Advice for buying a random orbital sander?

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Forum topic by driftwoodhunter posted 03-18-2011 02:16 AM 4910 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 3600 days

03-18-2011 02:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sander

Hey there, I’m going to get one in a week or two, I was wondering what I should look for. I don’t want to spend a fortune, and I admit I don’t know what the price range for them even is. I will be using it a lot, and hopefully I can stay below $125? NOw don’t laugh, but we sell Skil and Black & Decker where I work. Junk or ok? (I get a discount). Other than that, I live in the sticks and only have Lowes & HD to shop at. I hear Rigid is good – what do you suggest? Thanks!
PS – I should say I’ll be using it mostly to sand planed wood I buy. I don’t do any planing, and the only other sander I have is a belt sander. Mostly I’ll be sanding slabs to remove the planer ridges.

47 replies so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 02:25 AM

Well I have heard that the rigid is good, but a portercable is the best that is in your price range from what I have heard.


View biglarry's profile


76 posts in 3601 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 02:56 AM

I have a couple of 5” Dewalt ROS and they have been good for me. I just came in from Lowes and they sell the single speed for $60 and the variable speed for $80. For the smoothest finish after the ROS I use a Porter Cable – 330, quarter sheet speed block sander and it runs about $100.

-- "When the going gets tough, switch to power tools." - Red Green

View Kevin's profile


508 posts in 4119 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 03:16 AM

I bought the PC at Lowes about 2 years ago. Seems to be good so far.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3836 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 03:17 AM

I have both a PC and a Ridgid. I like them both.

-- Life is good.

View DSH's profile


15 posts in 3971 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 03:20 AM

I agree with the PC recommendation. I have had mine for several years and it has done a lot of sanding. I have never had any problems with it. I blow the dust off / out of it once in a while, and it just keeps on going.

-- Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln

View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 3600 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 03:24 AM

thanks everybody -

It’s so interesting that PC was mentioned so many times. One of my friends was given a PC ros, and she said I could use it. With my luck, I’ll do something to ruin it, that’s why I haven’t borrowed it yet lol. Not that she would care, she’s a great friend! However, you’ve convinced me to try hers, and maybe I’ll get my own then.


View Kevin's profile


508 posts in 4119 days

#7 posted 03-18-2011 03:28 AM

Anytime, have fun!

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 3687 days

#8 posted 03-18-2011 03:57 AM

I have the PC and the DeWalt. No complaints about either one. The only reason I bought the PC is because the factory rep decided to put it on a clearance shelf for $25….a really good price.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4666 days

#9 posted 03-18-2011 04:11 AM

I have a couple of PC’s and the have been trouble free, I use one on the boat to sand the teak deaks, and has run 6 hrs. a day for a week, and is still going strong.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3607 days

#10 posted 03-18-2011 04:12 AM

I have the dewalt single speed from Lowes .. on sale for $50. Sooo much better than my old one. I actually like using pretty worn sand paper, because even 220 will burn through wood pretty quickly.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3796 days

#11 posted 03-18-2011 04:16 AM

check out some of the reviews on Lumberjocks.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 3767 days

#12 posted 03-18-2011 04:27 AM

PORTER CABLE hands down.

Thanks, Michael Frey


View Tim_456's profile


173 posts in 4509 days

#13 posted 03-18-2011 05:03 AM

I have a well..consider the dust collection capabilities though. If I hook up a vac to mine it works very well. I’m sure other do too, but don’t underestimate this ability, otherwise if you’re inside you’ll be working in a cloud.

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3722 days

#14 posted 03-18-2011 05:15 AM

In the range you want to spend I would recomend the bosch 3725 dvs. I think you can buy one now for around 130.00 or so. Its worth the extra little bit . I have found it to be three times any other sander I have or ever had. Which include: dewalt, makita, several porter cables (grey and black), hitachi, b&d. I dont know how it would fair with festool but for the moneyits very good, especially with a soft pad.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3988 days

#15 posted 03-18-2011 05:32 AM

My absolute favorite ROSs are my Festools, but I realize that, if purchased new, they would be beyond your budget. My first recommendation is a used Festool. My second is Bosch.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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