Random Orbital Sander vs Sheet Sander | Which One is Best for Sanding in 2021?

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Today in this article, we have presented the orbital sander vs sheet sander comparison in terms of cost and safety measurements. Both are used to give a fine and smooth finish to the irregular-shaped surfaces. To provide an exceptional result, choosing the right sander that meets your workspace tasks is necessary.

Orbital Sander vs Sheet Sander

Orbital Sander vs Sheet Sander
Orbital Sander vs Sheet Sander

It is possible to use two power machines for polishing surfaces with sandpaper, including an Orbital Sander and Sheet Sander. Smooth surfaces are created by applying abrasion to surfaces. The woodworking industry can benefit from both of these tools.

Their circular motions are abrasive is essentially the same. Their tools for abrasion are different. A sander works in another way. We will go into greater detail about both machines below.

The Sheet Sander

Sheet sanders are often referred to as finish sanders because they are intended to help you finish your surfaces.

Consequently, don’t use this product to make many cuts in a short period of time.  You should not waste your energy and time trying to achieve something the wrong way. A quarter sheet sander pad is also known as a sheet sander and is similar to a palm sander.

The sanding pad on a sheet sander is usually rectangular. Sanders of this type work through a rotary motion involving back and forth strokes at high speed. Because of this, the tool works well on small surfaces and can be used for detailed work. Sheet sanders are especially useful for edges and corners with rectangle shapes and square areas among the sanding pads.

A sanding machine like this works to smooth out wood gradually. It is impossible to remove large amounts of material in one pass with a sheet sander since it travels back and forth. Despite its name, this tool does not produce quick results when cutting layers. You won’t get very far even if you try, and you will waste a lot of time and energy.

Whenever you do a comparison of pad sander vs orbital sander, you must have some knowledge before. It. Otherwise, you will not get the appropriate results. Its initial cost and recurring usage costs make a sheet sander one of the best tools to own and use. Sandpaper comes at an affordable price than most sanders, plus it costs much less than most other sanders.

Sheet sanders are very handy for working with corners and edges because their rectangular shape makes them practical for this purpose. You will inevitably have to sand corners as well as edges when working with wood. When you have palm sanders on hand, you’ll be able to repair those surfaces in record time successfully. This info article will also help to understand the disk sander vs orbital sander comparison.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Portable and reliable
  • Smooth sanding


  • It leaves spots sometimes

Orbital Sander

There is another name for this tool, the random orbital sander, that has to do with how it works, and that is where the main difference lies between it and the sheet sander. Both orbital sanders and sheet sanders work in similar ways.

The two tools are almost identical in appearance, but they differ in many fundamental ways. As a result of this difference, the sanding pad moves differently. Despite this, an orbital sander is more powerful and more expensive than a sheet sander due to the additional requirements required to build it.

You might also want to pick up an anti-vibration glove. The vibration will drop when using such tools. Motors of orbital sanders move sanding pads randomly in a circular motion. A sanding pad moves elliptically as a result of an additional drive. Sheet-sanders use randomized movements to reduce swirl marks on surfaces.

You can use the orbital sander for sanding rougher materials and sand through a few layers by taking advantage of this extra power, something that the sheet sander cannot do.

You can also connect the tool. Moreover, you can add it to your shop’s vacuum hose if you are a professional carpenter and wish to ensure that all dust is collected and your workspace is kept tidy. A random orbital sander also produces a lot of vibration that you should take into account.

Woodworkers can connect their random orbital sanders to a shop vacuum to enhance their work efficiency. Sanding pads have circular disks with holes on them for dust collection. It is usual to collect the dust at the end of the arrangement in a dust bag. There is a possibility of experiencing numbness or hand fatigue if you use the tool for an extended period.

Whenever you work on large projects, it prevents the accumulation of dust. It will also reduce the clean-up time after an assignment. To be safe, you might also consider wearing anti-vibration gloves, and finally, consider taking frequent breaks. The first thing you’ll notice is that some models come with an anti-vibration mechanism, which significantly reduces vibrations reaching your ears.


  • Powerful motor
  • Made of strong material
  • It ensures a fine finish
  • Speed control customization


  • It is hard to cover corners

Factors Need To Be Considered

Aggressive Sanding

For the random orbital sander vs sheet sander comparison, aggressive sanding is the primary factor to consider while purchasing. To avoid the aggressive nature of random orbital sanders, we recommend sanding between coats instead. In comparison to a belt sander and a sheet sander, random orbital sanders remove material more aggressively. Compared with random orbital sanders, sheet sanders are much easier to control.

With a random orbit sander, ruined surfaces are much easier to occur than with a sheet sander. If you must sand by hand, use a sheet sander. Despite leaving swirl marks sometimes due to its circular orbit rather than a random one, the effect is not apparent if the tool is not left sitting in any one spot for too long and proper grit sequences are followed.


In both tools, it is best to use progressively finer grits to achieve the best results. It is generally cheaper to use a sheet sander than a random orbital sander. If one uses 100 grit paper to begin sanding, then switches to 150 grit and ends with 200 grit, one might. Further, its use of standard sheets of sandpaper makes them more affordable to operate.


Last but not least, the safety and health of the tool are necessary things in the orbital vs sheet sander comparison. The vibrations of a sheet sander may cause hand fatigue and numbness after prolonged usage. You should wear anti-vibration gloves filled with gel along with frequent breaks. Random orbital sanders utilize circular sanding disks for sanding. Usually, 5 to 6 inches across, attached using pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) or hook-and-loop systems (like Velcro).

The hand fatigue and numbness with a sheet sander are less severe with a random orbital sander. It is also recommended that regular breaks and anti-vibration gloves be worn during prolonged use of the machine due to its vibration.

It is still a good idea to select a sheet sander with dust collection capabilities even though they produce less dust than random orbital sanders do. The random orbital sander’s disks and pad are equipped with holes that enable a dust collection system to be attached.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an orbital sander used for?

The random orbital sander makes ultra-smooth sanding possible with its vibrations in tiny circles. Its applications include woodworking, plastics, and metalworking. Various applications help to complete it with the use of random orbital sander, including painting and restoring transparency to the headlights period.

2. What is finishing sander?

Finishing sanders work in various modes, such as straight-line sanding, contour sanding, and orbital sanding. By definition, an orbital sander rotates as it sands, making it an orbital sander.

3. Is an orbital sander better than a sheet sander?

A sandpaper disc comes in various grits, and they are usually more expensive than regular sandpaper. For those who do not want to use many different sanding tools, orbital sanders are more versatile than sheet models. The suitable electric sander for the job depends on the application.

4. How to use finishing sanders?

The finishing sander can sand in a straight-line mode, backward and forwards, much like the hand sander or orbital sander. A finishing sander can change from a straight line to orbital sanding with the simple twist of a lever.

5. How does an orbital sander work?

An orbital sander works by rotating a sanding disk elliptically. Even with wood grain running in a different direction, an orbital sander smoothly removes material without leaving a mark. Consequently, you can sand two pieces of wood simultaneously, no matter how different their grain orientations.

Final Thoughts

In an orbital sander vs sheet sander comparison, you have judged the difference between both power tools. Their uniformity and affordability make them an attractive and affordable alternative to a variety of sizes. If you are on a budget and need power tools, this is probably the option you should consider.

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