Best Sander for Furniture Reviewed (2022 Buyer’s Guide)

Sanding woodwork furniture manually can be an incredible drag – it can get tiresome quickly and be super time consuming!

But did you know that the electric sander is the best tool to use in the majority of home projects?

I cut down my time in the workshop in half when I switch from my old sander. This opened up new opportunities in furniture making and woodworking for me. One week I got 3 projects done just like that. You can too!

If you’re looking to make DIY jobs a little easier, I’ve reviewed six of the best sanders for furniture refinishing down below. One of these could save you lots of time and much of the physical effort. Hopefully my review helps you choose the best sander for furniture refinishing!

Best 3 From The List

Ok, before we proceed with individual reviews, here’s my opinion on the best sander for furniture refreshing or wood furniture refinishing in 3 different categories Let’s take a look at my winners:

Let’s take a look at my winners:

Top Pick

Makita BO5030

My top pick, or what I consider the best sanders for furniture refinishing, are the Makita BO5030 sanders. This model can offer better than average performance in terms of both power and efficiency.

Makita BO5030

My top pick, or what I consider the best sanders for furniture refinishing, are the Makita BO5030 sanders.

This model can offer better than average performance in terms of both power and efficiency. Personally, I like the design and the powerful motor of the machine, which both facilitate longer use while minimizing arm and hand fatigue.

Features

It’s a reasonably priced power tool, offering a solid performance that would hopefully last you years. It comes with a solid speed, which is what you want if you’ll be using the machine to sand large areas.

This one could be great for medium to larger sized projects in your workspace.

Best Value

Jellas 5” Random Orbit Sander

This power tool is small, lightweight, and easy to operate. It may not have as much name recognition as some of its competitors, but I think it could be the ideal sander if you’re a homeowner on a budget.

Jellas 5” Random Orbit Sander

The Jellas is one of the best sanders for furniture refinishing on a budget. It may not have as much name recognition as some of its competitors, but I think it could be the ideal sander if you’re a homeowner on a budget.

The power tool is small and lightweight. The handle is wrapped in rubber to minimize vibration to improve your comfort.

It’s easy to operate with one hand while holding the project materials with the other. Another thing is that it comes with a cheaper protection plan than some other models, demonstrating the company’s true confidence in their product.

Best Heavy Duty

Black Decker BDEMS600

A great little finishing sander, and it should be able to reach all of those tight spaces with its small finger attachment.

Black Decker BDEMS600

One of the best heavy duty sanders for furniture restoration is the Black Decker BDEMS600. It’s a great little finishing sander, and it should be able to reach all of those tight spaces with its small finger attachment.

Black Decker is well known for their good industrial tools that have high performance.

The three position grip means this tool can be manipulated into the most difficult spaces that larger sanders simply couldn’t manage.

Top 6 Sanders For Furniture

Now that you know what the best products are in the market, let’s find out more about sanders.

Top Pick

Makita BO5030

My top pick, or what I consider the best sanders for furniture refinishing, are the Makita BO5030 sanders. This model can offer better than average performance in terms of both power and efficiency.

Makita BO5030

I love the color of this Makita. It’s a beautiful bright shade of teal that would stand out in a work room.

Makita engineered this machine with an ergonomic design, which helps to prevent fatigue after use. Additionally, it has a larger than average amp motor and therefore a much faster work speed.

Features

The Makita has a rubberized palm grip for improved operation, comfort, and control.

The large 1/8” random orbit action is for fast, super smooth sanding. Superfast action and the variable speed can be set at 4000 – 22000 opm, which is easily controlled with a dial on top of the machine.

Design

The design of this orbital finishing sander is high quality. I especially like the dust sealed rubber membrane which protects the power switch in case you accidentally knock it when in use.

The Makita wood tool comes with one disc, one dust bag, and a plastic case for carrying. The cord sits at a good length, 7 feet.

Pad Control System

There is a pad control system, allowing controlled pad speed upon start-up on the Makita.

It comes with an efficient through-the-pad dust collection system for a cleaner work environment when refinishing furniture. Something to note is that it also uses a quick change 5”, 8 hole hook and loop abrasive paper.

Specs

  • Amp: 3.0
  • Voltage: 120
  • Weight: 2.86lbs
  • Size: 15 x 7 x 10”

Pros

  • Teal color
  • Ergonomic design
  • Fast speed selection

Cons

  • The Makita dust collection system does not seem to perform well when settings are on low.

Best Value

Jellas 5” Random Orbit sander

This power tool is small, lightweight, and easy to operate. It may not have as much name recognition as some of its competitors, but I think it could be the ideal sander if you’re a homeowner on a budget.

Jellas 5” Random Orbit sander

The Jellas 5” random orbit sander is a powerhouse of a furniture sander! It features a 360° rotating base plate and 6 adjustable speeds, accessible via a dial to help you monitor exactly what the right pace is, at least according to your project.

This sheet sander can rotate and vibrate to help ensure that the sanded surface is looking natural, without leaving traces of grinding.

Inclusions

The wood tool generously comes with 18 paper pieces, which can be switched out depending on the grain paper you desire for your product. The hook and loop disc attachment contains over 35,000 long-life hooks for long-lasting grip of the disc.

Dust Bag

The electric sander has 8 vacuum holes, made to help with its highly efficient dust collector system.

The dust bag that is attachable has air permeability, which can prevent dust from entering the motor. The random orbit sander has good heat resistance and a good cooling system to prevent burn-in due to overheating when used for a long time.

Specs

  • Amp: 2.5
  • Weight: 3.1lbs
  • Size: 10 x 5 x 6

Pros

  • 6 variable speeds
  • 360° rotating sanding base plate

Cons

  • Not suitable for walls as dust from a wall is too thin to block the collecting system

Best Heavy Duty

Black Decker BDEMS600

A great little finishing sander, and it should be able to reach all of those tight spaces with its small finger attachment.

Black Decker BDEMS600

The Black and Decker BDEMS600 is a corded electric sander, and one of the best palm sanders for furniture refinishing.

There are three positions of the grip control for you to use in many different situations: the palm grip, precision, and the handle grip. The palm grip will help alleviate any fatigue during a more extensive furniture project!

Features

The compact size sling with the handle helps to maximize your control in small spaces. It’s one of the best sanders for furniture because of its finger attachment. This can be interchanged to help sand even the smallest and hard to reach places.

Hook and Loop

Like other similar models, it features a hook and loop system to help make changing the sandpaper easy. Although the detail sander motor might be small, it moves pretty quickly with 14,000 opm (orbits per minute).

Thus, it’s a powerful, heavy duty sander so you must be very careful when using it for refinishing furniture surfaces.

Dust Collection

It has been engineered with a high performance dust collection with a micro filtration, a huge plus.

This is an essential feature for a sander to have, because it can help reduce even the smallest of particles. The transparent dust canister will give you a clear visual of any dust particles so you can dispose of them.

Specs

  • Weight: 2.38lbs
  • Size: 10 x 5 x 5
  • Amp: 1. 2 amp motor

Pros

  • 14,000 opm
  • Economical
  • 2 year limited warranty.

Cons

  • Cord system needs to be close to a power outlet.

BOSCH ROS20VSK Palm Sander

The BOSCH palm sander is a corded sander featuring a variable speed control for a quality finish. It’s one of the best sanders for wood, and has a good palm grip.

BOSCH ROS20VSK Palm Sander

Features

It’s got a smooth finish, as the pad has a dampening system designed to eliminate swirl marks on both flat and contoured surfaces.

It features a ball bearing construction, a powerful motor of 2 amp, and a no load OPM of 7,500 to 12,000 opm. This means that the BOSCH is a variable speed sander and therefore could be good for various DIY tasks.

Attachment System

The disc attachment is easy with BOSCH’s signature hook and loop disc attachment system. The sanding pads stick to the hand sander, which then act like a velcro-adhesion material.

This model features a micro filter system for fine dust and trapping particles as small as 0.5micron in diameter!

Inclusions

It’s a durable and compact machine, and the dust canister shows you the dust level and easily detaches for mess-free tasks. The micro-filter actually does great work to reduce the dust.

The generous kit contains a sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter, and a hard carrying case. It can handle a little elbow grease too!

Specs

  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Size: 9 x 5 x 6”
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Amp: 2 amp motor

Pros

  • 1-year manufacturer warranty.
  • BOSCH’s easy disc attachment.

Cons

  • Corded machine, not portable, needs to be near a power outlet.

Porter Cable 20v Max Cordless Random Orbital Sander

The Porter 20V Max Random Orbit Sander is one of the cheaper cordless and best power tools for furniture projects available at the moment. The orbital finishing sander has a 2.0amp motor that is capable of 12,000 opm, a great speed!

Porter Cable 20v Max Cordless Random Orbital Sander

Features

The size of the pad is compatible with 5” 8 hole paper for easy disc changing, but you could alternatively use sticky pads if you prefer.

It has a controlled finishing system that allows pad speed control for slower startup. In general, this could minimize gouging when you’re refinishing furniture.

Grip

There are three different grip options with this hand sander, as it has a small head, a wider body, and a narrow neck. I especially like the dust protection on the on/off button, which protects the materials inside.

There is a dust extractor attachment, and also an option for a spring loaded detachable dust collection bag.

Build

It has dual counter planes inside the machine to help balance the vibrations when in use – vibration can be super fatiguing.

The 100% ball bearing construction means this product has really been built to last, but comes without the huge price tag. It has a counter balance fan inside and is nicely balanced so it won’t vibrate your hand off!

Specs

  • Amp: 2.0amp
  • Size: 8 x 6 x 6
  • Weight: 2.69lbs

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Comes with extra sanding discs

Cons

  • Battery and charger aren’t included

SKIL Corded Detail Sander

The Skil corded detail sander comes with a 3 piece sanding kit and dust box. It’s a small but powerful machine that can sand at up to 12,000 opm (orbits per minute) despite having an 1 amp motor. It’s able to deliver smooth performance over a variety of applications.

SKIL Corded Detail Sander

Features

This detail sander comes with a built-in dust micro filtration system and a 1, ¼” dust port for vacuum attachment.

This means it can be plugged into a dust bag or an extraction unit. The hook and loop system allows for simple and quick sanding sheet changes during high production heavy work.

Grip

The soft rubber grip helps it stay comfortable in your hand, while a counter weight balance reduces hand fatigue.

The easy on/off switch is dust sealed for hassle free toggling during use. It can be used as a palm finishing sander for larger areas. Or, you can use the 8 included detail attachments for those hard to reach areas, or even contoured surfaces.

Sand Pad Rotation

The detail sander has a three portion nose detail that allows you to rotate the sand pad.

Maneuvering the pad can be helpful to ensure you’re making the most of your paper during wood furniture refinishing.

Specs

  • Amp: 1
  • Size: 7 x 4 x 5
  • Weight: 2.31lbs

Pros

  • Soft grip
  • Rotating nose
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cons

  • Only one speed setting

What is a furniture sander?

Furniture Sander

A sander is a powerful tool that is used to smooth an uneven surface during furniture restoration projects.

You attack sandpaper to the sander, and the tool makes movements using its motor either in circular or back and forward to sand down the object.

Any hand sander is the perfect tool to get a seamless flat finish, splinter free, and ready to paint or wax.

There are different types of sanders, each with a host of features useful for different projects I’ll explain in detail later.

What is it used for?

You can use a sander tool for many purposes other than a furniture restoration. Other uses include:

  • Removing paint or varnish.
  • Preparing a surface for finishing.
  • Smoothing the edges of planks.
  • Removing excess material from a surface.
  • Stripping and prepping floors.

Will a sander remove paint?

Sanders are a quick way to remove paint from a furniture piece without using any nasty chemicals.

The best sander will help bring woodwork back to life and remove the outer makeup from it. To remove paint or varnish, you will need to use sandpaper with a heavier grit and a sander with faster OPM.

NOTE

If you think the paint you want to remove might contain lead, you should call a professional, as using a home sander is not safe for this type of paint.

Why get a furniture sander?

An important part of working with woodwork or refurbishing a piece of furniture is sanding. You want projects to come out smooth and pleasing to the eye, and for this you’ll definitely need a sander.

TIP

If you are considering painting your furniture, a clean and well sanded surface is going to hold paint on much longer than if you didn’t prep the surface at all.

Things to consider when getting a furniture sander

Person Using a Sander
Person Using a Sander

Like all potential purchases, there is always a list of things to consider first. I’ve compiled my list of top things to consider so you don’t miss anything.

Price

You’ll probably have a budget when it comes to buying a sander, that is, unless you have an infinite amount of money!

The price of an electric sander for a furniture piece will vary depending on the type of the sander and the brand.

To make the best decision, do a needs analysis to see which products are most suitable for you in your price range.

Purpose

You will essentially need to decide what you want from your sander. Some good questions to cover are: What does the furniture look like? Do you need to reach small areas? Will you be sanding on the grain? And does that matter? How often will you be using the machine?

All these questions can factor into you selecting the sander tool that’s most suitable for your furniture.

Not all machines will sand back and forth, and not all will be able to reach small spaces.

Warranty

As with any electrical product, you want to check that if any malfunctions should happen during a project, you’re backed up by a warranty.

Most of the sanders I reviewed are covered with at least 1 year limited warranty. If this is not enough, taking out insurance is always an option.

Size

Every sander comes in a different size, and with different head types.

The heads all have different widths too, so it’s important to consider what project you will be using the sander for now and in the future.

Ergonomic comfort

Holding onto your sander in a safe and controllable way is a vital element. Power sanders can be heavy in vibration amount, while small detail sanders need more precise control to avoid damaging the wood.

Soft grips in general make the sander easier to hold and control.

Power source

Sanders can be corded or run on rechargeable batteries.

If you’re looking at a corded sander, definitely make sure the length is enough to reach from power outlet to workspace.

Features that are included with sanders

Sander Pointed at a Wall
Sander Pointed at a Wall

Speed

Most electric sanders have variable speed motor controls that allow you to run at slow speeds.

Some sanders have throttle controls that allow you to adjust the speed while working. Others have a select switch that varies from one to nine.

Dust reduction

Creating dust when working with a piece of furniture is unavoidable, but most sanders have built-in dust systems compatible with shop vacs, or other times have external dust collection systems.

If it has a dust collector attachment, check that it has a big enough capacity for the type of work you’ll be doing.

Type of sanders

There are different types of sanders suitable for different needs.

Knowing which one to use for your application can make all the difference in the finished look of your furniture.

Random orbital sander

Random orbital sanders are versatile sanders for most home furniture refinishing projects. While the vibration can be tiring after long periods of use, they avoid leaving gouges and grooves in the wood on a project. An orbital sander makes the sandpaper move in a circular motion and vibrate in addition.

Without a doubt, an orbital sander is the best and most common sander that we see in homes today.

Detail sander

Detail sanders are also known as mouse sanders, and they move in a straight motion back and forth.

This enables you to use the sander with the grain of wood and not against the grain like in an orbital sander. These are a good option when wanting to fine finish, especially if you plan to stain your furniture.

Here’s a quick video review of the Black and Decker Detailed Mouse Sander featured in the list.

Mouse Detail Sande by Black+Decker Review

Palm sander

A palm sander or a finishing sander for furniture is ideal for lightly working an area that’s previously been painted or varnished. They’re useful to give your furniture a rustic shabby chic look.

You can use a sandpaper that is between 10 and 220 grit with a palm sander for the best results and a heavier grit.

Belt sander

Belt sanders are hand held tools that have sandpaper – well, actually a continuous loop of sandpaper attached to its belt.

They’re really useful for tough surfaces. Jobs that need one of these are usually two handed operations.

What type of sander should I get?

You should do a needs assessment to analyze what you will be using the sander on for now, and also in the future, that’s truly the only way to find the best sander for furniture you own or plan to make.

For a large area or floor space, a belt sander would be the best option but wouldn’t be great to use on inside corners of a table or finer details. Orbital sanders are the most common and multi-purpose sanders around right now.

Conclusion

Understanding how to use a sander can give you the option to re-use, revamp and refresh your furniture again and again. They’re great tools to help with finishing work on your furniture. Just to recap, the best sanders for furniture are as follows:

Top Pick

Top pick is Makita BO5030 sander, which is good for medium to large size smooth finishes and can offer strong performance for years.

Best Value

Best value is the Jellas, a small lightweight sander that features a light, easy to carry handle.

Heavy Duty Sander

The best heavy duty sander is the Black Decker BDEMS600. It comes with lots of cool features like the finger attachment, and would be suitable for small fine sanding work as well as medium sized pieces.

All of the best sanders here would make good choices for you to use at home. I hope you have a better idea of what type of sander you’ll need for your furniture after reading this piece. Happy sanding!

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Kris Daub
Kris Daub
[email protected] byCurated I'm a maker at heart! I love to create and tech others to create. I particularly sewing and hand crafts like ebroidery. I also love larger home decorating projects. ✂️ 🧵