A sander is a power tool used to smooth wood and automotive or wood finishes. Sanders have a means to attach the sandpaper that does the work. Woodworking sanders are usually operated by electrical power while the ones used in auto-body repair work on compressed air. There are many different types of these machines.
Woodworking sanders include:
- Belt sander (hand-held or stationary)
- Disc sander: A disc sander is a machine that consists of a circular sandpaper-covered wheel being electrically spun around. It is sat between two benches- the one on the front is used to put your work on. The one at the back houses the machinery that spins the wheel around. It is used chiefly to sand wooden objects so that they have smoother edges. To use, press the piece of wood up against the spinning disc gently. Turn over and do the same again.
- Oscillating spindle sander: A sander mounted on a rotating spindle, but also moves up and down at the same time. Good for sanding curves and contours that would be difficult with hand sanding or orbital sanding.
- Random orbital sander
- Orbital sander: A hand-held sander that vibrates in small circles, or "orbits." Mostly used for fine sanding or where a large amount of removal is not needed.
- Straight-line sander: A sander that vibrates in a straight line, instead of in circles. Good for places where hand sanding is tedious. Mostly they are air-powered, but there are a select few that are electric.
- Detail Sander: A hand-held sander that uses a vibrating head with a triangular piece of sandpaper attached. Used for sanding corners and very tight spaces. Also known as "Mouse" or "corner" sanders.
- Stroke sander: A large production sander that uses a hand-operated platen on a standard sanding belt to apply pressure. For large projects like tabletops, doors, and cabinets.
- Drum sander: A large sander that uses a rotating sanding drum. Like a planer, the operator adjusts feed rollers to send the wood inside the machine. The sander smooths it and sends it out the other side. Good for sanding large surfaces for finishing.
- Wide-belt sander: A large sander that is similar in concept to a planer, but is much larger, uses a large sanding belt head instead of a knife cutterhead, and requires air from a separate source to tension the belt. For rough sanding large surfaces or finishing. Found mainly in furniture shops or cabinet production factories.