after a ROS what is your most used sander and why?

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 11-30-2021 03:32 PM 914 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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458 posts in 2207 days

11-30-2021 03:32 PM

I have one of those RIDGID oscillating/spindle sanders and it’s not working: the belts slip down and there’s no economical repair (the unit is also discontinued).

So, I am thinking of getting rid of it – cheap! with lots of sandpaper in different grits! – and replacing it.

Problem is that I can’t decide what kind of sander should be my priority in part because I don’t know what tasks some models are most suited for.

My question:

what are the top applications for which a disk sander is a must have?

what are the top applications for a belt sander that goes up to 90 degrees as opposed to an edge one?

what I’d really like is a drum sander, but no space in the shop for that.

27 replies so far

View Rich's profile


7740 posts in 1920 days

#1 posted 11-30-2021 04:40 PM

My assortment of ROSs are the most used for sure. As far as runners-up, there are several, none of which I would want to be without.

In no particular order (the first two are adapted for my CT 26 dust extractor):

Half-sheet orbital

4×24 inch belt sander with shoe

Oscillating multi-tool

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7350 posts in 3824 days

#2 posted 11-30-2021 04:49 PM

I’m sure there are top applications for the disc and belt sander….but damned if I can think of any (at least in my shop). I have a combo, and it gets used…but not nearly enough to earn it’s keep. The ROS gets constant use, so much the others (hand held belt, 1/4 sheet, and 1/2 sheet) have mostly sit on the shelf, in fact I think I may have sold the 1/2 sheet. So after the ROS comes hand sanding, which I always do after the ROS sanding with the grain just in case there are some pigtails left.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View SMP's profile


5049 posts in 1236 days

#3 posted 11-30-2021 06:06 PM

Really depends on what you are making and your processes of making stuff. I am actually in the stages of considering one of those attachments to convert one side of my grinder to a belt sander for blade/tool making.

Outside that I use my combo disc/belt sander all the time.

Lately for sign making, i use my 1/4 sheet sander more than my ROS. Would like a 1/2 sheet but don’t have one and not in budget atm.

View therealSteveN's profile


9380 posts in 1905 days

#4 posted 11-30-2021 06:20 PM

I agree it’s highly job related, but the one constant is a ROS, and hand sanding either wrapped onto me, or on a form. It’s a toss up there. But I employee a belt/disc combo, small and large (4/36 and 6/48) An Oscillating with multiple head forms, and a 19/38 wide belt, and I ain’t giving any of them up.

All do specific tasks for me, and any of those tasks would be much harder to do by hand, and a few would be impossible to get the same effect without the tool.

-- Think safe, be safe

View JackDuren's profile


1772 posts in 2290 days

#5 posted 11-30-2021 06:27 PM

For cabinet making a belt sander is a must. I use it quit a bit in furniture making. Sometimes I use the machine to sand parts. The ROS is the for finishing the piece…

View Axis39's profile


580 posts in 927 days

#6 posted 11-30-2021 07:36 PM

I have a few random orbits that probably see more use than my ROSS….

I use my 6” Ridgid for a lot of big flat surfaces and my 5” Bosch for most stuff and finish sanding. The 5” sander sees the most use, I’m sure.

I am slowly saving to replace both 5 and 6” sanders with the Bosch Get75 and Get65.

But, if my Ridgid Oscillating Sander broke, I’m not sure what I’d replace it with!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View BurlyBob's profile


9508 posts in 3596 days

#7 posted 11-30-2021 07:45 PM

6” by 48” stationary belt sander.

View Robert's profile


4827 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 11-30-2021 08:18 PM

No question – drum sander

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2921 posts in 4252 days

#9 posted 11-30-2021 09:30 PM

6” by 48” stationary belt sander.

- BurlyBob

Same here. In fact, I have two of them. I spend more time using this tool than any other tool in my shop.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View leftcoaster's profile


458 posts in 2207 days

#10 posted 11-30-2021 10:26 PM

6” by 48” stationary belt sander.

- BurlyBob

Same here. In fact, I have two of them. I spend more time using this tool than any other tool in my shop.

- Jim Finn

What do you use it for? What kind of projects ?

View leftcoaster's profile


458 posts in 2207 days

#11 posted 11-30-2021 10:27 PM

No question – drum sander

- Robert

What kind of projects do you do?

View splintergroup's profile


6319 posts in 2553 days

#12 posted 11-30-2021 10:43 PM

No question, the 5” ROS is king, but the drum sander is way up there for prepping stock and dialing in parts that need to be a precise thickness.

I also have a bunch of salvaged 1/4” lauan plywood I use a lot for veneering, but it has the surfaces varnished. A few passes through the DS take care of that.

The 12” disc + 6”x48” gets some quality time when I need to shape corners. I even prefer it to the 8” grinder for quick shaping and deburring of metal parts.

The 1/2 and 1/4 sheet sanders haven’t been touched in years.

View pottz's profile


22244 posts in 2315 days

#13 posted 11-30-2021 10:59 PM

first for me are my 5” ros sanders,the mirka being #1 used.then it would be the combo disc/belt sander and the 16/32 drum sander.i rarely use a belt sander and my sheet sanders just collect dust.i have been using my newer bosch get75-6n though,in turbo mode it will do as fast a job as a belt sander and give a better jet spindle sander does get used quite a bit also.but as said it all depends on what you do and need not what we do.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View CWWoodworking's profile


2311 posts in 1509 days

#14 posted 11-30-2021 10:59 PM

No question – drum sander

- Robert


And although almost nobody has room for it and it’s more useful for big pieces, my love for a stroke sander has grown quite a bit.

View Knockonit's profile


1063 posts in 1533 days

#15 posted 11-30-2021 11:41 PM

planer, drum, ros, then hand sand, lets one find what is missed, wrong or not complete.
rj in az

-- Living the dream

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