Question on orbital sanders?

I have been a home wood working guy for a zillion years and have gone through a couple orbital sanders. My adult daughter has asked for an orbital sander for the holidays and most of the ones I saw online had circular shaped sanding surfaces. It seems to me that a square shaped sanding surface is much more practical. I'm sure over 80% of the things I finish sand are square or squared off shapes and the square shape of the sander seems much better at getting into inside corners. The square shaped surface units use conventional sand paper and the round shaped ones require special round sheets of sanding paper. Conventional sand paper is presumably less expensive and the round sheets seem like they would only be used for that one tool. Input from folks who use these more than I do and/or use the round ones would be appreciated. Thanks. 

7 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    You learn how and why to use both. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    100% with anonymous. Buy rolls and cut you own sheets to fit, less than half the cost of sheets. 

    Buy 60, 120, 180 and 240 grit  for a decent finish. Even 400 for something really smooth.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Mine is a half sheet sander, rectangular (although I actually buy sandpaper by the roll). I also have a detail one (triangular) that is great for getting into awkward corners. Never really saw the logic of round ones, although palm sanders look as thought they might be comfortable to use.

  • 2 months ago

    Almost all hand sanders are now "orbital sanders". Back in the day, Sears had a Craftsman "dual motion" sander that allowed you to switch between an in-line (forward/backward) sanding motion and orbital, but it seems that no other companies make such a sander nowadays.

    Being myself a "home woodworking guy for a zillion years", and having 3 daughters, if one of mine asked for an orbital sander I would first ask "for what kind of projects?" Does she want it for small crafts, or is she building furniture?

    Depending on the answer, I would opt for either a 1/4 sheet or 1/3 sheet corded sander. Corded, because battery powered sanders are stupid. Sheet, because as you mentioned, you use standard sheets of sandpaper, ripped to the proper size. No need to buy specific brand/size round sandpaper. Makita makes nice 1/4 and 1/3 sheet sanders. I would never spend money on a round sander. How would she sand inside corners?

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  • 2 months ago

    A random orbital sander is intended for surfaces that do not have inside corners. They are the best for sanding flat surfaces. If you worry about the cost of sandpaper you are not using it properly. It is the difference between a shoddy finish and a finish you can be proud of. 


    I have been a wood working all of my life and own just about every kind of sander there is. If I could only have one, it would be my random orbital sander.

  • fuzzy
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    I use Quarter sheet sanders since you get 4 pieces out of one sheet, when you're doing some heavy sanding or stripping those round disc's will start to add up real fast compared to a 25 pack of sheets. Though round double acting sanders are generally smoother and better at fine finishing  

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    personal finance orbital sanders?

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