Many home improvement projects require the use of a portable power sander. Individuals who lay down a new deck, build their own furniture, or repaint an automobile will all have use for this tool at a certain point. Here is some basic information about how to find the best portable power sanders for various projects.
Portable power sanders come in several types and each is suitable for different uses:
- Belt- these are used to smooth and level a surface in a short time. Some work well on narrow spaces and close to vertical surfaces. They come in a variety of sizes, each determined by the size of the belt. The number of amps of most portable versions varies between five and eleven. The speed of the belt, which determines the cutting power, ranges from approximately 700 to 1,400 feet per minute. Some models have variable speeds with dial or finger speed controls. These sanders usually have a system or bag to collect dust in order to keep it away from the project.
- Random orbit- this is used after the belt sander has leveled the surface. This oscillating sander will remove swirl marks from wood. The tool may either have a grip or palm design and the sanding pads will attach with either a hook and loop arrangement or adhesive. Some models feature simultaneous orbiting motions rather than repeating the same motion. Some will switch between orbital modes with the turn of a knob. Many orbital sanders include a dust collection bag.
- Finishing- these use a vibrating or straight-line motion to finish the sanding tasks on a wood project. They come in many sizes, from a palm sander to a half-sheet version. Almost any type of sandpaper may be used with a finishing sander. These tools usually have a dust collection bag and the larger models are very powerful. The half-sheet model will orbit very quickly, enabling the project to speed along.
- Specialty- these are geared for specialized sanding projects. They include the profile or detail sander, oscillating spindle sander, and 3D sander.