Best Sanders of 2017

It’s no secret that the right sander comes in handy for most of your DIY projects. And there’s nothing worse than trying to get the job done and the tool not pulling it’s weight.

When it comes to finding the perfect sander for your needs, there’s a lot of options out there. Some of them are good, while others will leave you filled with “I shouldn’t have bought that” regret.

In our quest to find the best sanders of 2017, we wanted to take a comprehensive look at what makes sanders great. This list is designed to give you a look at some of the best sanders on the market today so you can make the decision that is right for you.

Included in the list are some “heavy duty” options as well great sanders if you’re just starting out. Regardless of your experience with sanders in the past, this post aims to give you the best bird’s eye view of your options.

While some other lists out there are super specific, we wanted to share a wide variety of sanders because we know that the perfect sander for one person, might not be suitable for you.

To be fully transparent in our decision process here are a few things we took into consideration when crafting this list.

Price: When it comes to getting the right hardware tools, the price is a huge factor when deciding on which sander to buy. Fortunately, when it comes to sanders there are a wide variety of options to choose from. We looked for sanders that could fit in most DIY project budgets, but at the same time not compromise on quality. Of course, the more powerful sanders are going to cost more, but there a plenty of bargains to be had.

Power: As far as sanders go, you just need enough power to get the job done. Some sanders struggle to perform even the most basic sanding projects, so all the sanders on the list are known for their power and ability to sand a wide variety of surface. We deliberately left a few “brand name” sanders off the list because they just weren’t known for their attention to power.

Reliability: In addition to having enough power to do the job correctly, we looked at how reliable each sander was. It can be the nicest looking sander with the best brand to back it, but if it’s not reliable it’s not going to be a good purchase for your needs. We made sure each sander had outstanding reviews on reliability so that you’re guaranteed to have a great experience.

Customer Service: We also looked at the customer service that comes with each sander. Regardless of the tool, sometimes things come up, but it’s essential to know that when things do you’ll be taken care of. We only included sanders on our list that come with great customer service.

Brand: While this isn’t the most important factor, we did take into account the brand behind the sander. Some brands are known for producing high-quality sanders and some are still working to establish their brand.

Reviews: In our search for the best sanders of 2017, we also read hundreds of reviews for each product on the list. Of course, some sanders aren’t for everyone, so we took a holistic approach to the reviews and made sure to include that in our decision making.

Additional Accessories: One thing we noticed that was a pain point for many sander users is the inability to purchase additional accessories for their sander when needed (sanding discs, sanding paper etc.) Each sander on our list has a reputation for making that process easy. No need to wait 2 weeks for your extra sanding discs to arrive.
Our top 10 sanders of 2017 list include some of the following types of sanders, Orbital Finishing Sanders, Random-Orbit Sanders, Belt-and-Disk Sanders.

Here’s a brief guide to for your reference.

Orbital Finishing Sanders – These sanders are generally very lightweight and easy to control and use with one hand. They are also significantly less noisy than some of the heavier duty options.

Random-Orbit Sanders – Best described as a happy medium between a traditional Orbital Finishing Sander and a Belt and Disk Sander. The main difference between Random-Orbit and a regular Orbital sander is the Random-Orbit sander uses a round sanding disk as opposed to a square one. The circle sanding disk gives you tons of flexibility for a wide variety of needs.

Belt-and-Disk Sanders – Generally reserved for heavy duty sanding, the Belt-and-Disk sanders are perfect for sanding large and bulky items. You’ll want one of these guys on your side when you’re tackling those larger items.

Let’s dig into to our top 10 sanders of 2017 list.

1. DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, “5″

 

Coming in at our number 1 spot, the Dewalt DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander is the cream of the crop in the sander world. Not only is extremely affordable at a $59.00 price point, it has over 119 5-star reviews on Amazon and counting.

In addition to being backed by DeWalt which is known for its high quality, the Dewalt DWe6421K packs just enough power to be used for both personal and professional projects.

After using the Dewalt DWE6421k, you’ll never want to use another sander again.

It meets and exceeds virtually all our criteria for a high-quality sander and is a tool you’ll definitely want in your toolbox.

Pros:

  • Great value at a fantastic price.
  • Everything you need to tackle a wide variety of sanding projects.
  • Top notch customer support backed by the DeWalt brand.

Cons:

  • Our only complaint here is the dust collection process could be a little bit cleaner. That being said, compared to other options it cleans and collects dust extremely well.

2. Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch

 

Another fantastic quality sander at an extremely inviting price (28.99$) The Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-inch is a must have for your sanding needs. It’s compact, convenient, and efficient and the perfect entry level sander.

Weighing it at 3.2 lbs it’s also very easy to handle, especially when adding the finishing touches on some of those tough to sand places.

At its price, it does lack some power compared to some other options, but for the small to medium sized sanding projects, you’ll have more than enough power to get the job done.

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable sanders on the market.
  • Can tackle the majority of your sanding needs with ease.
  • Super easy to handle and very comfortable to use.

Cons:

  • Though it comes at a great price, it’s not as reliable as some of the more premium sanding options.
  • Dust collection can sometimes leave a mess, which can be a hassle.

You can check out our full review of the Black & Decker BDERO100 here.

3. Dynabrade 59020 Dynorbital 5 Inch

 

Unsurprisingly we have another Random Orbital Sander to make our top list, the Dynabrade 59020 Non-Vacuum 5-inch sander makes a strong case to be in the included in every tool kit.

That being said, the Dynabrade 59020 doesn’t come cheap, currently retailing at $166.55. At that price, it doesn’t fit most budgets, but it more than makes up with the power and precision it provides.

It’s unique floating rotor, uses give blades to produce a powerful punch while maintaining a strong and smooth sanding process. It also has a very useful throttle lever that helps eliminate pressure on your palm when in use.

Another great feature, is thumb control speed control, making it easy to switch speeds at a moment’s notice.

What really makes the Dynabrade 59020 stand out is its consistency and precision. You’ll be able to use the tool for years and time after time get the same sanding consistency.

Pros:

  • One of the most powerful and precise sanders on the market today, especially as far as Random Orbital sanders go.
  • Excellent design and has a variety of useful features to make the sanding process both smooth and comfortable.

Cons:

  • Fairly pricey compared to other alternatives, which might not fit some household budgets.
  • While it can be used by those new to sanders, it is definitely tailored for professional use.

4. Wen 6321 7 Amb Heavy Duty Belt Sander With Dust Bag

The first heavy duty belt sander on our best sanders of 2017 list, the WEN 6321 Amp Heavy Duty Belt sander makes a compelling list to rise to the top. It’s $42 price point also makes it incredibly affordable for most DIY budgets.

Its 7-Amp motor rotates the sanding belt at over 13 feet person second and thanks to its lock-in safety feature you can sand for as long as you need without worry. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful sander in the market today for the price.

It also comes with a two-year warranty and access to a network of skilled technicians across the United States for any questions you might have.

The WEN 6321 also includes a large dust bag and extended front roller so you can reach otherwise tight corners with relative ease. It’s also extremely easy to find and purchase replacement sanding belts when needed.

Pros:

  • A high-quality heavy sander suitable for large projects.
  • Has a very nice two-year warranty with access to skilled technicians to troubleshoot any issues that might arise.
  • Easy to find and purchase replacement belts.

Cons:

  • Quality issues have been reported by a few users.
  • Can take a little getting used to, so best used by sanding professionals.
  • A little noisy and vibrations can sometimes be an issue.

5. Black & Decker BDEM600 Mouse Detail Sander

One of the most rewarding things about DIY projects is they come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you need a heavy sander like the WEN 6321, and other times a hybrid sander such as the DeWALT DWE6421K will do the trick.

But when it comes to finishing your projects you need just the right tool to add the perfect finishing touch.

The BDEMS600 Mouse Detail sander at a price of $29.88 is designed specifically to help you finish those last tweaks. It’s Black & Decker’s best selling detail sander and for good reason.

Both compact and beautifully designed, the  BDEMS600 can be gripped in 3 different ways giving you just the right flexibility to finish your project strong.

The palm grip is perfect for final touch sanding, the precision grip provides flexibility, and the handle grip gives you the freedom to reach those otherwise tight places.

Unlike some other sanders on the market, it’s dust collection is top of its class, so you’ll be able to finish your work without the hassle of extensive cleanup.

Though when considering your next purchase, if power is your focus, you’ll definitely want to look at other options.

Pros:

  • Low-cost sander perfect for adding the final touch.
  • Multiple grips for added flexibility.
  • Above average dust collector.

Cons:

  • Sandpaper sometimes does not stick to velcro as expected.
  • Not suitable for all projects (especially ones that need a high amount of power.)
  • Can break down with extended use.

6. Makita BO5041k 5inch

The first Makita backed sander to make our top sanders of 2017, the Makita BO5041k 5 inch sander has quickly become a fan favorite for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

Retailing at $94.99 with a tool case, or $79.00 without, the Makita BO5041K 5 inch sander is a great option for those looking for a sander with solid power and versatility.

One of the first things you’ll notice with the Maktia BO5041k is it’s size. At 3.1lbs it’s extremely light and easy to handle. But don’t let the size fool you, it still packs enough power to get most sanding jobs done with ease.

With it’s solid design, The Makita BO5041k, can be used for extended periods of times without making your hand hurt, and its dust collection system is better than most.

It’s random orbital design also makes it useful in a variety of situations and use cases. You also won’t find much vibration transferring from the motor to your hand.

One downside of the Makita BO541k is that it doesn’t connect with all standard shop vacuums, which might be an inconvenience to some so be sure double check compatibility with your shop vacuum.

Pros:

  • A fantastic first sander purchase.
  • Great design and VERY comfortable to use.
  • Can be used for extended periods of time.

Cons:

  • Dust collection can sometimes be hit or miss.
  • Falls in the small to medium sized project power range.
  • The disc sometimes has issues when sanding completely flat surfaces.

7. The Makita 9903

Stock removal can be a tricky DIY endeavor especially if you don’t have the right tools. Fortunately, the Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3 inch-by-21-inch Variable Speed Belt sander has you covered.

While it’s certainly a sizeable investment at $220.50, it comes with enough force to tackle virtually any job. Its variable speed control reaches a range of 690 -1,440 ft / a minute which means it can cover a lot of ground — and quickly.

The Makkita 9903 also has an auto-tracking belt system that tracks your progress without any additional adjustment needed. This feature alone can make the difference between an enjoyable project and one that makes you want to rip your hair out with frustration.

Its power is strong enough for most uses, but what’s surprising is how smooth it runs. If you’re looking for something with a max power, the Makkita 9903 falls a little short.

Included with your purchase is a standard one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Smooth and easy to use.
  • Very useful auto-tracking belt system.
  • 1-year warranty


Cons:

  • Lacks power in some use cases.
  • At its price point, it’s not suitable for most budgets.

8. Porter Cable 382 5 Inch Random Orbit Sander with ¼ Sheet Orbital Finish Palm Sander

One of the things we looked for when creating this best sanders of 2017 list is flexibility, which is why we have the Porter Cable 382 5inch Random Orbit Sander at number #8.

For those looking for some massive savings, it can also be bundled so you also receive the ¼ Sheet orbital finish palm sander. It’s the complete package and real deal. If you go the bundle route, you’ll get both tools for a cool price of $74.98 but you also have the option of purchasing the sander only which runs you about $40.00

One of the strengths of the Porter Cable 382 Random Orbit sander is it does a very good job of applying just the right amount of power without leaving any damaging marks. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing your entire piece of work be destroyed after hours of hard work.

The porter Cable 382 is excellent for finishing projects and will leave your final product looking and feeling smooth. The random orbit technology also ensures there aren’t any swirls or gouges left after use.

It comes with a 1.9 amp motor that can reach up to 12,000 OPM which is more than enough for most use cases. In addition to being durable, it’s also easy to exchange sandpaper quickly.

Pros:

  • Can be bundled to include the palm sander which can save you a fairly significant amount of money.
  • 100% ball bearing construction for added durability.
  • Designed to reduce user fatigue even during extended use.
  • Soft start for getting your projects off on the right foot.

Cons:

  • Care wear down with heavy use.
  • Handles can be a little comfortable depending on the user.
  • Has been reported to have some issues with large loads.

9. The Skil 7510-0 Sandcat 6 Amp 3-Inch x 18 Inch Belt Sander With Pressure Control

Coming in at number #9 we have the Skil 7510-0 Sandcat belt sander with pressure control at $44.98.

One of the things that sets the Skil 7510 Sandcat apart, is it has pressure control technology which alerts you if you’re applying too much pressure. We found this to be a very useful feature, especially for those who have limited experience with sanding.

Like the Makita 9903, it also has an auto tracking system to help keep the belt center on track, which again we found to be very handy.

Another area where this sander stands out is its dust collection system, which leaves very little clean up after use. With its clear dust container, you’ll also know exactly when you need to change it.

Overall the Skil 7510 Sandcat makes a great first impression and while it brings the power, it does seem to wear down after extended use.

If you’re in the market for a belt sander, this is as safe of a bet as they come.

Pros:

  • Clear dust collection container so you know exactly when you need to change it.
  • Pressure control technology to let you know when you’re applying too much pressure.
  • Great price point for most budgets.

Cons:

  • Can be a little too powerful if not careful.
  • Replacement Sanding belts can be difficult to find on occasion when in high demand.
  • Have to replace sanding belts often with heavy use.

10. Porter-Cable 352VS 8 Amp 3-21 Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

Coming in at #10 on Best sanders of 2017 list is the Porter-Cable 352VS Variable Speed Belt Sander running at a price of $169.00

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the flexibility in both speed and power as it can clock in anywhere between 850-1,300 SFPM (Surface feet per minute.) It’s belt and gear drive system also works to transfer power from the sanding belt to ensure you have just the right amount of power needed.

The Porter-Cable 352VS is perfect for cabinet making, remodeling, and a variety of woodworking use cases. However, it’s strength is really its ability to remove heavy stock removal.

While it packs the power nicely, it is also a relatively balanced sander which makes it easy to use without overwhelming you. Out of the box, it weighs 10.8 pounds.

One complaint that has been received across the board, is the belt has a tendency to shift which can cause some serious sparks on occasion.

While Porter-Cable has lost some market share to other players in the market of the years,  make no mistake this is a solid high-performance sander with only a few minor issues.

Pros:

  • Well packaged and backed by the strong Porter-Cable brand.
  • Durable and high quality.
  • Easy to replace sanding belts when needed.
  • Can control and adjust the speed of the sander with relative ease.

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side.
  • Can sometimes feel as if it lacks power for some picky projects.
  • The sanding belt sometimes shifts, which can cause some sparks during times of heavy use.

And that concludes our best sanders of 2017 list. We hope this list has been helpful in giving you the information and knowledge to make the best decision based on your needs.

While there are a wide variety of needs when it comes to sanding, having the right tool can make all the difference. Whether you’re looking for something light or prefer something heavier, there’s something for everyone on the list.

Be sure to check out the rest of our guides.