Don’t have time to read the entire article to find out which one is the best sander for furniture refinishing? FYI, I believe that DEWALT DWE6423K Random Orbit Sander is your best choice.
Older furniture has a lot of character as well as sentimental value. As it wears over time, we try to find ways to replenish the character of the wood that attracted us to it in the first place.
If you are reading this article, most likely you already know that refinishing involves sanding your piece of furniture.
What is the best way to go about refinishing furniture, and what is the best sander to use in the process? Let’s explore those answers below.
This review will feature these products:
A closer Look At Refinishing
If you have a piece of furniture in mind that you would like to refinish, you need to ask yourself: what exactly do you want to achieve? If you are looking to clean it up for monetary reasons, you might consider doing nothing at all. Many furniture collectors feel that refinished articles are worth less money than those found in their original condition.
Does your vintage furniture have a lot of sentimental value and you want to keep it for the old memories’ sake? If its condition is very poor, refinishing it may be the way to go.
Revitalizing existing coverage
In some instances, the existing stain does not need to be removed. You might be able to get away with a wipe on stain or coating in order to clean up the furniture surface. This minimalist approach may keep some of its original characters, but it might not offer the protection you need if you plan on using the item as everyday furniture.
Signs that the surface needs to be refinished
Paint is often applied to wooden furniture in order to hide away particular flaws in the piece. That may include water damage or smaller surface imperfections. The point is, a painted furniture piece may require more work than simply refinishing it.
Beginning in the late 1950s, mass-produced furniture often included things like particle board as well as laminates. These materials may help with overall strength, especially when it comes to expansion due to moisture, but they might not be worth your time when it comes to refinishing. Keep in mind that many materials of these types will not match the solid wood components, especially after they are stained.
If your furniture piece fits snuggly at all connections points, the integrity should not be an issue. Conversely, items with worn joints that are loose will require that you clean them up and reglue them. You will obviously need to reapply a finish coat once you have fixed the joints.
Remember that many types of wood will become darker over time. There are exceptions, such as walnut, but most woods will take on a darker hue as they age. This change in color might influence your decision to refinish a favorite furniture piece.
Selecting your sander
There might be certain parts on a chair or other piece that you could sand by hand. With that being said, a sander will become a critical tool in your wood furniture refinishing kit. What are some of the features you should look for?
Random orbital sanders
One of your first considerations will be an orbital vs a random orbital sander. Orbital sanders will remove less material but you might find it leaving gouges in the wood surface if it runs with the grain for a long period of time. Introducing a random oval movement on a rando orbital product will take off more material with each pass and has the tendency to not mare the wood grain.
Also known as a mouse sander, these compact models are designed to get into the nooks and between the pieces of your decorative furniture. These products will have a triangular-shaped base that allows a pointed corner to be pushed into tight areas that are hard to reach with other sanders.
Some features to look for In A Sander
One of the most important features a quality sander should have is a dust collection system. Sanders generate more dust than most power tools and having adequate dust collection will keep your shop clean and your lungs and eyes from suffering.
Ergonomic designs are also important. You will find yourself using the sander for long periods of time, so any features that improve comfort or reduce vibration will be welcome as the day progresses. That may include various materials and patterns installed across handles as well as vibration dampening technologies.
Accessories, especially with detail sanders, can also be something to look for. These items may include bases with different shapes or sizes. Some models may also include power switches that generate various speeds as well as vacuum attachments.
Sandpaper for refinishing
You will want to stock up on a variety of sandpaper products to make sure that you have the most possibilities covered. While many DIY’s are familiar with wet/dry sandpaper, you should really consider using products designed for wood grains.
Many users will begin to work with sandpaper in the 120-grit range but keep some rougher paper in stock for thicker coatings. You will probably be able to work your way down to 220-grit before you notice diminishing returns.
Best Sanders For Refinishing Furniture
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some specific sander models that we believe are the best for furniture refinishing.
Bosch ROS20VSK Palm Sander
- SMOOTH FINISH: Pad dampening system designed to eliminate swirl marks on both flat and contoured surfaces
- EASY DISC ATTACHMENT: Through Bosch's signature Hook and Loop disc attachment system, sanding pads stick to the hand sander, acting like a Velcro-adhesion material
- VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL: Powerful 2. 5 AMP motor allows speed to work-piece and task matching with ease
- DUST COLLECTION: Features a micro filter system for fine dust and trapping particles as small as a 1/2-micron in diameter. Durable and compact, the dust canister shows dust level and easily detaches for mess-free tasks
- KIT CONTENTS: Includes sanding pad, sanding disc, dampening ring, dust canister, vacuum adapter and hard carrying case
There is a special dust-collecting bin that stands out on this palm sander. It provides filtration that can trap particles down to 0.5 microns in size, allowing you to keep the air and work area free from sawdust. There is also a vacuum attachment included that will allow users to mount the sander to dust collecting systems.
Makita BO5030K 5″ Random Orbit Sander
- Smooth and fast sanding with 3.0 AMP motor (12,000 OPM)
- Rubberized grip for improved operator comfort and control
- Large 1/8" random orbit action for fast and super smooth sanding
- Pad control system for controlled pad speed upon start-up
- Efficient through-the-pad dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
A larger 3.0 amp electric motor generates plenty of rotational power on this sander. This set up can create up to 12,000 oscillations per minute, making smooth sanded surfaces quickly. Over-sized sealed ball bearings are used to help increase the life of the sander itself.
Dewalt Random Orbital Sander (DWE6423K)
- 3.0 Amp motor spins the pad at 8,000 - 12,000 OPM
- Shorter height minimizes the distance between user and work piece
- Design reduces vibration and the rubber over-mold in critical areas reduces user fatigue
- Dust-sealed switch for dust protection for longer switch life
- Dust bag has one-hand locking system
This orbital sander combines various operating speeds to give users more control over furniture that they are sanding. This is great for removing coatings of alternating thickness as well as rough wood grain that needs to be smoothed out. The ability to adjust the motor speed will also increase the length of time that the motor lasts before it needs to be replaced.
Makita BO4556 2 Amp Finishing Sander
- Precision engineered all-ball-bearing construction for reduced vibration and noise
- Contoured, rubberized palm grip design for improved operator comfort and control
- Large and easy to use paper clamps for fast and efficient paper installation
- Conveniently located on/off switch for easy one handed operation, rubber sealed switch prevents dust contamination for longer tool life
- Efficient through-the-pad dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
The finishing sander by Makita makes use of a smaller motor and is intended for more precise and delicate workloads. This set up should allow you to tackle most wood furniture projects, but you may still find it difficult to work in tight corners.
BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander (BDEMS600)
- Compact size
- Finger attachment and sanding pad included
- Easily fits in tight spaces
- 3-position grip for control and ease of use in many applications
- Included Components: (1) BDEMS600 Mouse Sander, (2) Sheets Sand Paper, (1) Detail Finger Attachment; Tool Weight: 2.8 lbs
This detail sander is able to reach into small areas that are harder for regular sanders to gain access too. This is due to its smaller frame size as well as the triangular-shaped base.
All of the sanders reviewed above will provide you with a quality finish, but we believe that DEWALT Random Orbital Sander is the best sander for refinishing furniture.
First off, the sander has a 3.0 amp electric motor that will generate the power needed to cut through thicker topcoats you need to remove during refinishing. The key to this power in the DeWalt is your ability to adjust that power, allowing you to run slower in areas that only need a light sanding.
Changing out sandpaper should prove easy, and it will stay in place once secured. Dust collection options are adequate and can be enhanced by tying into a dedicated system. Ergonomic handles keep your hands and fingers from feeling fatigue, allowing you to work longer and keeping your finish even and smooth.