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.
What sander is best for pallets
There are a couple of options: a belt sander and a 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 challenging to control and are bulkier. Random orbit sanders, especially with variable speed, are more versatile.
If you have a bigger budget, get both. Otherwise, a random orbital sander would be the best choice here.
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. Start with P-40/P-60 sandpaper. It‘ll take longer, but it’s doable.
Best sander for pallets in 2020
Let’s have a closer look at the best sanders for sanding pallets that are available on the market.
Best belt sander for sanding pallets– Makita 9403
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.
Anything from rough pallet planks to hardwood floors to decking. Whatever you need.
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 a wide belt and speed means better and faster performance saving you precious time.
This sander will tackle any task like sanding soft or hardwoods 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 sander is somehow limited 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 beautifully 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 more significant tasks like sanding a decking, you should hook it up to some 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.
Best value belt sander for pallets– Tacklife PSFS1A
This sander is a more affordable option on the market, and yet it still has a lot to offer. Along with a 5 Amp power 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 to hold the trigger all the time.
It will make holding the sander more comfortable and will give you more control over the tool itself.
The belt’s size 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 pallets 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 allowing you 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 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. It’s 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.
It comes with a dust collector box for dust removal, 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 two vacuum adaptors, you shouldn’t have a problem here.
Although not designed for a professional type of work, it’s an excellent sander and exceptional value for money that will handle any DIY jobs. Plus, it has terrific user reviews on Amazon.
Best budget belt sander for pallets – SKIL 7510-01
If you’re looking for a budget belt sander, this one definitely should be one on top of your list to consider.
It has many features that more expensive sander 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 the 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 sander to 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 kinds 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.
Best Random orbital sander for pallets – Bosch dEVS1250
If you are not confident enough to use a belt sander or looking for something more versatile, you have a look at random orbit 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 the pricey side, but you’d never regret spending money on a reliable 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 excellent, clean surfaces in no time. If you need to make them even smoother, flip a switch to finishing mode, and you’re sorted. This versatility is what’s best about this particular sander.
This sander is as aggressive as a belt sander. That’s why I also recommend it for removing paint from wood. The soft-start function reduces start-up torque, meaning you’ll less likely damage the sanded surface.
This tool is very solidly built. And bearings, gears, and switch are sealed against the dust, which will prolong its life.
Another great thing about it is the 6 in sanding pad that you can easily change. You get a choice of 3 different types- extra soft, soft, and hard, especially useful for fast stock removal.
Dust removal is excellent. To the point that with the shop vac attached, the workplace is virtually dust-free. And if you want to use turbo mode, some dust removal system is necessary. Especially if sanding rough wood pallets.
A word of warning, though. This sander might not be the right choice for a beginner as it is quite a powerful tool to handle. Especially when using turbo mode.
It is a great, random orbit sander, 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.
Best value random orbital sander for pallets –
This model is one of my favorite sanders. Greatly priced, well balanced, and powerful enough for any upcycling projects. Or any woodworking projects in that matter.
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. A quality lower grit sandpaper at a higher speed will give you faster and efficient material removal.
Even at the highest speed, this sander is very easy to control. Plus, three rubberized handles make it even easier. 1/8″ random orbital radius gives you smoother results.
Although the dust removal is not the best 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 manufacturer does not supply the shop vac hose adapter.
The one thing that users mentioned repeatedly is extremely low vibrations across all speeds. It makes 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<<
If you’re looking for an all-around sander that would be great for sanding pallets, as well as other projects, this is the model you should definitely consider.
Best budget random orbital sander for pallets – VonHaus
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, this sander has enough power to tackle any jobs and won’t bog down under pressure.
It’s not a lightweight and compact sander, so it might not be for everyone, especially 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 sander very comfortable to use. And it reduces hand fatigue. The sander’s body is big enough so you actually can use both hands if you ever need to.
The 5-inch pad with hook and loop system makes it very easy to change sanding discs. You should know that the pad hasn’t got the brake, so it will keep spinning after releasing 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 random orbital sanders.
The one solution to this problem is to hook it up to a shop vac. Unfortunately, this sander doesn’t come with an adapter, so you’d have to look into it and perhaps come up with some DIY solution.
Overall it’s a solid sander. For the price of BDRO600, you’ll get a surprisingly quiet tool with not too much vibrations. On top of that, it comes with nine sanding disks and three different pads for many other applications like polishing and buffing.
Check out users’ reviews on Amazon here.
Best finishing/orbital sander for pallets –
Although orbital/finishing sander wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to sanding wood pallets, this sander is very much worth mentioning. I’ve written a full review on this particular sander, and if you want to know more, check it out here.
And even though it doesn’t have the ability to remove stock like a belt sander or RO sander, it has enough power to go for long periods even with coarse-grit sandpaper. A 1.7 Amp motor and 11000 OPM is ideal to get nice smooth results.
It has a 1/3 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.
Of course, you could buy a cheaper 1/4 sheet sander, but the bigger size means faster results. Especially if you have a lot of big, flat panels to sand.
Another plus – thanks to a counterbalance system, vibrations and therefore user fatigue are reduced allowing you working for longer.
The dust collection with the dust bag attached is not tremendous and collects around 70 % of dust particles. But it changes dramatically when connected to a dust collection system like a shop vac. This sander is reasonably quiet and easy to navigate.
The clamping system found in this sander is fantastic 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.
As you can see, there are 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.