The Tool Geeks

Best Floor Sander: Give your Floor a Fine Finish!

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When your wood floors are worn out and faded, you usually can either replace them or refinish them. If you want to keep your existing hardwood floors and refinish them, then sanding them will be the key first step. But instead of using your handheld sander while on your hands and knees for hours and days, I recommend that yo use a floor sander, which will make the job go much quicker.

A floor sander is an upright, commercial-type sander, similar in size to a large vacuum cleaner or rug cleaner machine. Floor sanders come in the different types of Belt, Drum, Orbital, or Rotary, depending on their operation.

Due to their design and power, floor sanders will be at the top of most homeowners’ and DIYer’s budgets. Therefore, for single, one-time use, we recommend renting one at the various machine rental shops. However, if you have multiple properties or businesses with wood floors or are a contractor specializing in wood floor refurbishing, then we recommend that you consider buying one of these powerful machines.

Keeping in mind that this will be a larger expense, we’ve listed and reviewed our best floor sanders within a reasonable budget below, along with a buying guide and sanding tips.

Best Sanders for Hardwood Floors – My List

ImageProduct NameFeaturesPrice
Top Orbital Pick
Clarke Floor Sander Floor Sander Orbital-Dust Control #07081B
Clarke Floor Sander Floor Sander Orbital-Dust Control #07081B
  • Fastest orbital floor sander at 3600 OPM
  • Heavy-duty cast aluminum frame and pad frame
  • Dust connector pipe and optional dust containment system
9.7
Buy on AmazonRent at United Rentals
Rotary Pick
American Sanders 07161A RS-16 16
American Sanders 07161A RS-16 16" Rotary Sander 120V/60Hv
  • Powerful 1.5 hp motor provides smooth operation and aggressive sanding
  • Gray non-marking wheels and power cord protect the floor
  • Chrome plated steel housing, motor cover, and handle tube provide maximum durability
  • Dust port easily attaches to 1-1/2 inch or 2 inch vacuum hoses for improved dust containment. (DC model only)
9.5
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Runner-Up Rotary
Powr-Flite C201HD Classic Metal Floor Machine, 1.5 hp, 175 rpm, 20
Powr-Flite C201HD Classic Metal Floor Machine, 1.5 hp, 175 rpm, 20"
  • All Steel Triple Planetary Gear Box
  • Thumb activated safety interlock switch prevents accidental start ups
  • Each machine is assembled and tested by skilled American workers
  • Pad drivers sold separately
9.1
Buy on AmazonRent at Star Rentals
Edger PIck
Clarke American Sanders - American B2 Edger
Clarke American Sanders - American B2 Edger
  • Brand New - comes with Plastic Case (Suitcase)
  • Latest Model
  • Complete with new style bag as well as vacuum attachment
8.8
Buy on AmazonRent at American Rentals
Drum Sander Pick
Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum Floor Sander
Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum Floor Sander
  • High performance 8 inch
  • Powerful four brush motor
  • Completely self-contained with a high-efficiency dust pickup
  • Molded side and drum guards will not scuff walls
8.6
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Runner-Up Drum
Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum
Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum
  • Heavy duty 1-1/2 HP dual capacitor motor
  • 40' gray, rubber covered power cable provides longer reach
  • Rugged cast aluminum construction designed for years of service
  • Disassembles easily for transport or storage
8.2
Buy on AmazonRent at United Rentals
Belt Sander Pick
Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander
Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander
  • New 2021 Model with LED Light and Paddle Handle
  • Three-stage drum pressure regulation and belt tensioning device 
  • Powerful motor and aggressive sanding drum
8
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Handheld Pick
BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Orbital Sander
BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Orbital Sander
  • Random orbit mode for normal stock removal and "turbo" Driven eccentric orbit mode for aggressive stock removal (5 x normal mode)
  • Powerful 7. 5 amp variable speed motor (no-load speed: 290 to 640 RPM, no load orbit speed: 3300 to 7300 OPM) 
  • Passive dust collection system that requires a vacuum cleaner and hoses
7.7
Buy on AmazonRent-to-own at FlexShopper

Different Types of Floor Sanders and Their Uses

You have probably noticed that on our list we have different sander types. The main reason for that is to sand a hardwood floor you need different sanders.

Usually, to complete this project you need a drum or belt sander to sand the floor, an edge sander to remove the stains or paint from the floor, and an orbital sander to give the floor a smooth finish.

Depending on your budget and your project size you can get all these three types of sanders, or if your budget is low or your project isn’t that big,  then we recommend choosing an orbital or rotary sander.

Drum Sander

These types of sanders are mostly used by professionals. I recommend you use drum sanders if you are dealing with a big space. They are not recommended for beginners, they are heavy so you need someone to help you carry them and move them, plus it requires a lot of experience in order to use them.  Unless you have enough experience and a big mansion to sander I don’t recommend you to buy them.

But, if for some reason you decide to buy them, then make sure to buy one that is easier to move and make sure to have someone to help you move it. Drum sanders with variable speed settings are the best, so make sure to check if the sander has this feature or not.

You Might Also Like:  Wide Belt Sanders Review

Edge Sanders

Since drum sanders can’t reach corners then edge sanders are your best choice if you are dealing with them. Edge sanders are easy to use and they do a good job when it comes to corners. They are not recommended to be used for the whole project unless the surface isn’t that big and you have enough experience.

Orbital Sanders

After you remove the paint from the floor, the orbital sanders are used to give the floor a smooth finish. They are very good when it comes to finishing, but they can also be good at removing paint. If you don’t have the money to buy a drum sander, or if for some reason you only want to use an orbital sander then you can use put coarse sandpaper to the orbital sander and use it to remove the paint.

Then you can use other sandpaper to give the floor a smooth finish. This process will take longer than using drum sanders, but you will save a lot of money. This trick can only be used for small and medium projects, if you are dealing with a big surface then I recommend you buy a drum sander.

Best Sanders for Hardwood Floors – My Reviews


American Sanders 07081B Orbital Floor Sander – Dust Control

Best Features  Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander

  • Medium-intensity orbital vibrating sander at 3,600 OPM
  • Heavy-duty cast-aluminum frame for added control
  • Dust containment system option and connector pipe

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Review Coming Soon!

 


American Sanders 07161A RS-16 Rotary Floor Sander

Best Features  American Sanders 07161A RS-16 16' Rotary...

  • Powerful 1.5hp motor provides 175 Pad RPM
  • Chrome-plated steel housing and handle tube provide maximum durability
  • Available in standard or dust control (DC) models

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

Review Coming Soon!


Powr-Flite C201HD Metal Orbital Floor Sander

Best Features  Powr-Flite C201HD Classic Metal Floor...

  • Made from Steel
  • 20″ Pads/Brushes
  • Durable

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are looking for a very durable sander then the Powr-Flite C201HD is your perfect choice. This entire unit is made from steel, it is very durable and it can be used even on the most challenging floor projects such as untouched old floors.

It features a 1.5 HP motor that produces a speed of 175 RPM with a heavy-duty all steel triple planetary transmission and 20″ brushes to stand up to your most demanding work.   While slower than our first choice, due to it’s all-steel durability, you can perform a  multitude of cleaning tasks on various flooring types,  including stripping, scrubbing, sanding, scraping, grinding, shampooing, encapsulation cleaning and bonnet cleaning.

What I like about this sander is that it comes with a thumb activation switch, meaning that the chances of an accidental start-up are very low.

This tool weighs 105 pounds so it may be challenging to move for some people.

What We Liked:

  • Durable – Made from Steel
  • Good Motor – Features a 1.5 HP motor.
  • Thumb Activation Switch – Prevents accidental start-ups.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy – Weighs 105 lbs

Bon HT8 HireTech Drum Floor Sander

Best Features  Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum Floor...

  • Professional
  • Can be Disassembled 
  • 8-inch Sandpaper

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are serious about woodworking and you have your own business then you need a professional sander. One of the most used sander by professionals is the Bon HT8.

A big reason why we use this unit is because the tool can be easily disassembled and transported. Unlike other floor sanders that weigh a lot, this one only weighs around 100 pounds. If you put it head to head with the first sander in the list, this one weighs 75 pounds less.

The Bon HT8 is very easy to use, it comes with 8-inch sandpaper which helps you sand larger surfaces, such as the kitchen floor very fast. Moreover, it comes with a very effective dust extractor system that can be very helpful if you are working indoors, it keeps the dust inside the sander.

The thing we didn’t like about this sander is that it’s expensive. We as a team can make the price worth it, but if you are planning to use it once, then you should see other options.

What We Liked:

  • Professional – Offers a high-quality finish, especially if used for large floors.
  • Easy to Transport – I can assemble and disassemble this sander within a few minutes.
  • Good Dust Collector System: Very helpful if you are working indoors.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • It is a very expensive product. Think twice before buying it.

Clarke 07058A EZ-8 Drum Floor Sander

Best Features  Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum

  • Heavy duty 1-1/2 hp dual capacitor motor provides power for the most demanding jobs.
  • Disassembles easily for transport or storage.
  • Rugged cast aluminum construction designed for years of service.

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

Review Coming Soon!


Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander

Best Features  Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander

  • Known Brand
  • Fast
  • Easy Belt Changing

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

The HUMMEL® is a very known company when it comes to making sanders for floors. This company has been making sander for a while, and their products are always known to be good. This is the sander that I mostly use for floors.

What sets this sander apart from the others is that it uses a combination of three things to get the best results possible; it uses an aggressive drum sander, a three-phase drum pressure and a belt tensioning device. This combination is very effective and it always brings quality results.  This machine is also very fast, its speed goes up to 2880 RPM.

This is a belt sander, which means that you may need to change the belt while working. This process is very easy with this one, it literally takes few seconds to completely change the belt.  Moreover, it comes with an effective and optimized dust extraction which helps to keep the area clean. This sander is very good for floors, especially hardwood floors that haven’t been touched for a few years.

On the downside, this sander is heavy, it’s the heaviest product on this list. You might need an extra hand to help you move it.

What We Liked

  • Known Brand – This company has been making sanders for floors for decades.
  • Fast – The motor delivers up to 2880 RPM.
  • Easy Belt Changing – You can change the belt in seconds.
  • Dust Extraction – Effective, helps to keep the environment clean.
What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s very heavy, approximately 175 pounds.

Bosch GET75-6N – Best Handheld Sander for Wood Floors

Best Features  BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Electric...

  • Powerful
  • Fast
  • Durable

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

Although orbital sanders are not recommended for very large surfaces (big mansions floor), they are still pretty good when it comes to normal-sized floors.  One of the best orbital sanders for a hardwood floor is the Bosch GET75-6N. 

The main reason why I use this sander for floors is that it’s very powerful. This sander comes with a powerful 7.5 Amp Motor. The motor is dual-mode meaning that you can choose the mode depending on your project size. The first mode is the “normal” mode, I use the normal mode when I’m dealing with normal floors that don’t require extra power, very effective if the floor isn’t that old.

The second mode is the “turbo” mode, I usually use this mode when I’m dealing with a very old wood floor (such as abandoned house floors), the turbo mode is 5 times faster than the normal mode and it is very aggressive.  The normal mode speed is from 290 to 640 RPM, and the turbo mode speed is from 3300 to 7300 OPM.

The only thing that I don’t like about this sander is that it comes with a passive dust collector, meaning that you need to connect another vacuum so you can get rid of the dust.

What We Liked:

  • Motor: Features a 7.5 Amp Motor
  • Dual Mode:  You can choose between the normal and the turbo mode.
  • Variable Speed: You can change the speed to match your project size.
  • Fast – Up to 7300 OPM.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Passive Dust Collector

 

Best Floor Sander – Buyers Guide

All the sanders we have listed here are not the same. Some of them are more expensive. These expensive sanders also require an extra hand to move around and they are mostly used by professionals.

Sanding hardwood floors isn't hard, but you still need some experience and the right tools. We can't help with the experience part, but we sure can help with choosing the right tool, that's why we have made a list of the best sanders for hardwood floor where we have listed the top sanders that we recommend you to use for this process.

We have listed some budget-friendly sanders too, these types of sanders are mostly for beginners or DIYs. Before going through our list of the best sanders for hardwoods floor you need to have some knowledge about sanders; how they work, what are the best features, and so on.  This buying guide will help you buy or rent the right sander for you.

You might also like: Best Knife Sander Reviews

Floor Size

The size and the type of wood you are going to sand are very important. If you are dealing with a big surface, then a small sander won’t do it, you will have to spend a lot of time sanding the entire surface.

The type of wood is also important if it’s a very old floor then you will have to sand it a lot more, if the floor is old then you need to check for nails or anything else that can harm the sander.

Rent or Buy?

Now that you can decide which sander to pick it’s time to also decide if you want to buy the sander or rent it. It all depends on you. The drum sanders are very hard to find in local stores, also its sandpaper is also hard to find. So, if you go for a drum sander always make sure to buy extra sandpaper so you don’t have to stop your project to get more.  The other types of sanders are easier to find. I recommend you buy an orbital sander, you can use them for almost everything.

Be Careful

You will have to be careful when you are dealing with the floors. Always make sure to make straight motions, try to not move the sander on the sides because you may not notice it now, but once you paint the floor you will see the lines you made and it won’t look good.

If you have enough time, then it is recommended to not touch the floor for a few days, let it heal and dry so you can get the best results possible.

Final Words and My List Again

Sanding your floor is the first thing you need to do when you decide to refurbish your existing wood floors.  This whole process may take some time, but trust me, in the end, it is all worth it.  If you are ready to buy or rent one of these floor machines, here’s my recommended list again.

ImageProduct NameFeaturesPrice
Top Orbital Pick
Clarke Floor Sander Floor Sander Orbital-Dust Control #07081B
Clarke Floor Sander Floor Sander Orbital-Dust Control #07081B
  • Fastest orbital floor sander at 3600 OPM
  • Heavy-duty cast aluminum frame and pad frame
  • Dust connector pipe and optional dust containment system
9.7
Buy on AmazonRent at United Rentals
Rotary Pick
American Sanders 07161A RS-16 16
American Sanders 07161A RS-16 16" Rotary Sander 120V/60Hv
  • Powerful 1.5 hp motor provides smooth operation and aggressive sanding
  • Gray non-marking wheels and power cord protect the floor
  • Chrome plated steel housing, motor cover, and handle tube provide maximum durability
  • Dust port easily attaches to 1-1/2 inch or 2 inch vacuum hoses for improved dust containment. (DC model only)
9.5
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Runner-Up Rotary
Powr-Flite C201HD Classic Metal Floor Machine, 1.5 hp, 175 rpm, 20
Powr-Flite C201HD Classic Metal Floor Machine, 1.5 hp, 175 rpm, 20"
  • All Steel Triple Planetary Gear Box
  • Thumb activated safety interlock switch prevents accidental start ups
  • Each machine is assembled and tested by skilled American workers
  • Pad drivers sold separately
9.1
Buy on AmazonRent at Star Rentals
Edger PIck
Clarke American Sanders - American B2 Edger
Clarke American Sanders - American B2 Edger
  • Brand New - comes with Plastic Case (Suitcase)
  • Latest Model
  • Complete with new style bag as well as vacuum attachment
8.8
Buy on AmazonRent at American Rentals
Drum Sander Pick
Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum Floor Sander
Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum Floor Sander
  • High performance 8 inch
  • Powerful four brush motor
  • Completely self-contained with a high-efficiency dust pickup
  • Molded side and drum guards will not scuff walls
8.6
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Runner-Up Drum
Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum
Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum
  • Heavy duty 1-1/2 HP dual capacitor motor
  • 40' gray, rubber covered power cable provides longer reach
  • Rugged cast aluminum construction designed for years of service
  • Disassembles easily for transport or storage
8.2
Buy on AmazonRent at United Rentals
Belt Sander Pick
Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander
Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander
  • New 2021 Model with LED Light and Paddle Handle
  • Three-stage drum pressure regulation and belt tensioning device 
  • Powerful motor and aggressive sanding drum
8
Buy on AmazonRent at Kwipped
Handheld Pick
BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Orbital Sander
BOSCH Power Tools - GET75-6N - Orbital Sander
  • Random orbit mode for normal stock removal and "turbo" Driven eccentric orbit mode for aggressive stock removal (5 x normal mode)
  • Powerful 7. 5 amp variable speed motor (no-load speed: 290 to 640 RPM, no load orbit speed: 3300 to 7300 OPM) 
  • Passive dust collection system that requires a vacuum cleaner and hoses
7.7
Buy on AmazonRent-to-own at FlexShopper
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