Sanding is the least favorite thing for most woodworkers and sanding pallets can be especially challenging. Pallet planks are rough and full of knots and if you want them looking good you’d have to spend a lot of time to achieve that.
That’s why finding the best sander for pallets is one thing that can help you a lot and speed up the whole process.
So what sander should you get?
There are a couple of options: a belt sander and random orbit sander. These types of sanders will take care of the rough pallet planks with no problem.
Belt sanders are more powerful but at the same time can be difficult to control and are bulkier. Random orbit sanders, especially with variable speed, are more versatile.
If you have a bigger budget I’d get both in other case this is the best choice.
Finishing(orbital) sanders are not the choice I’d recommend but if you haven’t got any other option make sure you’ll get a powerful one and start with a P-40/P-60 sandpaper. It ‘ll take longer but it’s doable.
BEST SANDER FOR PALLETS
Best belt sander for sanding pallets
Although this sander does not come cheap and you might wonder if the price is justified this tool is one of the top ones in its class and will help you get all the jobs done in no time.
From rough pallet planks to hardwood floors to decking.
The 11 Amp of power with electronic speed control, wide 4in belt and 1640 ft/min mean fast stock removal and better speed maintenance under load. Good news when it comes to sanding pallets.
Great power combined with wide belt and speed means better, and faster performance saving you precious time.
This sander will tackle any task will that be soft or hardwood and will last you ages thanks to the labyrinth construction which seals the motor and bearings from debris contamination.
Despite being a powerful tool this sander is one of the quietest on the market at only 84 dB and will even allow you to work without the ear protection, not that I recommend that anyway.
The versatility of this tool is somehow because of the lack of variable speed. The set speed of 1640 ft /min combined with a grit lower than 80 will give you a fantastic stock removal qualities but put on a 100 grit and you’ll get a nice polished surface. Saying that don’t expect a random orbital sander or finishing sander results.
This sander comes with a dust bag and has a powerful blower that will keep the sanding dust away from the sanded surface and has a 360-degree swivel that allows you to move it out of the way to have a better view.
This bag should be enough for small jobs but if you plan on bigger tasks like decking you should definitely hook it up to some kind of dust removal system like a shop vac or even just a hose with the bucket.
If you want to know what users think of this sander you can check the reviews on Amazon here.
- Large 24×4 inch belt and Powerful 11 Amp motor means fast and efficient stock removal
- Adjustable and 360-degree swivel dust bag.
- Low noise at only 84 dB
- Built out of quality materials
- Sealed motor and bearings for prolonged life
- Ability to change sanding belts fairly easy
- Quite heavy at 13lb
- No variable speed
- On the expensive side
Best value belt sander for pallets
This sander is a more affordable option on the market and yet it still has a lot to offer. Along with a 5 Amp motor and variable speed it has many features that more expensive sanders have for the fracture of the price.
Let’s have a closer look.
The variable speed option has a 6-speed setting allowing you to adjust it accordingly for the task you have in mind. The speed lock will let you set it at the level required without the need of holding the trigger all the time. This lets you hold the sander more comfortably and gives you more control over the tool itself.
The size of the belt is 3×18 in so it’s smaller than Makita 9403 but still big enough for most sanding jobs. The 5 Amp motor will give you enough power for efficient sanding even the rough pallet planks surfaces.
The quick release of the sanding belt makes changing the belts faster and easier. Extra belts(13 pcs P80 and P120 grit aluminum oxide) come with it actually, saving you money and giving you the opportunity to hit the ground running as soon as the sander arrives.
Another great feature worth mentioning is the ability to fix it to a table and use it as a sanding platform. You just use the screw clamps provided. It’s great for sanding disassembled pallet planks and gives you more flexibility.
This sander is half the weight of the Makita weighing only 6lbs. This has a positive and a negative side. The plus side is that it makes it a lightweight, portable tool great to work even on vertical surfaces and it helps reduce fatigue.
The drawback could be that the weight behind a belt sander makes it a bit more efficient/aggressive in removing the stock.
For dust removal, it comes with a dust box which does a pretty good job but if you want to up the dust removal game you can hook it up to a shop vac. As it comes with 2 vacuum adaptors you shouldn’t have a problem.
Although it’s not designed for a professional type of work it’s a great sander and exceptional value for money that will handle any DIY jobs. Plus it has amazing user reviews on Amazon.
- Lightweight at only 6lbs
- Long cord
- Fast belt changing system
- Efficient dust removal with a dust box and 2 shop vac adapters
- Variable speed for different applications and better control
- 5 Amp motor and 14ft/sec speed for efficient stock removal
- Great value for money
- A bit on a noisy side
- Dust box tends to come off
Best budget belt sander for pallets
If you’re looking for a budget belt sander this one definitely should be one on top of your list to consider. It has a lot of features that more expensive models have like pressure control technology that lets you know when too much pressure is applied and Auto Track System that keeps the belt nice and centered on track.
The 6 Amp motor and a large belt will take care of most jobs you throw at it including sanding rough wood. The pressure sensor will make sure that you won’t damage the wood surface while sanding. And belts are easy and quick to change thanks to a single lever.
Dust removal is pretty good even with the dust box that comes off easily and empties with a few shakes. The see-through plastic allows you to control how full the box is and the filter catches most of the dust making the workspace almost spotless.
If you don’t like to work with a box the adapter that comes with it allows for attaching the shop vac if you want to.
This sander is a bit heavier than the Tacklife PSFS1A weighing 7.5 lb but still light enough to be quiet portable and great for all kind of jobs including vertical sanding.
It has many happy user reviews over on Amazon stating that this is a great little sander capable of handling many DIY jobs including floor sanding.
- Powerful 6 Amp motor for all kind of applications including floor sanding
- Pressure sensor allows avoiding damaging wood surface
- Fast belt changing system
- Efficient dust removal with a dust box and a filter
- Auto Track System that keeps the belt nice and centered on the track
- Great value for money
- Doesn’t have variable speed
- Dust box tends to come off
- The motor is not sealed against any dust particles
Best Random orbital sander for pallets
If you not confident enough to use a belt sander or if you’re looking for something more versatile you have a look at random orbital sanders. Below you’ll find some great examples you should consider when looking for the best sander for pallet projects.
This sander is one of the best when it comes to dealing with rough wood or sanding off paint etc. With its 6.5 Amp of power and turbo mode, it’s a beast. It’s on a pricey side but you’d never regret spending money on a solid tool that will last you ages and will be able to tackle anything you throw at it.
The mentioned turbo mode and variable speed will let you work through rough timber, producing nice, clean surfaces in no time. If you need to make them even smoother just flip a switch to finishing mode and you’re sorted.
This sander is as aggressive as a belt sander that’s why I also recommend it for removing paint from wood but The soft start function reduces start-up torque meaning you’ll less likely to damage the sanded surface.
This tool is very solidly built and bearings, gears, and switch are sealed against the dust.
Another great thing about it is the 6 in sanding pad that you can easily change and you get choice of 3 different types- extra soft, soft and hard, especially good for fast stock removal.
Dust removal is great and with the shop vac attached the workplace is virtually dust free. And if you want to use turbo mode some kind of dust removal system is necessary.
A word of warning though. This sander might not be a good choice for a beginner as it is a quite a powerful tool to handle when using turbo mode.
This is a great tool and with many 5 star reviews on Amazon, you can be sure this is a good investment that will last you for many years to come.
- 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
- Auto Track System that keeps the belt nice and centered on the track
- No case included
- No locking mechanism for a vacuum port
- Needs some firm grip to handle and getting used to in Turbo Mode
Best value random orbital sander for pallets
This one of my favorite sanders. Greatly priced, well balanced and powerful enough for your pallet projects. A solid plastic body is housing a 3 Amp motor that will not bog down nor slow down even under pressure and that’s important for an evenly sanded surface.
The variable speed (4000-12000 OPM) will let you have more control over the sanded surface and a quality lower grit sandpaper at the higher speed will give you faster and efficient material removal.
Even at the highest speed, this sander is very easy to control plus 3 rubberized handles make it even easier and 1/8″ random orbital radius gives you smoother results.
Although the dust removal is not great while using the supplied dust bag it changes dramatically once hooked up to a shop vac and working at lower speeds. The drawback, however, is that the shop vac hose adapter is not supplied.
The one thing that users mentioned repeatedly is the extremely low vibrations across all speeds making this tool great to work with even when suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Less stress on your hands and smoother results. For more detailed users’ reviews go >>here<<
- 3 Amp motor for more power
- 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
- hard plastic case
- 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
Best budget random orbital sander for pallets
If your budget is limited there are several options on the market but I think you’ll like this one. With its 3.5 Amp motor, it has enough power to tackle any jobs and won’t bog down under pressure.
It’s definitely not a lightweight and compact sander so it might not be what you’re looking for if you have some vertical/above head surfaces to do but the size and weight have their advantages, like speeding up the sanding process.
The d-shape handle and trigger switch with a lock-on button make this tool very comfortable to use and it reduces hand fatigue. The sanders body is big enough so you actually can use both hands if you ever need to.
5-inch pad with hook and loop system makes it very easy to change sanding discs but you should pay attention that the pad hasn’t got the brake so it will keep spinning after realizing the switch. But for that price, I wouldn’t expect extra features.
The dust collection box tends to pop off and it doesn’t collect much of the dust so if that’s the feature you’re after you should look into Makita or Bosch sanders.
The one solution to this problem is to hook it up to shop vac but unfortunately, this sander doesn’t come with an adapter so you’d have to look into it.
Overall it’s a very good tool. For the price of BDRO600 you’ll get a surprisingly quiet tool with not too much vibrations and on top of that, it comes with 9 sanding disks and 3 different pads for many other applications like polishing and buffing.
Check out users’ reviews on Amazon here.
- Powerful 3 Amp motor
- Variable speed
- Extra accessories – sanding disks and polishing pads
- Reduced vibrations
- Comfortable and easy to use
- No break-disc keeps spinning
- The popping of dust canister that doesn’t collect much dust
- No shop vac adapter included
Best finishing/orbital sander for pallets
Although orbital/finishing sander wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to sanding pallet wood this sander is very much worth mentioning. I’ve written a full review on this particular sander and if you want to find out check it out here.
Although it definitely doesn’t have abilities to remove stock like a belt sander or RO sander it has enough power to go for long periods of time even with coarse grit sandpaper. A 1.7 Amp motor and 11000 OPM ideal to get nice smooth results.
It has a ⅓ sheet size pad and baseplate is a simple cast that is a lot thicker than any of its competitors. Frankly, I don’t think it has any competitors as there are not many sanders of this quality in this size available on the market.
You could, of course, buy a cheaper ¼ sheet sander but the bigger size means faster results if you have a lot of flat panels to sand. Reduced vibrations thanks to counterbalance system is another plus reducing user fatigue and allows you working for longer.
The dust collection with the dust bag attached is not great and collects around 70 % of dust particles, it changes dramatically when attached to a dust collection system like a shop vac.
This sander is fairly quiet and is easy to navigate.
The clamping system is awesome and will let you change the sheet quickly and without damaging the paper which can be a problem in some cases. Buying bigger sheets and cutting them to size also makes it more affordable.
For more info or users’reviews please go here.
- well built, solid and durable
- powerful enough to tackle any finishing job and beyond
- counterbalance system for reduced vibrations
- reasonable price
- excellent dust collection with a vacuum attached
- easy paper changes with a great clamping system
- no box or bag included
- only 70% of sawdust collected when dust bag attached
- dd sized port for attaching shop vacuum hose and no adapter included
As you can see there is a lot of choices when it comes to the best sanders for pallets. I hope my post has given you some answers and that you’ve found what you’ve been looking for.
If you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them for you just leave them in the box below.
Kasia is an owner of Wooden Pallet Projects Toolbox. She’s a DIY and upcycling enthusiast. If she’s not painting, sanding or drilling she’s writing about power tools or tips for DIY and pallet projects that make the creative process easier and more fun!