The Tool Geeks

Best Sanders For Paint Removal: Find The Best Paint Sanding Machines

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When it comes time to remove paint from a surface, there are a few different methods you can use. One easy, time-saving, and preferred option is to use an electric sander.

But with so many different types of sanders on the market, which one should you choose? And what about using an orbital sander vs. a belt sander?

My preferred sander for removing paint is a Random Orbital Sander, especially from wood pieces, and as an all-purpose sander for around the house and the shop.  Yet, depending on the size and shape of the material, you can also use belt sanders, disc sanders, and even finishing sanders.

There are a lot of different models and types with different features which I’ll explain below and to make it easier for you we have listed our best sanders to remove paint we have ever used.

Best Sanders for Paint Removal – My List

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice

DeWalt DWE6423K Random Orbit Sander
  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed:
    Variable 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Makita BO5041 Random Orbital Sander
  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed:
    Variable 4,000 to 12,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon


  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed : 6 Speeds Up to 13,000 OPM

  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch

DeWalt DCW210D1 Random Orbit Sander
  • Motor Power: 20 Volt
  • Speed:
    Variable 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon

BOSCH GET75-6N Orbital Sander
  • Motor Power: 7.5 AMP
  • Speed : Polishing 290 to 640 RPM / Orbital 3300 to 7300 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 6-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
  • Motor Power: 8.8 AMP
  • Speed : 690-1,440 ft./min
Buy On Amazon

Bosch Power Tools
  • Motor Power: 3.4 AMP
  • Speed : 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
Buy On Amazon

Types of Sanders For Paint Removal

Orbital and Random Orbital Sanders

Orbital sanders are one of the most popular sander types for removing paint and for woodworkers.  They spin a circular base with sandpaper attached in a circular motion and can be electric, or battery-powered.  Many can be operated with one hand, also called palm sanders.    

The size of their circular base varies from small to large sizes to accommodate different materials and layouts, with 5-inches being a popular size.  And their speed is measured in Orbits Per Minute (OPM). 

While other sander types may rely on brute force, orbital sanders use circular motions which are much gentler and less likely to cause any damage to the surface.  Therefore, they’re often considered the best choice for removing paint- because they won’t cause any further damage in addition to what’s already been done.    

The few disadvantages of orbital sanders are that they can produce swirl marks in the material due to their circular motion and their lack of power for really large jobs.

 The ‘Random’ in Random Orbital Sanders means that the sander also oscillates or vibrates, in addition to the circular motion, of a regular orbital sander.  While this difference may seem trivial, it helps prevent the swirl marks associated with traditional orbital sanders.  Most orbital sanders nowadays are Random Orbital Sanders and come with variable speed settings and dust collection adapters.    

Belt Sanders

Belt sanders are another popular sander types for removing paint. A reason for this is that they are more powerful and can cover larger surface areas, such as floorboards, siding, decks, and fences.  Belt sanders spin a sanding belt’ around two roller drives or wheels to create their sanding technique.  Many require two hands to use. 

Their sanding area is usually rectangular in shape with common sanding belt sizes of 3 to 4 inches wide and 18 to 24 inches long.  And a belt sander’s speed is usually measured in Feet Per Minute (FPM).

 Since belt sanders require flat surfaces and are usually more powerful, they are generally used for larger surface areas, such as floorboards, siding, decks, and fences, when removing paint. Most are electric, although there are some battery-power ones. Due to their greater power, they can also end up removing some of the material as well as the paint.  It’s also important to sand with the grain in wood, otherwise, you could lateral-grain marks.

Disc Sanders

Disc sanders are generally used to remove paint from rougher surfaces and harder-to-reach areas.  They spin a disc with an abrasive surface in a circular motion and generally require two hands to use, although some of the smaller ones can be used with one hand.  Some disc sanders have a right-angle sanding disc, which is called an angle grinder.

A common size for disc sanders is also 5 inches and they can be electric, or battery-powered.  Disc sander speeds are usually measured in Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).

Finishing Sanders

Finishing sanders are generally used to remove paint from hard-to-reach areas, such as corners, and to provide the final smoothing on the surface.  They generally oscillate or vibrate their sanding base and can be square or rectangular-shaped or some combination.  Sometimes they are called Sheet Sanders or Detail Sanders. 

Finishing sanders come in both electric and battery-power versions and most can be operated with one hand.  They generally use 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 sandpaper sheet sizes attached to the sanding base by spring clips.  And their speed is usually measured in Orbits Per Minute (OPM). 

Now that we have reviewed the main sander types for paint removal, let’s dive into the detailed reviews of my favorite ones.

Best Sanders for Paint Removal – My Reviews


DeWalt DWE6423K Best Electric Sander to Remove Paint From Wood

Best Features  DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6423K)

  • Good for beginners 
  • Smooth Finish
  • Durable Disks

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

The DEWALT DWE6423K is an ideal sander for paint removal. It comes with a powerful 3.0 amp motor that operates from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM along with a variable speed dial. 

This model has a separate counterweight design to reduce vibration for improved comfort and due to its short height, it allows the user to get closer to the surface, and for true one-handed operation.

It has an improved dust collection and a one-handed locking dust bag.  It is durable and will last as it has an improved dust-sealed switch, which protects against dust ingestion for longer switch life.  It’s also easy to change sandpaper on the DeWalt DWE6423K with its 8-hole hook and loop disks.

This DeWalt model is designed to seamlessly connect to DeWalt dust collector systems.  However, if you are used to hooking up a standard vacuum hose to your orbital sander, this model requires an adapter, sold separately, to fit the hose.

What We Liked:

  • Variable speed dial
  • Dust-sealed switch
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t fit a standard 1 -1/4″ vacuum hose

Makita BO5041 5″ Random Orbit Sander Runner-Up Electric Sander 

Best Features  Makita BO5041 5' Random Orbit Sander,...

  • Wider Speed Range
  • Quick-Change Disks
  • Adjustable Second Handle

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

The Makita BO5041 is another good sander for paint removal and my 2nd corded sander pick. While it also comes with a powerful 3.0 amp motor, it has a wider, and still variable, speed range of 4,000 to 12,000 OPM that should cover all of your sanding needs. 

This Makita model is slightly taller than the above DeWalt model and has a main pistol-grip with a trigger switch for easy and comfortable one-handed operation.  For two-handed operation and to sand in tighter spaces, it has an adjustable, smaller, second handle.  

Two more features that make this Makita sander easier to use are it’s lighter weight and it quick-change sanding discs.  Having a weight of of just over 2lbs, compared to the usual 3-4lbs, makes this sander great for overhead motions on high walls and ceilings.  And it’s five-inch eight-hole hook-and-loop abrasive discs are easily changeable.

The only items that could be improved on this Makita sander are its average dust collection and lack of a standard connector to shop vac systems (connectors available separately).

What We Liked:

  • Variable speed dial
  • Dust-sealed switch
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t fit a standard 1 -1/4″ vacuum hose

TACKLIFE Orbital SanderBest Budget-Pick Electric Sander to Remove Paint

Best Features 

  • Budget-Pick Power
  • 6 Speed Settings!
  • Ergonomic Design

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

If you are a DIYer with a limited budget, then this may be the perfect tool for you. The Tacklife PRS01A orbital sander is easy to use and will do a great job for many sanding tasks. Besides having a similar 3.0 Amp motor as its more expensive competitors, it also has semi-variable speed control of 6 different speed settings with a maximum of 13,000 OPM.

One thing I love about this Tacklife model is the design. It features a clean and ergonomic design. The rubberized palm grip design will help you to have better control and it’s very comfortable.  At the top of the design is a palm-activated switch button which allows you to start and shut down the tool very easily by pushing on it.  

This machine comes with a self-contained dust collector box, located at the end of the machine, which makes it very portable.  No need for a separate standard or shop vacuum.  It is very efficient and once the dust collector box is filled, you can remove it from the machine, wash it, put it back on the machine, and continue the work.

It also comes with 12 different sandpaper discs to allow you to get started right away and that you can use to remove paint from materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. I use this sander indoors too, it doesn’t make a lot of noise and it doesn’t vibrate as much

This Tacklife sander is my budget pick and should cover most homeowners’ tasks.  However, its self-contained dust collector box could be improved, as the dust collector box has difficulty collecting dust when sanding on walls, and you would have to create your own connector for a separate vacuum.

What We Liked:

  • Perfect for DIYers – Doesn’t make a lot of noise and it’s easy to use.
  • 6 Different Speed Settings –  3.0A (350W) /13000 OPM. A lot of times faster than a traditional sander.
  • Good Design – Clean design that will allow you to control the sander easier and it fits in tight areas as well.
  • Dust Collector Box – A dust collector box that is located at the end of the tool. 
  • Comes with 12 sandpapers – It comes with 12 sandpapers that will help you remove paint from different materials.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It’s smaller and it is not recommended to use it to remove paint from walls unless you have a separate vacuum.

DeWalt DCW210D1 20V Max Best Battery-Powered Sander to Remove Paint From Wood

Best Features  DEWALT 20V MAX* Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch,...

  • Good for beginners 
  • Smooth Finish
  • Durable Disks

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

The DEWALT DCW210D1 is my favorite battery-powered sander for removing paint.  It comes with a powerful 3.0 amp motor that operates from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM along with a variable speed dial, just like its corded cousin above. 

This model also has a separate counterweight design to reduce vibration for improved comfort and due to its short height, allowing you to get closer to the surface.

It has an improved dust collection and a one-handed locking dust bag.  It is durable and will last as it has an improved dust-sealed switch, which protects against dust ingestion for longer switch life.

Battery-powered tools generally, especially sanders and saws, tend to use up their battery charge fairly quickly.  Therefore, I recommend that you have two batteries handy when using this one. 

That said, the 20/60 Volt battery that comes with this sander can be used in over 200 other battery-powered DeWalt tools.

What We Liked:

  • Variable speed dial
  • Dust-sealed switch
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t fit a standard 1 -1/4″ vacuum hose

Bosch GET75-6N Best Industrial Orbital Sander To Remove Paint

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

Best Features  

  • Powerful
  • Multiple Handles
  • Turbo Speed Mode

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

For a more powerful, random orbital sander, look no further than the BOSCH GET75-6N model, which is my industrial and contractor pick.

A 7.5 Amp motor powers the orbital sander in 2 different speed modes:  a standard random- orbital mode from 3,300 to 7,300 OPM and a “turbo” setting which is a direct drive, eccentric-orbit mode that really ramps up the random motion for rougher areas removal.

It is heavier, at 5.7lbs, and it has a larger 6-inch sanding disc for more industrial-type jobs.  That said, it has low vibration for an industrial sander due to its counterweight.

Besides the power, the other thing I like most about this sander is its large main handle and adjustable, secondary handle for a solid two-handed operation.   

Since this is an industrial model, it lacks its own dust collector bag and requires a separate vacuum or dust collector system.

What We Liked:

  • Powerful Motor –  It comes with a powerful 7.5 Amp motor 
  • Variable Speed Settings –  Normal, random orbit speeds up to 7,300 OPM and a “Turbo” mode with 3x to 5x the random motion for difficult removals.
  • Multiple Handles – Main, large handle and an adjustable second handle
  • Used by professionals

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Requires a separate vacuum system for dust collection

Makita 9903Best Belt Sander To Remove Paint

The Makita 9903 after I used it to remove paint.

Best Features  

  • Good Dust Collector
  • Powerful Motor
  • Quiet

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

Sanders, except for making a big mess with dust, is also known for being too loud. But the Makita 9903 is one of the quietest sanders for its class. It comes with a really powerful motor [8.8 AMP] that has variable speed settings [690-1,440 ft./min]. But still, the noise that this model makes is only 84 dB.

The thing I like most about this sander is that it comes with a fantastic dust collector system. The system collects most of your dust. Plus, the 16ft power cord allows me to move freely around my workshop.

This model is a combination of speed and power and that’s why this one is my main sander for woodworking, furniture making, and contract jobs. In other words, this model is used by people who know the differences between a good and a bad sander.

It is a stable belt sander that weighs 9.5 pounds. It comes with a sanding shoe that will help you get better sanding depth control. It also has an auto-tracking belt system, that will track the belt automatically even if you didn’t adjust it.

Frequently Asked Questions

A. Can I use this model for different materials?
Yes, I have used this model to remove paint from wood, but I have also used it to remove paint from metal.

B. Can I use this model to remove layers of old paint?
Yes, you just have to run it at a low speed and you will get a smooth and clean finish.

What We Liked:

  • Quiet – One of the quietest sanders on the market for its class. The noise that this model makes is only at 84dB.
  • Powerful Motor –  It comes with a powerful motor [8.8 AMP]
  • Variable Speed Settings –  [690-1,440 ft./min]  that can be adjusted by an electronic speed control that this model features.
  • Excellent Dust Collector – The dust bag collector does a great job of collecting the dust that is made by the sander.
  • Used by professionals

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The dust collector does not have a standard hose.

Bosch Power Tools – OS50VC – Best Electric Sheet Sander for Paint Removal

BOSCH OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander - 3.4...

Best Features 

  • Powerful Motor
  • Variable Speed
  • Vibration Control System

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

 

There are multiple kinds of sanders that we use for paint removal and this is my recommended Sheet sander.   

The Bosch OS50VC features a powerful 3. 4 Amp motor and Variable-Speed Dial to match speed to task (8, 000-11, 000 OPMs).  I use the low end of the speed range for normal paint removal and the high-end of the speed range for aggressive paint removal.   

It also has a Vibration Control system that minimizes vibration for extended handling time and maximum comfort.

This belt sander uses the 1/2 sandpaper sheets with the Sheet Loc Supreme Sandpaper Attachment System that keeps the paper pulled tight and also works with stick-on sandpaper sheets.

What We Liked::

  • Variable-speed settings – 8, 000 to 11, 000 OPMs
  • Vibration Control System – minimizes vibration and fatigue
  • Great Sanding Pads -Soft pads that will help you get a clean and smooth finish.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • You need a vacuum cleaner (sold separately) in order to get the best of the passive dust collector system.

Best Sanders To Remove Paint – Buyers Guide

There are a few things a sander needs to have before you buy it. They need to be powerful, fast and have a good dust collector. If a sander has these features then it can be classified as the best sander for paint removal

We have made a list of 4 different sanders for paint removal. Clearly, removing paint isn’t easy, you need a lot of patience but you also need a high-quality sander.

Power

As I said before, removing paint isn’t easy. There’s a big reason why there are machines that will do the job for you. If you try to remove the paint by your hand it will take you a lot of time. That’s why you need Sanders.

If you are trying to remove paint from 0ld wood then you definitely need a Sander with a lot of power since that paint takes a lot of time and effort to get out.

Speed

Not only you need power but you also need speed in order to remove the paint better. To look at how fast a Sander can be you need to check how many RPMs it has. If you see s Sander that has 100 RPM’s that means that it will make 100 motions per minute.

Dust Collector System

Sander can do a good job of removing paint, but also they do a good job of making a mess. While removing paint you will make a huge mess. You don’t want a machine that blows dust all over the place. That’s why you need sanders that have a good dust collector system in order to avoid making a mess.

Grip

The grip is what makes the sander more comfortable. Having a good grip means you can work longer without feeling tired or your hands hurting.

Having a good grip also protects you from unwanted materials. Usually, grips are soft and prevent the tool from slipping from your hands.

Make sure to find a sander that comes with a comfortable grip.

Ease Of Use

Not everyone is an expert. Usually, random orbit sanders are very easy to use. They are small, and you can control them easier.

Belt sanders are harder to work with. These types of sanders are more powerful and will vibrate more.

How to Remove Old Paint Using a Sander?

Removing old paint using a sander is hard. The paint has been there for a while, so it will take a lot of time and energy to get it off.

For old paint, you need a powerful sander. A belt or random orbital sander will do.  Here are the steps:

Sand Slowly

When dealing with old paint you have to sand it slowly. Experts say that for every linear foot you must spend sanding 10-15 seconds.

Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure

Applying too much pressure will do more harm than good. The sander itself applies enough sander to make the paint go away. If you apply too much pressure then you can easily break the sander.

Get Rid of Dust

As you know, old furniture with paint can produce a lot of dust. It isn’t recommended to inhale the dust. So, you must wear a dust mask at all times. And, connect your sander to a vacuum to get rid of the dust.

Change Sandpapers

You must change the sandpapers during the work. Usually, you start with low-grit sandpaper and move to a finer one. Low-grit sandpapers are used for rough surfaces, while high-grit sandpapers are used to smooth the surface.

Enjoy Your Work

Once you are done, check if you missed any spots. If the spot is small then you can sand it manually. After you are done, take a cloth and clean the surface. If everything’s alright, then enjoy your work.

Final Words and My List Again

You can also check our blog to learn how to sand different things,  such as how to sand metal.  We have listed the best sanders for paint removal and all of them will do a great job of removing paint.  If you are ready to buy, then here’s my recommended list again.  

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice

DeWalt DWE6423K Random Orbit Sander
  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed:
    Variable 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Makita BO5041 Random Orbital Sander
  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed:
    Variable 4,000 to 12,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon


  • Motor Power: 3.0 AMP
  • Speed : 6 Speeds Up to 13,000 OPM

  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch

DeWalt DCW210D1 Random Orbit Sander
  • Motor Power: 20 Volt
  • Speed:
    Variable 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 5-Inch
Buy On Amazon

BOSCH GET75-6N Orbital Sander
  • Motor Power: 7.5 AMP
  • Speed : Polishing 290 to 640 RPM / Orbital 3300 to 7300 OPM
  • Sanding Size: 6-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
  • Motor Power: 8.8 AMP
  • Speed : 690-1,440 ft./min
Buy On Amazon

Bosch Power Tools
  • Motor Power: 3.4 AMP
  • Speed : 8,000 to 11,000 OPM
Buy On Amazon
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