Best Sanders for Walls 2020

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All claims are strictly my personal opinion.

best electric sanders for wallsSanding walls of any type requires a machine that is both powerful and fast. Powerful to easily get rid of the old, rough paint and fast so you can achieve a high-quality smooth finish. Both of these things are essential in order for the new coat (or coats) of paint to perfectly adhere and for the wall to be completely smooth and grain-free once it dries. These are traits that the best sanders for walls are all required to have.

Now, sanding plaster walls or drywall is a slightly different process. With plaster walls you can afford to be more reckless, although reaching a smooth finish is harder. With drywall on the other hand you have to be more careful but it’s easier to get rid of the old coats and achieve a nice and even finish.

While some sanders are great for both types of wall, I’ll go the extra mile and give you a selection of my personal picks for the very best sanders for walls of each type (general/plaster and drywall). Let’s begin with drywall since it’s the most popular these days.

Best Drywall Sanders

These are, in my honest opinion, the top 5 best drywall sanders you can get.

  • Festool 571579 Planex LHS 225 Drywall Sander
    The big boss of drywall sanders, I’d only recommend it to professionals since it’s too pricey for hobbyists. The Festool Planex is known for its lifelong-lasting quality, unmatched dust collection and fatigue-free usability. Featuring a variable speed of 310 to 920 RPM that is run by a potent motor, this thing won’t slow down no matter what you throw at it. It extends from 3.6 to 5.2 feet and has an incredibly sturdy and smooth pivot that ensure you can sand any angle with ease. Working with the Planex is a breeze, not only are the results stunning but the grip design is so comfortable and the body so lightweight (the suction allows it to support its own weight) that you won’t get tired even while sanding for long periods of time. The construction quality and design are up to par with what we’ve come to expect from Festool – brilliant. The grips are the best I’ve ever used, super comfortable and the dust extraction (when using Festool’s vacuum) is truly amazing. It cleans virtually every little grain of dust and leaves you with a fantastically clean environment. While it is pricier than most solutions, you’ll get your investment back quickly since the sandpaper sheets for the Planex are not only the cheapest on the market, they are also the ones that last the longest. For professionals this is, in my opinion, the best drywall sander in the market and I definitely recommend it.

3 Year warranty
 Incredibly well designed

 Unmatched quality and longevity

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  • PORTER-CABLE 7800 4.7 Amp Drywall Sander with 13-Foot Hose
    The famous Porter-Cable 7800 is my all-time favorite drywall sander, I use and abuse it and it never fails me. It screams quality in every aspect and is a truly professional machine. The 7800 also features excellent construction quality – it’s both durable and lightweight. The motor is potent and offers a variable speed of 1400 to 2000 RPM which is a great and versatile range. The pivot works very well, allowing you to sand at difficult angles with ease. The 13 foot long vacuum hose is static dissipating and if you attach it to the Porter-Cable external vacuum (not included) it sucks dust like a monster. You can also attach it to any other vacuum you have, as long as it fits the 1-1/4″ hose diameter. You’ll maintain a clean surface and most importantly a breathable, dust-free atmosphere. For this much quality, it’s very fairly priced. With the Porter-Cable 7800 you can be confident that it’s made to last heavy use without breaking, something that to me is beyond essential. Excellent for both casual users and professionals alike.

Powerful motor
 Professional performance

 Fantastic construction quality

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  • ALEKO Electric Variable Speed Drywall Sander 690F
    This was my first ALEKO tool and it made a great first impression. I used it for a fairly hard task (rough wall popcorn) and it acted beautifully, something I didn’t expect at all. With 50 grit sandpaper and those hard surfaces, it managed to keep constant speed and not slow down which is excellent. It has a versatile variable speed of 450 to 1050 RPM and the construction quality is on par with the competition on this level. The machine is easily unmounted in 3 parts for easy storage and it comes with its own carrying case, 6 pieces of sandpaper (different grits) and a vacuum hose. A surprisingly potent and fairly priced drywall sander that won’t let you down, even when up against hard tasks.

 Sturdy body
 Relentless performance
 Easily stored and carried

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  • POWER-PRO 2100 Electric Drywall Sander – 6 Speed, 710 Watts, Extendable, Sanding Discs
    I first used this Power-Pro drywall sander at a friend’s house while renovating and it worked like a charm. The machine’s body is well-built (hard plastic + aluminum which makes it lightweight) and has a good design overall, especially on the grips. It also packs a punch – featuring a variable speed of 1000 to 2100 RPMs. It has an extendable handle (from 4ft to 6ft) and pivoting head (9″ disc) which makes it easy to sand ceilings and other hard to reach surfaces. As a bonus, it comes with a carrying bag, vacuum hose, a big mountable handle and a variety of sandpaper (of different grits). The Power-Pro 2100 is another good inexpensive option that can suit both hobbyists or professionals on a budget.

Smart design
 Great power for the value
 Comes with a free accessory kit

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  • WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander with 15′ Hose
    WEN has been positively surprising me with their machines lately and the Wen 6369 drywall sander is no exception.  Featuring a variable speed function that runs from 600 to 1500 RPM and a great head mounted motor for maximum power on the 9″ disc, it’s a solid machine. I really like the unique foldable feature that they implemented, makes storing and carrying the sander a breeze. With a sturdily built body and 6 free sheets of sandpaper to boot, it’s a good choice at an unbelievably affordable price.

Solid construction
 Variable speed function
 Unbelievably low price-tag

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These 5 machines are all excellent choices for drywall sanding and you’ll be well served with any of them. I’d personally recommend the Porter-Cable 7800 as the value you get is just tremendous, it’s a beautiful machine.

Now, let’s move on to the selection of electric sanders for walls (any type other than drywall, such as plaster). These aren’t as gentle and they can take on even rough outside walls. One fantastic bonus is that you can also use them for any other sanding tasks – they aren’t made specifically for walls and as such are more versatile. Let’s take a look!

Best Sanders for Walls

In my opinion, these are the top choices for wall sanding.

  •  Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex Sander
    Not only is this Festool machine, in my view, the best random orbital sander that money can buy, it’s also a certified beast when dealing with walls. Everything from its construction quality to the design and performance is absolutely top-notch. You won’t find a flaw in it. First of all it has monstrous power, featuring a 6AMP motor that roars with 720W it absolutely dominates even the toughest and roughest walls. The big 6″ sanding pad is great for them as well since it cuts the time it takes to sand a whole wall quite significantly. With a variable speed that reaches a maximum of 6,800 Orbits Per Minute, you can get outstanding “ready-to-paint” finishes. When it comes to dust collection, like all Festool machines, it’s second to none. Just plug in an external vacuum (Festool has a fantastic one) and the dust disappears completely. It also comes with a 3 year warranty. Although it’s likely the most expensive machine on the list, it’s a superb choice for dedicated professionals.

 Fantastic design
 Stunningly well-built
 Unmatched power and performance

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  • Festool 571903 ETS 150/3 EQ Random Orbital Finish Sander
    The ETS 150/3 EQ has the quality of the 150 Rotex shown above but it’s presented in a more compact and less expensive package. It features a variable speed of 6,000 to 10,500 OPM which ensures you can get incredibly fine and smooth finishes – perfect for paint to adhere. The handle design is one of the best I’ve ever seen, making it super comfortable to use and very easy to maneuver (also due to its lightweight). The power lock-on button is a life saver when sanding walls and the fantastic vibration control spares your arms from fatigue. Even though it’s compact, it still has a 6″ sanding pad so you can get walls done quickly and the dust collection is just as good as the model above – perfect. This is an excellent sander for walls (and much more) that gives you Festool quality at a more affordable price.

 Great power
 Compact and lightweight
 Superb construction quality

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  • Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control
    I don’t usually use sheet sanders for walls since most of them aren’t great at dealing with the first stages of old paint removal. But this one, the Bosch OS50VC is different. It’s powerful, fast and doesn’t have any issues when moving horizontally. I tried it on a wall a few months ago since the rectangular shape is fantastic to perfectly sand around doors and windows and I was impressed – it performed very well. It features a potent 3.4 AMP motor that makes the big 1/2 sheet sanding pad run at a variable speed of 8,000 to 11,000 Orbits Per Minute (it has a random orbital motion – excellent for high-quality finishing). I’ve found it light enough to use vertically and the handles are very comfortable. To further its comfort, it has one of the best vibration controls I’ve ever seen which heavily reduces fatigue. With a detailed design, wonderful build quality and solid dust extraction it’s by far my favorite sheet sander of all time.

 Excellent variable speed
 Very rugged and sturdy body
 Rectangular shape is useful for wall sanding

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  • Bosch 1250DEVS 6.5 Amp Corded 6 in. Variable Speed Dual-Mode Electronic Random Orbital Sander/Polisher
    In nearly every “best of” list, I include the 1250DEVS. Why? Because it’s one of the very best machines I’ve ever had the pleasure to own. It excels at nearly every sanding task and is certified to last a lifetime. Wall-sanding is no different! Whenever I have walls to take care of, especially very rough ones (exterior or badly damaged interior ones), this is the machine I use. With a 6.5 AMP motor, it has mind blowing power and a turbo-mode that scares the paint right out off the walls. The grips are fantastic, the side-handle gives you more control and power over the machine while making it easy to be accurate with it as well. It’s built, as I’ve said many times before, like a TANK. This thing can fall, bump and get struck by anything and look and run just as good as new. The big 6″ sanding pad turns long tasks into quick ones and the random orbital motion gives you highly-polished, scratch-free results when using a high-grit sandpaper. It’s my favorite for a reason, you’ll understand as soon as you get your hands on one! I proudly recommend it.

 Vicious power
 Aggressive turbo-mode
 Tank-like durability and strength

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  • Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
    If you’re on a budget and still want a great sander for walls, look no further. The Makita BO5041K offers you unbeatable quality and performance for the price. With its 3 AMP motor it gives you a variable speed of 4,000 to 12,000 RPMs – absolutely stunning speeds. While it has a 5″ sanding pad instead of 6″, you can still count on it to quickly handle walls. It’s very light and has extremely comfortable grips and a very useful adjustable side handle – much like the Bosch shown above. The dust extraction is great for its size and it comes with a sturdy and useful carrying case. By its own it’s already a fantastic orbital sander but coupled with this insane price, it’s unmissable for anyone that wants a great wall sander on a budget.

 Solid quality
 Incredibly inexpensive
 Unbeatable bang for your buck

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Well this is a beautiful list if I do say so myself. Each and every one of these machines are great, not only for wall-sanding but for any other sanding task you’ve got!

You can read more reviews of each type of sander shown on this second selection here:

Random orbital sander reviews and sheet sander reviews.

In any case, be it for wall sanding or drywall sanding, ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTION. Especially if you don’t have a vacuum to attach the sanders to. Always equip safety glasses, gloves and if needed (obligatory without a vacuum) a mask. Believe me, breathing in fine dust and paint debris is not a good idea so please take the necessary precautions.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that I’ve been able to help you find your new wall sander.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave your opinion below!


  1. Hello James! I’m trying to renovate my 21 year old house by painting the interior. I raised 8 Children in this house and needless to say the walls are a mess. I’m a good painter but terrible at repairing holes with spackle. Painted my kitchen and front room but when I look at it, I have mounds all over my walls when you look at it from an angle. I did not manually sand them enough before painting. I feel I need to buy an orbital sander to repair the flaws and repaint. Thinking Makiita but would like your recommendation! Thanks

    • Hey John – first of all, congratulations on raising 8 children, that’s beautiful! Those little wall mounds can be tricky indeed, I’ve had a couple of experiences dealing with them at my friends’ homes but it’s simple to resolve as long as you adapt the machine to the task. If the mounds are extensive (fairly large areas of deformation) then you’re better off with a wide sanding pad (around 9″) as it will sand the area down and naturally slow down when it hits the correct level (as in, perfectly aligned with the wall). If the mounds are more of small imperfections (around the size of your palm), then you can go with a regular orbital (sanding pad of 5″ to 6″) and you’ll be golden. If it’s the latter case, then the Makita is a great choice as it delivers fantastic value for the price. Always keep an eye out for the grit as well – never go too low/rough or you can over-correct without noticing. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the renovations John – be sure to leave another comment if you need any further help!

  2. Hi James,

    Just purchased an old home and found Dade County Pine on walls and ceiling (tongue and groove, 3 inch wide) behind the old drywall, so naturally I am tearing down the drywall to expose much of this. They have a couple coats of paint that I want to sand off and get it to a natural state and then clear coat it. For this type of job, what sander do you recommend that is best to expose the natural beauty and do the best for collecting the dust.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hey Mike, I bet it was an awesome surprise to discover that beautiful pine behind the drywall! Since you’re dealing with wood, a machine like the Bosch OS50VC would naturally shine but regular hand-helds can be tiring to use vertically and on the ceiling if you’ve got a lot of area to cover. If this is the case, the powerful Porter-Cable 7800 wall sander will do the trick and offer you a whole lot more comfort and ease of use, just be sure to equip it with a lower grit sandpaper sheet at first (50 to 100) and then move on up to around 220+ to get a nice finish that’s ready for the clear coat! Keep in mind that while the Bosch OS50VC has a small but effective built-in dust collector, the Porter-Cable needs an external one to suck up the dust (such as a regular shop-vac, which does a tremendously effective job at eliminating all dust and debris). Hope that helps Mike and I wish you luck with your renovation!

  3. Hi
    I am looking for a wall sander for sanding old brownstone plaster walls. Moreover,on my wall I do not used joint compound but use stroctolight. My walls are not made of sheetrock but plaster and lime. I have redone parts of wall will stroctolight. I want to sand the walls and repaint with flat oil base white paint. Which sander should I use?

    • Hey Anthony, based on the description you’ve given I’d say either the ETS 150/3 EQ or the Bosch OS50VC would be your best options. They’ll quickly sand the old plaster and lime while while also being smooth enough to handle the stroctolight without damaging it. This’ll give you just the results you need before giving it a coat of oil-based white paint. Thanks for stopping by and have a good one!

      • Great!
        I appreciate your quick reply.
        What do think about the festool easy wall sander or the portor cable wall sanders?The festool has 9 inch disk and the motor is on the top.Most people say they are both just for joint compound.

        • I’m glad to help Anthony! They’re both excellent machines – my favorite drywall sanders – and they are, as you said, perfect for joint compound. Plus, while more classic orbitals (like the ETS or the OS50VC) will deal with rough plaster walls more easily, the Festool and the Porter Cable wall sanders are so beautifully well-made and potent that they can also take on rougher surfaces and still deliver beautiful results. You’ll be incredibly well equipped with any of them.

  4. Lucky me I found your web site James, I bookmarked it! Invaluable info, I showed this to my father (he’s an experience woodworker) and he absolutely agreed with your choices and words, that alone made me love your blog and trust you fully. I already have Festool’s dust extractor so I’m getting their drywall machine as well, thanks!

    • I appreciate the kind words Holt, thank you. You’ll love the Festool, it’s a truly excellent machine and it makes drywall sanding a breeze, enjoy!

  5. House renovations are a pain but you’ve managed to make it much easier James. The Power Pro drywall sander performed like a beast and I nearly cried tears of happiness changing from hand sanding to the machine hahaha Thanks!

  6. I’m a DIY enthusiast and I like my tools to last so I got the Porter Cable 7800. Let me tell you James, I couldn’t be happier, it screams quality and even the handling is awesome. Thanks for the fantastic guide!

  7. Jesus James, you can’t believe how easier you’ve just made my life! Thank you so much, I’m getting me and my family a bunch of those WEN drywall sanders and we’ll have a blast working on the house. Merry Christmas!

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