The best random orbital sander is the first choice power tool for most sanding jobs. Easy to use, it removes material quickly, evenly and leaves no swirl marks.
A professional finish is only achieved with the right preparation. The best random orbital sander makes this quick & easy.
Nobody likes sanding by hand. If you’re decorating, it’s perfect for smoothing walls, doors and skirting, prior to painting. For woodwork, furniture upscaling and all renovations, a random orbital sander means better results in less time. The alternative is a detail sander – this is good for getting into corners and as the name suggests, detail.
What is a Random Orbital Sander?
A random orbital sander removes material by spinning the sanding disk while simultaneously oscillating it in small ellipses. This random pattern gives you three benefits over other types of power sander…
- Fast – The rotating disc means rapid material removal (should you desire)
- Professional Finish – The random pattern means no swirl marks
- Easy to Use – No need to sand in the direction of the grain
Verum compares 100s of sanders. In addition to making furniture & renovating homes, we have scrutinised specifications, listened to experts and checked the views of real-world owners to detail the best random orbital sanders available to buy in the UK, right now…
Best Cheap Random Orbital Sander:
Bosch PEX 220A
The Bosch PEX 220A is an excellent and affordable power sander. Perfect for all your occasional DIY jobs.
This model from Bosch has a good specification and the right detail to justify a recommendation. The lightweight design and soft grip make it easy to use with one hand. And while no sander can be described as quiet, this model makes less noise than most.
Designed for working on wood, plaster and painted surfaces it’s powerful enough to get the job done. And although you can’t connect a vacuum to this model, the removable dust box does a decent job.
As with all random orbital sanders, the sheets simply attach with a hook and loop fastening system and then you’re ready to go. Effective and easy to use, the Bosch PEX 220A is a great choice for anyone who wants a decent sander for a decent price.
SPECIFICATION: POWER: 220w | WEIGHT: 1.2kg | NOISE: 77dB | PAPER DIA: 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER: 2.5mm | ORBITS/MINUTE: 12,000opm
Bosch PEX 220A | Verdict price £53 | Check best price on Amazon
Budget Sander with Good Dust Extraction:
Makita M9204 Random Orbital Sander
The Makita M9204 is highly rated by owners. And it’s affordable. The Makita brand has a strong trade reputation for quality and durability. This sander is part of the MT range that’s designed to satisfy professional requirements without the price tag.
If you’re looking for a robust and reliable sander and don’t require the features associated with a high-end professional device, then this model is a great choice. It has a couple of key benefits over the Bosch (detailed above).
More power means you can get the job done faster. Plus, in addition to the standard dust collection system, this model can also be attached to a vacuum for low dust sanding. A small negative is the lack of padding to reduce vibrations, although you can wear decent gloves to counter this.
For safety, the sanding disk has a brake. This means when you turn the sander off, the disk stops spinning quickly. At some point, you will be grateful for this safety feature.
If you want an affordable power sander that gives great results and is built to last – choose the Makita M9205.
SPECIFICATION: POWER 240w | WEIGHT 1.2kg | NOISE 92dB | PAPER DIA 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER 2.8mm | ORBITS/MINUTE 12,000opm
Makita M9204 | Verdict price £58 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Corded Random Orbital Sander:
The Makita BO5031 is the best corded random orbital sander you can buy. Continual use and heavy-duty tasks are made possible by the high power output. Plus, with variable speed control, this sander is perfect for all woodworking applications, decorating jobs and polishing.
This sander makes light work of removing multiple coats of paint from a staircase through to fine wood finishing on furniture & toys. Owners agree that the dust bag is reasonably effective, although attaching a vacuum is definitely the best solution for a dust-free working environment.
The sanding discs are attached using a hook and loop abrasive pad. Over time the pad takes an incredible amount of punishment. While it’s definitely worth looking after the pad on any sander, what’s good to know is that real-world experience tells us that Makita sanders have a good track record – the Makita hook & loop attachment works well over time.
Variable speed coupled with the correct grit paper on this random orbital sander will deliver great results, every time. Most professionals have made the mistake of removing too much material, at some point. This can be difficult to remedy. It’s far better to start at a slow speed and then adjust up, if necessary.
Sanding is rarely a pleasant job, but with the Makita BO5031, you will get the job done quickly, effectively and have a professional finish to admire.
SPECIFICATION: POWER 300w | WEIGHT 1.3kg | NOISE 80dB | PAPER DIA 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER 2.8mm | ORBITS/MINUTE 4000 -12,000opm
Makita BO5031 | Verdict price £95 | Check best price on Amazon
Budget Cordless Random Orbital Sander:
Ryobi R18ROS-0 18V ONE+
This cordless sander is perfect for small to medium-sized DIY tasks.
All Ryobi tools work with an interchangeable ONE+ battery, which means you can use the same charger and batteries for multiple power tools – potentially saving a small fortune. All battery tools offer convenience but particularly with a sander, not being tied with a cord is liberating!
Owners rate this power sander too. The padded top reduces vibrations and the dust collection is good. Plus, you can attach a vacuum to minimise dust further.
In terms of battery choice, if you want a lighter unit go for a couple of small batteries (charge one while using the other) or alternatively go for a 5Ah battery which will give you around 50 minutes run time.
Great for DIY, this sander is effective and easy to use – forget sanding by hand.
SPECIFICATION: POWER 18v | WEIGHT 1.1kg | NOISE 95dB | PAPER DIA 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER 2.5mm
Ryobi | Verdict price £60 | Check best price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Best Makita Cordless Random Orbital Sander:
The Makita DBO180Z is an excellent cordless random orbital sander. The specification is top-notch and it’s highly rated by owners.
Are Cordless Sanders Good?
Sanders are not particularly power-hungry, so a decent-sized battery will hold its charge and give you plenty of time to get the job done. However, it’s the convenience and freedom of cutting the cord that justifies the extra cash.
This sander (with battery) is a little heavier than top-end corded models. However, the extra weight is a small negative compared to being tethered by a cord. Use a small battery if you’d prefer a lightweight sander. Alternatively, a bigger battery will last longer.
In terms of controls, there are two push-buttons. One to switch the device on and the second to adjust the speed. There are three settings – slow for polishing, medium for fine finishing and high for regular sanding. The dust bag is ok, but for efficient dust removal, connect a vacuum.
Cut the Cord
If you already have Makita batteries, choosing this model is a no brainer. Or if you don’t currently have any cordless Makita tools, this is a great place to start giving you interchangeable batteries, making your next power tool purchase significantly cheaper.
SPECIFICATION: POWER 18v | WEIGHT 1.4kg-1.7kg | NOISE 77dB | PAPER DIA 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER 2.8mm | ORBITS/MINUTE 7000/9000/11000opm
Makita DBO180Z | Verdict price £95 | Check best price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Best Random Orbital Sander [BEST BUY]:
Dewalt DCW210 – Brushless
The Dewalt DCW210 is a superb cordless random orbital sander – available at a bargain price. This is the US model – Identical to the UK version in every detail and currently discounted (40% OFF) here on Amazon.
Buying the US Model in the UK
This model is much cheaper than the UK version – it’s an absolute bargain. The only downside is that you don’t get the UK Dewalt warranty. However, the normal Amazon (30 days) return window, does apply. What’s important is that it works perfectly with Dewalt UK 18v batteries.
Why Choose a Sander with a Brushless Motor?
Even at the full UK price, this is a great Random Orbital Sander. It runs with a brushless motor which is more efficient, wears less, generates less heat and will keep going on a single charge, for much longer than a standard model.
In terms of usability, it’s lightweight and portable. Plus, the padded top helps reduce vibrations. For control, the variable speed means that it’s a perfect match for every surface and finish.
This Dewalt random orbital sander is nothing short of outstanding. And, it’s now available at a bargain price.
SPECIFICATION: POWER 18v/20v | WEIGHT 0.93kg | NOISE 85dB | PAPER DIA 125mm | ORBIT DIAMETER 2.6mm | ORBITS/MINUTE 8000 – 12,000opm
Dewalt DCW210 | Verdict price £95 | Check best price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Click to See The Complete Guide to Batteries & Chargers
What Else Do I Need to Know?
How To Choose The Best Random Orbital Sander
Rapid material removal coupled with a smooth and even finish is the primary requirement when choosing the best random orbital sander. In addition to this, we consider 7 key factors ahead of a recommendation – power, weight, durability, speed, noise, dust control and comfort of use.
As with all power tools, spending big can afford you some amazing kit. However, that doesn’t necessarily get you the right tool for the job. The good news is that we’ve identified excellent budget options for occasional DIY right through to professional power sanders for larger tasks and trade.
How to Use a Random Orbital Sander
- Lighten up! Use your energy to keep the sander moving rather than applying pressure.
- Keep it flat. Avoid tilting the sander on any surface. Just keep it flat & keep it moving.
- Don’t skip sandpaper grades. Especially when working on wood, start with the appropriate grit and work through each grade (see below). You’ll get a better finish, quicker & use less sandpaper.
- Are imperfections not sanding out? It’s probable that the area in question is lower than the surrounding surface. Sand down the surrounding area to level off rather than attempt to press a particular spot.
- Try light pencil scribbles across the surface. This allows you to see where you’ve sanded and areas that you’ve missed.
- Protect Yourself. Use a dust mask and ear protectors.
Choosing the Right Grade Sandpaper
A power sander can remove lots of material, quickly. Great, if this is what you want. However, if you’re looking for a fine finish it’s important to choose the right grit sandpaper…
- Coarse 40/60/80
- Initial paint removal from timber
- Pre-sanding of rough sawn beams or boards
- Medium 100/120
- Surface levelling of irregular wood (not veneer)
- Car body paint
- Fine 180/240
- Final finishing prior to painting
The Best Random Orbital Sanders
Best Budget Buy
Makita | Verdict price £58
See price on Amazon
BEST BUY – Corded
Makita BO5031/2 | Verdict price £95
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BEST BUY – Cordless
Dewalt DCW210 | Verdict price £95
See price on Amazon
All six random orbital sanders, detailed above, stand out within their price class. If you’re thinking occasional DIY, the Bosch or Red Makita are decent options. Then comes the Ryobi with cordless convenience.
There’s every reason to go cordless and both the Makita & Dewalt are superb. However, the overall best buy is the Dewalt – The brushless motor gives it the edge in terms of performance, plus it’s excellent value for money.