What is an Orbital Sander Used for?

September 18, 2022

Different uses and applications of orbital sander.

So, you are considering using an orbital sander, but you only got a few ideas about it, and thus you want to know more about this sander. Well, the random orbital sander is a hand-held sander that provides a consistent orbital action when sanding. It features a distinct square or rectangular shape that sands flat edges and inside corners better than other sander types. 

Despite its square shape, it can also be equipped with multiple sandpapers and rectangular sanding sheets. Moreover, it can work mainly with a quarter sheet plate. The orbital sander can also be corded or not. Besides, you can use it for re-grinding and pre-grinding works. To use it, you need to attach the sandpaper to its swing plate with Velcro or using clips.  

The Advantages of the Use of Orbital Sander

If you consider using an orbital sander, knowing the different types of orbital sanders will be good. The orbital sanders are subdivided into classic orbital sanders, eccentric sanders, and geared eccentric sanders. Moreover, it will also help if you know the following advantages derivable from the use of orbital sander:

  • You can use this sander to sand edges with ease. It does well in this aspect compared to the belt sander.
  • You can also use it to sand across the wood grain. It is also helpful in sanding tight spaces.
  • It also provides a smooth finish and finer results while not overfatiguing your hands. 
  • It is also easier to use than the drum or belt sanders. 
  • Lastly, beginners will find this sander easier to use than the belt sander.

Major Uses of the Orbital Sander

To further explain the primary usage of the orbital sander, you can check out the more detailed explanations of the main uses of the orbital sander:

You can Use the Orbital Sander for Sanding a Wide Array of Materials

An orbital sander is a versatile tool that you can use to sand various materials. It is ideal for sanding floors that necessitate medium to light sanding. You can use it to sand and prep a wood floor for a new finish or topcoat. Moreover, it is an excellent tool for removing stains on the surface. 

But it is not designed to remove finishes. Instead, you can use the random orbital sander or belt sander for stripping old finishes. You can also use the orbital sander to smoothen composite countertops and strip furniture paint. Its most obvious advantage, of course, is its ability to sand even tight spaces.

Perfect for Prepping the Surface for Sealing and Painting

The orbital sander is ideal for preparing the wood for staining and painting jobs. Most DIYers and Professional woodworkers find this sander very useful in preparing the wood surface. It is excellent for sanding paint layers because of the less risk of sanding too much material.

Smoothen the Wood Surface

The orbital sander is very effective in finishing sanding. It belongs to the best sanders to achieve a fine finish. It usually works in tandem with the belt sanders and ranks third behind the belt sander and the random orbital sander when it comes to efficiency in removing materials.

Perfect for Other Light Sanding Jobs

Since the orbital sander is not very aggressive in sanding, it is perfect for light sanding jobs. It is also perfect for dealing with smaller surfaces. Moreover, it doesn’t strip much material. So, it is not ideal for removing an entire layer of varnish or paint. You can also use this tool for other lighter sanding jobs like removing paint, coat, or rust patches.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orbital Sander Applications

Aside from knowing the various applications of the orbital sander, it will also help if you know the FAQs about the use of orbital sander:

Can You Engage in Wet Sanding Using an Orbital Sander?

Yes, you can engage in wet sanding using the orbital sander. The wet sander is rated as suitable for wet sanding. But to ensure that you will be safe to use your orbital sander for wet sanding, it will be best to check the specifications of your orbital sander if it is rated for damp or wet sanding.

Can You Use the Orbital Sander for Sanding Floor?

You will find orbital sanders that are meant for sanding floors. Yet, they are not perfect for refinishing jobs since they remove material more slowly than the drum sanders. Moreover, you will need multiple passes when you sand the floor for refinishing. As such, it won’t be easy if you use something slowly sanding like the orbital sander. So, when sanding large floors, I think your best option would be the belt sander.


Perhaps you might be at a loss as to which sander you should choose for sanding floors. Well, if you would remove lots of materials because the wood surface had been dented and damaged in the past, then you might be needing a belt sander. The belt sander can remove many materials because it has a powerful motor.

But the belt sander is best complemented by the orbital sander. Given the abovementioned capabilities and applications of the orbital sander, it can perfectly complement the belt sander when sanding floors and large surface area.

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