Best Random Orbital Sander – Buying Guide and Sander Reviews

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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.

In this article I’ll be reviewing the best random orbital sanders listed below:

Best Random Orbital Sander in 2020 Reviews


1. Makita BO5041k Random Orbital Sander

  • Power: 3.0 Amp
  • Speed: 4000-12000OPM
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • Ergonomic rubberized palm grip and handle for improved operator comfort and control
  • Pad control system for controlled pad speed upon startup
  • An adjustable front handle allows for sanding in corners and confined areas
  • Large 1/8 inches random orbit action for fast and super smooth sanding
  • Weight: 3.1lbs

Makita BO5041k random orbital sander is a fantastic tool, even for commercial/professional use. The 3 Amp motor has enough power, and even with some added pressure, it will not bog down nor get hot.

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.

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, the kit doesn’t include an adapter for the vac, and when using the supplied dust bag, the dust collection is not that great, especially at lower speeds.

The price, however, is reasonable, but 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. The heavy-duty case makes an excellent addition.

Overall I recommend Makita BO5041k to anyone who needs a great reliable tool in their collection. It’s one of the best random orbit sanders on the market.

  • Powerful 3 Amp motor
  • 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
  • Lightweight
  • 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

2. Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander

This Bosch ROS20VSC orbital sander is one of the top-rated sanders that is very popular with woodworkers. It features 2.5 Amp motor and variable speed running between 7,500 and 12,000 OPM(Orbits Per Minute).

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.

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.

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 an excellent 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.

  • 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

3. Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander

  • Power: 2.0 Amp
  • Speed: 12000RPM
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • Dust sealed switch to keep all dust and debris out
  • Weight: 3.16lbs

If you have a tight budget or you’re just upgrading from hand sanding, this little sander from Black and Decker could be the one you’re looking for.

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.

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.

The 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 more extended periods.

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 reasonably lightweight so your arm will not ache—a good option for upgrading from hand sanding.

  • Ultra-compact, efficient design
  • A good option for upgrading from hand sanding
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Lacks in power
  • Noticeable vibrations
  • Not the best quality hook and loop system
  • Might not be comfortable to use for small hands

4. Porter-Cable 382 Random Orbit Sander 

  • Power: 1.9 Amp
  • Speed: -12000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • 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
  • Weight: 3.6lbs

This sander has a 1.9 Amp motor that is capable of producing 12000 OPM. A single-speed means that it won’t tackle every job in a shop, but still, we are looking at a basic tool for beginners. When working with finer grits, it does an excellent job.

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 long

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 an excellent job on reducing vibrations. Dust collection with a relatively empty bag is good but not exceptional, hook it up to a shop vac, and it’s an entirely different story.

The large, multi-port adapter fits comfortably, 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.

  • Reasonable price
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Control finishing system to minimize gouging
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Parts easy to order
  • A durable, reliable workhorse
  • Slows down with coarser grits
  • Annoying rubber cover on an on/off switch

5. Black & Decker BDERO600 Random Orbital Sander

  • Power: 2.4 Amp
  • Speed: 14000OPM
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • Paddle Switch Activation for easy on/off during application
  • High-performance dust collection to provide a clean work surface
  • Weight: 3.12lbs

This model can be considered as an upgrade from BDERO100. It’s a newer model, but is it really an upgrade? Let’s try to dig a bit deeper and tell you about what this sander has to offer.

The first thing you notice that it has 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 smaller ones

Another difference is the paddle switch activation, which is an entirely 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 usually do when sanding, and it activates the sander.

It’s quite cool, isn’t it? 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 designed more comfortably 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. But if you’re planning to upgrade, I’d look at the DeWalt models below or even Porter-Cable 382.

  • Intuitive paddle switch with a lock function
  • Ergonomic design
  • Dust collection
  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Doesn’t have variable speed
  • Dust collection is not great
  • Shop-vac connection needs an adapter

6. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit and

7. DEWALT DWE6423K Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander

DeWALT DWE6421K

DeWALT DWE6423K

  • Power: 3.0 Amp
  • Speed: 12,000 OPM/8,000 – 12,000 OPM (variable speed model)
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • Shorter height minimizes the distance between the 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
  • Weight: 4 lbs

If you’re a fan of the black and yellow label, you’d certainly be interested in learning what these random orbital sanders have to offer.

The DEWALT DWE6421K and DWE6423K are newer versions of very liked and popular models DEWALT D26451 (single speed) D26453K (variable speed).

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 handgrip and the work surface is smaller

They also have pretty much the same speed range and, at the same time, are around 25% cheaper so excellent 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 essential 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 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, reliable 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.

  • 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

If you need more convincing you can check the links for users’ reviews ———->>>>
 DEWALT DWE6421K and  DEWALT DWE6423K

8. Makita BO5030K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander and

9. Makita BO5031K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit

Makita BO5030K

Makita BO5031K

  • Power: 3.0 Amp
  • Speed: 12,000 OPM/4,000 – 12,000 OPM (variable speed model)
  • Pad Size: 5 in (125mm)
  • 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
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

Here take a closer look at two models from Makita. The BO5030K and  BO5031K are pretty much the same sanders featuring 3 Amps motor.

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.

Ergonomically designed, featuring a rubberized handle and virtually no vibrations that help reducing user fatigue, these sanders will let you work for extended periods. Saying that the vibrations rise significantly in lower speed range (BO5031K) to the point, it can make 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 challenging 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 an excellent choice for any woodworker or DIY-er and will not disappoint.

  • Small orbit size
  • Easy to control
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction/build
  • Variable speed option for better control
  • Dust extracting system
  • Low vibrations
  • Dust bag comes off easily
  • The switch/variable control dial are a bit clumsy to operate

For more info and users’ reviews check the links  —> Makita BO5030K and  Makita BO5031K

10. Bosch 1250DEVS Random Orbit Sander with Dual Mode

  • Power: 6.5 Amp
  • Speed: 3100-6650 OPM
  • Pad Size: 6 in (150mm)
  • Soft start for reduced start-up torque
  • Variable speed to match speed to any workpiece
  • 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
  • Weight: 3.5lbs

This sander has 6.5 Amp motor, which gives you a lot of power and 3100 – 6650 OPM variable speed to match any project(task). It’s not the fastest RO sander on the market, but a Dual Mode compensates this with Turbo Mode and Finishing Mode.

What’s Turbo Mode? It 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.

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 an excellent 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 the switch are sealed against dust for extended 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 an experienced DIY-er or a professional woodworker, you’d be delighted with this tool.

  • Dual Mode with Turbo Mode for fast stock removal
  • Powerful 6.5 Amp motor
  • Variable speed
  • Cheap replacement pads with different firmness for different tasks
  • Excellent dust removal
  • Built with durable/solid materials
  • No case included
  • No locking mechanism for a vacuum port
  • Needs some firm grip to handle and getting used to in Turbo Mode

RANDOM ORBITAL SANDER BUYING GUIDE


makita random orbital sander

 “Makita BO5041 Random Orbit Sander ” by Mark Hunter, used under CC BY 2.0

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 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 usually come in 2 pad sizes: 5 and 6 inches. Anything under 5″ can be considered as a detail sander, and anything above 6″ is typically 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/spinning speed vary from 4000 up to 14000 OPM(Orbits Per Minute), and the more rapid vibrating/spinning, the quicker is the sanding operation.

Baseplate

It’s the most crucial feature for an excellent 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 currently existing 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 type 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. The better dust collection is, the smoother the sanded surface is as less sanding dust gets in between the sander and the surface.

Trigger Switch and Trigger Switch Lock

Most of the sanders have a switch that is rubberized for better dust protection. Some of them also can have a trigger with a lock on a side for easier control.

Speed Control 

While small, compact random orbital sanders usually have a single speed, some of them come with variable speed as well, which is usually controlled by a trigger switch or speed control dial and allows them to run at different speeds for specific tasks.

one of Makita random orbit sanders and sandpaper disc

 “Makita BO5041 Random Orbit Sander ” by Mark Hunter, used under CC BY 2.0

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).

Vibration Reduction

It’s essential to have when working for more extended periods 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 solution 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.

Conclusion

Choosing the best RO 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.

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