Some of the most common sanders you’ll see around.
Random Orbital Sander
This is my go-to sander. I use it all the time for almost every project that needs sanding. It’s easy for me to hold. It’s easy to switch out a worn out sanding pad for a new one. I love it. It’s a must have tool for me. It doesn’t simply spin in a circle. It kind of jumps around, which is great because it means you don’t have to necessarily “go with the grain” when sanding. The scratches aren’t noticeable. Whereas, if using the belt sander (below) – it’s important you sand with the grain. Otherwise it’s very noticeable.
The belt sander can be fun too. Just beware, when you pull that trigger it can easily escape your grasp and fly across the room. 🙂 This takes a lot more strength to control. But it’s a great one to use on a really rough piece of wood. Rough texture, rough paint job, this will take it off. You can see the ‘belt’ sandpaper that it uses spins in one loop – thus the forward propulsion out of your grasp. Because the sandpaper goes in a continuous loop, it can make scratches. When you sand with the grain, the scratches aren’t as visible. But go “cross-grain” and the scratch marks become stubbornly obvious. There is such a thing as a bench-top belt sander. We find the handheld belt sander more functional.
Bench-Top Disc Sander
I really like this sander when I need to sand the edge of a piece of wood. From the name, Bench-Top, you might gather the obvious. This one sits on a workbench or table top. The Bench-top disc sander is all our mancave needs for a stationary sanding tool. Sure, having a variety of bench-top sanders would be awesome, but we simply don’t have the space. This is a great tool, and it’s very easy to use, and safe when used properly.
Above are the sanders we use most often.
The commercial grade sanders are more for production woodwork – meaning you’re putting 40 cabinet doors through a massive belt sander. They’re great, but you need space and thousands of dollars. Neither of which we have… 🙂