Cordless and Mains Powered Random Orbital Sander Reviews

So you’re looking to start a DIY project that requires the delicate touch of a random orbital sander but you’re not sure which one to go with. I know how overwhelming it is to shop for power tools. 

For that reason, I decided to share some of my favourite random orbital sanders with you, which should help narrow down your choices. If you’re struggling to make a decision, continue reading this article. 

I’ll also cover some frequently asked questions about random orbital sanders later on in this post. Without further delay, let’s dive in. 

Best Corded Random Orbital Sanders: 

Here are my top-rated corded random orbital sanders.  

1 – BOSCH PEX 400 AE Expert Random Orbital Sander

Notable Feature: Two Handles, Extra Grip 

Technical Specs:

  • Voltage: 220 
  • Motor: 350 Watts
  • Grit Type: Fine
  • Weight: 3.57 KG
  • Speed: 4,000 to 21,000 RPM
  • Speed Settings: Variable Control 

To start, you can’t go wrong with the BOSCH PEX 400 AE random orbital sander. It’s a good mid-range and lightweight model, with a surprisingly powerful 350 W motor. The product includes a convenient box with accessories and manuals, as well as a few sanding sheets. 

The most noticeable feature of this model is it has two handles; one main handle, and another removable auxiliary handle. The dual soft-grip handles are very comfortable for long-term use and also makes it easier to apply even pressure to the surface. 

The control buttons (speed, on/off, etc) are conveniently placed on the main handle. As for speed, the PEX 400 AE has both fixed and variable speed modes, with a speed range of 4,000 to 21,000 movements per minute. 

Furthermore, the PEX 400 comes with a removable dust box with an included micro-filter to reduce the amount of dust in the air. The filters in the box can be replaced too. 

PEX 400 Cons:

There are some downsides you should know about. Some customers have complained that the adhesive holding the discs to the sander could be stronger. 

Other complaints are regarding the dust collection box, with people mentioning it’s not only cumbersome but also falls off from time to time. One solution to the dust box issue is to remove it and connect a vacuum cleaner to the sander instead. With a vacuum cleaner, the dust won’t spread into the air, and it’ll be more manageable. 

Overall, the Pex 400 is a good mid-range random orbital sander. What I liked the most are the two handles. I didn’t like the dust collection box, it’s a bit too bulky. 

2 – BOSCH PEX 220 A Random Orbital Sander

Top-Feature: Budget-Friendly & Lightweight

Bosch PEX 220A specifications: 

  • Motor: 220 Watts
  • Grit Type: Coarse, Fine
  • Weight; 1.4 Kgs
  • Diameter: 125 mm
  • Speed: 24,000
  • Speed Settings: 1

Looking for a budget-friendly random orbital sander for a quick DIY project? The BOSCH PEX 220 A random orbital sander is a great choice. The sander is a lightweight model, weighing only 1.4 kgs. 

To start, the handle is rubberized and palm-shaped, designed for one-hand use. Generally, the palm grip makes it easier to apply extra pressure and keep the sander stable. The control and power switches are located on the front end of the handle. The sander feels very stable and firm in your hand. 

In comparison, the previous random orbital sander, PEX 400, has two handles, front and back.. Deciding which handle style to go with depends on your personal preference, I personally like the palm-shaped grip because it’s easier to hold. I suggest testing out some handles to see which one you prefer. 

Besides the handle, the sander also has a re-usable and detachable microfilter dust box. The motor is powerful too, rated at 220 watts. The speed is constant at 24,000 RPMs. 

Cons:

The dust-collection filter could be improved, it spreads dust around the room even when the box is attached. Other complaints mention the sander fails to start after heavy use. Constant speed doesn’t allow room for delicate sanding areas. 

Pros:

Good value. Despite the cons, the BOSCH PEX 220A is a good choice because it’s very budget-friendly and you can use it on all kinds of surfaces. I also like how the one-hand palm grip is comfortable and easy to use. 

3 – Ryobi ROS300 Random Orbit Sander

Best Feature: Budget-Friendly with Variable Speed Settings

Specifications: 

  • Motor: 300 Watts
  • Grit Type: Fine
  • Corded
  • Weight; 1.9
  • Diameter: 125 mm
  • Speed: 12,000 RPM
  • Speed Settings: Variable

The Ryobi ROS300 is another great budget-friendly random orbital sander. Like the PEX 220, the ROS300 is a hand-held palm-grip model. In fact, most of the features are about the same, except for a few technical details. 

For instance, the Ryobi ROS300 has a 300 Watt motor vs the PEX 220s 220 watt motor. As for speed modes, the ROS300 has a variable speed mod with a range of 7,000 to 12,000 RPM. 

Cons: 

The Ryobi ROS300 is a budget-friendly model, so there are a couple of quality issues you should know about. For one, it seems like the base plate can come loose from time to time. You might want to tighten the screw that holds the base plate. The maximum RPM speed is a little slow too. 

Pros: 

Budget-friendly with a variable speed. It’s very similar to the PEX 220 but with a variable speed setting and lower RPM. 

If you’re looking for an alternative to the PEX 220, the ROS300 random orbital sander is a good choice. For the price, it’s hard to beat, and the variable speed setting is great too. 

4 – Makita BO6030

Best Feature: Large 150 MM Pad Diameter

Specifications: 

  • Grit Type: Fine
  • Engine: 240V
  • Corded
  • Weight: 2.3
  • Diameter: 150 mm
  • Speed: 4,000 to 12,000
  • Speed Settings: Variable

The Makita BO6030 is a good mid-range random orbital sander that can be used on all kinds of surfaces, such as wood or paint. The design of the BO6030 is similar to the Bosch PEX 400, both have detachable front handles. 

One main difference is this sander has a trigger under the main handle that is used to control the speed. There’s also a button on the side to lock the trigger speed. Another key feature is the base plate is made from aluminium, very sturdy, although it can get hot after extended use. 

Instead of using a dust-collection box, the BO6030 uses a dust collecting bag which is more versatile and doesn’t get in the way as much. The base plate uses 150 mm diameter hook and loop discs, instead of velcro, making it much easier to replace them after use. 

Cons:

The dust bag is not very durable and can fall off easily. I suggest attaching a vacuum to the dust collection pipe. Besides that, the sander is a bit old by today’s standards, it was launched back in 2011. 

Pros: 

Regardless, the BO6030 is still a reliable random orbital sander. I liked the variable speed and speed-locking mechanism. The large plate diameter is nice too, it makes it easier to cover more area during sanding projects. 

Finally, the vibration is kept to a minimum, and it’s very comfortable to hold, even after extensive use. The best feature is definitely the sander diameter size, 150 mm, which is significantly larger than most sanders. 

5 – TACKLIFE Random Orbit Sander 

Budget Sander, Great Dust Collection

Specifications: 

  • 120 Volts
  • Corded
  • Weight: 1.93
  • Speed: 6,000 to 13,000
  • Speed Settings: Variable, 6 Settings

If you’re on a really tight budget, the TACKLIFE Random Orbit Sander is a good choice. It could also be a backup for a more powerful sander. I recommend this sander for people who need something budget-friendly for a one-time project. 

The PRS01A sander is another small palm grip model, very similar to the other palm grip models on the list, complete with a dust collection box. What makes this model stand out from the rest it has six variable speed settings which can be adjusted with a dial.

Pros: 

For the price, it’s a really good deal. The sander works just as well as other one-handed palm grip sanders and it has more speed settings too. One thing I noticed about this model is that the dust collection system seems to work much better than other sanders. 

The dust doesn’t spread out around the worktable, and the dust collection box actually picks up most of it. Surprisingly, it does a better job at collecting dust than some of the more expensive models on our list. 

Cons: 

It doesn’t have any special anti-vibration features. I wouldn’t say the vibration is too much, but it’s a little more than what I’m used to, at least at the highest speed. For short sessions, it’s not much of a problem. Other than that, the dust collection box is a little tricky to remove. 

Need something quick and super-budget friendly? The PRS01A is worth checking out. It’s obviously not the best sander out there, but for the price, it’s hard to beat. I was very impressed with the quality. 

6 – DEWALT DEWDWE6423L

Compact, Low-profile, Great Dust Collection

Specifications: 

  • Engine: 280 Watts
  • Corded
  • Weight: 1.3
  • Speed: 8,000 to 12,000
  • Speed Settings: Variable, 6 Settings
  • Diameter: 125 mm

The last corded random orbital sander on our list is the DEWDWE6423L. It’s a mid-range sander, designed by DEWALT, a well-known power tool company. As for the design, this sander uses the palm rest we have seen in the above models. 

The main difference is the palm is a little thinner and it also has extra rubber to reduce vibrations. In addition, the sander is more compact than others, the handle is closer to the base plate, which makes it easier to control. 

Pros:

Compact and lightweight, it’s very easy to use. The sander only weighs 1.3 KG which is lighter than most of the sanders on our list. 

The second lightest is the Bosch PEX 220A weighing at 1.4 kgs. The dust collection system is great too, the bag doesn’t get in your way, and it does a decent job at extracting most of the dust from the base plate. 

Cons: 

While I really like the sander, some people mentioned the dust collection port isn’t compatible with certain vacuums. I imagine that can be fixed with a simple adapter though. 

7 – Einhell TE-RS 40 E 400 W

Best Feature: Budget-friendly, Additional Handle

Specs: 

  • 230 Volts
  • Variable speed, 6 settings
  • RPM: 12,000 – 24,000
  • Weight: 2.1 kgs
  • Diameter: 125mm
  • Velcro

The Einhell TE-RS40E is a surprisingly powerful budget-friendly orbital sander. The most noticeable feature would be the additional handle on the front. The design is very similar to the Bosch 06033A4070 because they both have two handles. 

As for performance, it has 6 variable speeds, from 12,000 to 24,000 RPMs, making it one of the fastest sanders on the list. The sander is relatively comfortable to use, and the top of the handles are made from rubber for extra comfort. 

As for downsides, the dust collection box is a little small and can easily fall off. The velcro holding the pads is not very strong either. Most people complained the pads become loose after a few minutes of use. 

Nevertheless, if you need a budget-friendly sander with variable speed and an additional handle, the Einhell TE-RS40E is worth a look. 

Best Cordless Random Orbital Sanders:

The benefit of wireless sanders is you’re not limited by the length of the cable, you can take the sander wherever you please. 

Let’s take a look at some of my favourite cordless sanders:: 

Top Pick

1 – Ryobi R18ROS-0 18V Bare Unit ONE+

Top Feature: Lightweight, Good Dust Collection

Quick Specs: 

  • Voltage: 18
  • Battery Powered
  • Fixed speed
  • RPM: 7,000 
  • Weight: 1.5 kgs
  • Estimated Battery Life: 45 minutes
  • Fastening Type: Hook and Loop

The Ryobi R18ROS-0 is a nice little cordless sander that looks quite similar to the DEWALT DEWDWE6423L from the previous list. It’s another palm grip model with a bag (not a box) for dust collection. 

While the R18ROS-0 is low profile, the palm grip is high from the base plate, which makes it a little awkward to control. The battery slot is located right on the front side, and you can easily remove it for a replacement. 

Speaking of the battery, the battery lasts for about 45 minutes on a full charge. It’s a lithium 5.0Ah battery, (RB18L50) designed by the same company. You can also buy extra batteries for backups when you’re working on off-site projects.

What I liked most about the Ryobi R18ROS-0 is the dust collection. It uses a cyclonic system that sends dust straight into the dust bag with very little left. 

2 – Makita DBO180Z BARE UNIT Cordless

Noteworthy Feature: Variable Speeds

Quick Specs: 

  • Voltage: 18
  • Battery Powered
  • Variable speed, 3 Speed
  • RPM: 7,000 to 11,000
  • Weight: 1.27 kgs
  • Estimated Battery Life: 45 minutes
  • Fastening Type: Hook and Loop

If you want a lightweight cordless sander from a well-known power tool company, the Makita DBO180Z is worth checking out. 

Once again, it uses the standard palm grip style, with a slot for the custom battery pack on the back of the handle. The grip is not completely rubberized, so it’s a little difficult to get a firm hold. Regardless, the build quality is good. 

One of the best features of this sander is it has variable speeds: 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000. I think the fastest speed is good enough, the other settings are a bit too slow for most DIY sanding projects.

As for the battery, you can expect to get about 45 minutes from a fully charged 5 Ah battery. The sander is compatible with BL1830B to BL1860B MAKITA series batteries.  I recommend buying the 5 Ah batteries because you’ll get the longest battery life from them. 

3 – METERK 20V KIT Cordless Random Orbit Sander 

Noteworthy Feature: Built-in Battery, Supports Fast Charging

Quick Specs: 

  • Voltage: 20V
  • Battery Powered (DC also available) 
  • Variable speed, 6 settings
  • RPM: 2,000 to 10,000
  • Weight: 2.81 kgs
  • Estimated Battery Life: 45 minutes
  • Battery Capacity: 2000 mAh
  • Diameter: 125mm

The METERK 20V cordless orbital sander is a decent budget-friendly option. The most interesting feature of this sander is the built-in battery. It supports fast charging and it only takes about an hour to fully charge. The upside is batteries and a charger are included in the kit.

As for the build quality, the METERK 20V is a very comfortable palm sander, with extra anti-vibration rubber on the front end. The speed controls are located on the side of the palm and the power switch on the front. 

I noticed this sander is similar to the R18ROS-0, as both have high palm rests, but the METERK 20V requires external batteries and it doesn’t have variable speed. I also thought the design, compact with red and black, looks better than the Ryobi. 

So if you’re looking for a decent wireless sander kit, I recommend the METERK20V. It has everything that you need right out of the box. There’s no need to order anything else. 

4 – Stanley Fatmax Lithium Random Orbital Cordless Electric Sander

Best Feature: Compact, Two Grip Zones

Specs: 

  • Voltage: 18V
  • Battery Powered (DC also available)
  • RPM: 12,000
  • Weight: 2.58 kgs
  • 2Ah Battery Included
  • Diameter: 125mm
  • Grit: 36

Stanley Fatmax’s FMCW220D1-QW orbital cordless sander is a compact and durable tool that’s great for professionals. The first feature that stood out to me was the design. 

It’s a very compact palm model, only 137 mm high from the base, unlike the previous sanders on our list. I personally prefer sanders with a lower grip because I find it’s easier to control. Another upside is this kit includes a 2Ah battery. 

Unfortunately, the sander only has one speed, no variable option. Nevertheless, the speed is set at 12,000 RPM which is more than enough for most sanding projects. 

What I liked most about this sander is how easy it is to control, the dust collection is decent too. My only complaint is it feels a little heavier than most sanders, so working on walls might be tiring after a while. Nevertheless, it’s a very high-quality sander. 

What to Look for When Buying a Random Orbital Sander?

There are lots of features to look for, but we’ll cover the most important ones here. 

Types of Orbital Sanders:

There are multiple types of sanders designed for specific uses. Here are the three most common sanders: 

  1. Belt Sander – spins a belt in one direction, good for woodwork
  2. Palm Sander – handheld sander that rotates in a fixed motion
  3. Random Orbital Sander – handheld tool that moves in random motions, better for final touches, and creates a smoother surface

For most people, a random orbital sander is the best option. 

Cordless Vs Mains Powered Sanders

While not as powerful as wired models, wireless sanders have a number of benefits. The advantage of cordless sanders is they’re a lot mobile, you can take them anywhere. They’re also easier to use when on a ladder. 

The downside is the battery life is usually in the 30 – 45 minute range and it can run out in the middle of a project. The job will determine the type of sander that is best for you. If you do buy cordless, make sure to also buy backup batteries. 

Build & Grip Design

Since you’ll be holding the sander for a long time, it’s best to find one that is comfortable. Most sanders use a palm-shaped grip which makes it easy for you to apply pressure when needed. I suggest looking for a palm sander that has anti-vibration rubber. 

RPM or OPM 

OPM stands for Operations Per Minute, another way to describe how fast the sander can move the discs. Contrary to what you might think, a higher OPM is not necessarily better. 

If it’s too fast, it could shred through delicate materials. The best speed will depend on the surface material you’re working with. Usually, a sander in the 8,000 to 15,000 RPM range is good enough for most projects. 

Variable Speed

I recommend picking a sander that has a variable speed setting so you can adjust the speed to match the material you’re working on. Most sanders will offer 6 or more speed settings. With a variable speed sander, you can use the same sander for multiple projects. 

Top Brands

While there are many brands and types of sanders that will serve you well, some brands stand above the rest. These brands below are always a good place to start if you don’t quite know a good jumping off point or just want some general direction.

  • Bosch – Bosch boasts superior quality and variety, meaning that everyone can find a tool to fit their specific needs.
  • DeWalt – DeWalt is a brand that’s endured for a long time, and their reputation for quality and reliability is well earned.
  • Makita – Makita’s focus on ergonomics and user ease make them an ideal brand for hobbyists or casual users.
  • Black & Decker – Black & Decker is a brand that’s known for its affordability and its reliability. With over 100 years in the business, Black & Decker is an industry leader and a standard for quality.

Can I Use a Sanding Machine to Polish My Car?

You can use a sanding machine to polish your car but it should be a random orbital sander set to a low speed so as to avoid damaging the coat of paint on your car. You will also need appropriate foam buffing pads that are compatible with the sander’s base plate. 

Conclusion:

Buying a sander might seem very complicated because there are so many specifications, features, and models out there. My suggestion is to pick a random orbital sander with a comfortable grip, variable speed, and a good pad fastening system. I also suggest the mid-range sanders because they offer the best build quality and features. 

Picture: “Bosch GEX1251AE Orbital Sander” (CC BY 2.0) by toolstop

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About Tony

Tony Moran is a writer, blogger and DIY enthusiast living in rural Norfolk, England, UK, with his wife and a lively border collie. Subscribe to this blog for updates and receive more awesome home improvement tips.

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