DEWALT sanders have the power to make finishing wood into a fast and easy job. These DEWALT power tools come in two main models, each with their advantages.
Sheet sanders are squared finishing sanders that are outstanding for working with interior corners. They are easy to control and produce very few vibrations, which helps to reduce overall work strain. These DEWALT sanders don’t remove as much material as more powerful models but are very suitable for fine surfaces, especially those layered down with DEWALT planers.
Disc sanders, also known as random orbit sanders, are balanced tools that provide the power to remove layers of wood or other material quickly. Unlike sheet sanders, these models have stick-on designs that let you simply press on your sanding material and go. Dust-Sealed Switches protect both types of sander from particulates that can jam up the inner workings, and thus allow you to use them longer. Their grips make them not only comfortable to use but easy to control for better results.
Make sure to stock up on DEWALT accessories, including extra backing pads. You want sanding discs or sheets of various grits and material. Go for a combination of coarse, medium and fine to start with (60-, 120- and 150-grit are standard), and also consider ultra-fine or mirror sheets if you’re doing light work with metal. DEWALT sanders have superb dust collection bags to keep particulates out of the air, but it’s always best practice to grab a respirator and safety glasses for added protection.
How Does Dewalt Cordless Sander Perform?
Whenever we talk about battery-powered tools, it invariably leads to a discussion on runtime. Nobody is going to switch to a cordless tool if you only get a few minutes of runtime. DeWalt knows this and a major perk of the brushless motor is improved runtime. With a 5Ah battery, DeWalt boasts almost an hour of runtime. A lot of my projects, like building drawer-fronts, don’t require an hours worth of sanding so I opt for a smaller, 2Ah battery. This keeps the sander more balanced and easier to maneuver one-handed.
Something I immediately noticed and really like with this sander is the instant off. As soon as you flip the switch, the sander stops. There’s no waiting for it to wind down and stop spinning. I’ve been using a corded, Milwaukee sander for some time and either I have to wait until it stops spinning or I have to stop it myself (usually with my hand). The instant off is a small perk but one I really like.
The dust bag can be swapped out for use with either DeWalt DWV010 or DWV012 dust collectors. Like a lot of you, I’d rather just use my shop vac and that requires an adapter (not included). The dust bag attaches easily and collects about as well as any other.
The power switch is protected by a rubber boot to keep out dust. This is a must-have for any sander these days. Otherwise, you’ll find the switch fails before too long. In fact, this sander features a dual sealed switch for longer switch life. Right next to the power is a variable speed dial ranging from 8,000 – 12,000 OPM for a variety of projects.
Types of Sanders
Understanding the types of sanders available will help you determine which ones will best suit your project needs. Among the most popular varieties are:
- Manual Hand Sanders: Every tool collection should include a few manual hand sanders. Not only are they incredibly inexpensive, but there are always certain times that call for a quick sanding with manual hand sanders, such as when you want to quickly smooth out dried putty.
- Random-Orbit Sander: This is perhaps one of the most versatile sanders in this entire collection. Disc and orbital sanders provide a super-fine finish to the surface and feature a built-in ventilation system that helps prevent dust from scattering all over the room. This is one of the best sanders for wood building, featuring a circular pad that spins as it sands.
- Sheet Sander: Sheet sanders smooth a large surface easily and can do so in either a straight or a circular motion, depending upon the sander.
- Palm Grip Sander: When you’re just starting to build out your tool collection, a palm grip sander is a great first choice. It features a compact design with a handle that literally fits in the palm of your hand. This easy-to-use tool is ideal for distressing furniture, sanding off an existing finish, or smoothing out rough wood surfaces to prepare them for finishing. Their affordable price and compact design make them ideal for home use but they aren’t really cut out for commercial use.
- Belt Sander: When you need an even finish on a long expanse of wood, a belt sander is the tool for the job. This heavy-duty tool is a carpentry must-have and makes the best sanders for decks. Belt sanders are typically designed for use with a ventilation system and sand along with the wood grain. This industrial-grade tool is more of an investment and makes a better choice for an avid builder.
- Corner Cat Sander: This is one of the best sanders for furniture, because not only can you use the pad of the corner cat sander to sand a flat expanse, but it also offers a tapered corner that reaches in tight spaces. If you’re refinishing furniture on a somewhat regular basis, it makes a great investment.
- Detail Sander: When you want to finish furniture, a detail sander is a great tool. The small triangular design of this sander makes it ideal for getting into tight spaces.
- Spindle Sanders: When you are frequently refinishing chairs or railings, a spindle sander can be a very handy tool. Their unique design makes easy work of fine sanding in tight areas, such as with spindles on a fence or staircase.
The operation of a sander is the first thing to take into consideration. This is something you can balance with the surface area you are working with and the medium. Are you doing bodywork on your car? Fabricating? Building a shelf?
In most cases, you’ll need two sanders, either a random orbital or palm sander for the majority of the project, and a detail sander for tight spots.
CORDED OR CORDLESS
You can choose to buy either a corded or cordless electric sander. Corded electric sanders will never run out of power. They do have to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to operate, but you never have to worry about recharging batteries or running out of power in the middle of a task.
However, you are limited in terms of how far away from an outlet you can work. A cordless electric sander offers more freedom and flexibility, as you can literally work anywhere. But these tools do have limited power sources, which means you always need to carry your charger.
When it comes to weight and maneuverability, the two tool styles are about the same. A corded model may increase drag because you’re tied to an outlet. But it’s up to you to decide which feature you like best.
Different electric sanders offer different amounts of power. Regardless of the power source (corded or cordless), an individual sander’s amps and motor will determine just how much power you can get. If you plan on working on large, heavy-duty or heavy-use projects, a more powerful sander will help you work more efficiently. However, if your sanding work is usually pretty light or occasional, you may not need as much power. Think about the toughness and frequency of use to decide how much power and how many amps are best for you.
Here’s a feature you wouldn’t think to consider if you’re used to using regular old sandpaper. Electric sanders vibrate once they’re turned on and in action. While that might not seem like a big deal, it can lead to hand fatigue while you wield the sander, and potentially increase the risk of injuries. A lot of vibration makes these power tools more challenging to hold onto and control. Look instead for lower vibration levels, or even models that offer vibration control features or functionality. These will give you the best control, the most comfort, and the highest safety.
Sanders don’t always have the same pad size to work with. Some are much larger than others to make quick work of vast surface areas, and others are smaller for more detail-oriented work. This is another thing you need to balance with the type of project you are doing and how much room you have to work with.
Take the time to pick a sander that you can handle comfortably. You already know that I’m going to say that you need to balance this with the work as well. But, don’t write off how it feels in your hand. You want to make sure you can manage the machine in any position for a considerable period.
If you’re working in tight spaces, you might want something as compact as possible. Or if you’re working on a large surface, grabbing the biggest model might not be the best choice if it feels clumsy or awkward.
Our Top Picks
1. Dewalt DWE6421K 3 Amp 5 in. Random Orbital Sander Kit
With a random orbital sander you’ll be able to use course grit sandpaper to remove large amounts of wood. And, then switch to finer (and finer) sanding discs to achieve a finish-ready surface.
A random orbit sander will quickly remove wood with available 24-grit hook-and-loop sanding discs. By use of a 10,000-RPM+ design the sander generates a fast cutting action that will smooth any planed surface quickly.
And to use, simply start with a low-grit sandpaper and move up to at least a 200+ grit for your finish pass.
- 3.0 Amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM
- Shorter height allows the user to get closer to work piece
- Rubber over-mold in all of the critical areas of the sander for comfortable use
- Separate counterweight design reduces vibration for decreased user fatigue
- Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life
- Improved dust collection and interfacing with vacuum locking system
- Dust bag has patented one-hand locking system
2. Dewalt DWE6411K 2.4 Amp 1/4 Sheet Finishing Sander Kit
Complete with a paper punch, dust bag, and carrying bag, DEWALT’s DWE6411K 2.4 Amp 1/4 Sheet Finishing Sander Kit combines many end-user driven features and benefits. The overall height of the unit has been reduced, while retaining a powerful motor. For improved comfort when sanding, vibration and wobble have been reduced as well.
A palm sander is the perfect sander for putting the final polish on wood after a random orbit sander. With fine-grit sandpaper this wood sander will prepare wood for stain.
Chances are you’ve used this sander in the past, but if not it works on a simple design of using a “quarter” sheet of sandpaper locked in it’s clamps. Due to it’s design it’s best suited for putting a final pass on wood before applying finish.
- 2.3 Amp motor sands at 14,000 OPM for a superior finish
- Rubber overmold texture provides smooth and comfortable control while sanding
- Improved paper clamp features for better paper retention
- Locking dust-port system allows the user to lock vacuum hose up with the sander
- Reduced overall height of the sander to get the user closer to their work
- Foam pad for flatter sanding plane
- Separate counterweight for reduced vibration
- Rubber dust boot over the switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life
3. Dewalt DWE6401DS 5 in. Variable Speed Disc Sander
The Dewalt 5 in. Variable Speed Disc Sander with Dust Shroud is lightweight for easy operation around the job site. Well designed for paint removal and sanding applications, this is the perfect tool to handle all of your sanding needs.
If you’re looking to limit airborne dust as you sand, check out the corded DEWALT Random Orbit Sander. The sander comes with a detachable dust collection bag and features two speeds (high and low) so you can switch to more power when sanding down especially rough surfaces. This 5-inch, 4-pound sander’s motor is designed for reduced vibration, and it features a rubberized palm grip; both design features help reduce hand fatigue, making the tool easier to use over the duration of your project.
- Adjustable dust shroud can be connected to a vacuum to provide an improved working environment
- Mid-handle design with soft grip and side handle
- Smoothly accepts 5 in. 8-hole hook and loop paper, allowing for readily available paper to be changed quickly and easily
- 6 Amp motor delivers preformance in high torque sanding applications to speed up the sanding process
- 0-3700 OPM, VSR trigger dial for versitility in a wide array of sanding applications
4. Dewalt DCW210B 20V MAX XR 5 in. Cordless Random Orbital Sander
The 20V MAX XR Brushless 5 in. Cordless Random Orbital Sander provides you with the power and runtime needed to get the job done. A variable-speed dial provides ultimate speed control from 8,000 -12,000 OPM for a variety of projects. One-handed locking dust bag attaches securely to the sander to aid in dust collection or the user can attach the sander directly to the DWV010 or DWV012 dust collectors. Rubber overmold grip provides comfortable sanding. Replacement 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad for quick, easy paper changing.
- Brushless motor provides runtime and efficiency to get the job done
- Variable speed control from 8,000 – 12,000 OPM to match the speed to the application.
- Low profile height allows user to get close to work surface for precise sanding
- Replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad (DW64233) for quick, easy paper changing
- Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for long switch life
- One-handed locking dust bag
- Dust port is designed to fit directly to the DWV010 or DWV012 dust collectors (sold separately)
- To attach dust port to other vacuum systems with 1-1/4 in. hoses, use DWV9000 Universal Quick Connector (sold separately)
5. Dewalt DWE6420 3 Amp 5 in. Single Speed Random Orbital Sander
The DeWALT 5 in. Single Speed Random Orbital Sander features a 3 Amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM along with a shorter height that allows users to get closer to the work piece for accurate sanding. This sander has a rubber over-mold in all critical areas of the sander, and is highlighted by a separate counterweight design which reduces vibration for improved comfort. An improved dust-sealed switch offers protection against dust ingestion for longer switch life, and improved dust collection and interfacing with DeWALT’s vacuum locking system.
Built with a 3-Amp motor that provides pads with a spinning power of up to 12,000 orbits per minute, the DEWALT Random Orbit Sander gives surfaces a smooth finish. The DeWalt has a rubber over-mold and counterweight design to help reduce vibration and hand fatigue. The palm sander features a compact design to put users closer to their workplace.
It also protects against dust in two ways, first with the dust-sealed switch for a longer switch life and secondly with the vacuum locking system that can either collect dust with the attached bag or connect directly to other vacs. The DeWalt is an excellent option for sanding wood, plastic and metal.
- 3.0 Amp motor spins the pad at 12,000 OPM for efficient sanding
- Shorter height allows the user to get closer to work piece for sanding
- Rubber over-mold in all of the critically areas of the sander for comfortable use
- Separate counterweight design reduces vibration for improved comfort
- Improved dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life
- Improved dust collection and interfacing with our vacuum locking system
- Dust bag features one-hand locking system for convenience
As with any power tools, it’s important to take some basic safety precautions when using any of these sander types. To start, make sure to keep your hands away from the sander surface while it is running. Also, make sure that you are gliding the handle across the surface of the material you’re sanding. Don’t press down on the sander because, not only will the added pressure damage the surface, but it could cause the machine to kick back at you.
Other safety precautions for operating sanders:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.
- Use respiratory protection for materials that create a lot of sawdust.
- Wear earplugs when using noisy sanders to prevent hearing loss.
- Avoid sanding near sparks and flames to prevent fire hazards.
How does Sander work?
A sander is a powerful tool utilized to smooth surface covers by abrasion with sandpaper. To use sanders, you need to attach the sandpaper and activate the tool. Then the mechanism will start operating and move the sandpaper rapidly. So lastly, you apply it to the material you want to work on.
Which Dewalt sander is the best?
If you’re looking to limit airborne dust as you sand, check out the corded DEWALT Random Orbit Sander. The sander comes with a detachable dust collection bag and features two speeds (high and low) so you can switch to more power when sanding down especially rough surfaces.
Why is an orbital sander better?
The best feature of the orbital sander is its square shape, which allows it to get in corners and up against edges. You can also use regular sandpaper cut to fit rather than purpose-made random-orbit sanding disks. Orbital sanders aren’t overly aggressive, so it’s hard to remove too much material.
Is an orbital sander the same as a palm sander?
As compared to a palm sander, orbital sanders are more massive tools, which means that palm sanders are smaller and more lightweight. The motions of orbitals are Circular and orbiting, and palm sanders only have orbiting motion. If you want to work with larger pieces, orbital sanders are better than palm sander.