Best Cordless Sanders 2020

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Best Cordless Sanders

Best Cordless Sander Reviews MakitaDue to your frequent questions and a lot of requests, I’ve decided to write this article to clear all of your doubts and to help you pick the best cordless sanders in the market.
As always, any machine presented here has been personally tested by me and thoroughly inspected. Only the top choices make the list.

Cordless sanders are very popular, especially among hobbyists and DIY’ers, due to their unique strength (as the name implies) – the lack of any power cords.
Without busy cords you can move around freely without worrying about electrical outlets, portability issues, or getting wrapped up in mess, it makes for a great and enjoyable sanding experience. But, like all things, cordless sanders have their own setbacks.
Most of the times they are not as powerful as their corded counterparts (as the battery would be depleted too quickly) and their battery-time (usually around the 30-40 minute mark) isn’t adequate for professional work.

That said, if you’re a hobbyist that just wants a great little tool to use for lighter work, cordless sanders are a fantastic choice.
Below you’ll find a comparison table of the machines that are, in my opinion, the very best cordless sanders of each type and further down you can read their reviews and other recommended sanders.

Best Cordless Sanders Comparison

This is a quick overview of the top cordless sanders I’ve tested.

MachineMakita XOB01Z 18VFestool Cordless ETSC 125Ryobi One Plus P450 18VBLACK+DECKER BDCMS20CFestool Cordless DTSC 400Ryobi One+ 18V P440Festool Cordless RTSC 400
Price $ $$$ $$ $ $$$ $ $$$
Max Speed 11,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute) 10,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute) 850 FPM (Feet Per Minute) 12,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute) 10,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute) 12,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute) 10,000 OPM (Orbits Per Minute)
Battery Life 40 Minutes 40 Minutes 30 Minutes 60 Minutes 40 Minutes 35 Minutes 40 Minutes
Type Random Orbital Sander Random Orbital Sander Belt Sander Detail Sander Detail Sander Sheet Sander Sheet Sander
Pad Size 5" 5" 3" x 18" 3.9" x 5.5" 4" x 6" 4" x 4" 3.1" x 5.2"
Special Feature Variable Speed + Stunning Quality Unmatched Quality & Performance + Super Quick Charge + Full Kit With Batteries Great Power for a Cordless Machine Fantastic Quality + Performance Unmatched Quality & Performance + Super Quick Charge + Full Kit With Batteries Potent and Lightweight Unmatched Quality & Performance + Super Quick Charge + Full Kit With Batteries
Power Source 18V Battery 18V Battery OR Corded 18V Battery 20V Battery 18V Battery OR Corded 18V Battery 18V Battery OR Corded
Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 2 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years
Availability Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop at Amazon Shop Amazon Shop at Amazon

Best Cordless Sander Reviews

Now, the reviews. I’m going to present to you my selection of the very best cordless sanders you can get – in my opinion – of each available type such as: orbital sanders, belt sanders, detail sanders and sheet sanders. Let’s get to it!

Best Cordless Orbital Sanders

Let’s start with one of my favorite power-sander types of all time – the orbital sanders. From my experience they offer the best bang for your buck among all types and give you an unbeatable scratch-free finish, especially if they are random orbital sanders.

Ryobi P411 One+ 18 Volt 5 Inch Cordless Battery Operated Random Orbit Power Sander (Battery Not Included / Power Tool Only)

With a nice design and a solid battery life (35 minutes) the Ryobi P411 is a competent cordless sander that is available at a very inexpensive price. With its 18V battery it puts out a great 10,000 Orbits Per Minute on the 5″ pad which is enough to deliver a high-quality and smooth finish to any surface. It has helpful features such as a lock-on button so you don’t tire your hands and an efficient dust collection (bag included). Its ergonomic shape and rubberized grip make for a comfortable experience even after sanding for long periods of time. It’s decently built and comes with a free 3 year warranty. Don’t forget to get the battery and charger as well since they’re not included (they’re sold separately). The Ryobi P411 might lack more advanced features such as variable speed and a bit of power but with an attractively low price tag it still makes for a solid cordless random orbital sander.

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PORTER-CABLE PCCW205B 20V Max 5″ Cordless Random Orbital Sander, Bare Tool

Finally Porter-Cable delivers us their brand new cordless sanders line and for the price they’re asking, they’re pretty great machines. Starting with their cordless random orbital sander, it has the level of quality you’d expect from the brand – solidly built body, comfortable grip, built-in dust bag – with some nice touches that set the machine apart from the competition. It has, for example, a 20V battery (nominal voltage is still 18V) which is mainly found on higher-end machines and although it doesn’t feature variable speed (a fairly big drawback for me) it still has a great top speed of 12,000 OPM. Any of the brand’s 20V batteries will work with this ROS, but I recommend that you get the 4.0 AH battery to get some extra run time as even though it heavily depends on how you use it, I’ve noticed improvements from 30 to around 40 minutes. The sanding pad’s 5″ in diameter and uses the standard hook and loop action to hold the papers plus the dust collection is surprisingly good, especially if you hook a vacuum hose to the 1-1/4″ port. Although it lacks variable speed and doesn’t blow my mind as I was expecting from Porter-Cable, it’s still solidly built, convenient, well performing and comes with 3 years of warranty. In short, this cordless sander delivers good value for the price.

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Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Random Orbit Sander, 7,000, 9,500, 11,000 OPM, 5-Inch

Makita once again shows how it’s done by delivering a fantastic cordless random orbital sander that offers you power, comfort and durability at a stunning price. The 18V battery offers both power and endurance with the great feature of variable speed to boot. You can choose from 3 speed settings that make the 5″ sanding pad run at 7000, 9500 or a maximum of 11,000 Orbits Per Minute – excellent to adapt the speed to your needs (rough stock removal all the way up to fine polish).  The battery will last 40 minutes at low speed and 20 at high speed which is great for a 18V battery. Makita’s cordless sander also has an 1/8″ random orbital action which is sure to give you a perfect, scratch-free finish with ease. The body is very well-built and smartly designed – the speed is easy to change, the grip is comfortable and the sturdy construction will last years of hard-work. Couple all of this with efficient dust collection and a 3 year warranty and you’ve got yourself a great deal for an excellent cordless orbital sander. Don’t forget to get the batteries and charger, they’re sold separately. If you want, there’s also a kit available that has everything you need (tool+batteries+charger), including a free carrying bag, at a great price.

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Ridgid R8606B GEN5X 18-Volt 5 in. Cordless Random Orbit Sander (Tool-Only, Battery and Charger NOT Included)

The Ridgid R8606B brings excellent dust collection and great battery endurance to the table in a sturdy and potent portable package. With a variable speed of 7,000 to 11,000 OPMs, it’s not only powerful but can also adapt to the task at hand. While the 18V battery life span will change with speed, it will generally last over 40 minutes (non-stop work) which is impressive and very handy. It has a quality body and is well assembled although the design is a bit lacking, in my opinion, because the grip isn’t as comfortable as it should be. When it comes to dust collection, it shines. Ridgid claims that it cleans up to 90% of the dust produced and after testing it I really can’t doubt the claim, if 90% isn’t enough you can also install a vacuum hose with ease and reach that perfect score. The sanding results were great both on rough and fine stock and the battery really did last long which I appreciate. In the end, it’s a fine entry on the list and both the endurance and dust collection are next-level, I just wish the grip was different but hey, it might be perfectly fine for you. It’s fairly priced but as always, the batteries and charger are sold separately so keep an eye out for them and add them to the cart.

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Festool 201531 Cordless eccentric sander ETSC 125 Li 3 (1 Set)

If you’re looking for the best, this is in my view as close as it gets. It’s fairly pricey and certainly isn’t for beginners but the Festool ETSC 125 just blows the competition out of the water – quality and feature wise. First of all it’s hybrid, you can either use it with a power cord or with batteries, this gives it excellent versatility and is a huge bonus to its usability. One thing that blew my mind was the battery itself, while it lasts the usual 30 minutes of non-stop use, it’s also fully recharged in 25 minutes which is incredible. Dust doesn’t exist when you use this thing either, it already does a superb job on its own but if you use their dust extractor (separately sold) you won’t see a speck on the surface. The design is top-notch in both comfort and handiness, the grip is non-slippery and comfortable and the variable speed wheel is nicely placed and easily used even while sanding. You can choose any speed from 6,000 to 10,000 OPMs and the 1/16″ random orbital stroke ensures a perfect, swirl-free finish. The construction quality is beyond great, as expected, and will last a lifetime. You can get the tool by itself if you already have Festool batteries and a charger but there’s a kit available that contains the sander, 2 batteries, 1 charger and more. With a 3 year warranty to boot, Festool’s cordless random orbital sander truly is, in my view, the very best money can buy.

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Best Cordless Belt Sanders

Belt sanders are one of the most popular types of sanders ever. They are versatile and powerful so they can be used nearly anywhere and for any task, from removing rough stock to achieving quality finishes. Due to their demand for power though the options for cordless belt sanders is quite small. Worry not though, I’ve found a great choice.

Ryobi One Plus Cordless Brushless Belt Sander P450, 18V

When it comes to cordless belt sanders, the Ryobi One Plus P450 is the only one I can recommend. Not only are they rare but the ones I’ve used were a disappointment. The P450 is the only cordless belt sander that has ever positively surprised me and it made me respect Ryobi quite a lot seeing as they were the only ones that managed to hit the nail on the head. It’s well designed and well-built as well – the grips are comfortable, the body is sturdy and the pommel handle can be positioned in 5 different ways to perfectly adapt to you. The 4 AMP motor makes the 3”x18” belt run at a surprisingly high 850 FPM (feet per minute) which for a cordless belt sander is excellent. The battery will endure about 30 minutes of non-stop work which is fine but I still keep a replacement battery whenever I use it for extra convenience. It features a tool-less belt-tracking that is easy to use and effective as well.
To make a good cordless belt sander is not an easy task, they need a lot of power and it’s hard to mix that with battery-use but Ryobi did it. For light-duty work this thing is a beauty and the price is also very attractive. I definitely recommend it.
Don’t forget to get the batteries and charger as well, they’re sold separately. If you already have Ryobi’s equipment then you can get the tool alone.

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Best Cordless Detail Sanders

Detail sanders are the very best when it comes to tight spaces and high-quality finishes. As the name implies, they excel at perfectly sanding the intricate details of any piece due to their unique triangular shape sanding pad. They are also nicknamed “mouse sanders” and in my opinion are an indispensable tool if you deal with anything other than flat surfaces.

Ryobi P401 One+ 18-Volt Corner Cat Finishing Sander w/ Included Sandpaper (Battery Not Included / Sander Only)

The P401 is one of the most inexpensive solutions on the list but it’s still a great little detail sander that is sure to give you good results. It uses an 18V battery that powers its corner shaped pad to go at 11,000 OPMs. The charge will last you quite a long time (about 35 minutes for me) and it recharges very quickly (20 minutes). It has an on board vac attachment so you can easily install a vacuum hose to clean all the dust that you’ll undoubtedly produce. It’s nicely designed and well-assembled, the grip is comfortable and the machine itself has a sturdy body, even if the materials themselves aren’t the best. It’s super lightweight and the paper is easy to change too. This Ryobi cordless detail sander is a solid choice available at a surprisingly low price and it has a long 3 year warranty. As always, the batteries and charger are sold separately so don’t forget to add them to the cart if you don’t already own some.

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SKIL 7305-01 18-Volt Octo Multi Finishing Sander, Tool Only

Skil delivers a light, compact and inexpensive machine that has surprisingly high power for its size. The machine has an attractive and functional design, featuring a comfortable rubberized grip and due to its lightweight it’s easily maneuvered. As I mentioned above, this thing puts out 11,000 OPMs which I found to be a great speed for its little size and it produces high quality finishes. The construction quality is on par with the Ryobi P401 – it’s solidly built but the materials aren’t super resilient (plastic). Even then, it will hold up perfectly for the work it’s supposed to do which is light-duty sanding. The battery time stands at the regular 30-40 minutes and it also recharges quite quickly. It’s efficient, compact and has great power, this Skil cordless detail sander is sure to satisfy you. Batteries and charger are sold separately.

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PORTER-CABLE PCCW201B 20V Max Cordless Detail Sander

This is, as I mentioned above, Porter Cable’s new 20V cordless detail sander and overall it just might be the best machine from their new cordless line. The construction quality and battery power both stay the same as the other 20V machines – great – but unlike their orbital model this one has variable speed which is a huge improvement to both usability and battery life. While the other one was stuck at max speed, draining the battery like crazy even when you didn’t need it to, this one can be set from 9,000 to 11,000 OPM by using the dial, allowing you to match the speed to the application and saving you from quick battery drain. The rubberized grip is comfortable and the machine itself is very nicely built (dust-proof switch for example), ensuring durability. You can use any of the brand’s 20V batteries on this machine although as always I recommend the potent 4.0AH version. Another great feature is the dust collection which proves itself to be effective even without using a vacuum hose and the only real drawback I’d point out is the diamond tip – it degrades pretty quickly with use but you can always replace it (it comes with 2 extra tips included already). I still haven’t found any detail finger attachment to use with this, even though the manual mentions it, which is a shame as it’s a pretty essential feature to have. Even then, it’s still a great cordless detail sander that comes with 3 years of warranty and it’s fairly priced to boot, making it a solid choice.

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Now we’re talking. The BDCMS is, in my honest opinion, the best cordless detail sander you can get for the price. It’s potent, enduring and has incredible quality in its design and construction – all of this at an attractive price point. With a 20V battery (instead of the usual 18V) it is able to not only offer you much more power but also last a lot longer. It has a smart design that makes it easy to maneuver and comfortable to use (2 different grips, both rubberized) even for extended periods of time and the dust collection truly is top-notch. It’s able to put out a superb 12,000 OPMs, this much speed ensures that you get a clean and high quality finish to any surface. The switches are dust-sealed and changing batteries is a breeze. When it comes to construction quality you will notice the difference, the machine is not only well assembled but the materials used are of high quality and resilient as well, this thing will last a lifetime. It includes a detail finger which is indispensable to sand super tight spaces and also comes with the signature 2 year warranty. This Black+Decker cordless mouse sander brings pride to its famous corded counterparts, it is able to deliver their quality and power with cordless convenience. A remarkable feat. I recommend this beast of a machine to anyone, from weekend warriors to experienced professionals.

Batteries and charger are, as always, sold separately so don’t forget to add them to the cart or simply buy the kit that contains the tool+batteries+charger and a carrying case as well.

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Festool 201524 Cordless delta sander DTSC 400 Li 3 (1 Set)

Festool once again offers what is, in my view, the very best money can buy. It’s fairly pricey as we’ve come to expect from Festool but the quality is unmatched, you truly get what you pay for. It’s part of their hybrid line so you can use it with either batteries or corded which gives it remarkable versatility and usability. If you go cordless, the battery will last upwards of 30 minutes and it recharges very quickly (20 minutes). It features a variable speed of 6,000 to a max of 10,000 OPMs and the results are truly fantastic for both rough stock or fine polishing. The dust collection is second to none right out of the box and you can also install a vacuum hose for even better results if you want. The construction quality truly is unbeatable, this thing will last you more than a lifetime even with hard and constant use (as it should, for the price). It comes with a 3 year warranty and you can get the tool only or a pack with 2 batteries, 1 charger and other goodies at a better price. Either way, it’s an excellent cordless sander that offers you some of the best quality there is. Due to the investment though, I’d only recommend it to serious professionals.

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Best Cordless Sheet Sanders

A favorite among many, sheet sanders are able to reach highly-polished finishes and are one of the easiest sanders to use. They are usually lightweight as well which makes them a breeze to maneuver and their trademark square/rectangular shape makes them a fantastic choice for flat surfaces.

Ryobi One+ 18V Quarter Sheet Sander P440

Ryobi once again deilvers a compact and very inexpensive cordless sander with the P440. From the same family of the other Ryobi cordless sanders shown above, it has all of their qualities put into a 1/4 sheet sander format. The 18V battery lasts around 35 minutes and it recharges in 20. The machine itself is quite light and handles well, the grip is fairly comfortable, it has a lock-on button and the dust collection is effective. This Ryobi cordless sheet sander is also potent, delivering a great 12,000 OPMs which is enough power to handle a variety of tasks – from easy to hard ones. It’s lightweight, versatile and greatly inexpensive, the Ryobi One+ P440 is a great entry-level cordless sander that will not disappoint. It’s available as the tool only or in a package with batteries, charger and other items such as sandpaper packs. It also has a 3 year warranty included.

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On a sidenote, Black+Decker used to produce a fantastic cordless sheet sander that is no longer available. I still own one and I firmly believe that for the price it is (was) beyond great. It really did hit all the marks to be, in my opinion, the best cordless sheet sander you could get but since it’s no longer available, I’ll wait for an update from them. If they bring it back or release an updated model, I’ll be sure to get it ASAP and review it for you. Here’s to hoping they do!

Festool 201516 Cordless orbital sander RTSC 400 Li 3,1-Plus

From the same Festool cordless (hybrid) series as the ones shown above, the RTSC cordless sheet sander gives you excellent quality, unmatched performance, modern features and built-to-last construction. As we’ve come to expect of the brand, the build quality is second to none. This thing can take a beating and hard falls and still stay absolutely solid so you can trust the machine to last a lifetime, even with constant hard work. The 18V battery holds up for a long time even with non-stop work, you’ll get about 40 minutes out of a single charge and the battery itself recharges in 30 minutes. Featuring variable speed it is able to put out from 6000 to 10000 RPMs, so you can choose the ideal speed for any task – be it hard stock removal or high-quality fine polishing. It’s lightweight enough to be easily maneuvered and the grip is comfortable (ergonomic) and non-slippery. The dust collection is, as always, incredible using a vacuum hose (easy to install). You can either get the tool by itself if you already own Festool batteries and a charger or you can get all of these items and more all in a kit for a better price than buying them separately. If you’re a professional and can afford it, it’s a no-brainer.

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My Recommended Cordless Sander

And there you have it, my personal picks for the very best cordless sanders you can get. They were a blast to review and I truly hope that I was able to help you find the perfect one.
In my honest opinion the best cordless sander you can get is the Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT.
The amount of quality and value you get for the price is mind blowing. With a potent motor and excellent variable speed, it’s a great machine for any task – be it hard or light. Without a doubt, the most essential cordless sander I have in my shop.

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I want to give a big thank you to my friend Rob that once again lent me a couple of machines that I didn’t have – you’re the best.

As always, if you have any questions or simply want to voice your opinion, please do so in the comments below. I read all of them and do my best to answer quickly. Thank you for reading!


  1. That Makita James, it’s fantastic! Thanks for the great recommendation, it beat my expectations!

  2. I decided to go for the orbital Festool based on your analysis James and by God are they absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for the helpful write up, you’re the best!

  3. Any reason no Milwaukee Sanders were not in this comparison?

    • Hey Scott, not at all – I just haven’t got them myself in order to properly review them. I’ve been eyeing their M18 Cordless ROS for a while now though so I’ll most likely get it and a few more pretty soon, keep an eye out!

  4. Greetings from California James! I just do some occasional sanding every year so I went with the Makita due to its versatility. I think I’m getting addicted though as the sander’s so good that I’ve started to sand more and more. Chairs, benches, cabinets, nothing’s out of my reach! Thanks again for the fantastic info, this is going to be a fun Summer!

    • Glad to hear it Larry, welcome to the woodworking family! If you ever need some beginner tips don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Have fun!

  5. Beautiful work James, I had to go with the Festool as I already have their other equipment and I must say it’s fantastic. The power and the quality of the machine itself is just outstanding.

  6. Man, cordless sanders are wonderful these days, the technology has really improved over the years. I already have the Makita and it’s excellent, getting the Black+Decker Mouse now for my cabinets. Once you use these you start to fall in love!

    • Hey Charles, you’re absolutely right! Over the last couple of years there’s been dramatic improvements to their performance and battery life, making them great tools. Also, the B+D Mouse is fantastic and I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. Enjoy!

  7. Just what I needed, great picks and super helpful reviews. Not much out there when it comes to cordless sanders. Thank you!

    • Yup, exactly why I felt the need to write the article, you guys told me about this lack of info and it was/is my pleasure to help. Thanks for the kind words Kyle!

  8. I’m getting the Makita and Ryobi Sheet sander for my wife, she just started woodworking and she loves every machine to be cordless so this is perfect. I appreciate it James!

  9. You’re a mind reader James, last time I visited I wished there was an article about your favorite cordless machines and now boom it’s here. Great read as always and I’m going to give the Makita a try, thanks!

    • I’m glad I could help Aaron,I do my best to fulfill the requests you guys send me. Excellent choice, the Makita is an incredible machine in every way. Enjoy!

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