From skirting boards, furniture, or preparation for a new stain on a section of wood, sanding can be a tiresome task unless you have the right tools.
An orbital sander can turn this tiring job into a pleasant experience, but how can you know which is the best random orbital sander to buy?
This article will review the best random orbital sander brands in the UK and considerations when buying a random orbital sander.
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Best Overall – Makita BO5041 Random Orbit Sander
The Makita BO5041, Random Orbital Sander with a removable and adjusting handle, is our best overall if you’re looking for a new sander.
It is the perfect choice for small jobs like sanding skirting boards and furniture. If you find yourself working in a confined area, the handle rotates to make the task a little easier.
In addition, the handle offers a good amount of padding for comfort and helps grip you to the sander for more precise operations.
This sander delivers 300 watts of power with variable speeds starting from 8000-24000rpm. This kind of speed is ideal for achieving those polished results you desire.
The sanding diameter is only 125mm, so it is slightly smaller than some other options available on our list. One downside to this machine is that sanding papers do not include the purchase price, meaning you will need to buy extras separately.
Dust ports are a convenient feature that can be attached to a collection area or vacuum. This feature allows you to keep your space tidy at all times, with just an empty the dust collector needed.
When you have come to the end of your sanding papers life, you can easily replace them using the hook and loop mechanism. This mechanism is efficient, meaning there is less time between jobs, allowing you to work longer.
Weighing a total of 1.4kg, the Makita BO5041 Random Orbital Sander is fitted with an oversized bearing considerably lighter than other models available on the market.
The bearings are sealed to ensure no dust or debris affects the motor’s performance in any way. Another handy feature is the lock-off switch.
This feature allows you to continue to work without needing to hold down the activation switch reducing any strain while working.
With your purchase, you will be given three years warranty that keeps you protected from any faults or damages that could occur.
- Lock-off switch
- Lightweight design
- Adjustable handle
- Powerful motor
- Ideal for home use and DIY enthusiasts
- Dust collection system built-in
- It doesn’t include a storage box.
- Sandpaper replacement system takes some time to become familiar with.
Runner Up – Dewalt 20V Random Orbital Sander
The Dewalt Cordless Sander is another excellent sanding tool on our list and our runner up choice. This orbital sander is part of the XR line from Dewalt, offering extended runtimes compared to some other models available.
The brushless motor has been designed to offer up to an hours runtime from a single charge. All powered by the 5.0 ah battery. The overall design is compact but still has all the necessary features to work efficiently.
For example, the rubber moulded handle helps to reduce fatigue caused by vibrations, while the lowered body allows you to get closer to your work, giving you more control and clearance while you’re sanding.
Take advantage of the variable speed options located on the top of the device alongside the power control. These buttons have been found in a convenient spot to allow one-handed adjustment. Speeds change from 8000 to 12000 OPM.
The power switch is surrounded by a rubber seal to prevent any dust from affecting the application of the button. Switches are common areas that can be affected by dust, causing them to become faulty.
There is an 8-hole velcro system that attaches the sanding pads easily. This is a standard system and can be found in lots of orbital sanders. One of the more useful features is the one-handed, locking dust bag. The attachment allows you to connect securely with ease.
- Compact size
- Brushless motor
- Variable speed
- Dust collection system
- Powerful motor
- Dust-sealed power switch
- Long battery life
- The 5Ah battery can feel heavy at first
- Dust extractor connection not standard
Best Budget – Bosch PEX 220 A Random Orbital Sander
The beauty of this Bosch Random Orbit Sander is the combination of orbital and rotary actions.
The distinct nature ensures that your finish is always scratch-free and of high quality, no matter the surface. Great for woods, metals, and even to sand down any old paintwork.
This sander is highly versatile in operations and differs from regular sanders on the market.
The first noticeable difference is the shape of the base being round, not rectangular, and secondly, the sanding action is very different. Sanding disks are easy to remove with the convenient velcro system in place.
Each sanding disc comes with pre-punched holes to allow the dust extraction system to work as efficiently as designed. These saddening discs come in a variety of grits, each designed for its specific job.
Sanding becomes easier with every use of the PEX 22A. The fatigue-free characteristics allow you to tackle sanding jobs for longer durations and even allow you to tackle vertical and overhead surfaces.
This sander is also highly versatile, with the round base applicable for both round and flat surfaces, allowing you to work on cars, boats, and other surfaces with different contours in shape. One of the Bosch PEX 220
A standout features is the 220 W motor that delivers reliable performances. A lightweight and compact design is ideal, weighing only 1.4kg, but don’t let this fool you. The Bosch sander still offers a continuous speed of 24000 rpm.
- Unique shape
- Lightweight design
- Fatigue-free deign
- Convenient velcro sanding pad design
- Scratch-free design
- Versatile usability
- Round bases are ineffective in tricky places
- The discs sometimes clog with dust
Best Cordless – Makita DBO 180Z Orbital Sander
Whether you’re a trading professional or a keen DIYer, Makita is a brand that you will recognise, and for a good reason.
This Japanese tool manufacturer has a wide range of high-quality power tools perfect for jobs of all shapes and sizes. Through this innovative design comes the DBO180Z Random Orbit Sander.
This sander takes full advantage of the Lithium-ion Extreme Technology produced by Makita, known as LXT.
Considering the compact design of this sander, a powerful 18V AC battery has been introduced. Compared to some other options on our list, this Random Orbital sander is a little heavy, but with added weight comes durability and sturdiness.
This sander’s overall feel and control are excellent, with a cleverly developed grip shape and balance that helps create better precision when working on a job.
The controls have been positioned with lots of thought to make use as easy as possible. There are only two control buttons that power the sander off and change the speed.
Compared to some other cordless versions, the power is a little slack, but the variables 7000, 9500, and 11000 OPM are perfect for most sanding jobs.
The build quality is as good as you would expect being a Makita product; with durability at the forefront of their design, these tools are built to last.
This sander is pretty quiet during operation, too, and vibrations are limited, ensuring your hands feel just as good as before you started working.
With so many Makita products available, you already own an 18V battery, making buying the Makita DBO 180Z Orbital Sander even better.
- Three variable speeds
- Cordless abilities
- Specially designed grip
- Durable design
- Intuitive controls are easy to use
- High-quality Makita construction
- Effective dust removal system
- Potential power issues with low running battery
- Bulkier than some other products
Best Heavy Duty – Bosch PEX 300 AE Orbital Sander
The Bosch PEX 300 AE Random Orbital Sander is powered by a 270 Watt motor.
The practical and compact design allows you to work with lightweight applications with absolute precision. How this sander moves is great, it delivers rotary and orbital movement to ensure a smooth finish is always given.
The low power means fewer vibrations, a great feature as this sander creates no strain to the user preventing any damage that could occur to your health over time.
For convenient and comfortable use, the power switch is located along the handle allowing users to activate the sander without any strain. The handle also features an ergonomic design to contribute more to comfort when in use.
The Bosch PEX 300 Orbital Sander also features a microfiltration system that traps dust to stop it from being released into the air. Added extras such as a specifically designed vacuum are also available at an extra cost.
Although this is a lower-priced model, it still has a variable speed setting allowing you to get the perfect results for specific jobs. The speed ranges from 4000 OPM to 24000 OPM. With the 125mm sanding diameter, this is the ideal tool for completing smaller tasks.
A convenient velcro mechanism is used to attach the sanding paper. One of the best features is that all of this comes in a handy carry case keeping everything in one place, creating less chance of misplacing something.
- Built-in dust extraction system
- Easy to exchange sanding sheets
- Variable speed
- Igniting power
- Controlled easily
- Solid feeling
- Speed can be adjusted
- Grip is soft
- The sanding paper can wear out quite quickly
Premium Choice: Bosch Professional GEX1251AE2 GEX 125-1 AE Corded 240 V Random Orbit Sander
Bosch needs little introduction as one of the most longstanding and reputable manufacturers of power tools worldwide. This handheld orbital sander is perfect for home DIY, hobbyist and professional use.
It’s part of Bosch’s professional range so should have the teeth for more intensive sanding applications. A high max no-load RPM of 7500 to 12000 ensures smooth performance when sanding the vast majority of man-made and natural woods. The ergonomic grip has two grip zones for effective sanding at practically any angle or position.
The sanding disc itself is 125mm which is more or less the standard size for handheld orbital sanders of this type. You’ll have no trouble with finding replacement sanding discs. There is also a dial that enables the user the select the speed of the sander – higher speeds will be needed for tougher woods or hardened man-made woods.
A high-quality removable dust filter system ensures that wood particles are efficiently removed from the sanding device. Dust masks are always essential when using sanders of any type as wood dust inhalation can be highly irritable to the lungs and airways.
- Mains-powered orbital sander
- 7500 to 12000 no-load RPM
- 125mm sanding discs
- Dial for selecting sanding speed
- High-quality two-way ergonomic grip
- Dust microfilter
- Well-made device
- Quality grip
- Above-average power
- Takes standard 125mm sanding discs
- Excellent dust filter
Considerations Choosing a Random Orbital Sander
Random orbital sanders usually use a round sandpaper disc available in a range of sizes.
The most common come in diameters of 6 and 6 inches, although larger heavy-duty options can use sandpaper as large as 8-inches.
With your sander, you can’t simply change the size of paper you’re using and be on your way. Instead, your device will have a specific size pad needed.
Smaller discs give you a little more in terms of control, and the unit is usually a more compact size, meaning you can get to those hard to reach areas.
If you’re looking to work on larger pieces, a larger sanding disc will be more appropriate.
While sanding, you are likely going to create a lot of dust in your working area. This is why many buyers prefer a random orbital sander that offers a dust collection system.
With this feature, you will have a much cleaner operating room and leave yourself with less work needed after completing your sanding work.
The dust collector will need to be emptied periodically. Some sanders feature a vacuum attachment that allows you to connect your shop vac and dispose of any dust that way.
Your random orbital sander can be powered in various ways. Some devices work using a mains power supply that will be plugged into the usual electronic outlets.
However, if you’re planning to work outside, you may require an extension cord to reach your desired area.
Another power option is with a battery. Battery-powered sanders are much more portable but have a limited run time and are sometimes less powerful.
To Sum Up
If you’re looking for the best random orbital sander for your next DIY project or need a replacement in your arsenal of professional tools, we have something for everything on our list. Cordless and powerful, there’s something for everyone’s needs.