4 random orbit sanders
Photo: Don Penny/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Tool Test: Random Orbit Sanders

When a woodworker needs to prep a door for staining or level out a primer, a 6-inch random-orbit sander is going to finish the job fast. The best ones combine adjustable power for fast removal or finish work, comfort for extended use, and decent dust extraction to keep the work clean. Some sanders have on-board dust collection—either a plastic case, fabric bag, or disposable paper sack—while others are designed to be connected to a vacuum. We had woodworking instructor Mario Rodriguez put these to the test. Here's what he discovered.

Note: All sanders tested with 60-, 120-, and 180-grit sandpaper on oak plywood, poplar, and red oak.
Prices based on manufacturer-approved online distributors.
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