- Free Plans and Projects
- Furniture Projects
- Jigs And Fixtures Projects
- Shop Projects
- SketchUp Models
- Shop Storage
- Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley
- Premium Streaming Video Site
- Experts Guide to Gluing & Clamping Wood
- Mastering Built-In Furniture
- Simple Live-Edge Slab Table
- CNC – Designed for Woodworkers
- Milling Your Own Lumber
- Advanced Bandsaw Techniques
- I Can Do That! – Simple Woodworking Projects
- Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill
- Tricks of the Trade
My AccountWe independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products-learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
- Popular Woodworking Magazine
- Digital Editions
- Give A Gift
- Woodworking Magazine Reprints
- Premium Streaming Video
Tackle Sanding With Ease Using the Best Oscillating Sanders
Woodworking can become a physically taxing job, especially when you don’t have the proper tools for it. Most woodworking projects require a lot of sanding, and a hand sander may not be the right tool for it. Besides making the job more laborious, a hand sander may not give you a refined final product.
To save yourself from long hours of futile sanding, you should consider getting a power sander. While this device can help you perform time-taking tasks in a matter of minutes, the trick is to choose a sander with the right motor power, speed, and dust handling.
To help you navigate the online marketplace, we’ve curated a list of our favorite oscillating sanders of 2023.Show contentsGreat Oscillating Sander Worth Considering in 2023
Buyer’s Guide To Finding Quality Oscillating Sanders
Finding the right power sander is essential for your woodworking projects. Given the number of sanders available on the market, choosing the right one can be tricky. We’ve discussed everything you need to know before buying a high-quality oscillating sander in this guide.
What to Consider When Buying Oscillating Sanders
Oscillating sanders are available in different motor powers. The motor power is mentioned in horsepower and determines the level of projects a sander can handle, from light-duty to heavy-duty.
You should keep your requirements in mind while choosing the motor power of a sander. For example, while a lower horsepower sander would suffice for occasional light tasks you may need a heavy-duty sander for sanding thick wood varieties.
On some sanders, you may even find the motor power displayed in amperes.
Proper operating speed is essential for a sander to complete a task quickly. Sanders are available at different rotation and oscillation speeds, and you can choose one according to your requirement. To prevent the risk of burn marks, we recommend getting one with adjustable speed options for better control.
A product of wood sanding is sawdust, which can make your workspace messy. To avoid cleaning your workspace every time you sand a piece of wood, get an oscillating sander with dust extraction capabilities. You can find sanders with dust ports and easily attach dust collectors to prevent the sawdust from spreading.
Types of Oscillating Sanders
These sanders are designed for sitting on a tabletop or a workbench. Aside from their lightweight nature, their compact size and lightweight construction allows them to be set up on multiple flat surfaces.
These sanders usually have a base or legs to stand on the floor. They have a comfortable height to work efficiently, and as a minor downside, many floor sanders can weigh a few hundred pounds.
The handiest sanders are portable ones, and since they come in multiple horsepowers you can use them for sanding irregular curves in light or heavy-duty projects.
The Power Ratings of Oscillating Sanders
Oscillating sanders with a light-duty power rating usually come with a 1/3 horsepower motor. This horsepower is perfect for sanding light wood pieces, and you can use it for DIYs, craftwork, photo frames and other small projects.
Medium-duty spindle sanders typically come with a motor power of 1/3 horsepower. These sanders can do medium-level sanding tasks, like sanding dense hardwoods or larger surfaces.
A heavy-duty sander will come with motor power. With such a high motor power, you can efficiently perform larger projects, like sanding wood.
Oscillating vs. Regular Sanders: Know the Difference
An oscillating sander differs from a regular sander in many ways, including but not limited to:
While a regular sander uses flat sandpaper for creating abrasions, an oscillating sander uses a cylindrical roll. The cylindrical sanding sleeves offer better sanding performance.
In a regular sander, the sandpaper moves in circular motions to produce abrasions. On the other hand, the sanding sleeve of an oscillating sander moves both circularly and vertically to create abrasions and remove scratch marks.
A regular sander is used for smoothing out the edges and surfaces of a wood piece, while an oscillating sander is only used on the edges. You can use it on surfaces, but it won’t deliver desired results.
Great Oscillating Sander Worth Considering in 20231
WEN Oscillating Sander– Top PickBuy on AmazonCheck On Walmart
The WEN oscillating sander has a powerful 3.5 amp motor that runs at 2000 revolutions per minute. Its 1/2 horsepower delivers a speed output of 58 oscillations per minute, and despite offering such high performance it has a lightweight, portable design. Since it only weighs 30 pounds, it is also suitable for occasional transportation.
With this oscillating sander, you don’t have to carry accessories separately because it offers built-in storage. And aside from the six sleeve attachments and five rubber drums, it also features a dust collection port for keeping the workspace clean.
The stable performance of this product places it at the top of our list.Pros
- Features a 1.5-inch dust port
- Comes with six sanding sleeves
- Features onboard storage for accessories
- Lightweight construction may affect its sturdiness
Shop Fox Oscillating Sander– Most LightweightBuy on Amazon
If you’re looking for a high-speed spindle sander, give the Shop Fox Oscillating Sander a chance. This high-performance sander features a 3.5 amp motor that runs at a high speed of 58 oscillations per minute, and it also features a built-in work table that easily handles medium-level projects.
While sanding the wood pieces, you don’t have to worry about creating a mess because of its dust port. This dust port collects all the sawdust, and since it comes with six different sleeve sizes it can carry out various projects.
This pick also has a lightweight construction for maximum portability.Pros
- Comes with six built-in spindles
- Sufficient onboard storage for attachments
- Features a locking power switch for safety
- It may have a noisy operation
Rikon Oscillating Sander– Best for Professional ProjectsBuy on Amazon
The Rikon Oscillating Sander is a robust machine that allows you to achieve quick and well-aimed sanding. This sander is equipped with a powerful ½ horsepower motor and abrasive sleeves, and with multiple spindles and inserts included in the package, you don’t have to worry about purchasing extra parts. The abrasive sleeves are also responsible for more efficient cutting action, and to add to its functionality you get a two-in-one action spindle that oscillates 29 times per second.
To allow for advanced customization, you can tilt the worktable from zero to 45 degrees.Pros
- A brushless motor ensures durability
- Perfect for heavy-duty jobs
- Features a sturdy base
- It’s very heavy
Triton Oscillating Sander– Easy to OperateBuy on Amazon
For various high-end features at a moderate price tag, consider the Triton Oscillating Sander. This powerful machine has a large cast aluminum work table, offering enough space for your projects. Featuring a tilting front section, the work table can also be adjusted 45 degrees.
As far as machine power is concerned, this sander features a powerful motor of a 3.5 amp that runs at 2,000 revolutions per minute. With its dual rotation and oscillation action, you can get enhanced speed, smooth performance and an accurate finish. These features make it suitable for sanding irregular curves and contours, and to enhance your storage you also get six sanding sleeves.Pros
- Features a large, adjustable work table
- Construction is lightweight
- Not suited for heavy-duty projects
People Also AskedQ: Are oscillating sanders safe to use?
A: Absolutely! Beginners and professionals alike use oscillating sanders to improve their projects. They’re also a favorite choice among DIYers and professionals who don’t wish to sand their working materials by hand.Q: What types of tasks are oscillating sanders used for?
A: While used for a variety of tasks, oscillating sanders are best suited for sanding the edges of wood boards.Q: Is a dust port really required for an oscillating sander?
A: Oscillating sanders generate a lot of sawdust that can spread if not appropriately contained. For this reason, it is better to attach a sander to a vacuum or dust collector to minimize your cleaning time. If needed, you can also invest in a fan that will put out consistent airflow to remove these particles.Q: How can I tell if my oscillating sander needs replacement?
A: Generally speaking, you’ll know your oscillating sander needs replacement if it shows signs of wear and tear that won’t go away after proper maintenance.Q: How to choose the correct grit type for an oscillating sander?
A: Typically, 80 grit sandpaper works fine with most oscillating sanders. If you need a refined and smoother finish for your product, choose a higher grit value, like a 120 grit paper.Q: Do I have to follow safety guidelines when operating an oscillating sander?
A: Oscillating sanders are powerful tools that should be handled carefully. When using a power sander, make sure you wear safety gloves and goggles. Also, be sure to avoid wearing loose clothes or accessories, like watches or bracelets.The Pop Wood Review Team’s product reviews and comprehensive guides are here to help you select the best gear and tools to efficiently complete top-quality woodworking projects. The content is created by The Pop Wood Review Team. Popular Woodworking’s editorial staff is not involved. Popular Woodworking is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.