A sheet sander is an essential tool when it comes to preparing a surface for stains, paint, varnish, or when you need a fine finish over a large area. A good sheet sander will make your work easy because you will be able to sand rough and uneven surfaces fast while still giving them an excellent finish.
The model you buy should be efficient, durable, and compact. It's hard to find one that has all the three attributes. So we've picked and reviewed 9 of the best sheet sanders on the market today, rating their features, strengths, and weaknesses.
We have also included a quick buying guide to help you see what's important and what isn't.
The Best Sheet Sanders for 2018
1. Makita BO4900V 2.9 Amp
If you want a powerful sheet sander that will help you complete your projects efficiently, get the Makita BO4900V. I noticed a considerable change in my sanding projects the very first time I used this tool.
When you want smooth sanding, you want a sheet sander that gives you control. This model comes with a rubberized handle and grip that are ergonomically located to enable you to sand without growing weary.
It comes with an integrated through-the-pad dust collector that allows you to keep your workshop clean while keeping yourself away from the health risks of inhaling dust.
Its large trigger switch makes it easy to use. A large cam-lock clamping lever simplifies the operation further by making it easy and quick to change the abrasive paper.
If also features a variable speed control dial that allows you to vary your speed of operation depending on the material you are sanding. The speed can be maintained at between 4,000 and 10,000 oscillations per minute.
- Through-the-pad dust collection system
- Variable Speed Control Dial
- Large trigger switch
- Ergonomic design
- Paper dust bag holder
- Minimized vibration
- Large cam-lock clamping lever
- Hooks to a vacuum hose
- Pad size 4 ½ X 9 inch
- 2.9 amp motor
- Weighs 6.2 pounds
- High performing sander with variable speed levels
- Its low vibration produces a smooth finish
- Has an easy abrasive paper change with large cam-lock
- Easy to operate with a large trigger switch
- High-quality ergonomic design
- Powerful and sturdy
Disposable dust collector
2. WEN 6313 Electric 1/3 Sheet Sander
The WEN 6313 features a larger sanding base that allows you to do your work fast.
It also features a hook and loop base that allows quick and easy sandpaper installation and removal. With its onboard clamps, you can also install and use non-hook and loop sandpapers effectively. It allows you to enjoy a precise sanding experience with its 12,000 OPM worth of power.
The vacuum adapter facilitates simple attachment of either a duct collection bag or any dust collection device. This will enable you to have a clean environment and reduce the risks of inhaling dust particles.
It weighs just 3 pounds, ensuring that you never get your hands too tired while sanding.
- 1.2 amp motor
- 12,000 oscillations per minute
- 3 5/8 x 7 3/8 inch sanding surface
- Velcro base pad
- Dust collection port
- Weighs 3.2 pounds
- Ergonomic grip
- Hook and loop base pad
- Fan assisted dust slots
- Vacuum adapter
- 1-year warranty
- Fits 1/3 sheet sandpaper
- Onboard clamps for non-hook and loop sandpaper
- Its lightness minimizes fatigue during operation
- Has an ergonomic grip for ultimate control and comfort
- Maintains a clean sanding area with dust slots and a dust collector
- Comes with a powerful motor
- Large sanding surface
- Easy sandpaper changing with hook and loop base pad
- Delicate with low-quality construction
- Can be hard to find sandpaper
- A lot of vibration
3. BLACK + DECKER BDEQS300 1/4–Sheet Orbital Sander
This sander runs at 1,600 OPM with its powerful 2.0 amp motor.
With its compact ergonomic design, you can get into tight spaces effectively and get a proper sanding experience. The design also allows you to have maximum control over your sanding experience.
This orbital sander is extremely easy to use with its paddle switch activation that allows easy switching on or off. Moreover, it is located on the top side of the sander so you can easily activate the tool by pressing it naturally with your palm.
The BDEQS300 also features a high-performing dust collection system that ensures you're always working on a clean surface.
All in all, this sander from Black + Decker comes with a compact, ergonomic, and versatile design to deliver a great sanding experience.
- Paddle switch activation
- 2.0 amp motor
- 1,600 OPM
- High-performing dust collection system
- Ergonomic design
- Weighs 3 pounds
- 1/4 –Sandpaper
- Affordable Price
- Maximum control with ergonomic design
- Clean working surface with a high-performing dust collector
- Efficiently removes materials with its 2.0 Amps motor
- Easy to use with paddle switch activation
- Flimsy sandpaper clasp
- Hard to find replacement sandpaper
4. SKIL 7292-02 2.0 Amp 1/4-Sheet Palm Sander
The Skil 7292-02 is designed specifically for people who want quick stock removal and smooth sanding results, especially when making the final finish on your project.
This impeccable sanding tool features a pressure control indicator that warns you when you apply too much pressure and notifies you when the right amount of pressure is applied. It is also equipped with a pad brake that eliminates gouging.
It also features a micro-filtration system that captures and contains dust. Moreover, it is fitted with a clear dust canister that gets rid of the guesswork of figuring out when to empty it.
- Pressure control
- 2.0 amp motor
- Dust collection system
- Pad brakes
- Weighs 3 pounds
- Built-in vacuum adapter
- Soft-Grip design
- Clear view dust collector
- Dust-sealed switch
- Long lasting with a dust-sealed switch
- Provides maximum control and comfort with soft padded grip
- Pressure control warns you whenever excess pressure is applied
- Compact and lightweight
- Effective dust collection with a built-in vacuum and clear dust collector
- Produces high quality results
- Bad sandpaper clips
- 4 x 4 sheets don't fit
5. VonHaus 2.2 Amp 1/4-Sheet Palm Sander
The VonHaus 2.2A Palm Sander is the best choice for people who want to work on intricate surfaces, doorframes, and window frames. It features a high performance 2.2 amp motor that brings together impressive power and versatility to deliver a great tool.
It also features a quick-change sheet clamp that allows you to take little time when replacing the sandpaper. Moreover, it comes with an easy to operate on/off switch.
This ergonomically designed sander is extremely easy to handle since it fits perfectly in your hand for a comfortable grip and smooth control. Its self-cooling system keeps you sanding for a long time. With three types of sanding sheets, you are equipped with everything you need to get started right away.
- 2.2 amp motor
- 15,000 RPM
- Dust extraction system
- Ergonomic and comfortable design
- Easy clamping system
- Self-cooling system
- Simple switch dial
- Dust extractor keeps the work surface clean
- Easy and simple on/off operation
- Great ultra-smooth sanding
- Great for detailed and intricate projects
- Comfortable with ergonomic design
- Easy sandpaper installation and removal
- Easy control
- Difficult to detach and open dust collector
- A bit loud
6. Craftsman Best 2.5 Amp 1/3-Sheet Sander
The Craftsman 2.5 amp features a low profile design that allows maximum control and comfort.
It's equipped with a micro-fine dust box that collects dust particles to ensure a cleaner work surface.
It's integrated with an LED work light that illuminates your work surface so you can sand even in a poorly lit place. With the Vibra Shield grip design, you are sure to have ultimate control over your sanding project.
- 2.5 amp motor
- LED work light
- Low profile design
- Micro-fine dust box
- Vibra shield grip design
- Weighs 5 Pounds
- Dust extraction holes
- Dust collection system
- Easy to replace the sandpaper
- Clean work surface with dust holes and dust collector
- High performance
- Excellent for smooth finishes
- Powerful performance with 2.5 Amp motor
- Easy control with ergonomic design
- A bit flimsy sandpaper clips
7. BLACK + DECKER BDEQS15C 1/4-Sheet Sander
This machine is designed to handle small and detailed sanding projects. It features a 1.5-amp motor that vibrates moderately to deliver a smooth and fine finish.
It is also lightweight at just 2.7 pounds for easy portability and control. The lightweight feature also allows you to sand even the tight curves and corners of furniture.
It comes with a built-in dust collector while the dust-sealed power switch is well located for easy access. Moreover, it is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
- 1.5-amp motor
- Built-in dust collector
- Dust sealed power switch
- Weighs 2.7 pounds
- 1-year limited warranty
- Excellent for small and detailed projects
- Comfortable and easy to control
- Strong and durable
- Doesn't grip sandpaper tight enough
- Difficult to replace the sandpaper
8. Genesis GPS2303 1/4-Sheet Palm Sander
The Genesis GPS2303 is a palm sander that comes in handy when you want a smooth sanding action. It features a speed of 10,000 RPM to deliver a quick but a smooth finish.
It is also easy to replace sandpaper with its spring-loaded and oversized clamp. Moreover, it easily and tightly grips the sandpaper.
It also comes with a dust collector that allows you to have a clean sanding surface throughout your sanding project.
- Pad size 41/4 x 4 Inch
- Die-cast aluminum base
- Oversized spring-loaded sandpaper clamp
- Dust collection bag
- Paper punch plate
- Dust protected on/off switch
- 3.35 pounds
- 10,000 RPM
- 2-Year warranty
- Durable with die-cast aluminum base
- Clean work surface
- Easy to replace the sandpaper
- Comfortable with ergonomic design
- Poorly built – has been known to develop a rattle
9. DEWALT DWE6411K 1/4-Sheet Palm Grip Sander
The DEWALT DWE6411K features a 2.3-amp motor that provides high power to deliver a smooth and fine finish. It also comes with a contoured rubber texture that provides control while sanding.
It features a separate counterweight that significantly reduces vibration to achieve a fine finish. The rubber dust boot over the power switch protects it against dust enabling a long switch life. Moreover, it has a dust collector to ensure you have a clean work surface.
- 2.3 amp motor
- Locking dust port
- Rubber dust boot
- Weighs 2.8 pounds
- Battery powered
- Easy to change sandpaper
Some bad design choices
What to Look For When Picking a Sheet Sander – Buying Guide
Here are some of the things to consider when buying a sheet sander.
Sheet sanders come with two types of power source: the corded (mains operated) and the cordless (battery operated). Basically, the power source determines the power of the unit's motor and its general weight.
Whereas the battery operated sanders tend to have less power and are heavier, the corded ones feature a powerful motor and are lightweight.
Although I would recommend the corded sander, the battery-powered sanders are quickly becoming more reliable. As such, you could acquire the cordless one, especially when portability is important to you.
The Base Plate
This is the most essential feature to look out for if you want to achieve an excellent flat finish. The base plate is where you attach the sandpaper mostly by hooking, clamping, or looping.
Most devices today come with holes at the base to reduce surface scratches through dust removal. Since the foam part of the base wears off after some time, it is important to consider its replacement cost before buying since some pads can be a bit pricey.
When it comes to power tools, the bigger the motor, the better the tool will perform. This is because they have more power to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to sheet sanders. This is because to achieve the best results, you only need to apply the right amount of pressure.
As such, you do not need to go for the most powerful motor; it could ruin the surface instead. Instead, consider the one with minimum vibration because it will provide a smooth operation.
Dust can be a menace to both you and the unit. It is vital to make sure you don't inhale the dust, especially when working on a varnished or painted surface since it can pose a serious health risk.
Fortunately, modern machines come with a built-in dust collector that helps to reduce the chances of inhaling dust while making the cleanup process easy for you. It is important to check whether the dust collection system is attached to the sander you intend to buy.
A tool that is easy to carry around is efficient and comfortable to operate. This is because it is light and reduce's fatigue in your hands while sanding.
Easy Paper Change
Try to buy a product that simplifies the sandpaper changing process. If you spend too much time changing sandpaper, you will never finish your project on time.
In most cases, smaller options are held from the top while others require you to wrap your hand around the body. The bigger ones feature barrel grip handles with an extra handle at the front for a better support and control when sanding.
In addition to reviewing the position of the handles, choose sanders that come fitted with rubberized handles or grips. Rubberized handles ensure a tight grip that leads to better control of the tool.
If you intend to sand for a long time, avoid a highly vibrating sander. This is because a highly vibrating sander will increase your fatigue and cause discomfort owing to the tickling sensation that it brings to your arm and hand.
In order to optimize the performance you get from the device you intend to buy, consider the kind of abrasive it uses. A larger grit sized abrasive is good for coarse sanding when you need to extract more materials whereas a smaller sized one is better when removing a thin layer for an extra-fine sanding before finish application.
Additionally, consider one that requires less expensive abrasives but performs great.
Choosing the best sheet sander can be overwhelming at first but after reading through this article, you may find it a bit easier.
A lot of it boils down to what your sanding needs are. There is always a model that is perfect for you. Take your time to think about what you need before hitting the shops.