What Is The Difference Between An Orbital Sander And An Eccentric Sander

Grinder: vibrating or eccentric In order to obtain a perfectly flat and smooth surface, you must use a grinder. In this article, we will tell you which sander is best used for a certain type of work.

Grinder: vibrating or eccentric

To get a flat and perfectly smooth surface when sanding, I always recommend that craftsmen use two sanders. One for the primary, rough roughing, the other for the final cleaning.

If everything is clear with the primary processing. Here you need to take a belt sander, then when bringing the surface to perfection, you can use one of two types:

  1. Vibrating (another name is surface grinding, or abbreviated. PShM);
  • Eccentric (ESM, another name for orbital).

Both are designed for sanding substrates at completion. Which of these machines is better in which situation. Vibration or eccentric sander? I’ll cover it today in this article.

You will find out what their main differences are, how their design determines the capabilities of each device, what are their strengths and weaknesses.

The information provided will give you the necessary knowledge on how to grind surfaces of different shapes using these aggregates, and which one is more suitable for you.

Basic principles of grinding

These two types of grinders differ significantly in the principle of grinding. First, let’s review the vibrating tool. The mechanism of operation is quite simple, for cleaning the surface, reciprocating movements with an amplitude of 1-3 (low-power) to 5-8 mm (powerful) are used. This allows you to cope well with a metal surface or plastic, in contrast to ESM. However, PShM leaves traces on the tree and will not be suitable for opening with varnish, but only for coating with paint.

The principle of ESM operation is that with the help of a round sole, not only vibration occurs, but also rotation around its own axis. Thanks to this double movement, ESHM perfectly prepares the surface for varnishing. In the process of work does not leave traces of grinding at all. Models of this type ideally create the effect of abrasive grinding. It is widely used for furniture restoration or decoration.

Structural difference between the two machines

Both machines are capable of delicately sanding the surface with emery cloths. In fact, they do the same job, but there is a difference between them. They differ in both form and principle of operation. The FSHM surface is often rectangular (but it can be deltoid and square). And the eccentric one. The sole is round. Therefore, depending on the complexity of the grinding work and the shape of the workpieces, you choose a machine with a comfortable sole shape. For example, steps or shelves are easily sanded with PSHM, thanks to the angular sole, you can reach any corner.

The eccentric machine is used for working with both flat surfaces and radii, as well as wood parts of various shapes. Orbital and eccentric sanders are used in construction workshops, in car services they perform not only finishing work for grinding wood, but are also convenient for all kinds of finishing work. Still, their main purpose is to ideally prepare the surface for painting or to give the details the required shape.

In fact, these are two identical instruments, however, there is some difference. The surface grinder (vibration) grinder will cope with any surface: wood, plastic, metal, walls (drywall). But she does it a little roughly, unlike ESM. In turn, the orbital sander will perform this entire list of work more delicately due to the fact that it has an additional rotation function, which helps to hide the traces of grinding.

Pay attention to the parameters when choosing a grinder

It should be noted that both of these grinders mostly perform finishing work and if you have the task of performing work on a large scale, then the wrong choice will bring you not only monetary losses, but also wasted time.

Vibratory or eccentric grinders can be of different purposes:

  • For household use;
  • Professional scope.

When choosing a grinder, you should pay attention to the following technical characteristics:

  1. Platform stroke amplitude. This is one of the main characteristics of grinders. Average vibration value. 2-3 mm. The higher the amplitude, the higher the performance of the grinder, but the grinding becomes much coarser. That is, if you need a grinder for primary processing, pay attention to models with a high amplitude. For the finishing one. On the contrary, machines with an amplitude of 2 mm or less;
  2. Sole size. PSHM and ESHM soles come in different sizes and shapes, although there are generally accepted standards. For eccentric diameter 122 and 150 mm, for PShM 187×90, 115×230, 114×105 mm. Models with small soles will help when working in hard-to-reach places;
  3. Speed ​​control. Thanks to this function, you can customize the operation of the machine. Initial or finishing, as well as choose the optimal speed for grinding a particular material. For example, if we are sanding soft wood or plywood, then it is recommended to choose medium speed, and if we are sanding hard wood. High;
  4. Power. The power consumption of the machines can range from 130 to 900 watts. But, as a rule, for most jobs, a power of 200-300 W is quite enough, because such models are light and compact, conveniently controlled, and work with them is more comfortable;
  5. Attachment of sanding paper. For a surface grinder, manufacturers have provided 2 types of fastening: a clip (similar to a regular latch with a spring, which is on most household-grade grinders) and Velcro (with less of a hassle, since you do not have to cut the paper, it has a standard size, but the cost of such machines , like the consumable, above).
  6. Additional handle. For PSHM and ESHM, the additional handle is either cast or removable. If it is removable, it reduces the size of the device and allows you to work with the tool in one hand. This is useful when sanding small parts.
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Summing up

The advantages of eccentric sander:

  • Cleaner surface sanding;
  • Ability to grind curved surfaces;
  • Polishing capability.
  • Corner surfaces cannot be machined because the sole is round.

Eccentric grinders (orbital)

The eccentric grinder is used:

For final polishing of any surface: metal, wood, plastic.

In carpentry workshops, for finishing workpieces and finished products (furniture, frames, stairs).

In car repair shops, for polishing cars before and after painting.

Working with complex, voluminous, curved objects.

The only place where this device will be saved is a corner and a shallow depression. The grinding disc will not reach such places. If many grooves need to be polished during tasks, try using a machine with a disc with a smaller diameter, or use a brush tool. Its rig is narrow, penetrates the right places.

How an eccentric sander works

The design is similar to vibration surface grinders. Just like them, the eccentric sander has a housing in which an electric motor is hidden, there are convenient handles and control systems. Equipped with eccentric and counterweight. The structure is complicated by the fact that the torque from the engine is transmitted not only to the vibration mechanism, but also to the spindle. A round sole is attached to the spindle. A sanding pad is put on it. Thus, two types of movement are performed simultaneously:

    1. Reciprocating (thanks to the vibrator). It is transmitted from the motor by means of a belt drive.
    2. Axial (due to the rotation of the shaft with the spindle). In some models, the axis rotates by inertia. Expensive tools are equipped with a complex gear transmission. This is the most reliable and efficient design. It is more expensive in price, but allows you to get a perfect surface, without waves, indentations and scratches.

    The platter fits snugly against the surface and grinds it, rotating and moving back and forth at the same time. Since the rotation is performed in a given orbit, such a machine is also called orbital. A fine-grained abrasive wheel is used. In models sold in Ukraine, one disc is usually included in the kit. Fastened with Velcro. It is metallic and elastic. A metal plate is more durable, but an elastic one can be used to grind workpieces of complex configuration.

    Related categories

    Their purpose is high quality material processing. Although the performance of these hand held power tools is very high, they are rarely used for rough sanding and trowelling. Basically. For finishing and polishing on wood, metal and other hard surfaces. Most relevant in difficult, curved areas. View and select other grinders.

    What are the features of the orbital sander

    The eccentric sander is always very convenient, compact and lightweight. The weight is 1-2 kg. You need to choose it based on the parameters:

    Power. Optimum performance from 150 to 300 watts. For large-scale work, there are models of 500-750 W of power, they are also capable of performing a rough cleaning when installing a coarse-grained nozzle.

    Amplitude of vibrations. For household work, the indicator is in the range from 3 to 5 mm. For professional 6-7 mm. The larger the amplitude, the faster the device works. The same is the frequency characteristic.

    RPM. For different models, it ranges from 4 to 14 thousand per minute. It is important that high revving devices have a speed control function. This will allow you to polish different materials with high quality.

    Sole size. The minimum circle with a diameter of 100 m, the maximum. 150 mm. The larger the diameter, the higher the productivity. The permissible diameter is directly related to the motor power.

    Additional options for increased comfort:

    Adjustable front handle. For convenience, it should have rubber inserts. Stopper fixing the start key.

    Functional dust extraction. (Some models have a special dust bag, others have an adapter for connecting a vacuum cleaner).

    Additional handle. For large volumes of work. Should be easy to remove.

    Vibration damper. Then the vibration is minimal. You can work for a long time without getting tired.

    Detachable power cord (easy to store).

    What models of eccentric sander are there?

    The pneumatic orbital sander has a fairly simple device. On a circular support plate, sometimes called a sole, a replaceable sanding sheet is fixed, through which a smooth surface is given to any material. Different models may differ in the method of attachment of the sanding sheet, as well as in the material of its manufacture. With grinders, sheets are used made of the following materials:

    • Corundum;
    • Felt;
    • Fleece;
    • Fur;
    • Sponge.

    According to the method of fastening, the tools can be divided into two groups: with a clip and with a Velcro. Tools with a clamp are cheaper to operate, since both the grinders themselves and their consumables are less expensive. The main advantage of Velcro models is the ease of replacing the sanding sheet. The design of the grinder may include a dust extraction device or a device that allows you to connect an external vacuum cleaner.

    The orbital sander is ideal for fine, fine sanding. The quality of grinding is ensured due to the fact that the sole simultaneously performs reciprocating and rotational motion. This distinguishes the orbital models from other grinding instruments. For example, a vibration grinder makes only rotary movements, thus ensuring the creation of the necessary vibration.

    How to choose the right grinder?

    What is needed in order for an eccentric machine to meet all the requirements of a home craftsman and be able to solve the assigned tasks? The only answer is to choose the right tool, taking into account important parameters. Experts recommend paying attention to the following criteria:

    • Power;
    • Rotation frequency;
    • The presence of smooth rotation control;
    • Vibration frequency of the sanding pad;
    • Plate diameter;
    • The possibility or impossibility of changing the size of the eccentric moves;
    • The presence of a dust extraction;
    • Weight.

    Let’s consider the important selection parameters in more detail. The power of the machine directly affects the quality of sanding, but more powerful models are significantly heavy and less convenient to use. The presence of adjustment of rotation and vibration frequency allows you to select the optimal grinding mode. The speed range can fluctuate between 2,000-13,000 rpm, but, as a rule, models with an indicator of 5,000-6,000 rpm are quite enough for household needs. When choosing, you should not focus on the maximum speed, since in most cases they are not required.

    From a practical point of view, it is much more important to have functions for speed stabilization, soft start, etc. These additional features can significantly improve the quality of grinding. It is desirable that the machine have the function of changing the amount of the eccentric stroke. Average values ​​are 2-6 mm. A smaller stroke increases the quality of processing. For coarse sanding, a longer eccentric stroke is required.

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    Tray diameter is another important parameter. On average, this value is 125-150 mm. There are models with a smaller diameter. The size of the grinding part of the tool, equal to 125 mm in diameter, is considered universal. Sanders with a 150 mm sole are more efficient. Before choosing this or that model, it is worth researching the market for consumables in the region, since it is likely that it will be difficult to find abrasive sheets later.

    Separately, it should be said about various additional features and devices. If the sander is rarely used, you can save on buying it by choosing a model that is not equipped with additional functions. For permanent work or professional use, it is better to select models that are more effective. Such devices include soft pads, adapters, foam interlayers installed between the abrasive sheet and the sole, etc.

    When working with grinders, a large amount of fine dust is always formed, therefore, when choosing, you should pay attention to the possibility of dust removal. This can be a dust extraction function or an adapter for connecting an external vacuum cleaner.

    What parameters should you pay attention to when choosing a grinder?

    The most important technical parameter for any tool is its power. The orbital eccentric sander is available in 150W to 1000W power. Depending on the model, purpose, this machine can be used for domestic or professional purposes. Tools with a power of about 400 W are ideal for cleaning various parts.

    Unlike similar tools, the pneumatic orbital sander has a round sole. The diameter of the sole can vary significantly from model to model. Tools with a plate diameter of 125 mm are considered universal. Tool turnover is the most important indicator of its performance. It is most convenient to work with models that have a soft start function, which allows you to gain momentum without jerking. Perfect sanding results can be achieved with models with a speed controller.

    The pneumatic eccentric sander can be equipped with additional functions:

    • Electronic mechanisms;
    • Idle brake and much more.

    For example, painted surfaces are processed at low speeds, and hard materials at high speeds. Provided the correct type of sanding tool is selected, the sander can also be used for polishing surfaces. As a result, the purchase of such a model allows you to abandon the purchase of additional tools, such as a polishing grinder. Hard grinding discs are used on flat surfaces, soft on curved surfaces.

    Eccentric sander for clean sanding of all surfaces

    The orbital sander is one of the versatile garage tools that make it easier for the DIYer to sand almost any surface and material.

    How to use the device correctly?

    It is very important to ensure effective dust extraction during operation. If it is not possible to connect an external vacuum cleaner, and the model has a built-in dust extraction function, you must ensure that the holes on the sanding sheet completely coincide with the holes on the sole. Failure to comply with this requirement significantly reduces the efficiency of dust removal, as a result of which a situation may arise when even a powerful vacuum cleaner will not help.

    The operating mode must be selected correctly, depending on the material to be processed, surface characteristics. For example, it is absolutely impossible to use the machine at high speeds when processing plastic or varnished surfaces. During work, do not press hard on the machine. Insufficient performance may be due to worn consumables or insufficient model power. Strong pressure on the tool will not improve performance in these cases.

    In order for the tool to serve for many years and to do an excellent job with the tasks assigned to it, it needs regular maintenance. This is especially important with frequent use of the machine. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in work. For example, the appearance of extraneous sounds indicates that the bearings are clogged with dust and must be cleaned with a stiff brush.

    The sole of the machine has to be changed over time. The replacement period will depend on the frequency of use of the tool. With active work, replacement may be required in the next six months, and if the machine is used from time to time, the service life of the sole can be several years. A sign that the sole is out of order will be the flying off of the abrasive wheel during the rotational movements of the eccentric.

    Extend the service life of the velcro soles for gentle use of the tool. When installing an abrasive wheel, you must carefully ensure that it completely covers the Velcro, does not move from its place even by a few millimeters. Otherwise, the edges of the Velcro begin to grind off and cease to function. It is impossible to fix this problem; you have to completely replace the plate.

    How to choose the right grinder?

    What is needed in order for an eccentric machine to meet all the requirements of a home craftsman and be able to solve the assigned tasks? The only answer is to choose the right tool, taking into account important parameters. Experts recommend paying attention to the following criteria:

    • Power;
    • Rotation frequency;
    • The presence of smooth rotation control;
    • Vibration frequency of the sanding pad;
    • Plate diameter;
    • The possibility or impossibility of changing the size of the eccentric moves;
    • The presence of a dust extraction;
    • Weight.

    Let’s consider the important selection parameters in more detail. The power of the machine directly affects the quality of sanding, but more powerful models are significantly heavy and less convenient to use. The presence of adjustment of rotation and vibration frequency allows you to select the optimal grinding mode. The speed range can fluctuate between 2,000-13,000 rpm, but, as a rule, models with an indicator of 5,000-6,000 rpm are quite enough for household needs. When choosing, you should not focus on the maximum speed, since in most cases they are not required.

    From a practical point of view, it is much more important to have functions for speed stabilization, soft start, etc. These additional features can significantly improve the quality of grinding. It is desirable that the machine have the function of changing the amount of the eccentric stroke. Average values ​​are 2-6 mm. A smaller stroke increases the quality of processing. For coarse sanding, a longer eccentric stroke is required.

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    Tray diameter is another important parameter. On average, this value is 125-150 mm. There are models with a smaller diameter. The size of the grinding part of the tool, equal to 125 mm in diameter, is considered universal. Sanders with a 150 mm sole are more efficient. Before choosing this or that model, it is worth researching the market for consumables in the region, since it is likely that it will be difficult to find abrasive sheets later.

    Separately, it should be said about various additional features and devices. If the sander is rarely used, you can save on buying it by choosing a model that is not equipped with additional functions. For permanent work or professional use, it is better to select models that are more effective. Such devices include soft pads, adapters, foam interlayers installed between the abrasive sheet and the sole, etc.

    When working with grinders, a large amount of fine dust is always formed, therefore, when choosing, you should pay attention to the possibility of dust removal. This can be a dust extraction function or an adapter for connecting an external vacuum cleaner.

    What parameters should you pay attention to when choosing a grinder?

    The most important technical parameter for any tool is its power. The orbital eccentric sander is available in 150W to 1000W power. Depending on the model, purpose, this machine can be used for domestic or professional purposes. Tools with a power of about 400 W are ideal for cleaning various parts.

    Unlike similar tools, the pneumatic orbital sander has a round sole. The diameter of the sole can vary significantly from model to model. Tools with a plate diameter of 125 mm are considered universal. Tool turnover is the most important indicator of its performance. It is most convenient to work with models that have a soft start function, which allows you to gain momentum without jerking. Perfect sanding results can be achieved with models with a speed controller.

    The pneumatic eccentric sander can be equipped with additional functions:

    • Electronic mechanisms;
    • Idle brake and much more.

    For example, painted surfaces are processed at low speeds, and hard materials at high speeds. Provided the correct type of sanding tool is selected, the sander can also be used for polishing surfaces. As a result, the purchase of such a model allows you to abandon the purchase of additional tools, such as a polishing grinder. Hard grinding discs are used on flat surfaces, soft on curved surfaces.

    Eccentric sander for clean sanding of all surfaces

    The orbital sander is one of the versatile garage tools that make it easier for the DIYer to sand almost any surface and material.

    What models of eccentric sander are there?

    The pneumatic orbital sander has a fairly simple device. On a circular support plate, sometimes called a sole, a replaceable sanding sheet is fixed, through which a smooth surface is given to any material. Different models may differ in the method of attachment of the sanding sheet, as well as in the material of its manufacture. With grinders, sheets are used made of the following materials:

    • Corundum;
    • Felt;
    • Fleece;
    • Fur;
    • Sponge.

    According to the method of fastening, the tools can be divided into two groups: with a clip and with a Velcro. Tools with a clamp are cheaper to operate, since both the grinders themselves and their consumables are less expensive. The main advantage of Velcro models is the ease of replacing the sanding sheet. The design of the grinder may include a dust extraction device or a device that allows you to connect an external vacuum cleaner.

    The orbital sander is ideal for fine, fine sanding. The quality of grinding is ensured due to the fact that the sole simultaneously performs reciprocating and rotational motion. This distinguishes the orbital models from other grinding instruments. For example, a vibration grinder makes only rotary movements, thus ensuring the creation of the necessary vibration.

    How to use the device correctly?

    It is very important to ensure effective dust extraction during operation. If it is not possible to connect an external vacuum cleaner, and the model has a built-in dust extraction function, you must ensure that the holes on the sanding sheet completely coincide with the holes on the sole. Failure to comply with this requirement significantly reduces the efficiency of dust removal, as a result of which a situation may arise when even a powerful vacuum cleaner will not help.

    The operating mode must be selected correctly, depending on the material to be processed, surface characteristics. For example, it is absolutely impossible to use the machine at high speeds when processing plastic or varnished surfaces. During work, do not press hard on the machine. Insufficient performance may be due to worn consumables or insufficient model power. Strong pressure on the tool will not improve performance in these cases.

    In order for the tool to serve for many years and to do an excellent job with the tasks assigned to it, it needs regular maintenance. This is especially important with frequent use of the machine. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in work. For example, the appearance of extraneous sounds indicates that the bearings are clogged with dust and must be cleaned with a stiff brush.

    The sole of the machine has to be changed over time. The replacement period will depend on the frequency of use of the tool. With active work, replacement may be required in the next six months, and if the machine is used from time to time, the service life of the sole can be several years. A sign that the sole is out of order will be the flying off of the abrasive wheel during the rotational movements of the eccentric.

    Extend the service life of the velcro soles for gentle use of the tool. When installing an abrasive wheel, you must carefully ensure that it completely covers the Velcro, does not move from its place even by a few millimeters. Otherwise, the edges of the Velcro begin to grind off and cease to function. It is impossible to fix this problem; you have to completely replace the plate.