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Choosing the right Random Orbit Sander

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Random Orbit Sanders have round pads of either 5 or 6 inches that move in a circle. The pad is attached to an offset bearing that gives a random pattern to the pad's motion. This random motion lets the operator move the sander in any direction without scarring the work surface. Some random orbit sanders have variable speed control allowing the operator to customize the tool to the material. Random sanders require special sanding sheets that vary between manufacturers. The pads have holes through which sanding dust is removed during operation. In order for the dust removal system to be effective, the holes in the paper and the pad must line up.

So in choosing a random orbit sander you want to look for things such as the overall feel in your hand and amount of vibration it gives off. Many manufactures are coming out with low vibration models using a variety of engineering techniques.

One main point that I would like to educate you on is the variable speed option. Many have asked why I need a variable speed random orbit sander over a single speed unit that costs less. A common response is for more control and better feel on soft woods and more delicate wood surfaces and while that is party true it's not the only answer. The key here is random orbit sanders can do more with variable speed. While most single speed random orbit sanders are 10,000 to 12,000 rpms that is the speed range that is recommend for regular sanding. Variable speed random orbit sanders usually have speeds from 4000 to 12,000 rpms.

What does this do for you?

While the high range 10,000 to 12,000 rpms is perfect for general sanding the lower speed options are perfect for finish sanding and polishing. The ideal speed range for finish sanding is from 6,000-10,000 rpms while the best range for polishing is from 4,000-6,000 rpms. Therefore since you have more control over your finished project and can do a few more things with it I would highly recommend you spend a few dollars more and but the variable speed model.

As far as product recommendations you really cannot go wrong with many of the top power tool manufactures. I firmly believe its how the tool feels in your hand that's most important. If you can test one out while its running that is the best way to choose so you can feel it,hear it and see how well it works.