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There will come a time when the project calls for sanding a surface to make it smooth. While there are plenty of hand sanding products you can use to get the job done, there’s nothing like a portable power sander to get it done fast and ensure a smooth finish. We’re going to look at the most common types of portable power sanders that will tackle most DIY applications. We’ll also discuss choosing the right sandpaper.
Always wear a dust mask whenever you’re sanding for a project. Make sure the dust mask is certified for catching sanding dust. This information can be found on the packaging.
Random orbit sanders are the choice of woodworkers because they use a round disc of sandpaper to sand in both an orbital as well as rotary motion. By combining these two sanding motions at the same time, it reduces swirl marks that can ruin a fine finish.
Sand paper attaches to a random orbit sander using a sticky backing or a velcro backing. The holes allow the sander to remove dust from the sanding surface.
Palm sanders, also known as finish sanders, move the pad in small, circular orbits.
Sandpaper attaches to a square pad on the bottom of the palm sander with these clamps. It’s extremely easy to handle and can use standard 9”x 11” sheet sandpaper cut to size.
Detail sanders are ideal for getting into some of the tight spots where other sanders won’t fit.
Detail sanders are extremely easy to use and can accept a variety of attachments for particular applications.
Belt sanders can be used for removing material fast and aggressively. It sands using a continuous belt that rides between either two or three pulleys. Most belt sanders have an adjustment feature that automatically maintains the belt in the center of the pulley during operation.
Along with this 21” model, belt sanders also come in 18” models, which are more suited to do-it-yourself activity. The most common models of each size accommodate 3” wide belts.