Last Update: 10 Jan 2021
Best Sander for Deck Review
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
DEWALT Random Orbit Sander
SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander
One has to admit that you have an excellent sense of preparation. Instead of flying blind, you are here reading reviews about how to get the best out of your project. Sanding is a time-consuming task and is what many would call a necessary evil. This is because sanding helps to achieve a smoother finish. So the best sander for deck can make the job less stressful.
Deck sanding machine are available in different types and different ranges. That is why we have reviewed some of the best products in the market to buy only the best. We’ll also cover the various types of deck sanders, how to sand a wood deck, and how to remove sanding dust from wood. Save yourself scouring the web for the best products and read this review until the end.
Top 7 Best Sander for Deck Review
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
The Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander combines the features of speed and power with less noise effect for efficient removal.
Heavy and heavy
The unit by Makita is quiet and smooth, yet heavy-duty with flawless performance. The heavy design of the product comes in handy as you won’t have to apply to much downward pressure during use. Its dust catcher bag is also very efficient, and no dust cloud is released from the sand. On the upside, having to empty the bag so often gives the sander and the sanding belt the ability to cool down.
Big and powerful with a balanced feel
The unit is well-engineered with a powerful blower that eliminates the need to shop for a vacuum. The front handle port on the device is not very noticeable if you are right-handed. However, it is if you are left-handed.
Dimensions: 16.14 X 8.86 X 9.84 Inches
Weight: 13 Pounds
DEWALT Random Orbit Sander
The portable Dewalt orbit sander features 3 Amp motor that supplies up to 12,000 OPM for reliable performance.
Impressive design for a more personalized use
The unit has a separate counterweight that reduces vibration. This feature, combined with the rubber over-mold, ensures convenient sanding. Its easy-of-use design is further increased by its shorter and low design that lets you get close to your work surface.
The countertop mix is a bit hard as nail and provides continuous grinding without giving out. There is no set up once you unbox the sander as it comes with a small instruction booklet.
Relatively ergonomic design
The sander is suitable for one or two hand use. Although it has some weight to it, it is not too much. Plus, the average weight is an advantage for flexible use. Variable speed setting lets you dictate the pace you want to work and prevent running it too hard and breaking it.
Dimensions: 10.38 X 7.25 X 6.2 Inches
Weight: 4 Pounds
SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander
The SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat belt sander sits among the best products in the market with its pressure control and micro-filtration design.
Innovative feedback design for project enhancement
The unit features a pressure-control electronic feedback system to make your sanding neater and more effective. A sawdust canister captures your workspace to make it spotless. So much that you don’t always have to wear a dust mask when you are using the device.
The capture chamber is also natural to remove and empty. The sander is very useful because the belt is of high-grit paper, and as a result, spits off a lot of dust when it contacts the floor.
Light, reliable, and maneuverable cordless orbital sander
Belt replacement could not have been more comfortable with the Sandcat sander. Excellent shock absorption lessens vibrations, and the belt stays in play during use. The unit is also relatively quiet.
Dimensions: 6.63 X 13.75 X 6.5 Inches
Weight: 6.75 Pounds
Bosch Power Tools - 1250DEVS
The Bosch electric orbital sander is another practical piece that is perfect for woodworking.
Impressively versatile sander
The unit features dual sanding modes that let you alternate between an aggressive turbo and random orbit modes. The dynamic mode delivers 5 times the rate of a standard random orbit smoothing mode. It runs on a powerful 6.5 Amp variable-speed motor that gives enough power for various tasks. The machine has a no-load orbit speed of up to 6500 OPM and a no-load speed of up to 600 RPM.
Best for professional and DIY use
The ergonomics on the sander is excellent as you won’t have a hard time finding a grip on it. This feature is handy, especially when you are working overhead. Mesh construction allows more air to flow through collecting more dust, and the sander does not have too much vibration.
Dimensions: 14.8 X 7.8 X 6.2 Inches
Weight: 7.39 Pounds
Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander
The Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander is a random orbit sander that combines optimized pad orbit and rotation for well-blended, fast removal, and a smooth finish.
Enough speed for comfortable use
The random orbit sander, which also doubles as a polisher, eliminates marks on a workpiece. An integral dampening system and Bosch’s Hooktight hook-and-loop disc prevent swirl marks. The attachment boasts more than 35,000 long-life hooks that ensure a steady and firm grip on the disc when you are using it. It also comes with a microcellular pad for a smooth finish on contoured and flat surfaces.
The speed on the machine is adjustable between 7500 and 12,000 OPM. There is also a convenient soft-grip body and top design that let you grip the unit conveniently from multiple positions. Plus, it produces low vibration for extended use without getting tired.
Dimensions: 9 X 5 X 6 Inches
Weight: 3.5 Pounds
Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander
The Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander is yet another versatile, accurate, and easy to use sander by Bosch.
Super easy and efficient
The product features a variable speed dial and rugged 3.4 Amp motor to match speed with the task of up to 11,000 OPMs. The mechanism for clamping new sanding sheets is one of the best in the market.
It comes especially handy for woodworking enthusiasts with old and arthritic hands. More than ease of operation, it tensions the new sheets effectively. The tool is well-balanced and shuts down within a seconds after you turn it off.
Impressive vibration dampening suspension system
The method of collecting dust is remarkable, and the sander itself is not aggressive. Nonetheless, it removes material almost as quickly and leaves a smooth surface. Excellent removal power transfers minimum vibration to your palms to prevent tingling numbness after work.
Dimensions: 17.9 X 5.8 X 8.9 Inches
Weight: 0.48 Ounces
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp Variable Speed Belt Sander
The Hitachi SB8V2 Belt Sander features a 9.0 Amp motor for handling some of the hardest material removals.
Versatile for a wide range of use
The machine is not only recommended for use on wood, but it also works well on steel, and paint removal. Unlike standard belt sander, the product has two times longer service life thanks to its wear-resistant V-belt.
The dynamic dust bag location on the left side of the machine improves corner sanding. The main body also features a belt pulley on the right, and a soft elastomer enclosed grip on either side of the handles.
Durable construction for extended use
Among its many exciting features, the variable speed adjustment and sturdy construction stand chief. The sander has a metal body and does not contain any plastic material. However, it is still lightweight enough for easy.
Brand: Metabo Hpt
Model Number: Sb8v2
Weight: 9.5 Pounds
Things to Consider Before Buying Sander for Deck
There are different floor sanders for decks in the market, each allowing you to do various tasks efficiently. Where some sanders are best for a smooth finish, others are best for industrial or rugged sanding. Hence, it is best to know the different types of products that are sold. There is no universal sander that promises a one size fit.
However, you can purchase a product that offers enough functionality to see you through your project. Belt sanders are fast and powerful. Orbital sanders, on the other hand, are best for controlled and precise work. However, they don’t cover large areas quickly. Read the section below for what type of sander to use on deck.
Power Source and Input
Deck sanders could be corded-electric or battery operated. The corded ones have more power ratings compared to their battery-operated counterparts and last longer. If you live in a place with access to constant electricity, then you should look to buy a corded sander since power is more consistent.
However, you have to deal with managing long extension cords. However, if you choose to purchase a battery-operated sander, look at lithium-ion batteries as reliable and last longer.
Motor and Speed
A powerful motor usually backs a sturdy and robust sander. The best technique to measure the strength of the machine is to check its engine’s size. Do note that motor power is measured in Amp. Hence, we recommend that you look for as much power as you can. The speed of the tool is another factor that you should consider before buying the product.
If you run on a deadline on schedule, it would be best to purchase a considerably fast device. Not just speed now; look for different speed settings. Variable speed comes in handy as you can use the same sander for various tasks on different materials.
For example, some of the products we have listed above have a regular and aggressive mode. As a result, you can either sand your deck gently or aggressively or control the speed with ease.
The size of the sander is another factor that should influence your purchase. Wide sanders have a larger coverage area; however, they are not easy to maneuver. In contrast, small and narrow sanders let you reach corners easily. Another reason why you should consider the size of the machine is the ease of handling and operation. Heavy and bulky sanders will slow your work down if you try to sand vertically.
On the upside, you won’t need to exact too much pressure for horizontal surfaces. Smaller ones are best if you have weak hands, and you plan to use the device for an extended period. If you wish to make some strength in your upper arm, you can shop for a heavy and bulky sander.
Sanding displaces lots of dust from the wood. Although we recommend that you use a nose and eye protector, you can reduce the demand for goggles and masks during work. Sanders, with a dust extraction mechanism, features a built-in dust collector that takes in most of the dust from the surface.
Hence, you won’t always have to spend too much time cleaning your work area since only minimal dust will be left. You can be flexible with the size of the dust collector, depending on the work area. However, we recommend that you shouldn’t shop for an overly big collector. Since you would need to empty the content frequently, it gives the machine time to rest.
Sanders can be noisy. While you might not expect them to be, they are. However, some products don’t make so much noise. If you don’t intend to invest in ear protection, then we recommend that you look for sanders with the lowest sound.
Since noise is measured in decibels, the lower the decibel, the more comfortable the noise level. More than this, look for other convenient features like vibration dampeners as they reduce hand fatigue for lengthy use. Don’t forget to prioritize sturdy construction as it ensures lasting use.
Types of Deck Sanders
Wide belt sanders are arguably the most significant type of sander. The product, like its name, makes use of a large belt for sanding surfaces. The abrasive belt rotates thanks to an electric motor and is mounted on dual cylindrical drums. Hence, as the belt turns, it trims, levels, and sands flat and round surfaces alike. With proper balance, this traditional sander will make short work of your sanding task. Read more on how to use a belt sander on a deck.
Orbital sanders are best used to remove tiny materials as the handheld power tool vibrates in a small circular motion. As a result, the gentle motion ensures that your project is not ruined. The random orbit sander is fitted with round pads, hence, are versatile and portable. The padding on the device gives it two distinct motions that are demonstrated by revolving and vibrating in circles. Thanks to this orbiting movement, the product does not leave swirl marks on your wood deck.
This type of sander is mostly used on stationary benchtop and feature circular and replaceable sandpaper. Disc sanders run on either compressed air or electric motors and are best for finishing projects. As a result, the sandpaper is round and has a finer grit.
Sheet sanders are best used on flat surfaces and are held in place by two spring clamps. Like an orbital sander, the pad vibrates in circles and tiny orbits to let the machine move in any direction that you desire.
How to Remove Sanding Dust from Wood?
The primary enemy to a smooth finish is dust. Leaving dust on your wood before painting will make the finish coarse and unattractive. The solution then is to remove sanding dust from the wood. Follow the steps below for an impressive finish:
Vacuum and Wipe the Wood:
The first step is to capture the smallest dust particles on the wood. Since a vacuum does this job better than a blower, it would be best to use a vacuum. When this is done, wipe off the surface with a dry and clean cloth. It doesn’t matter the color of the fabric, but you may use a white cloth to see how much dirt you wiped off.
Wipe the Surface Fresh With a Damp Microfiber Cloth:
Dust sticks better to a damp microfiber cloth. We would have recommended that you use a tack cloth; however, tack is not reusable and often come with smelly and sticky chemicals. Use enough water that won’t stay too long on the wood but will evaporate quickly. After this, you can wipe it again with a dry microfiber cloth. If you prefer to use a tack cloth, cut it into pieces and use it one at a time. Another advantage of wiping the surface is that it calls your attention to rough areas for refinishing.
Use Denature Alcohol:
The final step in the cleaning process is to wipe the wood surface with denatured alcohol. Soak a clean cloth through with alcohol as it picks up fine and smooth dust. An advantage of alcohol is that it wipes off quickly and won’t stain or discolor your project. It is also safe for use on woods like cutting boards that will be used to serve food.
Tips for Sanding a Wood Deck
A deep wood power wash before sanding is necessary. Use a pressure washer to carry out this process; however, make sure that the setting is not too aggressive. Follow the wash by sanding the wood before sealing and staining. This is because washing could cause the wood fibers to expand with the water, and it could cause splinters. Test the pressure and the distance between the washer and the wood to determine the right washer setting.
Prepare the Surface:
The next step is to prepare and inspect the edges and other decking surfaces. Check all the fasteners to ensure that they are all driven way below into the wood. Inspect old screws and replace the ones that should be replaced. Fasten and secure any loose board with nails or screws.
Sand the Deck Surface:
The goal when sanding hardwood is to achieve as much smoothness as possible. For exterior deck surface or floorboard, use sandpapers with grits that are rougher than 80 or 60. Using 100 grits and above fine-grit papers will smoothen the wood until the pores close down. This then hinders stain absorption. Vacuum the surface thoroughly before moving on to sealing or staining the surface.
Sand the Board Edges:
Sand with a sandpaper grit of 80 or 60 grit for the end grain of boards. Make sure that you sand evenly for even absorption. Wear safety gear like knee pads and hearing protectors during the process.
Standing the Railings:
Smoothen out the handrails with 80 to 100 grit sandpaper to prevent splinters from injuring people. However, don’t sand to smooth so much that stain won’t penetrate easily. Vacuum thoroughly and remove all dust before sealing and staining.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you use an orbital sander on a deck?
Answer: An orbital sander is a very effective sander for refinishing a deck. The machine is simple to use, and the finish is always appealing. Abrasive sandpaper on the machine moves in an irregular pattern rather than in a consistent line. As a result, an orbital deck sanding machine won’t give much mechanical design on the surface.
2. Should I sand my deck?
Answer: Yes, you should sand your deck before staining or sealing. This is because sanding helps to remove dust particles and clean the deck for a convenient and smooth finish. Besides, after washing your deck, the wood fibers are raised and expanded. When you leave the wood to dry in that state, it causes splinters that can be harmful. Hence, sanding your deck is an important activity that you must do.
3. How can I sand my deck fast?
Answer: The best sander for deck refinishing with grits no rougher than 80 or 60 grit lets you sand your deck fast. More than this, the size and weight of your sander also influence your sanding speed. Choose a product with a powerful motor and a broad reach, but flexible for a fast project.
4. Do I need to sand my deck before repainting?
Answer: Sanding is an essential step in the preparation process for repainting your deck. Before repainting, you must strip off the old paint so that the new one would stay in place. Sanding before repainting is an excellent way to remove the old stain, paint, wood residue, and expose imperfections. However, we recommend that you sand not against the grain but in its direction.
5. Can you sand a wet deck?
Answer: There are two methods of sanding, which are dry and wet sanding. Dry sanding as you know it is carried out on dried wood. For dry sanding, you can use an electric sander without ruining the device. Try this on wet wood, and you won’t be so happy. What most individuals do is attach a wet sandpaper sheet to their sanders; however, it usually finishes in a disaster. We recommend that you don’t use a sander on a wet deck as it would ruin your device, sandpaper, and wood and make the surface uneven.
The best sander for deck makes the prospect of refinishing and sanding a deck an exciting one. It is enough to stress that the task is a demanding and tough one. It is only reasonable that you would want to buy a sander to make the task less demanding.
We recommend the Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander as the best sander of our review and in the market. The product is ergonomic, comfortable to use, and supports a quiet operation. It also outperforms its competitors with more power and weight to make deck sanding convenient and fast.
Nonetheless, all the products we have reviewed come with enough features that you can’t go wrong with. In case you have purchased a bad product before, then you should read our buyer’s guide to avoid making the same mistake. Sanding doesn’t have to be such a hard job if you know the hows and the whats.