The Best Cordless Random Orbital Sander (Battery Powered) 2019: Buying Guide & Reviews

The best finish for any woodwork can be obtained by using sanders. Long gone are the days when the manual sander was used and now, there are trending technologies that make sanding off rough edges stand out. Among the developments is the random orbital sander which is what you’ll learn about here.

We shall also give you our best pick for the best cordless orbital sander. Read through for our other choices, key features and benefits, and a buying guide for the best selections.

Top Rated Best Cordless Orbital Sander

  1. Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT (Our Pick)
  2. Ryobi P411 One+ 18 Volt (Budget Pick)
  3. Festool 201531 Cordless eccentric sander (Premium Pick)
  4. PORTER-CABLE PCCW205B 20V Max 5" 
  5. Ridgid R8606B GEN5X 18-Volt 5 in.

Our Top Pick for the Best Cordless Orbital Sander

Our top pick for the best cordless orbital sander is the Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander. The tool offers a combination of speed, large random orbit action, and one-touch electronic speed control. The features make it the best asset for perfectionists who are looking for the best.

Best Cordless Orbital Sander Reviews

1. Our Pick: Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander


Specifications

  • Pad size: 5 inch
  • Abrasive disc size: 5 inch
  • Abrasive disc shape: round
  • Disk grit: 120
  • Orbit diameter: 1/8-inch random orbit.
  • Orbits per minute: 7,000/9,500/11,000 (three-speed) OPM
  • Vibration: 2.5m/s2
  • Power: (cordless) battery powered
  • Voltage: 18 volts

Key Features

  • It’s fitted with a three-speed setting (7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM) for faster material removal.
  • It has a large 1/8” random orbit action.
  • One-touch control switch to change from fast to medium or low settings.
  • Also fitted with a pad brake and a pad control system.
  • Fitted with a quick-change 5-inch (8-hole) hook-and-loop abrasive paper.
  • It’s designed with computer controls that protect it from over-discharging, overloading, and over-heating.
  • Has a dust-sealed switch.
  • Dust bag for dust collection.

Features and Benefits

  • The tool is designed with a three-speed setting. This allows for the fast removal of materials while sanding under different timelines.

  • The large 1/8” random orbit feature ensures fast sanding and swirl-free finish

  • The one-touch control switch also enables the user to change between fast, medium, and low settings.

  • It is also designed with an efficient through-the-pad dust collection system. This ensures to leave a cleaner work environment.

  • The tool also features an ergonomic design. This ensures it offers optimum comfort to the operator.

  • The Makita orbit sander is also fitted with computer control sensors. These ensure it is protected from over-heating, over-discharging, and overloading.

Pros

  • Cordless, which makes it portable to any workplace.

  • Lightweight design

  • Battery-powered. This means no worrying when power fails you.

  • Designed with a three-speed setting option for faster materials removal.

  • Fitted with a dust bag for a cleaner working environment.

  • Quiet

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

  • Battery and charger not included and have to be bought separately.

2. Budget Pick - Ryobi P411 One+ 18 Volt 5 Inch Cordless Battery Operated Random Orbit Power Sander


Specifications

  • Pad size: 5 inch
  • Orbit diameter: 3/32-inch random orbit.
  • Orbits per minute: 10,000 OPM (No load speed)
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    Power: (cordless) battery powered
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    Voltage: 18 volts

Key Features

  • Fitted with a hook and loop pad system.
  • Battery run time: 35 minutes.
  • Dust bag for dust collection and a cleaner working environment.
  • Lock on/off button.
  • Ergonomic shape and rubberized grip.

Features

  • The Ryobi P411 One+ 5” random orbit cordless sander is fitted with 10,000 orbits per minute mechanism. This ensures it delivers a smooth and swirl-free finish.

  • It is also designed to ensure you hit those small jobs yourself without going to the professionals. This is enhanced by the batteries that ensure a continuous sanding for up to 35 minutes.

  • If you are looking for an after-work clean environment, the sander may be your best asset. This is because it’s fitted with a dust collection bag for ensuring a clean workspace.

  • Designed with multiple grip areas, the tool ensures the user gets the most ergonomic and comfortable sanding experience.

  • The product also features a lock-on switch. This ensures comfortable operation during extended use.

  • For added convenience, the Ryobi sander is fitted with a hook and loop mechanism.

  • The product also features an improved and rubberized grip. This ensures the user has an optimum grip and does so with comfort.

Pros

  • Lightweight design

  • Minimum vibrations

  • Relatively cheap

  • Fast tool thanks to the 10,000 orbits per minute.

Cons

  • Does not have speed variables. The user can only switch it on or off with no speeds in-between.

  • Battery and charger not included.

  • The battery run time makes it unreliable for big jobs.

3. Premium Pick - Festool 201531 Cordless eccentric sander ETSC 125 Li 3.1 Set


Specifications

  • Pad size: 5 inch
  • Orbit diameter: 1/16-inch random orbit.
  • Orbits per minute: 6,000 (min) - 11,000 (max) OPM
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    Vibration: 3.00 m/s2
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    Power: battery powered
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    Voltage: 18 volts
  • Wattage: 56.34 watts

Key Features

  • Battery life: 40 minutes.
  • Multi-power options (user can switch between cordless and electric-powered options).
  • Dust collection system.
  • It’s fitted with Bluetooth technology for smart dust collection.

Features and Benefits

  • The tool also features multi-power options. This allows the user to switch from battery power to electric power at will.

  • It has a highly effective dust collection system which ensures you have a clean working environment during and after work.

  • The tool also features perfect ergonomics, low height, and is lightweight. This allows for maximum mobility and less effort.

  • Fitted with a long-life dust collection system, the product ensures you leave a dust-free and healthy environment.

  • It is also designed with a protector for smooth sanding along the frames, window surfaces, and paneling. This means the user has less rework.

Pros

  • It’s versatile

  • Handy design for comfortability.

  • It’s a hybrid too which means you can switch from cordless (battery-powered) to corded (electric power) at will.

  • Batteries included

  • Highly effective dust collection system.

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

  • Not fit for beginners.

4. PORTER-CABLE PCCW205B 20V Max 5" Cordless Random Orbital Sander, Bare Tool


Specifications

  • Pad size: 5 inch
  • Abrasive disc size: 5 inch
  • Orbit diameter: 3/32-inch random orbit.
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    Orbits per minute: 12,000 Orbits Per Minute
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    Power: battery powered
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    Voltage: 18 (20 max) volts

Key Features

  • Detachable dust bag.
  • 12,000 OPM offering professional material removal.
  • Vacuum port hooks for dust removal hose.
  • Dustproof switch.
  • Rubber grip

Features and Benefits

  • The PORTER-CABLE Sander is designed with a detachable dust bag. This guarantees an efficient and convenient dust collection.

  • It also features a vacuum port that one can attach a dust collection hose to. This means the user gets high-volume dust collection.

  • The tool would also be ideal for anyone looking for long life service as it has a dust proof switch that ensures durability.

  • The tool is also designed with a rubber grip on the handle. This means a comfortable hold and sanding.

  • The fact that it’s cordless ensures the user can work without the worry of power failures provided they have fully charged batteries.

Pros

  • A relatively cheap tool.

  • Lightweight design

  • Easy to use.

  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature variable speeds.

  • Battery killer especially for big jobs which calls for more batteries.

5. Ridgid R8606B GEN5X 18-Volt 5 in. Cordless Random Orbit Sander


Specifications

  • Pad size: 5 inch
  • Abrasive disc size: 5 inch
  • Orbit diameter: 1/8-inch random orbit.
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    Orbits per minute: 7,000 - 11,000 Orbits Per Minute
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    Power: battery powered
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    Voltage: 18 volts

Key Features

  • 6-speed variable speed dial
  • Battery life: 40 minutes
  • Fitted with brake pads.
  • Dust-proof switch
  • Hook and loop pad.
  • Ridged Gen5X Permanent Magnet Technology.
  • Integrated dust collector adapter.

Features

  • The cordless Ridgid tool is designed and fitted with Gen5X Motor/Permanent Magnet Technology. This ensures the motor can maintain speeds and power under load and offer corded-like performance.

  • The tool is also fitted with advanced dust collection technology. This ensures it can collect up to 90 per cent of dust produced during sanding.

  • The product is also designed to use 4.0Ah hyper lithium-ion batteries that run for over 40 minutes. This means the tool can give the user extended run-time.

  • Designed with brake pads, the tool is ideal for a soft start and ensures to prevent gouges on work surfaces.

  • For anyone working for longer hours, the tool would be ideal for that. This is because it is fitted with a hex grip that has enhanced micro-texture for a secure grip and maximum comfort to the user.

  • The product also boasts of a 6-speed variable speed dial allowing the user to adjust the speeds to fit different applications.

Pros

  • Ensures maximum productivity with a 6-speed variable speed dial.

  • Considerably quiet

  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • Course speed adjusting wheel.

Buying Guide

With the need for fine finishing and professionally done smooth surfaces, a cordless orbital sander would be a perfect tool for both professionals and DIYers. Such a sander model makes the process easier yet professional and with a touch of precision. As such, anyone looking for some clean sanding job like refinishing furniture, needs the best cordless orbital sander.

What is A Sander?

The term sander is used to refer to a power tool that is used for smoothing rough and uneven surfaces by way of abrasion and using sandpaper. The tool is designed with a means of attaching the sandpaper on its disc. It also has a mechanism of moving the disc with the sandpaper attached to it and the sanding process happens.

There many different models models on the market, so you should choose one that fits your needs. It’s not the same sanding a deck that drywall or removing paint.

What is A Cordless Random Orbital Sander?

The random orbital sander is a hand-held power tool used for sanding uneven or rough surfaces. It is fitted with a sanding blade which delivers a random-orbit action. The term “random” is used since the angles of rotation that the head and disk use are random or varied.

A cordless sander is referred to as such due to the power source. Most of them are designed to use battery power only and, therefore, wouldn’t need any power cable. Even though some maybe versatile and offer both options, the cordless design is for a battery-powered tool.

Parts of a battery powered orbital sander

A typical cordless random orbital sander has the following main parts:

  • Power Switch: - without this switch, you have no tool. Its work is simply to turn the tool on and off.
  • Body: - the body houses the motor.
  • Palm Grip: - the grip is where the hands hold during the sanding process. It is usually ergonomic and comfortable for the hands to hold without causing fatigue.
  • Barrel Grip: - this grip is in addition to the palm one. This part is ideal for holding the tool by the body for maximum comfort.
  • Dust Bag: - for anyone who needs a clean environment, this is designed for you. The bag collects the dust produced during sanding to reduce exposure to the user and also ensuring the workplace is clean.
  • Lip Seal: - mostly, the part becomes of great use when your hand is on the barrel grip. The seal prevents your hand from getting into contact with the sanding disc.
  • Sanding Disc: - the disc is a circular paper-abrasive attachment that is attached to the bottom of the random-orbit sander for sanding.
  • Sanding Pad: - the pad is the part that rotates and oscillates. The sanding disc is affixed to the pad for the sander to perform various tasks like sanding, stock removal, and polishing.

How to fix the Sandpaper on an battery operated orbital sander

Attaching the sandpaper is an easy process and should take a few minutes. However, care should be taken, and it should not be fixed while the disc is running. You can follow the following steps to ease the process:

  1. Turn the sander on its side. Make sure to lay it on a flat surface to reach the bottom easily. Locate the sandpaper, if it has one, and remove it before replacing it with a new one. Also, make sure to inspect the area and remove any remaining dirt or sandpaper.
  2. Hold the new sandpaper above the sander pad and line it along the pad’s lining. Since it has a paper covering, peel it off too and place the sandpaper into place on the sander. The sticky side should be facing down.
  3. Push the sandpaper firmly against the pad. Using your fingers, press along the entire area to ensure the sandpaper adheres to the pad. After this, turn the sander upright, turn it on, and try it out on a workpiece.
  4. For precision, turn the sander off and flip it over. You can then inspect the sandpaper to ensure it’s stuck to the pad even after use.

How to choose the best cordless random orbital sander

While choosing a good cordless orbital sander, there are key factors to guide you, including:

  • The Size: - different sanders are designed with different sizes. For maximum benefit from your tool, you should ensure to choose the right size that you are sure will fit your needs.
  • Speed and Transmission: - the transmission and speeds your sander offers make the big deal. The speed of the sander is determined by the OPM and in return determine the performance. While shopping, it would be advisable to buy the sander that has speeds and transmissions that will fit your needs.
  • Design: - the design of the sander is also of importance while shopping for the right tool. Basically, the tool should not cause strain or discomfort to the user’s hands. The best choice would be a sander that features an ergonomic design to improve the experience.
  • Trigger Lock: - most sanders have a trigger lock that ensures you can retain it in the “on” or “off” positions. With the lock, you don’t need to keep on pressing the power button on while working which releases your hands for maximum control of the tool.
  • Portability: - if you are working away from home or have the need to keep moving around the workplace, you cannot ignore the power of portability in a sander. As such you should focus on getting one that will not make the work of moving it around harder. Cordless sanders offer this ease since they are easy to move.
  • Safety Features: - whichever the tool you are working with, your safety is the topmost concern. The same case applies to the cordless orbital sanders. While buying one, you should ensure to check all safety features including an effective dust collection system, sealed switches, pad brakes, and ergonomic handles.

OUR TOP PICKS

FAQs

Q. Why do I need a cordless orbital sander?

A. A cordless orbital sander is an ideal tool if you are working on a job with no electrical power or if you need to move it between different spots.

Q. Is a random orbit sander better than a regular finishing sander?

A. The two tools can give similar results if used properly. However, the random orbit sander removes more materials using less time due to the random motions it makes. Also, there are some other models which are used for different tasks like belt sanders for knife making.

Q. What is the best speed and OPM for a sander?

A. The best speeds are dependent on the user’s intentions. If the user needs more power and speed, they should look for a tool with more OPMs and oscillations.

What is the best cordless orbital sander: Our Pick

Our best pick for the best cordless orbital sander is the Makita XOB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander. It stands out among its peers where speed and power are to go by. Armed with a 5-inch disc, three-speed motor running 7,000, 9,500, and 11,000 OPMs, it has all it takes to offer optimum results.

If your budget is to go by, you can stick in the middle. The Ryobi P411 One+ 18 Volt 5 Inch Cordless Battery Operated Random Orbit Power Sander would make a good choice with its 5-inch disc and 10,000 OPM speed.

The Festool 201531 Cordless eccentric sander ETSC 125 Li 3.1 Set also makes it in our top rate list. It’s our premium pick and can sure with its 1/16 inch random orbit and 6,000 (min) - 11,000 (max) orbits per minute. The ability to switch to the speed you desire makes it a good choice for both professionals and DIYers too.

Resources and Further Reading

  1. Makita USA – Product Details – XOB01Z - Makita
  2. 18V ONE+™ 5 IN. RANDOM ORBIT SANDER – (NF)Ryobi Tools
  3. Cordless eccentric sander ETSC 125 Li 3,1 I-Set - Festool
  4. 20V MAX* CORDLESS RANDOM ORBITAL SANDER – Porter Cable
  5. 18V GEN5X™ 5-in. Random Orbit Sander (Tool-Only) - Ridgid
  6. What are the parts of a random-orbit sander? – Wonkee Donkee Tools

Last update on 2019-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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