We’re gonna be seeing more of our Sander Comparison series. For this one we will be talking about Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander.
At Dweller Power, we believe there is a difference between both. First and foremost, they are two separate tools designed for different applications.
The Random Orbital Sander is best used to finish, or sand work that’s already been done by another tool. It shouldn’t be used to go right into the final sanding of your work because of the inconsistency it would produce.
The Palm sander, on the other hand, is a large handheld sander that is able to attack awkward angles with its drive. But it’s great for pre-emptive sanding.
Both will be discussed as much as we can in depth, as well as their pros and cons and which is best in the market for them as of the moment.
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 Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander guide:
Doing DIY projects can be a fun and rewarding way to express your creativity. However, some projects require extra tools for the perfect finish.
Random Orbital Sanders are ideal for sanding bigger surfaces and for smoothing paint or varnish with ease. They can also be used for other household jobs such as sanding down old floorboards. They tackle bigger areas which needs sanding and are great for both pre-emptive sanding and finishing touches.
If you’re looking for a sander to handle intricate projects with the most precision, Palm Sanders is the best option. They’re lightweight and easy to control, which means you can handle sharp angles and clean lines without tearing up or making mistakes on small surfaces.
|Features||Random Orbital Sander||Palm Sander|
|Method||Random Rotational Pattern||Slightly Circular Pattern|
|Motor||Powerful Motor||Less Powerful Motor|
|Best On||Wood and Metal surfaces||Wood surfaces|
|Best For||Woodworkers, Carpenters, Auto/Body repair||Woodworkers and Carpenters|
Don’t have time To read? No worries!
Below are our top picks for your convenience
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Best Random Orbital Sander in the Market
DeWALT DCW210D1 20V MAX
- Brushless Motor
- 8,000 to 12,000 OPM
- Dust-Sealed Switch
- One-handed Locking Dust Bag
- Ergonomic Rubber Overmold Grip
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Best Palm Sander in the Market
DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX
- Brushless Motor
- 8,000 to 14,000 OPM
- Paper Clamp
- Dust-Sealed Switch
- Compact & Portable
What Is A Random Orbital Sander?
So lets get to it in our Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander Guide. What really is a Random Orbital Sander?
Random orbital sanders are one of the most common power Sanders around. They’re often most talked about by woodworkers and carpenters. They are fantastic for smoothing wood after planing it or honing it. They have a disc at the bottom that spins, so sanding is done by way of a circular motion instead of simply back and forth. To achieve this, they’re held at an angle to the wood.
The random orbital sander uses small orbital strokes to sand the wood. This helps sand in a straight, smooth manner, which is how you want to finish your wood with the least visible marks. It’s professional and easy on your eyes.
With a pad speed of 8,000 rpm to 13,000 rpm, the random orbital sander is the perfect tool for sanding many materials. This allows you to select a setting that best matches the sandpaper. With a speed of 13,000 rpm, this sander can take on even the hardiest jobs with ease while still providing an ergonomic experience.
Features can vary between brands and models but in general the random orbital sander has a variable speed control which allows adjustment of pad speed to suit material being sanded. This speeds up materials removal and achieves better finishes across a wide range of materials.
Ranging from 1.4 amps to 5.5 amps, an orbital sander’s speed and power are determined by its amp rating. Although 1.4 amps to 5.5 amps are considered less powerful, most woodworkers still prefer having a random orbital sander. This is because it was engineered to right the wrongs of its predecessors. These self-polishing sanders make it easier for you to fine tune things like paint and other defects.
For light sanding work, you can’t beat a random orbital sander. These lightweight machines have powerful motors that use a simple vibration mechanism to move a pad rapidly over wood. And because of this, they create excellent finishes and don’t leave scratches.
When To Go For a Random Orbital Sander?
If you find yourself most often working on heavy duty woodworking projects where the material needs a thorough sanding or even a polished finish, your Random Orbital Sander will make all your sanding problems go away .
It has been making furniture creation easy for professional carpenters and amateurs. It’s a tool that every woodworking shop should have.
Random Orbital Sander Maintenance
There are a few things to note to maintain the Random Orbital Sander, for example the switch on all sanders must be protected from the dust.
After a few times of using a bag or dust cup, it will become more than apparent. If you want to make this thing work as efficiently as possible, the only way to go is with a shop vacuum hooked up to it. If you are opposed to having a shop vacuum available at all times while you work- you may like one of the models that has its own bag and dust collector system.
Random Orbital Sander Pros & Cons
- Best for Heavy-Duty Projects
- Can be used with one or two hands
- Less Damaging to Workpieces
- Poor Performance in Corners
- Poor Performance in Edges
Random Orbital Sander Recommendation – DeWALT DCW210D1 20V MAX
- 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
We’re only presenting you with the best, and the best in our Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander guide for Random Orbital Sanders is the DeWALT DCW210D1!
The DeWALT DCW210D1 delivers the “works-like” power and runtime needed to get the job done fast. This cordless sander includes the tool-free battery pack designed to get you back to work quickly. The variable speed dial offers ultimate speed control and ranges from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM for a variety of projects.
This tool can be used for all kinds of sanding tasks and is the fastest, most aggressive random orbital sander available. It has a lot of pressure, and the backplate ensures that you get a smooth finish. One of the best random orbital sanders for all woodworkers, carpenters, and DIY’ers. This machine is so powerful that it reduces cleaning up time by up to 50%.
This DeWALT DCW210D1 20V MAX Random Orbit Sander includes a one-handed locking dust bag that connects to the sander with ease, making it easier than ever to capture dust. Plus, you can attach it directly to the DWV010 or DWV012 dust collectors for even easier use!
The DeWALT DCW210D1 20-volt orbital sander is made for users who want quality and endurance. The tool’s rubber over-mold grip makes the product comfortable to use and helps to improve maneuverability. This tool is built for precision, and its 8 hole hook-and-loop sanding pad allows users to switch abrasives quickly and easily.
Random Orbital Sander Tutorial for Beginners
What Is A Palm Sander?
When you’re looking for the smoothest finish possible, it’s best to find a power sander that is designed specifically for the task. To ease confusion with our Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander guide, we need to discuss what really makes up a Palm Sander.
A palm sander is just one of many options available, but it can be a great choice when you are planning on doing a wide variety of tasks in which you need both hands to work effectively.
The palm sander features a two-speed motor that can handle delicate tasks as well as more heavy-duty projects for demanding jobs. Using a radial motion, the palm sander produces an even, efficient sanding action that leaves a smooth surface. They are considered very versatile and can handle both finish sanding and rough sanding jobs.
The Palm Sander operates by using regular abrasives and sanding paper. This allows you to sand your wood following the grain for a professional finish.
The Palm Sander operates by using normal sheets of abrasives or sanding papers and it has loops where the sandpapers can be placed to be secured over. Once the abrasives are in place, you can now make do with your sanding needs but always follow the wood’s grain.
A Palm Sander is ergonomically designed to help you sand wood by supporting your wrist to reduce fatigue. It also features a comfort grip handle that will make long projects easy to manage.
When To Go For a Palm Sander?
For the home improvement beginner, a Palm Sander is the perfect choice if you are in the market for a power sander. They are small and lightweight, making them easy to handle without assistance or a lot of effort. However, don’t let their small size fool you. These tools can get the job done quickly.
Palm Sander Maintenance
There’s little maintenance needed with a Palm Sander except for the fact of it spewing out tons of wood residue from all the sanding.
It is highly recommended to have a dust collection system, preferably a dust bag attached to the Palm Sander to handle cleanliness of the workplace. This is because, most often it’s the dust buildup which causes problems in the Palm Sander.
Palm Sander Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and Portable
- Compatible with basic sandpaper kits
- Great for Sanding Corners
- Great for Sanding Edges
- Less powerful motor
- Sanding pad has a tendency to be stuck
- May often leave marks on surfaces
Palm Sander Recommendation –
DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR
- 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
Now with our Palm Sander special recommendation for our Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander Guide, we’re excited to introduce to you the DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander which offers up to 50% larger capacity, allowing you to get more done in less time!
Run the sander for up to 50% longer versus full sheet sanders, with no loss of performance or speed.
With Brushless Motor Technology and a powerful 20V MAX XR Li-Ion battery delivering runtime up to 10x longer, the DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander variable speed sander is the perfect solution for any job–large or small. The variable-speed dial provides speed control from 8,000- 14,000 OPM for a variety of jobs.
Fully loaded and ready to blast away wood dust, the DeWALT palm sander gives you every possible advantage. The onboard hook ensures connection tot the speedy cleanup from the one-hand locking dust bag which keeps the dust away. Simply fast, on-demand cleaning of your workshop is assured.
The DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander features a rubber overmold grip that is comfortable even when held for hours and makes the handpiece feel lightweight. It installs paper quickly and easily with the paper clamp, so you can get back to work as soon as possible.
The DeWALT DCW200B 20V MAX XR Palm Sander is the ideal tool for any job that requires a high-performance sander. Easy to use and maneuver, this high-quality palm sander delivers a smooth finish in less time.
We hope DeWALT doesn’t fail your expectations as it didn’t fail ours for this Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander guide.
Palm Sander Tutorial for Beginners
Dweller Power’s Safety Reminders
We hope you enjoyed our comparison of random orbital sander vs palm sander. As mentioned before, safety is important in any woodworking shop. All of the information found in this article points the way to a safer woodworking experience.
The first thing that you should reach for upon entering the workshop is your Safety Glasses. This is to ensure that you will be able to see clearly and be protected against any possible particles that are in the air. This might seem like a common sense kind of rule, but it’s an important one to remember.
During usage of loud power tools like random orbital sanders and palm sanders, wearing ear protection is a noted advantage.
It’s a fact- when operating loud power tools like orbital sander vs palm sander, wearing latex gloves while applying finishes reduces the risk of getting splinters.
Wear The Right Clothes
When woodworking, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want to be dressed appropriately for the job. When it comes to clothing, this means loose and baggy clothes are a big safety hazard. Having loose sleeves is especially dangerous when cutting wood. The best choice is to wear clothes that are a closer fit.
Always remove any loose jewelry, clothing that could catch on something, and metal objects that could cause interference with working which will risk you in harm.
Avoid Using Anything That Can Impair
Your Reaction Time and Judgement
Even though you’re working alone, you must take precautions for your safety. If you feel drowsy or drunk, don’t use the tools.
This is very straightforward. NEVER mix alcohol with work.
Be mindful of what’s going on around you. Make sure to complete the task at hand before turning your attention to something else.
Please never forget to turn off the power source before changing blades or bits on your power tools. Turn off the switch on your power tool, and don’t rely on the circuit breaker, since it can malfunction.
Use A Single Extension Cord
Plugging your power tool directly into the wall can damage the tool and cause a fire. Use a heavy duty extension cord to isolate the power source for each tool, and then switch off the power at the main outlet when you’re not using it.
You can get a much longer cord this way than if you try to use just one, and it’s easier to manage the cords. That way, each tool will be in its own safety zone, with no chance of tripping.
Never Use Blunt Blades & Bits
Don’t forget to wait until the blade has come to a stop before removing waste or cut-offs. On the extremely safe side, remove waste by using a push stick or piece of scrap wood so that an inadvertent power tool switch doesn’t turn deadly.
Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander
The best sanding tools are those that give you the freedom to tackle new and interesting projects. In fact, as soon as you equip your workshop with the most versatile, flexible, and varied sanding tools like the Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander, you’ll be able to work on some of the most exciting projects you could imagine.
However, with woodworkers and carpenters debating about which is best, and we’re pretty sure and we know you will also agree that there will always be divided opinions on Random Orbital Sander vs Palm Sander.
To be frank about this debate, we believe that every woodworker, carpenter, and DIYer, should have at least one palm sander and one random orbital sander in their workshop to fulfill all kinds of woodworking projects. With the random orbital sander doing the grunt work for higher levels of sanding, while the palm sander tackles smaller scale projects.
This ends our Random Orbital Sander vs Palm 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 Random Orbital Sander vs Palm 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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Henry is a long time Trade Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology. Henry has been teaching the trade of carpentry for over 15 years and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of builders. With his posts you will explore some general terms, tools, and techniques that are helpful for the beginning DIY Enthusiast!. He’ll also provide a list of all the best tips needed to start your building journey right away!