best sanders uk

Best Sanders UK – The Top 7 in 2021 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

Last Updated on 27 April 2021

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To help you pick the best sanders UK, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide, focusing upon three of the most popular sander types – random orbit sanders for their versatility, belt sanders for their power & coverage and detail sanders for sanding small areas and tight spots.

To avoid making a costly mistake, both in time and money, keep reading to find out which sander is best for you.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick for 2021:

Bosch 06033B6070 PSM 200 AES Multi-Sander (two sanding papers, rectangular sanding plate, case, 200 W), Green, 29.0 cm*12.4 cm*38.4 cm
  • Bosch microfilter system
  • SDS base plate change
  • Velcro-type fastening system. Sanding surface, iron-shaped - 104 cm². Sanding surface, rectangular - 164 cm² (92 x 182 mm). Orbital stroke rate - 6.000 – 26.000 opm
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Versatile and easy to use

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Random Orbit Sanders

random orbit sander on countertop

If you’re only going to buy one sander and are looking for the most versatile, then nine times out of ten, you should opt for a random orbit sander. 

How to Choose Your Random Orbit Sander

While random orbit sanders all work in pretty much the same way, there can be a lot of differences when it comes down to characteristics such as design, power type and weight.

Here’s our guide on how to choose the best random orbit sander for your needs.


Before you start looking at individual models, take a few moments to decide whether a corded or a cordless model would best fulfil your needs.


Cordless models offer greater freedom. You’re not confined to only using your sander near a plug socket and you can take advantage of any good weather to work outside – cutting down on interior dust and mess.

Without a power cord, you can enjoy greater freedom of movement, especially when taking on larger projects with a greater surface area.

Many cordless models may require an additional purchase for the battery and charger if you don’t already have any from that range.

You may also need a spare battery for longer jobs, which can push the cost up considerably when compared to a corded model offering similar performance levels.


Corded models, on the other hand, tend to be more powerful and they won’t run out of battery. So, if you often have extensive projects that take up many hours of sanding at high power, then a corded model would be a better choice for your needs. 

They are often a less expensive choice, as they do not require the purchase of additional batteries or chargers like cordless models.

Speed Settings

In order to make your task go quicker or to take care of more delicate items, variable speed control can be extremely useful. 

Furthermore, when you choose a cordless model with variable speeds, you may find it useful to work at a slower speed when you wish to conserve battery power – when waiting for a spare battery to charge up, for example.


Your random orbit sander will be more comfortable to use for longer periods if it is lightweight. However, you will also find that it will be easier to sand more effectively if it has some weight to it.

This will prevent you from having to continually push down over large areas to achieve the results you are looking for. 

When choosing a random orbit sander, pay attention to the weight of the model, while also considering your strength and the type of projects you’ll be undertaking.

Paper Attachment Type

Sandpaper pads may attach with an adhesive back or using a velcro style attachment. For better longevity and improved adhesion, velcro fastenings are preferable.


Sanding for any amount of time can leave you with aching hands and wrists, so it’s important to check the quality of the handle before purchasing. 

Ergonomically shaped handles with an easy to grip coating are a good choice to improve your comfort and safety.


Check the controls for ease of use. They should be located within easy reach, but not too close so that you risk of hitting them inadvertently. Rotary dials or thumbwheels offer great ways to adjust speed on the go.

Dust Bag/Extractor Compatibility

While the majority of models will have dust bags or boxes that come as standard, they are not always highly effective and you may find that you have to frequently stop to empty them. 

If you are taking on any coarse sanding projects or large surface areas, you will probably want to attach a dust extractor. Consider the availability and cost of compatible extractors for any particular model before purchasing.

Carry Bag

It’s not essential, but a carry bag or storage box is a great way to keep your random orbit sander safe when not in use. Also, if you need to transport it, it will make life much easier and will enable you to have all of your essential bits and pieces close to hand. 

While an included carry bag isn’t going to be a deal-breaker, it is a nice little extra that will make your workshop more organised and transportation simpler.

Belt Sanders

belt sander sanding wood

Belt sanders are generally used to strip back finishes over large areas. They tend to be fairly heavy-duty and are best used for coarse sanding. 

So, if you are looking to sand back a floor or a tabletop, then a belt sander will be the right choice for your needs. 

How to Choose Your Belt Sander

While most belt sanders are built to a standard design, there are certain features that you should look out for to ensure you choose the best belt sander for your needs.


The higher the wattage, the more powerful your belt sander will be. 

If you don’t have much experience or are looking to complete medium-sized jobs, a lower wattage model could actually work to your advantage. This is because some of the more powerful models can sand fairly aggressively, leaving you with lines that you will need to sand out. 

However, for large tasks like stripping back the finish on a wooden floor or a large table, a higher-wattage model is the best choice.

The increased power will allow you to get the job done faster, without the need to keep passing over the same area.

Power Cord

It is important to ensure that your model will have a sufficiently long power cord for the kind of job that you envisage doing. A longer cable will also give you more flexibility over where you can plug in your sander, especially if you are not working at home or in your own workshop.


Make sure that the handles on your belt sander are well positioned so that you will be easily able to control your sander. 

You should also check the grip as well as the positioning to make sure that your hands will be comfortable when using your belt sander over a large area. The controls should be within easy reach of the handles so that you can safely stop and start your sander.

Automatic Belt Tensioning System

Pay close attention to any systems that make changing the sandpaper belt easier and faster. This will make your job much easier and can also save you valuable time, rather than having to adjust each new sandpaper belt manually. 

Automatic belt tensioning systems are generally safer and a great way to hassle-free belt changes.

Variable Speed

If possible, look out for a belt sander with variable speed as this will allow you to adjust the pace to your needs. You’ll find that different densities of wood can be sanded more easily at different speeds. 

You may also want to adjust the tempo to get through the coarser sanding stage more quickly, then reduce the speed down for a smoother finish when using finer sandpaper.

Flat Top

If you are planning on using your belt sander on its back, for example to sand the edges of boards or as a sharpener, then you’ll need to make sure that your chosen model has a flat top with no protrusions. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using your belt sander invertedly. Some may require a special fixing kit in order to attach them to your workbench.

Dust Bag/Extractor Compatibility

Most models come with an attached dust box or bag as standard. This will help keep your work area dust-free and reduce cleaning up time afterwards.

As coarse sanding over large areas tends to produce a lot of sawdust, you may have to stop frequently to empty your dust bag. 

Check to see if your model is compatible with a dust extractor or vacuum cleaner to remove sawdust without having to stop as frequently.

Detail Sanders

carpenter using detail sander

Detail sanders, as their name suggests, are used for sanding intricate areas or hard to access parts of bigger jobs. 

Compact and lightweight, they are designed for maximum manoeuvrability, giving you added freedom of movement. 

How to Choose Your Detail Sander

When choosing a new detail sander, there are several things worth bearing in mind when choosing the right model for your needs.


As detail sanders don’t need as much brute power as other types of sanders, and they need to be easy to move around, cordless models are preferable. 

Time spent on intricate sections may add up, but it is usually at a fairly slow speed which draws less power from the battery. Power cords can be an extra hindrance over tricky sections such as finials or balustrades, so consider whether or not a cordless model would make your task easier.

The main advantage of opting for a corded detail sander is the price, as corded models tend to be cheaper. This is especially true if you don’t already own any power tools from the same product range with interchangeable batteries. 

While a cord may get in your way, if you don’t have a charged up battery ready to go, it’s often more convenient to simply plug-in a corded model and get the job done.


Detail sanders are designed for one-handed use and generally feature straight handles that allow you to angle your sanding blade with precision. 

Some models may have handles that sit over and above the sanding plate, making them better suited to tasks such as sanding small flat items of furniture and getting right up against walls.


Ideally, your detail sander will be fairly lightweight so that it is easier to move around and to get into tight spaces. 

Corded versions weigh in around one-kilogram, preventing your hand from becoming fatigued and making it easier to angle your sander when accessing hard to reach areas.

Fastening System

Like random orbit sanders, detail sanders may use adhesive or velcro fastening pads. As previously stated, it is preferable to opt for velcro fastening which tends to stay in place for longer and is more durable over time. 

When choosing a detail sander, aside from the fastening type, take a look at the availability and cost of extra sandpaper pads.

Sanding Plate Shape

Detail sanders come with triangular-shaped sanding plates, making them look a little like an iron. This shape allows them easy access into tight corners and along edges. 

Before purchasing, consider the size and width of the sanding plate and whether it is narrow enough to achieve the level of detail you are aiming for.

Dust Bag/Box

Your model should come complete with a dust bag or box to collect sawdust. As detail sanders don’t produce as much sawdust as belt sanders do, and given their compact size, detail sanders dust bags tend to be on the small side.

If you are going to be using your detail sander for long periods of time, you may want to check if it has the option to attach a dust extractor or vacuum cleaner. This will allow you to get on with your project without having to frequently stop to empty your sander.

Best Random Orbit Sanders UK

random orbital sanders on wood

Best Performance/Cordless Model

Makita DBO180Z

Makita DBO180Z Cordless (Body Only)
  • Simple to operate electronic push button switch with 3-speed settings. 7000/9500/11000 orbits per minute
  • 14000/19000/22000 sanding strokes per minute
  • Connectable to dust extractor. Battery not included
  • Compact design with short height and lower centre of gravity for better manoeuvrability
  • Hook and Loop paper fastening.Vibration(Sanding): 2.5 m/sec²

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • This random orbit sander by Makita is a robust, well-designed model that makes a great choice if you are looking for high performance, cordless sander. It has a comfortable grip and its compact size with a low centre of gravity makes it easy to manoeuvre.
  • With simple touch buttons and velcro paper fastenings, you’ll find this Makita cordless random orbit sander extremely easy to set up and use.
  • For even better performance and results, the pad control system features a controlled spin start and a pad brake.
  • This Makita model has three-speed settings at 14,000, 19,000 and 22,000 strokes per minute, making it suitable for almost all sanding tasks and giving you the flexibility to reduce the speed if you need to conserve battery power.
  • Note that this particular model does not come with a battery. However, this makes it an ideal choice if you already own other compatible Makita 18V power tools.
  • There is no storage case with this model, which would be nice to have if you frequently need to transport your tools.
  • Compatible with Makita dust extractors, we think this cordless random orbit sander is your top choice for wire-free performance.
Pros Cons
Three-speed settings Batteries not included
Compact size No storage case
Velcro paper fastening
Dust extractor connectable
Pad control system  

Best Value/Corded Model

Bosch PEX 300 AE

Bosch PEX 300 AE Random Orbit Sander
  • Variable speed control with ergonomic positioning
  • User comfort due to small size with optimal low weight and ideal shape
  • Smooth operating tool due to low vibrations
  • Easy fitting of the sanding paper (1 x DIA 125 K 80) thanks to the Paper Assistant
  • Integrated dust extraction due to the dust box. Speed preselection

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • If you are in the market for a great value corded random orbit sander, then the Bosch PEX 300 AE is definitely the one to go for.
  • Its powerful 270-watt motor makes it suitable for large tasks, while its compact design and low weight mean that it won’t tire you out when doing extensive work.
  • Its ergonomic, soft-grip handle and low vibration design ensure maximum comfort. The controls are ideally located on the handle making it easy for you to change the speed on the go using the speed adjustment thumbwheel.
  • With a choice of speeds between 4,000 and 24,000 sanding movements per minute, this model can be used on a variety of projects, both delicate and rough.
  • The main drawback to this sander is its dust box. Unfortunately, it is not very effective and some dust escapes. You should also bear in mind that the velcro on the backing plate, to which the pads attach, is easily damaged.
  • However, there is a good quality stackable case included with the PEX, to keep it in optimum condition. A Bosch paper assistant guide also makes changing papers a quick & easy job.
  • For the price, this is an excellent model with a wide range of uses.
Pros Cons
Adjustable speed control Inefficient dust collector
Ergonomic soft-grip handle Backing plate velcro is easily damaged
Dynamically balanced 270W motor
Compact and low weight
Bosch paper assistant included  

Best Belt Sanders UK

carpenter using belt sander

Best Performance

Makita 9404

Makita 9404/2 Belt Sander 240V
  • Variable speed control
  • High power for stock removal
  • Flat top for inverted applications
  • Long cable for sanding runs
  • Belt Size 100 x 610 mm

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • The Makita 9404 Belt Sander is our top pick for extensive, large projects – thanks to its superior performance and power.
  • Equipped with a 1,010-watt motor, this model has the endurance and capacity you need for big jobs. With a minimal amount of vibration, you can comfortably work with this sander for hours on end.
  • The long power cord enables you to cover large areas, which makes it ideal for stripping back wooden floors. You can quickly and easily adjust the speed from 210 up to 440 metres per minute, for fast-paced sanding to suit your needs. The design makes it easy to get the nose and side of the sander flush with walls for an unbeatable wall-to-wall finish.
  • The 9404 features a flat top, so you can use it upside down while fixed to your workbench. There is also a dust bag to help keep your work environment clean and dust-free.
  • Changing belts is simple, thanks to the auto-tracking belt system, meaning you’ll be able to spend more time on your project, rather than messing about trying to manually fit belts.
  • This high-performance sander is durable and well constructed; however, all this comes at a hefty price. So, if you are a beginner and only looking to take on smaller projects, you may be better off with a less powerful, and less expensive model.
  • Also, in spite of the price tag, this sander does NOT come with a carry bag or storage container!
  • That said, if you need a heavy-duty belt sander that you will use often, this is the one to go for.
Pros Cons
Powerful 1,010W motor No carry case
Variable speed Expensive
Flat top for inverted operation
Long cable
Auto-tracking belt system  

Best Value

Bosch PBS 75

Bosch PBS 75 A Belt Sander
  • Fitted with the Bosch microfilter system for efficient built-in dust extraction. Perfect handling – easy to control thanks to improved ergonomics and compact design
  • Automatic belt tensioning system makes changing the belt quick and easy
  • Manual belt alignment is not required as the belt is automatically held in the correct work position while sanding
  • Can also be used for stationary work. Robust housing – high quality and stability due to aluminium components
  • Compact design, improved manageability and handling of the tool

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • The Bosch PBS 75A Belt Sander is an ideal choice for all of your coarse sanding work, be it wood, plastic or metal.
  • Equipped with a powerful 710-watt motor, this versatile belt sander has been designed to offer outstanding performance over all your large projects including floors, tabletops and other large furniture items.
  • Thanks to its soft-grip main handle, you’ll remain comfortable throughout, while the secondary handle helps to optimise grip and control. The integrated Bosch dust collection system helps you keep your work area clean, and the low vibrations improve your comfort levels.
  • Changing the belt is extremely easy on this model. The automatic belt tensioning system means you’ll waste little time fitting your belt during the middle of a big job.
  • However, bear in mind that given its power, it does tend to go through belts fairly rapidly. Also, it features only a single speed setting which is its only real drawback.
  • All in all, this robust sander is a real powerhouse which features durable aluminium parts, as well as an excellent design for maximum user comfort and high performance.
Pros Cons
710W motor Single-speed
Robust aluminium parts High sandpaper belt consumption
Second handle
Bosch soft-grip main handle
Automatic belt tensioning system  

Best Belt File Sander UK

Silverstorm 247820

Silverline 247820 - 260W 13mm Power Belt File
  • Variable speed
  • Adjustable file arm angle & narrow sanding belt
  • Quick belt tensioning system
  • For intricate sanding in difficult-to-access areas
  • Ideal for sanding, deburring, weld descaling & shaping mortices & wooden joints

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Thanks to its slim, compact design, if you have a job that requires intricate sanding in hard to access areas, then the Silverstorm Power Belt File is the model for you. Inexpensive and extremely useful, this handy little must-have sander is a great option.
  • As its motor is integrated within the handle and not to one side, you’ll find that this model is surprisingly well balanced and easy to manoeuvre.
  • The adjustable file arm angle also makes it hard to reach areas easily accessible, thus taking the strain off your wrist. Lightweight and compact, this model is simple to use with its on/off rocker switch and variable speed dial.
  • The rapid belt tensioning system makes changing the belt fast and effortless. Just be aware that this model is a little slow. Its maximum speed only comes in at 550rpm.
  • While this sander is slightly underpowered, this also makes it suitable for slower, more intricate/delicate sanding tasks. You’ll find it invaluable for getting into those tight spaces and corners.”
Pros Cons
Slim easy to hold design Slightly underpowered
Variable speed control dial Slow
Rapid belt tensioning system
Well balanced
Adjustable file arm angle  

Best Detail/Multi-Sanders UK

working with detail sander

Best Performance/Cordless

Bosch PSM 18

Bosch PSM 18 LI Cordless 18 Volt Li-Ion Multisander (body only)
  • Part of the 18 V 'Power4All' collection of tools - battery and charger sold separately
  • Lithium-ion technology - small, light, powerful and always ready to use, 3 Green LEDs indicate the battery level
  • Turnable/changeable Delta plate with SDS system for economical usage of sanding paper and plate, gives the possibility to attach other sanding attachments
  • Sanding plate with lasting velcro type ensures high durability and easy change of sanding paper
  • Compact size, ergonomic shape, Softgrip, Microfilter System box - easy to clean with maximum dust collection

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • This Bosch multi-sander makes an excellent choice if you are looking for a cordless detail/multi-sander and you already own other Bosch 18V Power4All range tools.
  • This compact sander features LED battery level indicators, so you know at a glance how much power you have remaining and when it’s time to charge up.
  • This model’s power is intelligently managed, thanks to its integral Bosch Syneon Intelligent Power Chip which ensures maximum power and endurance no matter what you’re working on.
  • Please note that this detail/multi-sander is sold without a battery or charger, but is compatible with the Bosch 18V Power4All range (hence why it’s a good choice if you own other tools in this range).
  • While the iron-shaped sanding plate allows you to get into corners with ease, the velcro fastening system is quick and simple. The only drawback to this versatile sander is its dust collection, which like many other models, leaves a little to be desired.
  • That said, if you need a good all-purpose detail sander, capable of getting into corners and over rounded edges without a cord getting in the way, we highly recommend the Bosch PSM Cordless Multi-Sander.”
Pros Cons
Bosch Syneon Intelligent Power Chip No battery included
Iron-shaped sanding plate Poor dust collection
LED battery level indicators
Velcro fastening
Ergonomic soft-grip handle  

Best Value/Corded

Bosch PSM 200 AES

Bosch 06033B6070 PSM 200 AES Multi-Sander (two sanding papers, rectangular sanding plate, case, 200 W), Green, 29.0 cm*12.4 cm*38.4 cm
  • Bosch microfilter system
  • SDS base plate change
  • Velcro-type fastening system. Sanding surface, iron-shaped - 104 cm². Sanding surface, rectangular - 164 cm² (92 x 182 mm). Orbital stroke rate - 6.000 – 26.000 opm
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Versatile and easy to use

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • If you are looking for a higher-end detail/multi-sander, have a look at the Bosch PSM 200 AES.
  • This detail/multi-sander is ideal for your weekend projects, whether you’re a beginner or experienced DIYer. Its compact size and low weight, as well as its ease of use, make it a great choice for sanding furniture such as tables and chairs.
  • The iron-shaped design allows you to closely sand edges, corners and other hard to access areas. Sanding sheets attach easily and securely, thanks to the velcro fixation system, while the two-piece sanding plate improves your sanding paper’s durability.
  • Comes with two types of sanding plates – iron-shaped and rectangular
  • The Bosch ergonomic soft-grip handle will keep your hand comfortable even during lengthy projects.
  • Also, the dust container can be tricky to remove and suffers the same issues as many of the sanders in this list.
  • On the whole though, as an all-rounder, complete with sanding sheets and carry case, the Bosch PSM 200 AES Multi-Sander is good value.
Pros Cons
Iron-shaped and rectangular sanding platesDifficult to remove the dust container.
Compact and lightweight Velcro sanding pads can wear out quickly if misused
Ergonomic soft-grip handle
Carry case and sanding sheets included  

Best Sanders UK – Comparison Table

SanderTypePowerMain FeaturesPrice RangeOur Score
Makita DBO180Z Cordless random orbit sander190W maximum output Three-speed settings
Compact size
Pad control system
Bosch PEX 300 AE Corded random orbit sander
Dynamically balanced 270W motor Compact and low weight
Adjustable speed control
Makita 9404 Belt Sander 1,010W motorVariable speed
Flat top for inverted operation
Auto-tracking belt system
Bosch PBS 75A Belt Sander 710W motorRobust aluminium parts
Second handle
Automatic belt tensioning system
Silverstorm 247820Belt File260WSlim easy to hold design
Variable speed control dial
Rapid belt tensioning system
Adjustable file arm angle
Bosch PSM 18 Cordless Detail/Multi-Sander18V (battery-powered)Bosch Syneon Intelligent Power Chip
Iron-shaped sanding plate
LED battery level indicators
Velcro fastening
Ergonomic soft-grip handle
Bosch PSM 200 AESCorded Detail/Multi-Sander 200WIron shaped and rectangular sanding plates
Compact and lightweight
Ergonomic soft-grip handle
Carry case and sanding sheets included
Great value

Best Sanders UK – Final Thoughts

Your choice of sander will depend heavily on your intended use. However, if you are looking for a versatile sander for home DIY projects, then we recommend the Bosch PSM 200 AES.

It has enough power for your weekend projects while remaining compact and light. Its two-piece sanding plate helps your sanding pads last longer and it represents good value for money. 

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, this handy, inexpensive sander will come in useful for most household sanding tasks.

Its triangular-shaped plate can get into tight spaces and up against walls, as well as sanding down medium-sized furniture including chest of drawers and tables. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, the sanding pads attach quickly and easily with velcro fastenings, making this sander an extremely practical option for any home!