Best Sander for Refinishing Furniture

best sander for refinishing furniture

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Editor's Choice: 3 Best Sander for Deck Refinishing

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Black and Decker Sander BDERO100 120 Volts

Remove the old finish from a piece of furniture in just minutes using 40-60 grit sandpaper.

Pad Size: 5-Inch
Power Source: Electric
Weight: 3.15 lb
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Makita Finishing Sander BO4900V 120 Volts

Offers an integrated dust collection system for keeping your work area nice and clean.

Pad Size: 4-1/2"x9"
Power Source: Electric
Weight: 5.94 lb
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Makita Sander BO5041 3-Amp 110 Volts

Offers a powerful 3-Amp motor with sealed ball-bearing construction for a much longer sander life.

Pad Size: 5-Inch
Power Source: Electric
Weight: 2.1 lb

10 Best Sander for Furniture Reviews: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Sometimes a piece of furniture (new or antique) might require refinishing. Naturally, you want the process to go smoothly. So, getting good results will require the best sander for refinishing furniture. It should be complete with all the features that you require for completing your project.

There are, of course, many sanders on the market today. Most of them are either high-quality or low-quality. So, how do you know whether a sander is a good one before you buy it? Well, normally you would check the price and the manufacturer to see which ones are the best. However, when it comes to finding the best sander for furniture, proceed with caution. You could still end up buying a low-quality sander and damaging your piece of furniture.

Quick Comparison of 10 Best Sander for Refinishing Furniture

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
Black & Decker Sander BDERO100

Black & Decker Sander BDERO100

Weight:  3.15 pounds
Material:  Plastic
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  7 x 5 x 6 inches
Warranty:  2 year limited warranty
Price
Makita Finishing Sander BO4900V

Makita Finishing Sander BO4900V

Weight:  5.94 pounds
Material:  Plastic/Metal
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  14.96 x 9.06 x 5.51 inches
Warranty:  1 year limited warranty
Price
Makita Random Orbit Sander

Makita Random Orbit Sander

Weight:  2.1 pounds
Material:  Plastic
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  10.8 x 4.8 x 6 inches
Warranty:  1 year limited warranty
Price
Dewalt Cordless Sander DCW210B

Dewalt Cordless Sander DCW210B

Weight:  16 ounces
Material:  Composite
Power Source:  Battery Powered
Product Dimensions:  8.8 x 5.7 x 6.3 inches
Warranty:  3 year limited warranty
Price
Dewalt Random Orbital Sander

Dewalt Random Orbital Sander

Weight:  4 pounds
Material:  Stainless Steel
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  10.38 x 7.25 x 6.18 inches
Warranty:  3 year limited warranty
Price
Wen Spindle Sander 6510T

Wen Spindle Sander 6510T

Weight:  30.2 pounds
Material:  Stainless Steel
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  20.3 x 15.5 x 24 inches
Warranty:  2 year limited warranty
Price
Skil Sander SR660302 5-Inch

Skil Sander SR660302 5-Inch

Weight:  5.25 pounds
Material:  Plastic
Power Source:  Battery Powered
Product Dimensions:  6.3 x 5.94 x 8.39 inches
Warranty:  5 year limited warranty
Price
Bosch Finishing Sander GSS20-40

Bosch Finishing Sander GSS20-40

Weight:  2.7 pounds
Material:  Plastic/Metal
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  8.66 x 5.69 x 6.68 inches
Warranty:  1 year limited warranty
Price
Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander

Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander

Weight:  6 pounds
Material:  Plastic
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  11.5 x 10.5 x 6 inches
Warranty:  1 year limited warranty
Price
TACKLIFE Detail Sander

TACKLIFE Detail Sander

Weight:  2.74 pounds
Material:  Plastic
Power Source:  Corded Electric
Product Dimensions:  8.9 x 4 x 5.9 inches
Warranty:  1 year limited warranty
Price

Top Rated 10 Best Palm Sanders Detail Review

The best way of knowing what is the best sander for wood is by checking the product reviews. That’s why we put together a list of the top ten best sanders for refinishing furniture. They all have different features. However, all of them have something in common. They’re all high-quality tools. Our guide is the ultimate handbook for finding the best sander for refinishing furniture. So, to find out which are the best, keep reading and we’ll help you to make the best buying decision:

1. Black and Decker Random Orbital Sander BDERO100 5-Inch

Black and Decker Random Orbital Sander BDERO100

Style: Sander
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • Random orbital action for no unsightly swirls
  • A hook and loop system that offers quick and easy paper changes
  • A dust-sealed switch that keeps all of the dust out
  • Uses a 120-volt corded electric power source

This sander is from trusted name brand, Black & Decker and offers both a high-quality finish and a high removal rate. It can remove the old finish from a piece of furniture in just minutes using 40-60 grit sandpaper. It also offers a dust sealed switch for keeping all of the dust and debris out.

What We Liked about Black and Decker:

What Needs to Improve:

2. Makita Finishing Sander BO4900V 120 Volts Corded Electric

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Style: Sander-Tool only
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • Variable speed-control dial goes from 4,000 – 10,000 OPM
  • You can use either 4-1/2 inch x 11 inches half sheet sandpaper or 4-1/2 inch x 9-inch hook-and-loop.
  • Easily hooks up to your vacuum hose for dust collection
  • Larger trigger switch provides smooth, easy operation
  • Ergonomic contoured grip offers multiple hand placements
  • Uses a 120-volt corded electric power source
  • Offers 2.9 Amps and 330 watts

This Makita sander offers an integrated dust collection system for keeping your work area nice and clean. It can easily be hooked up to your vacuum hose for even better dust collection. It also has a large trigger switch for smooth and easy operation. And, the ergonomically designed grip is contoured, making it easy to hold at any angle with less fatigue.

What We Liked about Makita BO4900V:

What Needs to Improve:

3. Makita Random Orbit Sander BO5041 3-Amp 4000-12000 OPM D-Handle 5-Inch

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Style: Sander-Tool only
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • The power source is corded electric 110 Volts
  • Variable speed control (4,000-12,000 OPM) for matching your sanding speed to the specific application
  • Fast and extremely smooth sanding with a 3-Amp motor
  • Comfortable ergonomic rubberized grip
  • Uses convenient quick-change eight-hole hook-and-loop five-inch abrasive discs
  • Combines plenty of power, good performance, and fast speed

This Makita sander offers a very powerful three-Amp motor with sealed ball-bearing construction for a much longer sander life. And, if you’re looking for speed, this Makita model lets you change the speed to match the project you’re working on from 4,000 to 12,000 OPM. It also offers a pad control system and adjustable front handle for easily sanding in hard-to-reach areas. The grip is rubberized and quite comfortable for easier control.

What We Liked about Makita BO5041:

What Needs to Improve:

4. Dewalt Cordless Orbital Sander DCW210B 20V MAX

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Style: Sander
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander provides both good power and longer runtime for getting the job done.
  • It offers variable speeds for matching the right speed to all wood furniture refinishing applications.
  • It also offers a lower height for getting closer to any work surface for more control
  • The brushless motor delivers a much longer run time than many sanders
  • It’s also 20-volt battery-powered for cordless sanding.

This is a 20V XR Brushless five inch sander that’s also conveniently cordless. It has a variable-speed dial for better speed control from 8,000 OPM to 12,000 OPM. This makes it a suitable sander for all kinds of projects. It also offers a one-handed locking dust bag for keeping your work area nice and clean. And, the texturized rubber grip means more comfortable sanding.

What We Liked about Dewalt DCW210B:

What Needs to Improve:

5. Dewalt Random Orbital Sander DWE6421K 5-Inch

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Style: Sander
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander’s powerful motor delivers 14,000 OPM
  • The special dust-port system connects to a shop vac
  • It also offers reduced vibrations for easier sanding
  • The rubber dust boot protects the switch buttons from dust and debris

This Dewalt sander offers a powerful 2.3-Amp motor for delivering 14,000 OPM. It’s often used for expert furniture refinishing, especially when sanding older wood. The overall height of this model has been reduced for getting closer to your work. Anf, the counterweight has also been separated for reducing the vibrations. One of the best features of this sander is the dust-port system for connecting to a vacuum cleaner for getting rid of all that dust much faster.

What We Liked about Dewalt DWE6421K:

What Needs to Improve:

6. Wen 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander 6510T 3.5 Amp

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Style: Stationary Table
Power Source: Corded Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander’s powerful motor provides 58 OPM and 2000 RPM
  • It offers onboard storage for all of the accessories
  • It has a dust collection port
  • It also works with six sanding sleeve sizes
  • It has five rubber drum spindles

This spindle sander can simplify the task of sanding curves and contours. And, the quiet 3.5 Amp 1/2HP motor with a 5/8 inch stroke can deliver 2000 rotations and 58 oscillations per minute. You can also keep your work area cleaner and dust-free with the convenient 1.5 inch dust port for attaching a dust collection system.

What We Liked about Wen 6510:

What Needs to Improve:

7. PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Skil Orbital Sander SR660302 5-Inch

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Style: Sander Kit
Power Source: Battery
Battery Included: Yes

Major Features
  • The micro-filtration dust canister delivers a much cleaner dust-free work area.
  • The on/off switch is dust-sealed to extend sander’s life.
  • This sander’s quick and easy sandpaper change-out won’t slow you down.
  • It also offers a longer battery life and better run time
  • It has a USB port for convenient power-on-the-go
  • This sander charges in just five minutes

This 20V orbital sander offers powerful performance with a digital brushless motor. It also delivers up to 11, 000 RPM. The variable speed control makes it easy to handle any furniture refinishing project that requires smooth sanding. It’s also cordless and simultaneously vibrates and spins. This eliminates scratches and swirls that some sanders might leave behind.

What We Liked about PWRCore SR660302:

What Needs to Improve:

8. Bosch Orbital Sander GSS20-40 120 Volts 1/4-Sheet

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Style: Sander Kit
Power Source: Corded-Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander has a powerful 2-Amp motor
  • It also offers an efficient dust-collector system for a cleaner work area
  • It operates with reduced vibration
  • The soft grip provides both better control and longer life

This Bosch GSS20-40 is a very powerful sander with a 2-Amp motor delivering 12,000 OPM. When it comes to furniture refinishing, it’s both efficient and quite helpful. The aluminum sanding plate delivers more uniform sanding and perfect refinishing quality. It also comes equipped with a dust collector system that’s efficient at collecting almost everything. It’ offers flush-sanding and that means that you can use it for a variety of different projects as well.

What We Liked about Bosch GSS20-40:

What Needs to Improve:

9. Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander 7346SP 6-Inch Polishing Pad

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Style: Sander
Power Source: Corded-Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander has a large 4.5 Amp motor for better overload protection
  • It offers a variable-speed dial for providing from 2,500 OPM to 6,800 OPM
  • It provides random orbit, swirl-free sanding/polishing action
  • It also includes a 6-inch counter balance for using with a 6-inch sanding pad
  • This sander also features a two-position removable handle for better control and comfort
  • It also offers special ball and roller bearing construction
  • It has a compact and lightweight design
  • It uses a 120-volt corded electric power source

This 6-inch orbital sander offers a larger 4.5 Amp motor than many sanders. It also has a 6-inch polishing pad, and a sanding disc, In addition, it includes a proprietary counter balance and a removable two-position side handle for both better user control and comfort, which is important for refinishing furniture.

What We Liked about Porter-Cable 7346S:

What Needs to Improve:

10. TACKLIFE Classic Mouse 12,000 OPM Detail Sander (PMS01A)

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Style: Sander
Power Source: Corded-Electric
Battery Required: No

Major Features
  • This sander offers 1.1 Amps of sanding power
  • It runs at 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM)
  • It also includes a long 9.8-foot power cord for easy sanding without restrictions
  • The dust collection box keeps your work area clean and free of sawdust
  • The classic mouse design makes it the best detail sander
  • It’s also durable, sturdy, and stable

This is a mouse detail sander featuring a 1.1 Amp motor that provides 12,000 orbits per minute. A high-performance dust collection with micro-filtration ensures a nice tidy and dust-free workspace. The handle is covered with soft rubber for a firm and comfortable grip. And, the compact and lightweight body gets into hard-to-reach places.

What We Liked about TACKLIFE PMS01A:

What Needs to Improve:

Buyer's Guide - What to Look for before Buying the Best Hand Sander

There are a number of different ways for refinishing wood furniture. There are actually several main types of wood sanders, each having its own specialized purpose in the wide world of sanding. However, in many cases, their purposes are overlapping and one type of sander is capable of doing the same wood finishing work as another. If you’re using a power sander for a furniture refinishing project, then you should know something about the features of the many different types of sanders, including:

1. Detail Sanders – These are triangular-shaped sander. They’re perfect for reaching difficult angles that aren’t easy to reach with other sanders or even manually. They work well, especially on furniture with carved detail.

2. Orbit Sanders (aka Random Orbital Sanders) – These are good for multitasking. You can use them for sanding almost anything. With their circular pads, you can easily move in any direction. If you were to ask any experienced woodworker which electric sander he would choose if he could only have one, he would probably tell you that it’s a random orbital sander. That’s because they’re so versatile. They don’t remove wood as savagely as belt sanders, however they can successfully polish a woodworking piece to almost the same gleaming condition as fine finishing sanders. These sanders are close cousins to orbital finishing sanders but with two distinct differences. While regular quarter-sheet stock sanders are known for sanding in a predictable pattern, random orbital sanders are known for oscillating in a completely non-predictable random motion. The beauty of this type of sander is that it virtually leaves no visible scratch marks, which happen to be the common signature of other orbital sanders.

3. Palm Sanders (aka Finishing Sanders) – These are the sanders that you need for wood furniture refinishing. They are a combination of orbit and detail type sanders. So, they offer all the combined advantages without the disadvantages. They can reach corners (i.e. like detail sanders). And, their larger pads mean that you can complete your refinishing project faster.

4. Belt Sanders – These sanders are quite heavy duty and can even take off by themselves across the surface you are trying to sand if left unattended even for a minute. It’s a great sander for toning your abs but not necessarily for normal furniture refinishing. Most DIYer use them mainly for much bigger jobs like dressers or tables with a great deal of thick paint or heavy varnish on them. They’re good for that purpose, especially when you’re trying to bring the finish back to the raw wood underneath. A belt sander can be a highly effective tool when you need to remove the wood’s roughness and prepare any woodwork before using a less aggressive tool, like a random orbit sander or a finishing sander. Be sure to bear in mind, however, that you must be belt-sanding with the wood grain and not across it. Otherwise, the lateral action of the belt sander could ruin your piece of furniture.

5. Disc Sanders – Disc sanders have a wide range of furniture refinishing uses. There are a number of different models and configurations, however, all of them have one common denominator. That is their disc-shaped abrasive surfaces that give the sander a very distinctive look.The fact is that random orbital sanders are also disc sanders, but not all of the disc sanders on the market today are capable of random orbital motion. Some will have sanding faces that are non-orbital and spin in a fixed motion. These types of sanders work best for rougher applications where a great deal of material needs to be removed prior to moving on to finer surfaces. The ability to strip paint from old furniture pieces is a perfect example of what a disc does quite well. In addition, they can get into tough places where a belt sander can’t.

What You Need to Know When Buying This Type of Product

1. Speed – This is one of the most important things when choosing between sanders. The speed of all sanders are measured with OPMs. The more OPMs that any sander has. the faster it will be. If you’re working with old wood, then you need a fast sander. In general, the best sanders allow you to adjust your speed so that it can be used for all kinds of different projects.

2. Ergonomics – If you’re trying to choose the best palm sander, then it should fit your palm comfortably. So, prior to purchasing any sander, check to see if it will fit your hand or not. If it doesn’t, you’ll end up returning it because it’s too hard to control.

3. Power & Vibration – The best sanders are powerful but don’t vibrate too much. When it comes to refinishing you don’t need a lot of power unless you want to remove a lot of material, which I don’t think that that’s a good idea. But you do need a sander that doesn’t vibrate too much because sanding takes a lot of time, you need to be focused and you need to hold and control the sander all the time. The less the vibration, the easier for you to control and hold the tool.

4. Safety – It doesn’t matter if you are using a sander or any other tool, safety comes first even if you are an experienced DIY. Before buying a tool make sure to check if it has all the things you need to keep yourself safe. For sanders make sure to check if it has: pad brakes, ergonomic handles, and a dust collection system.

5. Dust Collection – Every sander should have a dust collector bag if it doesn’t then don’t spend your money on it. Sawdust can bring you breathing complications and other health problems. While sanding, especially while sanding old wood a lot of sawdust will be produced. That’s why you need a sander that has a system that will get rid of the dust. Most palm sanders have an option that allows you to connect your vacuum cleaner to the sander and that will prevent the dust from making a huge mess.

6. Grit Rating – As you may know, you need sandpaper in order to sand something. You should make sure to check if the sander you are buying can fit the sandpaper you already own. If it doesn’t then you need to buy new sandpaper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are answers to some of the most common questions potential sander buyers may have regarding sanders.

Can you use sanders for furniture refinishing?

Yes, sanders are power tools used for smoothing uneven surfaces. A piece of sandpaper is attached to the disc on the sander.

The disc moves for sanding the object. So, basically sanders do the same thing that you would be doing manually only faster and better.

Is a best sander for refinishing furniture battery or electric-powered?
High-quality sanders can either be battery-powered or electric-powered.
How many switches do most sanders have?

They usually only have one and that’s the ON/OFF Switch.

What sander works for all kinds of projects?

There are many different types of sanders that are used for different projects.

Do sander packages come with anything besides the sander?

That depends on the manufacturer and the model. Many of them come complete with a sander and dust bag.

Prior to buying one, be sure to check all of the reviews like ours above. Then, check the package details so you’re aware of what you’re getting before you buy. Consider buying one of our ten choices for the best sander for wood.

What speed should sanders have for proper furniture refinishing?

We recommend sanders that allow you to adjust their speed. If you buy one that doesn’t, then we recommend using speed from 8,000 OPM to 14,000 OPM. Of course, the speed also depends on how old and difficult the sanding job is.

Do you really need a power sander for furniture refinishing?

If you’re going to sand and refinish any furniture, what you need is the best hand sander for the job. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an expert DIYer or just a beginner, choosing the best sander for wood isn’t always a simple task.

After all, you can’t just run around all of your local home improvement stores for shopping. All you’ll end up doing is picking one and then hoping that it will be well-suited to the job you have planned.

What’s the best type of sander for sanding with the wood grain?

When and why do you need to use the best detail sander (aka mouse sander) is a question that many DIYers are asking. 

This type of sander will move back and forth in a straight line rather than in a circular pattern. This means that you can use it going with the grain of the wood rather than against it as with orbital sanders.

That’s why it’s perfect for using when doing fine finishing. This is especially true when you’re planning to use stain on a piece of furniture. An orbital sander will leave circles that the stain will get stuck in, leading to a bad staining job.

Do you need to use a sander before painting a piece of furniture?

A number of furniture paints that are on the market today are claiming to be “no prep”. They may be but only to a certain extent. However, there can be a variety of surfaces on any furniture piece, especially after many years.

Having a nice clean, well-sanded surface will help it to hold any paint that you apply for much longer than it would without prepping the surface. After all, you don’t want to go back, start all over, and repaint it again after all that hard work.

A little prep work with the best sander for removing paint will make all the difference in the world and give you a much nicer piece of furniture for your home.

Do I need to wear a mask when using any of the sanders reviewed here?

Much of that wood dust from your sanding jobs becomes airborne, so it’s always a smart move to be wearing a particle mask while you’re working on any furniture refinishing job, whether you’re using the best disc sander or tackling a really big job and using the best sander for a deck.

Final Thoughts

The above ten sanders are, in our opinion, the very best sanders on the market today for furniture refinishing. They offer you the best size, shape, and weight for the job, whether you’re in need of the best sander for cabinets or even the best sander for deck refinishing. You’ll find that you can get beautiful professional-looking results without having to break the bank.

We know that learning how to purchase the best sander for refinishing furniture may not always be easy, but hopefully, we’ve made it a bit easier for you with our ten reviews. Remember, before you buy any sander, even one of the sanders that we’ve listed here, just make sure that you’ve checked the power and speed to see if it’s going to suit your needs, whether they may be the best palm sander or the best finishing sander. All of the products reviewed here are high-quality sanders and they will do a good job when it comes to refinishing your furniture.
All kinds of mistakes have been made by many DIYers when they were learning the fine art of sanding. They can include small to large gouges in the wood and other marks that show up even more when the piece is stained. You don;t want to have to sand your piece of furniture all the way back down again if it’s really noticeable to the naked eye. So, the key here is practice, practice, practice. Get an old piece of scrap wood and try out your new sander on it until you have the expertise to start on that furniture that you don’t want to ruin. And, be sure to consider one of the ten sanders that we have reviewed for you to ensure that you’re using the right tool for the job.

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