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Helping my brothers with their deck building during the summers, I was the one who got to do the job that no one else wanted to do. Sanding. You have no idea how much I detested the sanding, the tons of grit deposited in your mouth and hair as you worked.

Although its never much fun, it is still a necessity for woodworking folks, any home owner, those of us who call ourselves do it yourselfers and even small project woodworkers.

Basically, sanding and sanders haven’t changed overly since they became part of the overall woodworking game about fifty years past.

The safety of them has improved vastly, quality and their lasting power has also improved incredibly since the beginning, however the styles haven’t changed over much.

The basic types of sanders that you will come across in the portable variety are:


These sanders are made to rapidly remove the top. They will rapidly smooth a surface and make it level, as well as take off paint and put down glue lines.

Belt sanders will come in several sizes, which are actually stated by the belt sizes.

Random orbit sanders are sanders that use a round and round, or an oscillating action that removes swirl marks.

Depending on what you want to accomplish this will determine the tool that you will use.

A few choices that you will find in the hand sanders are:

Festool’s Rotex RO150 gives you the choice of two sanding motions — random orbital for fine sanding, and gear-driven rotary.

Metabo’s SX E 450 Duo features variable-speeds and two orbital settings.

The Ryobi Corner Cat random orbit sanders is a compact, compact finishing sander that is perfect for flush sanding.

You’re also going to find some that are specialty types, such as oscillating, profile or detail sanders, that will cost a good bit more, but are perfect for finely detailed sanding.


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