Best Sanders

If you’ve got a DIY, home renovation, repair, or arts & crafts project coming up, then chances are you’ll be in the market for a new sander.

Understanding the differences between sanders - from a belt sander to an orbital sander or floor sander - can help you decide which tool is right for you. Continue Reading...

Brand
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Rating
Price
$16.95 to $1,499
$16.95
$1,499
Features
Sanding Plate Diameter
50 mm
232 mm
Power
50 W
Colour / Finish
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Based on 212 reviews
Festool ROTEX RO Series

Festool ROTEX RO Series 🏆 2024

4.7  (36)
 Summary
Dave W
Dave WQLDSouth East Queensland, QLD3 posts
  Verified 90
Perfect addition to existing my Festool sanding gearI already have the Rotex RO150 but the RO90 is perfect for those tight spots and live edge sanding. The Delta pad is also very handy on this machine. The addition of the RO90 brings my tally of Festool sanders to 4 and I couldn't be happier........they all have their strong suits in different applications. Quality gear. Show details ·  1
Bosch Random Orbit Sander

Bosch Random Orbit Sander

2.8  (46)
 Summary
  • Thumbnail
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Ben
BenNSWSydney, NSW91 posts
  PEX 300 AE
Makita MT Series M9400G

Makita MT Series M9400G

4.4  (8)
 Summary
$169RRP
DazB
DazBNSWIllawarra, NSW21 posts
 
Festool ETS EC 150 EQ

Festool ETS EC 150 EQ

4.4  (7)
 Summary
$1,025RRP
Ben
Ben
 
Festool
Festool   DM   
More
Ryobi EBS800 / EBS800V Belt

Ryobi EBS800 / EBS800V Belt

1.9  (31)
 Summary
Happy or Unhappy
Happy or Unhappy4 posts
  EBS800V
Festool DTS 400 REQ

Festool DTS 400 REQ

4.5  (4)
 Summary
The Handyman
The HandymanNSWSydney, NSW
  Verified
Love this little sanderI love this thing, it’s so compact and the dust extraction from the CDIMidi is exceptional.
I’m going to get the orbital 125mm for my bigger projects Show details ·  1
Makita 9924DB

Makita 9924DB

5.0  (3)
 Summary
$389RRP
Jimmmmmmy54
Jimmmmmmy542 posts
 
As good as they getAfter my Previous Makita belt sander had a hernia after some 25-30 years I purchased the Makita 9924DB. As they say its a beast. Bit on the heavy side but so powerful . This is one good belt sander Show details
Festool Planex LHS 225 E

Festool Planex LHS 225 E

5.0  (3)
 Summary
$1,499RRP
ADAM SMITH PAINTING
ADAM SMITH PAINTINGNSWMurray Region, NSW
 
Excellent Tools a must haveA must have got any tradies
Great to use on any job
Definitely makes the job easier
Thanks guys very happy Show details ·  1
Makita BO5041KX

Makita BO5041KX

4.0  (4)
 Summary
$209RRP
Jimmy
JimmySAMetropolitan Adelaide, SA3 posts
 
Ryobi 370W Belt & Disc RBDS4601G

Ryobi 370W Belt & Disc RBDS4601G

2.6  (9)
 Summary
$185RRP
Gusty
GustyQLDSouth East Queensland, QLD15 posts
 
Works Well, then starts tripping circuit breakersThis is my third Ryobi Belt and Disc Sander from Bunnings. Performance and reliability for all three are the same. They work well for 1 year to 18 months, then they will constantly start arcing tripping the home circuit breaker. I wont risk buying another Show details
Bosch Belt Sander

Bosch Belt Sander

3.8  (4)
 Summary
robbo59
robbo59VICGreater Melbourne (Metropolitan), VIC57 posts
  PBS 7 AE
Bosch Multi Sander

Bosch Multi Sander

2.5  (8)
 Summary
Caddy
Caddy7 posts
  PSM 160 A
Ryobi 18V One+ 125mm Random Orbital R18ROS-0

Ryobi 18V One+ 125mm Random Orbital R18ROS-0

4.3  (3)
 Summary
$99.98RRP
Kieran Saunders
Kieran Saunders6 posts
 
Great toolThe Ryobi one orbit sander is a great DIY tool for projects around the house, and at a reasonable price
Makita BO3710X

Makita BO3710X

4.3  (3)
 Summary
$129RRP
simon s.
simon s.
 
Great sander diy to proI have used this sander over the past 10yrs 3 massive renos on all types of timbers.
Its has copped a flogging and keep on doing great.
Only issue is the dust bin can come apart some times. Also removal of dust bins makes putting on fresh sandpaper easier. Show details
Ozito Orbital Sander PXROS-125

Ozito Orbital Sander PXROS-125

5.0  (2)
 Summary
Eric McIntyre has
Eric McIntyre hasVICGreater Melbourne (Inner), VIC
 
Festool DTSC 400

Festool DTSC 400

5.0  (2)
 Summary
$999RRP
Bold Painting
Bold PaintingVICNortheast, VIC
 
Saved my lifeThis sander is by far the best I have ever used and I been through a lot of sanders. Light, quiet, long battery life with quick charging and sands to perfection with ease and speed Show details ·  1
Ozito Portable Drywall Sander PDS-2000

Ozito Portable Drywall Sander PDS-2000

4.5  (2)
 Summary
Outdoors_Guy
Outdoors_GuyNSWSydney, NSW62 posts
  Verified
Makita MT Series M9204G

Makita MT Series M9204G

4.5  (2)
 Summary
$82RRP
DH
DHAuckland14 posts
 
Makita BO4556K

Makita BO4556K

4.5  (2)
 Summary
$139RRP
ForestGirl
ForestGirl11 posts
 
Good sanderGood sander, have had others that weren't as good.

Can be easily used with sandpaper rolls and stays on secure.

Does create a fair amount of dust even with the bag.

Festool LHS 2 225 Planex

Festool LHS 2 225 Planex

4.5  (2)
 Summary
Let's Paint Y.
Let's Paint Y.VICGreater Melbourne (Outer), VIC
  Verified
The Perfect Time Saver For the Best Possible ResultThe Festool Planex is like having another worker the time we save sanding walls and with the light on the head we now don't miss any imperfection so saving more time not repainting anything. Show details
Bosch PSS 250 AE

Bosch PSS 250 AE

3.3  (3)
 Summary
$98RRP
mellovelofellow
mellovelofellowAU22 posts
 
So far so good; it did the boatDoes a good job and seems robust. You can buy either the pre-punched sandpaper that is affixed by velcro or you can clip in the sheet having cut it from a normal-sized sheet of sandpaper. If you can't find the template and punch to make the holes in the sandpaper, just use a screwdriver. It's easy,

 Show details

Ozito Belt Sander BSR-7000

Ozito Belt Sander BSR-7000

2.5  (4)
 Summary
ANGIE C
ANGIE C4124Queensland, 4124155 posts
 
Black & Decker KA165G

Black & Decker KA165G

3.0  (2)
richy_funk
richy_funk
 
Don't BuyI've purchased 2 & both died with a pop & flames. Both worked fine doing small areas however they were both underused & died very quickly. I'm lucky that my fingers weren't over the top vent where the flames came out. Very dangerous product. Only buying BOSCH from now on.

 Show details

Makita DBO180Z

Makita DBO180Z

5.0  (1)
 Summary
$199RRP
Pierre
PierreVICGreater Melbourne (Metropolitan), VIC17 posts
  Verified
1Linrob
1LinrobWASouth West, WA20 posts
 
Makita BO4900V

Makita BO4900V

5.0  (1)
 Summary
$349RRP
Gaela and Russell
Gaela and RussellVICCentral Highlands and Goldfields, VIC81 posts
 
Ozito DSR-2000

Ozito DSR-2000

1.6  (5)
 Summary
$32.98RRP
Chris
ChrisSAMetropolitan Adelaide, SA2 posts
 
Very usefullIt's a good little unit but I have found that the hook and loop pad wears out a lot quicker than I thought it should. If Ozito can work on that issue then it would be a great little power tool Show details
$139RRP
carl
carlQLDFar North Queensland, QLD12 posts
 
Ryobi 180W 3 in 1 Multi Base Sander RMS180-S

Ryobi 180W 3 in 1 Multi Base Sander RMS180-S

4.0  (1)
 Summary
$99.98RRP
Suzanne
SuzanneQLDSouth East Queensland, QLD2 posts
 
Ryobi 300W Orbital ROS300-S

Ryobi 300W Orbital ROS300-S

4.0  (1)
 Summary
$75RRP
Don N.
Don N.SAMetropolitan Adelaide, SA11 posts
 
works wellWorks well I am a hobby wood worker however the dust collection seems inadequate if you have more than basic smoothing to do some 40 grit pads will speed things up Show details

Types of sanders

A man in a workshop using a random orbital sander on a piece of wood

A sander is a power tool that’s used to smooth surfaces by abrasion with sandpaper. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including removing paint, upcycling pieces, and smoothing the surface and applying finishing touches to a range of materials.

Power sanders have helped us do away with the tedious chore of manually scrubbing away at a plank of wood with a piece of sandpaper. They can help you complete a sanding job that would have taken hours by hand in minutes - however sanding by hand is still a crucial part of many jobs today.

Here’s a list of some commonly used sanders.

Manual sanders

A manual sander, or hand sander, is the least expensive sanding tool you can buy. They’re easy to use, and as the name suggests, require manual labour to operate and achieve a smooth, even finish.

They’re suitable for small projects where the wood is already in good shape or has already been sanded - you can then come in with the manual sander for touch-ups.

Even if you’re thinking of buying a power sander, a manual sander can be a good tool to have around to complement your electric sanding.

Orbital sanders

An orbital sander has a rotating base (called a platen) that moves circularly or orbitally. They’re used for general jobs, and are a great option to remove fine layers of material, such as paint or varnish.

They’re easily used on both plaster and timber.

Suitable sandpaper: An orbital sander takes standard sandpaper sheets, hook-and-loop sanding pads or special self-adhesive sanding pads.

Pros
Easy to use. They're lightweight, making them easy to manoeuvre across your working surface.
Allow for maximum control. They often have features like vibration control that make them easy to manoeuvre.
Won't damage the surface you're sanding. Because they make quite gentle movements, you won’t ruin your work surface with proper use of an orbital sander.
Cons
Not heavy duty. This makes it incapable of removing thick layers of material quickly.

Detail sanders

A detail sander is a triangular orbital sander. It’s a great option for sanding furniture, corners, and other hard to reach places.

Random orbital sanders

A random orbital sander has a round, vibrating sanding pad that also spins in a circle - it’s probably the most common power sander in Australian tool sheds.

It’s particularly useful for achieving a fine finish, and can be a suitable option if you’re planning on staining or painting the finished product.

Suitable sandpaper: A random orbital sander suits round self-adhesive or hook-and-loop sanding pads.

Pros
Heavy duty. They’re more heavy duty than an orbital sander and are capable of removing significant amounts of excess material.
Achieves exceptionally smooth finish. They can achieve a super fine finish, making them great for polishing a woodwork piece.
Versatile. They can be used on a variety of surfaces (such as wood, plastic, or metal) and most offer variable speed control - so you can take a more delicate approach to your work or go faster and more agressively.
Relatively quiet. For the work it does, a random orbital sander doesn’t make much noise.
Cons
Slower to use on larger jobs. They're slower to perform heavy duty jobs than belt sanders.
Unsuitable for corners. Its circular shape makes it unable to sand the nooks and crannies of any surface you want to sand.

Belt sanders

A belt sander has two drums over which a sand belt moves around quickly. They’re great for sanding large, flat surfaces, such as floorboards, and are most commonly used to remove large amounts of material quickly.

To avoid damaging your working surface, use a belt sander with the grain of the wood. Also ensure you’re applying adequate pressure to the tool as it may “run away” from you if you don’t.

Suitable sandpaper: A belt sander requires cloth sanding belts - ensure you get them in the correct size for your sander.

Pros
Effective at removing large amounts of material. This makes them suitable to use on medium to large-sized work surfaces.
Powerful. Generally speaking, belt sanders are quite powerful, meaning you can work on heavy duty tasks.
Easy to use. They're usually quite easy to use - you just need to move the sander over your work surface in even strokes.
Cons
Only suitable for flat surfaces. They aren’t suitable for curved surfaces, so you may have to buy an additional sander if you expect to be working with angles.
Can damage work surface. The high torque of belt sanders can also be a drawback if you’re not gentle with more delicate surfaces, as you can damage your work material.
Doesn't leave as smooth a finish as other sanders. They don’t leave a particularly smooth finish, so you may have to go in with another sander, such as a finishing sander, which is used to touch up your piece.
A man using a random orbital sander to smooth the surface of a black desk
A random orbital sander. Image credit: Ryobi.
A man using a belt sander on a piece of wood
A belt sander. Image credit: Makita.

Other types of sanders

There are also specialty sanders on the market that may be more suitable if you have more specific jobs or require some detailed work to be done.

  • Sander polishers: A sander polisher can both sand and polish the piece you’re working on - they’re usually best for sanding timber and for polishing painted surfaces. You can also usually polish with some a random orbital sander.
  • Drum sanders: A drum sander spins a sandpaper tube around a motorised drum. They’re useful for sanding curved surfaces and large surfaces such as floors. Some come in smaller sizes, like drill bit sanders or those designed for rotary tools.
  • Belt-disc sanders: A belt-and-disc sander is a belt sander and a disc sander combined into a single tool - these are bench sanders rather than handheld sanders.
  • File sanders: A file sander has a handle and a finger-like belt that makes it easy to reach into and sand tight spaces. It can get into even smaller crevices than a detail sander.
  • Drywall sanders: A drywall sander is used to sand plastered walls, ceilings, and walls. It can also be used to remove paper residue, paint, adhesive residue and, although mostly used as a wall sander or plaster sander, can also be used to sand the floor.
  • Spindle sanders: A spindle sander is a tool that helps you achieve a smooth finish on wood pieces, particularly detailed pieces or ones that have curved edges.
  • Disc sanders: A disc sander has a disc-shaped abrasive - this means that for instance, random orbital sanders are disc sanders, however not all disc sanders are capable of random orbital motion. They're are generally suited for rougher work where a lot of material needs to be removed quickly.

Factors to consider when choosing a sander

Features

  • Dust extraction: Some models have dust extraction systems which suck sanding dust directly into a box or bag at the rear of the sander, saving you the hassle of a clean up, and helping better protect your eyes from nuisance dust.
  • Vibration control: A vibration control suspension system minimises the vibration that the user feels through their hands, making it more comfortable to use. Most tools will have this feature, but will have varying degrees of control.
  • Variable speed control: Variable speed control lets you change the operating speed to suit the material of the surface you’re sanding. Getting a sander with a wide range of speeds can help you tackle anything from a plywood veneer to solid wood.
  • Soft-start option: A soft-start option lets your tool ramp up slowly to its full power, which can help you protect more delicate work surfaces, and can also help you gauge the power needed for your surface.

Power

Sanders can be corded or cordless - you can generally expect corded models to be more powerful. Cordless models are useful when mains power isn’t available or if a cord would be too fiddly or hazardous in your workspace.

If you’re looking for a cordless sander, look for a battery charge level indicator so you know how much work you can realistically do before you start sanding.

Ease of use

How easy a sander is to use depends on the surface you’re working with - choosing a sander that’s suitable for your purposes, and has features like vibration control and dust extraction, should put you on the right track towards making light work of your sanding projects.

An ergonomic design is also paramount when choosing a sander machine, whether you’re working with a benchtop sander or a handheld sander.

Sandpaper

Before buying a power sander, ensure you know what kind of sandpaper you need to buy for it and check whether it’s easily accessible for you.

Some power sander manufacturers will recommend you only use sander paper of the same brand, and while you may technically be able to use sandpaper of a different brand with your power tool, sometimes doing so can void your warranty if something goes wrong.

Price

Power sanders can set you back anywhere from $50 to upwards of $1000, but the majority of models are in the $100 to $300 range. Some specialty tools - such as detail sanders - can cost as little as $30.

Ensure you’re also factoring in how much the sandpaper will cost - if you’re planning on using your sander often, you’ll probably find yourself forking out quite a bit on replacing some parts of your tool.

Which type of sander should I buy?

That depends on what you'll be using your sander for.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What kind of materials will I be sanding?
  • What are the sizes and shapes of the surfaces that I will be sanding?
  • What type of surface quality am I hoping to achieve?
  • Are the compatible sandpapers and backing pads easy to find?
  • How much am I willing to spend?

Your answers to these should help you go home with a sander that’s suitable for your purposes and lets you easily complete the home, repair, or arts and crafts projects you want to do.

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