What is a Sander? Types of Sander For Wood Surface!

One of the most tedious jobs is sanding which by default requires a sander and sheet. Now, if you have never heard about it, then you might have questions like what is a sander? What are the Types of sander? And so on.

So today’s goal is to let you know the purpose and definition of a sander. And then, you can understand which one would be good for your job.

A sander is a basic tool that helps to smoothen the uneven surface with the help of sandpaper. It has four main types for particular purposes such as belt-style, random orbital, disc, and finishing sanders.

Even if it seems puzzling right now, we’re going to explain everything down below. Stay tuned and keep on reading!

What Is a Sander? Sander Types & Uses

As a power tool to even out the ragged edge of the surface, a sander is an ideal option. There are mainly 4 types of sanders in the market which most carpenters use for home projects. Which are:

  1. Belt Sander. 
  2. Random Orbital Sander.
  3. Disc Sander.
  4. Finishing Sander.

Coming to their purpose, all of them are used for different reasons. And, there’ll be one sander that can almost overtake others when it comes to multi-purpose. To figure out which one has the type of traits you want for sanding, it’s better to know their usage and purposes.

Belt Sander

Being a common type, the belt sander is a strong one. It works by connecting a sanding belt covered with 2 drums where one is operated by an electrical motor and another just rotates smoothly.  

Usage of Belt Sander

It’s an ideal option for flattening and leveling wood surfaces. Nearly all carpenters use the belt sanders to rub down the rough wood board. And also, it is great for scrubbing purposes. We would suggest using this kind of sander for smaller sanding projects.  

Pro Tip: When using a belt sander, don’t use it continuously in a fixed position.

Random Orbital Sander

With a round pad, the random orbital sander is a good power tool that operates by moving in circular motions or spins. 

Mostly the random orbital sander comes in 5” or 6” diameter pads to sand down surfaces. As this type of sander rotates pretty fast, you can use them in any material including metal and plastic. 

Usage Of Random Orbital Sander

Being the best sander for wood sanding, it never fails to make the surface smooth and soft without causing spots or dents. Unlike others, this type of sander can complete sanding larger parts in a small amount of time. 

Made for use on most surfaces, the random orbital sander can take out old paints or other particles with ease.  

Disc Sander

Just like its name, the disc sander contains a fixed round disc-shaped pad that is sleek and big to polish down surfaces. And, you’ll find 2 disc sanders in the market which are:

  • Handheld disc sander
  • Bench-top disc sander

Usage of Disc Sander

If using a handheld disc sander, it’s perfect for sanding edges and borders of wood materials. This type is good for large workstations. Then again, the bench-top disc sander is an excellent option for sanding small wood pieces.

Finishing Sander

Finishing sander, also known as palm or orbital sander, is an efficient tool that uses a standard sandpaper sheet (1/4”) on the head. It continuously rotates to work in the smaller workstations.

Usage of Finishing Sander

The finishing sander is one of the finest tools for buffing purposes before painting. It is also good for polishing at angles.

Although it can ensure a smooth surface after completing the finishing tasks, still it might leave small dents. In general, this type of sander is best for smoothening varnish and plaster.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you remove the paint by sanding it?

Yup, you can! Both handheld and electric sanders can take out the old paint from any surface. Yet, using the electric sander, the texture can be exposed and cause peel or material damage. 

What is the difference between an orbital sander and a sheet sander?

The point which poles them apart is their usage style. As the orbit sander uses the particular disk to polish the surface, you’ll see the sheet sander uses sandpapers for sanding purposes.  

How long should you use a sander?

Most expert woodworkers suggest using a sander not more than 4-5 minutes to polish furniture or wood material in one pass.  

What is a sander made for?

It’s built to clean the old or unwanted texture of a surface (metal, wood, or plastic). And also, it ensures a nice polishing as preparation for using paint or primer.

Overall Thoughts 

Still, don’t know what is a sander? Types of sander to use in your DIY projects which we’ve described above along with the definition should inform you of all necessary parts along with what exactly each one is. Making a workstation without a sander is like a car without tires. 

So, it’s always better to get one and of course, pick which suits the most with your work type. Out of all, the random orbit sander got the crown from us particularly, because of its excellent performance in both handheld and power source styles.

Hopefully, this guide was informative enough for you to learn. And, hope you find the ideal type through it. Good luck!

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