7 Best Random Orbital Sanders [2021 Review]

Featured Image: Boyes Turner

Sanding, finishing, and polishing are tasks few of us look forward to. But if you want to remove imperfections, rough spots, paint, or varnish from your cabinet, shelf, or dining table without missing a spot, then you better have a sander at home or in your job site. There are a lot of sanders available on the market right now, but few can compete with random orbital sanders when it comes to performance and versatility. This all-arounder has been a staple in many workshops thanks to its aggressive performance and relatively compact size.

If this is your first time buying a random orbital sander, then check out our buying guide and tool review that can help you choose the best sander for your needs. We’re going to discuss their design and overall performance, as well as determine the best random orbital sander that you can purchase online or in your favorite hardware store.

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BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric Orbital Sander, Polisher - 7.5 Amp, Corded, 6'' Disc Size - features Two Sanding Modes: Random Orbit, Aggressive Turbo for Woodworking, Polishing, Carpentry
BOSCH Power Tools – GET75-6N – Electric Orbital Sander, Polisher – 7.5 Amp, Corded, 6″” Disc Size – features Two Sanding Modes: Random Orbit, Aggressive Turbo for Woodworking, Polishing, Carpentry Dual mode: Provides 2 sanding modes, random orbit mode for normal stock removal or fine finishing and “turbo” Driven eccentric orbit mode for aggressive stock removal at 5 times the rate of the normal random orbit sanding modeVariable speed: The GET75 6N comes with a powerful 7. 5 amp variable speed motor (no load speed: 290 to 640 RPM, no load orbit speed: 3300 to 7300 OPM) provide power, flexibility for jobsEase of use: Get fast, smooth finishes on a variety of surfacesPassive dust collection system: Passive dust collection system that requires a vacuum cleaner and hoses; Accepts Bosch VAC001, VAC009 and VAC010 hoses (sold separately) or a Bosch VAC002 hose adapter (included)Orbital sander Package includes: The GET75 6N unit includes 1 (1) soft backing pad, 1 (1) hex pad wrench, 1 (1) sanding disc, 1 (1) removable front handle, 2 (2) vacuum hose adapters; Perfect for normal removal, most sanding jobs, wood floors, furniture finishing and polishing applicationsCheck Price Below

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2.>

SKIL 5” Random Orbital Sander with Cyclonic Dust Box & 3pc Sanding Sheet - SR211601
SKIL 5” Random Orbital Sander with Cyclonic Dust Box & 3pc Sanding Sheet – SR211601 Powerful– with a 2. 8 amp motor and 13, 000 orbits per minute, it’s able to deliver a smooth performance over a variety of sanding applications.Easy to clean dust container– The x-flow dust collector uses cyclone force to collect dust in it’s easy-to-empty transparent container.SPEED CONTROL–Variable speed control provides the right amount of power and control across different materials.Low vibration– through its ergonomic design and a soft rubber grip your hand stays comfortable while counterweight balance reduces hand fatigue from vibration. All so that you can work longer.Sand in tight places– with a compact size and ergonomic design, This sander can get into tight spaces easily and maximizes user control.Check Price Below

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3.>Sale

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6423K)
DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6423K) 3.0-amp motor of the orbital sander spins the pad at 8,000 – 12,000 OPMShorter height of the hand sander allows the user to get closer to work pieceSeparate counterweight design reduces vibration for improved comfort of the electric sanderRubber over-mold in all of the critical areas of the sanderImproved dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch lifeCheck Price Below

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4.>Sale

Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander
Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit SanderThis product meets customer requirementProduct is easy to useCheck Price Below

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5.>

Makita BO5041 5' Random Orbit Sander, Variable Speed
Makita BO5041 5″ Random Orbit Sander, Variable Speed Smoother and faster sanding with 3.0 AMP motorVariable speed control dial (4,000-12,000 OPM) enables user to match the sanding speed to the applicationErgonomic rubberized palm grip and handle for improved operator comfort and controlAdjustable front handle allows for sanding in corners and confined areasLarge two-finger trigger switch with conveniently located lock-on button for continuous use and increased operator comfortCheck Price Below

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6.>

CRAFTSMAN Random Orbit Sander, 3-Amp, Corded (CMEW231)
CRAFTSMAN Random Orbit Sander, 3-Amp, Corded (CMEW231) COMPLETE TASKS WITH EASE: 3.0 Amps and 12,000 OPM of the orbital sander gives you the power to complete tasks with easeON-BOARD DUST BAG: High performance dust collection of the hand sander features on-board dust bag and connection to 1-3/4-inch vacuum hoseDURABILITY: Dust sealed switch of the electric sander provides added durability3 Year Limited Warranty, refer to “Warranty & Support” section below for full detailsCheck Price Below

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7.>

Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander - 2.5 Amp 5 Inches Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit with Dust Collector and Soft Carrying Bag, Blue
Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander – 2.5 Amp 5 Inches Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit with Dust Collector and Soft Carrying Bag, Blue Smooth Finish: Pad dampening system designed to eliminate swirl marks on both flat and contoured surfacesEasy Disc attachment: Through Bosch’s signature Hook and Loop disc attachment system, sanding pads stick to the hand sander, acting like a Velcro adhesion materialVariable speed Control: Powerful 2.5 AMP motor allows speed to work piece and task matching with easeDust collection: Features a micro filter system for fine dust and trapping particles as small as a 1/2 micron in diameter. Durable and compact, the dust canister shows dust level and easily detaches for mess free tasksKit contents: Includes sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter and carrying caseCheck Price Below

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1. Bosch GET75-6N Electric Orbital Sander

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Pros:

The dual-mode setting allows you to switch from fine finishing to more aggressive sanding and vice versa. The switch is located at the side, making it easy to reach.Its impressive 7.5 amp motor delivers up to 7,300 OPM.It has a long dust exhaust port that is strategically located at the side. It doesn’t get in the way for the most part.It is compatible with most 6-inch sanding discs available in the market.The orbital sander has an auxiliary handle and a detachable pad guard.

Cons:

This is a heavy tool. Keep that in mind if you intend to use it for several hours.The price tag on this tool is simply eye-watering.

Sebring Tip:

From its overall design to its powerful motor, the Bosch GET75-6N Electric Orbital Sander is simply built to impress. Its powerful 7.5 amp motor delivers an impressive performance whether you’re removing signs of age on a cedar workpiece or just giving your brand new oak side table some finishing touches.

It already includes one sanding disc, a soft backing pad, and a hex wrench to change the pad. You will also get a couple of hose adapters to ensure that your tool and your shop vac can work together.

What sets this Bosch Electric Orbital Sander is the number of handles it offers. It has a rubber top and barrel handle if you’re comfortable with using one hand only. The auxiliary handle can also be adjusted from left to right, allowing you to hold on to the handle with your right or left hand.

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2. SKIL SR211601 5-Inch Random Orbital Sander

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Pros:

Variable speedErgonomic gripReasonable cost

Cons:

There is no vacuum-hose adapterThe dust filter sometimes does not stay in place

Sebring Tip:

If you’re searching for an excellent option at a somewhat lesser price than the Bosch Palm Sander, the SKIL SR211601 Random Orbital Sander is a great option. It is powerful at 2.8 amps, and it’s also a little faster, with a maximum speed of 13,000 orbits per minute.

However, while this sander includes an easy-to-clean, highly effective dust collector, it can’t trap particles as fine as the Bosch’s filtration system, and it lacks a vacuum-hose adapter, which would allow you to connect the sander to your shop vacuum.

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3. DEWALT DWE6423K Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

The variable speed dial is located at the side, ensuring that it is within easy reach if you need to adjust it.Sanding and finishing is a breeze thanks to its powerful 3 amp motor.The handle is compact, ensuring that it will be comfortable in your grip whether you have a large or smaller hand.All you need is one hand to lock the dust bag into the dust exhaust port.The handle is covered with rubber over-mold for a non-slip grip.

Cons:

You need to buy a compatible connector as it is not included.

Sebring Tip:

You can’t go wrong with this DEWALT DWE6423K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander. You can sand wood, metal, and other appropriate materials with this compact yet powerful little tool. It has a 3 amp motor, plus variable speed that gives you greater control.

It is relatively lightweight so you can use it vertically or overhead without hassle. It has a compact handle and it molds nicely to the hand for greater control.

The price is reasonable, making it perfect for professional and hobbyists alike. It is also easy to look for high-quality and compatible sandpaper for this tool.

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4. Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

This is a portable cordless random orbit sander. You can bring it to an outdoor job site or a work site that doesn’t have access to electricity yet so you can work.It has variable speed dial. Go from 7,000 OPM to 12,000 with a touch of the dial.It comes with a universal hose adapter, dust canister, extension adapter, and two 80-grit sandpaper.

Cons:

The handle is too chunky to be comfortable. The battery is not yet included in the package.

Sebring Tip:

Milwaukee Electric Tools was established years before sliced bread reached bakeries and supermarkets. It’s one of those brands that you can trust when it comes to quality and reliability. The Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander is no different.

It has a reliable and powerful motor, plus variable speed dial that allows you to control the tool’s performance. Both the on and off switch and the variable speed dial are located on the handle so you can easily reach them.

You’re not limited by a cord, so you can bring it to any job site as long as you have a fully charged battery. It has a plastic dust canister, but you can still connect it to your shop vac thanks to its universal hose adapter.

Keep in mind, however, that this is more expensive than your ordinary starter orbital sander. This is a Milwaukee tool, after all, so this is to be expected.

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5. Makita BO5041 Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

It gives you the option to hold the tool where you are most comfortable. You can hold the top handle or its pistol grip with one hand as you work or with both hands around the regular handle and the auxiliary handle.The trigger is positioned underneath the handle. It has a lock-on button so you don’t have to keep pressing the trigger while working.The vibration is kept to a minimum despite its powerful motor.You can use the Makita dust bag if using a shop vac is not an option.It is lightweight so you can use it for vertical or overhead applications.

Cons:

It doesn’t come with an adapter for your shop vac.

Sebring Tip:

It’s easy enough to like this Makita BO5041 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander. Its performance is impressive, removing a lot of imperfections on wood and delivering a finish that is free from swirls.

What I like most about it are the multiple handles. You can hold it with one hand (top and pistol handles) or both hands (auxiliary handle and pistol handle). You can say goodbye to aching hands and arms as you sand and finish that large cabinet.

The price is not bad at all considering its impressive performance. Overall, this is a great tool for professionals and hobbyists alike.

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6. CRAFTSMAN CMEW231 Random Orbit Sander

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Pros:

The on-off switch at the front is dust-sealed.You’ll get one dust bag and one sanding disc in the package.It offers a 3-year limited warranty.It has a powerful 3 amp motor that delivers as much as 12,000 OPM. 

Cons:

The handle is okay for people with large hands, but it can be too chunky for those with smaller hands.You have to buy a compatible connector if you want to use a shop vac.

Sebring Tip:

The CRAFTSMAN CMEW231 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander is the perfect starter tool for any hobbyist or professional. It has a powerful motor that offers as much as 12,000 OPM, allowing you to sand and finish different types of wood and other materials.

The overall design is compact, but working with this random orbital sander for hours might be a challenge for individuals who have smaller hands as the top handle is bigger than expected.

This is also one of the most affordable orbital sanders on the list. If you’re looking for a budget sander that delivers, then this might be the perfect tool for you.

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7. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbital

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Pros:

Excellent dust-filtration systemVariable speedThe finish is ultra-smooth

Cons:

The sanding pad sometimes does not remain in position

Sebring Tip:

Sanding is a dusty process, but with the Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander, you won’t have as much to deal with once the job is finished. The built-in microfilter technology in this small-but-powerful random orbital sander catches dust particles as small as one-half micron in diameter. It includes a twist-off dust canister that allows you to tell when it’s full at a glance. A vacuum-hose adapter is included in case you want to connect the device to your wet/dry shop vacuum.

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Random Orbital Sander 101

Random orbital sanders are power tools used for smoothing, shaping, and polishing different types of materials. It can also be used to remove rust from metal, as well as for stock removal. You can use these tools on different materials, including wood, plastics, non-ferrous metals, and sheet steel.

A random orbital sander is just one of the many power sanders available for hobbyists, woodworkers, contractors, and other professionals right now. There’s the disc sander, belt sanders, detail sander, and drywall sander. Table sanders, orbital sanders, oscillating spindle sanders, and file sanders are also available for different applications.

But if you want versatility and excellent performance, then the random orbital sander definitely has a place in your garage or workshop. This handheld power tool’s design is similar to the regular orbital sander. But instead of a square pad, this particular power tool has a round pad.

The shape of the pad is just one of the differences between the random orbital sander and the regular orbital sander (also known as sheet sander or finish sander). With the regular orbital sander, you have to attach the sandpaper to the tool using built-in metal clamps. On the other hand, the sandpaper or sanding disc is attached to the random orbital sander using hook-and-loop (Velcro) or pressure-sensitive adhesive.

The sanding discs used by random orbital sanders are pre-cut to 5-inch or 6-inch in diameter. These special sandpapers generally come with holes in the middle which you have to align with the holes on your tool’s pad. The purpose of these holes is to draw the sawdust away from the work surface and into the dust canister or your shop vac, ensuring a cleaner and less toxic work area. But there are also some models that use sanding discs that do not come with holes (such as this 3M 20317 Random Orbital Sander

So, why is this particular orbit sander described as “random.” The answer lies in the motion it produces. A regular orbital sander produces a simple back and forth motion while sanding. A random orbital sander, on the other hand, not only produces a back and forth motion, but also an unpredictable or eccentric circular motion while sanding.

Because the orbital or sheet sander simply moves back and forth, it is inevitable for it to leave visible marks on your workpiece. The random orbital sander, however, produces a more aggressive action and removes more stock from your workpiece.

But the good news is the finish it produces is smoother compared to the ones produced by sheet sanders. Plus, the resulting cross-grain scratches are a lot less visible compared to orbital/sheet sanders.

In addition, random orbital sanders also have variable-speed settings that allow you to control the aggressiveness of the sanding action.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its disadvantages. The sanding it produces is so aggressive that you have to be careful when leaving it in one area of your workpiece for a long time. And because it is rounded, getting in corners or sanding tight spaces is virtually impossible.

Check out this video for some tips on how to use your random orbital sander properly.

Random Orbital Buying Guide

Dust Collection

Some random orbital sanders include dust bags that catch some of the wood dust produced while sanding. Others include dust collection accessories that can be linked to a regular wet/dry vacuum hose. These dust collecting systems will not eliminate every speck of dust (you should always wear a dust mask when sanding), but they will considerably reduce it, so they’re helpful options to consider, especially if you’ll be sanding indoors.

Power Options

Random orbital sanders are powered by one of three methods: rechargeable batteries, electrical cords, or compressed air (pneumatic). Each option has advantages.

Corded: Corded sanders are always ready to use because there is no battery to recharge, as long as there is an electrical outlet nearby. Connect your corded random orbital sander and begin working.

Cordless: Cordless sanders are helpful when working far from a power source, such as when you’re building a treehouse for the kids and doan’t have an extension cord long enough to reach. The run time of a cordless sander, on the other hand, is limited by the battery (usually 30-45 mins on a single charge). The majority of users have a spare battery on hand.

Pneumatic: Pneumatic sanders, powered by compressed air, are an excellent alternative for the woodworker who has a central air compressor to power various air tools. However, small, pancake-style air compressors are not always powerful enough to run a sander without frequent breaks to recharge with air. Use your pneumatic sander with an air compressor that can produce an air volume of 40 cubic feet per minute (CFM) or greater for the best results.

Variable Speed

Random orbital sanders produce an aggressive sanding motion that can sand  away a lot of your workpiece if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to choose a tool with a variable speed setting. The general rule is the wider the range of speed, the better as this gives you more control when it comes to sanding.

The Right Type of Handle

Most random orbit sanders have a palm grip design. This allows you to grasp the top handle located directly on top of the pad and fully control the direction of the tool.

This design, on the whole, is ergonomic and keeps hand fatigue at a minimum. The problem is that some models have a bigger palm grip compared to others, making them difficult to grasp for people with smaller hands.

Palm sanders are ideal for smaller projects thanks to their compact and lightweight bodies. Apart from the palm grip, you can also hold them around the neck for greater control.

If you want greater control and a more secure grip, then check out random orbital sanders with D-handles. Some models even have the trigger switch located right below the handle for a more convenient operation.

If you want to reduce hand and arm fatigue while maintaining a firm grip on your tool, then check if the model has an auxiliary handle. A random orbital sander with an auxiliary handle is more convenient, and you can be assured that you can apply just the right amount of pressure to the tool while working.

It is also easier to use the tool vertically or overhead when it has an auxiliary handle. Some units have built-in auxiliary handles, while others have auxiliary handles that can be adjusted and removed when necessary.

Disk Diameter

Choose a 6-inch random orbital sander if you want to take on larger projects as it covers more area. But if you’re a hobbyist who tackles smaller projects or you want something lighter and budget-friendly, then go for 5-inch random orbital sanders.

Want to have your home remodeled but don’t know where to start? Then check out these home remodeling ideas to get started.

Conclusion:

The truth is every one of these random orbital sanders is outstanding in their own way. But, of course, there can only be one, and the best random orbital sander is…

Bosch GET75-6N Electric Orbital Sander

So, what makes it the most outstanding random orbital sander in the list?

What I like most about this 6-inch sander is its ergonomic design. I’m confident that all random orbital sanders in the list perform well and are durable, but you have to consider user comfort if it’s going to be a mainstay in your workshop and you have an extensive project that requires you to sand away at several workpieces for hours on end. 

There are a lot of options for handling the tool. There are the barrel and rubber-molded top handles. It also has an adjustable auxiliary handle that makes it easy to work on large surfaces or sand a vertical or overhead surface.

It has a pad guard that protects the front or side surface of your workpiece (in the case of cabinets or floors). It also has a longer dust exhaust port at the side which, for the most part, doesn’t get in the way.

It only has two-speed settings or sanding modes (normal and turbo mode), but it is still possible to get a finer finish when you set it to normal mode and an aggressive performance when you set it to turbo mode.

But it is heavy, so make sure that you consider that before buying this random orbital sander. It is also pricier than your regular random orbit sander. This might not be the ideal tool for you if you’re new to woodworking or you’re an occasional user.

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Kathryn Bowers