How to Use an Orbital Sander?

An orbital sander is one of the most commonly used tools in a woodworking workshop. It is a  great tool for getting a smooth and scratch-free finish for your project. An orbital sander’s movement is created by the simultaneous spinning of the disc in small ellipses while vibrating. It makes sure that there are little to no swirl marks left on the surface.

Easy to use & easy maintenance makes it so favorite to its users. This sander does an astounding job in small & medium sanding jobs. If you know how to use it properly, you can get an outstanding result from your project.

You can use an orbital sander for deck sanding, preparing the surface for painting, stair sanding, door sanding, etc. Orbital sanders are the ultimate choice for woodworkers.

Now, How to use an Orbital sander. Here, we have briefly discussed about it.

How to Use an Orbital Sander

Just like any other tool, an orbital sander also needs some techniques & skills to be operated. The following steps will guide you with the procedure of using an orbital sander 

  1. First, turn on the sander.  Before you start using it, let it get up to full speed.
  2. Place the sander on the surface of your project before turning it on. Otherwise, there’s a slight risk of making a spot in your project.
  3. Move your sander across the surface like any other sander.
  4. Don’t press too hard. Use the weight of your arm and let the sander do its work.
  5. Don’t tilt your sander.
  6. Move your sander slowly across the surface. Going fast will make swirls in your project.



Here’s an important tip for you before you finish the project:

Always finish with the sanding by hand

You won’t get a smooth quality finish with a sanding machine. It leaves little swirl marks on the surface. Sanding by hand will make sure that your wood doesn’t have any swirl marks. You can use one of your discs, use the same last grit you used on the sander.


Orbital Sander Safety

No matter what you do, safety comes first. Before you start using your sander, make sure you are following proper safety measures to keep yourself out of any danger. Wear the following equipment before you start your project:

1.Use A basic dust mask to prevent your nose & mouth from the dust.

2. Wear goggles for keeping your eyes from any kind of injury.

3.Wear earplugs(This one is optional as Orbital sanders are not that much noisy).


What to look for in an orbital sander?

Choose a sander that fits your workload. The type of sander will vary in accordance with what materials or what sizes of material you’ll be sanding. But make sure that your sander at least has these features:

  • Powerful motor

A powerful motor ensures smooth performance. If you want your sander to give the best performance under any condition, a powerful motor is much needed.

  • Variable speed control

Variable speed control allows you to control the speed of the sander. You can increase or decrease the speed according to the project demand. This feature is very popular nowadays, as getting control over your sander’s speed gives you an advantage while working.

  • Dust control system

 The most common problem you have to face while sanding is, you have to deal with a large amount of dust. You want to keep your workshop clean, right?. So, a dust bag is a must for you. Most of the sanders nowadays have a built-in dust control system. So, you don’t have to buy it separately.



Orbital sander provides lots of benefits, which makes your job a lot easier. One of the most useful tools in woodworking. If you need to do sanding on a regular basis, then this one is a must to keep in your workshop.

To get the most out of the sander, first you should learn how to use an orbital sander. By following the basic steps stated above you can use it properly. Just be patient & enjoy your work!



  • What is an orbital sander good for?

An orbital sander is perfect for sanding edges & corners. Its square shape gives an advantage while sanding edges. It is also very suitable when you are going to restore old furniture. When sanding a large surface, with an orbital sander, the job will be done more quickly.

  • Can I Use an orbital sander to remove paint?

Sanders are ideal for paint removal jobs. The small circular movement of an orbital sander removes the paint quite smoothly. You can use an orbital sander to remove paint from any surfaces.

  • Can you use an Orbital Sander on wood?

An orbital sander is very much suitable to use in wood. The lightweight & easy to use features make it an ideal sander to use in woodworking projects.  It is one of the most popular tools in woodworking. It can be used on wood surfaces, also can be used on metal & plastic surfaces.

  • How do you get rid of orbital sander marks?

Go from lower to higher grits to remove the marks that the previous grit created. As you will move to the finer grit, it will remove the previous one’s mark. No matter what will be some little visible marks that you can not avoid.

  • Can I sand drywall with an orbital sander?

You can use an orbital sander for drywall sanding. But it is suitable for small projects. Because large projects need a machine with more power & more precision. Orbital sander is not that powerful if you are planning to use it on a big project. For drywall sanding, drywall sanders are recommended. No matter the job is small or big, a drywall sander will do its job perfectly.

Resources you may like


Leave a Comment