best type of sander for furniture

What Is The Best Sander to Use for Refinishing Furniture?

There are a number of different ways of 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:

Detail Sanders (aka Mouse Sanders)

mouse sanderThese are triangular-shaped sanders. 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.

Orbit Sanders (aka Random Orbital Sanders)

orbital sanderThese 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 an 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.

Palm Sanders (aka Finishing Sanders)

Plam sanderThese are the sanders that you need for the wooden furniture refinishing project. 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.

Belt Sanders

belt sanderThese 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.

Disc Sanders

What Is The Best Type of Sander for Furniture Refinishing? 1Disc 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.

Before buying the best type of electric sander for furniture

Take a closer look at the below consideration that you should remember when buying a sander for removing wood.


As a rule of thumb, the faster the sander, the better the sanding operation. Thus you need to pay adequate attention to the speed of the sander before buying it. You should also look out for the ease with which you can change the speed of the sander. This will ensure optimum control and result in a clean and perfect paint removal job.


This is another important feature that you must check before buying a sander. Remember what we said about the speed? The power of the sander determines how fast the sander goes. Thus, a sander with high power will give a fast sanding operation.

Thus, it is safe to go for the sander with maximum power when getting a sander for either business or personal use.


The grip of a sander determines two things about the use of the sander. They are comfortable and efficient. It helps you work safely and efficiently when the sander’s grip (or any power tool, for that matter) is good.

Thus, look out for the sander’s grip and ensure that it has an ergonomic design or at least a design that allows you to work without danger.

Dust Collection

One thing is sure when you sand surface, you create loads of dirt and mess. However, with advanced technology, you can now sand with little or no dust. This is due to the dust collection feature of most sanders.

However, some sanders do not have a dust collection system. Hence, make sure that the sander you are getting has a suitable dust collection system. This will ensure that you have little or no cleanup to do after sanding.