sanding discs coming off sander solution

The Fix for Sandpaper That Keeps Coming Off Your Palm Sander

In Tools by Jamie P.

I have been using my Bosch random orbital sander for quite some time now and I started to notice that my sanding discs kept on flying off. I was wondering if the sandpaper I purchased was junk, but then I realized it wasn’t the sandpaper.

I did some research and found out that:

The reason sandpaper is coming off your sander is that the current sander pad is worn out, replace the pad to fix the problem. Orbital sander pads wear out from regular use, eventually, the hook and loop Velcro will not properly hold onto your sanding discs.

Sanding down a project might not be your favorite part of woodworking or furniture refinishing, however, it’s a part of the game you can’t avoid. Of course, there’s stripping products you can do that might reduce sanding, but sanding will always be required.

Why do my sanding discs keep flying off?

Sanding discs come off a random orbital sander because the sander pad has worn down and the velcro is not properly holding on to the sanding discs. Just think about it, you constantly use a sander to grind away at wood, the sander spins super fast and it’s causing some serious friction. This is most likely wearing out the velcro pad on the sander.

I was wondering what I should do? Is this a replaceable part?

How to get sandpaper to stay on palm sander?

If you want your sandpaper to stay on your random orbital palm sander, you need to replace the pad. There are a few reasons your sandpaper isn’t sticking to the sanding pad. If the pad is worn it isn’t fixable and you need to replace the pad.

Sometimes the sander pad is only filled with debris you can clean it by using a brush or even a screwdriver to scrape dirt off the surface. If it’s extremely difficult to clean I recommend buying a new pad, they aren’t that expensive and they are going to fix your problem.

Replacement Sander Pads

Finding the correct sanding pad might seem intimidating but it’s pretty simple. First, find out your sander name and model, also determine the size of your sanding pad. Typically, these pads are 5 inches long from one side to the other. Also, don’t forget if your sander has an internal vacuum or not, these pads will need the 8 holes for air suction. Lastly, look at where your replacement pad will attach. The screws for replacement can be in the middle or they can be a little further out, avoid buying one with the wrong size!

Anyway, I will list some popular models to help you find the correct sanding pad and then I will show you how I replaced my sander pad. Many sander pads are universal and can fit various models, match size, screw area, and dust collector holes and you should be fine. It doesn’t hurt to search through Amazon for a pad that mentions your exact sander model. That’s how I found mine!

Bosch Sander Pad Replacement

If you have the Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander like me then this NYTiger 5 inch 8 Hole sander pad will do the trick as a replacement. It’s designed to last long, and since it comes with 3 pads you’ll be set for quite some time.

It is also compatible with these sanders:

  • RS035
  • RS034
  • Bosch ROS20VS
  • ROS20VSC
  • ROS20VSK
  • ROS20
  • ROS10

Dewalt Orbital Sander Pad Replacement

The Tockrop Sander Pad is designed for a few different Dewalt sanders. It has a simple screw installation for 4 screw sanders. The soft rubber design offers a better result when sanding. This 5-inch hook and loop pad is a replacement for these Dewalt sanders:

  • DWE6423/6423K
  • DWE6421/6421K
  • DCW210B

AxPower Sander Pad (3 Screws)

The AxPower 5 inch 8 Hole Replacement Sander Pads is a great value pack where you get 4 pads in one purchase. They are simple to install and are known to last a long time because of the durable material construction. You get the 8 holes for dust collection too!

This pad works on many sanders with the 3 attachment holes (see in photo). Here is the compatibility list:

  • Makita BO5010/K, BO5021/K, BO5030/K, BO5031/K, BO5041/K, XOB01Z
  • DeWalt DW420/420K, DW421/421K, DW423/423K, DW426/426K, D26453/26453K, D26451
  • Porter Cable 390/390K, 382, 343/343k, 343VSK
  • Hitachi SV13YA, SV13YB
  • And others with 5 in 8 holes and 3 screws

Superior Pads (4 Screws)

If your sander has these 4 holes for installation then the Superior Pads and Abrasives sander pad could be the right first for you. This pad is a good choice for various Milwaukee sanders and Ryobi sanders.

Here is the compatibility list:

  • Milwaukee 6021-21 (SER B19A) 5″
  • Ryobi RS240, RS241, RS280, RS2418, RS280VS
  • Rigid R2600, R2601

How to Replace A Sander Pad

I am just getting back to my computer after replacing my sander pad from my bosch palm sander, it was so easy. All you need is a screwdriver that matches up with the screws holding on the pad.

Let’s go through the steps of how I replaced my sander pad:

Step 1: Remove Sander Pad Screws

removing a sander pad on a palm sander

Grab your screwdriver that properly fits the screws, the last thing you want to do is strip the screws holding the pad on. When I removed the screws they came off easy, if your sander is older the more likely the harder it will be to remove the screws. Just be careful and get them out! Once removed the pad will come right off.

sander pad removed from sander

After you remove the pad do not lose the screws because you will need them to connect the new pad.

Step 2: Clean Inside Sander

cleaning sander under old sander pad

Although this step is not required the reason you are changing a pad is that it is worn and possibly full of dirt. Cleaning the inside can provide a longer-lasting tool and a cleaner sanding experience. If the vacuum dust collector is clogged it could potentially damage the motors, resulting in a broken sander. Grab a rag and wipe it clean and feel free to use a shop vac to suck any old dust out too.

Step 3: Line Up and Screw on New Sander Pad

line up sander pad

Now its time to install the new sander pad, but first lets line it up to make sure its going to properly fit. My Bosch sander has 8 small holes for installing. 4 of these holes are for screws and the other four fall into 4 securing joints that perfectly fit into the sander pad. They are designed to keep the pad in the correct position upon installation. I dropped the pad over the holes and the screws fell perfectly into place.

screw in new sander pad installation guide

As you can see in this photo above the screws fit into the sander and are placed every 2 holes, while the other holes are the little black stub that holds the pad in place. Start screwing in each screw until hand tight, make sure the pad isn’t going to come loose.

Some pads have 3 screws, some have 4, it all depends on which palm sander you have. They could also attach in different ways, maybe it won’t have the placement holders, maybe you sander has no dust collection holes. The process will be similar, remove screws and pad then attach the new pad, super simple. If you can’t figure it out try searching your specific model or contact the manufacturer.

Step 4: Attach Sandpaper and Start Sanding!

Finally, the new sander pad is installed and you can begin sanding again. The discs will hold on now and shouldn’t fly off during use. Comparing my new and old pad I could feel and see the difference. The old worn-out pad barely had any velcro left to connect to, causing the discs to come off during use.

I hope this detailed guide with photos can help you replace your sander pad!


How long do orbital sander pads last?

It is all about reading the symptoms of a replaceable sander pad. I replaced my sander pad after a year of heavy use, but I knew I needed a new pad long before. One time I was sanding and I was wondering why it wasn’t sanding and I realized the sandpaper had fallen off. This is a huge reason why a sander pad wears out, with no disc on the sander it will quickly wear out the velcro hook pad.

The more you use a sander the more often you need to replace the pad. I purchased a pack of 2 pads on Amazon recently so I will be prepared once it starts to wear out. Once I replace I can order another pack of 2.

The random orbital sander pads should last anywhere from 3 months to a year, if rarely used then it can last for years. I use my sander to sand down furniture, from small end tables to full-size dining tables. This puts a lot of wear on the pad meaning more replacements are necessary.

Its time to replace your random orbital sander pads when:

  • sanding discs fly off
  • sanding discs won’t stick at all
  • the pad feels worn down
  • if there’s a crack or dent in the pad
  • if the pad is uneven

Final Thoughts

We finally made it, by now we should have found our replacement sander pad for our specific palm sander. Then we should have replaced it following the detailed step by step guide, and now you should be ready to start the next big project.

I hope you learned a thing or two about sanding pads and replacement, but more importantly, I hope all your questions were answered. If you have sandpaper that keeps coming off your palm sander replacing the pad is usually the only solution. If your sandpaper is falling off the new sanding pad it’s likely an issue with the sandpaper itself.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask any questions!