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Which sander is right for you?

by The Handyguys

in Tools, Video Podcasts

Which sander should you buy? Its better to ask which sander is right for the job you are doing. In this episode The Handyguys discuss which sander is right for the job, the pros and cons of different types of sanders.

When deciding which sander to buy you need to identify what project you need it for and what projects down the road you may need it for.

Random Orbital Sanders

Random Orbital Sanders are the most common general purpose electric sanders on the market. You see them from every major tool maker. They are good for finishing tasks in furniture building, trim carpentry where you may need to sand spackle, painting prep and other uses. They are not good for heavy paint removal, floor finish removal, drywall sanding and sanding into tight corners.

Which Sander - Bosch Random Orbital Sander

Detail Sanders

Detail sanders are good for light sanding, especially in tight spaces. Sometimes used in furniture building, in conjunction with a random orbital sander. Detail sanders are not good for paint removal, drywall sanding, or any heavy-duty sanding tasks. Some detail sanders can be had as part of a multi tool kit, others are sanders only.

Which sander - Detail Sander

Belt Sanders

Belt sanders are good for fast removal of material. They can remove paint as well as sand wood. They are aggressive. Care must be taken to only sand as much as you need to sand. They are not good for fine work and never for drywall.

which sander - Belt Sander

Sheet Sanders

Sheet sanders are good for light tasks. They can be used to remove extra putty when filling nail holes or for a final sanding for furniture builders. They can somewhat get into corners if needed. They are most often used with finer grits of paper. They are not good for heavy sanding tasks.

which sander - Sheet Sander

There you have it, an overview of the most common sander types. Comment below if you have any questions, additions or suggestions.

PS – How do you like the shirt Paul is wearing in this video? Its part of The Handyguys wardrobe from Duluth Trading company. Its their CoolMax Polo

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve May 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Note to your hand-held camera operator: Try decaf!
I got seasick !
Slow down – try wider shots so you don’t have to follow the action so quickly.
Shoot some B-roll close-ups to show detail and edit them in later, again, so you don’t have to follow the unpredictable action with tight shots.
Smooth out and slow down your pans, tilts and zooms.
And one last thing – be aware of the static camera’s field of view. Stay out of the shot.

Good luck.


The Handyguys May 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback. W tried something different and didn’t want the footage to go to waste. it was the first attempt at handheld in the studio for Phil. We will do it again at some point soon and apply your suggestions and a few others.


Tools July 29, 2014 at 6:42 am

Just to throw another hat in the ring, how about the multi-tool.

For example the Fein Multitool. Maybe it is classified as a detail sander, but it is really unique.



The Handyguys July 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Multi tools are awesome when you need them.


joe October 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Those are some great tools, thanks for the information posted here, This blog was something I was looking for


Gabby July 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Excellent info, I need to buy a sander and you are the clearest I’ve found. Thank you guys.


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