Best Random Orbital Sanders
Random orbital sanders are in my top 3 of the absolute best sanding machine types you can get. By now you probably already know their name comes from the incredible orbital movement they produce, the disc shaped sand paper not only rotates but also vibrates randomly to ensure one of the cleanest and highest quality finishes you can get. They don’t leave any marks or patterns on the surfaces due to this technique and as such are in my opinion the very best when it comes to high, fine grit sanding (mostly used to give a shiny, polished finish to objects and surfaces). Their circular base size varies from machine to machine, going from small to quite large which makes them able to adapt to bigger tasks, something that other small machines can’t do.
They are only available in handheld form and even then there are hundreds of orbital sanders for sale in the market. These machines are indispensable in my book to anyone who wants to start woodworking (or metalworking), from beginners to experienced professionals as they are just too good to pass up and you will not find a better bang for your buck sander when it comes to perfect finishing and polishing. As I’ve mention above, random orbital sanders are one of my favorite types of sanding machines so I’ll review the very best ones for you as I have a big selection.
Best Orbital Sanders Comparison
|Machine||Black & Decker BDERO100||PORTER-CABLE 382||Bosch ROS20VSC||Makita BO5041K||Milwaukee 6034-21 5"||DEWALT D26453K ROS||Bosch 3725DEVS||Dynabrade Supreme||Bosch ROS65VC-6||Bosch 1250DEVS||Festool ETS 150/3 EQ||Festool RO 125 FEQ Rotex||Festool RO 150 FEQ Rotex|
|Power||2 AMP||1.9 AMP||2.5 AMP||3 AMP||3 AMP||3 AMP||3.3 AMP||0.28 HP||3.3 AMP||6.5 AMP||2.5 AMP - 310 W||4.2 AMP - 500 W||6 AMP - 720 W|
|Max Speed||Unspecified||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||12,000 OPM||6,650 OPM||10,000 RPM||6,000 OPM||6,800 OPM|
|Disc Size||5 Inch||5 Inch||5 Inch||5 Inch||5 Inch||5 Inch||5 or 6 Inch||5 Inch||6 Inch||6 Inch||6 Inch||5 Inch||6 Inch|
|Special Feature||Great Dust Collection||Swirl-Free Finish + Case Included||Swirl-Free Finish + Case Included||Swirl-Free Finish + Case Included||Great Value + Swirl-Free Finish||Extremely Lightweight and Durable||Vibration Control + Great Dust Collection||Super Powerful + Turbo Mode||Top-Tier Quality||Top of the Line Technology||Top of the Line Technology|
|Warranty||2 Years||3 Years||1 Year||1 Year||5 Years||3 Years||1 Year||LIFETIME||1 Year||1 Year||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
Orbital Sander Reviews
An in-depth analysis and opinion of each random orbital sander seen above.
While I’m used to Black & Decker delivering quality machines, the BDERO100 disappointed me a little. While it is the cheapest random orbital sander I’ve ever seen, which makes it hard to complain, I wish they had put more effort into building it with a higher quality even if it’d cost a few bucks more. It has a very simple, lightweight but easily damaged body and features a 5 inch pad. It lacks the power to handle any task other than the easy ones and the dust canister doesn’t do a great job. Still, I feel like I need to include it here because even with these flaws, for a beginner looking for a random orbital sander to use occasionally for simple tasks this can be a good and very inexpensive solution. If you’re looking for something more, look elsewhere.
After so many requests, I’ve finally gotten my hands on it – the 2.4A HyperTough random orbital sander. With a 2.4 AMP motor that puts out a surprising 12500 OPM, this little thing manages to pack a decent punch. It’s lightweight and easily controlled although the grip itself isn’t very comfortable due to the lack of a rubberized/textured top. The build quality is entry-level, meaning that while it’s solidly built the materials aren’t resistant enough to endure very hard work or a couple of hard bangs. It also features a decent through-the-pad dust extraction (with bag included). It’s simple, effective and very cheap. A decent choice for beginners that won’t demand too much from the machine.
Update: Currently Unavailable.
Now this is a good entry-level random orbital sander. The 382 features the great build quality common to Porter-Cable machines and although it’s very inexpensive and light, it manages to be a quality little sander.
It has a ball-bearing construction to ensure a longer tool life and it’s very lightweight mainly due to the small 1.9AMP motor which while it can’t handle hard tasks, it’s a more than capable of taking on simpler small tasks that the beginner woodworker will find and even gives a smooth and high quality finish with its great 12,000 orbits per minute. In my opinion, the Porter-Cable 382 is the best choice for beginners.
Another big brand name that delivers, with the ROS20VSC, a good all-around 5 inch random orbital sander. Featuring a decently powerful 2.5AMP motor with variable speed ranging from 7,500 to 12,000 orbits per minute, it makes sure that it adapts to your sanding needs, from removing material to getting a nice polished finish. The nicest component of this machine is the top quality hard case dust filter, it nearly completely gets rid of sanding dust with its amazing microfilter and it doesn’t allow it to spillback. The Bosch ROS20VSC is lightweight at 3.5lbs and comfortable to handle as well, with Bosch’s trademark “No Swirl” technology, it will ensure a good looking result for beginners and it has enough power and features to be used by more advanced users as well.
Moving on to more powerful machines, the Makita BO5031K is a great all-around 5 inch random orbital sander and in my opinion the best orbital sander for the money. Along with the very well-done and sturdy build quality it brings with it a 3.0AMP motor that provides a maximum of 12,000 RPM with a variable speed dial that lets it calm down to a speed of 4,000 RPM which is a great range of speed control. It features a nice design with comfortable and ergonomic rubberized grips and nifty details such as a power lock-on button to reduce fatigue and a very efficient built-in dust vacuum. It’s powerful enough for harder sanding jobs and as such was built to resist them too with a double insulated construction to prevent overheating and an oversized ball-bearing construction to provide the sander a longer life. This is a quality random orbital sander with a very good price point plus they include a case for the machine which is much appreciated. While there are better options for professionals who need to cover large surfaces and pieces, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck entry-level random orbital sander, the Makita BO5041K is an excellent option.
The great dust collection, variable speed and discount price makes the Milwaukee 6034-21 a solid entry in the 5” random orbital list. It has a 3 AMP motor that, with the variable speed feature, puts out 7,000 to 12,000 Orbits Per Minute – great to match the speed to the application. The body features a nice, attractive design and is well assembled. The 6034-21 gets bonus points for the great dust collection, it comes with a sturdy container but you can also easily install a vacuum hose to take it to the next level (universal vac hose adapter included). During testing it was fun and effective to use and the grip was comfortable enough not to tire my hands and arms. It’s also lightweight and as such you can use it in any position easily. Couple this with a 5 year warranty and sweet carrying bag and you’ve got yourself a great deal.
DeWalt’s D26451K is a fantastic answer to the competition, it combines power, performance and the trademark DeWalt quality into a random orbital sander that is sure to last a lifetime. It features a strong 3 AMP motor that makes the 5” disc pad run at 12,000 OPM, the ideal speed to get smooth, high-quality finishes although I’d really like to have a variable speed option. The body is not only durable but also smartly designed, featuring super comfortable textured grips and a dust-sealed switch to further its life span. The dust collection is stunningly effective and it includes a sturdy dust bag as well which you can remove to install a vacuum hose with ease. One thing that I noticed during testing was how good it suppresses vibration, it doesn’t tire or hurt your arms even after extended periods of time which I appreciate immensely. Weighing in at 1 pound, it’s also lightweight and extremely easy to maneuver, much like the dewalt cordless sander model. As a bonus, it comes with its very own carrying case and with a free 3 year warranty. In short, the D26451K is a great machine for light-duty work that gives you exceptional quality at a great price.
UPDATE: It has been replaced by the newer and better model, the DeWalt D26453K. While it’s essentially the same machine (same quality, size and power), it offers a huge improvement – variable speed. You can now set it from 7,000 all the way up to 12,000 OPM, making it an even better choice. You can find it here:
The most inexpensive 6″ random orbital sander on our list, the Ridgid R2611 provides good performance, solid quality and advanced features at a stunningly low price (for a 6″ ROS sander). With a 4 AMP motor, it runs the pad at a maximum of 10,000 OPM. The variable speed function allows you to go from 4,000 to 10,000 OPMs which is fantastic for versatility – you can remove rough stock or achieve a high-quality finish with ease. It has a vacuum adapter that comes preset with a dust bag and the dust collection itself works effectively. The build quality is surprisingly good, better than what I expected for the price. It’s solidly assembled and has a decently durable body which is also well designed and features comfortable grips (3 different grips to choose from). With a 3 year warranty to boot, this Ridgid random orbital sander positively surprised me at how well it performs and how solid it is for such a low price. If you want a 6″ random orbital sander at a discount price, this is a solid option even though it’s not quite good enough all around to make the top list over at the comparison table. EDIT: Some visitors have commentated below that their models were either faulty or lackluster. As such, I’ll have to double down on the warning that it really is a budget machine and while I haven’t run into problems personally, I haven’t and don’t use it for long and tough sanding sessions (I’ve got other tools for that such as the models below) – where it’s most likely to show its flaws. Some of their other tools (not sanders) have given me similar issues so I can’t be a brand apologist, you truly do “get what you pay for”. Thanks to Joshua and Brian for sharing their experience!
What a welcome addition this beautiful machine was to my collection. This Bosh random orbital sander was one of my most recent acquisitions and I’m glad I took the plunge. My favorite RO sander of all time is its bigger and more powerful brother – the Bosch 1250DEVS (as you probably know by now) – and this one, being of the same “line”, got my hopes up for its performance. For its size and price, the performance is as great as I expected, with the potent 3.3 AMP motor powering the pad up to a max of 12,000 OPMs (with a variable speed function that ranges from 4,500 to 12,000), easily adapting to any task you need to work on – from easy finishing to rough stock removal. The orbit stroke ensures that it leaves a swirl-free finish and the nice handles make the sanding experience quite comfortable. The dust collection is on par with other models of its category although this machine’s dust canister is a step above in terms of quality. When it comes to construction quality, the 3725DEVS shines. It features the classically rugged, robust and sturdy body of its super potent brother which just blows the competition out of the water. As I mentioned in the table, it’s available in either a 5″ or 6″ pad version with minimal price difference, although if you want a 6″ one I’d go with the 1250DEVS. As a bonus, the vibration is controlled which spares your arms from early fatigue and the machine comes backed with a 1 year warranty. With a potent motor, incredibly robust construction and Bosch-tier performance, this just might be the very best 5″ random orbital sander you can get. A truly fantastic machine.
Without a doubt, the best 5 inch random orbital sander available. When it comes to air-powered random orbital sanders, the Dynabrade Dynorbital Supreme is the Cadillac among them all. Excellent build quality meets incredible power, all while maintaining simplicity. The Dynorbital Supreme is compact and very easy to handle, weighing 2 pounds, and puts out a powerful 12,000 RPM with its 0.28 HP rotor. It comes out of the box as a non-vacuum tool but it can easily be switched to self-generated vacuum or central-vacuum with the available conversion kits, effectively adapting to your current equipment but remember that you need a lot of air for this potent machine to run at maximum performance. This thing is built to last, featuring a triple-sealed front double row balancer bearing and a very solidly built body but if for some odd reason it doesn’t, it comes with a free-of-charge lifetime warranty. Since it’s 1990’s first edition release, the Dynorbital Supreme line has been a favorite of both woodworkers and metalworkers (being dubbed as the best orbital sander for removing paint) for its splendid durability, take-on-everything power from material removal to fine polishing and great mobility and versatility. The Supreme is simply the best pneumatic orbital sander you can get, a truly quality air-powered random orbital sander that has been tried and tested for decades and will stay a favorite for many more to come.
The Bosh ROS65VC is the bigger, better brother of the already great ROS20VSC. While it maintains the same terrific build quality it features a larger sanding pad of 6 inches instead of 5 and it brings a lot more power and professional grade features as well. First of all it has a great design, enabling a variety of ways to handle it including from the rear, top or front and all of these handles are comfortable and have great grip. The power of this thing is outstanding too, offering a 3.3AMP motor with variable speed function to adapt to the task at hand, from fast stock removal to smooth and polished sanding, all of which are very comfortable and easy to perform due to the Bosh exclusive anti-vibration suspension system. Although you can plug in a vacuum hose to it, the machine already comes with an extremely effective built-in dust collector which uses their famous micro-filter technology. This is a great, big and professional level random orbital sander that will make any experienced user happy with its versatility, durability and how quickly it can complete a job and it’s a solid choice for beginners as well since the price tag is incredible.
And here it is, the classic big boss of Bosh orbital sanders, the 1260DEVS. It was one of my father’s favorite power tools and I can see why – it’s a beast. It remains to this day the best random orbital sander for woodworking (in my opinion). With a ridiculously powerful 6.5AMP motor it mows down mountains in seconds with its 6 inch sanding pad. It’s a big, heavy durable machine that is surprisingly easy and comfortable to handle due to the classic side handle grip which is my favorite type of handle due to how beautifully you can control the whole machine. It has a variable speed or should I say mode selector that varies between random orbit mode for your casual material removal or fine, high quality finishing and an aggressive “Turbo” drive eccentric orbit mode that makes the machine operate at five times the regular rate to absolutely decimate rougher stock. The 1250 DEVS also has a much appreciated soft start mode to ensure that you never damage your pieces, a constant response circuitry that ensures that it maintains pad speed under heavy loads and of course a vacuum port for dust-free sanding. It was my father’s favorite and it is mine’s now as well. An excellent, powerful random orbital sander that I highly recommend for anyone looking for a top quality machine that will last a lifetime.
Festool is known for their elite level power tools. They offer the very best without compromise to fulfill the needs of even the most demanding professional. The ETS 150 is no exception, offering versatile power, a detailed high quality body and some of the most advanced features available in a sander.
Firstly it’s very well and smartly built, the handles are ergonomic and you can use one or two hands to control it, the sanding pad delivers excellent adherence and it features a balanced body designed to keep vibrations to a minimum, ensuring a smooth finish and preventing your arms from getting fatigued quickly. With a big 6 inch sanding pad and a powerful motor, it can take on anything you throw at it quickly and effectively while maintaining constant speed even when under heavy load. The dust-vacuum is, as any Festool machine, impeccable provided you have their very own extractor (which works with any of their power tools). The ETS 150 combines a tempting price tag with a fantastic random orbital sander that every demanding professional will be proud to own.
When I mentioned elite level, this is what I was talking about. The Festool Rotex line (125 and 150) is the absolute top-tier of orbital sanders in the market. Aimed at professionals who demand the best and can afford it, they offer everything you could ever want without holding anything back. With a 4.2 AMP motor and a 5 inch sanding pad size, the Rotex 125 is the little brother of its line, being more compact without compromising its quality. It’s made with the highest quality parts inside and out and offers every advanced feature possible, including dual-mode sander varying from aggressive potent stock remover to fine polishing, their “FastFix” tool-free backing pad changing system that allows the sander to adapt to different surfaces and tasks with appropriate pads, excellent dust-removing technology and the MMC electronic controls that deliver soft-start, step-less variable speed control, constant speed under load and thermal and overload protection. The Festool RO 125 is without a doubt the best 5 inch random orbital sander you can get.
The before mentioned big brother of the Festool elite-tier Rotex line. The 150 is not cheap and if you’re an amateur I would recommend looking at the other options instead (you can find incredible tools at lower price points) but if you’re a professional that wants the very best, the Rotex 150 is your choice. With a 6AMP motor and 720W of power, the 150 can take on anything and make the toughest job look like a walk in the park. It features a big 6 inch sanding pad to go along with its power to ensure that you finish your work quickly and an ergonomic design so it’s done comfortably as well. The dust extraction is the best I’ve ever witnessed with their trademark Jetstream technology and the machine’s design elements like the edge protector and FastFix pad change button are incredibly convenient and well thought. It’s built to last as well, presenting an out of the ordinary attention to detail and high quality materials both inside and out. It’s a luxury to own this machine – Festool did their best and delivered the best. If you have the possibility to acquire this beast you won’t regret it.
My Recommended Random Orbital Sander
Random orbital sanders are an excellent, and in my opinion crucial, addition to your power tools arsenal and they should be a pillar of your sander selection. While you already know these are some of my favorite tools and it really is hard to pick a winner, I have to go with the Bosch 1250DEVS. I’ve never had a random orbital sander that could take on small and bigger tasks as easily and quickly as this one, from removing hard material in seconds to the stunning finishing this thing leaves – I’ll even say it’s perfect. No scratches, no marks, no visible patterns, just a smooth and shiny end result. I’ve had it for more than a decade and it hasn’t broken down once. A beast of a machine that I wouldn’t trade for any other – the best orbital sander I’ve ever had.
It was a pleasure to write the best random orbital sander reviews, I love these machines almost as much as I like my drum sanders (and that’s saying a lot!). I sincerely hope I helped you make up your mind and I’m here for you if you have any questions, simply leave them below and I will answer them as best as I can. Thank you!