Best Random Orbital Sanders 2020

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Best Random Orbital Sanders

best random orbital sander reviewsRandom 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 mentioned above, random orbital sanders are one of my favorite types of sanding machines so I’ll review the very best ones I’ve used, for your guidance, as I have a fairly large selection.

Best Orbital Sanders Comparison

This is a quick overview of the best orbital sanders I’ve tested.

MachineBlack & Decker BDERO100PORTER-CABLE 382Bosch ROS20VSCMakita BO5041KMilwaukee 6034-21 5"DEWALT D26453K ROSBosch 3725DEVSDynabrade SupremeBosch ROS65VC-6Bosch 1250DEVSFestool ETS 150/3 EQ Random Orbit SanderFestool RO 125 FEQ RotexFestool RO 150 FEQ Rotex
Price $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $$ $$ $$ $$$ $$$ $$$
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
Variable Speed
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
Type Electric Electric Electric Electric Electric Electric Electric Air Electric Electric Electric Electric Electric
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
Availability Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon

Orbital Sander Reviews

Here you can read an in-depth analysis and opinion of each random orbital sander seen above.

Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch

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.

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HyperTough 2.4A Orbit Sander

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.

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Update: Currently Unavailable.

PORTER-CABLE 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

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.

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Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander with Carrying Bag, 5-Inch, Blue

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.

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Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

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.

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Milwaukee 6034-21 5″ Random Orbit Palm Sander

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.

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DEWALT D26451K Corded 3 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

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.

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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:

DEWALT D26453K 3 Amp 5-Inch Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit with Cloth Dust Bag

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Ridgid R2611 Sander, 6-Inch VS Random Orbit Sander

Likely the most affordable 6″ random orbital sander on our list, the Ridgid R2611 provides good performance, solid quality and advanced features at a stunningly budget-friendly 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!

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Bosch 3725DEVS 3.3 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Variable Speed Sander with Dust Canister

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, in my opinion, the very best 5″ random orbital sander you can get. A truly fantastic machine.

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Dynabrade 56815 Dynorbital Supreme Non-Vacuum Random Orbital Sander, 5-Inch

In my view, 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, in their view) for its splendid durability, take-on-everything power from material removal to fine polishing and great mobility and versatility. Well I’ll have to agree, as the Supreme is in my opinion 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.

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Bosch ROS65VC-6 6-Inch Pad Rear-Handle Random Orbit Sander with Vibration Control

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.

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Bosch 1250DEVS 6-1/2-Amp 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Vacuum Port

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.

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Festool 575026 ETS 150/3 EQ Random Orbit Sander

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.

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Festool 571782 RO 125 FEQ Rotex Sander

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, in my opinion, the best 5 inch random orbital sander you can get.

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Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex Sander

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 a true wonder. If you have the possibility to acquire this beast you won’t regret it.

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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.

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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!


  1. Greatly appreciate they write-up. Wondering if you have had a chance to test-drive the new Bosch GET75-6N or GET65-5N replacements for the 1250DEVS? I am looking to purchase a solid tool for my sons wood-finishing toolbox and was already planning on the 1250DEVS until this came along.

    • Hey Kevin, I’ve been eyeing them since August and I finally had the opportunity to give them a quick try earlier this very week. Although I can only make a proper in-depth review when I actually get them for myself and start working with them thoroughly, I can give you a simple overview right now. In my opinion, for the price increase, they’re not worth it as of yet. The design is very similar (although the newer one is slimmer), the power is slightly increased – 7.5 Volts on the newer one instead of 6.5, translating into more OPMs – but surprisingly, I’d give the construction quality edge to the 1250DEVS and it might be because I’m very used to handling the DEVS but it feels better on the hands. It’s still too early to give a definitive answer but if I had to choose between the two right now, I’d go with the 1250DEVS. I’ll get the newer models as soon as possible and update the article with an in-depth analysis soon – thanks for stopping by and have a great one Kevin!

  2. I was having a really hard time picking a ROS but darn if you didn’t make my mind up James, thanks a bunch!

  3. Hi James,
    Porter Cable has a new 6 inch sander out that replaces it’s present 6 inch sander. It seems to have a new Brand name-“Hardin”. Do you think it will rival the Bosch 6 inch that you recommend in your article. I am starting a hardwood floor refinishing project but I want a sander that will also last and be a powerful tool that will do many other things.
    Great article. Great info. Thanks

    • Hey Dan,
      I know exactly what you’re talking about – it’s the new version of the P-C 7346SP. I have the previous version and already gave the new Hardin variant a spin but while they’re certainly solid machines, they’re not good enough to recommend over the current selection. Their impressively affordable price makes them attractive but the mixed features, lack of aggressiveness and underwhelming construction quality doesn’t allow them to compete with the monstrous Bosch 1250 DEVS or its other competitor, the Festool RO line. If you want a beast of a sander that’ll last you a lifetime of use, those are a superior choice (in my humble opinion, as always).
      Hope that helped Dan and thanks for stopping by – have a fantastic 2019!

  4. So an orbital sander spins the disc around in a circle and a random orbital sander, on the other hand, spins in a circle and oscillates around, keeping the sanding pattern more random and eliminating any visible scratches which creates a smoother finish right? This was such a helpful tip, can’t believe I didn’t know this. Got the Bosch ROS65VC-6 and after trying it for a few minutes I’ve gotta say, its quality is up there with the Festool ones I’ve got! Beautiful work all around James, thank you!

    • You’re absolutely right Holly, glad you found it helpful. And yup, I agree, Bosch’s machines are outstanding in both quality and price – can’t get enough of them. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

  5. Great article James. I am currently in the market and for a 6″ random orbit dual mode for some upcoming projects. I like the Festool Rotex 150 but the price is steep. Hence I am also considering the Bosch and Makita versions. I currently use a Fein for dust extraction which works great. However, hooking up the vacuum hose to the 5″ Festool sander I currently own has proven difficult. When the Fein craps out I will step up to the Festool Vacuum but I’m not in a hurry to drop another $800.00 or so.

    Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hey Jeff, hope you’re doing great! The Rotex 150 is as close to perfect as it gets but the price is indeed quite steep, making the Bosch 1250DEVS your best dual mode 6″ option. You already know how much I love it by now and it’s with good reason, the quality is just unbeatable for the price. I’ve also used Fein dust extractors before with great success but if it’s with the fit that you’re having trouble with then a simple adapter would most likely fix the issue (you can even make one with a pvc pipe if you’re in a hurry). If you need any more help don’t hesitate to reply, I’ll be here!

      • Thanks. The one thing I don’t like about the Bosch is the lack of an edge protector. Or am I wrong about that? Have you tested the Makita?

        • No edge protector on it but I’ve never felt the need for one throughout all the years I’ve been using it. I haven’t tried finding one that fits it although it might be possible. I have tried the Makita BO6050J though and as much as I usually really like Makita products, this one falls short. It’s more expensive than its main competitors (in both base price and replacement pads) and has worse performance, that’s the reason why it didn’t make the cut. Hope I’ve helped!

  6. I’ve had a lot of these beauties but none like the Bosch 1250DEVS, what a machine. Wouldn’t have known about it without your guidance James so thank you very much, it’s certainly a keeper!

    • Good morning Joseph! You’re more than welcome, it’s my pleasure to help. That Bosch will keep on performing for a lifetime, one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Enjoy!

  7. Excellent analysis James, I got the big bosch for me and the smaller makita for my wife, we’re both starting a few spring projects soon! I’ve had a ton of makita tools before and always loved them, I bet this one won’t be an exception. Thanks again, I’ll be sure to email you a few pics of my deck and restored furniture when it’s done! – J

    • I’m always glad to help Johne, you’ve made a couple of great choices. Same here, Makita tools are a favorite – I catch their tradeshows whenever I can and it’s always an excellent experience. I’ll be waiting for those shots of the finished projects, good luck and have fun!

  8. I am finally going pneumatic. Used the Dynabrade and the finish it leaves behind cannot be compared. I currently have 8 ridgid 5″, 1 Milwaukee 5″, 3 Porter Cable 1 5″ and 2 quarter sheet. The ones I bought of the most were the Ridgid bc of the warranty, I figured for the price they were throwaways. I have 2 ridgid 5″ that actually work bc they are only 6 months old. The other ones I just didn’t bother fixing them because of the quality of finish they leave behind.. The worst one on this list is the Ridgid 2611, I bought 2 of them and the best thing I got out of both of them is the cord. I cut it off the sander and am using it on a saw I have. The thing is heavy, so you think, wow it’s heavy so it’s got some heavy duty parts inside. The thing is that the only thing between the heavy motor and the sanding pad is a small black machine screw about a size 10 or thinner by about 3/8″ long. If that screw goes you’re done, and the screw came loose until it broke inside on both of them. If Ridgid was going to design a “heavy duty” sander they should have made the one crucial part in the whole sander just like the way a grinding wheel attaches to a grinder. Truly a heavy paper weight. I kept it at my shop just in case I get robbed I can throw it at the thief and knock him out with it. stay away from the 2611. The other ones on the list are ok. Some of them start to whistle and stop spinning properly leaving swirls behind. I have a bunch of pneumatics I already work with and just never thought about going pneumatic with my sanders. What I like about the pneumatics is that they don’t overheat and are quieter, just keep the compressor in another room or behind a closed door. EDIT: Just wanted to tweak my comment, When I say the other sanders on the list I mean the sanders that I have used at my shop. I have been sanding wood for too long (more the 25 years). There’s a comment by a Joshua McCarty that had an issue with a ridgid 2611. IF you’re going to use that sander once every couple of weeks for about 10 mins at a time maybe it will work. As far as the problem that Joshua was having with the wobble, it’s that darn screw, you can tighten it but it keeps coming loose and if you tighten it too much you can strip it. Just bad design on Ridgid’s part. Festool are probably the best you can get in electric. I don’t use them because my guys need to use them with one hand under their palms.
    Thanks again James for reviews. You just confirmed my decision to go with Dynabrade. Was looking at Mirka but too many complaints with breakdowns and customer service.

    • Hey Brian, thanks for the insightful comment, always great to have another pro stop by! Pneumatics are truly fantastic machines, even if the electric ones have been getting better and better the simplicity, performance and durability of rotor sanders (and air-tools in general) are one step above. Out of all the pneumatics I’ve had the Dynabrades are the best, you’ll love them. When it comes to electric ones, if you give the Bosch 1250 DEVS a try I’m willing to bet you’ll be blown away in a positive way – the performance you get for the price is outstanding. The Festool models are also excellent but that’s to be expected, you really do get what you pay for with them. The other models are still great tools but not for the use me and you give them, they’re better suited for beginners and the occasional DIY enthusiast. Also, that 2611 paperweight comment made my month and it has just begun! Thanks again for the great write-up Brian.

  9. I’m not that good with fancy words but this article my friend is impeccable and admirable! I already own a few pneumatic orbital sanders but just got the Bosch 1250 you highlighted above and wow, it’s a beauty! From an old man that loves woodworking and recognizes true expertise, you have my blessing Draper. Keep up the fine work, it helps a lot of people!
    – L

    • Thanks a lot for the kind words Lester, I’m glad I could help! Great choice too, I only recommend what I consider the best and the 1250DEVS really hits the mark. Thanks again for stopping by, enjoy your new machine!

  10. Joshua D. McCarty

    Hello James. I just found your blog. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with the content, and insight. I wanted to add something I encountered during a project. I am a contractor. I had a bad run of customers skipping out on final payments, and the next job required a fair bit of sanding. I have 6 random orbit sanders (5″)and thought a 6″ would serve me better for this project. Being inexpensive I bought the Ridgid. I was sanding new cabinet doors, I had just built, and needed them to stay flat (coulnd’t afford a drum sander at the time) within 30 minutes the pad began to wobble. I exchanged it, and it happened again. To many this may not be a big deal, but for me, I want my sanders to help keep my projects flat. If you still have access to the one you tested maybe check that out. Drum sanders are definitely the way to go for that purpose though. thanks for your valuable information.

    • Hey Joshua, thanks for the great and informative comment. Although the Ridgid didn’t fail me, I can see how it could happen – it’s those issues that separate budget from higher quality tools. Even then, to have happened twice and with such little use is inexcusable. I’ll be picking mine up to run it again and contacting Ridgid to get further clarification. I’ll reply again soon with the results of my tests and their answer as well. Also, you’re spot on – drum sanders shine when it comes to cabinet doors and similar surfaces. I appreciate your input Joshua, thanks and check back soon!

      • Hello again Joshua, I’m back with my results and an answer from Ridgid. On my side it’s still good, I didn’t run into any issues when handling rough paint on an old bench. Tim at Ridgid’s support said that without physically examining a tool there is not a way to know the exact cause but that it sounds like the bearing cap under the pad may be loose. The pad can be removed and there is a screw in the center of the bearing cap that can be tightened to fix the issue. Hope that helps Joshua!

  11. Thank God I found you Mr.Draper! There are so many of these that it’s very hard to pick, thanks for sharing your expertise, I decided to get the Festool ETS 150 and can’t wait to put it to use!

  12. Getting myself an early Christmas present, a nice little Festool Rotex all wrapped up is sure to bring my spirits up haha. Merry Christmas James!

    • Hey Jonah, I’m sure it’ll put a big smile on your face as it’s an excellent sander. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too!

  13. Wonderful help James, I’m forever thankful. Dealing with my renovations will be a breeze with the DeWalt, I always love their tools.

  14. +1 for the Bosch 1250DEVS, it is my old man’s favorite and now I’m getting one for myself!

  15. I enjoy looking at your website and reading your reviews immensely. It was exceptionally interesting to find out about random orbital sanders since I really needed to get one. Much appreciated

  16. Nice variety and good stuff all around. I quite enjoyed your writing style, it made me feel like it was a close friend giving me advice on these machines – I guess you really are haha. Kiss!

  17. Top notch table James, incredibly useful. Got the Bosch 1250DEVS and now after using it I can say that YUP, you were right, it’s amazing. Big thanks.

  18. Was looking for the perfect random orbital to use on a car’s body. Since you mentioned the Dynabrade was the best for removing paint I decided to give it a go. Just got it a few days ago and it’s EXCELLENT. Thank you

  19. Hey! Just remembered to come thank you today as I got my new machine last week (got the great Makita kit you recommended) and after trying it out I really couldn’t have asked for better. Your analysis was spot on!

  20. Can’t thank you enough, just got the Makita kit and I’m very happy with it. Bookmarked your page and I’ll come here whenever I need to buy sanders, keep it up James.

  21. Haha, your picks are eerily similar to my own James, birds of a feather flock together indeed! Nothing can beat the Festool machines though, just got the 150 Rotex that you recommended. Time to have some fun!

    • Hey Logan, great minds think alike! Yeah, the Festool machines are in a different league when it comes to attention to detail and perfection. Enjoy!

  22. Hey James, just want to say thank you very much for making it easy for me to decide which one of these babies to get – the Bosch 1250DEVS. I’ve already had the opportunity to give it a try and boy is it a beast. All the best!

  23. Random orbital sanders are a life saver, even with my unsteady hands I can get scratch-free results (which is saying a lot!). Bless you for the articles James, I’ll be adding you to the WoodWorking “Best Blogs of the Year” competition, you deserve it!

    • You’re absolutely right Lisa, they are the best choice for beginners as they are easy to use and offer great results. Thank you very much for the entry, I’ll make sure to do my best to get a spot at the top!

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