With the exception of weighing much less than they used to, designs for portable sanders have remained about the same over the past 50 years. The primary advancements in technology for portable sanders mostly include metal grade, ease of use, grip, speed, and more. Today, they are one of the most common and basic sanding tools found in every workshop or shed around the country. They come in a variety of makes, models, styles, designs, and more, all at different price levels. There are 3 basic styles of portable sanders to familiarize yourself with before making the decision to add one to your woodworking supply inventory.
Continue reading to review 3 basic styles of portable sanders, and how to find the best deals on sanding products online.
In woodworking, it is common to start with a belt sander for heavy-duty or larger-scale projects. Belt sanders quickly sand down wood surfaces and render smooth finishes with ease. They easily remove paint, glue lines, varnish, and more with little effort. They come in a variety of sizes depending on the type of woodworking project you have in store. The most common belt sander sizes include 3”x18”, 3”x21”, 3”x24”, and 4”x24”.
Random Orbital Disc Sanders
After a surface is leveled and sanded down by a belt sander, it is common to then use a random orbital sander to further smooth the surface and remove sanding swirl marks. Random orbital sanders are hand-held power sanders that use an oscillating action to smooth surfaces. They are among the most common sanding tools used in woodworking. Random orbital disc sanders used to be a larger investment, but prices for orbital sanders have decreased substantially over the past ten years, making them affordable for everyone. They are popular because they are easy to use at any skill level, they get the work done quickly, and they don’t leave behind unsightly sanding marks.
Finish and Detail Sanders
Finish sanders, or detail sanders, use a straight-line vibrating action to smooth out the sanded surface. These are perfect “finishing” tools because they come in an array of shapes and sizes that allow sanding in tight corners, crevices, and awnings. Common models come in quarter sheets, half sheets, third sheets, palm styles, and more. Palm style detail sanders are often called mouse, diamond, or triangle sanders.
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