When choosing a sander for a woodworking job you need to take into consideration the three following sanders and the advantages and disadvantages of each: –
Sheet Sander – The sheet sander is built to work with standard sheets of sandpaper, this is a great advantage because all the different grades of sandpaper are readily available at your local DIY store, making this such a cost-effective option.
Belt Sander – The belt sander although a powerful option requires properly sized sanding belts making this a slightly more expensive option than sheet sanding. We advise that you only use this option for big jobs, such as sanding the floorboards of your house and such.
Orbital Sander – The orbital sander like the belt sander also requires round sanding disks, but these attach to the base with hook-and-loop like fasteners or even an adhesive. An Orbital sander generally costs two to three times the amount of a sheet sander.
If you are trying to save money then we advise that you use a sheet sander, they are very effective in both cost and use. The sandpaper itself can be cut into halves or quarters and then securely clamped onto the smooth base of the sander itself.
How the sheet sander works
This sander generally employs a motor that moves the sandpaper in a high speed circular motion; it is a lot similar to the motion of and orbital sander. The only difference is that the orbital sander instead has an offset drive bearing that makes the sander move in an elliptical manner. This is actually a benefit to the orbital sander because it provides more of a random motion which ensures that the swirls caused on the finish of a sheet sander are removed.
Why we advise to use the Sheet Sander
These sanders by nature are useful, primarily because they only require sandpaper and the products themselves are generally inexpensive. The sheet sander generally costs a lot less than a belt or orbital sander.
Depending how much you are willing to spend sheet sanders can come with a number of added features, these can consist of electronic speed control, a dust collection port, and even different types of hand grips.
How to use a Sheet Sander effectively
As stated before when using this sander it can leave behind swirls on the wood surface, this particularly occurs when you are sanding against the grain, for the best effects we advise that you keep the sander moving and as much with the grain as possible.
In addition to this reducing the swirls can be made even more effective by gradually using finer sandpaper as you go, as the sandpaper gets finer you will progressively reduce the swirls left behind by the rough sandpaper.
For the best finish we advise that with your finest grit you sand by hand, this will ensure that you get the best finish possible.