In-Depth Review: Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch

Summary

Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander 5-Inch
90 %
Review

The Black & Decker BDERO100 is something I used to get my porch refinished. I was glad to have this sander around because of how fast it's able to do its job. According to my own personal experience, it's able to sand down bare wood so that any dirt and dents through the years are easily grinded down to smoothness. 

It's a worthwhile buy in light of its price tag for sure.

We Like

  • The ability of the Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander to produce a high-quality finish on most any surface with its orbital capabilities and proven high removal rate.
  • This is a convenient, compact, and clean orbit sander.
  • Changing the sandpaper has become quite easy thanks to its system of hooking and looping.
  • Cleanup is a breeze because of its dust-sealed switch and easy-to-vacuum waste products like sawdust and debris piled in one place.

We Don't Like

  • It easily breaks according to some customers.
  • For good or for ill, you get what you pay for.

Introduction

A sander is a tool that works like the power tool version of sandpaper. Instead of manually sanding a surface with elbow grease and sandpaper, you can use this buffer-like tool to blow through even the roughest surfaces. These sanders also require a supply of sandpaper but this time their motors and rotational movement do the sanding for you. The random orbit sander is specifically a handheld kind of sander that uses a sanding blade to deliver what's known as the random orbit action.

Instead of moving at a cyclical predictable pattern, the random orbit sander instead varies the angle of its disk's or head's rotation, resulting in sanding from different angles like you would accomplish by hand. This is a fairly recent invention made back in 1982. This type of sander brings together the aggressiveness and speed of a belt sander while still creating fine finishes reminiscent of a slow speed or standard orbital finishing sander. It offers the best of both worlds because of the variation of movement.

It covers the issues of belt sanders offering less of a fine finish and slower orbital sanders taking forever in order to sand through thicker, rougher, or coarser stock. The different types of orbital sander include the random orbital floor sander, the air-powered random orbital sander, and the electric-powered random orbital sander. The floor sander is incidentally something that's rolled around like a vacuum cleaner while both the electric and air-powered variants are more handheld and mobile.

Who Is It For?

Sanders like the Black & Decker BDERO100 are specifically made for woodworkers from all walks of life. You have construction workers, carpenters, hobbyists, artists, sculptors, homeowners doing DIY home improvement, and any profession or project requiring the smoothening of wooden work pieces and timber stock. Metalworkers can also make use of these random orbit sanders when it comes to removing rust and tarnish.

However, some prefer using laser technology or replacing rusted panels with new panels altogether rather than going through the trouble of sanding them down. Industrial-grade applications naturally need industrial-grade floor sanders since those cover a larger area and require less arm strength to move around. Fine detailing, meanwhile, works best with a handheld sander since it is closer to manual sanding with the way you move it around with your hand and arm.

Most woodworking applications like making chairs, cabinets, or tables go for the handheld random orbit sander anyway while floor sanders typically go for larger area sanding like floorboards that are already installed, raw timber that's being prepped for cutting to smaller pieces, or huge table surfaces. The random orbit sanding pattern is favored by woodworkers around the globe due to how its orbiting sanding disk is moved in a small ellipses pattern for comprehensive sanding.

Buyer's Guide

What Benefits Should This Orbital Sander Have?

Here are the benefits of an orbital sander.

  • Material Removal Excellence

Because it's moving a spinning disk around in an ellipsis, you'll achieve the aggression you'd expect from a belt sander with the fine sanding of a standard non-random orbital sander, thus ensuring excellent material removal every time. It's essentially a more aggressive version of an orbital sander that allows for sanding of the roughest materials without using a belt sander on it first.

  • Producing the Smoothest Finishes Possible

Just like with a slower standard orbit sander, the random orbit sander is capable of even smoothening. However, instead of passing the sander in a linear fashion over a surface over and over, you can ensure evenness in sanding distribution even in one pass because the sander is designed to not travel the same path twice during the same rotation, so you won't end up missing corners or spaces.

  • You'll Get Good Results Regardless of the Grits

Usually, you need thicker grits to remove more material in one go and finer grits if you want to do detailing-level sanding. This time around, you'll get instantaneous smoothness from even stock cut straight from the tree itself (at its roughest, in other words) because of the random nature of the rotating disk, thus you won't be left with any swirl marks and it's not as sensitive to wood grain direction.

Things to Consider When Buying an Orbital Sander

Here are the things you should look for when considering to buy an orbital sander.

  • Hoop and Loop Disks Ensure Easy Sandpaper Changes

It's not a coincidence that many random or standard orbit sanders use the hoop-and-loop disk system (as opposed to pressure-sensitive adhesives). Sandpaper pads that are hook-and-look have backing that's made of material reminiscent of Velcro. Therefore, it's easy to fasten them to your sander and keep them there without being a pain when it comes to removing them as well.

  • A Random Orbital Sander Should Have Superior Dust Collection

It's not enough that a random orbital sander has random orbital action that gets rid of swipe marks and ensures that two pieces of wood can be fastened perfectly at right angles thanks to the smoothness of their resulting sanding. Your sander should also have dust collectors integrated with the sandpaper disk in order to ensure easy cleanup. The vacuum sucks discharge from the holes of the pad and paper.

  • The Best Sanders of This Type Feature Variable Speeds

Having an orbital sander that can vary it speed enables you to accommodate different surfaces. It's the same when dealing with drills and saws. The faster the rotation (and the stronger the torque), the easier it is to penetrate, cut, or sand through a given work piece. Too high of a setting uses up the sandpaper too fast. Too low of a setting slows down your work. You need to balance out the right speed mode for the right material.

Product Details

Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander 5-Inch

Description

The Black & Decker BDERO100 claims to be a fast random orbit sander that efficiently removes materials to ensure a smooth surface finish every time. It's a favorite among DIY home owners due to its compact size and lightweight ergonomic design, so it's easier for you to move it around corners or to ensure a smooth and level pass without your hand stumbling because of its cumbersome weight or mass.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Item Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Top Speed: 12,000 OPM
  • Amperage: 5 amps
  • Power Source: Corded electric

Features & Benefits

  • Cleanliness

It's one of the cleanest sanders you can get your hands on that's able to ensure its longevity by dust-sealing the switch to keep the dust and dirt out. It's also equipped with a dust bag and dust collection feature, plus a shop vacuum should be enough to suck out any remaining residue or sawdust left by a session of sanding.

  • Compactness

At its size of 7 x 5 x 6 inches and weight of 3.2 pounds, it's hard to argue against the smallness, maneuverability, and mobility of the Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander. It's not cumbersome or unwieldy to use since it's been designed to be compact, allowing you to sand close to the work surface and do detailing work that standard sanders tend to miss (and you have to supplement with manual sanding).

  • Convenience and Efficiency

With compactness comes convenience. However, its maneuverable smallness isn't the only convenient thing about the BDERO100. It also possesses the ability to make fast and easy sandpaper changes through the hook and loop system that's reminiscent of how Velcro works and random orbital action that removes material at a high rate without sacrificing the results.

Pros

  • The pro-level finish is achievable by even amateur DIY hobbyists because of the random orbital action of the sander that ensures that the disk and sanding pad doesn't travel the same path twice.
  • If you know how to use Velcro on your backpack or fanny pack, then it's practically the same system when using the hook and loop or peel and stick system for the sandpaper pad.
  • It's a long-lasting sander that has many a safety feature that ensures its longevity, like its efficient cleanup system or the fact that its switch is sealed against debris and dust.

Cons

  • The on-off switch has a tendency to break among for many of the negative reviewers.
  • The disc isn't flat and some consider it a waste of money when all is said and done.

Reviews / Testimonials

Many customer reviews have claimed it to be an efficient and worthwhile sander that fulfills the claims it advertises to possess, like the ability to sand with belt sander aggression yet with the fine sanding capabilities of a non-random orbital sander.

It also has a hook-and-loop system that allows you to easily peep and stick sandpaper to its disk. I personally used it to refinish my porch as well as sand down various cutting boards and spare plywood I use for home improvement purposes. I'm quite satisfied with my own purchase and I rate it as at least a 4-star unit. However, there are some customers who beg to differ on my opinion and the opinion of the majority. 

Alternative Choices

Here are the alternatives to the Black & Decker BDERO100.

1) Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander with Carrying Bag, 5-Inch, Blue

The Bosch ROS20VSC shares several specs with the cheaper Black & Decker BDERO100, notably its 5-inch disk, its 4.5 rating on Amazon, and the fact that they're both random orbit sanders. However, the Black & Decker unit is smaller than the Bosch unit, thus justifying its nearly halved price. What's more, the BDERO100 weighs about 0.3 pounds lighter than the ROS20VSC.

What's more, the Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander is arguably the more complete package with its inclusion of a carrying bag. It also lists its orbits per minute or rotations per minute as 7,500 to 12,000 OPM. Meanwhile, the Black & Decker BDERO100 also offers a non-variable 12,000 OPM, so at least with the Bosch unit you get more variety with your orbits or sanding. These units are pretty close together in specs save for the Bosch sander being slightly bigger, heavier, and with more of a speed range.

2) PORTER-CABLE 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander 

There's only the slightest of price discrepancies between the PORTER-CABLE 382 and the Black & Decker BDERO100 Random Orbit Sander. They're both 5-inch disk random orbit sanders, with the PORTER-CABLE 382 edging out the cheaper B&D unit with its heavier 3.6 pounds of weight and its slightly bigger dimensions compared to both the BDERO100 and the Bosch ROS20VSC.

On the other hand, the ROS20VSC, BDERO100, and 382 all share the standard 12,000 OPM. However, unlike the PORTER-CABLE 382 and the Black & Decker BDERO100, the Bosch ROS20VSC actually has a wider range of speed, going from 7,500 to 12,000 OPM (both the B&D ad Porter-Cable instead have single-speed non-variable units that can only go from 0 to 12,000 OPM).

3) PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Polishing Pad

The PORTER-CABLE 7346SP may have you question which spec is more important, the larger 6-inch disk size or the slower 6,800 OPM compared to the standard 12,000 OPM found in the rest of this list. Compared to the way more affordable Black & Decker BDERO100, the 7346SP leaves much to be desired in terms of orbits. It's also way larger than the Porter-Cable 382, the Bosch ROS20VSC, or the B&D BDERO100.

However, there's a reason for the discrepancy and faster OPM isn't necessarily better. As you may recall, slower standard orbital sanders are best used for the final sanding. In light of that, the slower 2,500 to 8,500 OPM is probably more suited for finishing sanding jobs while still retaining the random orbit sander ability to aggressively sand down rougher patches.

4) 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317, 5 in Non-vacuum 3/16 in Orbit, 1 Per Case

The 3M 20317 Random Orbital Sander is easily the most expensive random orbit or orbital sander on this list. It's also the lightest sander featured on this article, although its compact size is similar to the Bosch ROS20VSC but beaten by the Black & Decker BDERO100 (which is actually the smallest sander in terms of size). For something so light, it packs the standard speed of 12,000 OPM. Should something so light have such a high OPM rate is left?

I leave that to the opinion of the users themselves (although it's understandable if you have trepidations in regards to vibrations or to the 3M sander being too light to handle its powerful motor). On one hand, it gets high marks on Amazon.com with high rating and positive feedback on its superior mobility compared to others.

5) DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5"

The DEWALT DWE6421K is the third most expensive unit on this list (next to the 3M Random Orbit Sander 20317 and the PORTER-CABLE 7346SP). With that in mind, does it pack more bang for your buck or more value for your investment? Compared to the Black & Decker BDERO100, it's quite the hefty random orbit sander, weighing 4 pounds instead of 3.2 pounds and being wider, taller, and lengthier all around than its smaller B&D counterpart.

It has the standard single-speed 12,000 OPM speed running on an impressive 3-amp motor, but the Black & Decker BDERO100 has a more powerful 5-amp motor itself that ensures more torque for every orbit. Meanwhile, only the 3M Random Orbital Sander 20317 is better in terms of ratings because the DEWALT DWE6421K has earned a high score from a respectable amount of customers.

Alternative Choices Comparison Table

Alternative Choices

Our Rating

Price

Bosch ROS20VSC Random Orbit Sander with Carrying Bag, 5-Inch, Blue

PORTER-CABLE 382 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Polishing Pad

3M Random Orbital Sander 20317, 5 in Non-vacuum 3/16 in Orbit, 1 Per Case

DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5"

The Final Cut

For a petite sander, the Black & Decker BDERO100 brings more value for your investment pound-for-pound. It's a worthwhile buy in light of its efficiency, compactness, cleanliness, and convenience. It has the standard diameter size of 5 inches and it only weighs about 3.2 pounds, which makes it easy to move around manually. Maneuvering this unit is straightforward and user-friendly due to its lightness, ergonomic handle, and versatility in sanding down various work pieces and stock. I personally had no problems with the dust bag although I've read reviews that can't stand using it.

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