Best Sanders for Wood 2020

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All claims are strictly my personal opinion.

best sanders for woodAfter writing the list of my personal picks for the top rated sanders, which presents an overall “winner” for every single type of sander, a lot of you sent me an email asking which ones are the best sanders for wood in terms of value. In other words, you all want to know which ones are the best of the best – the ones that give you the most value for the buy and are absolutely essential.

Although I know exactly what you mean and I’ve got some helpful tips, it all comes down to 1 thing – what type of woodworker are you? Are you a professional that’s gonna sand hard and daily, a DIY enthusiast that needs a solid foundation to get some work done nicely or just the occasional user that needs to do a bit of sanding every now and then? To be able to answer you all and give you the best set of tools no matter which category you fit into, I’m gonna make a selection of the machines that are, in my view, the very best sanders for woodworking you can get, for each of the 3 types, below. Now let’s begin!

Best Sanders for Woodworking

These are my personal picks for the best sanders for wood you can get, separated in sets according to your level of use – professional, DIY enthusiast or casual (aka beginner). Click the index to jump to your desired section.

  1. Professional Sander Set
  2. DIY Enthusiast Sander Set
  3. Casual/Occasional User Sander Set

Best Sanders for Professional Woodworking

If I had to pick only a few machines out of my whole arsenal to keep with me and still be able to produce the quantity and quality of pieces that are required of me as a professional, these would be the ones. I’d be set with just these 5 beauties as they are the very pillars of my work and they’d cover me from all angles.

Bosch 6.5 Amp 6 in. Random Orbital Sander 1250DEVS
One of my favorite machines of all time and one of, in my opinion, the best sanders for wood ever made, Bosch’s 1250 DEVS is probably the sander I use the most everyday. It’s incredibly powerful, built like a tank and the performance is beyond excellent. It’s also mighty comfortable and precise due to the handle and the large 6″ sanding pad is great for big pieces. When it comes to removing rough stock, nothing beats this machine’s vicious turbo mode.

 Viciously powerful
 Lasts a lifetime of use
 Outstanding performance

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Bosch OS50VC 3.4-Amp 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander
In my view one of the best sheet sanders on the market, the OS50VC sets the bar high for the competition. From the insanely well-designed, comfortable and sturdily built body to the fantastic power and finishing capabilities of its large 1/2 sheet sanding pad, this thing’s a beauty. With great built-in dust collection and unmatched vibration control to boot, it’s a joy to use a well.

 Large sanding pad
 Stunning finishing capabilities

 Excellent build quality and design

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Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander

As I like to mention, this fine machine is dubbed “the best 4 x 24 belt sander in the world” by the woodworking community and I absolutely agree. Beastly powerful even with a specially large belt and featuring rock solid construction, the Makita 9403 is a must-have for any serious woodworker. It can decimate large, rough surfaces in minutes and everything else from the dust collection to the handling is great as well. Probably Makita’s finest machine to date and in my opinion, it’s one of the best sanders for wood in the world.

 Extra wide belt
 Insanely powerful 11 AMP motor
 Decimates large, rough surfaces in minutes

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BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600 Mouse Detail Sander
Essential for any woodworker, from the rookie to the veteran. B+D’s mouse sander allows you to perfectly finish any piece, no matter how weird the angles are or how tight the corners get. It’s insanely affordable, well-built and the excellent detail finger attachment puts it above the competition. A super inexpensive must-have.

 Incredibly affordable
 Essential detailing tool
 Can sand even the hardest-to-reach spots

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Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander
Buck for buck, in my opinion this is the best drum sander that money can buy. It blends professional features and Powermatic’s trademark “golden quality” with some of the best performance you’ve ever seen – all at a fantastically attractive price. This machine has the biggest impact in your workflow out of all, allowing you to put out a massive amount of work and all with a flawless level of quality. With a modern LED control panel, 44″ width capacity (in a double pass) and a beautifully powerful 1-3/4 motor, the PM2244 is darn near perfect.

 Excellent value for the price
 Unmatched level of quality and features
 Beautiful power, performance and capacity

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Side-note: I’d also heavily recommend a dust collector as even though they aren’t a sander, they’re absolutely crucial if you want to reach a professional level in both quality and comfort.

Best Sanders for DIY Woodworking

If you’re going to get your hands dirty with some good old fashioned DIY action, then you’re gonna want the best “bang for the buck” machines on the market. They deliver a quality experience at an affordable price, giving you everything that you need to ace your tasks without breaking the bank.

Bosch 3.3 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Variable 3725DEVS
Versatile, potent and extremely well made for the price, Bosch’s 3725DEVS is a near-perfect combination of quality and affordability. Its 5″ sanding pad runs at a variable speed between 4,500 and 12,000 OPM and the 3.3 AMP motor ensures it can take on both rough and soft surfaces. The orbital motion is beautifully smooth, giving you fantastic finishes and both the dust collection and ergonomic design ensure that it’s comfortable to use. All of this coupled with built-to-last construction makes this a beautiful choice for any DIY’er that wants a quality machine at a great price.

 Super versatile
 Smart, durable design
 Fantastic swirl-free finishes

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Makita BO4900V 2.9 Amp 1/2 Sheet Sander
Makita’s BO4900V 1/2 sheet sander delivers the power, performance and durability of a top-tier machine at an entry-level price, making it an unmissable choice for enthusiasts that want a quality sheet sander without paying top dollar. Its large 1/2 sheet sanding pad speeds up your work while the variable speed function and fantastic orbital motion deliver stunningly smooth finishes. The handling and dust collection are just as good plus it’s built to last like we’ve come to expect from Makita.

 Incredibly rugged
 Outstanding performance
 Unbelievably affordable price

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Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Belt Sander
One of the most stunning value for the price machines I’ve ever seen in my life, Hitachi’s popular SB8V2 belt sander delivers an insane amount of quality at an unbelievably low price which makes it absolutely essential for any “bang for the buck” buyer. It features a potent 9 AMP motor that runs the 3″ x 21″ belt at a variable speed of 820 to 1,475 ft/min and the build quality is very impressive for the price, ensuring its durability. Other details such as the trigger lock, contoured grips and great dust collection put it miles above its similarly priced competition. A truly excellent choice.

 Quality construction
 Professional performance
 Insane amount of value for the price

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BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600 Mouse Detail Sander
Finally, as you might have guessed, we’ve got the B+D detail sander. No matter your skill level or amount of use, this is one essential tool that you should absolutely get if you want quality results. As I mentioned before, it’s insanely affordable and allows you to perfectly sand even the tightest of spots and corners – especially due to its incredibly useful detail finger attachment. Offering such a huge benefit at such a low price, you can’t afford not to get it.

 Super affordable
 Incredibly useful 
 Sanding finger reaches even the tightest corners

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Best Sanders for Casual Woodworking

Affordable but solidly built and super versatile, these are in my opinion the very best sanders for occasional woodworking. They’re easy to use, can accomplish pretty much any task with good results and best of all – they’re incredibly inexpensive.

Bosch Random Orbit 5 inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC
Bosch’s trademark quality at a budget price – sign me up! The ROS20VSC is a small but powerful random orbital sander that’s stunningly well-made and offers great performance while also featuring variable speed, awesome dust collection and a comfortable, easy to maneuver body. Super versatile and able of delivering a high quality, swirl-free finish with ease, it’s an essential “jack of all trades” machine.

 Can take on any type of task
Produces high quality finishes
 Beautifully well constructed

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Makita BO4556 2 Amp Finishing Sander
Much like the choice above, Makita’s popular BO4556 is a fantastic “bang for the buck” option and extremely versatile as well. It’s small but packs a punch with its 2 AMP motor and the orbital motion ensures a smooth finish. Due to its nimble and compact body, you can use it comfortably for extended periods of time and it’ll fit pretty much anywhere (such as cabinets), which adds to its versatility. The quality that you get for the price makes it an excellent choice.

 Solidly built
 Super compact
 Nimble and easily maneuvered

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BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600 Mouse Detail Sander
Yup, you guessed it – B+D’s mouse sander. I can’t recommend it enough as it’s an essential tool for anyone that wants to achieve perfection and at such an insanely low price it’s too good of a buy to let up. As I mentioned previously, it’s a solid machine all around from its sturdily built body to its performance and the fantastic detail finger. It’s the perfect side-arm to the other machines and can even act as a stand-alone for smaller pieces.

 Very inexpensive
 Essential to achieve perfect results
 Well built and comfortable to use

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Side-note: As you can see by how I recommended it in every set, this machine is in my opinion the best sander for woodworking when it comes to acing the details – regardless of your level of use.

As you can see, the best sander for wood depends on what type of woodworking you’ll actually be performing but no matter what, with this selection of sanders you’ll be on your way to success.

I hope it cleared your doubts and that you’ve found your new set – be sure to leave a comment below if you want some further guidance, I’ll be here to help. Also, if you want to learn more about the type of sanders you’ve seen here – belt, orbital, sheet, etc… – be sure to read their full articles (scroll to the top navigation bar and click on your preferred type). They include comparison tables, in-depth reviews and more!

Thanks as always for reading and I’ll see you on the next one!


  1. Hi James,

    My wife and I bought an old 100yr, old homestead and she wants me to pull up the nasty carpet & re-do the old wood floors. I can’t justify buying a drum sander, and don’t have any experience with belt sanders but need to go that route. Could you help me with picking the best belt sander for the job that will also be able to hook up somehow to a shop-vac ?

    • Hey Doug, the best fit for the type of work you’ll be doing is without a doubt the Makita 9403. If you’re on a strict budget, the Hitachi SB8V2 will also be a great choice. They’ve both got enough power to handle those old wooden floors with ease, enough speed to reach a beautiful finish and their belt width ensures you do it quickly as well. Any of them can also be very easily hooked up to a shop-vac – all you’ve got to do is detach their built-in dust collectors and attach the vacuum hose instead. Hope that helps and best of luck with the renovations Doug, I bet the ol’ homestead will look fantastic when it’s all done!

  2. Hi James,
    I recently retired and plan to take up woodworking as a serious hobby. I came across your excellent reviews and suggestions for sanders, and am thinking of going with the Bosch 3725DEVS.

    I notice that the Bosch website also refers to a newer model, the 3725DEVSN, which will be available in stores in about a month.

    I was wondering if you have an opinion on the newer model, and would it make sense to wait for it.

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

    • Hey Lokendra, first of all congratulations on your retirement and excellent choice when it comes to hobbies – although I’m certainly a little biased, woodworking is one of the best by far.
      The Bosch 3725DEVS is an incredible sander so you’re on the right track. The only difference between the DEVS and the DEVSN is the package (the first comes only with the tool while the other comes with a full kit complete with sandpaper and other accessories). There’s also the choice between the 3725 or the 3727 with the only difference being in the pad’s size (one is 5″ and the other is 6″).
      Due to this, you can go ahead and get the machine today or wait a while and get the complete kit with the machine and a few accessories included when it gets released – it’s up to you.
      Hope that helped Lokendra and good luck with your new hobby, I’m sure you’ll love it!

  3. Hi James, Nice article about sanders, thank you. Will you help me choose one sander that will work for both the 3-drawer dresser I want to refinish and the wood cabinets I want to refinish (or repaint?) in my apartment that are a mess (I am a render).I am a first-time refinisher but excited about doing it.

    • Hey Helen, thanks for stopping by. I’d have to go with the Bosch ROS20VSC random orbital sander. It’s super versatile, delivers foolproof finishes and it’s also incredibly well built – all at a great price. It’ll also be a fantastic tool to deal with any future refinishing tasks that come up in the future. Best of luck with your woodworking debut and have a wonderful week!

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