Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander: The #1 Guide To Know Which Is For You

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Dweller Power’s Power Sander comparison guide regarding Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander.

Most often – this is a question because there’s quite little distinction between an Orbital Sander and a Finishing Sander at first glance. To add to the confusion – there are also variants of Orbital Sanders and Finishing Sanders. So really, people are easily confused with knowing which is which and what is the best purpose for each.  

You might be in the woodworking industry or in the auto-body/car repair industry if you’re looking for Power Sanders. These are great Power Tools for smooth out your workpiece’s surfaces.

I’ll clear those questions up and you will be able to know what really is an Orbital Sander and what really is a Finishing Sander in this guide.

Short Version / TL;DR

Don’t have time to read through the article? Don’t worry, we get you – here’s a brief rundown on our Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander guide:

To answer the question of Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander here is the gist of it.

With Orbital Sanders, not to be confused with a Random Orbital Sander, usage for it is always kept in circular or a rotating motion to smooth out surfaces evenly. It is commonly used to smooth out wood or metal sheets.

The Finishing Sander, a lighter weight type of Power Sander, on the other hand is specialized for smoothing and in the end polishing the workpiece or material, hence the name as a ‘Finishing’ Sander. This is the next Power Sander used after you need to give a great finish or polish for your project.

Most often, these Power Sanders are commonly used by woodworkers and carpenters, while the Orbit Sander is also used in Auto/Body Repair.

If you find yourself working with projects that deal with wood and metal sheets, and those need smoothing surfaces, your Orbital Sander is best for your current and future projects.

For dealing with the near end part of your woodworking or carpentry project, and you need a higher level of polishing for quality work – your Finishing Sander, the Palm Grip Sander, is your best bet.


Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison table for Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander to easily tell you which is which:

FeaturesOrbit SanderFinish Sander
Sanding MaterialRectangular Sanding PlateRectangular Sanding Plate
SandingVertical and Horizontal PatternVertical-Horizontal Pattern and Rotating Pattern
MethodWoodworking – Auto/BodyWoodworking
Best OnSmoothing Wood and Automotive surfacesSmoothing Wood
Best ForWoodworkers, Carpenters, Auto RepairWoodworkers and Carpenters


Don’t have time To read? No worries!
Below are our top picks for your convenience

Dweller Power’s Best Pick

Best Orbital Sander in the Market

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander

DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX

  • Brushless Motor
  • 8,000 to 12,000 OPM
  • Replaceable 8-hole Hook-and-Loop Sanding Pad
  • Dust-Sealed Switch
  • Ergonomic Rubber Overmold Grip

Dweller Power’s Best Pick

Best Finishing Sander in the Market

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander DeWALT DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander

DeWALT DWE6411K ¼

  • 3 Amp Motor
  • 14,000 OPM
  • Locking Dust-Port System
  • Separate Counterweight Mechanism
  • Rubber Dust Boot Anti-Dust system

What is An Orbit Sander?

Orbit Sander | Photo Courtesy by Unsplash.com

What you need to know is that an Orbit Sander, or Orbital Sander, also known as a Palm Sander, and with a newer kind, an Electric Sander, takes form in a hand-held sander that smoothens out surfaces in a horizontal and vertical motion while also needing a considerably strong applied force while sanding.

Orbital sanders aren’t overly aggressive, so they’re often used for finishing pieces of wood. If you need to remove wood, you can always make another pass with the sander. This is safer to use because it makes it harder to ruin your project.

A little conflict on the method here is that Orbital Sanders, while the name suggests roundness, is a rectangular shaped sander – it only operates on a circular method while sanding.

The Orbital sander needs a rectangular or square plate attached with a sandpaper. Then powering it up and pressing it firmly to the wooden surface. While sanding – it needs a back and forth or side by side motion to smoothen out the surface evenly.

The square shape of this sander makes it ideal for detailing furniture and molding. You’ll be amazed at how well it gets into corners and up against edges.

You can save a lot of money by using regular sandpaper and mount in to your Orbital Sander to smoothen your wood projects. This will leave a special pattern that reflects the direction of the grains. 

What matters is not whether you will get visible cross-grain scratching, but the quality of your work will improve and you will spend less money on sandpaper.

Orbit Sander Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Covers a Large Area
  • Easy to Use
  • Great for All Around Sanding

Cons:

  • Requires deep concentration constant movement
  • Not the best for smoothing corners

Orbit Sander Recommendation –
DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander

Features:

  • 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
  • Texturized rubber overmold grip for comfortable sanding
  • One-handed locking dust bag.

Review:

Up your game with the DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander. The variable speed dial gives you more control over how much power you use and the 2.0 amp motor delivers a strong and even performance.

Control your speed precisely with the variable control dial. To get a quality fine finish on light materials, set your variable speed to 8,000 OPM. When you need some serious sanding power, adjust it as high as 14,000 OPM for quick removal without damaging the wood.

It also has a longer lifespan that resists wear and tear because of the brushless motor it is equipped with. This brushless motor decreases the friction of the motor.

When it comes to finishing the project, it is equipped with its own dust collector keeping your work area dust free.

For our Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander review, it’s no question how the DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander is one of the best Orbital Sanders in the market.

Lastly, a great part of its benefit is the mobile friendly portability of it. Being a cordless sander designed for your ease of use – you can bring this baby basically virtually anywhere without the hassles of extension cords.

Orbit Sander Tutorial for Beginners


What is A Finish Sander?

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander Finish Sander
Finishing Sander | Photo Courtesy by: Unsplash.com

The second one we will be discussing in this Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander review is the all time power sander staple of a lot of woodworkers and carpenters alike, the Finish Sander.

To clear further confusion, please understand that ‘Finishing Sanders’ is another collective  term used for Power Sanders that is mainly used for finishing and smoothing and polishing the workpiece or material. Orbital Sanders, Pad Sanders, and Oscillating Sanders are all technically classified as Finishing Sanders, but at the same time, most often when it comes to Finishing Sanders- the one we’re talking about would be the Palm Grip Sander.

These Power Sanders, while their sanding method and tech might differ from one another, are mostly designed for ultra-fine smoothing and great polishing wood – specially the Palm Grip Sander.

Corded and cordless sanders are sold at all major hardware stores, and there’s a large selection of top brands available to help you create the perfect surface. Variety and options are another benefit of buy a finishing sander.

When it comes to the options you have for your finishing sander, you will have many to choose from. You may decide to go with a corded model or a cordless model. However, when you’re looking for the top quality options, then you should go with top brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, and Makita.

Finish Sander Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Designed for Accuracy
  • Smoothing and Polishing Specialty
  • Easily Controlled

Cons:

  • Not suitable for harder surfaces
  • Needs to be paired with a stronger Sander

Finish Sander Recommendation –
DeWALT DWE6411K ¼

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander DeWALT DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander

Features:

  • 3 AMP motor sands at 14,000 OPM
  • Locking dust-port system that allows the user to lock vacuum hose up with the sander
  • Reduced overall height of the sander to get the user closer to their work
  • Separate counterweight for reduced vibration
  • Rubber dust boot over the switch to protect against dust ingestion
  • Voltage: 120.00

Review:

The DeWALT DWE6411K ¼ sheet palm sander is a sweet baby beast with a 2.3 AMP motor that operates at 14.000 OPM, making it so you can do your sanding super fast and accurate.

All in all, the DeWALT DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander is a hardworking finishing sander with an ergonomic grip, allowing you to find just the right amount of pressure that is needed. Being able to adjust the speed gives you complete control over this tool.

Featuring a cupped head and sandpaper, this sander will reach into corners and tight areas, making it perfect for creating a smooth finish.

Fewer vibrations means control becomes significantly easy. With the counterweight, DeWALT DWE6411K is perfect for getting a high finish with ease. Its vibration reduction features ensure that the tool can be used without any fatigue to your hands.

This ¼ Sheet Palm Sander is designed with a quick release lever to give you the ability to quickly and easily change sandpaper. It also has an improved paper retention system for a more efficient and productive sanding experience. Also, any DeWALT palm sander can be easily converted to a disc sander.

Let’s face it, sanding can cause a lot of messes. The DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander features an excellent dust collection system. By connecting the vacuum to the sander, you can eliminate up to 95% of dry dust and debris on the work surface.

In addition, the rubber switch boot will keep the switch protected from dust and other contaminants. Now you don’t have to worry about sawdust and wood chips flying all over the place!

Better and more powerful than its competitors within the market, DeWALT DWE6411K ¼ Sheet Palm Sander is an improved version of all-time favorite DeWALT sanders. Its predecessor is the most-used sander and outperforms the rest— so, it clearly has a bright future.

Lastly, for our Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander review, another champion for DeWALT takes the spotlight being the most vouched for Palm Sander in the market. Built for the pros and for homeowners alike, this Finishing Sander will help you bring that project to life. It can also tackle any project you might encounter.

Orbit Sander Tutorial for Beginners


Dweller Power’s Buying Guide

Hand Grips

Knowing the design of your Power Sander is very beneficial to your work process. Having ease of control and versatility while its in your hands can make you adept with smoothing out surfaces.

Speed

Knowing the variable speed options that comes with your Sander is a must – so you know for which degree of smoothing it is best for. Higher Speeds can smoothen out tougher surfaces while lower speeds are best for ultra-fine smoothing or polish.

Dust Collection

Another feature that you should look into would be how well the sander can decrease the dust circulation of work – other wise it would be uncomfortable and might even pose a challenge when you’re working on a project in a dusty environment.

Sand Paper

The type of abrasives will be your type of ammo when it comes to Power Sanders. You need to know which is compatible for your Power Sander so that it can work efficiently and do its job properly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Difference Between
Orbital Sander vs Random Orbital Sander?

The orbital sander is used to sand wood surfaces. It does one single motion, which swirls the disc and therefore leaves a swirling pattern in the wood.
However, if you use a random orbital sander, it has two motions that are opposite to each other. Therefore, it does not leave as much of the swirling pattern in the wood or other surfaces as it can be used for other types of material as well.

What Type Sander is Best for Wood?

Orbital Sanders and Random Orbital Sanders are best for sanding wood- this is because of their versatility and equipped abrasive sanding material which makes them best for smoothing out wood.
For sand polishing wood, the best would be the Palm Grip Sander

What Sander is Best for Removing Paint?

Any Power Sander can remove paint, varnish, and other types of finishes from a surface. We recommend the Orbital Sander for this because it can smooth through multiple layers of finishes included paint.

Orbit sander vs Finish Sander
Final Thoughts

As we’ve discussed with the topic of Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander – it would be wise to remember that in the end the Orbital Sander is one of the many types of a Finishing Sander.

With Orbital Sanders, you are more pressed onto tougher surfaces that might even have multiple layers of finishes – all of which it can easily remove and smoothen out. It is a great Power Sander that is great for all around sanding.

Finishing Sanders, more commonly the Palm Grip Sander, is best after you’ve smoothened out your material or workpiece. It comes as a last touch, with polishing finesse.

If you find yourself working in projects now or in the future that deals with smoothing out wood or metal sheets (for auto-body repair), your Orbital Sander will smoothen out all of your needs away.

Finding yourself in a place where you need to give an excellent super-fine smoothing or even polishing? The DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander would be yours for the taking.

This ends our Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander Discussion.

Lastly, we urge you to always remember that you don’t need a great set of Power Sanders. You need the right one. The right power sander will see you through the best projects. Nothing is impossible with dedication, practice, and patience, and better yet – choosing the right power sander.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

Love our Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander guide? Leave a comment or drop us an email at [email protected], and we will get back to you as fast as possible!


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