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2010, 2013, 2015 & 2017

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Comparing Rotary and Random Orbital Sanders

Choosing the right power tools to add to your tool kit is never easy. There are so many factors to consider. You’ll have to take into account what specifically you’ll be using the tool for, as well as other factors such as budget and which brand names are most worthy of your trust. When it comes to choosing a sander, you’ll be faced with picking between a rotary or a random orbital sander. But which one is right for you? Here’s a comparison.

random orbital sander

Which is right for you: a rotary or a random orbital sander? Here’s a comparison to help you decide.

Rotary Sanders

If you haven’t deduced this already, keep in mind that the rotary sander earns its name because it rotates. Just like the other option we’ll be discussing today, it uses a round pad. As the motor runs, the pad turns aggressively. If it encounters resistance on the surface you’re sanding, it will remove it forcibly.

Because they can use the full power of the motor, rotary sanders are tough and powerful. This has undeniable benefits, but it is perhaps best wielded by experienced craftspeople.

You can use a rotary sander on practically any surface you might want to sand, but it is especially useful for stripping away layers of rust or paint when you’re preparing a surface.

Random Orbital Sanders

Random orbital sanders have two major things in common with rotary sanders: (1) they use a circular pad, and (2) disk moves in rapid circles. But the ‘random’ part of the name tells you the major thing that sets it apart: random orbital sanders vibrate.

Rather than aggressively removing points of resistance, a random orbital sander will gradually work it down with its tiny vibrations. If you’re a less experienced craftsperson, this will probably result in fewer scratches and scuffs on the surface.

Simply put, a random orbital sander is probably your best all-around sander for a majority of do-it-yourselfers. It’s generally easier to control, and you’re less likely to damage the surface you’re working on inadvertently. Still, these tools do have some noteworthy limitations, such as deep sanding.

Come By Our Show Room!

If you have more questions about which power tools are best for you, don’t hesitate to stop by our showroom. We stock sanders and other tools made by the nation’s finest manufacturers—including Festool and Mirka. We’re happy to point you in the right direction so that you can find what you need for your next project.

Hardwood Flooring from Jason Brown Wood Floors

At Jason Brown Wood Floors, our commitment to quality installation is clear in all that we do, which is why our customers consistently rate us as one of the top contractors in the region. We have been awarded Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore Award 4 times and have been proudly serving the Baltimore Area for over 16 years. If you’re ready to speak with someone about your hardwood flooring project, we want to hear from you! Contact us at 410-668-9131 or send us a message here.

Jason Brown Wood Floors is also your convenient dealer of high-quality, professional grade power tools. We offer brands that tradespeople trust most for the job. Come check out our Bel Air showroom to browse the in-stock selection of products and tools by FestoolFreudDiabloShaper, and Mirka.

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