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

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Dweller Power is back with another comparison regarding Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander.

Most often – this is a question because there’s quite little distinction between an Orbital Sander and a Finishing Sander at first glance. While both orbital sanders and sheet sanders are effective tools in their own right, each has a specific purpose. Which you go with depends on what you’re building.

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

We’ll clear those questions up and you will be able to know what really is an Orbital Sander and what really is a Sheet 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 Sheet Sander guide:

With Orbital Sanders, they should not be confused with a Random Orbital Sander. The method for using it orbital sanders is always kept in circular or a rotating motion to smooth out surfaces neatly. It is commonly used to smooth out wood or sometimes metal sheets.

The Sheet Sander, a lighter weight type of Power Sander, are designed to work with partial sheets of standard sandpaper, hence the name as a ‘Sheet’ Sander. This is the next Power Sander used after you need to give a fine finishing for your project.

Most often, these Power Sanders are commonly used by woodworkers and carpenters, while the Orbital 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, both your Sheet Sander and Orbital Sander is best for your current and future projects. It’s a matter of preference with the design and price at the end with the two.


Comparison Table

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

FeaturesOrbit SanderSheet Sander
MethodRandom Circular/Elliptical MotionCircular Motion
Area CoverageLarge AreaMedium Area
Best OnWood and Metal SheetsWood, Plastic, Metal
Best ForWoodworkers, Carpenters, and Auto-body 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

  • Variable Speed Control
  • 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 Sheet Sander in the Market

Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander DEWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander

DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR

  • Brushless motor
  • Variable Speed Control
  • 8,000 to 14,000 OPM
  • Paper Clamp
  • Dust-Sealed Switch

What Is An Orbit Sander?

Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander Orbit Sander
Orbit Sander | Photo Courtesy by Unsplash.com

With your Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander guide, you may ask “what makes Orbit Sanders different?” It’s not just one of the best sanders available, it’s also the only sander with an orbital action. This means the paper is protected and always in full contact with the object or surface you are sanding. 

The orbit motion reduces gouging and swirling, so your projects will look great. It prevents gouging and swirling marks, delivering a perfect finish with every pass of the Orbit Sander.

If you have a hobby of woodworking, you must need an Orbit sander. These Sanders are light in weight and powerful enough to help you finish the job. It can get a lot done over time and save your energy.

For finishing wood furniture, varnishing fine detail, or sanding down a hardwood floor, an Orbital Sander is one of the best tools to own.

An Orbit Sander allows you to safely sand curved and inside edges, as well as small, intricate spots. Unlike belt sanders, which require constant repositioning, Orbit Sanders allow you to reach tight areas without the hassle of repositioning the sander.

An Orbit Sander is a great alternative to its cousin, the Disc Sander, but with even less chance of inflicting scratches and marks.

The Orbit Sander removes less material than conventional sanders, but still has a tendency to leave marks on the surface of some woods.

Orbital Sanders are battery-powered (electricity via being plugged into a wall outlet), handheld power tools commonly used in woodworking for removing excess wood and smoothing surfaces. The sizes may vary from small, palm-sized Sanders up to the larger right angle or in-line models.

A palm sander is the ideal choice for projects that are small in scale where you need precise control. It’s great for sanding molding, paneling, & kitchen cabinets. It even works well with drywall and fences.

An in-line Orbital Sander is an all-around sander, being the compromise of both worlds. It easily sands corners, curves, edges and flat surfaces and is effective for removing scuff marks, scratches, and nicks from any wood project.

And in truth, an in-line orbital sander is a nice compromise. While there are some drawbacks to each, the benefits of each style are more or less equalized by that middle piece. You get the straight line precision you’d normally associate with a palm-grip model, but you have the finger-friendly ergonomics of the pistol-style.

If you’ve never used an Orbital Sander before, it can be a little intimidating. But rest assured, an Orbital Sander will save you time and money in the long run.

How To Use An Orbit Sander?

Do your best to work with the grain as much as possible. Note that Swirl patterns emerge when working against the grain.

As with any orbital sander, you must keep the pad moving along the surface to avoid swirl marks. Focus on using progressively finer grits of sandpaper until you remove the scratches left by the coarser grits. Hand sanding is often required to remove scratches and give a perfect finish when an orbital sander is used.

Orbit Sander Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Covers a Large Area
  • Great at Removing Material
  • Great for All Around Sanding

Cons:

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

Orbital 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:

Power Sanders don’t get much more convenient than the DeWalt 20V MAX Orbital Sander. With our Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander review, we’re presenting you with the best Orbital Sander in the market.

This powerful orbital sander by DeWALT allows you to sand your project to perfection. The unique design and aggressive sanding pads will make light work of any material whether you need to take off a little or a lot.

It’s a versatile orbital sander. The compact size lets you reach tight places and the lightweight design lets you use it all day. The variable speed dial allows you to match the speed to the job at hand.

As a smaller tool, this sander’s lightweight but it still packs a punch. It’s well equipped too with extras like an onboard vacuum to catch the dust from your work. Using the DWV9000 adapter, you can hook it up to your shop vacuum for easy cleaning up.

With clearly marked controls, a comfortable over-molded handle, and a compact design that packs easily into your toolbox or project bag, the DeWALT DCW210B 20V MAX Orbital Sander makes quick work of sanding jobs around the house.

With excellent run-time and great ergonomics, the DCW210B Orbital Sander presents a solid option that only gets better if you already find yourself on the DeWalt cordless platform. From construction to home improvement projects, it gives you the full freedom of movement and convenience you wont find in any of the other brand’s lineups as of today.

Orbit Sander Tutorial For Beginners


What Is A Sheet Sander?

Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander Sheet Sander
Sheet Sander | Photo Courtesy by: Unsplash.com

Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander, what really is a Sheet Sander? Is there really a difference? 

The Sheet Sander, also known as a palm sander, is a handheld power tool that uses standard sheets of sandpaper to smooth out the rough areas of wood. The tool can also be used with other types of sandpaper to smooth plastic and metal surfaces.

A Sheet Sander is the must-have tool for any home improvement enthusiast. The possibilities for its use are endless, from smoothing a freshly cut piece of wood to removing splinters from your feet, the Sheet Sander can do it all.

You may not know how to differentiate between a sheet sander and orbital sander, but you’ll find that the more you use your tools, the more you’ll realize how helpful it is to have the right tools for certain jobs.

The Orbital Sander and Sheet Sander are both used to smooth down rough wood while they differ only in their operation. While both devices are used for smoothing rough areas, sheet sanders are more specialized in the direction they move  The Orbital Sander moves in random directions, while the Sheet Sander uses a circular motion.

The Sheet Sander is an extremely versatile and useful power tool. It is used in many different industries for a variety of applications. The most common type is the handheld model, which can be used for home improvement projects.

A larger model with a two-handed handle is commonly used when working with drywall or wood on the job site. Due to their versatility they are very popular in the home improvement market, as well as being used by professional carpenters and construction professionals. Homeowners and hobby

How To Use A Sheet Sander?

When you work with a sheet sander, make sure to use it in the direction of the grain or you might end up with a wavy look. Always keep the sander moving. An even, smooth finish comes when the sander is in motion.

Sheet sanders are used to create flat surfaces and edges on pieces. Because of the light weight, there is a high tendency to round over the edges rather than staying perpendicular with the edge of the piece. If you need an eased edge, sand the sides to create a chamfered bevel rather than rounding it over the face of the piece.

Safety is key when working with a sheet sander. Protect your eyes with goggles and wear a dust mask. Make sure the power cord reaches the outlet, and grip the sander firmly to avoid slips. Always keep the sanding surface moving to prevent uneven finishing.

Sheet Sander Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Designed for Accuracy
  • Great for Smoothing Corners
  • Great for All Around Sanding

Cons:

  • Requires Strength and Constant Movement
  • Needs to be paired with a stronger Sander

Sheet Sander Recommendation –
DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR

Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander DEWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander

Features:

  • Brushless motor provides runtime and efficiency to get the job done
  • Variable speed control from 8, 000 – 14, 000 OPM to match the speed to the application
  • Low profile height allows user to get close to work surface for precise sanding
  • Paper clamp designed to hold paper securely and allow for easy installation
  • Dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for long switch life

Review:

With DeWALT, all your sanding needs will always be covered – especially with our Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander guide.

The DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander is designed for trimming everything from windows to chairs, countertops, crown moldings, or door casings. This cordless sander has a high-performance brushless motor that you can easily adjust with its 7-speed dial.

Brushless motor delivers 12,000 -14,000 OPM. The well vouched for 7-speed dial allows you to change the speed on the go for various applications.

The DeWALT DCW200B 20V Max XR Palm Sanders feature a powerful brushless motor that provides 3x more runtime than standard sanders. It delivers powerful sanding at up to 14,000 OPM, giving you professional performance at an affordable price.

The DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR is a new addition to the ever-popular DeWalt line-up of power sanders. This little palm sander is powered by a high-quality 20V max battery which will provide you with the power and durability you know you can depend on from DeWALT.

With a weight of 3.5 pounds without the battery and with a 5-amp/hr battery. Furthermore, It also includes a dust collection port and DeWalt includes a backpack vacuum attachment.

Sheet Sander Tutorial For Beginners


Dweller Power’s Buying Guide

You’re here because you need to choose between an orbit sander and a sheet sander that will work for your woodworking project. You are looking for a tool that will make your job easier, quicker, and more efficient than ever before. You’ll want to consider safety, power, and the quality of work you can expect from each.

While both sanders accomplish the same task of making work easier, choosing one over the other depends on your needs, budget, and whether you have a specific project in mind. The type of work you do will also dictate which sander to choose between an orbital sander or sheet sander.

When it comes to features and benefits, look for extra features but don’t waste your money on them. Example: Some higher-end Orbital Sanders have variable speed controls for woodworking, however, this has little practical use. But a trigger lock, to lock the power on when in use reduces hand fatigue.

Here are some of the features to look for when buying an electric or cordless power sander:

Hand Grips

Having a firm grip when it comes to holding on to your power sander in a safe and controllable manner is essential. Powerful Power Sanders have heavy vibration which may make you let go with a poor handle, while smaller sanders need intricate control to avoid damaging fine details and having a poorly designed handle might ruin your work.

It’s undeniable that using a sander is a much easier job when the tool you use is not stressful for your hands. Soft grips are essential.

Dust Collection

Even though it’s unavoidable to have dust when sanding, there are ways to limit it. This does not only protect your health, but also enhances your efficiency at work.

With features such as retractable cord, dust collection bags and adjustable on-tool storage, you’ll get a lot of use out of your sander. It will improve your precision and efficiency as well.

Speed

Speed control is very important. The lower speed settings are used for preliminary sanding. Higher speeds are for finishing the job.

Speed can be controlled during sanding if the sander has a variable speed feature. Get the highest quality finish possible by choosing a variable-speed sander where you can control speed as you use it.

Trigger Locks

A handy feature allows you to lock your sander in motion, freeing up your hands. This lets you handle other tasks as the sander works. You can also lock your trigger on a run setting to clamp it down while you feed your work to your sanding belt, disc or pad.


Understanding Abrasives

The benefits of using an electric sander over hand sanding are endless. It’s faster, more convenient, and you have more control over the quality of your work. Add to that the long list of health issues from sanding for too long, and there is no reason not to consider this tool.

More than the Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander topic- knowing which types of abrasives you use will help you make sure your Sanders perform well.

Sandpaper, and other abrasives, have unique features that set it apart from other tools. It’s important you understand the basics of what each part of sandpaper does so you can choose the squeegee that best meets your needs.

Each time you use a power sander, it wears down the abrasive/sandpaper, eroding its ability to effectively smooth wood or metal. When it’s time to replace the sandpaper, make sure you buy high-quality sandpaper.

Here are what to understand when it comes to abrasives:

Abrasive Grit

Abrasive grit refers to the amount of particles per square inch of sandpaper. Sandpaper with more particles is rougher and will remove wood faster. The less particles, the finer the grade and the more delicate it is. The lowest grit of 60-grit will be very coarse and remove a lot of wood while it can take an ultra-fine 600-grit to remove the same material.

Composition

Abrasive composition is the material that the abrasive particles are made from.

There are many types of abrasive composition used in sandpaper. The most common is aluminum oxide, which is effective on hardened steel and softer alloys. Silicon carbide abrasive is mainly used for plastics and softer metals, it’s also more abrasive than aluminum oxide. Garnet is used for finishing wood to a highly polished shine, but works well on metal in many applications.

For really rough work like plaster walls, concrete, and brick, we have found that a ceramic grit works best. We often use it in conjunction with a metal bristle brush.

Size

Sandpaper belts and loops are used for smoothing or lightly abrasive grinding. The abrasive material is bonded to a backing material with rubber cement, resin, latex, or cotton flock for use on belt sanders. The widths are commonly 3″ or 4″, although rolls of 6″ and 8″ wide abrasives are available. Discs are usually 5″ or 6″, but larger tools can handle 7″, 8″ and 9″. Sandpaper belts and discs remove material quickly through abrasion.


Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander
Final Thoughts

Now we have come to end the Orbit Sander vs Sheet Sander topic, there are a few things to keep in mind.

For beginners or even veterans that wants to take loads of weekend woodworking projects, furniture refinishing and remodeling tasks, it would be a wise decision to go with your Orbital Sander. 

Having a Sheet Sander as your only Power Sander is good enough if you are someone who only occasionally needs a power sander.

A serious woodworking enthusiast, which we hope where you comes in, or professional is more likely to want both an Orbital Sander and a Sheet Sander. 

Each has its benefits – each has it’s weaknesses. But having the two in your Power Sander Lineup, you can’t go wrong

But remember this as well. It would be easy to think that powered wood sanders are the only way to go. They definitely have their place. But, there are times when nothing can replace good old hand-sanding. 

This ends our Orbit Sander vs Sheet 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 Sheet 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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