Wet Sanding With An Orbital Sander

Wet sanding with an orbital sander machine provides an easier, faster and more precise performance to get a smoother surface. So, the uses of orbital sander have increased a lot nowadays. But proper precautions and methods are important before using an orbital sander for wet sanding.

We have made this guide about our experience with wet sanding with orbital wet sander. You will know wet sanding vs dry sanding, when an orbital machine sander is preferred and how to wet sand with an electric orbital sander.

Surely you are interested to know more about this. Then why say late? Let’s start right now.

What is Wet Sanding?

Wet sanding perfectly polishes with adhesive and water-like liquid to get the smoothest surface possible. Wet sanding is always applied after dry sanding. Generally, dry sanding can give you enough smoother surface.

But wet sanding removes remaining tiny particles from any surface that dry sanding can’t do. As a result, you will get a smooth and glossy surface.

Wet sanding vs dry sanding

There have several fundamental differences between wet sanding vs. dry sanding. Besides, each sanding process has individual uses and purposes.

FeaturesDry SandingWet sanding
Used onTypically, on wooden surfaceDifferent types surface
Core taskTo cover larger spores, major blemishes, bumps and curvesTo make the surface glossier and smoother
PrecisenessComparatively less than wet sandingHighly precise than dry sanding
Damaging risksLowerHigher
Needed of waterDoesn’t requiredIt required a water-like liquid

When is wet sanding preferred?

The uses of dry sanding are much more than wet sanding. Wet sanding with an orbital sander can give you a similar glossy and smoother surface like dry sanding. When is the ideal time to use wet sanding? Well, there have been some significant times when wet sanding is preferred.

Wet sanding is recommended for bodywork sanding. When sanding a car surface, you can prefer the wet sanding method to get a smooth, scratch-free finish. It is important to ensure a smoother finish when sanding your car surface with an orbital sander device. And it is mandatory to add water in this sanding process.

Orbital Sanders Explained

orbital sanders

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The random orbital sander has a sanding pad. It works with the help of a ball-bearing mechanism that is included with the sanding pad. When you run the device, the sanding pad rotates around the device in diameter and circumference. We mean that the machine can rotate on one side. This mechanism maintains a rotation rule that never sends in the same circle twice in a row.

Also, note that the orbital sander is ideal for covering wider surfaces. This device is efficient in sanding a smaller area quickly. Besides, the orbital sander is good for sanding wood, plastic, and metals.

The process of wet sanding with an electric orbital sander

Using an electrical orbital sander for wet sanding is slightly risky as you work with electricity and water. But proper carefulness can prevent the potential risks. It is recommended to use a double-insulated sander because they are highly secure. BO5041 5-Inch & Makita orbital sander is considered the best sander for wet sanding. So, you can try this sander.

There are some possible risks of getting rusty with your used tools. So, it is important to prevent water from entering the bearing plate. You may change the bearing plate in some cases.

Put the water on the sanding surface instead of putting it on the sander pad. As a result, you can prevent the risk of damaging and getting the bearing plate.

Related Article : Random Orbital Sander Or Orbital Sander

What are the potential downfalls of using a random orbital sander?

  • The purchasing and maintaining the cost of an orbital sander is expensive
  • It isn’t easy to find additional Sanding discs when you need to replace a new wet sanding disc
  • In some cases, the power may be increased and damage the workpiece
  • The hook and loop can get dirty and unable to retain the discs
  • The quality and lifespan of the Orbital sanding pad may reduce
  • The circular shaped pad makes this sander difficult to work in tight corners

Safety Tips for Wet Sanding with an Orbital Sander

Make sure all of your tools and you are in a safe position when using the orbital sander

  • Avoid using an electric power tool with a direct connection to water
  • Make sure that the motor doesn’t get in touch with the water and frayed wire
  • The orbital sander is not dangerous like deadly, but be careful all the time
  • Use required safety tools and equipment and double insulated sander to prevent water
  • Check the tools regularly to   know the damage or rusty condition


Can you use an electric sander on wet wood?

Yes, you can use an electric sander on wet wood, but it is not recommended. You have to use fine-grit sandpaper on wet sanding that you can do by only hand. If you use an electrical sanding device in these cases, it will adversely affect your finish.

What grit is best for wet sanding?

Are you a beginner trying to use wet sanding on your product for the first time? Then it is recommended to use a grit within 600 to 1200. After starting with this girt, you can gradually move 200 to 500 grits. You can choose from several gifts as per your prefeed finish.

Is wet sanding faster than dry sanding?

Wet sanding and dry sanding are slightly similar in their process. Both are excellent for removing particles from the surface to make it smoother. But applying and drying wet sanding is more time-consuming than dry sanding.

Final words

Wet sanding with orbital sander is not a recommended method. However, many project and industry owners want to apply wet sanding with orbital for small, precise, and final adjustments. Remember that the orbital sander is an aggressive electric device.

Despite having advantages, it can sometimes damage your product. Maintaining proper precautions if you want to use an orbital sander for wet sanding.

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