Tools and Home Improvement

Gloss Up Your Wooden Deck With The Best Sander For Deck Refinishing

A wooden deck in the front or back yard gives an earthly ambiance. However, maintaining one is not a piece of cake but neither is it the hardest job in the world. You can always give a smooth finishing to the wooden surface by a utility machine known as a sander.

In case you require such a sander, this article will help you find the best sander for deck refinishing. Let’s take a look.

Buy the right tool for sanding: Critical points to keep in mind before sealing the deal for a deck sander

Dust Collection Features

You don’t want all the dust from sanding flying here and there. For this reason, say yes to only that sander which has a dust collecting bag or a vacuum deck cleaner attached for sucking the dust. Dust can be harmful to your respiratory system.

Speed Settings

Almost all of us have full energy when we start a project so we are in a fast and furious mode to get it finished. Similarly, at the start of sanding, you might want to work fast over the flat wood. But as time passes by and the more intricate parts of the deck start asking for sanding, you would want to slow down a little bit.

Therefore, consider a sander that has a speed variation controller installed in it.

Multi-Functional Sanders

Along with grit papers for sanding, some sanders have polishing features as well.

Noise Level

You don’t want your eardrums deaf and your neighbors yelling when you’re are refinishing your deck. Therefore, look for a lower-decibel sander.

Power Options

Sanders are usually available in two types regarding power:

  1. Electric-powered sander:  the cord in an electric-powered sander maintains a consistent supply of power. However, the managing of all the extensions and cables might get a little messy.
  2. Battery-powered sander: their main benefit is that they are portable and don’t require extensions or electric outlets.

Sanding area

The flat wooden surface requires a sander with power and speed. However, a deck with corners, railings, and intricate design asks for a versatile sander that can cater to the needs of the deck.  

Sander type

Sanders come in two types:

  1. Belt sanders: they are steady, sturdy, and fast.  These are highly recommended for sanding projects. 
  2. Orbital sanders: they are designed for precision and control. They don’t have the power and ability required for sanding large wooden surfaces in a shorter time. They are aesthetically pleasing nonetheless. 

Price

Check your budget and keep in mind the requirements of your sanding project. In case you need a sander for your deck only, then you need not spend a lot of money on it as you’ll be using it once in a blue moon. If you are considering a sander for some other projects as well, you might want to spend some extra pennies to get a sander with extra features.

Details of 8 best sanders for deck refinishing

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DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421K)

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421K)

BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander  (BDERO100)

BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander  (BDERO100)

Makita Sheet Finishing Sander Teal (BO4900V)

Makita Sheet Finishing Sander Teal (BO4900V)

Ridgid ZRR2740 6.5 Heavy Duty Variable Speed Belt Sander (Renewed)

Ridgid ZRR2740 6.5 Heavy Duty Variable Speed Belt Sander (Renewed)

TACKLIFE Belt Sander 3×18-Inch

TACKLIFE Belt Sander 3×18-Inch

Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander

Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander

Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander

SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat 6 Amp 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt Sander with Pressure Control

SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat 6 Amp 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt Sander with Pressure Control

1. DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421K) – Best Sander For Deck Refinishing

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Motor: 3 amp
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.38 x 7.25 x 6.18 inches
  • Model number: DWE6421K

DeWalt’s DWE6421K is user-friendly and doesn’t leave you fatigued at the end because it features minimal vibration technology. Furthermore, the rubber over-mold in its handle ensures a comfortable and firm grip over the sander. Although the DeWalt’s DWE6421K random orbit sander comes with a dust collection bag, it also has compatibility for vacuum so you can get rid of all the dust. And even if you don’t want the vacuum, there is a dust-sealed switch with the bar that doesn’t let the dust fall out. 

DeWalt’s DWE6421K random Orbit sander houses the hook and loop sandpaper pads that let you conveniently change the grit paper mid-project. However, this model carries only the top rubber grip as a handle and features no side handles. That might be problematic for people who like auxiliary handles and feel comfortable with them. Nevertheless, DeWalt’s DWE6421K sander is the best sander for deck refinishing for many other reasons.

Pros
  • Rubber mold ensures a firm grip
  • Minimal vibration while sanding
  • Can be comfortably used for long hours
  • Can be used for designed and intricate surfaces
Cons
  • Hook-and-loop pads seem less secure than tool-affixed ones
  • No auxiliary handle; one-handed operation only

2. BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander  (BDERO100) – Best Sander For Refinishing Cabinets

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 3.16 lbs
  • Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Model number: BDERO100

Quite as a mouse and sturdy as a rhino, BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander is the best sander for refinishing cabinets and an optimal choice for a sanding project DIY enthusiast. Its compact and lightweight design offers optimal performance and maximum comfort. The palm grip allows a firm hold and control over the machine.

BDERO100 features hook-and-loop sandpaper and can efficiently sand fiberglass as well. The model comes with a dust bag that offers a dust seal switch but the bag itself is very small. You need to empty the bag time and again. But this discomfort can be avoided by hooking a vacuum cleaner with the sander. 

Pros
  • Comfortable grips
  • Efficient dust extraction
  • Low noise level
  • Best palm sander for wood
Cons
  • Not an ideal dust bag

3. Makita Sheet Finishing Sander Teal (BO4900V) – Best Sander to Use on Hardwood Floors

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 5.94 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14.96 x 9.06 x 5.51 inches
  • Model number: BO4900V

Makita Sheet Finishing sander sports a hook and loop as well as an adhesive sandpaper sheet. Powered by a moor of 120 V, BO4900V varies between 4000 orbits per minute to 10000 orbits per minute speed. This model’s sandbelt is 4” wide which translates to the sanding of a bigger area in lesser time. A 4” belt also means that you can sand corners and sides. Therefore,  this model takes the prize for the best sander to use on hardwood floors.

The best feature of BO4900V is that it does not make noise. Additionally, it comes with a dust collecting bag but in case you prefer a vacuum, you can hook one to this sander for minimal dust. This model is quite pricey but given the features and power, it is worth every cent.  

Pros
  • A comfortable grip reduces hand fatigue
  • Sturdy built
  • Durable
  • 84 decibels sound
Cons
  • Expensive

4. Ridgid ZRR2740 6.5 Heavy Duty Variable Speed Belt Sander (Renewed) – Best All Round Sander

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Motor: 6.5 amp
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 6.7 x 6 inches
  • Model number: ZRR2740

The RIDGID 3 in. x 18-in Belt Sander saves time and increases productivity with its automatic belt tracking system. This feature allows the belt to be in perfect alignment with the continuous adjustments. Additionally, it reduces edge damage, spillage, and maintenance expenses. Our research team has labeled this sander as the best all round sander.  Its 6.5 amp motor can handle the toughest of surfaces and smooth them out perfectly.

Furthermore, the RIDGID 3 in. x 18-in Belt Sander sports a variable speed controller paired with an electronic indicator to let the user know about pressure-speed consistency. A 12 ft. cord, insulated with rubber, lets the sander reach to the farthest corners. Soft grip handles provide a firm grip and decrease vibrations. 

Pros
  • Soft grip handles
  • 12-ft all rubber cord with cord wrap
  • Automatic belt tracking tool automatically
  • 6.5 Amp motor belt and gear drove
Cons
  • Not durable

5. TACKLIFE Belt Sander 3×18-Inch – Best All Purpose Sander

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Weight: 7.48 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15 x 6.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Model number: PSFS1A

If you are looking for a belt sander that can be converted to a bench one, you need not to look further. TACKLIFE’s belt sander can work as a bench sander after you finish the deck’s sanding. It offers two clamps with the help of which you can install the belt sander on your workbench or other surfaces. This model comes with an array of sanding belts with different grits to be used on multiple surfaces.

Apart from this, TACKLIFE Belt Sander offers speed setting up to 6 variables. So the sanding can be done in fast and furious mode, medium mode, and turtle mode. It is very appropriate to say that this is the best all purpose sander. As for as dust collection is concerned, a dust bag comes attached with the sander. But in case you want to use a vacuum for dust cleaning, it is compatible with that as well. However, the TACKLINE Belt sander’s handle isn’t at par with the overall built and can be improved.

Pros
  • Easily converts to a bench sander
  • Six-speed variable controls
Cons
  • The grip design is lacking

6. Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander – Best Orbital Sander For Refinishing Furniture

Key Features

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9 x 16.1 x 9.76 inches
  • Model number: 9403

Makita 9403 stands at a top slot in the row of best sanders. A 4” x 24” belt and 1640 feet per minute speed makes the sanding of huge wooden floors as easy as cutting a pie. It comes with a dust collecting bag that can rotate in a full circle to collect every particle of dust. Sand, clean, and fast with the best orbital sander for refinishing furniture!

Unlike other sanders, the Makita 9403 sports a cord connecting port at the top. This feature simplifies cord management and makes the sanding a mess-free project. Furthermore, it features a wide grip so that the beginners and DIY enthusiasts can use it easily. 

However, this model weighs a little heavy both on the budget and hands. The heavyweight helps in its movement and gives firm control. The hefty price is justified by the fact that this sander can outlive every other machine and is very durable. 

Pros
  • Fast and powerful
  • Wide belt
  • Quiet (84 decibels)
Cons
  • Comfortable and solid grip

7. Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander – Best Palm Sander For Wood

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Item Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Item model number: ROS20VSC

If you’re looking for a sander to sand small areas, Bosch ROS20VSC Palm sander is your new best friend for that task. But don’t confuse its small size with faulty performance because this sander, sands very finely with its micro filter mechanism. Featuring a 2.5 amp motor and a variable speed controller, this little beast can be used between 7500 OPM to 12000 OPM. All these excellent specs allow us to award the best palm sander for wood title to this model.

ROS20VSC’s dust collecting bag collects all dust particles and keeps your work area clean. So when you are done with the sanding and take a step back for a view, you’ll find the surface finely sanded and the area dust-free.  

Pros
  • Comfortable to use
  • Variable speed dial
  • Micro filtration system
Cons
  • Designed only for minor jobs
  • Dust bag fills quickly

8. SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat 6 Amp 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt Sander with Pressure Control – Best Handheld Belt Sander

Key Features 

  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 6.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.63 x 13.75 x 6.5 inches
  • Model number: 7510-01

Up your sanding skill game with SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander! No need to exert manual pressure on the sander where you think that the wooden surface needs fine sanding because this machine does it for you. It lights up a red indicator to connote that the manual pressure is enough for the particular surface.

SKIL 7510-01 is as versatile and flexible as a sander can get. You can use it on soft surfaces, hard wooden floors, and fiberglass or for a finishing look. You simply can not go wrong with this best handheld belt sander. Furthermore, it features a dust collecting bag and its micro-filtration system can cater to the smallest of dust particles. However, the sandbag needs to be emptied with care since it’s a little intricate. This issue is not an issue at all as you can always connect a vacuum to the sander. 

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Cost-effective
  • Pressure control system
Cons
  • The dust collector isn’t efficient

Conclusion

A well-informed person makes the right decision. Therefore, we have put together all the vital information about sanders in our buyers’ guide. Make your decision wisely and sand that deck of yours with the best sanders for wood to give your house a lovely and classy look. 

FAQs

Should I sand my deck before staining?

Yes. Sanding a deck before staining helps the deck to absorb the paint properly. 

Can sanding wood make you sick?

Yes. Wood dust is a carcinogen that can cause multiple lung issues. The respiratory tract doesn’t like dust and thus can be allergic to the sand dust.

Is sanding wood dangerous?

No, with the proper precautionary measures, sanding wood is an enjoyable task. However, without safety measures, the dust from sanding wood can cause considerable breathing and respiratory problems.  

Can you sand a wet deck?

No, you can’t sand a wet deck because the sander won’t simply run on it.  

What is the difference between a belt sander and an orbital sander?

A belt sander uses a thick sheet to sand the surface. Some big sanders feature a belt with a length varying from 18” to 24” and width 3” to 4”. Smaller belt sanders measurements vary from 14” to 16” in length 2” to 1.5” in width. Belt sanders are powerful, durable, expensive, and the best power sanders for wood. However, if not used with care, it can damage soft surfaces.

Orbital sanders/random orbital sanders employ a sanding pad or disc of 5” or 6” which are very affordable. The disc’s grit varies from 60 to 220. However, the discs need to be changed often.

How can I prepare the deck for sanding?

The best way to sand a wood deck is to prepare it beforehand:

  1. Power wash the deck.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Start sanding with a suitable sander.
  4. Stain the deck.

How often should you stain your deck?

If you have got a roof over your deck and its condition is good, you only need to re-stain it after 4/5 years after sanding it with the best sander for outdoor deck.

In case your deck is exposed to sun and rain, you can stain it after every 2/3 years.

Should I paint my deck or stain it?

Paint can last up to 10 years. Furthermore, oil-based paints employ latex which promises extra protection from ultraviolet rays and molds. Hence, painting a deck is a better option.

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