Orbital Sanders and their Functions

When dealing with woodwork, there is a few things to keep in mind when investing in an orbital sander. You want something that will achieve great quality work while also having features that can make your job better and more convenient. Orbital sanders can come with variety of speed options, removal of dust functions, grip, etc. 

Orbital Sanders

First, let's talk about how orbital sanders are designed. Orbital sanders have also been called quarter-sheet sanders due to the fact that you can use a quarter of a 9 x 11 sanding sheet -- if the orbital sander that you chose has a square foot. If you have a bigger surface to cover, you can also look into half-sheet orbital sanders -- which is more convenient for edges and corners. The orbital sander will move in small circles when turned on ,so they do not cut harshly on the surface. 

You can also use orbital sanders for a variety of things. They can be used to remove paint layers, sanding in tight corners and hard to get places, or even as a prep for sealer or paint. 

Random-Orbit Sanders

Random-orbit sanders can be used for different functions as well. Random-orbit sanders can actually remove more of the surface or wood stock when compared to the orbital sander. They can also be a better tool to avoid cross-grain marking. The reason random-orbit sanders can avoid cross graining is because the abrasive grains do not cross the same path more than one time -- even when sanding across the grain -- giving you a great finish . They have a more harsh cutting motion due to the fact that as the discs spin in circles, the pad also moves in an oval motion. The random-orbit sander can be a better option for bigger work surfaces. Random-orbit sanders can be easier to use because they use hook and loop sanding discs, whereas orbital sanders use sandpaper sheets which need to be clamped on -- making it harder to switch out when you need a new sheet. Random-orbit discs can also be great because you can switch grit levels without having to throw them away ; the discs are attached by velcro so you can reuse them. 

Random-orbit sanders with different speed options can get rid of unwanted material material quicker depending on the speed. You can also get more control compared to a single-speed sander because you can change the cutting aggression on the handle. 

Choosing a random-orbit sander that has a hose attachment will make your life a lot easier because it can minimize or remove the dust that coats the surface you are working on all together.

Grips on the sanders handle can also come into play if you are working with them a lot. While most of the random-orbit sanders have a good and comfortable grip, you can also look into getting a side grip which will let you use two hands making it easier for you. 

Sanders and Cord Options

Orbital sanders can come with different options and it all comes down to what you prefer! There are electric cords, cordless, or pneumatic to choose from. Electric cords need an outlet in order to function. So, they do not need to be charged, however, you do need an outlet to be by your work station. Cordless on the other hand to need to be charged because they are operated on batteries. You can also have multiple batteries to switch out if they run out of battery life. They can also be convenient for you if you do not have an outlet nearby. Pneumatic are used if you use a central air compressor for your tools.

Both of the regular orbital sander and random-orbit sander are great, it all depends on your preference and the different features that will work better for you.


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