10 Different Types Of Sanders For Top Class Woodworking Finish

If you are working in the woodworking industry, at some point, you will require a sanding tool to achieve the smoothest finish. Thereby, it is essential to use a sander to smoothen rough edges, surface, and intricate cuts for a better finish.

Depending on your sanding type, for instance, how much sanding you want and how fast, there are different types of sanders widely and easily available in the market. Most simply, you can opt for a sanding paper for the finish tasks. However, some high-end power sanders such as oscillating spindle sander are built to perform quick and fast sanding on industrial scale furnishing.

And today, we will describe ten common yet most popular types of sanders.

So, what’s your thought on it?

Ten Different Types of Sanders for Professional and DIY Workers

When you finish off any woodworking project, you will need slow movements with proper care to smooth out the rough surface and intricate details. And for all these finishing jobs, an inventory of a variety of quality sanders will help you immensely.

1. Sandpaper

At the first position, comes the sandpaper, the basics of all manual sanding tasks. It is rated with grit number, and higher grits mean better finish.

When your craftsmanship and carving requires detailed finishing with hand, finer grit sandpapers is your best alternative to go. The higher rating comes forward in achieving the finest finishes. However, finer grit also means that the sandpaper will wear out more quickly.

2. Belt Sander

As you get from the name, belt sanders equip with a sanding belt, and it is wrapped with the two attached drums. The electric motor powers the back drum and let the front drum spin freely for smooth sanding.

Also, belt sanders are the most common power sanders you will see in the woodworking industry. You can quickly change the belts thanks to the integrated tension release lever. The belt sanders are used to flattened rough surfaces mostly. So, you will see its application in leveling dressers, furniture exterior, or tabletops.

3. Disc Sander

It is yet another powerful electric sander. The sanding pad is attached to the disc-shaped surface, and the abrasive is stuck with it. You will see the disc sander in two forms:

  • Hand-held or portable
  • Bench-top

You will see the hand-held disc sander primarily included within the power drills. However, it is also available in the table-mounted form, but you will see it occasionally. The disc rotates perpendicular and serves the finest sanding.

The bench-top disc sander comes in a stationary form, and the diameter ranges from 4” to 12”.

4. Oscillating Spindle Sander

It is a special type of floor-standing or bench-top power woodworking tool. You will see its application in sanding the edges.

While most tabletop oscillating spindle sanders are available in a small table, some have a bigger table as its surface. You can angle the sander up to 45° on the larger tables. It is commonly used for straight edge and curve sanding purposes.

5. Orbital Sander

It either has a square or a rectangular sanding pad. The pad will orbit in a smaller circular pathway form where the name ‘orbital sander’ came. The best part that orbital sander is that you can attach the regular sandpapers on it for the finishing jobs.

You will need to cut the sandpaper in a rectangular shape to clip it on the tool. If you have to work with a large surface in a relatively short time, the orbital sander will be your perfect selection. However, the surface needs to be pre-sand with a belt sander.

6. Palm Sander

The palm sander with a square pad oscillates in an orbital pathway and performs the finest finishes.  Professional woodworkers use it to achieve ultra-smooth finish thanks to the tiny circular oscillation. Also, you will see its application in sanding furniture corners.

The corner sanding is made possible with the square sanding pad.

Although palm and orbital sander circulate in the same pathway, their difference lies in size. A palm sander is smaller in size. Also, palm sanders are easy to use and cheaper option than orbital sanders.

7. Detail Sander

The detail sander comes with a triangular-shaped head. It is used widely in flattening and finishing accents and crafts.

However, you won’t see its application in preparing cabinetry or other types of furniture. The detail sander uses the finest sandpaper, and so, it facilitates you with the best finishing results. Hence, when you work with it, the details are admirable, and that’s why it is referred to as ‘detail sander.’

8. Drum Sander

A drum sander is made powerful to perform heavy-duty sanding jobs. It comes in a larger size and is specialized in smoothening out the floors.

Since it is a larger and heavyweight power sander tool, it requires two people to operate for finishing floors. Also, these are highly-priced and owned by professionals and workshops. Most homeowners will rent the drum sander to finish off their floor for an admirable result.

9. Drywall Sander

When you first see the drywall sander, it will appear like a metal detector machine. So, there’s a lot to be confused about the sander.

It is used to smoothen out drywalls and remove excess adhesives from the wall before a finished paint application. It comes with a telescopic pole that enables you to reach the walls and roof even while standing on the floor or a small stool.

10. Hand Sander

It is also a basic type of sanding tool and has a similar working technique of sandpaper. If professionals are to deal with large sanding jobs where they can possibly feel tired and stress, they will use the hand sander for the jobs.

It works slowly and has an ergonomic handle. So, you can actually observe the sanding result as you pass through different parts of the surface. Thus, the manual hand sander is an excellent alternative to power sanders that functions quickly and is more prone to mistakes.


The universe of sanders is a vast one, and you will literally find hundreds of different types of sanders. We have included only the ten varieties in the list that are used most commonly. Some other popular sanders may consist of the random orbital sander, strip sander, bow sander, and DIY toothbrush sander.

Henceforth, we recommend you to determine your work type and level of finishing you want to achieve with the sanding and then pick your best sander with urgency.

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Last Updated on September 13, 2020 by Robert Patrick

Author Profile

Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick is the Chief Editor of Tools Adventure.He spent around 25 years in the construction and woodworking industry as a professional worker.Based on his experiences with the different type of tools; he is sharing his opinion about various tools so that a beginner can get started right away.Happy reading!