Reliable random orbital sanders for your workshop

These power tools will make smooth progress on all your woodworking projects.

Person holding a plank of wood
Must-have for woodworking projects.Ian Schneider via Unsplash

A random orbital sander is the perfect tool for achieving a smooth, professional finish on your woodworking projects. Because the sanding disk travels in a random elliptical motion, it won’t leave swirl patterns on surfaces and it isn’t as affected by the direction of the wood grain. Sanding disks of various grit attach to the tool using stick-on adhesive or hook-and-loop fasteners. Some models even have a vacuum feature for collecting dust. Random orbital sanders can be corded, cordless, or pneumatic-powered for people with compressors in their wood shops. Choosing the right tool depends on what sort of projects you plan on tackling. Here are four sanders that might be right for you.

Makita BO503K 5″ Random Orbit Sander, with Tool Case
Dust-collection system for cleanliness.Amazon

This sander features a 3-amp motor for 12,000 orbits per minute. The 1/8-inch random orbit provides fast and smooth sanding, and rubberized grips are comfortable, even during long work sessions. The dust-collection system helps keep your station clean, and a dust-sealed on/off switch minimizes the chances of a malfunction.

DeWalt 20V MAX Orbit Sander, 5-inch, Cordless Kit
No cord!Amazon

This variable-speed sander starts at 8,000 OPM and revs up to 12,000 OPM to help attack spots that really need grinding. The large dust-collection bag pulls air through eight holes in the sanding disk, which makes short work of messy projects. A texturized, rubber grip provides comfort and control, while the internal counterweight reduces vibration. This cordless sander comes with DeWalt’s powerful 20V MAX 2.0Ah Compact XR Lithium-Ion battery pack and charger.

BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander, 5-inch (BDERO100)
Light, 3.16-pound tool.Amazon

This inexpensive tool is a solid entry-level sander, or one for smaller jobs. Its small dust collector and single-speed motor might sound bare-bones, but the 12,000 OPM rotation can make fast work of basic jobs. And at just 3.16 pounds, it’ll wear down the wood before it wears down you.

Chicago Pneumatic CP7200S Mini Random Orbital Sander Kit
Uses one-, two-, and three-inch sanding disks.Amazon

This pneumatic-powered orbital sander requires an air compressor, so it might not be great for casual woodworkers. However, if you’re looking to upgrade the tools in your shop, this is a versatile addition to your arsenal. Lightweight at just 1.5 pounds, it features one-, two-, and three-inch sanding disks to reach tight spots. It has a rubberized grip for comfort, and comes in a molded plastic case for easy storage.