Craftsmen use random orbit sanders for fine or rough sanding, polishing, and more. The best random orbit sander should have a comfortable, ergonomic feel, and while it is not essential, having a variable speed motor will give you more control over the sanding depth and finish.
All the models reviewed below use the most common 5″ pads with the hook and loop fastener system, similar to the Velcro fastening system. This is simply because it’s most commonly used with professional orbital sanding tools and accessories. But, it’s also a quick and simple method for holding sanding pads and discs (much better than the stick-on type pads). Here’s a good comparison of hook and loop vs peel and stick sanding pads.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Makita BO5041K is the comfortable feel of the handles, but that’s really only the first of several features which makes this the best random orbit sander for the money. For those who work on a range of projects, the variable speed motor can accommodate anywhere from 4,000 to 12,000 orbits per second. In addition, the adjustable front handle can be rotated out of the way to get closer into corners.
It has a large orbital size to reduced swirling. Even an amateur tool user will appreciate the two-finger trigger system and the conveniently accessible lock switch for continuous operation. The kit also comes with an effective dust removal bag and a handy storage case to protect your investment.
While the Makita brand is Japanese-owned, the company owns manufacturing plants in countries such as Canada, Great Britain, and United States, and has been awarded recognition for best in-class engineering. On the other hand, one thing that is missing from most orbit sander kits is an adapter for connecting directly to a shop vacuum system. That does not detract from the quality of the Makita, though, because adapters are readily available at your local hardware stores. Aside from that, the Makita earns its top spot by providing a tool that is perfect for the job site but sensible enough for your garage.
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A popular feature that earns Bosch tools their place on many top tool lists is the exquisite German engineering. The Bosch ROS20VSK has an adjustable speed ranging from 7,000 to 12,000 opm, perfect for the finest finishes and material polishing. It has a built-in pad dampening system designed to reduce swirling, and the ergonomic design is small enough to fit into all but the smallest of corners while sanding. The kit includes a patented Microfilter Dust System that helps pull dust away from the work area so you will have better visibility and a more satisfactory finish.
This kit also comes with an adapter for connecting to a vacuum system and a convenient carrying case. There are some complaints about the motor overheating under heavy use, but for most purposes you will never experience a problem. Unfortunately, the kit does not comes with much of a selection of sanding accessories. But the 5-inch, 8-hole disc is common and you can find many different grit counts at most hardware stores, or from your favorite online supplier.
Made in the USA, Black & Decker tools are are some of the most popular tools made for home and light duty use due to them being such a good value. The BDERO100 is no exception, providing exceptional fixed-speed orbital sanding in a compact case that is lightweight and comfortable to grip. Because it is designed for home use, this model does not provide a method of connecting to a vacuum system, but it does come with a specially designed dust bag which will catch a majority of the dust and debris.
If you are the kind of person who wants a simple, no-nonsense orbit sander, this tool is one of the easiest to use models you are likely to find, but keep in mind that this tool is not meant for heavy use and may not take the strain of extended operational periods. For projects like furniture stripping and polishing, the BDERO100 is a lightweight alternative to heavier, variable speed models, and since it uses a conventional hook and loop pad retention system, you will find that there is a huge variety of sanding grits and related accessories available from several manufacturers.