15 Different Types of Sanders and Uses (With Photos) – You’ll Love Them

Sanding may not be the most glamorous job around, but it has to be done and if you are going to do it you need to know the different types of sander. Each of these sanders comes with their own special function.

So please keep on reading below for the most common sanders you will find the market and get to know what they are used for and how they actually work.


1. Orbital Sander ?

An orbital sander is also often called circular sander or palm sander. It's a lightweight sander that can be easily controlled with just one hand. Its main function is for super smooth wood sanding as well as rounding extra sharp edges, sanding off toughened wood putty and clearing dried coats of paint or varnish.

2. Random Orbital Sander (see our pick for best random orbital sander)

If you seriously want to advance in your craft, then you should not delay buying a random orbital sander. It has a similar design with an orbital sander but it's a hand-held power tool in which the sanding blade provides a random-orbit action to make sure there will be no single part of the abrasive material moves the same path twice during the same rotation; this means there will be no swirl marks on the wood.

3. Belt Sander (see our pick for best belt sander)

A belt sander is a handy tool that can shape, round and remove edges so a misshaped wood would have a smooth finish. It works great when you want to sand large and flat surfaces quickly. In addition to its sanding function, you can also use it for various grinding tasks like sharpening metal tools.

4. Disc Sander

The disc sander is definitely a great addition to your woodworking tools especially if you want an easy and almost effortless sanding experience. It uses a rotating disc of sandpaper that can smooth surfaces of timber products. It can also be used to improve the surface's flatness; this technique is known to be linishing.

5. Detail Sander

A detail sander will give you a smooth finish as well as getting into furniture joints and other difficult to reach areas. What’s great about this sander is that there’s no need to apply too much effort to work out shapes and smooth a surface. It actually comes in a small size with a triangular shaped pad; this pad is interchangeable according to the job you have to do.

6. Drywall Sander

A drywall sander is a kind of tool that can help you smooth out your wall finish. To make it look great for either painting or decorating. Basically, it is just like your regular wood sander but it’s sharper and specifically designed for drywall, which is not the same as wood and has its own special properties.

There are actually different types of sander wall.

7. Manual Sanding Block

This is a flexible drywall sander that is highly recommended for small jobs like if you want to repair parts of broken drywall or to sand corners and smooth round edges of the drywall. This tool comes with fine and medium grits and is available in dual as well as single angles which are perfect for sanding tight areas without sanding the opposite drywall.

8. Dustless Turbo Drywall Sander

If you're a committed handyman, then you'll love this lightweight sander that comes with a vacuum which efficiently collects dust as well as drywall particles. It also has a rectangular head so you can reach those tight corners and areas. There also some models that come with an air turbine which can 10,000 rpm for a fast-rate sanding.

9. Portable Cable Sander

This is an aggressive type of sander and is more often used for professional jobs. It’s the best sander for ceilings and high walls as it no longer requires the help of a ladder, thanks to its extension boom measuring 13-feet.

10. Orbital Drywall Sander

This a handheld power tool which is ideal for your home improvement projects because it's applicable for various home improvements tasks like removing drywall mudding compound, including paint and rust removal. Though this is a versatile tool, it does not come with an extension boom so you really have to use a ladder when you’re sanding high areas of the drywall.

11. Edging Sander

Edging sander is actually a very powerful machine and it excels on versatility. It features a vertically moving table that will allow you to position the wood as you wish and at an accurate height while the horizontal sanding belt works onto its surface. You can contour, bevel, face and edge your pieces with this machine.

12. Drum Sander

As its name suggests, a drum sander comes with a drum or a spinning cylinder covered with disposable sandpaper. It actually works like a lawnmower by pushing the drum sander. It has a conveyor belt where you can feed the workpiece into the sander head. It’s best used for paint removal, as well as removing adhesives and various unwanted substances.

13. Table Sander

Table sander or bench sander is one of the most used stationary tools for woodwork. What makes it popular is that it's big and powerful, making it an excellent addition to any power tool arsenal and is an incredible way to a level of functionality and convenience to your woodworking shop

14. Oscillating Spindle Sander

This type of sander has been specifically designed to help you get a smooth, flat finish to wood pieces. It’s actually a rotating cylindrical drum that has been covered with gritty sandpaper so you can efficiently smooth out saw marks, inside hole cuts as well as rough curved edges. It does not produce static friction, so it there will be no burns and band marks on the wood.

15. File Sander

File sander is available in two variations, it can be air powered or electric. This tool comes in a really narrow belt so it can fit into almost all of the tiniest spaces, making it ideal for detail work like auto body repair or getting into areas where it’s impossible for your regular sander to efficiently be used.

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