Sander: How to choose the best one in 2021?
we will talk about the best sander options and how to choose the most suitable model for you. They make life easier for professionals in different areas of work.
There are several types of sanders on the market and we will explain the differences and indications for use of the most common types.
In addition, we will also address the differences between sanders, grinders and polishing machines. Although they are similar tools, the application of each one is a little different, as we will explain below. Stay with us to learn about prices, advantages and essential selection criteria
First, the most important
- Sanders are power tools for sanding wood and other materials, such as plastics, acrylics, etc.
- The main types of sanders are: orbital, roto-orbital and belt. We will explain the characteristics and differences of each one.
- The cheapest sanders are in the range of R $ 100, being possible to choose from a wide variety of brands and types paying less than R $ 500.
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Ranking: The 3 best sanders
If you need to buy a sander, but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. We have gathered here, in this ranking, the best models so that you don’t even have to keep looking. Check it out below:
Sanders can be used to sand various materials, such as wood, plywood and metals. And for that reason it is a versatile tool, used in several areas.
But it is not that simple to buy a sander. For that, we need to clarify some points. Come with us!
What is a sander and what are the different types?
As its name suggests, a sander is a device that allows you to sand certain raw materials more easily and quickly. Work that used to be done by hand, now has these tools to assist in the process.
We saw above that there are many sanders available on the market that can be classified into several types. Here, in this guide, we will highlight the three most common types: orbital, roto-orbital and belt.
And in order to understand the characteristics of each one in detail, we will describe them below.
This type of sander is known as shaking for making a quick back and forth motion. This movement is called orbit, which explains the name of this type of sander.
Sanders of this type have vibrations perpendicular to the base where you sand them. For example, if you have something to sand horizontally on a bench, the orbit movement of the sander will be up and down.
This type of sander usually has a rectangular (or square) base and there is no disc. The shape of the base is probably the easiest way to distinguish it from the roto-orbital sanders, explained below.
They are usually portable, small and heavy. They are more delicate tools for light and smooth sanding jobs. They are generally used in MDF and plywood.
It is a sander where the disc, in addition to making the orbital movement (which is the back and forth movement), also rotates (makes the rotation movement). Unlike the orbital sander, the roto-orbital sander has a circular disc base.
These sanders are more efficient and can be considered more aggressive than orbital sanders. With it you can produce more in less time. The downside is that the price is higher and it can be difficult to find sanding options on the market.
The belt sanders have an electric motor that drives two drums in which a continuous sanding loop is placed. As the sander is used, the drums rotate and the sandpaper moves, similar to what happens on a conveyor.
The belt sanders have two variants: the portable and the bench. In the first case, you hold the machine by the hand and move it around to sand.
The bench belt sander is built to stand in a certain place and you will take the object to be sanded to it. It is available in several sizes, from a few centimeters to more than one meter. They are generally used in industrial environments.
The belt sander is considered to be a more aggressive tool and is generally used in the early stages of sanding or to easily remove part of the material. A second use of the belt sander is to remove paint and finish wood.
What is the difference between polisher, sander and grinder?
Now we will explain differences between sanders and two other very similar power tools: grinders and polishing machines.
The sanders are used to sand, be stone, wood or metal. It has low revs, something in the range of 5,000 revs per minute (RPM). They are tools that present an intermediate torque, neither so strong nor so weak.
The grinders are used to grind, chop. Its speed is high (usually between 8,500 and 11,000 revolutions per minute). When forced, they do not usually have a decrease in turning speed. They can be used in large metal structures. For example, for roughing weld burrs.
As for the polishing machines are used for polishing. When compared to the other machines that we explain here, they usually have the lowest speed of rotation.
The reason for this is to prevent the surface from being burned by overheating during application. If the speed is too high, the object may be damaged. They are used, for example, to polish stainless steel parts and car bodywork.
Each of the 3 tools that we explain here have their own use for a given purpose and there are big differences in the construction of the machines.
The ideal is to use different tools to polish, sand and grind. Trying to use a single tool for all purposes can make it difficult to do the job, result in a poor finish and compromise the tool’s durability.
Is the battery sander worth it?
A very small number of sanders run on batteries, unlike other power tools, such as drills, screwdrivers, saws, etc.
The advantage of using batteries is the convenience and ease of working. There is no need to be careful with the power cord or use an extension cord to the nearest outlet.
The batteries used are usually of the lithium-ion type, which is a very convenient type. They have no memory effect, have a good amount of charge, are small and light. They are certainly very attractive features for use in sanders.
The disadvantage of using battery sanders is the value of the initial investment. These products are priced higher than similar models that work plugged in. This characteristic is common for virtually all power tools.
A second disadvantage of the battery sander is the possibility of the battery discharging completely before you finish your job. Because of this, it is recommended to have a spare battery that can be used while the other recharges.
The cheapest sander option is the orbital type and the most expensive is the belt. Orbital sanders are priced between R $ 100 and R $ 300. The sanding area of all models is usually similar, with changes in the power of the sander and in features as a counterweight, which make the use more pleasant.
Roto-orbital discs with smaller diameter have prices starting at R $ 300. Roto-orbital sanders with industrial quality, which usually have larger discs and can be used in more intense work regimes, have prices at from R $ 800.
The portable belt sanders, which usually have straps with a width close to 10 cm, are priced between R $ 300 and R $ 700. There are several options of larger sizes in the bench models, which generally have higher prices.
Where to buy?
Sanders can be found in hardware stores, especially those geared to workers in the field of construction and furniture construction.
If you are looking for a wide range of prices, models and brands, perhaps one of the best options is to buy tools online. The big advantage, no doubt, is the comfort of avoiding travel to several different stores.
Among the options of online shopping sites with greater variety, we can mention Amazon.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing sander models
Now we will explain in more detail the main points to observe when choosing your sander:
- Number of oscillations
- Rotation speed
- Dust extraction
- Inputs for use
- Noise level
Below, we will understand the importance of each of these points.
The higher the power, the smaller the number of times it will be necessary to pass the sander on the same surface. It also tends to be less likely that the sander will lose a lot of speed when it is pressed harder against an object to be sanded.
For the case of orbital and roto-orbital sanders, most models on the market have a power slightly higher than 200 Watts. The most powerful models arrive in the range of 300 Watts.
As for belt sanders, the powers are usually higher. Most models on the market are between 700 and 1,000 Watts. To make it easier, below we show a summary of the powers of each type of sander:
Comparing power is a good criterion for deciding between sanders of the same type. However, it does not make sense to compare the power of different types of sanders to decide which model will do the job more easily.
Before observing the power, it is necessary to choose the type of sander that is right for you.
Number of oscillations
Every sander has a certain number of oscillations per minute, sometimes abbreviated as “opm”.
The number of oscillations per minute is usually 14000 or 12000 for orbital type models. For roto-orbital sanders, values in the range of 24000 opm can be found.
It is important not to confuse the speed of rotation with the number of oscillations. The rotation applies only to the roto-orbital sanders, which are those that have a circular disc that rotates.
For orbital sanders – those with a square or rectangular base – there is no rotation speed, only oscillation.
The rotation speed is usually given in revolutions per minute, often abbreviated by (RPM). In general, the higher the turning speed, the better the result of sanding tends to be.
Typical rotation speed values are 12,000 RPM, which corresponds to 200 complete disc spins per second.
The vast majority of sander models on the market have some dust extraction system.
In addition to avoiding dirt and hindering visibility in closed environments, the sander without dust collector will bring additional work for you, which is to clean the environment where the sanding was done. Just make sure that the product also has this function.
Inputs for use
Before buying a sander, you should check that the brand you choose has inputs for use (such as sandpaper, for example) available on the market in your region.
A second point to take into account is the price of inputs. Depending on the model and the manufacturer, the price for use will increase. Because of this, not always working with a sander with a lower starting price may be the cheapest option.
In general, it is usually a little more difficult to find sandpaper for a roto-orbital sander than for an orbital sander.
Virtually all sanders available on the market can be used only at 110 Volts or only 220 Volts. It is not possible to find models that have a voltage selector switch or that can work with both.
Therefore, before finalizing your purchase, be sure to check if the voltage of the product you have chosen is the correct one for your region. Otherwise, you may end up burning the product on first use.
A noisier sander can make work more uncomfortable and tiring, so it is always interesting to assess how much noise a sander makes before buying.
To choose the correct option, you must observe the number of decibels (abbreviated by “dB”) in the sander specifications. The higher this number, the more noise is produced during use.
Despite being an important factor for the comfort of your work, there are stores that do not specify the number of decibels in the description of many products. Anyway, it is possible to check it in the instruction manual, which is often available on the manufacturers’ website.
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