Pick up tips on selecting the right sandpaper and sander for the job. Learn about using and maintaining random-orbit sanders, orbital sanders, belt sanders, disc sanders, and drum sanders.

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Random-Orbit Sander vs. Orbital Finishing Sanders
For this article, we'll focus on the most popular classes of both types: 5" random-orbit and quarter-sheet orbital finishing sanders.
Portable Drum Sander
Drum-sand curved edges quickly and accurately with this super-simple jig.
"Moderation in all things" applies to sanding, too
Some sources recommend sanding wood only to 220 grit. Why not keep going with finer grits and make the surface even smoother?
Belt It Out: 5 Shop-Tested Belt Sanders
When you need a tool to remove material in a hurry—smoothing glued-up panels or rough-sawn boards, for example—few tools beat a belt sander. In our experience, a sander that weighs 9–10 pounds, provides the best control without being too heavy. We tested nine models and recommend these.
Get the Right-size Random-orbit Sander
Can’t decide between a 5" and 6" model? Here’s what each does best.
Do sander holes reflect performance?
Doesn’t it stand to reason that a larger sander—which removes more material—would need more holes to suck up the dust?

More Sanders

12" Disc Sanders
These benchtop beasts bring both muscle and finesse to sanding chores.
5" Random-orbit sanders
These tools make quick work (in most cases) of removing milling marks and getting workpieces ready for finish.
What's causing my belt-sander belts to break?

I recently bought a new belt sander and new belts. Four of those, fractured at the seam. Could heat and humidity cause these failures?