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Orbital Sander Product Guide

Top Products
10-07-2014 5:07 am

At first glance the sanders in the entry-level segment of the 5" random orbit sander market appear to be very similar. All of them are roughly the same size and shape, and their specs do not differ all that much.

Having reviewed all of them, I can tell you that they all feel different when the sand paper meets the work piece. Let's take a look at the most widely used 5" random orbit sanders, and figure out which one is t


Recent Reviews
09-22-2014 6:39 am

The BO5031K random orbit sander is a favorite among users on the internet. It seems to perform well for just about everyone. I really liked its bigger brother, the BO5041K, when I reviewed it in my workshop. Let's take a look if the BO5031K is the great all-rounder it is said to be, or if the voices on the internet got this one wrong like they so often do.

The Makita BO5031K Random Orbit Sander

The BO5031K is a general purpose 5


09-08-2014 10:59 am

Another week, another sander. This week the Hitachi SV13YA random orbit sander makes an appearance on the Hingmy test bench. This one looks like the rest of them, except that it is green. Let take a look what the SV13YA can bring to the random orbit sander market, and if it should have a spot in your tool chest.

The Hitachi SV13YA Random Orbit Sander

The SV13YA is a 5" random orbit sander from Hitachi. It follows a generic desig


09-01-2014 2:26 pm

In the next couple of months I am going to work my way through a number of 5" random orbit sanders in preparation for an upcoming "Best Of" article. This week it is the Milwaukee 6021-21 random orbit sander's turn in the Hingmy workshop. Its specs and online reviews promise it to be a lot of sander for the mon


07-28-2014 3:35 pm

This week the ROS20VS made an unscheduled appearance in my shop. The tool I wanted to review in its place arrived in broken condition. While that is unfortunate, it gives me chance to continue my quest to review every orbital sander on the market today. Let's take a look at what the ROS20VS brings to the 5" sander market, and figure out, if it is a good addition to your shop.

The Bosch ROS20VSK Orbital Sander

The ROS20VS is a ra


12-22-2013 2:54 pm

The Makita BO5041K caught my eye the instant I saw it. It looks like a compact random orbit sander with a couple of handles glued on. Since a lot of the work I do in my woodshop involves hours of sanding, I ordered a BO5041K for a test driver. Let's take a look at this novel design and find out if it makes the BO5041K a better compact sander.

The Makita BO5041K

The BO5041K is the top of the line 5 inch random orbit sander from Makita. It bl


Orbital Sander Guide

Porter Cable 382 Random Orbit SanderOverview

Orbital sanders create a scratch free finish by moving the sanding pad in a random pattern. They are best used for doing fine sanding passes.

Shopping Guide

The pad of a random orbit sander not only rotates, but also moves side to side slightly. The two motions combine to create a "random" pattern. This pattern eliminates deep scratches that can appear when using the other types of sanders in a single direction for too long.

Larger orbits and higher speeds increase the sanding speed of the sander. Disk size significantly increase the productivity of the tool, since the outer edges of the pad move significantly faster as the diameter increases.

Compared to Belt Sanders

Orbital sanders are not good at rapid stock removal. Use a belt sander for this feature.

Compared to Palm Sanders

Sanding performance falls of near the rim of the sanding disk due to imperfect downward pressure in that area. It is very difficult to sanding up to edges and into corners with an orbital sander and produce a consistent finish. The palm sander with its square sanding pad is the better choice of tool for this task.

Orbital Sanders by Max speed

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You may like
"Good general purpose ROS. Easy to hold, plenty of power. Dust collection works pretty well. Rubber-booted switch can be difficult to operate without fumbling."
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"A great, durable, and powerful sander at full speed with a novel and useful grip. Vibration is an issue at slow speed. Dust collection performance is average."