DeWalt 5 inch Random Orbital Sander

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Review by Purrmaster posted 09-06-2012 02:04 PM 6040 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
DeWalt 5 inch Random Orbital Sander No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve had this tool for several years now. I’ve tried to take good care of it and it has taken good care of me.

The particular model number is DW26451. Single speed random orbital sander. It takes 5 inch hook and loop (velcro) discs. You can see it here: I cribbed the image from their website as well.

I’ve been very pleased with it. The thing just works. It’s been completely reliable.

The discs go on easy and stick nicely. The velcro pad hasn’t worn out for me yet, though the manual says it will eventually. The power switch is sealed against dust and so stays nice and clean. It has a sturdy (if ugly) fit and finish.

This is not a super aggressive sander. It won’t necessarily remove a lot of material really quickly. But it gives good, even results.

I’ve only had it leave swirl marks a few times. And those were instances where I pressed down on the sander (not a good idea) or I moved the sander between boards of different thicknesses (therefore causing it to “fall” from one end of a board to another). It gives much more even results than I could do by hand.

The sander is fairly comfortable to hold and a light touch is all usually all that is needed to guide it. It can catch and jump around a little on knots.

Dust collection with the included bag is surprisingly good. I have yet to see it leave any sanding dust on the board once I turn it off.

Taking out the spring to clean the very bottom of the dust collection bag can be a pain. I’ve taken to just blowing out the bag with a leaf blower.

My only gripe is that DeWalt didn’t include a spare set of motor brushes. Though I’m still on my initial set with not perceivable problems.

If mine crapped out tomorrow I’d go out and buy another one. It has served me well. The reliability of this tool has also made me look at DeWalt branded tools first when I go tool shopping.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3338 days

15 comments so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3614 days

#1 posted 09-06-2012 03:29 PM

Good review. I have the low-profile version of that sander, and I’ve found that the dust collection is OK, however the sanding discs lasted longer when hooked up to my shop vac.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4347 days

#2 posted 09-06-2012 08:08 PM

I’ve had the same sander for about a year. It works like an ROS should but the on/off switch is terrible…................

-- mike...............

View DS's profile


3956 posts in 3665 days

#3 posted 09-06-2012 08:26 PM

I’ve had this sander for a couple years. I picked it up for a spare when it went on a good sale.

The switch drives me nuts. It’s not the easiest thing to switch on and I am constantly turning it off by accident because the switch falls directly under my hand grip.

In all though, this has turned out to be one of my better sanders and I grab for it before reaching for my porter cable, or my pneumatic sander.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View Blah Blahbalh's profile

Blah Blahbalh

30 posts in 3348 days

#4 posted 09-06-2012 10:01 PM

I just purchased one of these as well. Been very happy with it. My only gripes is that the on/off switch seems to stick due to the rubber guard. I’ve had it come on unexpectedly.

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 4312 days

#5 posted 09-06-2012 11:33 PM

I have had this sander for several years and have gotten some good use out of it. I would give it 3 stars over its lifetime of service. The bag keeps down the dust but lately its slip fit on the sander has gotten rather loose and often flies off the sander while in use, occasionally while its pointed at the me (and covering me with dust) which is annoying. The fact that part of the bag assembly has to be used attach it to a vacuum has always annoyed me but I have always just dealt with it. Lately its started making some odd noises (bearings in the random orbit mechanism I think). All in all I have gotten out of it what I paid for it but I have used finer units since I purchased it and those will be on my wish list once the new shop is up. All that said, I would purchase it again as a backup because its a known quantity with all the time I have spent with it.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 09-07-2012 01:49 AM

I agree that this is a worthwhile purchase. Mine is on its second base pad and brake but has seen a lot of use and abuse. Hooked to my DC it is nearly dustless.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3338 days

#7 posted 09-07-2012 02:45 AM

The dust bag doesn’t just friction fit. You have to twist the bag to lock it on.

The switch can be annoying, but I never had a problem with it. The switch is still sealed and that is what is important to me.

I need to hook the thing up to my shop vac and see how it goes.

View Tim_456's profile


173 posts in 4840 days

#8 posted 09-08-2012 02:40 AM

Have had mine for 3-4 years. when it’s attached to my dust collector I don’t get any dust flying around. I would give it 5 stars!

View rejo55's profile


190 posts in 3487 days

#9 posted 09-08-2012 01:30 PM

Yep. I’ve had mine about five years, too, and agree with every post above, especially the parts about the switch. The sander does a terrific job, but the switch sucks.
Have a good’un

-- rejo55, East Texas

View Bluzman's profile


26 posts in 3590 days

#10 posted 09-11-2012 06:30 PM

Good review, I have one of these too. My only complaint has been the noise level. These are very loud, I suppose all sanders are but something tool manufacturer’s should look at to differentiate themselves might be noise levels.

-- Paul Stewart • Goodlettsville, Tennessee

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22420 posts in 4921 days

#11 posted 09-24-2012 06:22 AM

Yup, great review. Thanks.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View AmandasHusband's profile


58 posts in 3938 days

#12 posted 09-30-2012 01:28 PM

Excellent review.

And excellent comments.

I have the same ROS. I think I do. There’s a couple standard DeWalt ROS’s I believe. I never knew the difference between the two. I think one is VS.

I bought mine about 5 years ago. One of the first woodworking tools I bought when I started out. I have quite a few hours on mine. The pad is still good and it’s as reliable as anything I have (knock on wood).

I have accidentally turned it off a few times like a lot of people said. But it’s not a big deal IMO.

-- In this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

View lew's profile


13427 posts in 5000 days

#13 posted 09-30-2012 10:50 PM

Thanks for this. Looking to replace my PSA Porter Cable sander with the Velcro system. This helps with the decision.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3531 days

#14 posted 10-12-2012 11:34 AM

I’ve been using this for several months now alongside my Ridgid adjustable speed and my Ridgid variable speed.
I like it because it spins faster than the Ridgids. I use it primarily with 40-80 grit because it removes a lot of material with that fast spin. I think the Ridgid does a better finish job though.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Holt's profile


280 posts in 3874 days

#15 posted 06-14-2013 05:24 PM

Had a B&D mouse sander and the plastic part that moves the pad broke (of course). In the course of tracking down a replacement part, i ended up talking to the Tool manager at my local Lowe’s. He had just purchased one of these DeWalt sanders and couldn’t say enough good things about it. He paused, then asked if I purchased the B&D sander from Lowe’s. I informed that I probably had, but the receipt was long gone. He dismissed that and checked the shelf, then said if I bought the DeWalt, he’d take back the B&D at the current shelf price and knock that much off the DeWalt. The current Mouse was larger and had more stuff than mine, be he dismissed that as well. So I got the best sander in my shop (until I got my Festool) for about $20 (and a piece of crap B&D broken piece of junk)! Like someone above mentioned, if it smoked today, I’d head out and buy another one!

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

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