2023 has arrived. And as usual, when a new year comes, so does the update of our ranking of the best orbital sanders.
We have reviewed all the leading orbital sanders on the market, and this year we wanted to improve the scoring system. We have replaced the stars with our ratings and ratings from users who have purchased and used the various orbital sanders.
Let’s start by saying that the perfect random orbital sander is the one that best suits your characteristics and your type of use. For this reason, you will find several best orbital sanders, each perfect for a certain type of use.
Before providing you with the details and characteristics of each product, here is a summary of our winners. These are the best random orbital sanders of 2023:
- Best Random Orbital Sander Overall of 2023
- Best budget orbital sander of 2023
- Best random orbital sander for woodworking
- Best random orbital sander for woodworking on a budget
- Best Orbital Sander for Beginners
- Best Orbital Sander for Walls
Best Random Orbital Sander Overall: Makita BO5041K 5-Inch orbital sander
The Makita BO5041K is still our winner in selecting the best overall orbital sander for 2023. We have been praising this little gem for years.
When working with the Makita BO5041K, it is impossible not to love it. It is a 5-inch random orbital sander that looks great, is excellent to use, and comes with many useful features.
It has everything you need to do sanding jobs at home and is the ideal solution for any DIY enthusiast.
The B05041K has some great features that give this tool great versatility.
It has all the things you would expect: a dust collection unit, two handles that allow you to take control of the sander (and also provide more comfort), and a handy carrying case.
- Smooth and fast sanding with 3.0 AMP motor
- Variable speed control dial (4,000-12,000…
- Smooth and fast sanding with 3.0 AMP motor…
- Rubberized grip for improved operator comfort…
In addition to these typical features, other nice touches show the quality of the Makita orbital sanders.
For example, this particular sander has a double layer of insulation, which makes it ideal if you use the orbital sander for wet sanding and need to protect the moving parts from damage caused by water.
There was not one single reason that led us to choose the Makita BO5041K as the best random orbital palm sander, but rather a series of reasons that made it stand out as the best random orbital sander on the market for 2023.
Makita definitely knows what they are doing regarding the design; we can see this from some of its other models, such as the Makita BO5030 series.
This orbital sander looks great, it looks the part, and you feel confident as soon as you see it. It also feels great to use, thanks to the ergonomic design of the BO5041K. It has a rubberized grip that makes it comfortable in your hand and reduces the amount of vibration that passes from the device to your hand as you are sanding.
The Makita BO5041K also has dual hand control – as well as the main handle of the device; it also has another handle at the front.
This front handle is adjustable, so you can move it around the device as needed.
This was one of the critical factors that helped us when deciding to rate the BO5041K at the top of our list. Having an additional handle on the front means you can really get complete control over the device, and it’s great for sanding large areas – having two hands on the sander helps to distribute the strain and prevents you from getting tired.
This provides excellent versatility if you are sanding a wooden floor and a lot of work is involved.
The fact that the front handle is adjustable also means that it doesn’t become a hindrance. Suppose you are sanding along an edge or another enclosed area. In that case, you can easily move the handle out of the sander’s path.
The Makita random orbit sander comes with a pad control system that will automatically control the speed of the sander at start-up, helping to avoid gauges or swirls being left on the surface as you sand. It also features a variable speed control so that you can control the speed of the sander yourself.
This speed control is on the top of the device, ideally placed near the main handle so that you can easily change the speed whilst you are using the orbital sander. Using this variable speed control, you can set the sanding speed anywhere between 4,000 and 12,000 OPM.
Another reason why we decided on the Makita BO5041K as our top-rated was the power that it pumps out. Because a sander can spin at 12,000, OPM does really mean it is powerful, but in this case, and thanks to the 3 Amp Makita power motor, this device really does pack a punch. It is very powerful and sufficient for any home sanding job.
The best part of this sander is the attention to detail regarding the complete package. The Makita palm sander comes complete with a stylish and effective dust bag and a sanding disc to get you started, and it also comes with a tool case.
For the record, this case is one of the best cases we have seen come with an orbital sander, and it means you can tidy up the sander after use.
In summary, we have rated it as the best manual orbital sander of 2023 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, where it can be easily found in stores.
As the cherry on the cake, it is one of the most appreciated orbital sanders by buyers, with a 94 rating.
|Automatic speed control|
Variable speed control
Comes with a carrying case
Rated best sander for 2023
|Dust collection |
pouch does not hold much
Only comes with 1 abrasive pad
Runner Up and Best Cordless Orbital Sander: DEWALT DCW210B 20V MAX
This year, the title of best overall was in doubt until the end because this DeWalt dcw210B almost won the title of best overall only because its battery makes it significantly more expensive than the Makita. Still, as a cordless, it wins hands down our special ranking.
We love this 5-inch random orbital. It has a variable speed motor that can be taken between 8,000 and 12,000 OPM, providing a wide range of speed options to suit any job.
In addition to this, its ergonomic shape (fantastic) and weight, including the battery, are of absolute respect, so it will allow you to work with greater precision and less arm fatigue.
This random orbital is perfect for sanding, polishing, and polishing surfaces of all kinds, with an exceptionally homogeneous final result.
- Orbital sander with brushless motor provides…
- Variable-speed control of the hand sander…
- Orbital sander with brushless motor provides…
- Variable-speed control of the hand sander…
The sander locks instantly when you lift the workpiece, a practical and essential feature to prevent slipping or overturning. This is a very important feature to ensure the safety of the work and avoid accidents.
In addition, vibrations are significantly reduced, which means greater stability of the sander during use. In addition, with the lock function, you can be sure that the sander will remain firmly in place during use.
We have tested this particular tool for several months, and it has been remarkable how long-lasting the battery is. To give you a practical example, we calculated that a 2-ah battery lasts about 30 minutes, while a 5-ah battery lasts about 90 minutes.
This is more than enough for a normal job done by hobbyists. Furthermore, the battery has been designed in such a way as to offer high energy efficiency, ensuring great durability and longer life.
|Lightweight sander |
Best Cordless sander
Comes with carrying bag
Long warranty (3 years)
Best tool for paint removal
|Battery life can be improved If you also need the charger, |
the cost tends to go up a moment
Best budget orbital sander of 2023 – Bosh ROS20VSC
We were pleasantly surprised by the Bosh orbital sander that costs just $60 with a bag included. The price is meager, and we pushed it a bit more than with more expensive sanders.
But we had to change our minds: it always responded excellently to our calls and made us forget the higher cost of other sanders. We found that this orbital sander is really exciting and worth every penny!
For small DIY jobs like painting, paneling, or gluing, or for more complex and occasional interventions, this sander is the ideal solution to always have on hand in the garage or in a bag without fear of external treatments. It will soon become one of those tools that you will take with you.
The engine reaches 12000 rpm, which is the standard to which the market has accustomed us, and has a variable speed regulator.
The ergonomics are very good, offering a comfortable grip and a well-designed design.
Dust collection is excellent, with effective filtering technology that captures and holds most of the dust inside the container. In addition, the Bosch orbit sander comes with a micro-filter system, and Bosch advertises this system as being able to filter dust particles as small as 0.5 microns in diameter.
The result is a very efficient dust collection system that helps you to work in a dust-free environment and also allows you to produce much higher finish qualities when you are sanding.
- SMOOTH FINISH: pad dampening system designed…
- EASY DISC ATTACHMENT: through Bosch’s…
- 2.5-Amp: 7,500-12,000 OPM, Tool Level-2 -…
- The variable speed dial allows you to match…
In our tests, it was able to absorb almost all of the dust produced.
The Bosch ROS20VSC also comes with a pad-dampening system that automatically dampens the sanding pad.
This helps to avoid gouges being made on the surface you are sanding as well as providing consistent sanding over the entire surface, which in turn helps to avoid the problem of surfaces becoming uneven from over-sanding.
The Bosch orbital sander also has its own signature Hooktight sanding pad attachment system – although this is very similar to the hook and loop attachment system offered by most orbital sanders, the Bosch variation is very efficient.
The Hooktight system boasts an impressive 35,000 hooks and will really give the power tool a great grip on the sanding pad. Not only does this avoid accidents, but it also helps to avoid gauges in the surface being sanded, as well as helping to ensure a very smooth and even surface post-sanding.
If you find it on offer, then don’t let it go.
Ideal for amateur and occasional use
Comes with everything you need to get started
Advanced features such as pad dampening
Variable speed control
Carrying case included
excellent dust collection
|For precision work, it may not be the best|
The engine is not as powerful as it wants us to believe
The dust unit is quite big
Harder to handle than some other models
Only 1-year warranty
Best random orbital sander for woodworking: Bosch GEX18V-5N 18V
This random orbital sander from Bosch is part of the Professional line. It is the winner of our ranking on best random orbital sanders for woodworking.
Let’s start from a sore point because it’s the only one we’ll find. I would have expected a faster engine on a considered professional unit, which is the only drawback I’ve found.
Already because the Brushless Bosch GEX18V-5, even if it bears the professional label, is sold at a price similar to the other lower-end orbitals but has construction details typical of professional tools, such as a superlative handle or the attachment for the side vacuum cleaner (or dustbag).
I found the vibration damping to be very good, and the 18V brushless motor, which we criticized earlier, offers similar removal to a corded sander. The speed selector allowed for optimum results in different materials and applications and made you wish you hadn’t lost 2000 rpm.
We have tested this orbital in comparison with the others with regard to woodwork, and it was clearly the best; not only does it have an excellent collection of wood dust, but it manages to smooth by applying less pressure on the sander. This aspect is essential in order not to tire the arm too much on medium/long-term jobs.
Overall, the Bosch GEX18V-5 Brushless 5 In. Random Orbit Sander is a top-notch tool for any woodworker or hobbyist who needs a reliable, efficient, and easy-to-use tool for medium/long-term woodwork. Long duration. Of course, it needs a battery.
- CORDLESS, POWERFUL 18V RANDOM ORBIT SANDER:…
- 5 INCH 8-HOLE SANDING PAD: ideal for both…
|Easy to use and smooth running|
Well-designed and well-built
Powerful and efficient works tirelessly
Great dust collection
Ergonomically designed for comfortable use
Quieter and less vibration compared to other sanders
Cordless, making it convenient for on-site repairs
Good battery life and quick charging time
Good for sanding drywall, concrete, and wood
|One user found it less powerful than expected|
Best random orbital sander for woodworking on a budget: Ryobi P411 One+ 18 V
If the Bosch GEX18V-5 is the best in woodworking, concerning the price, nobody can beat the Ryobi P411.
If you are looking for a sander capable of correctly removing wood with good dust removal and moderate vibration absorption but spending as little as possible, know that this orbital is constantly under $50 (excluding battery).
The price is not the only strength of this little gem; it stood out very well in the tests managing to beat even the most famous brands when it comes to collecting dust or sanding the wood by applying not too much force on the tool.
So if you are looking for an orbital sander for small and occasional woodwork, the Ryobi P411 is the one for you. And if you already have batteries from the ONE+ 18V line at home, the value for money skyrockets.
- CORDLESS: compatible with the Ryobi One+…
- INCLUDED SANDING PADS attached using a hook…
- Battery and Charger SOLD SEPARATELY
- Random orbit action provides a swirl-free…
Can use any Ryobi battery pack
Easy to use
Best sander for woodworking on a budget
|Does not come with a battery |
Not very powerful
Limited dust collection abilities
Honorable Mention: Best Corded Orbital for Random Jobs – DWE6421K Dewalt
The DWE6421k deserves an honorable mention because among the orbitals suitable for all common DIY jobs, among those with the cable, it proved to be among the best. This model, although not as light as the Black + Decker model, is still quite light and easy to use, and, above all, comfortable to hold.
The DeWalt orbital sander can rotate the pad at speeds up to 12,000 OPM and is very nimble when sanding around tight areas and along edges.
The design and construction are strong enough for the category. It is fair to assume that the sander will have a long life due to these features.
The warranty also reflects this, which provides 3 years of limited coverage. A curiosity, in our test, in a moment of distraction, the sandpaper came off while we were sanding a corner, and we sanded over the pad for a good minute; we thought we had ruined the pad, and instead, it was perfectly intact.
This is to tell the solidity of the tool. This DeWalt model has rubber molding on all of its critical areas and a dust-tight switch. These features do a good job of preventing dust from getting inside the orbital sander.
It is fair to assume that the sander will have a long life due to these features. The warranty also reflects this, which provides 3 years of limited coverage.
- 3.0-amp motor of the orbital sander spins the…
- Shorter height of the hand sander allows the…
Long warranty (3 years)
Best paint removal tool
Dust collection is average
The vibration is average
Best Orbital Sander for Beginners : BLACK+DECKER BDERO100
The Black+Decker BDERO100 sander is our winner in the entry-level category. Hard to beat its price, all else being equal.
It’s a lightweight, easy-to-use sander that’s perfect for beginners starting out at DIY jobs. Sands quickly and reliably with a motor that is not very powerful but manages to deliver 12,000 OPM (orbit per minute) to quickly remove paint, stains, and varnish from wood, metal, and plastic surfaces.
Of course, it’s not perfect, and you can’t ask for the moon for this price, but it’s a guarantee for all beginners.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE ORBIT SANDER – 2.0 Amp…
- HIGH EFFICIENCY – Delivers 12000 OPM (orbits…
|Lightweight and easy to use, making it an excellent option for DIY projects.|
Sands quickly and efficiently.
Perfect for beginners with a low budget.
|The on/off toggle switch hard to access.|
Uncomfortable to hold.
Bad dust collection.
Best Orbital Sander for Walls : Milwaukee m18 bos125-0
What must an orbital sander have to sand walls well? well, it has to be cordless to allow you to reach the corners of the wall or ceiling with a ladder without the hassle of the cable. It needs to be strong enough to allow you to remove the paint without making too many passes or applying too much pressure.
It must have excellent dust collection (I assure you that a lot of it is removed from the walls and is very thin). It must be light so as not to tire the vertical arm, and it must not be too expensive because the dust from the wall could prematurely ruin the gears of our sander.
Here, the Milwaukee m18 bos125-0 was the best under this particular use. It is light, powerful, and with a rotation speed regulator. The grip is very good, as is the battery life (the batteries are not present, and if you don’t already have them at home, you can buy them on Amazon)
- Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random…
- This product meets customer requirement
- POWERSTATE brushless motor: generates the…
- REDLINK PLUS intelligence: ensures maximum…
light and handy
good battery life
|sold without battery, it must be purchased separately (here)|
dust collection can be improved
Orbital Sander Review: Buyer’s Guide
Before you start looking for an orbital sander it is a good idea to think about your requirements. There are many different random orbital hand sanders available and each of them has different qualities. One sander might be well suited to a certain type of work whilst another might be ideal in another use case.
There are some questions you should ask yourself in order to find the best palm sander for your needs:
- What are you going to use the random orbit sander for? If it is for a small one-off job then you might want to look for a cheaper low-powered orbital sander. If you are working as a handyman then you might want a more powerful and robust sander, or perhaps even a portable cordless one.
- What surfaces are you sanding? If you are sanding a plastered wall then a low-powered sander will likely be sufficient, however, if you are sanding a large wooden floor then you will definitely need a more heavy-duty sander.
- How often are you going to use the sander? Once again, if you are just purchasing for a one-off job then you want to go for the features required for that job. If you are going to be doing more sanding in the future then you should think about flexibility when looking at orbital sander features.
Once you have some ideas about what you are going to be using the sander for and what your requirements are, it’s time to start looking at all of the options. When you start looking at orbital sanders you will notice there are lots of different metrics and ratings such as RPM, OPM, Amp rating, and many more. It is important to understand what all of these metrics mean and what you should be looking for in each one.
Sanding pad speed – RPM vs OPM
The first thing that most users will look at when comparing random orbit sanders is the speed at which the sanding pad spins. This can be confusing because it is often referred to by different names.
RPM – RPM stands for revolutions per minute and is actually a very misleading term. Because of the nature of a random orbit sander – and the fact that it spins and oscillates it should not be referred to simply by an RPM rating – because it is not spinning on a fixed axis but rather is oscillating in a random fashion.
OPM – OPM stands for orbits per minute and is different from RPM. There is a good explanation of the differences between RPM and OPM in this forum post. Ordinarily, random orbit sanders should all be measured on OPM and any that have an RPM rating is difficult to compare to those with an OPM rating.
There are some fixed orbit sanders and also some sanders that can be set to spin on a fixed axis – and these orbit sanders can be correctly measured by using an RPM figure.
Having said all of that, it is also important to understand that these speed ratings are almost always measured when the pad is not in contact with a surface – in other words when it is spinning freely. In reality, when the pad touches the surface that is being sanded the speed will be dramatically reduced because of the friction that results from the contact. So although it’s easy to be drawn to a higher speed rating it is important to also look at other factors, such as power.
The power rating of an orbit sander is normally provided by a motor Amp rating. The motor Amp rating of most orbital sanders ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 Amp motors and this gives an indication on the power of the motor inside the orbit sander. Some sanders with a lower spinning speed (OPM) can actually be more powerful than sanders with a higher spinning speed if they have a more powerful motor.
If power is your most important requirement then the Bosch 3725DEVS is perhaps one of the best random orbital sanders you can buy as it was rated the most powerful in our guide.
When you are looking for an orbital sander you should consider the dust collection abilities of the sander as being very important. After the performance, the ability of an orbital sander to collect dust and debris is probably the most talked-about feature and the one that most users will point out when they are unhappy with their purchase. Whilst most orbital sanders that are on the market today do have a dust collection unit, not all of them are equal.
The key things you should be looking for when it comes to dust collection are:
- Size of dust collection unit – there are considerable differences in the size of the unit across different makes of sander
- How easy it is to remove and empty – Many orbit sanders come with a one-hand twist removal feature
- How effective it is at collecting the dust – We rated the Bosch ros20vsc as the best mains powered sander for dust collection as it can filter dust particles as small as 1/2-micron in diameter
Warranty details are a very important consideration. The warranty that comes with a random orbit sander tends to range from 1 to 3 years. This is quite a substantial difference and could potentially triple the life of your sander.
In addition to the standard warranty, some orbital sanders offer a money-back or refund guarantee for a short period after you purchase the sander whilst others, such as the Porter-Cable 382, also offer a period of free servicing.
How to use your Sander
Even before you have purchased your orbital sander it’s a good idea that you understand how to use it. This helps you to really appreciate what features you might need from your orbital sander as well as informing you on what additional equipment you may need to purchase with the sander – for example safety goggles, face mask, and dust sheets.
We recently wrote about how you can get the most from your orbital sander and what considerations you should take for sanding various types of surfaces. To find out more, read our guide on how to use an orbital sander.
Where to Buy Orbital Sanders
There are many different places that you can go to in order to purchase your orbital sander. To make sure you get the best orbit sander to suit your requirements, you should consider all purchasing options and not be tied to one location when buying your sander. You can visit your local hardware store to buy an orbital sander; the advantage of this is that you can physically look at, and touch, all of the orbital sanders before purchasing. This can be a great advantage because you get a real idea of how well made the sander is, how it feels to hold and what it will be like during operation. In addition, you can actually see the size and shape of the sander, which is often important, especially if you are sanding in a confined space or in a tight corner. Lastly, purchasing from a hardware store means that you can also see what type of dust collection unit the sander comes with and what size it is.
The other option is purchasing online, places like Amazon have a wide range of orbital sanders and there will often be more choices than in a local store. In addition, you tend to find that online stores have far more competitive prices than local stores – largely because they have lower fixed costs themselves. The biggest advantage to shopping online is the fact that you have so much more information to hand – when was the last time that you went into a hardware store and saw a customer review alongside a product? Probably never. Whereas online you can always look at customer reviews of an orbital sander before you commit to buying it. These reviews can be invaluable.
Conclusion: The best random orbital sander
Congratulations on reading through our guide to power sanders. If you have reached this point then you should now be very well informed. You should have a strong understanding of the different types of orbital sanders available on the market today as well as an idea of all the different features that orbital sanders have and what they all mean in the real world.
From the research that we have carried out, we rated one sander as the best overall sander on the market today. In our opinion, the best mains-powered orbital sander available in 2023 is the Makita BO5041K. We rated this sander as the best on the market because of its look, ease of operation, impressive features, and overall performance.
Even though we rated the Makita BO5041K as the top sander on the market today, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best sander for you, that is why we produced such a comprehensive guide and why we spent so much time explaining all of the different features available as well as in-depth reviews of the top orbital sanders. Each sander that we have reviewed in this guide is well deserved for being among the top-rated random orbit sanders of 2023 and each one has its own unique qualities.
We hope that you can use this guide to pick the best value random orbit sander or sanders for your use case but if you still have questions at this point, or you are just not sure which sander is most suited for your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are here to help and always ready to answer any questions that you have remaining by this point.
From the research that we have carried out, we rated one sander as the best overall sander on the market today. In our opinion, the best mains-powered orbital sander available in 2020 is the Makita BO5041K. We rated this sander as the best on the market because of its look, ease of operation, impr