Different Types of Sanders & Their Uses
Being a good woodworker means wanting to attain perfection and what better way to get your project in great shape than smoothing out rough edges. As a woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, some tools like miter saws, chainsaws and circular saws are necessary for bringing the beauty out of your project – sanders are one of them.
A sander is a power tool used to smoothen rough surfaces of wood, metal and, plastic, bringing out the aesthetics of your project. A sander is a must-have woodworking tool that comes in different shapes, sizes, and functions to increase the ease and convenience of use.
Just like every other power tool, sanders come in varieties too, each with their unique functions. Being able to differentiate the different types of sanders, and when to use one for a particular project is the easiest way to give your project a nice finish without destroying it completely.
Below, we have different types of sanders and a description of their possible uses, to keep confusion out of the way and give you the best finish ever;
Belt sanders are versatile sanders that don’t just smoothen wood but other materials like plastic and metal too. They are the ideal sanders for smoothen rough edges of large surface areas like tabletops and doors. These sanders are made up of an endless loop of sandpaper, wrapped around two cylindrical drums where one of these drums is motorized for smooth and easy sanding.
Belt sanders have proven to be rugged and aggressive sanders, perfect for shaping, smoothing, scribing and, sharpening the blades of other tools like your ax, shovel and, so on.
With its shape just like a disc, disc sanders have its sanding paper attached to a rotating wheel to facilitate smoothing operation. The rotating wheel of a disc sander moves in an anti-clockwise motion, removing a little amount of waste material.
For smoothing large surface areas, using a handheld sander is preferable, and a table-mounted disc sander for small projects and shaping.
If you show so much concern about the aesthetics of your project, the best detail sander is your ideal tool. Detail sanders has a triangular base plate that looks a lot like a pressing iron, which makes it possible to smoothen tight corners and odd-shaped woodworks.
For small-sized projects and complex designs, this sander is the right tool for the job. Shaping and smoothing without mistakenly chopping off a piece of your project are only possible using a detail sander.
Oscillating Spindle Sander (OSS)
The Oscillating Spindle Sander features a sanding drum moving up and down along its spindle in an oscillatory motion. The up and down movement of its sanding drum exposes the entire surface of your woodwork to the smoothing process for proper shaping and smoothing. The OSS is great for sanding edges and contours like a rocking chair and door edges.
Being one of the easiest sanders to use, orbital sanders are comfortable to work with using just one hand and the other hand to grip the handle for extra support. Orbital sanders move in a circular motion, sanding your woodwork gently.
Using this sander means, being able to use any sandpaper you like. The sanding surface of an orbital sander is square-shaped, smoothing wood surfaces without leaving a mark on your woodwork.
Random Orbital Sanders
The Random Orbital Sander is a variant of the orbital sander, with a difference in the sanding plate and motion. This sander has a circular plate, which makes it almost impossible to work on tight corners. Its random motion is easy on wood surfaces, also making it possible to function like a belt and orbital sander combined.
Used to remove excess adhesive on wall surfaces, drywall sanders sand walls, and also has a long pole-like handle to reach higher surfaces and sand ceilings. Drywall sanders are important for drywall installation to even out plastering compound. They come in different brands for ergonomics, length and, design preference.
Palm Sanders is the most commonly used and cheapest sanders in the market, perfect for beginners. Its name pretty much sells it off, fitting perfectly into your palm for ease and smooth finishes. Palm sanders usually come with a detachable dust collector for a neat work area.
Sanding blocks are ancient manual sanders made up of a chunk of wood with sanding paper attached to one side of its flat surface. They are barely used these days because of the requirement of a lot of skills to sand woodworks properly.
Sanding block requires no electric or gas power, so sanding with them at any time or place is possible.
Edging sanders are heavy-duty sanders used for floor finishes. They function well as excess adhesive removals on floor edges like the staircase and walls. Heavy and impossible to use with just one hand, edging sanders are used just like a lawnmower.
Sanding is the only way to get your woodwork smooth and attractive. Knowing the right sander to use for what project is the easiest way to go about the whole smoothing and shaping process for a perfect finish. Try as much as possible not to switch the use of a sander for a project to avoid damaging your project.