Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Bosch ROS20VS Random Orbit Sander at Amazon
"Has a dust-sealed switch and vacuum-hose adapter for more intense jobs, with a soft-sided carrying bag."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: DeWalt Random Orbit Sander Kit at Amazon
"Has a 5-inch disc and a 3-amp variable-speed motor to power through any sanding task at 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute."
Best Budget: Black+Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander at Amazon
"Features a dust-sealed switch to keep grime out of the tool, a hybrid dust canister, .easy-to-grip rubberized handle."
Best Splurge: Bosch Rear Handle Orbit Sander at Amazon
"Integrated dust-trapping filter and screw-off cap, vacuum-hose adapter for larger, more dust-intensive tasks."
Best Cordless: Makita Cordless Random Orbit Sander at Amazon
"Features one-touch electronic speed control, an ergonomic handle, and a speed-control system that prevents gouging during start-up."
Best for Heavy-Duty Tasks: Ingersoll Rand Orbital Sander at Amazon
"A half-inch air inlet and accepts a minimum hose size of 3/8 inch. Average air consumption is 4 cubic feet per minute."
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Best Overall: Bosch ROS20VS Random Orbit Sander
Like the DeWalt D26453, the Bosch ROS20VS gets raves from experts and owners, but has a slightly friendlier price point. The motor is a little less powerful at 2.5 amps, and sanding speed range is slightly narrower at 7,500 to 12,000 orbits per minute. Still, reviewers say efficient dust collection makes it a pleasure to use this 5-inch disc machine.
Popular Mechanics compliments this model’s “pleasingly long” handle – it allows two-handed use – and says the filter does a great job of trapping sawdust. Like the DeWalt, it also has a dust-sealed switch and vacuum-hose adapter for more intense jobs, and comes with a soft-sided carrying bag. It also weighs about the same as the DeWalt at 3.5 pounds. While most owners say this is a great little sander and a smooth operator, a few grouse that the hook-and-loop pad doesn’t hold their sanding discs on firmly enough. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
02 of 06
Runner-Up, Best Overall: DeWalt D26453 Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit
A reliable random orbital sander noted for its ease of use, the DeWalt D26453 just gets the job done without a lot of fanfare, experts and owner say. It has a 5-inch disc and a 3-amp variable speed motor to power through any sanding task at 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute. Experts with Popular Mechanics say this sander does a great job of keeping vibration to a minimum, making it a cinch to control.
This DeWalt comes with a handy zippered cloth carrying case, a dust bag with a built-in vacuum adapter, and an easy-to-grip textured handle. A controlled-finishing system helps ensure smooth operation, particularly on start-up when there is sometimes a chance that a sander will gouge whatever you’re working on. Air Tool Guy says the dust-sealed switch and fully sealed ball bearings will also help it stand the test of time. At 3.5 pounds, it’s light enough for most jobs, though not the lightest on the market. There is a three-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
03 of 06
Best Budget: Black+Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander
If you’ll only need a random orbital sander for very light or infrequent household tasks, overspending doesn’t make a lot of sense. The best-selling Black+Decker BDERO100 earns raves for doing a great job at a rock-bottom price. Like the DeWalt and Bosch models, it has a 5-inch disc, though the motor is less powerful at just 2 amps. Sanding speed is also a fixed 12,000 orbits per minute, making this model a little less versatile.
The BDERO100 features a dust-sealed switch to keep grime out of the tool, a hybrid dust canister for more efficient dust collection, and an easy-to-grip rubberized handle. However, it does not come with a vacuum hose adapter or carrying case. Despite that, most owners say it does a great job for the price, especially for simpler tasks. A few say their sanding discs fly off too easily and say the dust collector doesn’t do a great job, though. It is slightly lighter than the DeWalt and Bosch at 3.2 pounds and is backed by a two-year warranty.
04 of 06
Best Splurge: Bosch ROS65VC-6 Rear-Handle Random Orbit Sander
If you’re a frequent woodworker and have a little more cash to spend on a top-of-the-line random orbital sander, the Bosch ROS65VC-6 has a little more of everything: more power, more versatility, more features. It features a variable-speed 3.3-amp motor, a 6-inch disc and a wider speed range from 5,500 to 12,000 orbits per minute.
This die-cast aluminum Bosch has an integrated dust-trapping filter and screw-off cap to grab dust during smaller jobs, but there is also a vacuum-hose adapter for larger, more dust-intensive tasks. Experts with Pro Tool Review say vibration control is excellent, and they love the trigger lock that allows the sander to run without users holding down a button. Owners love the power and low vibration of this model, but some grouse that it should come with a carrying case at this price. This powerful sander is also heavier than others at 5.3 pounds, so take note if you need something that won’t weigh you down during a lot of overhead work, for instance. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Best Cordless: Makita XOB01Z Lithium-Ion Cordless Random Orbit Sander
Tired of being tethered to a power cord? You can stop worrying about staying close to an outlet with the Makita XOB01Z, powered by a rechargeable 18-volt lithium ion battery. It has a 5-inch disc and a three-speed motor that operates at 7,000, 9,500 or 11,000 orbits per minute. And if you’re worried about runtime, don’t be: You’ll get 20 minutes of power on high speed and 40 minutes on low – enough for all but the most intense sanding tasks.
The Makita features one-touch electronic speed control, an ergonomic handle, and a speed-control system that prevents gouging during start-up. There is a dust-sealed switch, sealed ball bearings and an attached dust collection bag. The battery doesn’t add too much weight -- this sander weighs about 3.6 pounds, right in line with our top picks. However, reviewers caution that you’ll have to purchase a battery and charger separately, adding to your bottom line. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
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Best for Heavy-Duty Tasks: Ingersoll Rand 328B Air-Powered Orbital Sander
If you’ve already got an air compressor (or are willing to invest in one), the air-powered Ingersoll Rand 328B Geared Orbital Sander can handle a large workload without the chance of breakdowns that can befall electric-motor sanders. Built for heavy-duty tasks, this sander has a large, 8-inch pad to get the job done quicker.
This Ingersoll Rand has a ¼-inch air inlet and accepts a minimum hose size of 3/8 inch. Average air consumption is 4 cubic feet per minute. It has durable balanced ball-bearing construction and weighs 4.7 pounds. Note that there is no dedicated dust collection system, so it’s not for environments that can’t get a little dirty. Reviewers say this is a great pick for larger jobs, and they’ve had similar models for years and expect this one to last for the long haul, too. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent three hours testing one of the top-rated random orbital sanders available. To get the most complete results, our testers took it home and used it to help build and restore benches, shelves, and more. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using this random orbital sander, from its disk size to its special features (like a built-in dust collector). We've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Random Orbital Sander
Power source Random orbital sanders can be powered in a few different ways. Some devices must be plugged into an electrical outlet, meaning you may need an extension cord if you’re planning to work outside. Other units are cordless and run on rechargeable batteries. While battery-powered sanders are infinitely more portable, they have a limited run time. Lastly, some orbital sanders are powered by air compressors, making them a handy option if you already have a compressor in your workshop.
Dust collection You’ll likely kick up a lot of sawdust while sanding, which is why many people prefer a random orbital sander with a built-in dust collector. This feature sucks sawdust into an attached bag that you need to empty periodically. If you’re planning to work in a place where dust doesn’t matter, though, you might opt for a product without any type of dust collection.
Disk size Random orbital sanders use sandpaper disks that come in various sizes. If you’re looking to tackle large jobs, you’re probably better off with a bigger disk size, as this will help you sand large areas faster. On the other hand, smaller disk sizes are better for less extensive projects and usually weigh a little less, too.