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Woodworkers’ Corner: The Different Types of Sanders

By on Last modified: June 14, 2017

Whether you are a hobbyist or professional woodworker, I am sure you already know that for these projects, the final touches are just as important as the initial ones. This is when tools such as power sanders come into play, since they have a vital role in achieving mesmerizing finish.

Sanding by hand falls way too short when compared to these time-saving tools, used for various types of projects that include the making of furniture, bookshelves, desks and more. I simply cannot overstate how important it is to find a quality power tools sander best suited for the project at hand.

In the light of that fact, let’s go through the different types of power tools sanders.

Sander Tools

Belt Sander

If you need to remove a great amount of material from a large area, this type of electric sander is the right tool for the job, especially if you want it done fast. Be it squaring or shaping of doors, edge sections or tabletops, with a belt sander it can be done impressively. These sanders consist of an abrasive paper which is nicely stretched over the rollers and some models have the option to be secured on a workbench. The only thing you need to take a closer look at is the sanding frame as some can limit the depth of the sanding process.

Orbital Sander

These are also called finishing sanders since when it comes to getting a heavenly smooth finish, they make the cut like no other sander. They are mainly used for large and flat areas and work with a base plate which can come in different sizes. The plate makes rapid orbital movements and this technique of the power tools sander makes for minimal scratching.

Random Orbital Sander

As any experienced woodworker will tell you, these sanders are the embodiment of the marriage between the two aforementioned types. It has the speed of the belt one and the smooth operator technique of the orbital. No wonder some called it the eccentric one. It features a flexible backing pad and it’s perfect for working with slightly curved surfaces.


Probably the most versatile one. Great for flat and contoured surfaces alike, it has special attachments which are meant to be used on skirting boards and architraves.

Detail or Delta Sander

Yet another ‘eccentric’ this sander also combines a lot of features of the aforementioned ones. It has a flexible pad, it created scratch-free surfaces and it’s great for gently curved surfaces too.