What is an Orbital Sander?
An orbital sander is a handheld power tool that's used for sanding various surfaces. The most common use for various orbital sanders is sanding wood, but it can also be used on plastic and other metals.
The tool can effectively smooth uneven or rough surfaces, using sandpaper and various movement patterns to create abrasion.
In woodworking, an electric orbital sander is usually the most effective, but when working with other situations, such as auto repair, compressed-air sanders can be the better choice.
A random orbital sander rotates in small circles or "orbits," hence the name. As the disk moves in small ellipses, it creates an irregular pattern on the surface, removing material in a consistent and predictable way that creates a smooth and even finish.
The circle sander is also very beneficial when working on wood because it not only ensures there's no pattern but also prevents issues with wood grain direction, which can be a nuisance when working with other types of sanders or methods.
Uses for Orbital Sanders
Even though orbital sanders are a relatively new addition to the professional toolbox, they have quickly become an indispensable part of working in a wide range of industries.
The unique design and the ingenious way in which the random orbit sander functions makes it perfect for situations when you need to work with wood (or other materials) without leaving marks and patterns.
Before the circular sander came along, avoiding scratches or abrasions on the surface was much more difficult, and required not only precision but a lot of skill as well. Meanwhile, today's orbital sanders are relatively easy to master and can provide excellent results consistently.
But where can you use it, exactly?
One of the most common uses for an orbital sander is before and/or after painting. Smoothing out the surface is essential for the paint to hold, as you have to eliminate all of the debris and roughness.
Once the wood is sanded down, you can use a vacuum to collect all of the dust and have a perfectly smooth surface that will look great after a paint layer is applied.
Different Types of Sanders
Since sanders are such an essential tool, there are actually a few different types that are used in various situations. Because each tool has its own strengths and specialties, you need to understand which one will work best for your situation. This way, you'll avoid sub-par results.
There are four main types of sanders:
In-Line Drive Sanders
As the name implies, a detail sander is used in situations where you need to be very precise. Also known as a "mouse" sander, this type of sander is perfect for sanding tight spaces and corners because of its smaller vibrating head.
An in-line drive sander is perfect for situations where hand sanding is too tricky. They can be used on various surfaces, including wood, steel, and even fiberglass.
If you have a heavy-duty job, a right-angle sander might be your best choice, as it gives you a lot of flexibility and can quickly handle even more challenging materials.
Finally, a palm sander is perfect for smaller projects like resurfacing furniture, as it's more maneuverable and precise. Since you can grip the palm sander more comfortably, the job becomes easier. Keep in mind, though, that it is not as powerful as an orbital sander.
What to Look for in an Orbital Sander
Today's orbital disk sanders come in a wide variety of options. As a result, you need to know what to look for based on your situation. Let's go over some of the most important considerations before making a purchase.
First, you'll need to determine what type of power source you are looking for. A corded orbital sander will usually be more affordable for the features that you get, but it might not provide you with as much mobility as you'd like if you're working on sites where staying plugged in might not be ideal.
However, at the same time, if you take on long sanding jobs, a corded orbit sander might make it easier, as you won't have to worry about recharging.
Dust collection is another integral feature that you might want to consider since it can make the job a lot more efficient and ensure more consistent results.
Depending on the types of jobs you plan on using it for, the disk will play a vital role in your success. If you're not sure what types of disks you'll need, it's always a good idea to consult with professionals that can help you decide whether you need a large orbital sander or a smaller one.
Why Choose Plastic Materials
When choosing an orbital sander, the number of considerations can quickly become overwhelming. Because of that, you should consult with a company that can help you make the right choice.
At Plastic Materials, we have a wide range of orbital sanders for you to choose from and can help you find the option that best suits your needs. If you want to learn more, check out our selection on our website or contact us for more information.