If you work in a metal or wood shop, then you are probably familiar with sanders. Whether you’re smoothing out a piece or polishing it, having the right tools is imperative to ensure that you get the job done well. As a result, one of the most important pieces that you can have is a random orbit sander.
This machine enables you to work in tight spaces and provide a level of performance that is second to none. Because of the way it rotates, this sander will leave a smooth finish without any swirl marks or scuffing.
But while you know that having a random orbit sander is important to your work, how can you tell which is the right one for your needs? Today we’ll be looking at five-inch sanders, as well as showing you the features that you should be considering when making your final decision.
When looking at different sanders, you will notice that some of them come in different sizes. The number of inches refers to the scale of the sandpaper, meaning that for these models you will have to get five-inch sheets. But why is this size so popular? The reason is that it is big enough to let you work more efficiently by covering more area in less time, but it’s also small enough that you can potentially work one-handed.
Five-inch orbit sanders are by far the most favored for wood and metal workers because they can fit in almost any situation, allowing you to do spot work as you assemble your piece and after it’s put together for a nice finish. The best part about using an orbit sander is that you can not only smooth rough surfaces, but you can attach polish sheets to them as well to buff out a brilliant shine.
VonHaus 3.5 Amp 5-inch
Black & Decker BDERO100
If you want raw power with your sander, then the VonHaus model is a great place to start. In fact, this particular unit is the biggest and most powerful one on this list, so if you have to tackle big jobs and need a workhorse that can keep up, this will help you out immensely.
What we like about this sander is that it comes with variable speed adjustment, meaning that it is much more versatile than some others that we’ve seen.
It also comes with a hook and loop attachment system, which enables you to swap out sheets much faster while keeping them locked on supremely well.
The weight and design of this sander are also great, allowing for one or two-handed usage. With the amount of power behind it, we were worried that it would be unwieldy at high speeds, but it handles everything with grace. Finally, the best part about this unit is that it comes with sanding and polishing sheets so that you don’t have to purchase them separately.
When it comes to consumer power tools, Black + Decker is a well-respected brand. In this case, the random orbit sander does a decent job, but it’s not designed for large projects. So, if you are in need of something cost effective that can help you with spot sanding, this is an excellent choice.
With a two-amp motor, this particular sander operates at 12,000 rpm. We would like for it to have adjustable settings, but this is ideal for most sanding purposes.
What we appreciate most is the lightweight design, which makes it easier to work overall.
As far as other features, this unit comes with a decent dust collector and is insulated to ensure that debris doesn’t clog the internal components. It also has a two-year warranty, which is fantastic. Overall, this is a decent sander for small projects.
As far as power tool brands go, one of our favorites is DeWalt. This company has a long history of making high-quality products, and this random orbit sander is certainly one of them.
The best part about this unit is the power and speed. You get a three-amp motor and a variable speed adjustment, which means that you can tackle almost any job, regardless of material (metal vs. wood).
Best of all, the whole thing is insulated to reduce fatigue, making it far more comfortable than the competition.
Another neat feature is the design of the handle. It’s shorter than most other sanders so that it can give you more maneuverability, as well as allow you to work one-handed if you want.
While we do wish that it came with sanding sheets, we do appreciate that it has a carrying case and a three-year limited warranty. Also, it can attach to a vacuum hose rather easily, provided that you have an adapter.
Next, we have another basic sander model which is meant for spot polishing and not much else. That being said, the design and performance of this model are still top notch, meaning that it will work for a variety of projects, even if you can’t adjust the speed.
What we like about this sander is that it is optimally balanced to give you greater control, and it is super lightweight so that you can work from any angle without getting tired. In fact, this is one of the easiest sanders to use overall.
The other thing that we appreciate is the fact that it comes with a thirty-day money back guarantee and a three-year warranty.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Orbit Sander from Bosch. When talking about power and performance, this unit is not necessarily the best, coming with a 2.5-amp motor and a standard variable speed adjustment. However, where this model really shines is in the extra features.
The best part about this machine is the dust collection system. Most sanders have a vacuum-sealed bag, which does help, but still allows for dirt and debris to cloud around the unit. In this case, you get a microfilter system which virtually eliminates any dust cloud, meaning that you could potentially work without a mask. Best of all, it comes with a vacuum adapter so that you can hook it up to a shop vac without having to buy any extra accessories.
The other thing we like is the shape and design of the sander itself. It has soft grip handles and doesn’t vibrate much, meaning that it stays comfortable the whole time you’re working. Overall, this is one of the best random orbit sanders you can find.
After looking through these sanders, we have to say that our top pick would have to be the Bosch model. The reason for that is because this unit has one of the best dust collection systems around made even better by the fact that it comes with a vacuum adapter. On top of that, the motor is powerful enough to tackle most jobs, and the ergonomic grip means that you can work longer than with other models. Finally, we appreciate the fact that it has variable speed adjustment, making it far more versatile that some others that we’ve seen.
A close second would be the DeWalt Sander, which has a lot of the same features. Both of these are top quality and will be sure to satisfy all of your sanding needs.
The great thing about random orbit sanders is that they are designed to be handheld. However, that doesn’t mean that all of them are the same size. In this case, you have to decide whether you want something smaller and more compact (but less powerful) or something bigger than can tackle larger jobs.
The benefit of having a smaller sander is that it won’t weigh as much and will give you less fatigue as you’re working. If you only work on small projects, then this might be okay for you. However, if you plan on sanding for long periods, then you will have to get something that can handle it.
As we mentioned, smaller sanders typically have less power. To know for sure, you will have to check the amp rating of the motor. Larger sanders will go up to three or four amps, whereas smaller ones will stay around two. Having more amps means that you can go faster and longer, which is helpful if you want to be more efficient. However, the downside is that they can cause fatigue a lot sooner, so there is a bit of a trade-off.
When picking out a sander, you can either choose a model that operates at one speed or pick one that allows you to change it based on your needs. If you work on a variety of projects, then you will most likely need a variable speed adjustment. However, if you sand the same kinds of materials all the time, then a single speed model might be sufficient.
Almost all random orbit sanders have some form of dust collection, which is usually a bag that attaches to the unit. While this is helpful, most of the time the bag is rather small, which means that it is only efficient for spot sanding.
What is ideal is if you get a sander that allows you to connect to a vacuum hose so that you can collect as much dust as possible. Shop vacuums usually can use adapters to work with orbit sanders, but not all sander models will be the right size to do that.
Also, keep in mind that some units might have a filtration system, which means that you may not need to use a mask while working. If that sounds appealing, then consider springing for the extra cost.
Finally, the shape and design of the sander can have a huge impact on how well you can work. If it forces you to overextend your hand, then you will get cramps and have to take more breaks. Thus, be sure that you are getting a model that is ergonomically designed and that comes with a soft grip so that you can work as long as necessary to get the job done.
Along with the grip, some sanders will be insulated to reduce vibrations, thereby eliminating fatigue and letting you work even longer.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.