When it comes down to refinishing furniture having a good quality sander is more important than you think. If you aren’t sanding things by hand, which takes forever by the way, you are going to sand with an electric sander. The question you probably have in mind is “what are the best sanders for furniture refinishing?”.
In this detailed guide, I list 10 sanders you can pick up today to start your furniture makeover projects. However, it isn’t quite that easy, there are a few things you need to consider when buying a sander for furniture refinishing. Let’s take a look!
Furniture Sander Buying Guide – What to Consider Before Buying?
What type of sander to choose?
There are several palm sanders you can use on furniture when refinishing, but the best option is the random orbit sander. It removes the old material off quickly while still providing a very smooth finish. The random orbit refers to the movement the sander makes, the design is made to never overlap the same area twice. This design reduces swirling marks but still be careful because they are still possible if not properly used.
Another sander that can be used during a furniture refinishing project is the detail sander, commonly called the mouse sander in furniture makeovers. This electric sander is a smaller tool that works like a finishing sander, it is great for tough to reach areas on detailed furniture.
I recommend using the orbital sander for flat surfaces and when there are details take out the mouse sander! Or just sand by hand for the details, you don’t need both but it can be helpful with a lot of detailed parts.
Is it Comfortable?
Having a good comfortable grip on your sander is important for a number of reasons. The sander is going to vibrate a lot and if your hand isn’t comfy you can likely see hand cramps or other types of pain. My hand gets tired when I sand for long periods, having a good strong comfortable grip is very helpful.
Corded vs Cordless
Decide if you want to use battery-powered sanders that require no cords during use, or if you want a corded electric sander. I find they work the same but cordless typically costs a bit more. Furthermore, if your battery runs out in the middle of a project it can be annoying. Having multiple batteries is recommend if using cordless tools.
Sand Dust Collection
Having a vacuum attachment on the sander is ideal. It limits dust in your home, garage, or workplace. Many sanders today come with a through-the-pad dust collector so that shouldn’t be a huge problem. If you don’t need one, then feel free to clean up the dust after sanding, but trust me that gets dusty…
Is it going to last?
Don’t buy junk, it’s not worth your time or money. If you buy a cheap sander the Velcro sand pad wears out quickly and then your sandpaper won’t even stick on. Plus, buying cheap sanders you usually see sand marks from poor performance from the machine. Even worse, the internal engines on poor quality tools usually give out in a few months.
Having high-quality tools means long-lasting tools, which also means more projects! The worst feeling ever is when you’re mid-project and your sander gives out. You now need to either order a new one or get one locally. Either way, its time consuming and frustrating.
10 Best Sanders for Furniture Refinishing
1. Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander – Best Deal
This Bosch palm sander provides top-notch quality alongside highly sought after advantages. With this sander, you can get good results with ease and comfort time and time again. Trust me, I have been using this sander for over a year and I love it!
Take a look at this oak table and chairs set I refinished using this sander.
A pad dampening system ensures a smooth finish on a number of surfaces. Whether they are flat or contoured, this orbital sander is versatile and compact enough to achieve great results when it is used properly. Its size also makes it possible to use the sander with one hand. Additionally, the grip and padding system cut down on vibration, making the sander much more comfortable to use.
This sander also comes with several perks that you won’t see with every product. Disc attachment and detachment are simple and straightforward. The speed is not only adjustable between 7,500 and 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM), but it is controlled with a dial system with several settings for increased precision and versatility.
Also, the detachable micro filter system traps fine dust particles as small as ½ micron in diameter, which relieves the hassle of cleaning up once you’ve finished sanding. Finally, this sander comes with an entire kit and carrying case, so you can be organized and ready for your project with just one purchase.
- Pad dampening system
- Easy disc attachment
- Variable speed control: Powerful 2.5 AMP motor allows speed to workpiece and task matching with ease
- Dust collection: Features a microfilter system for fine dust and trapping particles as small as a 1/2 micron in diameter. Durable and compact, the dust canister shows dust level and easily detaches for mess-free tasks
- Kit contents: Includes sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter, and carrying case
2. Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Random Orbit Sander – Best Cordless
A cordless sander can provide a simpler experience, especially if the project is on the smaller side. The Cordless Makita has an excellent product with a high level of user comfort, as well as reliability.
The sander can operate at three different speeds: 7,000; 9,500; & 11,000 OPM. With this control, you also control the battery life, as the new battery promises 40 minutes of operation at low speed and 20 minutes of operation at high speed.
The sander also comes with a vacuum bag attachment for dust collection and easy clean-up. Though the dust collection bag adds some bulk to the design, the sander is able to be held in a number of positions for comfort and versatility.
Finally, you do not need to sacrifice quality for this cordless design. Its engineering provides top-notch bearings for smooth action and a smooth finish. The design also prioritizes protection from dust damage to switches and controls, so this Makita sander is made to last.
- Three-speed settings (7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM)
- Up to 40 minutes (low speed) and 20 minutes (high speed) of run time on a single charge
- Large 1/8″ random orbit action
- Ergonomically designed body and grip for increased operator comfort
- Dust-sealed switch and bearing for longer tool life
3. BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander – Best Mouse Sander
Lightweight and compact, BLACK+DECKER’s mouse sander provides comfort and reliability in tight spaces. Even with the relatively small 1.2 amp motor, the sander is capable of 14,000 orbits per minute. You can still accomplish a lot of work quickly despite a small size. And for the particularly difficult areas to reach, a finger-size attachment provides extra reach.
This sander also provides comfort and convenience. Its design allows 3 different types of grip for maneuverability. It also includes a micro-filter dust collector to prevent dust and keep your workspace and air clean. With versatility and efficiency, this sander can help tackle detailed work with speed as well as a quality finish.
- Finger-size attachment and sanding pad included
- 3-position grip for control and ease of use in many applications
- 1.2 amp motor: 14,000 orbits per minute
- High-performance dust collection with micro-filtration
- Compact body and low-profile legs
- Included Components: (1) BDEMS600 Mouse Sander, (2) Sheets Sand Paper, (1) Detail Finger Attachment; Tool Weight: 2.8 lbs
4. CRAFTSMAN Random Orbit Sander
The CRAFTSMAN orbital sander provides a higher level of power with a 3.0 amp motor and 12,000 OPM, making the sander highly effective. This sander also comes with a detachable dust bag and a dust-sealed switch for convenience and durability.
The sandpaper fits securely on the device with a peg hook design, which also provides an easy way to change paper when needed. To ensure the quality of their design and customer satisfaction, CRAFTSMAN also provides a 3 year limited warranty. You can take on a lot of projects in 3 years, so let that be a sign of their confidence in quality design and manufacturing.
- 3.0 amp motor and 12,000 OPM
- Detachable dust bag
- Dust-sealed switch
- Includes (1) dust bag and sample sand paper
- Compatible with versatile peg hook
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
5. DEWALT Random Orbit Sander
DEWALT has been providing high-quality, reliable tools to professionals and homeowners for a long time. This DEWALT random orbit sander comes with a powerful 3.0 amp motor, with an adjustable speed between 8,000 and 12,000 OPM. For increased precision, there is a dial to adjust the speed so you can find the right setting for the current surface, angle, and speed at which you would like to work.
With this power and reliability, DEWALT’s design also reduces vibration and includes a rubber-padded grip for increased comfort and endurance. Another highlight of DEWALT’s design is its relatively lower height: as the duster is closer to the surface, you can have more control and work with more attention to detail. The sander also has a dust bag and a dust-sealed power switch for a clean process and a long-lasting product.
The sander comes with a carrying bag, so it is easy to store and transport between work sites. Finally, DEWALT provides a 3-year warranty, 1 year of free maintenance service, and 90-day money-back guarantee.
- 3.0 Amp motor spins the pad at 8,000 – 12,000 OPM
- Reduced vibration and rubber-padded grip
- Dust-sealed switch
- Dust bag has a one-hand locking system
6. Meterk Mouse Detail Sander
Meterk’s mouse sander has a lot of great features and can provide reliable results. Its compact design and 1.0 amp motor allow comfort, while a 13,500 OPM capacity provides a high degree of effectiveness. A rubber handle also increases user endurance during the project. And the dust collection port with a convenient buckle connection ensure high quality dust collection and security.
The design also emphasizes securing the power switch from dust build-up with dust-proof design as well as a plastic switch cover that can be opened and closed. For added convenience and security during use, the switch can be locked in position. Finally, the discs are simple to attach and detach with self-adhesive design. If you are not sure, Meterk provides 1 24-month limited warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can put it to the test and see if it’s right for your project needs.
- 13,500 OPM and 1.0 amp motor
- Dust collection port with buckle connection
- Includes 16 pieces of sandpaper (8 80 grits & 8 180 grits)
- Self-adhesive disc design
- Dust-proof switch can be closed inside a plastic casing
- Switch can be locked in position
- Rubber handle
- Includes 24 month limited warranty and 30 day money-back guarantee
7. Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 Random Orbit Sander
This random orbit sander from Milwaukee Electric Tools is compact and powerful. With a speed control dial for precision, you can choose a speed between 7,000 and 12,000 OPM for a variety of project needs.
This model emphasizes cleanliness, as it includes a detachable dust canister as well as universal attachment pieces for vacuum cleaners. Very few products come with many helpful tools for detailed cleaning work after the detailed sanding is finished.
Another special feature of this company and product is that it comes with multiple options for power sources. You can choose the version with a power cord, or you can choose a battery-powered version. The 3Ah battery (sold separately) has capacity to run up to 35 minutes, depending on which power setting and what kind of sandpaper you are using. In either case, the size of the sander is relatively small compared to other similar products, so the sander is versatile but does not sacrifice power or precision.
- Dust canister
- Universal vacuum hose adapter & vacuum extension
- Includes 2 80 grit pieces of sandpaper
- Corded or Lithium battery options: up to 35 minutes run-time on 3Ah battery (sold separately)
- Variable speed: 7,000-12,000 OPM
- Speed control dial
8. TACKLIFE Classic Mouse Detail Sander
This TACKLIFE detail sander provides a compact and efficient design, great for small detailed areas. A 1.0 amp motor and 12,000 OPM combined with a well-sized sanding pad make for an efficient working process. The sander can reach and can run consistently for smooth results.
Also, this sander not only comes with a dust collection piece with a secure buckle connection, but it includes a vacuum cleaner connection for fine clean-up and a spotless workplace. For added convenience, TACKLIFE includes 12 pieces of sandpaper of two different grades so you can get started on your project right away.
- 0 amp motor & 12,000 OPM
- 2 mm working pendulum diameter + 140x140x90mm sanding pad
- Dust collection with buckle connection
- Vacuum cleaner connecting pipe
- Includes 12 pieces of sandpaper (6 pieces of 80 grit & 6 pieces of 180 grit)
9. SKIL 5” Random Orbital Sander
SKIL’s sander design is powerful, efficient, compact, and comfortable. A 2.8 amp motor and 13,000 OPM with a 5-inch diameter allow you to cover a large area quickly. However, with variable speed control, this speed is met with precision and accuracy in order to achieve a smooth finish. In addition, the speed can be adjusted by a dial.
With its relatively more compact design, this sander can reach further than others, despite it not being a mouse sander. Depending on the project, though, SKIL’s orbital sander may carry you the entire way. If not, it will surely get you far and decrease the amount of smaller detail work you will have to do. This speeds up the work process and lets you keep moving forward with the next steps and more projects.
SKIL also ensures low vibration for comfort and endurance to work longer. For convenience, the dust container is clear to visibly know how full it is getting. In addition, the dust container and collector are both highly efficient and easy to clean for a straightforward work experience.
- 2.8 amp motor and 13,000 OPM
- Easy to clean dust container
- Variable speed control
- Low vibration
- Sand in tight places
10. DEWALT 20V MAX Random Orbital Sander
DEWALT, once again, provides excellent design and quality. Similar to its other sander designs, they emphasize a shorter height in order to get closer to the work surface and pay more attention to detail.
And this cordless design does not sacrifice power, efficiency, comfort, or convenience. With variable speed between 8,000 and 12,000 OPM, you can tackle any project with efficiency. With the 20V battery, the run time depends on couple of variables. A higher power setting will drain the battery faster, as will using a lower-grit sandpaper. In most cases, for big projects or anything you plan to work on for long periods of time, having two batteries will carry you through an hour of constant work.
A rubber grip and compact design also make this sander very comfortable to use. Unfortunately, this design does not come with a dust collection container. However, because it is cordless, it is very easy to bring your work outside and avoid indoor messes altogether. In addition, the sander comes with a bag to easily transport the sander and the accessories from site to site and into storage. Finally, DEWALT provides a 3-year warranty, 1 year of free maintenance service, and a 90-day money back guarantee.
- Variable speed to match the speed to the application: 8,000-12,000 OPM
- Texturized rubber grip
- Low height
- Brushless motor provides long run-time
- Replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad for quick, easy paper changing
In hopes you found the sander perfect for you, I wish you luck on your next furniture project! If you are new to refinshing furniture pick up a cheap piece or use something you don’t mind damaging. I realized that it takes time to learn how to operate a sander properly and you learn from your mistakes.
Get out there and start flipping furniture!