Best Random Orbital Sander For Smooth Polished Surfaces

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Whether you need it for your next DIY project or you need to smooth down old cabinets in preparation for a new coat of paint, a random orbital sander can make the otherwise tedious sanding job easier, smoother, and more efficient and effective.

It will save you more time than your trusted sandpaper. A random orbital sander allows you to complete your sanding projects easily and helps you produce a smooth surface finish for woodworking or metalworking projects. 

We created a guide outlining the best features to consider when buying the best random orbital sander and also listed our top favorites in the market.

The Best Random Orbital Sanders

1. Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

BOSCH ROS20VSC Palm Sander 2.5 Amp 5 In. Corded...
  • SMOOTH FINISH: pad dampening system designed to eliminate swirl...
  • EASY DISC ATTACHMENT: through Bosch's signature Hook and Loop...
  • VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL: powerful 2.5 AMP motor allows speed to...
  • DUST COLLECTION: features a micro filter system for fine dust and...
  • KIT CONTENTS: Includes sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring,...

The Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander is designed to allow you to finish your tasks quickly without any swirl marks. The sander features an integral pad dampening system that helps prevent swirl marks. The random orbital sander is equipped with Bosch's signature HookTight hook-and-loop disc attachment that holds the discs firmly in place while you work whilst still allowing you to easily swap discs when necessary.

The Bosch 5 inch orbital sander has a variable speed control; thus, users can adjust the speed based on the task. The speed is adjustable from between 7,500 and 12,000 opm, with a single speed of 12,000 opm so that operators can dial up or down. 

The Bosch Sander 5 inch random orbital sander has a 2.5 amp motor ideal for plenty of DIY tasks. It comes with a built-in micro filter system that traps dust particles as small as 1/2 micron in diameter and has a twist-off dust canister that lets you see at a glance when it’s full. It also has a vacuum-hose adapter if you prefer to hook the device to your wet/dry shop vacuum.

The Bosch 5 inch orbital sander features an ergonomically shaped handle with a soft-grip top. It is long enough to allow you to grasp the sander in various positions, greatly reducing strain on your hand and wrist. Additionally, the sander weighs only 3.5 pounds and has an 8-foot cord; hence you can stand comfortably while working.

The kit includes a sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter, and carrying case.


  • Great sander.
  • Lightweight.
  • Great dust collection.
  • Good vibration control.
  • High orbit speed at 12000 OPM.


  • Quite Expensive.

2. Makita XOB01Z Random Orbit Sander

Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random...
  • Three speed settings (7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM) engineered for...
  • Large 1/8" random orbit action engineered for fast sanding and...
  • One-touch electronic speed control switch provides fast, medium...
  • One-touch electronic speed control switch provides fast, medium...
  • Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit...

The Makita XOB01Z runs on a rechargeable 18-volt lithium-ion battery. (The battery is sold separately) This is great as you don't have to worry about getting out that extension cord. In terms of runtime, you get 20 minutes of power on high-speed and 40 minutes on low, which is sufficient for all but the most intense sanding tasks.

The Makita random orbital sander features three-speed settings that are designed to increase efficiency and mobility. The settings are 7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM, and the three-speed motor easily spins the 5-inch disc at various speeds per minute. You can manage this through the one-touch electronic speed control.

The Makita sander features a dust-sealed switch and an attached dust collection bag. The Makita sander body is ergonomically designed hence increasing user comfort.


  • Easy to use and comfortable.
  • Lightweight even with a battery.
  • Offers three sanding speeds.
  • An effective dust collection system.


  • It could use a little bit more power.

3. Black & Decker BDCRO20C

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Random Orbital Sander, Cordless...
  • FAST MATERIAL REMOVAL – At 12,000 opm (oscillations per...
  • COMPACT, EASY-TO-MANEUVER DESIGN – Compact and helps reduce...
  • HOOK-AND-LOOP SYSTEM – For convenient sandpaper changing.
  • ON-BOARD DUST COLLECTION – Easy-empty dust bag keeps your work...
  • 20V MAX* LITHIUM ION BATTERY – Holds a charge for up to 18...

This Black + Decker random orbital sander is ideal if you're looking for a power tool for weekend fix-ups and DIYs. The 20v max random orbital sander is cordless and features and a hook and loop system that helps make paper changes easy.

It comes with a dust bag and has a speed setting of 12,000 opm. It can be used to remove paint and stain or varnish from wood, metal, or plastic; shape wood or surface preparation for finishing projects.


  • Lightweight and affordable.
  • Great for small-sized projects.
  • Comfortable and easy to hold.
  • Great sander.


  • Short battery life.
  • Dust bag fills up quickly.

4. DEWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander

DEWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander, Tool Only (DCW210B)
  • Orbital sander with brushless motor provides runtime and...
  • Variable-speed control of the hand sander from 8,000 to 12,000...
  • Low-profile height of the power sander allows user to get close...
  • Replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad (DWE64233) for...
  • Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for long...

The Dewalt Orbital Sander features a variable speed control with speeds ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM. It uses a 20V battery system and features a brushless motor that provides runtime and efficiency, ensuring you can get your work done.

The Dewalt Orbital Sander has a low-profile height that allows users to get close to the work surface for precise sanding. It features a replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad that allows for quick, easy paper changing.

The orbital sander comes with a dust-sealed switch that protects against dust ingestion. The sander features a texturized rubber overmold grip that ensures comfortable sanding. Lastly, the sander comes with a locking dust bag that's one-handed.


  • Offers variable speeds.
  • Not too loud.
  • Sands very well.
  • Lightweight even with a battery.


  • Short battery life.
  • The dust collection system isn't as efficient. Still require a dust mask.

5. Ryobi P411 One+Random Orbit Sander

Ryobi P411 One+ 18 Volt 5 Inch Cordless Battery...
  • CORDLESS: compatible with the Ryobi One+ battery system. Work...
  • INCLUDED SANDING PADS attached using a hook and loop connecting...
  • RUBBER OVERGRIP with notches makes it easy to handle despite...
  • DUST BAG attached to the tool to collect any shavings from your...
  • 10,000 ORBITS PER MINUTE make this perfect for any sanding and...

The Ryobi 5 inch Random Orbit Sander is not as aggressive; however, it does sand well and with a high degree of control. The 5-inch Random Orbit Sander is cordless and is compatible with the  Ryobi One+ battery system.

The power tool comes inclusive of sanding pads that are attached using a hook and loop connecting system. This allows for a more optimal user experience. The 5-inch random orbit sander features a rubber grip that makes it easier to grip and handle the power tool's intense vibrations.

The Ryobi Sander comes equipped with a dust bag and has a speed setting of 10,000 orbits per minute. This sanding speed is ideal for any sanding and polishing work if the right pressure is applied.


  • Has a good battery life.
  • Ideal sander for small jobs.
  • Lightweight sander.


  • Has a weak motor.
  • Does not a have variable speed option.

Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Random Orbital Sanders

a) Corded or Cordless

A corded random orbital sander is ideal if you're working indoors and have access to an electrical outlet.

While a portable cordless orbital sander is better suited if you'll be mostly working outside or your worksite does not have access to an electrical outlet. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power these types of random orbital sanders. Though cordless orbital sanders have the advantage of being portable, you have to ensure not to use the tool for several hours as their run time is limited.

b) Power

A random orbital sander's power rating is usually provided by motor amp rating. Most random orbital sanders have motor amp ratings that range from 2.5 to 3.3 Amp motors. This is the power of the motor running inside the random orbital sander. Some sanders with lower spinning speeds (OPM) can actually be more powerful than sanders with a higher spinning speed if they have a more powerful motor.

c) Dust Collection

The dust collection system is one key factor to consider when looking for the top random orbital sanders. Some of the key things to look into are:

  • The size of dust collection unit – there are key differences in the size of the unit across different types of random orbital sanders
  • The ease of removing it and emptying it - A lot of sanders come with a one-hand twist removal feature
  • Its effectiveness at collecting the dust

d) Build Quality

This a factor most people overlook while purchasing. However, it is essential to look for a random orbital sander that is sturdy and has a good build quality to use for a longer time. For instance, power tools built with metal are more likely to last longer than those built from plastic.

In terms of reliability, check if the machine has a warranty duration. Most of the tools come with a 1 -2 year warranty, while others include a 3 year or more warranty.

e) Type of Handle

Most random orbital sanders have a palm grip design, thus allowing you to grasp the top handle located directly on top of the pad to control the tool's direction fully. The design is ergonomic and reduces hand fatigue.

However, the downside is that some products have larger palm grips than others, making it difficult to grasp for those with smaller hands. Palm grip design sanders are ideal for smaller projects due to their compact and lightweight bodies. You can also grip the sander around the neck for greater control.

If you're looking for greater control and a more secure grip, random orbital sanders with D handles would be better suited. Some models have a trigger switch located right below the handle, allowing for a more convenient operation.

For those looking to reduce arm and hand fatigue, there's the option of auxiliary handles. A random orbital sander with an auxiliary handle is more convenient as it allows you to apply the right amount of pressure to the tool while working. It's also easier to use the tool vertically or overhead. There are some models that have built-in auxiliary handles, while others have auxiliary handles that can be adjusted and removed when necessary.

f) Sander Disk Size

The standard disc side for random orbital sanders is 5 inches in diameter. These are more commonly available in the market. It is possible to find sanders with a diameter of 1 – 4 inches smaller discs, which are ideal for sanding in tight spots.

On the other hand, 6-inch or larger discs are better suited for larger projects like sanding a hardwood floor. Hence, when selecting the base plate/disc size, it should be based on the sander's size and model you’re going to purchase.

When selecting the size of the disc, the larger sander disc is considered more preferable as it offers better performance to the use, especially at higher contact surface area. It would be best if you also considered sanders that are easy to replace and are handy while working with different sanding discs with different grit levels.

g) Variable Speed

Most random orbital sanders come with a single-speed, but a few models have a variable speed that tones sanders' aggressiveness. The variable speed control knob on the handle allows you to change the speed and aggression of sanding. It provides control over the speed of the tool, thus aiding in a smooth finish.

A higher speed helps you to grind down the roughness quickly and is ideal for general sanding or when dealing with coarse materials. The lower speed provides a smooth finish to the material while using the sander. It is better suited for fine sanding.

Lacking a variable speed control is not an issue. You can do without it as you can achieve success by simply using the correct sandpaper grit, which is coarse with roughness, medium for smoothing, and fine for finish work.

Frequently Asked Question About Random Orbital Sanders (FAQ)

What is the difference between orbital sanders and random orbital sanders?

The orbital sander generally the older and simpler of the two. It has a square foot that accepts a quarter of a 9×11 sheet of sandpaper. These tools are often called quarter-sheet sanders. Its best feature is its square shape which allows it to get in corners and up against edges. Orbital sanders aren’t overly aggressive; hence it's hard to remove a lot of material. It moves in a circular motion.

A random orbital sander does not create a distinct pattern and instead moves back and forth. It allows the tool to be used without any concern for grain direction. It removes more material than the orbital sander. Many random-orbit sanders feature variable-speed switches for less aggressive sanding. They also have hook-and-loop sandpaper disks, which easier to change than the quarter-sheets clamped on orbital sanders.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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