Best Sanders For Removing Paint – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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Removing paint from any surface can be exhausting, especially when you've not got the correct tools. A sander can make your sanding tasks go much faster and with greater ease. 

Below is a guide explaining the pros, cons, and important information you need to know when removing paint from surfaces using a sander. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best sanders for removing paint:

  1. DeWalt DCW210D1
  2. Makita BO4556
  3. Zhong An ZAT050-HB

Comparison Chart of the Best Sanders for Removing Paint


Main Features


DeWalt DCW210D1

  • Cordless Orbital Sander
  • Variable Speed
  • Dust sealed switch

Makita BO4556

  • Corded electric
  • Utilizes a paper clamp design
  • Dust collected through the pad

Zhong An ZAT050-HB

  • Elongated body
  • Speeds up to 12,000 RPM
  • Air-powered dual-action sander

Makita BO5030K

  • Best Sander for Exterior Paint Removal
  • Pad control system
  • Battery powered

Black+Decker BDCMS20C

  • Best Sander for Removing Paint From Wood
  • Oval shaped pad
  • Two-position grip

Porter-Cable PCCW201B

  • Best Sander for Removing Paint From Metal
  • Dust bag with vacuum attachment
  • Variable speed controls

Bosch ROS20VSC

  • Best Orbital Sander for Removing Paint
  • Micro-filter dust collection
  • Variable speed controls

What Makes a Sander Great for Removing Paint? 

There are a few features that can be found on a sander suitable for removing paint. Below we've highlighted a few features and characteristics that can be found on a high-quality sander best suited for paint removal. 

Dust Collector 

Regardless of the sanding task, your high-quality sander should always come with a dust collection option. The dust collection system can either be a vacuum with a dust bag or a small container attached to the sander. 


The speed determines how fast you get your job done; it also determines the tasks you can do. Firstly, you should try obtaining a sander that offers variable speed as this allows you to change the speed depending on the needs of the task. 


With any sanding task, it takes time. This means that you should be comfortable the entire time sanding; this isn't always the case. Always ensure that the grip is using soft-rubber and helps reduce vibration. 

Also, a handle that's too small for your hand can put a strain on your wrist. Check other reviews to see if they make any mention of the comfort factor of the sander. 

Review of the Best Sanders For Removing Paint 

Now that you know what to look for, we've included some great examples of our personal favorite sanders for removing paint. 

Best Overall
DeWalt DCW210D1


  • Dust seal stops clogging
  • Sanding bag keeps space clean
  • Variable speed provides more flexibility
  • Textured rubber handle provides a comfortable grip


  • You can't tell when the bag is full

Our Review

The key consideration to highlight this sander is that it's a cordless orbital sander, which allows more flexibility in terms of where and how you use it. 

The variable speed will provide you the option to work on various tasks requiring different speeds. This speed operates between 8,000 and 12,000. 

Sanders creates plenty of dust, which can sometimes enter the internal components. However, with the dust seal, this sander doesn't have that problem. The textured rubber grip offers a comfortable handle that reduces the effects of vibration. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The stand out feature here is the cordless design; this is rare within the sanding world. A cordless option offers much more flexibility and better maneuverability than using a corded sander. 

Makita BO4556


  • Clean dust system
  • Soft rubber grip provides comfort
  • Ball-bearing design reduces vibration
  • The paper clamps are more robust than the hook and loop system


  • The clamps weaken after months of regular use

Our Review

The Makita misses out on the top spot but still provides excellent value. It's a corded electric palm sander, which makes it great for detailed or finishing work. The paper clamp design provides your sandpaper with better stability, meaning it won't slip and slide across the pad. 

Vibration can often become an issue, but it's significantly reduced with the internal ball bearing design. The dust from the sanding is sucked up through the device and goes straight into the dust container. 

You'll also greatly benefit from the soft-rubber handle with a contoured grip to provide quality secure handling. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The stand-out feature for the runner up Makita sander has got to be the internally placed ball-bearing. This small and straightforward addition makes a world of difference to reducing vibration, limiting the likelihood of straining your wrist. 

Best for the Money
Zhong An ZAT050-HB


  • Is relatively lightweight at 1.5lbs
  • Provides a free speed up to 12,000 RPM
  • Small pad means allows more precise work
  • Hook and loop sanding pad for quick attachment
  • Removes small amounts of material


  • Smaller pad

Our Review

The features on this sander make it stand out as an excellent value for money product. The elongated body of this DA sander provides the user with more grip space and greater maneuverability. 

Maneuverability coupled with the small pad, making this product great for precise shaping or finishing work. Despite the lower price, you'll be able to play around with up to 12,000 RPM, which is plenty of speed for most tasks. 

You'll also benefit from a hook and loop attachment system. This makes it a lot easier to replace the sandpaper. The only downside of this product is that because the pad covers such a small area, it'll take you longer to finish sanding compared to using an average finishing sander

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Your greatest advantage of buying this product is its value for a lower price than other sanders featured. If you're a hobbyist that enjoys renovating old furniture, this will make a great beginner's sander. 

Best Sander for Exterior Paint Removal
Makita BO5030K


  • Dust extraction method means relatively zero mess
  • The control system limits any accidental startup marking
  • The dust seal restricts any dust particles entering the inside
  • Ergonomically designed rubber handle provides exceptional comfort


  • The hook and loop attachment wears easily 

Our Review

A remarkable piece of kit, mainly for its effectiveness in removing paint with relatively zero mess. The initial startup is controlled to provide a gradual increase in speed, limiting the likelihood of accidental scratches or marking during startup. 

Once operating, the dust particles created during sanding will be effectively extracted by the dust extraction system, which feeds it into the dust container. If there are any escaped dust particles, the sander's dust seal will stop it from entering the device's internal parts. 

Sanding paint off a door can be exhausting and sore on your full hand; thankfully, the ergonomic rubber handle makes prolonged use a lot less strenuous. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

When you're removing paint from wood, you're going to go over it a few times with different levels of grit sandpaper; this means the hook and loop attachment method makes it a lot easier and faster for the user as you're merely peeling one-off and adding another sandpaper on. It causes minimal hassle, making it a considerable benefit.

Best Sander for Removing Paint From Wood
Black+Decker BDCMS20C


  • Provides a speed of 12,000 OPM
  • The two-position grip offers better control
  • Attachable finger offers precision sanding
  • Compact design allows for easy access to tight spaces


  • Doesn't offer variable speed control

Our Review

A greatly underestimated sander that has plenty to offer when working with wood. To start, this sander provides a speed of 12,000 OPM, which will remove paint from wood with plenty of time to spare. When working with wood, there are many small spaces that larger sanders can't reach. 

To fix this issue, the oval-shaped pad allows for access into tight corners, along with the attachable finger, which provides even greater sanding precision for those hard to reach spots, like around table legs or in window corners. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The feature which sets this sander apart from the others has got to be that it's perfectly suited to sanding wooden products. 

There's plenty of tight spaces with these types of sanders; the attachable finger, compact and lightweight design, along with the two-position grip are all great features to access tight spaces.

Tight spaces are all common in wooden windows, cabinets, doors, and chairs. 

Best Sander for Removing Paint From Metal
Porter-Cable PCCW201B


  • Battery power allows greater flexibility 
  • Soft rubber grip provides suitable comfort
  • Variable speeds mean you can change speeds to suit the task
  • Vacuum port can be attached for greater dust collection solution


  • The battery loses charge faster with regular use

Our Review

Firstly, this Porter-Cable sander offers the user variable speed control range between 9,000 and 11,000 RPM, more than suitable for removing paint from metal. 

The benefit of variable speed allows you to adjust the speed depending on the task or phase in paint removal from the metal. 

When working with metal, you tend to apply even more pressure than you would with wood; therefore, you must try to find a sander that offers a comfortable soft-rubber handle like this one. 

The product is also battery-powered, which means greater flexibility and control over where you can take this sander without a direct connection to a power source. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

We know that this product is great for use on metal, specifically removing paint. The key feature here is the ¼ vacuum hose inlet that allows you to connect a vacuum hose straight into the device. You'll benefit from more efficient dust collection and less time-changing dust collectors. 

Best Orbital Sander for Removing Paint
Bosch ROS20VSC


  • Speed can be changed to suit different tasks
  • Catches particles as small as ½ micron in diameter
  • The soft-rubber grip helps keep the hand comfortable
  • Hook and loop provides a quick and simple sandpaper changing solution


  • Hook and loop adhesive wears off easily

Our Review

An all-around swiss army knife sander, this particular sander offers more or less a little bit of everything. The most attractive features include a variable speed of 7,500 and 12,000 OPM. 

Along with a quick and easy hook and loop attached adhesive, which means you can peel the sandpaper off and place another on with quickness and ease. 

The micro-dust filter is of exceptional quality as this can catch particles as small as ½ micron in diameter. A hose can also be attached, meaning fewer particles escape. The soft rubber handle provides high-quality grip and comfort when using the sander over long periods. 

The only downside would be that the hook and loop adhesive material might begin to wear and lose its grip after regular use over a few months. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The whole product is a great example of high-quality. However, the best part about this sander is the micro-filter on offer. The effectiveness is unparalleled, especially compared to any other sander featured. 

Types of Sanders For Removing Paint 

There are various types of sander that work best with painting. In the section below, we'll briefly discuss some of the most commonly used. 

Belt Sander

Belt sanders are the daddy of sanders when it comes to removing paint. They usually have decent RPM and cover more area than other sanders due to the wide belt design

Suppose you're working on removing paint from wood. In that case, you should sand with the grain, as this will reduce the likelihood of marking the material. 

Orbital Sander

Orbital sanders tend to operate at higher OPM than most sanders other than belt sanders; this allows you to get the job done faster. 

Orbital sanders are designed so that they reduce the chance of scratching or leaving marks. They can come with a rectangular or circular head and are usually much easier to operate. 

Random Orbital sander

Random orbital sanders swirl the pad in a circular motion while also operating a small orbital motion. An excellent example of this is considering the way the earth spins in place while orbiting the sun. 

This sanding method means that the material that's being sanded is done so more evenly and reduces the likelihood of friction marks, which can sometimes be seen by using standard orbital sanders. 


Sanding paint has many variables attached to it, like the underlying material, grit sandpaper you're using, and sander type. The above information should give you a start making an informed decision on what sander to buy for paint removal. 

People Also Ask

We've compiled and answered below some of the most commonly asked questions regarding sanders used for removing paint. 

What Grit Sandpaper To Remove Paint?

The grit of your sandpaper is an important consideration as different grits will have various effects on the material you're sanding. This can range between 40-grit up to 400-grit. It all depends on the underlying material. 

What Grit Sandpaper To Remove Paint From Wood?

Between 40 and 80-grit sandpaper is suited to removing thick layers of paint from wood. Once you've got what you believe to be most of the paint off, you should then switch to between 180 and 300-grit sandpaper to protect the wood underneath. 

What Grit Sandpaper To Remove Paint From Metal?

For metal, you should start with 80-grit sandpaper, and then once it's almost entirely off, switch to between 180 and 300-grit as this will provide a smoother finish. If you'd like to then go over it with some steel wool, feel free. 

What Grit Sandpaper To Remove Paint From Car?

Most body shops recommend 220-grit to remove paint from a car without scratching the underlying metal. The car's body will be rougher using the 220-grit, but that can then be smoothed down using 400-grit sandpaper. 

What Is The Best Way To Sand Paint Off Wood? 

It would be best if you started by cleaning down the painted wood and drying it. Ensure that any obstructions are removed from the material, such as handles and hinges, as these can get in the way. 

A sander with coarse sandpaper such as 80-grit applies adequate pressure when sanding, even with an electric sander. 

Switch to 150-grit for the second pass and finally 220-grit for final smooth sanding. The wood will be covered in dust so wipe it down once you're satisfied the sanding is complete. 

What Is The Best Way To Remove Paint From Deck? 

An easy way to remove paint from a deck is to use a floor sander. These are large and bulky sanders that you guide along with the decking, and they'll sand the paint off the wood.

It might take a few passes, but they get the job done much faster than a hand sander. You may have to go over it with a hand sander to get some parts you miss.