How to Use an Orbital Sander

How to Use an Orbital Sander – DIY Guide

An orbital sander is a stable and versatile tool used to smoothen and create a scratch-free finish on most projects. Whether using wood, plastics, or metals in your workshop, this tool plays a significant role in ensuring your finish is incredibly smooth.

This tool’s application is more diverse, from the oscillating sanders to the current random orbital sander. The random orbital sander is the new model and was modified from the previous disc sander. Just like other tools, you should be able to know how to use this tool well to get better results.

How to Use an Orbital Sander


Start by making sure you have got the appropriate gear on for the task at hand. Proceed to check your work environment and the tools you are to use, that is the orbital sander. For the orbital sander, please turn it on and let it speed up to get ready for use.

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Using the Orbital Sander to Sand a Surface

After the orbital sander is on, bring in into contact with the surface to be sanded. Make sure that no part of the sander goes over the same part twice. This action will ensure that the orbital sander doesn’t leave swirl marks. Also, be keen as to the direction of the grain as this may affect the finished item.

While sanding, make sure not to tip the edge of the orbital sander as this may cause unevenness on the surface of the material. Also, while sanding, perform a precise check to ensure the evenness of your surface. You could do this using a tool such as a framing square.

Sanding ensures that the sander stays in contact and doesn’t leave at least 1/4 of the material’s surface. Take great care while sanding not to put too much pressure on the sander, as this may damage it. Apply a light hand and let the sander’s weight only rest on the surface of the material.

Handling the Orbital Sander

Sure orbital sander comes with different modes of dust collection. Ensure to use this function properly. For those that have a collection bag, ensure it is properly fitted and connected. Those that have got a hose attached to a dust collection system ensure the discharge bag or canister is well set up.

Some orbital sander may also have a ventilation system, ensure that it is well looked after to bring about overheating of the sander.

When through with sanding, lift of the orbital sander and turn it off away from the surface. This is because it continues spinning and ensuring no unevenness, let it go off away from the surface and finally make it turn till it stops.

Point to note is that when placing the sanding paper disks, ensure the proper clamp of the sandpaper disks in place before using the sander. Also, the choice of the sandpaper should be regarding the task you are about to undertake.

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Maintaining the Orbital Sander

Make sure to clean the tool after finishing the job. Discharge waste that was generated from the undertaking clean your environment and store your sander correctly.

For any complicated objectives, the user manual will always come in handy. The orbital sander isn’t that hard to use, but care and consideration should be taken when operating the power tool. This is because, with a new sandpaper disk, the execution is sharper as compared to a used disk.

It is better to discuss an expert for any repairs if you do not get a clear understanding of the manual.

What does the Random Orbital Sander entail?

This type of orbital sander circularly moves its sanding media and moves the whole pad around the center of the center in an orbital manner. This tool you have to keep the sanding particles from making contact with the same section of the project you are working on. This will and up, resulting in a more uniform finish.

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How to use a random orbital sander ideally?

There are some points you have to keep in mind for you to use an orbital sander correctly. After you turn on the sander, you should always allow it to spin up until it attains the optimum speed before making contact with your project. When using it, remember to move the sander in the direction of the grain using the left-right action.

Allow it for sanding without pressing it down to get the best results. When attacking the low spots, ensure that you do not tip the orbital sander. Also, ensure that the sanding pad is 1/3 to 1/4 above the wood surface for better results.

How to remove the stock uniformly?

Most people make mistakes doing this wrong. If you are on a project like a tabletop or a door, you don’t have to start sanding without actually knowing the amount of wood you are supposed to remove. Ensure that you mark it with a pencil before you begin and save yourself from frustration.

How efficient is the orbital sander?

Orbital sanders are one of the efficient tools for using in your woodwork or any other project. When you the sander on its side at a small angle, you will be more likely to get a smoother finish. It is also good to keep the sanding pad slightly above the project you are working on. Otherwise, you might get around over effect on your project edges.

Ease of Use-is it easy to operate?

The random orbital sanders have been designed to operate with minimal pressure. This makes this tool very easy to use, and no more energy is required for you to achieve the desired results. Pressing down this toll will slow the RPM causing it to decrease the performance. Applying excess force will also make the sander less efficient, thus shortening the life of the motor.

How does sander collect the dust?

Most random orbital sanders have been designed to have holes on the sanding media, allowing dust collection to occur. This usually happens by sander pulling the particles off in the working project into the sander itself. Mostly, the sander comes with a bag attached to it at the back, and sometimes it is fitted with a filter. You can also attach the hose to the dust collection system.

Using the sander as a vacuum system

If you need a vacuum system to tackle small jobs, using it with an orbital sander can work better. Vacuum systems are always expensive and, at times, difficult to set up. If you are in a garage or a workshop, install the vacuum on the power tools such as a sander, miter saw, or the circular saw. This will, in turn, make your cleaning easier and save you time.

Work on the edges and follow the grain

When using this tool, ensure that you go parallel with grain for you to get a smooth finish. Most people do this otherwise, and they end up getting the worst results. Also, ensure that you pass the orbital sand over the edges. Failure to do this will result in missing the corners, and you will end up with a poor finish.

Operate System

A sander is a powerful tool that operates using abrasion. They are designed with the ability to attach the sandpaper and a system to initiate instant movements accommodating a casing with the mode to hand-hold it or secure it to a workbench. Woodworking sanders are electrically powered while sander used in auto-body repair shops by pneumatic systems.

An Orbital Sander is a portable sander that vibrates in tiny orbits. As the sanding disk rotates synchronously in tiny ovals or ellipses, it causes the orbital action. Orbital Sanders are used for removing little material or fine sanding.


Orbital Sanders operates by their RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), applying too much pressure on the Orbital Sander slows this rate. This may lead to unevenness on the surface or if in the long term, could damage the sander.

For any purchases of part or the Orbital Sander itself, seek a reputable vendor. There are different types of Orbital Sander any they may also vary as per their application. Also, when selecting an Orbital Sander, look at the features of the power tool. These will always come in handy.

There are different types of sanders with different purposes, to select the right tool for the job to know the type of operation to be undertaken.

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