories without any difficulty. Just anchor the sheet and pull so that it locks into place. However, users who prefer a Velcro or sticker-type pad need not worry since the Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander likewise supports this design.
Another notable feature would be its exclusive suspension system. Since sanding is typically an intense responsibility, it isn’t uncommon for shaking to occur. But this action can also be a detriment to what you are trying to do. Thus, the Bosch OS50VC introduces this feature to maintain stability at all times. As a result, unwanted vibrations are almost non-existent, offering you better handling, control, and comfort while you work. With this feature in tow, you can expect to do more with less – a definite plus on any woodworker’s checklist.
Needless to say, this option certainly has the potential to be the best orbital sander possibly ever. Just be mindful, though, because owning it won’t come easy. Reaching $300 might be too steep for beginners, but if you’re serious about mastering this craft, then it should be an investment worth considering.
Dewalt is another brand to consider for reliable power tools, thanks to their exemplary track record and several years of experience. In fact, this is one company you can be sure to count on in continuously providing consumers with exactly what they need. They’ve made it a point to improvise depending on feedback from their consumers.
One perfectly good example is the DEWALT DWE6411 Sheet Orbital Finish Sander, a follow-on to the D26411 Sander. Even just from a visual standpoint, you can easily see a big difference. Aside from an increase in height for better control, the machine better engineered to combat tremors and other unnecessary movements. This reduction has lead to better performance and fewer errors from its users.
Even with all these adjustments, we love how this tool still maintains sufficient power. It doesn’t lose a beat and is even equipped with a 2.4-AMP motor that rotates up to 14,000-OPM. This allows it to do more than just sanding, but also trim and polish thicker pieces of wood.
The DEWALT DWE6411 Sheet Orbital Finish Sander likewise comes with an improved paper clamping system so that the pad won’t dislodge easily. Furthermore, it should allow the sandpaper to move better when making contact with the workpiece, thus improving the type of texture you create. Both the long-time hobbyist or new enthusiast will be very pleased with what it offers.
Visually, this sanding device won’t really exude an air of competence or reliability. After all, it looks more like a manual wood planer than a power tool. But a closer look at the 3M Elite Series 28527 Orbital Sander shows that it offers so much more than what its appearance suggests.
Its vacuum-like appearance, although laughable at first, actually plays a very vital role. The flat base works efficiently at maneuvering through tight areas, specifically the corners and edges of the plywood, and even leveled surfaces. This ability perfectly matches the 0.28-horsepower motor. On paper, this may not seem at all effective; but trust us, it does an incredible job of producing a smooth texture on most workpieces.
Another feature worth mentioning about the Elite Series 28527 Orbital Sander is its ergonomically-built rubberized handles, which uses 3M’s patented Gripping Materials. Not does this significantly reduce tension on your body, but also deflects pulsations coming from the machine, giving you better control and comfort. Therefore, you can work longer hours without encountering any lingering feelings.
All these different elements serve as a stern reminder never to judge a book by its cover. The 3M Elite Series 28527 Orbital Sander may not exactly be appealing to the eyes, but it is certainly one of the best orbital sanders one could ever own. We recommend taking a deeper look if you want some that will take your skills to a new level. Just be ready to pay the price, both monetarily and patience.
The PORTER-CABLE 380 Orbital Finish Sander is among the least expensive orbital sanders currently on the market. But its budget-friendly price is only the bait. What really makes users stay – and remain loyal for several years – is its practical set of features, which leads to improved all-around performance.
One significant enhancement we noticed is its reduced weight. This unit definitely looks a lot leaner and better engineered to eliminate all types of shaking. As a result, your hands barely feel they’re holding onto something. Moreover, this absence of vibrations allows you to work all day long with little to no discomfort at all. Woodworking will be more enjoyable, especially when handling this device, because of its ergonomic design. Plus, it’s also compact enough to let you sand corners smoothly.
In terms of durability, we highly appreciate that the PORTER-CABLE 380 Orbital Finish Sander comes with a dust-sealed switch too, completely keeping out any potentially harmful particles. This means you won’t need to worry about dust collecting inside the unit; which, in the long run, is best for your sander.
Potential buyers must note, though, that it is built only with a 2-AMP motor, which may be seen as less impressive when compared with other models. However, what might initially be thought of as a con is actually an advantage, because its sanding strength is perfect for work on delicate surfaces.
Thanks to its comfort and functionality, the PORTER-CABLE 380 Orbital Finish Sander has shot up our review article and is in prime consideration for the title of the best orbital sander. Take a closer look if you value these properties as well.
Where do you potentially go when you want a combination of high quality and affordability in an orbital sander? Black & Decker, of course! And with their Black & Decker BDEQS300 Orbital Sander, you get a premium product for a fraction of the cost – definitely an excellent value for money deal!
Also, don’t its diminutive size fool you. It may be small, but will surely get the job done, especially for small sanding operations. Found inside is a 2-AMP motor that delivers speeds of up to 1,600-OPM. Again, these may not be the eye-popping numbers you are seeking, but the Black & Decker BDEQS300 Orbital Sander offers a perfect balance of control and power. Just avoid construction sites or large-scale projects because it isn’t built for harsh conditions like that.
Lastly, this unit utilizes triple-layer filtration, which increases the efficiency and effectivity of dust collection. Once dirt enters the canister, it is immediately strained, so even the tiniest microorganisms are caught. This ensures that not only your table is clean, but also the air you breathe around it.
Users looking to save a few dollars should definitely consider the Black & Decker BDEQS300 Orbital Sander as a starter option. It won’t cost you much and even includes a pretty robust 2-year warranty package, ensuring that your investment is protected further.
Another orbital sander from Bosch, the GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander, offers a similar set of features to the previous model we discussed, but to a slightly lesser degree. This unit is well-built and includes a precision-machined aluminum sanding plate, perfect for creating even textures.
An improved paper clam system is really reliable too. Aside from simplifying the loading and unloading of sanding pads, it is also compatible with a wide variety of different sheets, which includes even stick-on paper. Best of all, each one remains intact, even when the sanding gets intense. We absolutely love how this simple innovation opens up several doors in terms of applications. This should be a big help to all types of users, especially for users who do different woodworking tasks.
Another notable feature of this unit is the efficiency of its dust collection system. It optimizes this process directly from the pad, and works against both coarse and fine specks. The micro-filter on the Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander can capture particles as small as 0.5-microns in size. Moreover, it allows you to flush out dust from the front, left and right of the base. And once the container is full, just twist and throw the contents into the garbage for easy disposal.
The Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander delivers so many other wonderful advantages than what we’ve discussed, but we’ll let you experience them for yourself. Nevertheless, it won’t matter whether you’re a DIY enthusiasts or seasoned expert, we would still recommend this tool as it is one of the best orbital sanders probably ever.
Things to Consider When Buying an Orbital Sander
Now that we have our choices in place, let’s discuss what other issues deserve our consideration. After all, we don’t want to miss out on anything and later regret it, right? Thus, these are the five most important things to ponder on before buying an orbital sander.
The price difference between the entry-level and mid-tier models are quite substantial – approximately $200 – which makes the cost of an item truly important. So to nullify the chances of going over-budget, we advise you to set a spending limit first. Then consider only options that meet this requirement.
At the same time, reflect also what you are planning to do this tool. Is it something to use for fun? Or will you incorporate it into your source of livelihood? What about the frequency of use? All these play a vital part and should directly be proportional to the amount of money you shell out.
2. Dust Collection
Just like other sanders, cleaning up has become a common issue. That’s because when the pad comes into contact with a workpiece, dirt and other residue are commonly produced. And as you may already know, they get into anywhere! Therefore, make sure the model you select has a reliable dust collection system to make your life more bearable.
Our recommendable is to go for a vacuum, rather than a dust port. This way, the residue is simply sucked into a vessel, where the extraction begins. Once they are trapped in the filters, the disposal of waste becomes so much simpler. Just pour them into a garbage bin, and they are gone from your life forever.
Don’t ever think that a good handle should go unnoticed. Since this is perhaps the most frequent part of the machine that comes into contact with your body, it plays a crucial role in your comfort and maneuverability. Thus, we recommend buying an orbital sander with rubberized grips. Just make sure, though, that they are the right amount of softness. Furthermore, the placement must be in a space where you are comfortable. This can either be on top or near the sides for optimal effectivity.
4. Size and Type of the Sanding Pad
To effectively smoothen out workpieces, even the best orbital sander needs a quality set of sandpaper. Most brands sell their own line while some prefer to use generic products. We can’t tell you which one is better – and that decision is totally up to you. Just safeguard your own interests by choosing something thick and easy to attach, but not too loose that it falls apart easily. You’ll need to find something that balances both quality and user-friendliness.
Moreover, selecting something that’s ¼-inches in diameter is pretty safe. It fits on most models and you won’t trouble finding a replacement. Best of all, they do well both in tight spots and flat surfaces.
This is probably the least important point, though we’d like to share it anyway. Accessories like carrying cases, extension cords, or extra sandpaper sheets are there to make your life easier. So when presented with these add-ons, consider them a bonus, but not as a deal-breaker. These will only come in handy when you’re presented with two almost identical models, and you need something to break the tie. More often than not, the brand with more accessories will come out victorious.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, we’d like to shed a little more light on the best orbital sanders by answer those questions that keep you up at night. We’re joking, of course, but we hope this clarifies some things, nevertheless.
1. When do you use an orbital sander versus a random orbital model?
The main difference between these two sub-types is the way each one moves. Random orbital sanders vibrate to create random patterns in plywood. We would advise you to use them when on the detailing stages of woodworking. Their ability to remove swirl marks is certainly a big boost.
On the other hand, regular orbital sanders produce more power, so they aren’t just limited to finishing works. Instead, these power tools help polish lumber, level our rough edges, and clean up corners. Therefore, these tools can be utilized when prepping products for painting or pre-cutting, as well as maintenance of materials.
2. Are orbital sanders really good for tight spaces?
Yes, their flat base and compact size allow them to work well in crowded spaces. So when working on products with lots of edges or crevices, this is an ideal tool to use. Many models today also have extendable cords to offer supreme flexibility.
3. What price and warranty range is good to target?
As we mentioned earlier, these considerations are very subjective. Before deciding it, you’ll need to closely look at your own situation. However, for the sake of information and with everything else held constant, here are our recommendations.
Entry-level models should only cost about $60 with a ceiling of $80. Usually, its warranty covers only 2-years tops and includes replacement of defective parts and free service or cost estimate. Conversely, mid-tier sanders would fetch around $200 and come with at least a 2-year warranty package. Most importantly, it must come with a money-back guarantee, so when something comes up, you’ll have the option of simply returning it.
Choosing the perfect power tool is never an easy thing to do. I know that even after reading our review article, there’s a chance you may not have a conclusive decision yet – and that’s ok. At the very least, we hope we offered enough information to help make this verdict slightly more tolerable.
But let us offer some unsolicited advice. Based on our research and analysis, we would like to formally recommend the Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander as our choice for the best orbital sander currently available to consumers. Its size and strength, in our humblest opinion, will meet the requirements of most woodworkers out there. Plus, its effectivity in terms of dust collection and ergonomics will help greatly in maintaining a comfortable work environment.