How to Use a Random Orbital Sander

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Do you need to know how to use a random orbital sander? You may be working on something and would need this tool to show you the ropes. Don’t worry since this article will help you with step by step instructions in using the random orbital sander for the first time.

First off, a random orbital sander greatly relies on its pad which vibrates from each side. Then it turns into a circular path to make a sanded surface free of swirls.Which is why they are important for those who want are working on sanding wood with 90-degree types of joints on wood like stiles, furniture face frames, and rails.

Not only that but random orbital sanders alsousually cut more aggressively compared to other sanders. When you put lesser pressure on them, they would cut much better. They are also less stressful to use compared to a traditional pad and even with belt sanders.

The good thing about random orbital sanders is that they do a lot more work compared to the effort that you put on using them. An air driven type of random orbital sander will need 14CFM or a much stronger air flow.

You can find two shapes when it comes to random orbital sanders, and they can either be whether air and with even electrically driven ones. Three is the right angle and the in-line type. In addition, there is also another type when it comes to inline random orbital sander called the palm grip type.

Types Of Random Orbital Sanders You Can Buy

Bosch ROS20VSK

This random orbital sander has 2.5 -amp of variable speed motor. It can give you a smooth and even type of finish. You don’t need to worry about vibrations because you can barely feel them. They give you less fatigue which means you will be able to make use of the sander for longer periods of time.

DeWalt D26453

This sander has 5-inch sanders which have 3-amp of variable speed motor. It can give you speeds of about 7000 to 12000 RPM. It has a hard shelled type of case and also has a good warranty for three years.

Hitachi SV13YA

It is run through a variable-speed of 2.4-amp motor. This type of sander also uses a 5-inch hook and also with loop sanding type disks. It also includes a sealed slide with an on and off switch. You can also find a reliable dust bag as well as a hard shelled type of carrying case.

Milwaukee 6021-21

One of the best random orbital sanders out there. It has a standard 5-inch sanding disc plus, it is also easily powered by a 3-amp of variable type speed motor. You would also appreciate the sander’s ergonomic grip. Adding to that is the sander’s electronic type of soft start.

Porter-Cable 343VSK

This sander has a 3-amp of variable speed within it and has a 5-inch sanding type disc. It is an aggressive type of sander within its class and you can trust that it stands very fast. You will have to give it an even firm grip so that the sander goes in the right direction. The dust collection of the sander is also handled by a given dust canister, however you can connect it with a 1 or 1 and 1/2 inch type of vacuum hose as well.

How You Can Effectively Use a Random Orbital Sander When Finishing

When you have your random orbital sander ready, the next part would be how you can make it work well. This tool is very reliable because of the way that it vibrates. When the sand bit disc rotates, this tool also rotates in an orbital way which eliminates ring indentations.

Step 1: Securing What You’re Working On

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In using the random orbital sander, they usually use disposable sandpaper discs. They are around five inches in diameter and are attached to the bottom of the sander. Before you turn on the random orbital sander, be sure that the material you’re working on is well secured.

Check and double check the material, this is because it can give you a better looking finished surface. Not only that a secure material will also prevent it slipping while you are working on it. You also would want to avoid any type of accidents in the future.

Step 2: Start The Ventilation

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The random orbital sander has a ventilation feature. This helps in keeping your area clean and at the same time safe. Make sure that when you buy a sander, it has a reliable ventilation function. Ventilation also helps in keeping the sander in good condition.

Make sure that you have a firm grip on the handle before you turn the random orbital sander on. Set it gently on the material you are working on. Don’t turn on the sander on before you let it touch the material that you have placed there. This is to avoid creating any uneven surface.

If you have uneven surfaces, this can prove to be harder to correct in the long run. Which is why it matters that you mean how to control the sander and also adjust your movements so that it constantly moves from one surface to another.

Step 3: Have The Sander Moving Constantly

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After turning on the random orbital sander, keep it moving. Move it and overlap it on the material you are working on. If you keep the sander in a single place for a long time, it can give the material that you’re working in, an uneven surface.

Some even recommend that you move the sander together with the grain of the wood to get that smoother finish. Always have the sander flat all the times, don’t tilt the tool when you move along the grain. This is to avoid unwanted circles and also creating an ugly appearance.

It might be hard to get rid of the circles after you work with the sander, which is why it is important that you also control the power from the sander and how you handle it. It can be challenging at first but you will get used to it as well.

Step 4: What To Do When Finishing The Edges

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It is safer to stay away from the edges of the material that you have. Try to make sure that you finish the edges in case you need the round edges. When you round the edges while you work on the surface can be quite tricky and it can also make the material look bad and can even damage the sander.

Try to hold off from the edges as much as you can. Start with the surface first and when it is even, you can begin with the edges. Learn how to control your handling and also keep in mind that the sander is strong which is why you need to sand thoroughly but surely.

Step 5: Try To Make An Even Surface

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If you want to make an even surface, do not press down the tool too hard. Bear in mind that when using a random orbital sander, it doesn’t require too much force when you 're using it. It is one of the easiest tools to use which is why you should check how you use it.

If you push it down too hard on your sander, it can create an uneven surface and you would not want that. It can also damage the sander and wear out the discs that it has, earlier than needed. When using the random orbital sander, you should also handle it with care.

Step 6: Finishing Your Work

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After you finish working, remember not to take the tool off of the wood unless the random orbital sander is turned off. Look at the sander to make sure that it is turned off before you do anything. When it is turned off, clean it thoroughly before you use it again.

It is important to clean your sander after use because it can cause unwanted accidents in the future. Specs of dust in the dust bin or on the sander can ignite sparks and cause a fire in some cases. This is true when you work with metal since metals create sparks and wood dust can easily catch fire.


Did you like the simple tutorial? Was there anything that we missed that you would like to add? Are there any other needed steps than what was mentioned above? Did the article help you in starting your work with your random orbital sander?

You can find that random orbital sanders have been around for a long time and they have been used on many occasions. Before they were used in metal finishing as well as automobile projects, now they have been converted into electrically driven tools.

Even if the random orbital sander won’t instantly replace the belt sanders when it comes to heavy duty rough surfacing, they can still help do at least ninety percent of sanding that you need. This is a great tool especially those looking for an easy tool to work with.

If you liked the article, don’t forget to leave your comments below. We would also appreciate it if you liked and shared it with your friends. Don’t hesitate to give us your opinions and also talk to us about your experiences with the random orbital sander.


  • October 20, 2017
  • DIY