Best Finishing Sanders (2021 Honest Review)

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

There are many finishing sanders out there, some great and some awful. Sometimes it can be hard to tell which is which.

In the article below, we'll go through the key features of a high-quality finishing sander as well as showing you some of our favorites. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best finishing sanders:

  1. Makita BO4900V
  2. DeWalt DWE6411K
  3. VollTek VPFS1052

Comparison Chart of the Best Finishing Sanders

Product

Main Features

Price

Makita BO4900V

  • 4,000 to 10,000 variable speed
  • Contoured grip
  • Weighs 6.2lbs

DeWalt DWE6411K

  • Anti-vibration counterweight
  • Set speed of 14,000 OPM
  • Sandpaper clamp attachment

VollTek VPFS1052

  • 13,000 OPM
  • Large-sized dust collection bag
  • 10pc sandpaper kit provided with purchase

SKIL SR232301

  • Three detail attachments included
  • Transparent dust container
  • Soft-rubber grip

Hi-Spec DT40263

  • Elongated rubber handle
  • 10pcs of sandpaper included
  • 12,000 RPM

What is Finishing Sander, and What is it Used For? 

A finishing sander is usually a rectangular or circular padded electric sander used for tasks such as polishing and shaping wood. 

It's called a finishing sander because it's mainly used near the ends of a sanding task to perfect the shape or smoothen out a piece of wood. 

Finishing sanders are popular amongst carpenters, both professional and novice, as most sanding jobs require a finishing sander. 

What to Look For When Buying a Finishing Sander 

There are, of course, many features out there that make a great sander. However, below is just a few we consider to be important to keep an eye out for when searching. 

Speed 

A fast sander is important for reducing the time it takes to complete the task. You should also consider if the sander has variable speed control, as different tasks could require various speeds. Anything that offers variable speed control between 3,000 and 13,000 is common for a high-quality finishing sander. 

Comfort

Comfort comes in many forms with a finishing sander; this could include multiple hand grip positions, using a soft-rubber handle that reduces vibration, and even the handle's size to give you a secure grip on the sander. 

Pad Shape

Finishing sanders are all about precision and detail work. If you're sanding stairs with a rectangular pad, you'll struggle to get into those tight corners. But, with an oval or triangular shaped pad, you'll sand tight spaces without a problem. 

Finishing Sander Reviews 

Now that you know what features to keep in consideration, it's important to know what they look like. Below is an overview of our favorite high-quality finishing sanders. 

Best Overall
Makita BO4900V

PROS

  • The paper clamp securely locks in place
  • Variable speed provides you more control
  • The sander has multiple grip positions for effortless guiding
  • Internal ball bearings reduce vibration and increase balance

CONS

  • The weight can begin to create strain

Our Review

This finishing sander has the majority of what you'd need. A problem with a hook and loop attachment adhesive is that it wears away much faster than anticipated. Therefore, the clamp method is much more secure and reliable; it just takes longer to swap out the sandpaper.

With the variable speed controls between 4,000 and 10,000 RPM, you'll be able to adjust the speed to the requirements of the particular task. 

In terms of comfort, you'll be amazed at how comfortable the handles are on this sander. You have multiple grip positions, so if your hand ever gets tired, switch it up. 

The grip is also contoured, meaning you'll have outstanding control over the sander. The internal ball bearings also decrease the strain by minimizing vibration and improve control by balancing the device.  

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This particular sander is a sheet finishing sander known to remove more material than an average finishing sander. You'll benefit from using this sander if you're working on larger wood projects. The area covered, coupled with the variable speed, makes this an ideal finishing sander for a larger project. 

Runner-up
DeWalt DWE6411K

PROS

  • Can be easily operated using one hand
  • Dust protector ensures no dust internally
  • The clamp has a secure attachment method
  • Effective at ensuring balance and reducing vibration

CONS

  • Doesn't offer a speed control system

Our Review

A clear winner for our runners up spot for many reasons. Firstly, the anti-vibration counterweight effectively ensures that vibration is kept to a minimum and offers reasonable balance control. 

Not only that, you can efficiently operate this sander with just one hand in various positions without causing any strain to the hand. 

Dust entering the internal components can be damaging to your sander. However, with the dust protector, you'll not need to worry about that with this sander. The only downside is that it offers a speed of 14,000 OPM, but this cannot be controlled to go to a set speed any lower than this. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The dust-port is the feature that sets it apart from other finishing sanders. The dust-port has a locking mechanism that means you'll not need to worry about it accidentally falling off, which can cause quite a mess. If you've worked with dust containers before, you know that issue reasonably well. 

Best for the Money
VollTek VPFS1052

PROS

  • Effective heat dissipation system
  • 13,000 OPM gets the task done in no time
  • Clamping sandpaper system provides more stability
  • The larger bag means less time required to clean it out

CONS

  • No variable speed

Our Review

There are many benefits to using this finishing sander for your projects. A rare feature included with this sander would be the heat dissipation system, which effectively releases the hot air created by the sander and reduces the chance of overheating and discomfort for the user.

You'll have an even more secure attachment by using a clamp method, as they're far more robust than a hook and loop method. 

When operating the sander, your dust is sucked through the device and transported into a large bag installed on the back of the sander, meaning less time cleaning and more time sanding. 

The downside to this device is that although 13,000 OPM is useful, there's no control over adjusting the speed. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The stand out feature for this finishing sander would have to be the heat dissipation system. Without it, it can quickly become uncomfortable to handle that heat over a prolonged time. Therefore an effective system is necessary. Other than that, you're getting great value for such a lower price. 

Editor's Pick
SKIL SR232301

PROS

  • The grip reduces vibration
  • Three additional detail attachments
  • Transparent dust collector means no-hassle removal
  • 13,500 OPM gives you plenty of speed to complete tasks fast

CONS

  • No variable speed control

Our Review

This sander can be described as a swiss army knife for a few reasons. Firstly, the oval-shaped pad makes it easier to sand corners and tight spaces, along with the product's small design. 

There are three additional attachments of different shapes to provide you with even greater precision detail sanding. 

Moving on to the comfort factor, the contoured rubber grip is perfect for those prolonged periods as it limits vibration, reducing the likelihood of developing that numb hand most get after experiencing heavy vibration. 

The dust container is transparent, meaning you'll never have to guess when to empty it. The only downside to this sander is that there's only a set speed of 13,500 OPM. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This sander's stand out feature is the three additional attachments that all help sand down wood more precisely in various situations. This provides plenty of extra value. This is what you should consider a sander explicitly built for small spaces and tight corners. 

Honorable Mention
Hi-Spec DT40263

PROS

  • Elongated rubber handle is non-slip
  • Internal ball bearings limit vibration and noise
  • The rubberized handle offers comfortable control
  • Clamping levers ensure stability and no paper slips around

CONS

  • No variable speed controls
  • Sheet sanders aren't the best for tight spaces

Our Review

The stick-out feature you first notice is the elongated handle; this provides the user with more gripping options when their hand gets tired. The handle is non-slip and wrapped in contoured rubber, meaning it's comfortable to handle for any length of time. 

When using this sander, you'll notice that the balance is excellent and has little vibration and noise due to the internal ball bearings. The clamping levers take longer to load sandpaper into. But, they're much more secure than a hook and loop. 

The only downsides to this product are that sheet sanders like this aren't useful in sanding those tight spaces. Also, there's no speed control, so it's just a set 12,000 RPM speed. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The unique feature of this sander is that it's built for larger items that require finishing. Sheet sanders cover a larger area than any other sander, so this would be suited to finishing a door or something similar to that size. 

Hold up, are you interested in other topics related to sanders? If so, these might be something to check out: 

Comparison Overview 

Every sander has its differences and similarities. Below is a comparison view between some of the most commonly used sanders. 

Orbit Sander vs Finish Sander

The main difference between these sanders is the size. Sanders built specifically for finishing, tend to be smaller to sand with precision and detail in mind. 

Whereas the orbital sander is bulkier and can't fit into these spaces. Finishing sanders often have triangular or oval-shaped pads to sand corners and small spaces. 

Random Orbital Sander vs Finish Sander 

Most people use finish sanders to remove any small inconsistencies found in the wood and go into places larger sanders can't go. 

Random orbital sanders are much bulkier and can't reach smaller spaces; they're also used to shape wood and remove larger quantities of material than your typical finishing sander. 

How to Use a Finishing Sander

Using a finishing sander is relatively straightforward, and you'll soon get the hang of it. But for now, please follow the guide below. 

  • Identify what grit sandpaper you'll require. If you have a hook and loop adhesive on the pad, sandpaper switching can be straightforward.

  • Turn the sander on and sand with the grain of the wood to avoid any marks or scratching. You only need to apply gentle pressure to get some results. 

  • After you've gone over the material once, wipe it to get any excess dust off and then apply another sandpaper with a higher grit, if necessary. 

  • If you struggle to get into smaller spaces, consider investing in a finger attachment. These are narrow strips of sandpaper pad attached to your sander and sand down tight areas. Think of it as a nail file; that's what it looks like. 

Conclusion 

We've given you all the information and even shown you our top favorite finishing sanders. You should be able to go and find one that's suitable for you. An important thing to remember is that finishing sanders are only useful if they can work those small spaces other sanders can't. 

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.