How to choose a sander for wood

Wood grinder. Types and features of work

The wood sander is just the perfect tool for finishing work in the suburban home. It greatly speeds up the process of bringing any wooden surfaces to perfection. With its help you can arrange the old floor, the wall paneling made of wood and any interior elements damaged over time, including furniture.

The sander is the ideal tool for renovating and sanding wooden surfaces

Wood grinder: types

At present, there are several varieties of grinding equipment designed for use both in the home and by professionals. Differences in design and in the principle of operation determine the purpose of such equipment:

  • Belt grinders are designed for rough treatment of surfaces made of wood, plastic and metal;
  • vibrating instances provide a softer sanding, which was made possible by the circular motion with small amplitude. The surface of such a grinder is made in the form of a rectangle, which allows you to work in hard-to-reach places;

With a belt sander you can easily remove the old paint

  • delta grinder is considered a kind of vibrating counterparts. It has a triangular soleplate and is quite convenient for grinding small recesses, corners, recesses;
  • another variety. the eccentric sander allows you to process the surface so well that it becomes almost polished. This is made possible by oscillatory and rotational movements, which performs plate. Such a machine is not suitable for machining small areas and inner corners.

Delta grinder is suitable for grinding of small hollows, corners, cavities

Orbital (eccentric) grinders

Design features. Orbital or eccentric models are considered the most universal machines for sanding and polishing wood. The grinding wheel is fastened to the machine by means of hook and loop fastener. Grinding by-products are drained off via dust extraction channels, so that the surface remains clean, the work is well controlled, and the abrasive performance is high and durable.

Makita eccentric sander with dust collector

When installing the grinding wheel, make sure that the holes in the grinding wheel are aligned with the holes in the base of the machine. Otherwise the dust extraction process will be disrupted.

Working principle. Grinding and polishing is achieved by a combination of eccentric (orbital rotation) and rotational (axial rotation) movements of the sole plate. The movement of the abrasive along this complex orbit leads to a more efficient grinding process and reduces the number of abrasive flaws in the shape of drums.

The eccentricity of orbital machines is on average 3 to 8 mm.

Eccentricity. coefficient of misalignment of the sole axis with the shaft axis. It is one of the basic characteristics of grinders. It determines the nature of abrasive motion and therefore the quality of grinding.

Area of application. Rough and finish grinding of large surfaces; intercoat finishing, polishing. It is a universal type of tool and can be used both for industrial applications and at home.

Advantages. Ability to grind large surfaces along and across fibers; highest quality of processing; less chance of errors (nicks, burns, indentations); minimum noise and vibration (the quietest in its class).

Disadvantages. Not suitable for sanding inner corners. Ineffective on curved surfaces and narrow edges.

Reviews of the best orbiters for woodworking

The machine is perfectly balanced and feels good in the hand. The rubberised casing adds to the grip and dampens vibrations. Very comfortable for sanding with one hand. You find that there is no desire to change hands during prolonged, monotonous work. Quiet and lightweight. Dust extraction system is on high level: the waste is completely sucked up into standard dust canister with microfilter, there it is compressed and easily extracted; but for prolonged work it is better to connect it to a vacuum cleaner. No RPM adjustment, although it would be useful, especially for its omnivorous character (wood, metal, putty, lacquered surfaces).

Very compact eccentric sander. Surprising ratio of weight (1.3 kg) and power (240 W), and at the output you honestly get the declared watts. The tool is not only lightweight, but also very handy to use with one hand. Rubber coated mushroom-shaped handle provides a good grip and effectively damps vibrations. The center of gravity shifted to the bottom adds to the convenience in no small measure. The not very good location of the power button seems very strange against the background of well thought-out ergonomics. Also raises questions about the lack of possibility to connect a vacuum cleaner; probably this is done for the sake of maneuverability, so that the machine was easy to work with one hand and get to places difficult to access, for example, when sanding furniture. The cord is rather strong.

Nozzles can be changed quickly, thanks to the Velcro strip. The Metabo FSX 200 has eight holes. It sanded mostly furniture, the quality of dust extraction was not complained about. We can not say that the machine is completely silent, but the noise level does not tire even during long hours of operation. It comes with a thick plastic case with thoughtful compartments.

Powerful and inexpensive grinder. The manufacturer declares 550 W and 13000 rpm at maximum. According to subjective sensations, the real output values are much more modest. But considering the price, and it is not bad for those who are looking for an inexpensive and powerful tool for a large amount of work, such as sanding floors, wooden walls, stairs, etc. д.

The machine is designed for working with two hands. Several grip options are provided. Rubberized handle completely does not save. the vibration on the hands is pretty decent, so it is better to work with gloves. Speed regulator: it looks flimsy, but it is durable in practice. It is possible to connect a vacuum cleaner, and it is better to work with it, especially at maximum speed. It has a start button fixation. very convenient for sanding large areas.

Sturm OS8155R. cheap and powerful sander for unpretentious works. At different speeds all characteristics manifest themselves differently: at maximum speeds there are much more complaints about the tool than at low speeds.

This model got into our little review because of its low cost, performance and omnivorousness. Professionals will surely find many things to criticize in it, but for household needs it is not a bad option. The power of the orbital is 450 W. Subjective experience says that the claimed performance is overestimated, but not by much. There is a speed regulation, a start button lock, the ability to connect a vacuum cleaner. Two-handed grip. One hand to work hard, because the machine is pretty strong vibrates and can start bouncing (all depends on the speed). It is better not to pin too many hopes on the standard dust-collector: up to a third of all dust is lost in the dustbag. But the vacuum cleaner is great. The noise level is very pleasant, as for a cheap machine. The soleplate is a bit rigid.

Vibrating (surface grinding) machines

Design features. The working unit of this type of machines is a rectangular soleplate. Grinding paper is attached by means of clamping mechanisms on the edge of the sole plate or fixed with Velcro; a combination is also possible. Base has holes for removal of by-products in the dust collector.

Principle of operation. Buffing and polishing is accomplished by fine motions of the soleplate in a circular orbit. Eccentricity available in the range from 2 to 4 mm.

Areas of application. Fine grinding and polishing of large flat surfaces.

Advantages. The main advantage of this type of machines. the possibility of processing blind inner corners.

Disadvantages. Lower output compared with eccentric counterparts. Insufficient dust extraction or chipped abrasive grit under the sole increases the likelihood of drumming. Vibratory models are noisier.

Belt grinders

Belt sander for wood is used for rapid removal of quite thick layers of material, for example, for sanding boards or removing an old layer of paint. They are also used for cutting lines and fine trimming various wooden parts.

The principle of operation of the belt sander is quite simple. closed in a ring abrasive belt rotates on rotating rollers and removes a layer of machined material. the result is similar to a planer. The thickness of the layer you want to remove depends directly on the grit size of the sanding belt.


The main advantage of a manual belt-type wood sander is its versatility.

The grinder can be used for the following purposes:

  • Precise trimming according to the marking line
  • Working on very coarse surfaces;
  • sanding and leveling;
  • shaping it into the desired shape;
  • smooth rounding of elements.

Despite their high working power, the belt machines are characterized by their linear action, which ensures a delicate finish, even if a coarse-grained belt is installed. This is what separates the belt type from the vibratory or centrifugal type.

If you need to chamfer wood quickly, you can’t beat a belt sander. It is ideal for smoothing out irregularities and for polishing.

Useful tip: Aggressive processing is better to start sanding at an angle in the direction against the fibers, and to make the surface smooth. along the fibers. Start with 0, polish with 20.

How to choose

To choose a really good grinder, you first need to read the information about abrasive belts. Models are classified according to size. For example, the smallest grinders can work with belts 6.3 cm wide. These are lightweight tools that can be handled easily with just one hand. The “heavyweights” work with 10 cm wide belts and are used for processing large objects. The optimal choice for your hand-held wood sander is 7.6 cm.

The tool selection should primarily depend on the intended use. So, if you need a machine for repairs or hobbies, you can get by with simple, inexpensive miniature models. If you want to buy a wood sander for construction or business purposes (furniture workshop, for example), it is better to give preference to larger models.

Also when buying a tool, make sure to have a set of assorted bands.

Sanding belts come in two types depending on the abrasive material:

  • Zirconia. rough, aggressive sanding, can cause scratches that need to be removed with fine sanding belts. Suitable for processing metal surfaces (sharpening of axes, knives, etc.).д.).
  • Aluminum oxide. provides more gentle effect on processed material. Suitable for sanding all types of wood.

In addition to the size of the machine and the belts used, you should pay attention to the additional functions of the device. So, the ability to continuously adjust the belt speed will come in handy, as well as the automatic grinding belt centering function (will not let it slide off the rollers). The price of wood grinders depends on what kind of belt it is designed for.

Setting up the grinder

If you have already chosen and bought a grinder, it’s time to start tuning the tool. Even the most expensive professional wood sander needs adjustment. It’s a skill every woodworker should have if he wants perfect results.

To set up the grinder, proceed as follows:

  • Make sure the belt is set correctly. Some types of belt are better set in a certain way. usually the preferred direction of installation is indicated by arrows on the back of the belt. If there are no such arrows, the abrasive belt can be set as desired.
  • Check to see if it needs to be adjusted. the belt must be positioned exactly centered. To do this, you need to lift the tool, turn it on and watch to see if the belt will move out or not. Fix the machine in operating mode with the guide roller and center the work surface.
  • When working, you will need additional correction, unless, of course, your sander does not have an automatic belt alignment function, which was mentioned above.

Useful tip: All models of wood grinders are sold complete with a special reservoir for collecting dust. However, in reality, its efficiency is far from perfect. some of the dust gets blown around the workshop. To eliminate this defect and not waste time on cleaning, connect the grinder to a vacuum cleaner with an ordinary elastic tube. That way the dust doesn’t get in the way of your work and you don’t have to clean it every time.

Safety rules

Wood belt sander is considered a fairly safe tool because it has no cutting parts. But despite this, working with them requires mandatory compliance with safety.

How to protect yourself from injury when working with the grinder:

  • Always wear earplugs to protect your eardrums. grinders are very noisy in operation.
  • Protect yourself from dust. wear a dust mask or a moist handkerchief over your mouth and nose. Breathing in wood dust is very unhealthy and unpleasant.
  • Protect your eyes from chips and dust. You need to buy special construction goggles.
  • If the dust canister needs to be changed or cleaned, be sure to de-energize the grinder.
  • If you use your grinder on metal surfaces, you need extra protection against sparks. Also make sure that there are no easily inflammable materials and combustible mixtures near your workplace.
  • Before plugging in the grinder, make sure the power button on the tool itself is in the “Off” position.

Understand the types of coating

For various woodworking tasks: roughing, preparation for painting, sanding coatings between coats, polishing, etc.д., traditionally use the following types of abrasives.

Aluminium oxide (electrocorundum). Characterized by high density and resistance to shattering. The most common abrasive for sanding wood and metal. Recommended for sanding raw wood.

Silicon carbide. Its crystals split during use, creating new cutting edges. This peculiarity of the grain ensures the self-sharpening properties of the sandpaper and prevents it from clogging quickly. Sanding sanders with a coating of silicon carbide are recommended for light sanding work, e.g., sanding the interlayer between coats.

Garnet. A relatively mild mineral abrasive. It is self-sharpening but wears out quickly. Traditionally, it is used for finishing sanding treated and untreated wood.

Aluminous ceramics. It is an aluminum oxide, which has undergone additional high heat treatment. Its abrasive properties are higher than its unburnt counterpart. It is characterized by maximum abrasion resistance, it is optimal for wood processing at various stages.

How not to make a mistake with the grit size?

Grit is the most important characteristic of a sanding sandpaper. When you hear the hackneyed question: what kind of sandpaper to sand the wood, they usually mean not so much the type of coating, the nature of the binder, etc.д., namely the grit size index.

Suitability of sandpaper for this or that kind of works depends on gradation of grit. At first glance it seems simple, but in practice the choice of the right skin is often complicated by confusion in the number marking.

It so happened that on today’s market in active use are several standards of sandpaper: the international classification ISO 6344 (it fully corresponds to the new Russian GOST R 52381-2005), the old Soviet marking (GOST 3647-80) and the American standard (CAMI).


Interskol PMM-32/130

Compact tool PSM-32/130 with delta-shaped soleplate for fine sanding in places of corner joints and on relief surface (solid wood door paneling, for example). All angles of accessibility due to tapered soleplate. The combination of minimum amplitude and low frequency of vibration of the platform, ensures professional quality:

  • when removing single-layer coatings (coarse-grained consumables are needed);
  • When sanding smooth edges (fine sanding pad required);
  • When dry polishing protective layers of coatings (if a suitable soft nozzle is available).

Connection of the consumable with the sole plate is made by means of “velcro” system, which securely holds the abrasive sheet during work. If you do not have the necessary consumables, you can cut them out of sandpaper with a felt layer. For the full operation of the built-in dust extraction system, it is necessary to make holes in the self-cut sheets according to the template of the soleplate. The main thing. do not expose this amateur tool to constant heavy loads, and blow out with compressed air all the holes at the end of the work.

View a small video review revealing the features of the package and the device of the model PSHM-32/130:

Interskol PSHM-115/300E

Declared characteristics and low cost explain the popularity of Interskol PMM-115/300E with a rectangular soleplate. The tool copes with both alignment of external corners of gypsum plasterboard reinforced with polymeric filler, and lumber, and with single-layer paint-and-lacquer coatings. A thorough cleaning, timely replacement of consumables and monitoring the condition of the loaded elements of the design, even allow you to count on long-term (non-intensive) operation. After all, the main purpose of this model. quality and unhurried work with wood, it is pointed out:

  • Weight, acceptable for processing horizontal planes;
  • The possibility of setting the frequency of the soleplate oscillation;
  • The start key insulated against wood dust.
  • Adjusting the oscillation frequency
  • Dust extraction system with the possibility of connecting a vacuum cleaner
  • Locking the start button
  • Powerful fixing tools
  • Elastic pad on the sole plate

Watch a short video overview of Interskol PMM-115/300E tool features:

Types of grinders

Depending on the design, the type of surface to be treated, the working principle and the final result of the work, there are the following types of grinders:

Let’s look at each of these types in more detail.

Belt grinders

Belt grinders are often chosen, for professional or domestic processing of furniture products. The operating tool in this case is an abrasive belt stretched between two rollers.

The weight of the belt sander can range from three to five pounds, and the motor power. from 650 to 1200 watts.

The main advantage of belt sander is the wide working surface, i.e. belt width.

The figure can be from 75 to 100 millimeters, which allows you to remove up to fifteen grams of machined material in one pass.

The belt sander is used for roughing large wooden, concrete, metal or plastic surfaces. You can also use this machine for scraping or sanding operations.

If you need to process a small part, some models of these grinders provides the possibility of stationary installation.


Brush sanders are equipped with only one roller, on which a metal or nylon mesh is put.

Typically, such equipment is used to remove a layer of paint or iron oxide from a metal or wooden surface.

Also, such a grinder is used for wood structuring.

Vibratory grinding

For finishing and finer sanding experts recommend using vibratory sanding or, as they are also called, flat sanding machines, which you can choose in specialized stores.

Such equipment has a flat work surface, which makes reciprocating movements in the horizontal plane. In this case, the amplitude of such movements is minimal, but the speed is maximum.

The process of grinding the work surface is carried out with the help of sandpaper, fixed on the sole with Velcro or clasps.

Such devices are equipped with motor power up to 600 watts, thanks to which they have a small weight and fairly good maneuverability.

The high quality of processing is achieved due to the fact that the presence of a finely porous polymer pad of the sole, provides the tightest possible adherence of the sanding sandpaper to the machined surface.

The bottom two types are not used in furniture production, but we could not omit them in this review.

Angle grinders

Angle grinders, popularly called “angle grinders”, can be allocated to a separate class, because with their help you can not only grind various surfaces, but also cut such materials as: metal, stone and concrete.

Despite this feature, the angle grinder is not suitable for processing wood because of its low density.

Also the advantages of such equipment over other grinders is the ability to install various attachments, a relatively small weight (up to five kilograms) and a high index of reliability.

Straight grinders

Such equipment somewhat resembles the previous type of grinders.

However, unlike the USHF, have a straight gearbox and an extended spindle, which makes straight grinders indispensable when working in hard-to-reach places.

In addition, modern equipment of this type, for example, a model brand Makita, equipped with SJS, to reduce vibration and significantly extend the operational life.

What model is better to choose

To decide which machine to choose, you need to determine how often it will be used in the household. If you plan to use it constantly, it is better to choose a professional model instead of a household model. They are more powerful than ordinary machines and are made from the highest quality materials. Perhaps their only disadvantage is the high price.

Get a budget household tool if you plan to use it infrequently. Such machines are safe to operate for about 20 hours per month. It is not recommended to work them more than 3 hours a day to avoid breakage. This kind of appliance has weak power. A pause of 15 minutes is necessary to prevent a cheap machine from overheating. However, such models have a low cost and light weight.

What kind of sandpaper is suitable for wood sanding machines?

The first sandpaper, namely it is used for processing materials in grinders, was made from shark skin. Such references are recorded in Chinese manuscripts in the 13th century. Since then, sandpaper has undergone many upgrades. The first modern version of sandpaper looked like this: sand along with broken glass was glued to the paper. The modern abrasive was invented by the Briton John Wakey in 1833. He later patented a whole series of this paper.

In its modern form, abrasive powder is attached to the paper or cloth. To form the abrasive layer is used:

Grit is the main characteristic of abrasive paper.

A system of marking and certification emerged. The smallest abrasive paper is the “M” series, and the largest. the “H” series.

How to use a wood sander

Rules of operation are described in detail in the technical sheet of the machine. Each tool has its own features, so you should study everything carefully before working.

  • In order not to traumatize the eardrum, you must use headphones that absorb noise when working;
  • If the machine has damage to the mains cable or mechanical damage, it should not be started;
  • Do not work near flammable or combustible materials when working on metal parts;
  • To protect against dust, you need to use construction glasses made of glass, which does not break;
  • To protect your respiratory organs from dust, you must wear a respirator;
  • Wear construction gloves to protect hands from injury.

Popular angle grinders

Suitable for both work and home. Has many advantages, but also costs quite a lot. It has a system of speed stabilization, overload protection, adjustable rotation frequency. Characterized by high-quality German assembly.

The company occupies a leading position among manufacturers of electric tools. Relatively inexpensive model, features a good quality of assembly.

Designation and principle of operation of belt sander

LShM is widely used not only in industrial production, machine shops, carpentry shops, but also in home workshops.

Working principle

On the leading roller is transmitted torque from the drive motor, it comes in motion a ring abrasive belt. Grinding depth and surface roughness depends on the amount of abrasive particles in the sandpaper. The finer the abrasive particles, the less rough the surface will be.

How to choose

Here is the top 10 best Lshmashmash rating, which we compiled based on customer reviews on the Internet. The list includes both the best inexpensive models for home and country houses, and professional tools.

Patriot BS 810

The model is a powerful enough LSM for home work. With its help you can remove the deteriorated paint coating, remove rust, treat the door leaf or other flat surface. Ergonomic body design reduces fatigue and provides a comfortable environment for the operator. The ability to adjust the angular speed of the drive roller allows to work with any material.