Orbital sanders can be used for a variety of sanding and smoothing needs. These units are lightweight, easy to use and offer a swirl-free finish on surfaces like wood, metal and plastic. Read below for instructions on how to operate one for your sanding needs.
Learn the Anatomy
- Power switch – turns the unit on and off
- Housing motor – powers the sander
- Sanding pad – used to smooth or buff a surface
- Dust bag – catches the excess debris
- Battery – powers the motor
- Palm grip – offers easy handling
Learn the Basics
- Safety is key. Make sure to wear protective glasses and a dust mask when using a power sander.
- Sandpaper grits come in different varieties. The higher the number, the finer the grain particles. Sandpaper with a lower grit number will be more coarse than options with a higher value.
- Fine: 150-180 – this can be used to finish or refinish a surface
- Medium: 40-60 – this can be used to remove paint or stain from various surfaces
- Coarse: 20-36 – this is best used for removing an existing finish or smoothing a rough surface
Load the Sanding Paper
- After you’ve chosen the right grit level for your needs, load it onto the base of the sander.
- Use the fast hook and loop system to peel off and replace new pieces of sandpaper.
- Make sure the new pad is properly aligned with the base.
Turn on and Test
- Switch the unit on and perform a quick test.
- Move the sander in a circular motion along a piece of scrap board to make sure it’s working as expected for the job at hand.
Sand the Surface
- Since orbital sanders can be used with any kind of motion, sand the surface in the direction that works best with the material.
- The result will be a consistent, swirl-free finish.
Tip: Parallel sanding works best for belt and sheet sanders.
Orbital Sander Usage Tips
- Ideal for quick sanding needs, especially smooth surfaces like rough metal, wood or plastic.
- Can be used to remove paint or rust.
- Try a belt sander for bigger jobs that cover larger surfaces.
- For more delicate tasks, consider using a sheet sander instead.