Are you buying a random orbit sander? Here are some tips on which to choose!
Photos by: Unsplash
A sander is a tool that is used to achieve a perfectly smooth finish by sculpting and texturing wood and removing paint and varnish. Regardless of the extent to which you work with wooden furniture, floors or patios, a sander is a must. In almost every case, grinding is the part of the job you don't enjoy because there is clearly no aspect that elevates you. Imagine choosing the wrong tool just for this part – nothing can get worse, can it? If you still manage to find the perfect tool, you will immediately notice the results of your efforts and, in this case, it will actually be fun. So one thing is fixed: you need to choose the grinder that works for your job. Two of the most popular Power Sanders – from the home improvement freak to a rookie renovator to a highly skilled, professional worker – are the Orbital Sander and the Sheet Sander. They are very common and are used for certain types of work. Although they are both tools for sculpting wood and peeling paint off from the point of view, they both use sandpaper, the normal one. So it is important to understand all the differences between Orbital Sander and Sheet Sander in detail in order to know what you want to work with. This article will help you acknowledge exactly that:
The orbital sander is made up of a tell-tale square foot, which means it can easily go up against edges and into corners. It's often considered a quarter blade sander because its square foot is good for a quarter of a 9 by 11 sheet of sandpaper. There are also half blade grinders for various purposes. Orbital Sanders typically cost $ 30 to $ 40. The sanding process is mainly done as the foot vibrates heavily in small tracks or circles, although you need to be careful and careful when sanding across the grain due to the pattern.
Advantages: The most attractive feature of the orbital sander is that it is square. This makes it possible to work in corners and against edges. You can easily use a normal sandpaper cut instead of separately manufactured sanding discs. The orbital sander leaves very few cross grain marks so you don't have to have a lot of stress to ruin your job as it won't (unless you are that bad!). It's not that aggressive either. Check your grinder's sanding pattern to make sure there are minimal cross-grain scratches. However, the scratch patterns and efficiency vary depending on the brand used. All in all, Orbital Sanders work fast and are great for important projects.
Disadvantage: The main and one of the few disappointments with Orbital Sander would be that not much material is removed and the sanding marks are usually somewhat visible. The clips that hold the sandpaper in place on a random orbit sander often prove to be quite problematic, although the designs can vary.
When to use: Use Orbital Sanders in areas where a sheet metal sander would not fit and where you need to sand very lightly. If you want to prep a surface that you want to paint or seal, or even knock off an entire coat of paint, this is the tool you are looking for.
Do you need the best random orbit sander? Click here for more information.
Sheet metal grinder
Get the job done – you can already guess it by the name. Sheet metal grinders (or sometimes also called Finish Sanders) are used for this. Compared to orbital grinders, sheet metal grinders are less powerful but of great use when you apply this finish, the final step of prep before using any paint, stain, or varnish. They generally use a quarter of a standard 9 x 11 sheet of sandpaper and therefore are referred to by many as Palm Sanders, or more precisely ¼ Sheet Pad Sanders. They usually cost $ 50 and are square like Orbital Sanders. Most models generally come with a spring-loaded clamp that holds the sandpaper in place on the sanding pad. Sheet metal grinders, due to their shape, can hit the edge at 90-degree angles. And the back and forth motion in which it works means you need to sandpaper it from time to time to keep it operating properly.
Advantages: Sheet metal grinders are widely used and undoubtedly your first choice for any type of thesis. They are affordable and can be worked directly into the 90 degree angled edges which make them very practical. They also don't leave as many visible marks as Orbital Sanders.
Disadvantage: As mentioned, they're less powerful and smaller, which means they can't remove as much material as Orbital Sanders. They are mainly used for finishing work and cannot be used for a wide variety of jobs. The high amount of sandpaper they waste is also a problem. Sheet metal grinders work in a typical back and forth motion. Because of this, they tend to leave visible swirl marks on your material. This can prove unbearable if you are a perfectionist who wants an overly finished look.
When to use: Sheet sanders excel in smaller projects. For small DIY projects, their light weight and affordability make them the perfect solution. And look at the lighter side for a change – a smaller size refers to the fact that they are precise as you work and don't leave a lot of marks compared to a random orbit sander. Hence, you need to sand down a piece of wood and give it a suitable finish – a sheet metal sander is what you are looking for.
At the end of the day, you decide for yourself which one to choose from among the two sandpaper grinders we discussed. Renovating your home and having a lot of incomplete work? Is your hobby making furniture from scratch? Remove paint or paint? If so, go for a random orbit sander as it offers the power, speed and flexibility you need for your projects. On a very tight budget and ready not to use your grinder that regularly? Do you only need it for small projects? Get a sheet metal grinder that is much better at detailing and giving your furniture the finish you've always wanted! Whatever you choose, you decide what suits you best. Good luck!