Different Types Of Sander For Woodwork | When To Use Them?

Types Of Sander

Whether you are a professional or DIY person, wood sanding is a tedious and time-consuming task. You must put in extra effort and time to achieve a fine finish on your woodworking projects. Fortunately, there are advanced power tools available in the market to make your job quicker. Knowing different types of sanders and their usage process increases the value of the workmanship. In this article, we have provided information on certain most used sanders and their usage process, so that you can be free from your sanding struggle for good. 

Belt Sander

Starting with the belt sander, which works very roughly in any wood workshop. Because it is designed to remove large amounts of materials in a very short time. Let’s go through the mechanism first.

A belt sander works in a high-speed looping principle. There is a sanding belt that fits within the tool housing. A tension control and alignment guide system keep the sanding belt in place while the electric motor spins the belt in a forward motion. As it spins at a higher rate, it’s a highly effective tool for removing roughness and large stains. It is essential to belt-sand with the wood grain line rather than going across it. Otherwise, the belt sander’s lateral action can ruin the work.

The capacity of the sander is measured in feet per minute. In other words, how much distance the belt goes with the spin of the motor. The belt sander is needed for shaping and finishing larger wood and other materials. However, it requires well-experienced and capable hands because it can grass the part of wood rabbet in a splash.

Disc Sander

A Disc sander is a very familiar type of sander as it covers a wide range of use. Although there are several models and configurations, the main purpose of having a disc-shaped abrasive surface is that it spins at a higher rate, unlike a belt sander.

About the work method, the speed of the disc is measured in revolutions per minute. And most of the time, the disc is placed in a stationary position. Though the angle of the disc can be adjusted for miter sanding. With rounded sandpaper attached to the disc, you have to hold and press your wooden material on it. Therefore, some sanders are portable and work as an orbital sanders. 

Hence, a disc sander assists in places where belt sanders cannot enter. And especially, it is used to smoothen rough surfaces before having a final fine finish. For example, it is suitable for smoothing end grain, or straight and miter cuts as well as polishing curved edges.

Orbital Sander

If you are familiar with orbit, you pretty much have an idea about how orbital sander works. In brief, a rectangular abrasive plate is coated with abrasive material and makes precise circular movements. It runs through a motor-powered flywheel attached to the rectangle. The abrasive material is secured with a hook and loop or with collets.

The main advantage of an orbital sander is, it stays in constant motion without changing places. It is highly efficient in polishing the exterior surface of any furniture or craft to look astonishingly smooth. The speed of an orbital sander is measured in orbits per minute. However, due to its precise orbiting capacity, it works a little slower than other sanders.

Aside from having smooth sanding, you have to be careful of its characteristics as well. It follows the same sanding path repeatedly and there is a possibility to have swirl marks on your surface that will be visible. So, when working with crafts, remember to keep the sander in motion.

Random Orbital Sander

The random orbital sander is someplace related to the orbital sander in terms of mechanism, but there is a significant difference you will notice in design and action. Like an orbital sander, it also rotates in a circular motion, but looking closely you will observe that the motion is a little jerkier than a normal orbital sander. Because the rotating disc goes back and forth during the circular motion.

Unlike an orbital sander, the random orbital sander is not too slow. It can perform stronger than its brother orbital sander. And the back-and-forth motion cannot let you leave swirling marks on the wood for not following the same sanding line twice.

A random orbital sander can be used on wood, plastic, or metalworking. Also, it can be used for various applications from painting jobs to restoring headlight transparency. If your sanding projects vary from one material to another, this sander can be your help for its buttery smooth sanding at a faster speed.

Detail Sander

Detail sanders almost look like steam irons. It is more popular as a mouse sander because of having a design like a computer mouse. The sander helps a lot with wood refinishing work, and there’s nothing else like them on the market.

Speaking of the mechanism, it features a small vibrating triangular head to which you have to attach sandpaper. Some detailed sanders also feature hardened rubber bits in different shapes and sizes. You have to wrap these bits with adhesive sandpaper to get into curved spaces or slots. So, it is clear that this sander is suitable to enter into tight corners and holes for its subtle head.

Details sander can perform on more than one application. Besides, it’s comfortable to hold, thanks to its innovative palm grip alongside the main handle. The hook and loop system allows you to change the sandpaper without any extra tools or trouble. And yet to mention, the sanding speed is measured in orbit per minute.

Drywall Sander

Let’s have a look at a different kind of item, the Drywall sander. At the first glance, it will feel like a disc or random orbital sander equipped on a pole. Because it looks and works almost similar to a disc or orbital sander.

First of all, the drywall sander is suitable for sanding plastered walls, ceilings, and interior walls. Next to that, it is perfect for removing paper residues, paint layers, or loose plaster. Because of being attached to a long pole, you can raise the sander to reach the highest corner of your wall or ceiling.

The capacity of the drywall sander is measured by revolution per minute. Despite its easy operation, you have to be a little cautious too while using one, as the heavy motorized part stays on the top of the pole. Additionally, the safety equipment and mask must be kept protected from dust particles. And the wall must be dry to avoid any friction that can cause damage to everything.

So, that was all about the most used types of sanders and their use. Using the right sander for your application is very essential, so you can finish your project efficiently and quickly. Moreover, your work will be well refined and eye-catchy if you know where to use certain types of sanders. Hence, Along with the application and situation, you should select your sander based on its usability and capacity.

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