Last updated: September 11, 2020

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Rotary sanders, not to be confused with orbital sanders, are extremely useful tools and a must for any workshop, especially if you are working with carpentry. You can use this machine for many different tasks. With this tool, you will be able to get professional results and extremely smooth surfaces, not only on wood, but also on walls, cars, and much more. Sound interesting to you? Keep reading to find out all about rotary sanders.

If you have ever manually sanded a surface, you probably understand that sanding can be tedious and honestly just unpleasant. Some people don’t like the sound or feeling. Rotary sanders will help you get the job done quickly and give you much better results than just using sandpaper.

Key Facts

  • Rotary sanders will make your carpentry tasks much easier and faster than usual. You will be able to achieve a soft surface on many different types of materials. Recently, these tools have advanced so much. There is a variety of different rotary sanders on the market; you are bound to find one of high quality and within your budget. Let us help you.
  • There are several different shopping criteria that you need to keep in mind when looking for the ideal rotary sander. These include size, power source, speed, vibration, and more. We will go over these factors at the end of the article. Stay tuned.

Our Selection: The Best Rotary Sanders on the U.S. Market

Choosing a rotary sander is not as easy as you probably think. First of all, there is a huge variety of these tools on the U.S. market. This is great, as you will have a lot to choose from but can also be confusing or frustrating. Also, sometimes, the information that you find on the internet is misleading or incorrect. Don’t worry; we are here to help. In the following section, we will give you a list of our favorite rotary sanders currently available on the U.S. market. Click on any of the items and you will be redirected to Amazon, where you can compare prices, reviews, ratings, and more. Let’s go.

Best Rotary Sander

The first product on our list is, in our opinion, the best rotary sander on the market. You can’t go wrong with this item. See for yourself; this sander has tons of positive ratings and reviews. You will be able to sand, polish, and shape different surfaces and more. It comes with a dust bag that will catch all of the wood shavings making clean up easy.

Best Sanding Discs

Although most rotary sanders come with sanding discs included, you probably want to buy extra so that they will last you a long time. If you are a person who likes to plan ahead, this kit is a great choice. This kit comes with 100 sanding discs! That is enough to last you a long time, depending on how often you use your sander. It is also very inexpensive, just under 9 dollars.

Best Multi-Purpose Rotary Power Tool

If you like gadgets that have tons of functions, this is the product for you. Although it is not specifically a sander, you can still use it to sand surfaces. This is a multi-purpose tool. So, you will be able to do much more than just sand. You can cut, drill, engrave, grind, sharpen, and more. The possibilities are endless. This tool is a must-have for any workshop.

Best Orbital Sander

Although we are mainly discussing rotary sanders in this article, another good option is an orbital sander. The main difference between these two tools is that orbital sanders vibrate while rotary sanders rotate. You get a similar finish from each tool. Click here to read more about these similar and extremely useful tools. 

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Rotary Sanders

We understand that the differences between the various sanders on the market can be quite confusing. It is normal if you have doubts. This is why in the following section, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions from other buyers like you.

When looking for a rotary sander, you should choose one that has adjustable speed.
(Source: Konstantin Pelikh: 102214192/

What are rotary sanders exactly and how do they work?

Rotary sanders can do the same tasks as orbital sanders but they spin instead of just vibrating. This is an important distinction; keep in mind that orbital sanders vibrate while rotary sanders spin around. You can use these tools to cut down, smooth out, or sand different types of material. This particular tool minimizes the risk of leaving marks behind as other sanders do.

A rotary sander is an electric tool that is a must in all carpentry workshops. However, this is not the only profession that uses this type of sander. This tool has a motor inside and is made up of ergonomic material making it easy to use with your hands. Remember that, for your safety, you should always use gloves in the workshop.

Rotary sanders use disks of sandpaper that come in different sizes.
(Source: Burnel1: 25306163/

To use this tool, you must attach a sanding disk to the pad using velcro. This process is called “hook and loop.” The motor moves the disk and makes it spin around at high speed, moving at the same time in an elliptical orbit so that the disk does not go over the same path more than once.

What can I use a rotary sander for?

Rotary sanders are extremely versatile tools that can be used for a wide range of different carpentry tasks. However, you can also use these tools for other tasks that are not carpentry:

  • Smooth surfaces: You can use this tool to sand down wooden surfaces super quickly and efficiently.
  • Shave down material: You can also use a rotary sander to remove or shave down part of a material. This is especially useful when you need to level out a surface.
  • Shape a material: Rotary sanders can also be used to shape wood. Working at an angle, you can use this tool to create curves and forms in the wood. This is more of an artistic approach. Let your creativity and imagination run wild.
  • Polish any surface: If you attach a polishing disc to the sanding pad, you can polish any surface with this disk, even your car. That’s right; it’s not just for sanding.
  • Remove rust: With different accessories, this sander can also remove rust on any metal surface.

What are the different parts that make up a rotary sander?

It is always important to know and understand the different parts that make up any electric tool that you may have. This information will come in hand when you need to replace a part; trust us, it will be much less frustrating when you know the name of the part you should replace:


  • The body covers the motor that moves the sanding pad.

Power Switch

  • The power switch turns the machine off and one.
  • The majority of modern sanders will not start spinning until you apply pressure on the sanding pad.


There are three different types of grips when it comes to modern sanders:

  • Palm grip: This grip is made of ergonomic material that allows you to grip it comfortably. This reduces hand fatigue when you are using the tool for a long time.
  • D-handle: This handle is in the shape of a D and allows you to hold the sander in place quite easily.
  • Barrel grip: This grip allows you to hold the sander directly from the body.

=Dust Bag

  • This part of the sander collects the dust particles that will be created when shaving down the wood.
  • It can be removed from the sander to empty the bag when full.

Sanding Pad

  • This is the part of the sander that spins. You can attach a sanding disc to the sanding pad.

It is always important to know and understand the different parts that make up any electric tool that you may have.
(Source: Rido: 31178917/

What are the pros and cons of using a rotary sander?

Before investing in a rotary sander, just like with any other product, it is important to understand both the pros and cons of this tool. This way, you will be able to find out if you really need this item or not. Although the pros outweigh the cons in this case, we still want to lay them out for you in the following table:

  • Great for shaving down different materials
  • They give you a professional finish
  • It is easy to change the disks as they use velcro
  • The dust bag makes clean up easy
  • You can adjust the speed
  • The motors are larger than other sanders
  • Your hand will not get tired do to the ergonomic material
  • They are not cheap
  • You can damage the material if you do not use this tool correctly
  • If you purchase poor-quality disks, they may not stay attache to the tool
  • It is difficult to work in small spaces

Shopping Criteria

If you have reached this part of the article, you are have probably decided that this tool is the correct choice for you. This is wonderful news! However, there are still a few factors that we want to go over with you before you make your final choice. This list of shopping criteria will help you make the best purchase possible. The following are those criteria:

Power Supply

Rotary sanders can be used in two different ways. Some need to be plugged into a power supply in order to work. If this is the case with the tool you purchase, we recommend purchasing an extension cord as well. Others run on rechargeable batteries. These are much more portable but are also more limited than the type that is plugged into the wall because you will only have a certain amount of time to finish the task at hand.

Rotary sanders are extremely versatile tools that can be used for a wide range of different carpentry tasks.
(Source: Jozef Polc: 36097196/

Dust Bag

To make cleanup easy, many people prefer a rotary sander that has a sandbag included. This sandbag will pick up the wood chips and dust as you sand. All you have to do is detach the bag and throw away the waste inside. If this sounds nice to you, make sure that your rotary sander includes a dust bag. Always read the product’s description thoroughly.

Size of the Sanding Disc

Rotary sanders use discs of sandpaper that come in different sizes. The size you need will depend completely on the task at hand. With a large disc, you can sand larger areas much faster than if you use smaller discs. On the other hand, smaller discs are great for smaller tasks or smaller surfaces. These often weigh much less.

Adjustable Speed

When looking for a rotary sander, you should choose one that has adjustable speed. This option will help you accelerate or slow down the speed of the sanding pad depending on the type of material that you are working on. This factor is extremely important and will allow you to control the sanding rhythm.

If you need to shave down a considerate part of the surface, you can turn the speed up. If, on the other hand, you are sanding a thin surface, your floor or wooden furniture, for example, you can lower the speed to be able to control how much you shave down.

A rotary sander is an electric tool that is a must in all carpentry workshops. However, this is not the only profession that uses this type of sander.
(Source: Konstantin Pelikh: 102214189/

Vibration Control

All sanders make a lot of vibration, and a rotary sander is not an exception. This tool spins around and at the same time produces vibrations. This is why some models come with a vibration control option. This function is useful and extremely important because it will make the tool much more comfortable to use.

Pad System

You will often need different-sized pads when working with a rotary sander. You will probably have to change it quite often, for example, when you need a different size or when then pad you are using wears down. These tools often use velcro to attach the pads to the machine but make sure in the product description. It is important to be able to change the pads easily when working with this machine.

Rotary sanders can do the same tasks as orbital sanders but they spin instead of just vibrating. This is an important distinction; keep in mind that orbital sanders vibrate while rotary sanders spin around.
(Source: Volodymyr Melnyk: 118696214/


If you are only going to sand horizontal surfaces, the weight is not as important. However, if you are sanding up and down, for example when working with a door frame or other verticle furniture, you are going to want to purchase a lighter model. We have included lighter models in our selection of the best rotary sanders on the U.S. market.

If the tool is too heavy, you may get tired while working ad you will be working with your arms. Analyze what you are going to use this tool for exactly and buy a rotary sander accordingly.

You have to use your hands when working with this tool.
(Source: Vvoennyy: 61482502/


Rotary sanders are amazing electric tools that will make your job much easier, especially if you are often sanding wood. Many people do not like to sand wood manually. To get the best results, you need to choose a sander of high-quality from a trusted brand.

Congratulations! You have reached the end of the article. We are confident that, with the information we have provided for you, you are now ready to make your final decision. We hope that his article has helped you.

We hope that you have enjoyed our article about rotary sanders. If you liked this shopping guide and review, don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media. Have you tried using this item? Tell us about your experience; we want to hear from you. Thank you so much.

(Source of attached image: Dmytro Sidelnikov: 124837681/

Why you can trust me?

Rebecca Campbell Construction & Home Remodeling Expert
Rebecca is a real hands-on type of girl. She took over her father’s small company that specializes in construction and home remodeling. Not only does she manage all the projects her company takes on, but she also loves to get her hands dirty.