The Best Sander for Deck 2019: Buying Guide & Reviews

If you are looking for the finest finish of your workpiece, enough effort has to be put on. You will have to invest in one of the best sanders for deck to get things done precisely and to your satisfaction. In light of that, we have assembled this review to walk with you through the different deck sanders.

The need for control and precision while sanding rough edges has led to an upsurge of production of different sanding machines. This review gives you the different models including our best pick, budge pick, and premium choice. It also lists all their features, has a buying guide, and frequently asked questions.

Top Rated Sanders for Deck

  1. Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit (Our Pick)
  2. SKIL 7510-01 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt Sander  (Budget Pick)
  3. Makita 9403 4-Inch-by-24-Inch Belt Sander (Premium Pick)
  4. Hitachi SB8V2 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Belt Sander 
  5. Bosch Random Orbit 5 inch Sander/Polisher 

Our Top Pick for the Sander for Deck

Our top pick for the best sander for deck is the Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit. It beats the odds to offer precision and fineness for both professionals and DIYers. Featuring a 3.0-amp motor that enhances it to run at 4,000-12,000 OPM, it enables you to match the sanding speed with the application.

Best Sanders for Deck Reviews

1. Our Pick: Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit


Specifications

  • Amperage: 3 amp
  • Orbits per minute: 4,000 – 12,000 (maximum) OPM
  • Pad size: 4-13/16 inch
  • Abrasive disc size: 5 inch
  • Orbit diameter: 1/8 inch
  • Vibration: 3.5m/s2
  • Power: electrical (corded)

Key Features

  • Fast, smooth sanding with a 3.0 amps motor.
  • It is fitted with a large two-finger trigger switch that has a lock-on button conveniently located allowing for continuous use and increased comfort for the user.
  • It is fitted with a high capacity dust collection system that can have a bag or vacuum fitted to it.
  • Features a 1/8-inch random orbit action enhancing a fast and smooth sanding and a swirl-free finish
  • Also features a pad brake.
  • It is fitted with a variable speed control dial.
  • Adjustable front handle.

Features and Benefits

  • The Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit may be the ideal tool for perfectionists with its 3.0-amp motor that allows for a smooth and fast sanding.
  • The tool would be ideal if you are looking comfort while operating as it is fitted with an ergonomic rubberized palm grip and handle.

  • The product may also be a great asset for people who are sawdust conscious. It is fitted with an efficient through-the-pad dust collection system that can fit either a dust bag or a vacuum cleaner.

  • If you are looking for maximum productivity, the tool offers that too thanks to its pad brake.

  • Also, if the user is concerned with matching the sanding speed with the application, the tool gives them their wish with its variable speed control dial that allows them to switch between 4,000 to a maximum of 12,000 OPM.

  • If you are working in confined surfaces and corners, the product has an adjustable front handle making it easy to work in such areas.

Pros

  • Lightweight design

  • Versatile

  • Relatively cheap
  • Firm and secure casing.
  • Relatively fewer vibrations.

Cons

  • Dust collection system not fully reliable.

  • Speed knob could do better with detents.

  • Relatively weak motor.

2. Budget Pick: SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat 6 Amp 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt Sander with Pressure Control


Specifications

  • Amperage: 6 amp
  • RPM: 1050 (loaded)
  • Cord length: 6 feet
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    Power: electrical (corded)
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    Voltage: 120 volts
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    Vacuum compatible

Key Features

  • Auto track system for keeping the belt centered on track.
  • Clear view dust collection system.
  • A micro-enhanced filtration system for collecting even the finest dust particles.
  • On/off trigger
  • Lock-on button

Features and Benefits

  • The SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander is fitted with an auto pressure control technology for excessive pressure. This allows the user to maintain a check and regulate the pressure per need.

  • The product also features an auto track system that ensures the belt is centered and on track always.

  • If the user is allergic to dust, the product would be their ideal asset as it is fitted with a micro-filtration technology for capturing even the finest sawdust particles.

  • Also, the tool has a clear dust bag which tells the user when to empty it.

  • For increased productivity, the product has a soft grip, lock-on On/Off switch and flush edge sanding capabilities.

Pros

  • Pressure control technology that warns the user of excessive pressure.

  • Relatively cheap sander.

  • Easy belt changing with a lever release.

  • It is fitted with a sawdust collection system.

Cons

  • Relatively weak motor.

  • The balancing is a bit poor.

  • The dust bag fills up rather quickly.

3. Premium Pick - Makita 9403 11 Amp 4-Inch-by-24-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag


Specifications

  • Amperage: 11 amp
  • Belt speed: 1,640 ft/min.
  • Overall length: 13-7/8 inch
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    Power source: electric (corded)
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    Voltage: 120 volts

Key Features

  • Dust bag
  • 4x24 inch abrasive belt, 80 grit.
  • Large front grip
  • Double insulation

Features and Benefits

  • The Makita 9403 Belt Sander is an ideal tool for anyone who loves speed and precision. It gives the user the much-needed speeds of up to1,649 feet per minute enabling fast material removal.
  • The product would also be ideal when it comes to dust collection. It is fitted with a cloth dust bag preventing the spread of the sawdust produced during the process.
  • Also, the tool has a front grip that is large enough and positioned strategically to achieve maximum comfort for the user.
  • The product is also designed with a labyrinth construction which seals the bearings and motor from contamination.
  • If you need great results, this might work best for you all thanks to its powerful 11-amp motor.

Pros

  • Strong motor (11 amps)

  • Relatively quiet.

Cons

  • Dust bag slightly tiny for large jobs.

  • Does not have an auto tracker.

4. Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander


Specifications

  • Amperage: 9 amp
  • Variable speed: 820 - 1,475 ft/min.
  • Belt size: 76 x 533mm (3 X 21 inch)
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    Overall length: 13-7/8 inch
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    Power source: electric (corded)
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    Wattage: 1020 W

Key Features

  • Variable speed control button.
  • 3 x 21-inch variable speed belt.
  • Trigger lock

Features and Benefits

  • The Hitachi SB8V2 offers a long service life all thanks to its wear-resistant belt that minimizes replacements.

  • The product eludes trust it with its strong motor that offers a speed of 9 amps.

  • Also, if one is looking for ergonomic design, this tool is all they got. It features a soft elastomer grip surface placed on the main and auxiliary handles providing maximum comfort to the user.

  • The product is also a good partner for use if you need a clean environment after use as it is fitted with a dust collection system.

  • The tool also features a variable speed dial for adjusting speeds from 820 to a maximum of 1,475 ft/min.

Pros

  • Strong motor (9.0 Amp)
  • Excellent standing speed.
  • Ergonomic design
  • Soft-grip handles.
  • Reduced vibration rates.

Cons

  • Tracking not reliable for large projects.

  • Tiny dust bug not reliable for large projects.

  • Unreliable customer service.

5. Bosch Random Orbit 5-inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC


Specifications

  • Amperage: 2.5 amps
  • Orbits per minute: 7,500 – 12,000 OPM
  • Pad size: 5."
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    Disc size: 5."
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    Orbit diameter: 3/32” (2.5mm)
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    Eccentric offset: 3/64” (1.2mm)
  • Power source: electric (corded)
  • Voltage: 120v

Key Features

  • Microfilter dust canister.
  • Sanding disc
  • Soft sanding pad.
  • Dampening ring

Features and Benefits

  • The Bosch Random Orbit 5-inch Sander/Polisher ROS20VSC prevents swirl marks all thanks to its integral pad dampening braking system.
  • The tool also features an adjustable orbits system to fit each application.

  • If you are looking for fine finishes, this tool will offer that as it has a microcellular backing pad which ensures the padding is smooth.

  • The product may also be ideal for anyone looking for long-life service and firm grip of the disc as it comes with hook-and-loop disc attachment with over 35,000 long-life hooks

  • Also, whether you are a professional or an amateur DIYer, this product will offer you a mix of stability and speed matching the workpiece and task.

  • With its dust collection system, you can say goodbye to allergies from sawdust.

Pros

  • Endures the user’s comfort thanks to its lightweight design.

  • Features a soft grip and also allows for multiple grip positions.

Cons

  • Relatively weak motor (2.5 amps)

Buying Guide

In recent years, people have moved from the manual sanders and adopted the electrical ones. They make the sanding work easier and faster and are a sure bet to great returns. In light of that, if you are looking for using a sander on a deck you will need the best tools for the job.

Whether you are a professional or DIYer who just began sanding, a deck sander will be your best partner. It guarantees you smooth sanding with desirable results, speeds, accuracy, and fine finishing.

What is a deck sanding machine?

best sander for deck refinishing

A sander can be defined as a power tool that is usually used to smooth (or sand) surfaces. Sanding is usually done by abrasion and using sandpaper. The sandpaper is attached to the sander and then a mechanism that moves it rapidly is contained within some housing that hold or fix it to a workbench.

Normally, sanders for decks are powered by electricity. However, others like the ones used in auto-body repair are powered by compressed air. Sanders come in different types depending on their application. It's not the same sanding a deck than sanding for removing old paint or sanding furniture

Major types of sanders

Flap sander

Also called a sanding flap wheel, it’s shaped like a Rolodex and is used on hand-held drills or bench grinders. The sander is used for smoothing curved surfaces.

Belt sander

This is a stationary or hand-held sander.

Disc Sander

Mostly implemented as a stationary benchtop tool and has a replaceable and circular sandpaper. It is turned by compressed air or electric motors.

Orbital sander

The orbital sander is a hand-held tool and vibrates in tiny circles called orbits. It is mostly used to fine-sand or remove little materials. It can also be used for sanding drywall, however a drywall sander is recommended for this task. 

Wide-belt sander

This is a larger sander, and its concept is similar to a planer although it is much larger. This sander uses a rather large belt head and is used to sand large surfaces. The wide-belt sander is mainly used for large surfaces like cabinets and other larger furniture.

Drum sander

A drum sander is a large tool fitted with rotating sanding drums. The product is designed for larger surfaces finishing.

Stroke sander

A stroke sander is designed for large productions. It utilizes a hand-operated platent fitted on a standard sanding belt in order to apply pressure. It is used for finishing cabinets, doors, tabletops, and other large surfaces.

How to Select power sanders for decks

For maximum productivity and efficiency, you have to settle for the best sander. It is a non-negotiable situation as you will also be looking for a tool that gives you back the value for your money. It is, therefore, critical that you are vigilant enough and open up your eyes and ears for better offers.

The following are some of the things you should consider when buying a deck sander:

Consider your needs

The foremost factor to consider is why you are buying the sander. Ask yourself whether you need a tool to help you to sand rough surfaces or to dimension your workpiece parts. You should also know beforehand whether you need a product for specific surface finishing, targeted material removals, or even both.

Once you identify your needs, it will be easier to settle for the right one. If you cannot settle on one, a professional salesperson can advise you on the tool that fits your needs.

Machine type

Sanding machines come in all types and are more than you can go through at a go. You should, therefore, be armed with a short list of the machines you would choose from. Also, remember that salespeople will have their opinions and could sway you into buying one that won’t help if you do not have one in mind.

Head type

Next, consider the head type. There are four types: wide belt, brush, knife or planer, and orbital. Depending on your workpiece and the needs, you should be able to choose the right head type. Better yet, research the applications of each head and identify yours before heading to the shops.

New or used?

Depending on your budget and needs, would you settle for a used or new sander? This is a question only you can answer. Before heading out, you should be decided on what your pocket can manage and settle for that.

What is your budget?

This is the most important aspect of any shopping. You should not leave your house with a blind eye and a blank list, especially if you are operating on a tight budget. While you understand that most expensive tools are considered better, you should not overlook the cheaper ones.

Also, you should understand that a cheaper tool does not always guarantee good services. Some tools compensate their low prices by serving you only for a short while and then become useless.

What is the best Sander for Deck: Our Pick

Our top pick is the Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit. The tool outperforms the others and guarantees results for both professionals and DIYers. Whether you are using it for short or long projects, you can never go wrong with choosing it.

Our budget and premium choices also make a good deal of tools. The SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander makes it to our budget pick while the Makita 9403 Belt Sander takes our premium badge.

Resources and Further Reading

  • 5" Random Orbit Sander – Makita
  • 3X18" 6.0A BELT SANDER – SKIL
  • 4" x 24" Belt Sander – Makita
  • ROS20VSC 5 In. Palm Random Orbit Sander/Polisher – Bosch Tools
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