Best Sander For Furniture Refinishing in 2020

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If you’re out on a hunt for the best sander for furniture, you’re probably more confused than ever. With so many available types and models, it can be tough to pick the perfect one. 

To make your life easier, I concluded in-depth research and found several options for you to choose from. Below you’ll find all the sander models and types best for sanding and furniture refinishing depending on the task you want to accomplish.

As you will see, there isn’t a one type fits all sander when choosing the best tool for furniture refinishing. However, you could argue that the Worx multi sander could be the case. So usually, you either have to compromise, especially if your budget is limited, or choose two types of sanders to be able to do the job. 

Quick Links – sanders for furniture refinishing/sanding

Best Sander For Furniture in 2020

Let’s have a closer look at the best sanders for furniture available on the market. Have a look at the reviews below and FAQ at the bottom of this page. And let me know if you have any more questions in the comment box below.

Best finishing sander for furniture- DeWALT DWE6411K 1/4 Sheet/palm sander

  • Power: 2.3 Amp
  • Speed: 14000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 1/4 sheet
  • Weight: 4.1 lbs
  • Reduced overall height of the sander to get the user closer to their work
  • Separate counterweight for reduced vibration
  • Rubberized switch to protect against dust ingestion

This 1/4 orbital(sheet) sander from Dewalt has a 2.3 Amp motor power and 14000 OPM, which is pretty decent. Although It has plenty of power for any finishing tasks, it seems quieter and easy to handle, especially with higher grit paper.

When using coarser paper, it can be a little harder to control, though. The anti-slip top and body grip make using it a bit more comfortable, though.

You’re able to hold it from the top, which, I think, is the most optimal, as well as wrap your hand around the body. Keep in mind that the position of the cord can make it a bit awkward. 

The rubber covered knob and counterbalanced low vibration design reduce user fatigue (numbness and tingling after longer sessions). 

Dewalt offers a sander with sealed 100 percent ball-bearing construction and replaceable brushes, which can be very appealing to more heavy-duty users. The dust-sealed switch seems like a great idea, but, in most cases, it can be awkward to use. But that is the case in any sander with some kind of rubber covered switches.

The clamping system uses a couple of dual locking lever clamps on the back ( one on each side) and a heavy-duty spring-loaded front clamp. Changing paper is quick, easy, and doesn’t present more significant problems. However, some users reported that the sandpaper tears easier in some cases.

As with many other sanders, you can use adhesive paper, but as I said before, take care when removing the paper, so you don’t damage the pad. If you happen to do so, there are replacements available to purchase.

This sander has a dust removal system in place. You can use a cloth bag provided, or you can hook it up to shop vac using a built-in vacuum adapter for two different diameter vacuum hoses.

Don’t expect amazing results with the bag attached, but that goes for nearly any sander with some kind of dust bag or container. Removal of dust improves with a shop vac attached.

  • Very low vibrations
  • Replaceable brushes
  • Wire paper clamp easy to operate and holds paper securely
  • Ball-bearing construction
  • Dust sealed switch
  • Built-in shop vacuum adapter
  • Ergonomic grip design
  • The dust collection is not great with a dust bag
  • The switch can be awkward to use

Best sander for Stripping furnitureMakita BO5041k Random Orbital Sander

  • Power: 3.0 Amp
  • Speed: 4,000-14000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 5 in
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Pad control system for controlled pad speed upon startup
  • Large 1/8 inches random orbit action for fast and super smooth sanding
  • Large two-finger trigger switch with conveniently located lock-on button for continuous use and increased operator comfort
  • Adjustable front handle allows for sanding in corners and confined areas

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.

It’ll do a great job removing layers of the finish of old pieces of furniture that you want to upcycle or refinish. If you don’t want to use chemicals for stripping furniture, using this type of sander will speed up the whole process immensely compared to hand sanding.

The variable speed (4000-12000 orbits per minute(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 to 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 and decreases the possibility of over sanding and burning the wood, which is super important if you’re just starting out using this type of sander. Smoother results mean better staining/finishing results.

This sander is one of the quietest when working at low speed and has an excellent dust removal with a shop vac attached. Unfortunately, the kit doesn’t include an adapter for the vac, and when just using the supplied dust collection bag, the dust removal is not that great, especially at lower speeds.

 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 an excellent addition(you have to pay extra though), and overall I recommend the Makita BO5041k to anyone who needs a reliable quality tool in their collection. It’s one of the best random orbit sanders on the market and would be an excellent choice for furniture refinishing.

  • 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 removal 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 removal with the dust bag, especially at lower speeds

Best Sander for large surfaces- Makita BO3710 Finishing Sander

  • Power: 1.7 Amp
  • Speed: 11000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 1/3 sheet
  • Weight: 4.1 lbs
  • Built-in counterbalance system engineered to reduce vibration
  • Efficient through-the-pad dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
  • Large 2-finger trigger switch with conveniently-located lock-on button for continuous use and increased operator comfort

It’s reasonably priced, and you can see and feel its quality. This sander operates at 11000 OPM, which gives you smoother finishes. Although it only has 1.7 Amps motor power, it’s powerful enough to go for a more extended period, even with coarse-grit sandpaper. And it’s easy to control when using any grit.

The baseplate of this Makita is a simple cast, and it’s much thicker and more robust than most of its competitors. Because it’s bigger (1/3 sheet size pad), it gets the job done quicker.

It does an extremely good job on the corners, and the pressure is distributed evenly. The whole area below the plate stays in contact with the workpiece all the time, resulting in a very even flat surface. So important when sanding large furniture surfaces, which in turn means better finish results.

This model has a dust bag included which doesn’t do a great job and usually collects around 70% of sawdust. This changes with the shop vac attached. The only downside is there is no adapter, so you have to shop around to find one.

This sander is reasonably quiet, and the rubberized, ergonomic handle makes it easy to navigate. The trigger can be easily locked so you can use one or both hands.

You can use regular paper sheets rather than hook and loop, which makes it cheaper to run, and the sanding paper change is a breeze with the impressive clamping system.

This feature is particularly important to me because changing the sandpaper in my old sander was a nightmare. You should see the number of sheets I simply damaged because of this. Not mentioning the wasted time. So you’re saving money, time, and not stressing out because of silly little things like this.

This is one of the best orbital sanders on the market. Solid, well made, and affordable. It will make your job easier and faster. It’ll make sanding large, flat furniture surfaces a breeze. But if you think it’s a bit too big for your needs, consider the DeWalt DWE6411K model.

  • Well built, solid and durable
  • Powerful enough to tackle any finishing job and beyond
  • Reduced vibration thanks to the built-in counterbalance system
  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent dust collection with a vacuum attached
  • Easy paper changes with a great clamping system
  • Comfortable to use thanks to ergonomic grip design and 2 finger trigger
  • No box or bag included
  • Only 70% of sawdust collected when dust bag attached
  • Odd sized port for attaching shop vacuum hose and no adapter included

Best detailing sander for furniture- WEN 6301 Palm Sander

  • Power: 1.0 Amp
  • Speed: 13500 OPM
  • Pad Size: 3.75 x 5.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs
  • Lightweight design weighs in at a mere two pounds
  • Dust collection port helps minimize loose sawdust
  • Velcro base pad allows for simple sandpaper removal and installation

This lightweight and compact sander is my pick for detailing sander. It’s also the cheapest one on this list. So if your budget is tight and perhaps you want a random orbital sander as well as detail sander, then this model is worth looking at.

Although not too powerful this sander is not meant for heavy-duty work. The 1.0 Amp power motor and 13500 Opm will provide enough power for finishing tasks in hard to reach places on sanded furniture.

The rubberized grip makes it comfortable to hold and easy to use, and vibrations are not too noticeable. The switch on button is covered in rubber to prevent the dust from getting in and might be awkward to use, especially with gloves. But as i mentioned before, this is the case regardless of the brand/price of the sander.

The pad is a velcro type one and allows for quick paper changing. And just a heads up. Make sure you buy the sandpaper that fits the holes in the pad to ensure proper dust removal. Most of them available in the shops have a different hole pattern or are too short. 

These are the ones that most likely fit: 

FUGEN Gold 100PCS Mouse Sander Pads Assortment 40 80 120 180 240 Grit

Or if you want to save some money, find good quality 6-inch sanding disks like 3M or Mirka Gold. They will fit this sander lengthwise. Then all you have to do is trim the disc to the pad shape and make the holes with a screwdriver/hole puncher.

It has a dust port to hook it up with a shop vac or other dust removal system. Definitely a bonus. Especially for this price. It doesn’t come with a dust bag though I think it should. It’d greatly improve to reduce the sanding dust that it blows everywhere otherwise.

Overall it’s an excellent option for quickly doing small furniture refinishing jobs and detailing on a budget.

  • Compact size
  • Ergonomic grip for comfort
  • Dust collection port and adapter
  • Little vibrations
  • Low price
  • Angled tip for precision sanding
  • Lightweight
  • Not very aggressive
  • Awkward sized sanding paper not available locally in shops
  • No dust bag included

WORX WX820L 20V Multi-Sander

  • Power: 2.3 Amp
  • Speed: 14000 OPM
  • Pad Size: 1/4 sheet
  • Weight: 4.1 lbs
  • Hyperlock quick toolless pad change assures bases never get loose
  • Large orbital radius for aggressive debris removal when needed
  • Variable speed adapts to a variety of materials and applications
  • 20V battery is interchangeable with other 20V WORX tools.

If you don’t own any sanders at all and want to invest in a starter pack, this WORX WX820L 20V Multi-Sander could be an answer to your prayers.

This set includes a 5-inch random orbit sander, 1/4 finishing sander, a detail sander, a finger sander, and a contour sander! All you need to finish any furniture refinishing project. And it’s cordless as well so you’ll be able to get into the hard to reach places without the need for a power outlet and a cord in the way.

If you already own cordless tools from Worx, this set is available as a bare tool as well. 

So what do you get?

A random orbit sander- great for more aggressive sanding and removal of paint/finish with a larger orbit allowing for even faster stock removal.

1/4 sheet finishing sander for smooth finishing and ability to get into corners.

A detail, finger, and contour sander for all those nooks and cranks that you need to get into.

 Well, isn’t that fantastic?

One 20V 2.0Ah battery, 5-Hour charger, the main tool and 5 sanding bases, 3 sanding sheets for each pad, a dust collection bag with adapter, a hole punch for the finishing pad. Mind that even though the photo shows a tote bag, this set doesn’t come with one. Which a shame.

What about the ease of use? The change of sanding bases is quick and straightforward thanks to the hyper lock handle on top of the unit. Pull the lock up and twist the base plate. Then retract the steps to install a different one. Bases are metal, not plastic, which is also worth mentioning.

The unit itself has got good weight and a great feel to it. It’s well-balanced in hand and easy to control without much hand/wrist fatigue. Not too heavy but on the other hand it’s got some weight to it which helps with the better, faster sanding.

It has a variable speed controlled by a dial on the side. The 6 (speed) levels, as well as anything in between, will let you adjust it to any sanding application, from being pretty aggressive on the rougher surface to gentler on the edges of the trim using the finger sander.

The tool has a DustStop micro filter that reduces airborne dust.

It has a dust port and also comes with an adapter. You can use the dust bag included or hook it up to a shop vac for more dust collection. 20V battery is interchangeable with all the other 20V Worx tools.

The charger charges fast, and the battery life is decent. But I do recommend upgrading to a bigger battery or/and buy more than one if you don’t want to run out of juice.

This is a good starter set, and when combined with a belt sander will enable any weekend warrior/DIY-er to get the most jobs done including any size furniture refinishing projects.

  • 5 different type of sanders in one tool
  • Cordless
  • Dustport with adapter
  • DustStop micro filter
  • Well balanced and not too heavy
  • Interchangeable batteries
  • Variable speed allows for different type of sanding tasks
  • Included battery is decent but not big enough for longer sanding
  • No bag or case included

FAQs

In my opinion, there isn’t only one type of sander that is best for sanding furniture. What you’re going to need/use depends mostly on the piece itself and the job you want to accomplish.

So for removing finish/furniture stripping, you want a powerful tool that will easily do it like a random orbital sander. For finishing the furniture surface and inside corners, a sheet/orbital sander or even detail sander would be best.

Best sanders for furniture will have a variable speed, low vibrations and enough power to tackle any refinishing jobs.

The answer to this question mostly depends on the condition of the furniture. First, you need to make sure the surface is clean and dry. Then you need to decide if sanding to bare wood is necessary. That will be the case if you want to re-stain it.

Use coarse grit sandpaper first, to remove the finish(like P80) and then go through the grits accordingly, increasing the grit about 50%. So starting with P80, then you use P120 and then P180. I wouldn’t go higher if you want to stain the wood or stain wouldn’t take. Then you can increase the grit while sanding between the finish coats for super-smooth results.

If you want to paint the furniture, then only sand lightly with medium coarse sandpaper and then use proper paint and/or primer.

An orbital sander is the same as the sheet sander. What you probably meant is a random orbital sander(RO). The two are often confused. Random orbital sander(with round base) and sheet sander with a rectangular/square base have different applications. 

RO sander is usually used to remove more material and is more aggressive. In contrast, sheet sander is used to prepare the surface for a finish. Sheet sander used after RO sander removes the scratches/swirls RO sander made.

Can you use them interchangeably(RO for finishing and sheet sander for stock removal)? Yes, but this is not an ideal solution.

All sanders like RO(random orbital) sanders, sheet/finishing sanders, detailing sanders are basically palm sanders. Mostly the smaller in size like 5 inch RO ones or 1/4 sheet size ones. They’re called palm sanders because you can easily control them with the palm of your hand.

Conclusion

Now that you know which sanders are the best sanders for furniture refinishing, you can decide which one is best for you. As I said before, there isn’t one fit all, and I hope this article has helped you with making an informed purchasing decision. However, if you need more choice, why not check my buying guides on random orbital and best finishing sanders?

best sanders for furniture
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