Random Orbital Sander?

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Forum topic by mski posted 10-19-2007 03:59 PM 18817 views 2 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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439 posts in 4343 days

10-19-2007 03:59 PM

Hi, I’m looking for a Random Orbital Sander, any favorites or suggestions on what type or brand?


39 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4460 days

#1 posted 10-19-2007 04:11 PM

Fine Woodworking Recommends the Bosch 1295DK ($80) or the Klingspore KA1893 ($70). They both appear to be the same sander with different branding.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View cckeele's profile


76 posts in 4235 days

#2 posted 10-19-2007 04:41 PM

Festool has a really cool one that is dustless with the mobile base connected. It just has a hefty price tag with it but it really does an awesome job with 2 modes and the jetstream to vacuum up all that saw dust.

-- All donations should be made out to me and in the form of wood or tools ~Chris

View cckeele's profile


76 posts in 4235 days

#3 posted 10-19-2007 04:43 PM

almost forgot if your looking for a bargain on an orbital than try the dewalt. I think it still runs for $49..Works great too. a lil bit noisy though

-- All donations should be made out to me and in the form of wood or tools ~Chris

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4237 days

#4 posted 10-19-2007 04:48 PM

If you’re looking for 1/4 sheet, I like the Ridgid R2500. I have two of them. I’ve owned (read: ruined) a few others. The R2500 does a fine job of sanding and is reasonably priced, but what I really like is the dust pickup – it really works! I don’t see it in the LumberJocks store, but it’s reasonably priced at the borg. Whatever you decide, be sure you get one with a sealed switch.

-- -- --

View mski's profile


439 posts in 4343 days

#5 posted 10-19-2007 04:55 PM

I have a 1/4 sheet Makita, need something more aggressive, I’ll look at the Bosch, I saw the Festool video, it’s probably a good investment but way out of my $ range, I entered two of thier contests.
Thanks all


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Douglas Bordner

4043 posts in 4426 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 05:43 PM

I keep dreaming about the Bosch…the only drawback I can see is the dust collection system uses replaceable filters in stand-alone mode. But you can buy an add-on for connection to a vacuum source. maybe Christmas…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4237 days

#7 posted 10-19-2007 06:16 PM

My favorite random orbit sander is actually a flat metal rectangle called a hand scraper. Here’s how the story goes…

I refinished an oak dining table for a friend. I did a ton of research on sanders and a good article in a magazine recommended Makita after various tests. So I bought it and loved it. It seemed efficient and smooth. I spent countless hours sanding the table and gradually stepped down my paper grits finer and finer. It looked perfect! So I applied the stain and suddenly all the little swirling sanding circles popped right out. I was horrified. So I started over and sanded the whole thing again, being even more careful…. Consistent pressure, don’t force it, slow smooth strokes over the surface, gradually step down grits…. Same results.

I had bought a scraper but never used it. I gave it a try and it took me about fifteen minutes to scrape the entire table. It was absolutely perfect, and way smother than even the 360 grit sandpaper had produced. And guess what, no dust, no mask, no vibration-numbed hands, and no noise from the shop vac either.

I do like my Makita but it sits on the shelf a lot these days. so if you haven’t bought one yet, try spending $12 on a good quality scraper (and learn how to correctly use it) before you spend $150 on a sander.

-- Happy woodworking!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4523 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 06:23 PM

I have the Dewalt. Now, I haven’t used any other brand so I can’t compare, but I really like it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View mski's profile


439 posts in 4343 days

#9 posted 10-19-2007 06:49 PM

I have a cheap shave hook I bought for scraping glue and on small parts I’ve used it to smooth small imperfections and was surprised how well it did, maybe I’ll try a larger scraper,
Still need a sander and a dust collection port I think is going to be a must!


View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4256 days

#10 posted 10-19-2007 06:49 PM

Festool and Bosch are both excellent….........the rest, IMHO arent worth it. Like Blake says…...a cabinet scraper is way faster, does a nicer job and doesnt run up the hydro bill or the dust. I’m always so surpirsed to work in a professional cabinet/furniture shop and not one of workers has a scraper.

That said I am always suspect of the words “Random orbital”, especially the “random” part. They seem to leave very distictive marks, swirls that all look exactly the same which in my opinion doesnt mean “random”. More like a consistant vibrator….....

I dont know if you have compressed air but if you do, and if it can crank out about 18 to 20 cfm, then I highly recommnd a pneumatic random orbital. They are night and day compared to the electric ones, faster, easier to feather, can be used aggresively and do a far better job.

Good Luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View A.W. "Pappy" Ford's profile

A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 4244 days

#11 posted 10-19-2007 06:55 PM

I have the Ryobi variable speed model that runs about $50. Have had no issues with actual performance or results, and the little dust collection bag works well as long as you empty it often so the cloth doesn’t become clogged.

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 4309 days

#12 posted 10-19-2007 07:09 PM

I would check out the Ridgid 6” random orbital. Have used them quite a bit and have no complaints at all with performance and dust collection.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4325 days

#13 posted 10-19-2007 07:09 PM

I have a Porter-Cable and a DeWalt. They both do well. I also use scrapers but most of the time I need to get some production out.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4259 days

#14 posted 10-19-2007 07:27 PM

I have a DeWalt and like it. But I have had the same problems as Blake. Having just discovered card scrapers I’m going to give those a try on my next project. I just finished a cherry blanket chest and while I’m very happy with the construction, am unhappy with the finish as I can see swirl marks that after several attempts I could not get out. So I “settled” for what I had. Now I’m thinking of going back and redoing the finish using a scraper first. Just not sure if I want to tackle the big job again.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4460 days

#15 posted 10-19-2007 07:38 PM

More info on scraper

Links to the scrapers that woodcraft sells


You will also need a mill file

And for those of you who like videos…. A new video from Chris Schwarz

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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