Random Orbital Sander Vs Orbital Sander (Which Is Better)

If you love doing DIY projects, then you are already familiar with the Random Orbital Sander and Orbital Sander. However, which one is better for your DIY project?

This article will provide a comparative analysis of “Random Orbital Sander vs. Orbital Sander.Random orbital sanders feature a back-forth and circular motion. In contrast, orbital sander’s movement is limited to the circular motion. Random orbital sanders offer a super-smoothing finish that people can’t find in orbital sanders.

So, which sander will be better for a project depends on the type of finishing the individual prefers on the project.

Sanding is not that much enjoyable job. The wrong choice of sanding tools can provide unsatisfactory finishing while making the job more difficult. Therefore, proper choice of sander is crucial and requires proper knowledge of the tool.

Go through the entire article to go deeper into Random Orbital Sander and orbital Sander, their benefits and differences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Random Orbital Sander and Orbital Sander offer unique finishing on the surface. So, the choice of sander will depend on the requirement of the DIY project.
  • Random Orbital Sander offers both circular and back-forth motion. They are excellent for getting ultra-smooth finishing on larger surfaces.
  • Orbital sanders offer only circular motion and are convenient to work on the surface’s edges.

What is Random Orbital Sander? 

Skil Random Orbital sanders

Random Orbital Sanders is a versatile and more powerful sanding tool that can rotate in a back-forth and elliptical manner. This handheld power tool is equally famous as Disc Sander and Orbit Sander. Random orbital sanders feature round sandpapers that never fail to provide ultra-smooth finishing on your DIY project.

People cannot have that super-smoother finish with those of Orbital sanders that can only rotate in a circular motion. The sandpaper of this tool is rigid enough to withstand the effect of frequent use. Therefore, they are super durable and more expensive than orbital sanders. The price range of random orbital sanders can vary between $50 and $600 based on the brand, size and offered features of the tool.

Even professional workers use random orbital sanders in their larger projects. These tools are more powerful and feature an excellent dust-collecting mechanism.  Therefore, they can clean rough surfaces comparatively quicker than other tools. Moreover, they are convenient to hold for a longer time and create less vibration.

Furthermore, some sanders offer customized power settings. So, workers can customize the sander’s power depending on their requirements.

Major working areas of Random orbital sander:

  • To smoothen uneven wooden wall panels
  • To smoothen flatter and larger pieces of wood
  • For varnishing furniture  

What is Orbital Sander?

Black + Decker orbital sanders

Orbital Sander is another handheld power sander that rotates circularly. They are the earlier and simpler version of the modern sanders. These tools are also known as detail Sanders, Quarter Sheet Sanders and Palm Sanders.

Unlike random orbital sanders, these sanders cannot provide two different motions. They include a square foot and feature one-fourth of a 9×11 sandpaper. That’s why, these tools are also familiar as Quarter Sheet Sander.

One of the main advantages of this tool is that this tool can reach corners due to its square foot, a facility that Random Orbital Sander doesn’t offer. So, if you need to smoothen pieces that have multiple corners, then orbital sanders will be the wise choice to utilize. These sandpapers are also less expensive than random Orbital sanders. People will find the sole in two different sizes: standard size (100 X 200 mm) and mini size (100 X 100 mm).

However, orbital sanders are not that much powerful. Therefore, they cannot remove as much material as Random Orbital Sander can. Furthermore, they will leave comparatively more visible marks than random orbital sanders.

Random Orbital Sander vs Orbital Sander

From the aforementioned sections, readers have already gained an overall idea about random orbital sanders and orbital sanders. For readers’ further convenience, here are the key differences between these two:

CriteriaRandom Orbital SanderOrbital Sander
Offered MotionCircular and back-forth motionOnly circular motion
PowerIt is more powerfulIt is comparatively less powerful
Sandpaper typeRound sandpaper1/4th of a Standard sandpaper
Finishing typeIt provides ultra-smooth finishingIt can leave some spaces uneven
Left marksIt leaves no motion marks on the surfaceOrbital sanders leave comparatively more visible marks on the surfaces
Vibration levelThis sander vibrates less than the orbital one.Orbital sanders vibrate more.
ExpenseRandom Orbital Sanders are more expensive than the Orbital oneThey are comparatively less expensive than the random one
dust collecting mechanismExcellentstandard
Working ability on cornersLowhigh
Aggressive These sanders are more aggressiveThey are less aggressive
Convenient working surfacesLarger, flatter surfacesComplex surface with edges
ControlIt is relatively harder to controlIt is relatively easier to control
Best forPreparing surfaces for paintingRemoving higher amount of material from the uneven surfaces
Also known asDisc Sander, Orbit Sander.finishing Sander, Quarter Sheet Sander and Palm Sander.

Which is better: Random Orbital Sander or an orbital Sander?

As mentioned above, both Random Orbital Sander and an Orbital Sander are excellent sanding tools. However, they have some basic differences that make one superior to another based on the project’s preference. There is a basic rule that will help people to choose the right sanding tool for their projects.

Random orbital sander

Random orbital sanders work best on wood, plastic and metal surfaces. If your project includes larger yet flatter surfaces, then selecting Random Orbital Sander will be a wise selection. These tools have an excellent dust collection capacity and provide unbeatable uniform finishing.

So, if your preference is to get ultra-smooth finishing on the surface, go for the Random Orbital Sander.

Check Out Some Best Random Orbital Sanders

Orbital Sander

If you need to work on complex plastic or wooden surfaces with multiple edges, nothing can be more helpful than the orbital sanders. Also, if you need to remove a large amount of material in a shorter time, Orbital Sander will be the best companion. These tools feature circular motion that helps to collect materials from the surfaces quickly.

Furthermore, their square foot enables them to reach difficult corners.

Check Out Some Best Orbital Sander


Is Random Orbital or Orbital Sander good for furniture?

The answer depends on the type of furniture. If you want to refurnish a small piece of furniture with corners, then Orbital Sander will be good for the job. In contrast, if you want to re-furnish furniture with bigger surfaces like your tabletop, Random Orbital Sander will be the best choice.

Is a Random Orbital Sander worth it?

Random orbital sanders are one of the most common yet expensive sanders. They provide excellent uniform finishing on larger surfaces. They have higher dust collecting capacity. These tools are also easy to hold and create less vibration. All these features make random orbital sanders worth of your every penny spent on them


Final verdict

Both random orbital and orbital sanders differ in their features. Therefore, they provide unique finishing on surfaces. But many people don’t know the basic differences between them.

Therefore, this article went through a detailed discussion on “Random Orbital Sander vs Orbital Sander.” I hope the readers will be able to choose the right sanders for their projects from now on.

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