Ever wondered how you can use a sander to cut through old lacquer or smooth the rough edges of your custom or aging wooden furniture? Yes, you can with the best sanding machine.

Whether a seasoned craftsman or a DIY beginner, you know a sander is needed for your next furniture refinishing project. You can’t go testing all the sanders on a scrap wood yourself, can you? But we’ve just done that for you.

Learn how to spruce up your old wooden furniture with the best sander for wood furniture. This article will guide you through the process.

What is a Sander?

A sander (also known as sanding machine) is a device used to smooth out, polish or scour surfaces such as wood, metal or plastic by abrasive materials, mostly sandpaper.

As a power tool, sanders are designed with the ability to attach the sandpaper and employ a mechanism that moves it rapidly.

Best Sander for Refinishing Furniture

  1. BLACK+DECKER 5-Inch Orbital Sander(Best power sander for furniture)
  2. DEWALT Rotary Sander(Best sander for stripping furniture)
  3. BOSCH ROS20VSC Sander 2.5 Amp 5 in(Best Palm Sander for Furniture)
  4. TECCPO Detail Sander(Best Hand Sander for Furniture)
  5. JET JWDS-1020, 10-Inch Drum Sander – (Best Drum Wood Furniture Sander)
  6. SKIL Corded Detail Sander(Best Electric Sander for Furniture)
  7. GALAX PRO Orbital Sander(Best Furniture Sander with Dust Extractor)
  8. Ingersoll Rand Air Sander(Best Air Powered Sanding Tool for Furniture)
  9. DEWALT 20V MAX* Random Orbit Sander(Best Small Sander for Furniture)

Best Sander for Furniture Refinishing

Add an epic look to your favorite antigue, vintage or dated furniture with the best sanders on the market. While at it, be grateful that you don’t have to do your sanding using the arduous, old-fashioned way by hand.

1. Best power sander for furniture – BLACK+DECKER 5-Inch Random Orbital Sander

Sale
BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (BDERO100)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ORBIT SANDER - 2.0 Amp corded electric random orbit sander for a swirl-free finish
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY - Delivers 12000 OPM (orbits per minute) to quickly sand material
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT - Fits in tight spaces for more versatile sanding
  • DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM - Keep your workspace free of dust and debris with a built-in dust collection bag
  • COMFORT GRIP HANDLE - Work comfortably and with less fatigue thanks to the comfort grip handle

This is exactly what you need to give your woodwork project an exceptional finish. Powered by a 2.0-amp electric corded electric motor.

The Black+Decker 5-inch random orbit sander applies speeds of up to 12,000 OPM (orbits per minute) to deliver amazing, swirl-free results every time.

Whether you’re buying it to remove paint, varnish or stains from wood, plastic and metal surfaces, it works awesome and with ease. Using it will strip loose paint from those miserable wooden spindles in a snap.

The sander also features a dust collection system that excellently reduces the mess, cutting down on clean-up time. This sander is lightweight with a compact design and cozy handle that’s hard to grip.

This ensures control when sanding and reduces pain and strain. The hook-and-loop is efficient and takes seconds to change the sandpaper.

We recommend buying a pack of hook and loop sanding discs in assorted grits for more variety in your sanding process.

Thanks to the lock-on paddle switch, the operation is quick and simple. The Black+Decker random orbit sander is definitely a fantastic buy for its economical price.

What We Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for finishing
  • Dust remover bag holds plenty of debris

What Could Be Improved

  • Not good for wood removal
  • Removing dust bag can be messy



2. Best sander for stripping furniture – DEWALT Rotary Sander

Sale
DEWALT Rotary Sander, Variable Speed, Dust Shroud, 5-Inch (DWE6401DS)
1,118 Reviews
DEWALT Rotary Sander, Variable Speed, Dust Shroud, 5-Inch (DWE6401DS)
  • 6-amp motor of the orbital sander delivers performance in high torque sanding applications to speed up the sanding process
  • 0 - 3,700 OPM variable speed trigger dial of the hand sander provides versitility in a wide array of sanding applications
  • Adjustable dust shroud of electric sander can be connected to vacuum to provide improved working environment
  • Mid-handle design with soft grip and side handle provides increased balance and relieves user fatigue
  • Accepts 5-inch 8-hole hook and loop paper, allowing for readily available paper to be changed quickly and easily

The Dewalt rotary sander is a corded sander and time saver. If you’re fed up with belt sanders, their drifting and replacement, then the Dewalt rotary sander will treat you pretty well.

As the best rotary furniture sander, Dewalt weighs approximately 4.8 pounds and features an adjustable side ergonomic handle that ensures a firm grip and balance while at it.

This rotary sander has a powerful 6-amp motor capable of driving up to 3,700 orbits per minute. The motor is specifically designed to increase the sander’s torque rather than the speed.

Higher torque can tear away multiple layers, quickly eating through the wood. We recommend pairing it with a high-grit sanding paper for a fine finish.

Thanks to its variable-speed switch, users have better control while at work. The vibration-dampening handle minimizes hand muscle strain and fatigue.

The furniture sanding machine falls into a sweet spot between price and functionality. You can’t pass up this versatile and affordable sander—and no more belt sanding!

What We Liked Most

  • Powerful 6-amp motor suitable for heavy-duty sanding
  • Side handle gives more control
  • More effective at high speeds with coarse grit
  • Inexpensive, making it the best sander for furniture stripping.

What Could Be Improved

  • Hard to control
  • Not effective with fine grit



3. Best Palm Sander for Furniture – BOSCH ROS20VSC Palm Sander 2.5 Amp 5 in

Sale
BOSCH ROS20VSC Palm Sander 2.5 Amp 5 In. Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit with Dust Collector and Soft Carrying Bag
  • SMOOTH FINISH: pad dampening system designed to eliminate swirl marks on both flat and contoured surfaces
  • EASY DISC ATTACHMENT: through Bosch's signature Hook and Loop disc attachment system, sanding pads stick to the hand sander, acting like a Velcro-adhesion material
  • VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL: powerful 2.5 AMP motor allows speed to work-piece and task matching with ease; no-load OPM: 7,500-12,000
  • DUST COLLECTION: features a micro filter 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 bag

If you’re the kind of woodworker who demands a little more from your sanders, this one doesn’t disappoint.

The Bosch ROS20VSC palm sander is a workhorse that uses a winning combination of pad orbit and rotation to ensure rapid removal of multiple layers of paint and wood leaving a well-balanced, ultra-smooth finish.

No wonder it’s one of the best sanders for paint removal. Quieter than the random orbital sander, the Palm sander is equally powerful, ensuring perfect speed for every project.

Are you afraid of experiencing vibrations in the nerves or fatigue and pain in your arms after woodworking for some hours? Not with this one.

Feel the control with this palm sander that is 100% ergonomic and has a built-in dampening system that enables a soft grip, low vibration and a micro-cellular backing pad that enhances fine sanding.

With its variable speed control, achieving top-notch results is a breeze even for novice sanders. The Bosch palm sander is impressively lightweight coming at just 3.5 pounds.

The sander also features one of the best onboard systems that filter fine dust (as minute as 0.5 microns) with very little mess.

This allows you to keep the air and working area free from sawdust. A special vacuum attachment is also added to enable users to easily mount the sander onto dust collecting systems.

What We Liked Most

  • Micro-filter to collect fine dust
  • Universal hook-and-loop sanding pad attachment
  • Lightweight and low vibration

What Could Be Improved

  • Suitable for smaller grits



4. Best Hand Sander for Furniture – TECCPO Detail Sander

TECCPO Detail Sander, 14,000 OPM Compact Electric Sander with 12Pcs Sandpapers, Efficient Dust Collection System, Multi-Function 1.1Amp Hand Sander for Woodworking -TAMS22P
534 Reviews
TECCPO Detail Sander, 14,000 OPM Compact Electric Sander with 12Pcs Sandpapers, Efficient Dust Collection System, Multi-Function 1.1Amp Hand Sander for Woodworking -TAMS22P
  • 【 HIGH-EFFICIENCY 】 - TECCPO Detail Sander runs at 14,000 orbits per minute with 1.1 Amps of power; 1.5 mm diameter high eccentric orbit creates a larger sanding area, which makes sure users finish their work efficiently. The detail sander can also achieve multifunctional uses compared to a random orbit sander.
  • 【DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM】 - The reusable dust bag keeps the work area clean. Still struggling with the dust generated while working? TECCPO detail sander is the savior of this problem. The fan-driven by a built-in high-efficiency pure copper motor spins quickly to transport the wood chips to the dust bag. Compared to another sander, this sander is easier to collect dust, and the built-in fan and good sealing ensure that the dust sucked into the collection bag will not fly out again.
  • 【12PCS SANDPAPER】 - 12pcs sandpaper (60 grits * 6 & 120 grits * 6) (138mm * 97mm). The coarse, medium and fine grades of sandpaper make it possible to be widely used for grinding and polishing metal, wood, rubber, leather, plastic, stone, glass, old furniture, and other materials. The hook and loop design makes changing sandpaper easy and takes only one second.
  • 【LIGHTWEIGHT & SUITABLE FOR SMALL PROJECTS】 - This electric sanding weighs only 2.6 pounds, even if you work for a long time will not feel tired. Even if it's your first time using a sander, you can quickly get the hang of using it. Lightweight and compact size make it very suitable for small projects.
  • 【ERGONOMIC DESIGN】 - With its Compact Size and Soft Rubber Head Design, it can easily reach narrow spaces to finish edges, corners, and any other hard-reach spaces so that you can deal with the detail of the woodworking perfectly. Ideal for indoor detail work.

The best hand sanders ensure a smooth finish on furniture. With its powerful 1.1 Amp motor and 14,000 OPM for efficient and smooth sanding work, this TECCPO detail sander comes highly recommended.

Perfect for sanding small surfaces, the easy-to-use, compact and ergonomic hand sander is designed with a pointy triangle shape that enables it to get to even the tightest spaces.

The TECCPO detail sander is great for refinishing furniture, sanding dry walls and polishing wood, metal and plastic surfaces—exactly what it’s meant for, small to medium tasks.

The corded sander is also lightweight, easy to handle and works great. This detail sander also comes compact and with ease of maneuver. With its ergonomic and counterweight balanced design, there’s minimal vibration and comfortable grip.

Conveniently, the TECCPO detail sander features two six-packs of quality sandpapers in both fine and medium grits that make it quick and simple to change.

We love the dust collection unit that includes a bag and tube that allow the user to keep the work area neat and prevent hazards that come with dust inhalation.

Note: Prompt replacement of sandpapers can reduce the wear of the device’s nylon base plate.

What We Liked Most

  • High efficiency
  • Compact and easy to maneuver

What Could Be Improved

  • Not ideal for large projects



5. Best Drum Wood Furniture Sander – JET JWDS-1020, 10-Inch Benchtop Drum Sander

JET JWDS-1020, 10-Inch Benchtop Drum Sander, 1HP, 1Ph 115V (723510)
157 Reviews
JET JWDS-1020, 10-Inch Benchtop Drum Sander, 1HP, 1Ph 115V (723510)
  • CONSISTENT QUALITY: Heavy-duty die-cast aluminum and steel body provides rigidity
  • OPTIMAL FEED RATES: Infinitely-variable speed control allows the user to choose the perfect feed rate
  • FAST ABRASIVE CHANGES: Toolless abrasive take-up fasteners make changes quick and easy
  • PROTECTION FROM HEAT: Extruded aluminum drum is designed to dissipate heat and protect wood from heat-damage
  • SOLID BOARD SUPPORT: Precision-flattened reinforced steel conveyor bed supports the boards passing under the sanding drum

The Benchtop drum sander is a solid and hefty corded electric machine that boasts unique features including heavy-duty, die-cast steel and aluminum material and infinitely speed control that gives the user freedom to choose the most ideal feed rate.

Its powerful 1-HP motor is designed to sand board up to 3″ thick and 20″ wide. The sander’s innovative dust hood allows dust to be funneled to the 4″ dust port before transferring it to a dust collector.

User can conveniently adjust the table back to parallel with a simple turn of a dial. The self-cooling extruded aluminum sanding drum is designed to dissipate heat and protect the sanding surface from heat damage, thus preventing waste.

The sander also has a solid board with precision-flattened reinforced steel conveyor bed that supports the boards which pass under the sanding drum.

What We Liked Most

  • Best tool for refurbishing floors

What Could Be Improved

  • Heavy/large machines
  • Quite expensive
  • Limited to hardwood



6. Best Electric Sander for Furniture – SKIL Corded Detail Sander

SKIL Corded Detail Sander, Includes 3pcs Sanding Paper and Dust Box - SR250801
2,169 Reviews
SKIL Corded Detail Sander, Includes 3pcs Sanding Paper and Dust Box - SR250801
  • Powerful– With a 1 amp motor and 12, 000 orbits per minute, it’s able to deliver a smooth performance over a variety of sanding applications.
  • Tough on dust– Between its micro-filtration system and the 1-1 by4” dust port for vacuum attachment, you can choose your preferred way to keep dust away.
  • EASY SANDING SHEET CHANGE– A hook and loop system allows for simple and quick sanding sheet changes. Adding sheet changes. Balance reduces vibration for improved comfort
  • Low vibration– Through its ergonomic design and a soft rubber grip your hand stays comfortable while counterweight balance reduces hand fatigue from vibration. All so that you can work longer.
  • Easy on and off– The dust sealed on and off switch makes a hassle-free, flip-of-the-switch during application.

If you ever had to remove stained or damaged wood veneer, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Sanding damaged wood can not only be tough to finish, but also a health hazard as the dust from the wood gets on the way, exacerbates allergies and impedes visibility during work.

This powerful SKIL Corded Detail Sander is a tried and true brand with the power and sophistication to ensure fine finishes in a safe and dust-free environment. While this sanding machine for furniture is small in size, it’s big on features.

From micro-filtration, vibration control to compact design, the corded detailed sander performs flawlessly when sanding wood projects.

Its micro-filtration system is unique and features a micro-filter or dust port for vacuum attachment that efficiently collect dust.

The machine’s ergonomic design, soft rubber grip and counterweight balance minimizes vibration ensuring comfort and reduced fatigue while enabling you to work for longer.

The compact and lightweight design allows a fine finish in tight edges, corners and large surfaces. With a hook and loop system, it’s simple and quick to change the sanding sheets.

Finally, the easy on and off dust sealed knob ensures a flip-of-the-switch during application.

What We Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Great maneuverability

What Could Be Improved

  • Not ideal for larger jobs
  • Challenge finding compatible replacement sanding pads



7. Best Furniture Sander with Dust Extractor – GALAX PRO Orbital Sander

GALAX PRO 280W 13000OPM Max 6 Variable Speeds Orbital Sander with 15Pcs Sanding Discs, 5” electric Sander with Dust Collector for Sanding and Polishing
1,132 Reviews
GALAX PRO 280W 13000OPM Max 6 Variable Speeds Orbital Sander with 15Pcs Sanding Discs, 5” electric Sander with Dust Collector for Sanding and Polishing
  • High performance: 280W powerful fine cooper motor provides up to 13,000 rotations per minute, delivering strong power to the sanding disc for dust removal. Ideal for smoothing rough surfaces on wood, metal and/or plastic, removing paint, stain or varnish from wood, metal and/or plastic
  • Sand large surfaces: This sander machine is equipped with a 125 millimetre diameter sanding pad. This ensures that the user is able to sand even large surfaces and hard materials quickly. The orbital stroke rate of this sander is up to 13,000 opm, while the orbit diameter is 1.25 millimetres
  • Built-in dust collection system: The dust extraction system and collection bag prevents clouds of dust obstructing your view and makes the clean-up operation a lot less arduous. Simply disconnect the collection bag and dispose of the contents after every use
  • Ergonomic design: Ergonomically designed handle with rubberised soft grip fits your hand ideally to provide maximum control and comfort. Dust sealed switch minimises contamination with conveniently located lock-on button for continuous use and increase operator comfort
  • What you get: palm sander; 5Pcs sanding discs of 80 grits, 5Pcs sanding discs of 100 grits, 5Pcs sanding discs of 120 grits; dust collection bag; user manual

Loaded with a range of amazing features like variable speeds, 15 pieces of sanding discs, ergonomic design, high-performance motor and a built-in dust collection unit for sanding and polishing, the Galaxy Pro Orbital Sander is fantastic and offers value for money.

Get ready to work this sander hard. The five-inch sanding pad and a 280W powerful motor that delivers up to 13,000 rotations per minute give the sanding disc the oomph to remove dust without getting messy.

The dust proof switch also reduces contamination with lock-on buttons. Perfect for smoothing surfaces on wood, metal and plastic, users can also use the sander to remove paint, varnish and tough stains from surfaces.

The furniture sanding machine is ideal for large wood surfaces, and works faster through more material. What’s more, the rubberized handle ensures a soft grip that fits your hand, providing maximum control.

The machine’s speed (6 various speeds) settings can be adjusted with ease to suit a given project.

What We Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Uncompromised precision
  • Reasonably priced
  • Multi-speed option

What Could Be Improved

  • High pitched sound



8. Best Air Powered Sanding Tool for Furniture – Ingersoll Rand Air Sander

Ingersoll Rand 315G Edge Series Straight Line Air Sander, Black, Large
1,466 Reviews
Ingersoll Rand 315G Edge Series Straight Line Air Sander, Black, Large
  • POWERFUL SANDING MACHINE: Ingersoll Rand’s 315G Straight Line Air Sander has a twin piston design that keeps extra power in reserve to prevent stalling.
  • HEAVY DUTY WORK: Tackle tough sander jobs like smoothing down body filler or shaping and leveling large flat surfaces.
  • TOOL SPECS: This straight line pneumatic sander has a pad size of 2.75" x 15" and provides 3000 reciprocating strokes per minute.
  • MAX COMFORT: Ergonomic hand grip, lighter weight body, and low vibration increase comfort while operating, keeping you working longer and finishing tasks more efficiently.
  • QUICK ACTION PAPER CLAMPS: Fast action paper clamps allow for quick change overs. Paper size should be 17.5” long to accommodate its wrap around clamps.

We don’t baby our furniture sanding tools, and they work as hard as we do. This one passed our test!

The Ingersoll Rand Air Sander is a powerful pneumatic sanding machine designed to take on your larger, heavy duty projects such as smoothing down body filler as well as shaping and leveling large flat surfaces.

With a 15-inch pad size, this Ingersoll Rand straight line air sander completes every large project flawlessly. This sander for furniture restoration also delivers 3000 reciprocating strokes per minute.

Thanks to its ergonomic hand grip and low vibration, users enjoy maximum comfort, work longer and finish tasks efficiently. With a lighter weight body, it remains quiet and smooth in operation but aggressive in removing material.

The sander’s strong quick action paper clamps ensure quick change overs meaning the machine doesn’t have to stall or experience paper slips. The paper size is 17.5” long and perfectly accommodates its wrap around the clamps.

What We Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced

What Could Be Improved

  • Not ideal for small projects



9. Best Small Sander for Furniture – DEWALT 20V MAX* Random Orbit Sander

Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX* Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch, Cordless Kit (DCW210D1) , Yellow
  • Orbital sander with brushless motor provides runtime and efficiency to get the job done
  • Variable-speed control of the hand sander from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM to match the speed to the application.
  • Low-profile height of the power sander allows user to get close to work surface for precise sanding.
  • Replaceable 8-hole hook-and-loop sanding pad (DWE64233) for quick, easy paper changing
  • Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for long switch life.

For a tool of this caliber, this battery-powered Dewalt 20V Random Orbit Sander gives some of the corded sanders a run for their money.

Easily one of the best and cheapest sanders we’ve worked with, this orbital sander features brushless motor that ensures a runtime and efficiency to get the job done right.

The hand sander has a variable-speed control ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute to match the speed required for application in a variety of projects.

This 5-inch Brushless Cordless Random Orbital Sander also comes with a 2.0Ah battery that supplies the power and runtime needed for the project. Its one-handed locking dust bag conveniently attaches to the wood sander to assist in dust collection.

There’s a dust-sealed switch that safeguards against contamination, ensuring a long switch life. With a rubber overmold grip, there’s no fatigue using it. The 8-hole hook and loop sanding pads are available for fast and easy paper changing.

What We Liked Most About this Small Furniture Sander

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight

What Could Be Improved

  • Short battery runtime
  • Suited for small projects



Best Sander for Furniture Restoration Comparison Table

Stripping Vs Sanding

While sanding is a popular way of refinishing furniture, it works well with large and smooth surfaces, but has a con too—sanders have trouble working around intricate shapes.

Strippers are good with odd angles though they are sticky and may demand multiple attempts when stripping several layers of paint. Some people prefer stripping the lacquer or paint to preserve the wood.

This involves combining a paint and varnish remover to chemically wear down the finish on the furniture. Stripping works faster and doesn’t damage the furniture.

But just like sanding, it has downsides too. It gets messy quickly, particularly with larger projects. The chemicals used are powerful hence you may require proper ventilation and breathing protection.

It also takes time before the paint stripper can eat through the old lacquer, and removing it too soon can leave the furniture stained and mottled.

Ultimately, sanding is quicker, safer and more effective. But whether sanding or stripping, don’t rush the process. Take your time; the final result will be worth it, especially with the best sander.

What is the Best Type of Sander for Furniture?

Sanding with the right type of sander for furniture isn’t even a job, it’s fun! We considered six types of sanders that are easy to use, priced reasonably and bound to make you a smooth winner.

1. Belt Sanders

Belt sanders are the most common and toughest type of sander that features a sandpaper belt which rotates through the device. The rapid movements grind through hefty layers of paint and wood quickly.

With their size and power, belt sanders are suited for large-scale woodworking projects involving preparation of wood and removal of heavy layers of paint and wood.

These sanders are quite challenging to use for small woodwork projects or fine finishing of furniture.

2. Random Orbital Sanders

Random orbital sanders are powerful yet easy to control sanders that are a favorite for many avid and professional woodworkers.

These devices deliver sanding versatility as the round sanding pads rotate and oscillate rapidly to prepare wood and perfectly finish a surface.

As the name insinuates, random orbital sanders make “random” movements that minimize scratches and swirl patterns in the wood. Random orbital sanders are fantastic for refinishing medium- to large-sized furniture.

They are suited for flatter surfaces and challenging around corners and complex angles. These can be paired with detail sanders for excellent results.

3. Rotary Sanders

You can also call them orbital sanders. These devices feature square sanding pads that make small, orbit movements that gnash away paint and wood.

Rotary sanders are suited for medium and large woodworking projects such as refinishing furniture. The square sanding pads they use can reach even the most obtuse or right-angled corners.

Unfortunately, these sander for furniture restoration are not suitable for rounded edges, acute angles or tight spaces.

4. Palm Sanders

Also know as hand sanders or palm grip sanders, these are the smallest type of sander and an excellent choice for refinishing furniture.

The tiny size of palm sanders and sanding paper used make them ideal for smaller woodwork sanding tasks such as building spice racks or constructing birdhouses.

While palm sanders are lightweight and can’t grind away large surface material the way belt sanders do, they are versatile and can help with detail sanding on medium and large woodworking projects; they get into tight spaces easier than orbital sanders. Their ease of use makes them the best option for beginners.

5. Detail Sanders

If you’re looking for versatility on the quick, this is the sander for you. Detail sanders have a pointy shape, smaller size and triangular sanding pads that make them ideal for tasks that need accuracy and fine finishing and refinishing.

These sanders are specifically designed to add precision to narrow spaces or edges, acute angles and contoured or detailed wood surfaces.

The best detail sanders feature attachments that enable precise sanding of taut areas. Just like palm sanders, these sanders can’t remove hefty surface material.

6. Drum Sanders

Drum sanders are large, upright and powerful belt sanders capable of sanding off any kind of material from a wooden floor—paint, stains, bumps, adhesives, gouges or mastic.

Usually, they’re placed on the floor and moved around using a handle, just like a lawn mower. These sanders are designed to strip and refinish solid wood flooring only. Before sanding any adhesives on the floor, ensure they do not have asbestos.

Sanding belts used in drum sanders are large and powered by drive wheels. Drug sanders are quite expensive and mostly available in large homes or tool rental centers for leasing.

How to Choose the Best Sander to Refinish Furniture

After trying different sanders and finding it hard to know exactly what you need for your sanding project, you find yourself here.  Argh! We’ve so been there. Let these features help you make an informed decision.

Power

Sanders are powered in three ways: electrical cords, rechargeable batteries and compressed air in a pneumatic system.

Corded Sanders—Powered by direct connection to an electricity source, these sanders work indefinitely as long as there’s a power source. If the cords are limiting your mobility, use extension cords. Watch out that the cord doesn’t turn out to be a tripping hazard.

Cordless Sanders—Are devices that use rechargeable batteries and depending on the model, can last at most two hours on a single charge. They come in handy when far from a power source.

Pneumatic sanders—Powered using compressed air. The right-sized air compressors and pneumatic sanders are very expensive. Smaller-sized compressors can’t generate enough power to effectively run a sander. Only buy a pneumatic sander if you already have a powerful air compressor.

Variable Speed

The speed of a sander is simply how rapidly the sandpaper operates, though this is measured in different ways based on the type of sander.

For example, speed for detail sanders is measured in oscillations per minute while rotary, palm and random orbital sanders use orbits per minute to measure speed.

Sander speeds should be managed properly. High speeds can tear many materials in a flash with the result being a fairly rough surface.

Lowering the speed slows down the rate at which materials will be removed, enabling the sander to deliver a fine, smooth finish.

Versatility

The versatility of sanders is their ability to work on different projects in a myriad of ways.

Coming in various shapes and sizes, and for different functions like hefty material removal, fine refinishing and sanding in tight locations, always choose a sander that can handle any woodworking project on your schedule.

While no one sander can handle all the woodworking projects, it’s best to pair them accordingly.

Sanding Pad Grit Size

Sandpapers come in different sizes and shapes and before choosing a pack of them, consider the size required by your sander; whether it uses sandpaper belts, square sheets, custom sheets or circular sanding discs.

Some sanders like rotary sanders use standard sandpaper while others like palm and random orbit sanders use circular sanding discs. Always read through the manufacturer’s instructions and get product-specific sanding pad for your sander.

Ease of Use

This includes factors like control, weight and vibration. The weight of sanders ranges between 1 and 8 pounds, depending on the type and whether it’s corded, cordless or pneumatic.

Generally, corded sanders have large motors that make them heavier than the other options. With their high speeds and vibration, always choose a sander with an ergonomic handle made of vibration-dampening pads to reduce hand muscle strain and fatigue.  

Pressure Detection

Some manufacturers add this premium feature to measure the overall pressure exerted by the user. This information appears on one side of the tool and when too much pressure is exerted, the sander automatically vibrates or flashes to alert the user.

Dust-Collection Bins

These bins are an add-on feature that helps keep your working area clean during sanding. The bins are connected to a sander which has built-in fans that pull the loose dust, clearing it from working area.

Safety Features

Safety features on sanders include vibration-dampening padding, trigger lock systems and emergency stop systems that cause the brakes to instantly stop the sanding pad motion when the user releases the trigger, and this prevents further damage or injury.

Accessories

These include sanding discs and additional sandpaper common in sander kits. Others include detail sanding attachments and accessory bags to carry and keep the discs, pads and attachments.

Runtime

The battery runtime is an important factor particularly for those attracted to cordless sanders due to their versatility and maneuverable.

Runtime refers to the amount of time your sander can be powered by a full battery charge. Consider the type of wood used. A tough hardwood demands more power to achieve desired results, hence quickly erodes the battery.

The powerful belt sanders use more power than detail or palm sanders based on size. The frequency of using and recharging the battery significantly reduces its runtime.

How Do You Know if Your Wood Furniture Needs to be Refinished?

Your furniture has served you enough and there are times when it’ll need a little love to keep or restore it to its original splendor.

To help you figure out what your wood furniture needs for refurbishing, here’s a list of some telltale signs to check before delving into refinishing it.

Water Damage

Check for watermarks, blemishes or cloudy spots that won’t go away. And while the finish may seem intact, a revamp will do good to your wood.

So why not treat it to a refinishing job or custom restoration to get it back to shape and shine with continued use.

Extensive Scratches

If the existing finish has dings, dents, cracks and scratches, that may mean the wood underneath is exposed. As such, the finish can’t protect the wood and this calls for the best sander for refinishing furniture to give it a fresh veneer and look.

Large Gouges or Chips

Does the finish on your furniture chipping or flaking off? If yes, then the finish is failing and should be removed and a new varnish coating added.  

Discoloration

Any sign of discoloration on your furniture is a red flag that it’s time to refinish your furniture. Generally, discolouration is caused by moisture that affects old shellac and laquer finishes. When you spot it, your next step should be to refinish that piece of wood.

You Want a Change

If you find yourself fed up with your furniture and desire to discard or donate it, hold your horses; maybe it’s time to spruce it up. With a fresh coat of varnish or different finish, you may just fall in love with it again.

Splintering and Wear

Without proper finish, wood becomes oversensitive to moisture and the changes in temperature. This causes splintering.

When the floor boards loosen and rub against each other when you step on them, this causes a wearing out of the edges. These are sure signs that it’s time to refurbish your furniture.

FAQs

How do I know the right sandpaper to use?

Typically, it’s the grit that organizes sandpapers. A product with lower grit numbers (40-50 grit) is categorized as coarse sandpaper while those with high numbers (120-grit to above 220-grit) represent fine or ultra-fine sandpaper. Coarse sandpaper is designed to remove multiple layers of material faster but leaves some level of roughness. Fine sandpaper is ideal for finishing because it leaves surfaces looking soft and smooth. Be sure to choose sandpaper that perfectly meets your goals.

Why do sanders leave swirl marks on my wood?

When sanding, you should always ensure there’s nothing between the sandpaper and the wood surface. Anything like straying grit or huge piles of dust will hinder the machine from evenly sanding down your wood. Again, moving the sander faster over the surface can cause swirl marks, leaving behind drags that result in uneven finish.

Between an orbital sander and a palm sander, which one is better?

Both the orbital sander and palm sander are designed for different tasks. Typically, orbital sanders are large-sized, heavy-duty machines suited for handling huge projects like headboard, bed frame and footboard. On the other hand, palm sanders are smaller-sized tools ideal for small woodworking tasks like a mailbox or coffee table. They are also ideal for softwood works since the force of the palm sander can be easier to control, inhibiting the sander from biting through too much wood.

What kind of sander should I use on a table top?

The best sander for table top is a rotary sander because it is less likely to leave swirl marks. It also sands quickly and removes material evenly. Rotary sanders are the most versatile, as they can be used for both narrow and wide surfaces. They also come in both electric and pneumatic versions.

So, what type of sander is best for furniture?

Well, what do we think of the BOSCH ROS20VSC Palm Sander? Impressive! It’s our choice for the best sander for refinishing furniture. It’s an all-rounder for both professional and beginner woodworkers.

How about you? We hope our reviews for the best sander for wood furniture have been helpful and you’ve settled on a sander that suits the specific needs of your wooden furniture project. Goodluck!

Leave a Comment