A random orbital sander is one of the power tools that are present in most households and workshops. It makes the sanding process a lot easier and quicker. A good quality tool should have enough power to tackle all necessary sanding jobs.
The best random orbital sander should be durable, versatile and easy to use. If you wonder which random orbital sander is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. This article will tell you about the best random orbital sanders available on the market as well as which features you should look for when buying one.
Table of Contents
- Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews
- 1. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander
- 2. Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander
- 3. Black & Decker BDERO600 Random Orbital Sander
- 4. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit and
- 5. DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander
- 6. Makita BO5030K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander and
- 7. Makita BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
- 8. Bosch 1250DEVS Random Orbit Sander with Dual Mode
- 9. Porter-Cable 382 Random Orbit Sander
- 10. Makita BO5041k Random Orbital Sander
- RANDOM ORBITAL SANDER BUYING GUIDE
In this article I’ll be reviewing the best random orbital sanders listed below:
- Bosch ROS20VSC
- Black & Decker BDERO100
- Black & Decker BDERO600
- DEWALT DWE6421K
- DEWALT DWE6423K
- Makita BO5030K
- Makita BO5031K
- Bosch 1250DEVS
- Porter-Cable 382
- Makita BO5041k
Best Random Orbital Sander Reviews
1. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander
Variable speed like this will let you adjust it to the specific task. However, you have to keep in mind that at a low speed putting much down pressure may result in slowing down of the disk.
This is fine for final finishing or polishing but will make the sanding task take longer.
- 2.5 Amp motor moves between 7500 and 12000 OPM, providing a superior finish
- Integral pad dampening braking system to prevent swirl marks
- Bosch’s hooktight hook-and-loop disc attachment
- Microcellular backing pad for smooth, fine finishes
- Features microfilter system for optimal filtering of fine dust and trapping particles as small as a 1/2-micron in diameter
- Low-vibration operation
My advice is instead of putting a lot of pressure on it get yourself good quality sanding disks and I’m sure you won’t have to worry about it slowing down.
Another thing about it is that you might find it not aggressive enough for large material removal. If you need a very powerful sander that will tackle any jobs thrown its way, check out Bosch DEVS1250.
But if you’re looking for a sander that runs very smoothly and will let you achieve a very smooth finish thanks to its integral dampening system this Bosh is worth considering.
We all want flat, the smoothest finish we can get and I know how annoying these little swirl marks can be, especially after long sanding sessions.
- Very smooth and quiet
- Long cord
- Excellent dust collection
- Reduced vibrations
- Very smooth finish
- Strong hoop and loop disk attachment
- Not very aggressive
- Not for rough sanding
- The case hasn’t got much extra storage
Rubberized, ergonomically shaped grips and body, as well as reduced vibrations, will allow you for longer sessions without much fatigue.
It’s a versatile tool that accepts a variance of backing pads (RS033, RS034, RS032 backing pads) as well as a buffing pad(RS014 buffing pad) so even if you’re not into woodworking you’ll be able to use it e.i for sanding and polishing cars.
Last but not least is the dust collection which appears to be the best thing about this little sander. It features a microfilter system that will catch particles as small as 1/2 micron.
So many positive votes for this dust collection makes me think Bosch did a really good job and came out with a solution that actually works. If you, however, don’t like any dust bags or canisters this sander is compatible with standard 1-1/4-inch and 1-1/2-inch vacuum hoses or any Bosch vacuum cleaner hose.
Overall is a well-made power tool that is very easy to use even with no previous experience. It won’t win a race but it’s nice and steady. The pad wears evenly and the included case is nice but has very little extra storage.
2. Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander
I’ll be honest with you. It’s no Bosch nor Makita. It’s not even A Porter Cable. It’s compact, basic RO sander that will get any small project done. No fancy features mean a lower price and this one is very budget friendly.
The 2 Amp motor and 12000 OPM means that it’s not the most powerful one but runs quite smoothly and is easy to control by a beginner.
- 2.0 Amp motor sands at 12,000 OPM, providing a superior finish
- Random orbital action for high removal rate and a high-quality finish
- Hook and loop system for fast and easy paper changes
- Dust sealed switch to keep all dust and debris out
- Amazon’s Choice
- Ultra-Compact, efficient design,
- A good option for upgrading from hand sanding.
- Very budget friendly
- Lacking in power
- Noticeable vibrations
- Not best quality hook and loop
- Might not be comfortable to use for small hands
Although it has many positive reviews mostly by users with little or no experience in using RO sanders there are a few issues that keep popping up and that I’d like to address.
First, the hook and loop system is not the best one and might fail relatively quickly. Disks don’t hold on well on the surfaces less than 2 to 3 inches wide.
Second thing is that ergonomically is not the most comfortable to hold and might not be great for small hands because the handle is quite big.
Also, the vibrations are noticeable so you probably won’t be able to work for longer periods of time.
I’m not even going to start on dust collection with the dust bag because we all know how that works…even in higher-end sanders. If you plug it into a shop vac it would definitely improve.
But if you have one I don’t think you’ll be considering getting this sander. On the positive note, it’s fairly lightweight so your arm will not ache. A good option for upgrading from hand sanding.
3. Black & Decker BDERO600 Random Orbital Sander
This model can be considered as an upgrade from BDERO100. It’s a fairly new one and has been very well received. I’ll try to dig a bit deeper and tell you about what this sander has to offer.
The first thing you notice that it has a 2.4 Amp motor power and 14,000 OPM, a little bit more than BDERO100. It still won’t be a sander for big projects that require a lot of power but it would work great on the small projects.
- Paddle Switch Activation for easy on/off during application
- 2.4 Amp Motor
- High-performance dust collection to provide a clean work surface
- 14,000 orbits per minute
- Comfortable to use
- Great for smaller projects
- Compact, lightweight and comfortable
- No out of the box connection to a shop vac
- Dust collector collects some of the dust
Another difference is the paddle switch activation which is a quite new approach to starting up a power tool. It’s quite intuitive. You simply press the top of the sander with your palm as you do normally when sanding and it activates the sander.
It’s quite cool, isn’t? As long as the paddle switch works smoothly. You can also lock it in a working position which makes it more comfortable to use.
The shape of this sander seems to be more ergonomically designed than BDERO100. The size of the handle is smaller and would fit nicely even for smaller hands. The dust collector works fine but I wouldn’t count on it to collect most of the dust.
It also wouldn’t connect to a shop vac unless you find an adapter that fits or you make it fit with a little DIY. Overall, another budget-friendly sander that is compact, lightweight and comfortable. A great option for beginners and occasional DIY-ers.
4. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit and
5. DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander
They both feature a 3.0 Amp motor that runs at 12,000 OPM(single) and 8,000 – 12,000 OPM (variable speed) which is similar to competitors and will let you accomplish any sanding tasks.
Both models are shorter than the previous ones which should make them easier to control, as the distance between the hand grip and the work surface is smaller
- 3.0 Amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM
- 3.0 Amp motor spins the pad at 8,000 – 12,000 OPM (variable speed model)
- Shorter height minimizes the distance between user and workpiece
- Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer life
- Improved dust collection and interfacing with our vacuum locking system
- The innovative one-hand locking system on a dust bag
- Uses hook and loop system with 8-hole discs
- Easy to maneuver, simple but solid
- 3 amp power motor
- Reduced vibrations
- Good dust collection and innovative one-hand locking system
- A lot high rated user reviews
- Shortish cord
- The switch is awkward to use
- Might be difficult to connect to certain shop vacs
They also have pretty much the same speed range and at the same time are around 25% cheaper so very good news indeed. The rubber over-mold and a separate counterweight inside the tool seem to do a good job in reducing vibrations and make sanding large jobs easier on the hand.
Dewalt actually brags about the sanders’ low vibrations at only 2.5 m/s^2, which is important when doing long sanding sessions or if you suffer from a carpal tunnel, as it helps to reduce hand and arm fatigue.
The handgrip is not too big and would be a good fit for smaller hands.
What else do these two sanders have to offer? Let’s see… Dust-sealed switch that should protect it from dust ingestion is a little awkward to use but that is no surprise as most of them are.
Dust collection works pretty well even with the dust bag attached. That’s a surprise, isn’t it? The bag features an innovative one-hand locking system, which is handy. Mostly because usually the dust bags or canisters are a real pain to attach securely. Overall they are solid tools.
Not too noisy and easy to use. The lightweight allows maneuver easily and you don’t have to fight the tool along the way.
6. Makita BO5030K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander and
7. Makita BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
The speed range is 12000 OPM and 4,000 – 12,000 OPM for variable speed one (BO5031K).
They have decent power for various sanding tasks, but this might be not enough if you need more material removal, even with some coarse grits. 1/8 – inch orbit size is on the smaller side which means cleaner finish.
Easy to control and lightweight (2.2 lbs), will simply let you move it across the workpiece with very little pressure for great results ready for the finish to be applied.
- Smooth and fast sanding with 3.0 AMP motor (12,000 OPM)(4,000 – 12,000 OPM for variable speed model)
- Rubberized grip for improved operator comfort and control
- 1/8″ random orbit action for fast and super smooth sanding
- Pad control system for controlled pad speed upon start-up
- An efficient through-the-pad dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
- Dust-sealed switch minimizes contamination
- Uses quick-change 5″ (8-hole) hook-and-loop abrasive paper
- Easy to control and lightweight
- Virtually no vibrations in the upper-speed range
- Excellent dust removal with a shop vac attached
- Well balanced and comfortable
- No out of the box shop vac connectivity
- Clumsy switch
- Uncomfortable vibrations in the lower speed range
Ergonomically designed, featuring a rubberized handle and virtually no vibrations that help reducing user fatigue, these sanders will let you work for extended periods of time.
Saying that the vibrations rise significantly in lower speed range (BO5031K) to the point it makes it uncomfortable to work for longer.
All ball bearing construction and rubberized switch are meant to increase the durability of the tool. The switch is a bit clumsy to operate and the variable speed dial can be difficult to operate with gloves on. The dust removal is decent when using the attached dust bag but nothing extraordinary.
Like in most sanders the bag tends to come off easily.
For much better results hook it up to a shop vac, it takes the dust collection to the next level. The only problem you might come across is a lack of out-of-box connectivity but it can be solved with a Fein Step Adaptor. It seems to do the trick.
These sanders are solid, well balanced and comfortable to use tools. They are a good choice for any woodworker or DIY-er and will not disappoint.
For more info and users’ reviews check the links —> Makita BO5030K and Makita BO5031K
8. Bosch 1250DEVS Random Orbit Sander with Dual Mode
What’s Turbo Mode? This is the thing that will make you want to forget about belt sanders forever. It’s an eccentric mode for aggressive stock removal.
It will remove up to 5 times more material than normal random orbit sanding mode.
- 6-1/2-Amp motor which provides heavy sanding and extended tool life
- Soft start for reduced start-up torque, variable speed to match speed to any workpiece and a vacuum port for dust-free sanding
- Turbo Mode for aggressive, fast stock removal, random orbit mode for fine swirl-free sanding
- Constant response circuitry maintains pad speed under heavy loads and protects against overload
- Dual Mode with Turbo Mode for fast stock removal
- 6.5 Amp motor with variable speed
- Constant Response™ circuitry and speed dial maintain pad speed under load
- Cheap replacement pads with different firmness for different tasks
- No case included
- No locking mechanism for a vacuum port
- Needs some firm grip to handle and getting used to in Turbo Mode
So if you have a lot of rough timber or pallet planks to sand this little beast will easily tackle any job you’ll throw its way. If you considering getting a belt sander you might think again and consider this Bosh.
It’s as aggressive as belt sander but without the risk of gouging a workpiece. It’s also got a soft start function to reduce start-up torque. The simple flip of a switch changes the mode to finish one and you have a nice finishing RO sander that leaves very little swirl.
It might be a bit difficult to handle for inexperienced woodworkers but as with every power tool, there is a learning curve. Here might be a bit bigger one. The auxiliary handle definitely comes in handy because, in this mode, you’d want to use two hands for better control.
The casing is made of hard plastic and the gear housing is a rugged aluminum. Also, bearings and gears and switch that are sealed against dust for long durability.
This sander has a vacuum port and works virtually dust-free with a shop vac attached. There will be a lot of dust when working in Turbo Mode so some kind of dust collection system is a necessity.
Dust port accepts Bosch hoses and standard equipment VAC002 hose adapter allows connection to 1-1/4 ” and 1-1/2 ” hoses. Well made, durable with a selection of accessories available to tackle any job. If you’re experienced DIY-er or a professional woodworker you’d be extremely satisfied with this tool.
9. Porter-Cable 382 Random Orbit Sander
It’s when you switch to coarser grits you can feel the motor slowing down. It’s not a deal breaker, you still will get fine results if you let it work at its own pace, but it will take longer.
- Dual-plane counter-balanced fan reduces user fatigue
- 100% ball bearing construction
- Provides maximum sanding speed for smooth finishes
- Controlled finishing system maintains controllable pad speed and minimizes gouging during startup
- Reasonable price
- A durable and reliable workhorse
- Lightweight and quiet
- Control finishing system to minimize gouging
- Dual plane counterbalanced fan for reduced vibrations
- Parts easy to order
- Slowing down with coarser grits
- Annoying rubber cover on an on/off switch
- No rubber grip
A 5-inch pad has a hook and loop system for easy sanding discs changing. However, if you prefer a stick on paper you can always easily change the base for one that accepts this kind of sandpaper.
Porter-Cable 382 is well balanced and it’s easy on hands. It has a dual-plane counter-balance fan and does a good job on reducing vibrations. Dust collection with a relatively empty bag is good but not excellent, hook it up to a shop vac and it’s a completely different story.
The large, multi-port adapter fits easily and you can enjoy a nearly dust-free working environment. Porter-Cable 382 5-inch Random Orbit Sander is a good value for money. It’s sturdy, well balanced and easy on hands. Good sander for DIYers.
10. Makita BO5041k Random Orbital Sander
The variable (4000-12000 OPM) can be easily adjusted to match different tasks. It’s lightweight and made of quality materials.
Comfortable to use and has nice smooth sanding action thanks yo low vibrations. Easy to control and extra foregrip makes it even easier.
- More Power for Faster Sanding and a Smooth Finish
- Smooth and fast sanding with 3.0 AMP motor
- Variable speed control dial (4,000-12,000 OPM) enables the user to match the sanding speed to the application
- Ergonomic rubberized palm grip and handle for improved operator comfort and control
- An adjustable front handle allows for sanding in corners and confined areas
- 3 Amp motor for more power and faster sanding
- Variable speed for better control
- Low vibrations for user comfort
- Long handle and extra removable foregrip that can be set in any position around the body
- Fantastic dust collection with a shop vac attached
- Very quiet at lower speeds and average at full speed
- No shop vac adapter included in the kit
- Poor dust collection with the dust bag especially at lower speeds
The 1/8″ random orbital radius gives you smoother results and fewer swirl marks as well as decreases the possibility of over sanding and burning the wood.
This sander is one of the quietest when working at low speed and has an excellent dust collection with a shop vac attached. Unfortunately, an adapter for the vac is not included in the kit and when just using the supplied dust bag the dust collection is not that great, especially at lower speeds.
The price, however, is reasonable but mind that you have to pay extra for the case.
The dust bag collects the dust relatively well when clean and empty and only when running the sander at high speed for a few minutes. It changes dramatically with the shop vac attached. The dust level collection is near perfect even when operating at lower speeds.
The vibrations levels are extremely low from lowest to highest speed settings. Working with this tool for hours won’t cause you any stress. Heavy duty case makes a nice addition and overall I recommend Makita BO5041k to anyone who needs a great reliable tool in their collection. It’s one of the best random orbital sanders on the market.
RANDOM ORBITAL SANDER BUYING GUIDE
Random Orbital Sander vs Orbital Sander
Random Orbit Sander
People often confuse it with orbit sander mainly because of the name. The main difference is in a base shape and the way they work/remove material. In RO(Random Orbital) sander the round base vibrates as well as spins what allows for more efficient material removal.
If you combine it with a variable speed you can achieve different results from smoothing rough planks to preparing a surface for a finish.
Some of them like Bosch 1250DEVS also have a second mode like TURBO MODE which makes them even more efficient in removing material. The sanding effects are comparable with those achieved by belt sanders but more difficult to control makes them suitable mostly for experienced woodworkers.
Random orbital sanders come usually in 2 pad sizes: 5 and 6 inches. Anything under 5″ can be considered as detail sander and anything above 6″ is usually a pneumatic sander that requires an air compressor to run.
What to Look for in a Random Orbital Sander?
A Power Source
You can find 3 types of power source – corded a.i mains operated, cordless – battery operated and pneumatic- operated by an air compressor. You must know that the power source will determine the sander’s motor power and weight of the tool. Battery operated tools tend to be less powerful and heavier due to the weight of the battery itself.
Typically I’d say that corded tools are the way to go, but with battery technology improving at a fast pace is advisable to consider cordless tools especially when portability is important for you. Pneumatic sanders are more professional-grade and require additional equipment(an air compressor) to run.
Motor Power and Speed
This type of sander usually feature motors with 2-5 Amps of power. That’s the input power. The output power is the one you should look for as that’s the actual power used to operate the sanding pad. Better quality sanders can consume less input power and yet have the same power output.
The pad vibrations vary from 4000 up to 14000 OPM(orbit per minute) and the more rapid vibrating a the quicker is the sanding operation.
It’s the most important feature for a great flat surface finish. It’s the place you attach the sanding paper to. Usually with hook and loop system(some models accept stick on paper as well). Most nowadays models have holes in the base for sawdust removal (reduces surface scratches).
It’s important to remember that the foam part of the base plate will wear after some time so you’d either have to get a replacement or buy a new sander. So my advice for you is to consider this feature and cost of replacement pad before buying as some pads can be quite expensive to replace.
Dust Collection System
As I wrote above most modern sanders come with some kind of dust collection system in place. It can be a dust bag with or without a shop vacuum attachment/adapter or Microfilter Dust Canister. Sawdust is collected through the holes in a base plate.
Trigger Switch and Trigger Switch Lock
Most of the sanders have a switch that can be rubberized for better dust protection. Some of them also can have a trigger with a lock on a side for easier control.
Whilst small, compact random orbital sanders usually have a single speed, some of them also can feature a variable speed which is usually controlled by a trigger switch or speed control dial and allows to use different speeds for specific tasks.
Rubberized Grip and Handles
Smaller sanders usually are held from the top or in some cases you can wrap your hand around the sander’s body. The bigger ones have pistol/barrel grip handle and sometimes an additional handle at the front for better control(mostly in random orbital sanders).
It’s important to have when working for longer periods of time as it reduces user fatigue and tingling sensation in the hands.
Best Sandpaper for Random Orbit Sander
Random orbital sanders use sanding disks which are usually attached to the base plate by a hook and loop system. This allows for quick paper changes. If you more of a stick-on paper fan, some of the models have interchangeable bases for this kind of sanding paper that can be purchased separately.
The disks usually have 6 or 8 holes for effective dust removal. You can buy them in batches of various grit sizes. If you’d like to learn more about sandpaper and sanding please have a look at my article about sanding tips.
Choosing the best random orbital sander for your projects can give you a headache so I hope this article has given you some answers. So what are my recommendations? When it comes to choosing the best budget random orbit sander my choice goes to BoschROS20VSC sander. If you’re looking for a value for money tool I’d recommend DEWALT DWE6423K and for my top choice I’d definitely go for Bosch DEVS1250 but I realize that this model wouldn’t be a right match for everyone. If that’s the case go for Makita BO5041k which is another fantastic tool.