The orbital sander: characteristic, use, advantages and disadvantages


Allowing for coarse or finer sanding, the random orbit sander appeals for its versatility. A feature that prevents users from investing in the purchase of several sanders for their different types of work.

Eccentric sander: several possible uses

Power-portable, the eccentric sander is an essential polishing and sanding tool for DIY enthusiasts wishing to remove paint from paneling, renovate beams or even restore old furniture.

It is versatile and allows you to sand finish, semi-finish and roughing on all kinds of surfaces, including PVC, metal and of course, wood. It is also possible to polish a car body, to work with plaster or to polish noble and delicate materials such as marble. But in order for the device to adapt to these different uses, it is important to choose the most suitable disc.

In addition, some rules must be observed during use. As with all power tools, using the eccentric model in wet areas is prohibited. The start-up is carried out in the air before gently placing the device on the surface to be worked. When the surface is very sensitive, it is preferable to start right away on the material and increase the power little by little.

The specifics of an eccentric sander

Many models of random orbit sander exist on the market. They have a wide range of characteristics, starting with the power of the motor which can range from 300 to 800 W and which can be pneumatic or electric. The eccentric sander comes with different types of abrasives to choose from depending on the operation to be performed. Among them are the sanding disc, the buffing disc as well as the polishing foam.

For optimal operation, the tool must be fitted with a few accessories: a vacuum soleplate, a hook-and-loop sole and a dust bag. Depending on the quality of the sander, some are accompanied by specific options, in particular the electronic variator, allowing control of the oscillation and rotation speed.

Advantages and disadvantages of the orbital sander

The rotary table fitted to the eccentric sander which is installed thanks to a hook-and-loop device on the abrasive disc offers both a function of rotation and of oscillation, which allows the tool to combine the qualities of a sander vibrating to those of a grinder. This feature also avoids leaving traces when the device passes over the surface.

Note that the eccentric sander adapts to both flat and rounded surfaces. It has very good maneuverability and can be fitted with a telescopic arm to facilitate work in high areas. Still in terms of user comfort, some models have an engine unit separate from the outer casing, which reduces vibrations and prevents tingling sensations in the arms during use.

Although the random orbit sander offers many advantages, it also has some limitations. For example, it cannot be used for corner sanding. On this type of operation, the use of vibrating or belt sanders will be recommended.