I'm planning to buy my first electrical sander. I need to sand for finishing
some particleboard with sealer and lacquer. I'm concerned about the fact
that teoretically I'll need to do the paint-sand-repaint process many times.
Then which kind of sander I need for this? Orbital? I've seen some
(orbital?) sanders that are labeled "finishing sander" or something alike.
Which is the difference? How many sanders I'll need? Consider I really don't
like to sand by hand...
Thanks in advance
Random orbital! I hate sanding and sanders but these are actually pretty
cool. I have the variable speed PC but I'm not really sure the variable
speed makes much difference. My girlfriend was hogging it to work on her
deck so I talked her into a large one and it's sweet too.
I have a box full of sanders. If I were to limit that to one I would choose
the random orbit sander, which _is_not_ the same as an orbital sander.
That's what they used to call those crappy things Sears sold (and may still
sell). The random orbit will do a wider range of sanding than any other I
have found. I also have a finish sander and use it quite often but it will
not do rougher sanding as a random orbit sander will. With fine sandpaper a
random orbit will do almost as good of finish sanding as a finish sander
will. And, you can get away with one.
If you are talking about sanding between coats, then hand sand with a
sanding block. Hand sanding is a fact of life. Especially when finishing,
you better learn to love it now because there are lots of jobs a power
sander won't do (corners, inside edges, etc.). I never use power sander
between coats. It is too easy to sand right through.
Bring on the flames...
If you're doing lots of large surface areas (sheet stock), or aggressive
sanding, then I agree with the other posters - start with a random orbit.
However, I personally find that I reach for my trusty DeWalt finish
sander more often than my random orbit (PC). Why?
- It's much more controllable, and hence does a better job, with narrow
pieces, near edges, etc. The RO is much more aggressive, often too much so.
- It can get into corners because the pad is square. The RO can't.
- It can get right up to an inside edge without damaging the adjoining
surface. The RO has a tendency to gouge into the adjacent surface, no
matter how careful you think you are.
- It uses regular paper (quarter sheets) which is easily mounted with 2
clips. I always have a good stock of regular paper on hand, I can
change it in seconds, and it's easy to reuse sheets that weren't used
up. My RO uses hook and loop, but I find that after being put on & off
about twice, it won't stay on reliably. Plus it's much more expensive.
I used the DeWalt for years before getting the RO. It's just more
comfortable in my hand, and it's the one I'd choose if I could have only
one. That said, I really like the RO for large, flat surfaces, and for
aggressive sanding where a belt sander is not suitable.
Long term you'll probably want both, plus a belt sander.
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