Sander suggestions?

I’m about to buy a random-orbital sander to use on my canoe project. Any recommendations? Things to look for or avoid? Hook & loop vs. PSA?


– Last Updated: Feb-17-06 12:18 PM EST –

I love my Millwauki random orbital, lots of power. You can get the PSA disks on line very cheap on rolls, I get them in rolls of 100 to 150, depending on the grit. Hook and loop cost more, and I actually prefer to switch out the PSA disks during a project. When the pad gets warm they are very easy to switch.

here's a good place to get lots of pads:

I’m using the…
Porter Cable 5" variable speed ROS and really like it. The dust cannister is nice if you want to retain wood flour for fillets and such or you can hook it up to a shop vac for truly dust free operation.

I use strictly hook 'n loop pads/discs. I have two pads of different density for flat or contour work and also an interface pad that is really soft which is nice for working hull interiors, etc.

Mine is a bit over one year old now, built one stripper and several smaller projects. Still going strong.



work pretty good. I lost the random orbit after 3 boats.

Porter Cable the smoothest IMO
PSA nice as long as contact surface is vinyl, less $$ too for a roll. Little more dust though.

Get the supersoft AND hard pads.

Porter Cable333VS
I am a carpenter and do woodworking (starting a canoe!!)

I have used a 333 palm sander for about 10 years now. I love it.

I also have the PC Right Angle RO sander which is a great sander also.

Both are hook and loop.

Get quality
Quality means good sander for ~$100, good name, high power (look at the amps and compare). The quality is remembered long after the cost is forgotten. I enjoy my Bosch variable speed. Get 10 discs of each grit- 60, 80, 120, 240, and swap out when they are begin to wearout.

Hook and Loop
Holmes 375 has the answer!

I’ve had my Porter for about 6-8 years. ROS variable speed. Hook and loop allows you to change before the disc wears out, and then use it again. Not too good with PSA.

PSA is good in a production shop where you don’t change grades. It’s generally a few pennies cheaper.

Just bought a DeWalt
DeWalt single speed ROS, hook & loop and it made short work of a GP. I was going to get the Porter Cable because Lowes had a very good price on it, but I read a several less than favorable reviews and the dust canister looked a bit wimpy. I hear the Bosch is very nice.

Anyway, I’m happy with mine so far. I like the hook & loop because I do small jobs and want to be able to change easily. My only complaint is that, even though it is designed to match several sizes of shop-vacuum hoses, my Sears vac is not one of them.

I’m not sure how often I would use a lower speed so I figured going single speed was the best way to keep in budget, but the few bucks extra for the DeWalt seemed worth it.

Good luck and happy dust making.