10 Best Wood Sanding Tools For DIY Wood Projects

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Home » Tools » 10 Best Wood Sanding Tools For DIY Wood Projects

Trying to decide on the best wood sanding tools takes a little research. Not sure if you need 1, 2 or maybe 3 sanders for your projects? Deciding between a random orbit sander or a pad sander? In this article learn what the best sanders are for beginners and what to upgrade to later.

In this article we’ll review tools from entry level to professional. And I’ve upgraded my way through all of them in my woodworking career.

And while the choices can be confusing, if your budget is small I recommend a Dewalt 5-inch random orbit sander . Due to it’s wide range of grits it can do everything from rough wood removal to finish sanding.

Best Wood Sanding Tools

1. Belt sander for fast wood removal

Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander
  • Quietest belt sander in its class: only 84 decibals
  • 4 inch wide belt with a speed of 1,640 feet per minute for fast material removal
  • Labyrinth construction seals motor and bearings from contamination
  • Large front grip is positioned for operator comfort. Variable speed control dial : No
  • 13 pounds; 1 year warranty

Last update on 2021-03-03 at 11:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

    • Quickly removing large amounts of wood
    • Cabinet doors, wood panels of any size and shape, cabinet installation face frames

If you are looking for wood sanding tools you’ll need to consider a machine that will quickly remove large amounts of wood at a time. When will you use a belt sander? Well, most projects involve removing leftover planer marks, smoothing seams where wood panels are glued together, or adjustment of wood edges against walls.

Considerations when purchasing:

    • A 3×18″ sander is considered entry level, 4×24″ for serious woodworkers
    • The platen is what contacts the belt where it meets the wood
    • A 4×24″ will do a better job on larger surfaces due to a larger platen
    • Look at dust collection – these machines produce a lot of dust

2. Random orbit sander - a must own wood sanding tool

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421K)
  • 3.0-amp motor of the orbital sander spins the pad at 12,000 OPM
  • Shorter height of the hand sander allows the user to get closer to work piece
  • Separate counterweight design reduces vibration for improved comfort of the electric sander
  • Rubber over-mold in all of the critical areas of the sander
  • Improved dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life

Last update on 2021-03-03 at 02:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Removing course scratches from wood
  • Taking sharp edges off wood pieces
  • Preparing surface for finish sanding

After you’re done sanding with a belt sander you’ll be looking at removing the course scratches left behind. And that’s where the random orbit sander comes in.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Sanding discs are readily available
  • Variable speed for adjusting to course and fine grits
  • Quality of dust collection and ease of emptying

3. Palm sander finishing sanding tool

PORTER-CABLE Palm Sander, 1/4 Sheet (380)
  • 2.0-amp motor of orbital sander moves at 13,500 opm, providing a superior finish
  • Dual plane, counter-balanced low-vribation design reduces user fatigue of the palm sander
  • Dust-sealed switch protects against dust ingestion for longer switch life of the hand sander
  • Sealed 100% ball-bearing construction
  • 2.0 Amp motor moves at 13,500 opm, providing a superior finish

Last update on 2021-03-03 at 11:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Finish sanding of wood
  • Wood preparation just prior to staining

The palm sander is usually my last step in sanding before I stain wood. Because it is designed to remove very little wood and leverage high grit sandpaper it leaves a very smooth finish.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Quality of the dust collection
  • Comfort of top (palm) grip
  • Easy to use sandpaper grips

4. Mouse sander for tight spots and detail wood sanding

BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander, Compact Detail…
  • Compact size
  • Finger attachment and sanding pad included
  • Easily fits in tight spaces
  • 3-position grip for control and ease of use in many applications
  • Included Components: (1) BDEMS600 Mouse Sander, (2) Sheets Sand Paper, (1) Detail Finger Attachment; Tool Weight: 2.8 lbs

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 21:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Finish sanding in tight corners
  • Wood preparation just prior to staining

The mouse sander is a cousin of the pad sander in that it is designed for final finish sanding. However, it has the added benefit of a sharp nose (the “mouse”) to get into corners of cabinets, doors, or other tight spots.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Availability of sandpaper
  • Smallest possible size of tool for hard-to-reach spots

5. Drum sander

JET JWDS-2550 Drum Sander With Closed Stand...
5 Reviews
JET JWDS-2550 Drum Sander With Closed Stand…
  • SPEED REGULATION: Sandsmart control continuously monitors the load on the drum motor and automatically regulates the speed.
  • TOOLLESS ADJUSTMENTS: Conveyor bed parallelism is easily adjusted by turning the dial on the outside of the bed.
  • PROTECTION FROM HEAT: Precision-machined and dynamically-balanced extruded aluminum drum is designed to dissipate heat.

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 23:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Sanding flat stock eg. panels
  • Cabinet door and face frame construction

Transitioning to a few serious duty tools, the drum sander is an investment. But, it’s an investment in being able to create professional cabinets or other woodwork.

I’ve owned one for nearly 15 years and wouldn’t consider many of the projects I do without one. With an internal “drum” that sandpaper is wrapped around you’ll have up to a 25″ wide drum that can grind away wood at a rate close to a planer. Additionally, you’ll be able to use grits from 24 grit up to 220+ to gradually reduce sanding scratches.

You may also like my guide to tools for making cabinet doors as this machine is the centerpiece.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Width of drum – the wider the better
  • Integrated feed sensor that slows rate of feed based on motor load
  • Quick access to safety shut-off switch(es)
  • Included cabinet or stand

6. Drill drum sander for circle sanding

HILTEX 10342 Sanding Drum Kit 26 Piece Woodworking…
  • [QUALITY]: Quality construction built is long lasting, lightweight and durable for sanding holes, contouring edges, and buffing out irregular shapes
  • [DESIGN]: Self-expanding cushion is easy to install and designed to hug sleeves for a tight grip, keeping sanding paper in place for an extra fine finish
  • [COMPATIBILITY]: Standard size drums are common and compatible to use with rotary tools such as drill presses and hand power drills

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 22:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Edge sanding
  • Sanding round holes or curved features

This is a specialty type of sander in the collection of wood sanding tools. With versatility to be used in either a vertical drill press or your corded/cordless drill it can be used in the shop or field. By fitting around a fixed drum, various grits of sandpaper can be swapped out to do course or finish sanding.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Ease of sandpaper interchange
  • Long metal shank to fit into drill
  • Carrying case to keep the sandpaper and drums together

7. Sanding block for hand sanding wood

WaterLuu Wet & Dry Sandpapers,42 Pack 120 to 3000…
  • ❶Full Range of Grits Assortments: 14-type of grits in 120g/ 150g/ 180g/ 240g/ 320g/ 400g/ 600g/ 800g/ 1000g/ 1200g/ 1500g/ 2000g/ 2500g/ 3000g. 3 sheets of each and 42 sheets in total. Ideal for aggressive or refined sanding.
  • ❷Durable&Tough: Made of silicon carbide abrasives for longer life; electro coated technology make grit distributed evenly; flexible lightweight paper backing seldom fall apart, tear or break up during using.

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 22:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Sanding small pieces
  • Knocking off sharp edges (course grit)

There isn’t too much to get excited about with this one. With a simple design to grab sandpaper this wood sanding tool is easy for anyone to use.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Ease of sandpaper interchange
  • Comfort grip on top
  • Wet and dry use (for more than just wood)

8. Oscillating spindle sander for curved wood sanding

WEN 6510T 3.5 Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander,Black
  • Powerful 1/2 HP 3.5 amp motor provides 58 OPM and 2000 RPM
  • Features onboard storage for all accessories along with a dust collection port for hooking in a dust extractor

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 22:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Edge sanding
  • Sanding round holes or curved features

While similar to the drum sander for a drill, the oscillating spindle sander adds a bit more. With a drum that moves up and down it will avoid leaving horizontal scratches in the edge of the wood. And for an added bonus the extra action will remove material just a bit quicker as the grit will be kept cleaner.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Ease of sandpaper interchange
  • Height of sanding drum
  • Size of table

9. Oscillating edge sander for smooth sanded edges

WEN 6524 Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander
  • Features 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1-1/2 inch and 2 inch sanding drum sizes and one 4 x 24 inch belt
  • Operate with belt speeds up to 1575 FPM and spindle speeds up to 2000 RPM

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 22:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Edge sanding
  • Sanding large flat surfaces

If you think this looks a lot like a belt sander without the housing – you’re right. With a rapid stock removal design the edge sander can quickly and squarely sand edges of just about anything. However, it might be one of the most dangerous sanders so follow the manufacturers directions.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Ease of sandpaper interchange
  • Height of sanding drum
  • Size of table
  • Conversion to a spindle sander

10. Band sander for edge sanding wood

RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt with 5″ Disc Sander,…
  • Belt Table Tilts from -0Degree- 45Degree
  • Belt Tracking Knob
  • Safety ON/OFF Switch
  • 2″ Dust Port Included

Last update on 2021-03-02 at 22:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Used for:

  • Sanding small surfaces
  • Precise sanding of end pieces of wood
  • Removing end grain scratches

I grew up using one of these for metalwork but the band and disc sander is also two versatile wood sanding tools. The band sander will let you work with small pieces. While the disc sander typically has a fence for moving pieces back and forth for removing end grain scratches.

Considerations when purchasing:

  • Quality of fence
  • Size of tables
  • Installation of new sandpaper
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