12 Different Types of Sanders & Their Uses

Last Updated on October 21, 2021

Are you someone who is in a profession that includes working with wood? Or maybe you have a hobby of making things with wood? Well, if you are, then you must know that sanding is something that is extremely important for projects such as that.

There are different types of sanders you can choose from for your task. And as there are so many options available to choose from, you might need some help in finding out which tool does what. So for your benefit, we have details on all the sanders and what you might need them for.

Without further ado, let us get started!

12 Different Types of Sanders

We are going to break the 12 different sanders into a few categories so that it is easier for you to understand what each of them does.

Manual Sander

There are certain tools made for professional work, while there are others made for DIYers. The same goes for this manual sander. There are a lot of things in there do it yourself projects that need a lot of precision as well as attention to detail that is not really possible with all kinds of sanders.

As this is manual, you will have much more control over this. And for this, you have the option of picking from 4 different types of sanders.

1. Sandpapers

We have all heard of sandpapers, and it is the most basic in the sanding work. No matter what kind you end up choosing, this paper is something you will need to get the sanding work done. This is something many people prefer as this gives them the most control over their work, and therefore, allows the most accurate finish.

The only problem with using this is that it is very tiring if you want to use this for a very large job. Also, this is very time-consuming as you will be doing all the work by hand.

2. Hand Sanders

Now, a step ahead of the sanding paper is a hand sander. The process of sanding with this is pretty much the same as well, but the only difference between the two is that here you have to attach the sandpaper to the tool and use that to sand the wood. With this kind of sander, you put less stress on your hand but also get good results.

hand sanders

3. Bow Sanders

If you have ever seen a bow and arrow, then you should have an idea of how this sanding tool is going to look like. You can set up a thin strip of sandpaper to the bow and sand the object using the same motion as you might while playing the violin. Sanders, like these, are mainly used to smooth out curves.


4. Strip Sanders

This one is very similar to the hand sander, they look and work in similar ways, but the handle is designed in a different way. Rather than having a complete handle, this one actually just has two sides and nothing in the middle.

You will have to use two hands with this but will get better results with this one as you have a bit more control.

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Handheld Power Sander

Up until now, we only covered the sanders that have to be operated manually, and now we are going to move on to the power sanders. These are used for more professional jobs as they allow them to complete the task much faster than all other kinds of sanders.

These are preferred over the other sanders as you do not have to put too much effort into sanding the wood; the tool is going to do most of the work for you. Also, in the whole process, your hand is not going to get tired.

5. Detail Sanders

As the name suggests, you tend to use this tool to get to sand all the nooks and crannies. You will be able to get the final detail on the wood using this tool. The sander has a small head that moves in order to sand the item in hand.

This is not really a suitable option if you want to sand down a whole surface as that might take a very long time, but as a finishing touch to just go over the last details, this is perfect.

detail sanders

6. Palm Sanders

Most of the motorized sanders are usually big in size as the motor itself takes a lot of space and add a lot of weight. This one, however, is a size that can perfectly fit into the palm for your hand. And this, like the first one, is used to correct the finals details and smooth out the product.

However, much like the last one, you cannot use this for bigger surfaces, and this also cannot be the only sander you use as a separate one has to be used for the surface.

palm sander


7. Orbital Sanders

If you have a big piece of wood you need to work on, then this just might be the thing you are looking for. This tool has a large circular head that rotates to sand the object. It will give you a very smooth and even finish on the wood. Also, if you plan on using this, then you will not have to waste too much time, as this is pretty fast.

However, unlike the previous two, you cannot use this sander to get the final details. So, if you are trying to finesse something, then this will not work for you.

orbital sander


8. DIY Toothbrush Sanders

The name might sound a bit weird, but it perfectly defines the way this sander looks. It will seem like an electric toothbrush that has sandpaper at the head in place of the actual bristles. This is perfect for smoothening rather than sanding. But this is not really a good option if you are working on a big piece of wood.

9. Random Orbital Sanders

Sanders, like this one, are very similar to the normal orbital sanders, but the main difference between these two is the way the head rotates. The previous one can only move in a certain direction, which might leave marks on the wood, but that is not something you have to worry about if you are using this one.

Also, the movement this creates is better, and it does perform as a regular orbital sander. However, just like that one, this will not help you out if you are looking to do some detailing job. Also, this might be a little more expensive.

random orbital sanders

Bench Sanders

The previous sanders can both be used by beginners and professionals, but there are also some industrial-grade sanders that are used in large furniture-making factories or for some big projects. With these, you will get the smoothest of jobs.

10. Disc Sanders

The disc sander is very large in size, and it allows you to place the piece of wood on a table, allowing you to see the whole item at once. You will be able to shape up the piece rather than just being able to smoothen it as it uses very coarse sandpaper.

With sanders such as this, you need to put your 100% concentration on your work, and no distractions are allowed as you might hurt yourself. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that the table might work as a limitation at times as you cannot move much.

disc sanders


11. Drum Sanders

If you think the adjustment is height is something you are looking for in your sanders and are willing to invest some big bucks in order to achieve a very smooth finish on the wood, then this is something you should look into. This sander has an arm that has a sandpaper rolled onto it. The arm does most of the work with the wood.

Also, as this has a table, you will be able to make use of that, as well.

drum sanders


12. Belt Sanders

For heavy-duty woodwork, this tool is something you need to have. But if you are looking to do some small jobs, then you will not be able to make much use of this.

This works much like a disc sander, and this belt sander also is very good for shaping up the wood. The belt of the sander allows a very even and smooth work on the wood. And the only problem is the price of this product.

belt sanders


And with that, we have come to the end of this article. We very covered all the important and significant sanders you can find in the market. Hopefully, now you have a clearer image of what you want to do and which one you need to do your job.