Help Choosing Electric Sander

I want to buy a sander for various projects around the house, and maybe to sand down some oak table tops that the kids have damaged.
What is the difference between a DeWalt 1/4 sheet palm sander for about $50, and their random orbital palm sander, which appears to use round disks, and costs $20 more?
I have no problem spending another $20, I am just wondering if one is better suited to a particular use.
Thanks for any replies.
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ROS it is, then. Thanks for the info.
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As long as we're on the topic. My 10 year old Makita 5" ROS is going on the fritz. I will have to replace it soon.
Although I have been pleased with the makita, I would consider other models. I like the palm-grip stype and I want to stay with hook & loop.
Is there a consensus on on " best of breed" for 5" H&L palm-style (not D-handle) ROS's
Thanks,
Steve

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Doubtful. My kid swears by the PC I got him, whereas I still use my Bosch. Of course I have a couple of "D" handled Bosch sanders too, and they're great on larger surfaces .
With the skirt and a vac, they're as close to dustless as I get.

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I added a Boch ROS too complement the DeWalt. The Boch is a variable speed unit. What ever brand you buy I highly recommend the variable speed option for the versatility it gives.
-- Mike G. snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net Heirloom Woods www.heirloom-woods.net

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On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 09:51:00 -0400, "Mike G"

Where does the variable speed come in handy i.e., under what circumstance is it helpful to slow a ROS down?
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jvogel20_remove_this snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

Smaller grit ( >180 ) = higher speed. In between = in between :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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AAnd some use slower speeds for finishing pads.
On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 09:23:35 -0700, Larry Blanchard

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In non specific terms
On one end of the scale I can really hog off material when needed, in the middle I can do a credible job of sanding between coats of finish and pick a speed that works well with that particular finish, and, at the other end, I can use the machine in most of the rubbing out process.
-- Mike G. snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net Heirloom Woods www.heirloom-woods.net
wrote:

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