Sanders are used in many different industries to remove material from a surface and then polish or finish the item. Sanders is also employed in the home DIY arena to rough surfaces before finishing. There are three basic types of sanders: the rotary, disk, and belt sander. The type of sander you need will depend on what type of job you have. This article will explain the differences between these three types of sander so that you can make an informed decision when looking for a sander for your next project. Here is a breakdown of each type of sander and what they are best used for:
Rotary sanders are probably the most common type of sander. They consist of two drums that spin in a horizontal motion. The top drum contains abrasive material that is hit into the workpiece to grind away the material. On the other hand, the bottom drum contains a suction cup so that dirt, sand, etc. can be drawn up into the sander’s intake chamber.
Disk sanders are often confused with electric sanders simply because both of them use a similar method to move the abrasive material across the surface. The main difference is that the electric sander has a motor that pushes the sand through the belt, which rotates the sanding belt at a predetermined speed. The belt is made of materials such as cotton, nylon, or synthetic fiberglass. Electric sanders also have the advantage of not using chemicals. Also, this type of sander does not need a lubrication system, making it ideal for uses where there is little lubrication needed, such as removing hard mineral deposits from exposed stainless steel parts.
Another variation of the sander is the sander with an interchangeable benchtop plate. This sander is similar to the electric sander; however, it comes with a fixed, closed-face abrasive wheel that can be used to grind surfaces as well as smooth them. Unlike the electric version, this sander uses a pneumatic or electric motor to power the rotating action. As with any power tool, safety precautions should always be observed. This sander must be used on flat, smooth surfaces only.
Belt sanders are designed for use on rough or unfinished surfaces. Like the sander discussed earlier, these tools use an abrasive material to drive the sanding belt across the surface, and the belt provides the rotating force for the grinding action. Unlike the sander mentioned above, belt sanders require little maintenance and are perfect for use on wood floors, tile floors, and countertops. Like the sander discussed earlier, they require little lubrication and come in various sizes to handle different-sized jobs.
The most versatile sander is the orbital sander; it has an oscillating tool with two rotating brushes that sweep the grain over the surface being sanded. This is the ideal sander for most woodworking projects because it will remove all of the natural irregularities from the wood surface, allowing for a professional finish. The grain will not be pitted, and there will be no unevenness in the finished product. These machines are powered by a standard electric cord and have a two-handle operation with the handle opposite the direction of the rotation. The two handles have to be kept close to the center of the handle so that they can be operated easily and quickly. Oscillating tools tend to run on a cool and steady current, and they can generally work over rough surfaces as long as the surface does not move too much.
Hand sanding devices are the most popular option among amateur woodworkers; these are the sander that professional woodworkers use. A hand sander has a cylindrical drum, and it is equipped with either a belt or electric motor to turn the drum. An adjustable cylinder on hand sanders allows the user to control the speed and intensity of the sander’s rotation, and this is an important capability for smoothing out surfaces. Because of this ability to vary the level of sanding particles that fall and stay on the surface, hand sanders are ideal for making deep, scratches or for using sanding pads on finished wood. Although they are often more expensive than electric sanders, they can give a much nicer finish.
If you need a sander that is portable and easy to store (perhaps for use during a show or home improvement event), a portable sander is a perfect choice for you. Many portable sanders are able to be wheeled behind your workbench, which means that you can sand any type of surface without having to worry about moving the heavy tool on and off of the surface. Many of these sanders are very similar to the handheld variety but have a smaller and more compact design for easy storage.