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Wooden decks are commonly found in many households, and they stay attractive and beautiful throughout the years. To ensure they maintain their beauty and last for more years to come, you need to treat them with care. The maintenance of wooden decks is not difficult, and it only has two steps to achieve what you want.
The first step is choosing a sander to remove the worn out parts and smooth put any shabby parts and then use a few coats of varnish over the wooden deck, and it will last for another set of long years. As simple as the steps are, you still need to get a good sander that will do a high-quality job and give you the best finish.
However, there are important factors such as the type of deck sanders that you can use, what their features mean. Knowing these things will give you the knowledge you need to choose a good sander for decks.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SANDER FOR DECKS – BUYING GUIDE
First of all, you need to know what a deck sander is and its uses. A sander is used in smoothing out surfaces with sandpaper and abrasion. The sandpaper is attached to the sander and moves quickly on the work surface to make it smooth. Most sanders are powered by electricity, but you can also find sanders that are battery-powered available in the market.
There are different types of sanders for sanding a deck and knowing the different types and their uses will allow you to choose the right sander for your deck.
TYPES OF SANDERS
There are numerous types of sanders that include;
Flap sander: This sander is also known as a sanding flap wheel, and it has a Rolodex shape. They are commonly used on handheld drills and bench grinders. They are mostly used to smoothen curved surfaces.
Belt sander: A belt sander, also known as strip sander, is mainly used in shaping wood and other materials. The belt sander is an electric device that has an abrasive coated belt that is placed on top of two cylindrical drums and is rotated by an electric motor. The material moves towards the sanding belt while using the belt sander; it can trim, sand and level flat and round surfaces.
Disc sander: These sanders are mostly used as the stationary benchtop sander; they have circular and replaceable sandpaper. This sander is rotated by compressed air and electric motors.
Random orbital sander: These sanders have round sanding pads, and they are known as one of the most versatile portable electric sanders. Its pads have two different movements, it vibrates in small circles and also turns in circles and because of this swirls that are commonly found in other sanders is not present in this sander.
Stroke sander: This sander uses a hand-operated plate that is put in a basic sanding belt to apply accurate pressure. It is majorly used in finishing doors, tabletops, cabinets and other large surfaces.
Sheet sanders: These sanders are made specially to smoothen flat surfaces. It works by using a 9*11 inch sandpaper in the device. The sandpaper is placed against a flat square pad by two spring clamps. The motor then vibrates the pad in tiny orbits, and this allows you to move the sander in any direction.
Commercial wood floor sander: These sanders are usually available at rental outlets. Commercial sanders are best suited for hardwood floors, but they can also be used for decks. Commercial orbital sanders weigh up to 100 pounds and release a lot of vibration. Due to their heavyweight, they are hard to transport, but they work wonderfully well for areas that are not cupped or warped. Commercial drum sanders are large tools that are fitted with a rotating sanding drum. They are made for sanding large surface areas. However, they can remove wood at a high rate, so it may cause harm to the household deck if handled by a beginner.
CONSIDER YOUR NEEDS
It is important to know what you need a sander to do, do you need a smooth finish or you want to get rid of unwanted materials, or you need both features in your sander. After deciding on what your needs are, then it will be easy to choose the right sander for your project.
The kind of sander that you will purchase depends on the type of deck you have. Some decks have odd-shaped corners and have different designs. You may need a versatile sander that can handle detail work or a sander that provides you with speed and power if you have a flat deck.
As we have mentioned above, there are different sanders for decks available in the market. Since you will be using the sander on a deck, we would recommend that you go for the belt sander because they are powerful and fast, but you can go through the types of sanders and their features and choose the one you think best meets your requirements. You might consider orbital sanders, but they are made for control and precision. They do not have the power to cover large areas in a short time.
It is important to consider the head type of a sander when purchasing a sander. To choose the best head type, select the one that is best suited for your workpiece and will meet all your requirements.
Sanders are measured in inches. The wider the sander, the more surface area it will be able to cover at once. Just know that you might not be able to reach corners with a large sander, but if you go for a smaller sander, you will need more time to complete your project. Choose the size that you think best suits the needs of your deck.
There are the wired and battery-operated deck sanders. The wired sanders have a higher rating over the battery-operated; they are also better to use for an extended period. If you decide on purchasing a battery-powered sander, then go for one that uses Lithium-ion batteries.
The size of the motor usually entails what the motor’s strength will be. The motor size of handheld motors is measured in amps. It will be best if you go for a sander that has at least three amps motor power if not, it will take longer to finish your work.
The speed of a sander is another important factor to consider. There may be times when you have to work with different types of materials, and for this, you should get a sander with variable speed features to help you deal with all the different materials.
Sanders leave a lot of dust and debris while they work. It is best to have a sander that comes with an in-built dust extractor if not, you will end up with extra work on your hands. Cleaning can be stressful, and having all that dust lying around could cause health issues.
Purchasing a good deck sander does not mean you have to break the bank. If deck sanding is all you are going to use the sander for, then you will be able to get a sander of decent quality at a reasonable price. Ensure that you compare all the features and prices and make a decision that suits you best.
There are different types of sanders with varying features, and it may seem like it is impossible to choose the right sander. No worries, we have provided you with a buyer’s guide and product review to help you choose the best sander for decks without and hassle.
Let’s check the list.
The Best 10 Sanders For Decks Are Reviewed Below
We have compiled a list of the best sanders for decks along with their features and specifications to give you a detailed review on the products.
Makita 9403 Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
The Makita 9403 is the best model for sanding decks. It is a fast and quiet machine that is easy to control. However, it is a heavy machine, but that doesn’t mean it is a disadvantage, the weight of the sander helps the user to control the sander.
It comes with an 11 amp motor that delivers 1600 FPM speed. It has a dust collection bad that swivels so that it stays out of the way will you operate the sander. The dust collection system collects about 95 percent of the dust produced. The dust protection of the sander provides the machine with longer life. The nose of the Makita 9403 can reach into corners, and this saves you from having to use a different tool for the corners.
- Sound of 84 decibels
- 4-inch wide belt
- A speed of 1640 FPM
- Dust protection with labyrinth seal
- Large front grip
- 1-year warranty
- Brand: Makita
- Model: Makita 9403
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Dimensions: 9 * 16.1 * 9.76 inches
- Belt size: 4 inches by 24 inch
- It is powerful and quiet
- It is fast and efficient
- It comes with a wide belt
- It has a comfortable grip
- It is quite expensive
Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander
The Bosch ROS20VSC has a compact size with a comfortable design; this makes it suitable for sanding wooden knobs and small decks. It efficiently and effectively sanders your deck to a smooth finish. Its dust collection system is easy to use and helpful. This sander is great for the hobbyist for polishing wooden knobs or small decks.
Overall, this sander is a good quality machine that will help you smoothen all the rough edges quickly and easily. Its compact design makes it comfortable to use and easy to store.
- Pad dampening system to eliminate swirl marks
- Easy disc detachment
- Variable speed control
- Microfilter for dust collection
- Dust canister showing dust level
- 120 volts
- Brand: Bosch
- Model: Bosch ROS20VSC
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 9 * 5 * 6 inches
- Color: Blue
- It is compact and comfortable to use
- It smoothens round and contoured decks
- It comes with a dust collection unit
- It has thick sandpapers for a more efficient performance
- It can quickly fill with dust
- It is best suited for small jobs only
DEWALT DWE6423K Random Orbit Sander
The DEWALT DWE6423K is a general purpose sander. It can withstand any condition, you can use it for wet grinding, and it will still hold up. It is powered by a 3.0 amp motor that allows you to go from 8,000 to 12,000 RPM in seconds with its variable speed feature.
This machine comes with a dustproof feature that increases the life span of the machine and also keeps the internal components intact. This sander can work for any type of surface; it is known for reducing the work time by half. The orbital sander has air vents around its motor to prevent overheating.
You can use this sander for both wet and dry services. This sander is versatile, effective and easy to use. If you prefer an orbital sander to a belt sander, then this sander will be great for your needs.
- 3.0 amp motor
- 8,000 to 12,000 RPM
- Reduced vibration
- Dust sealed switch
- Dust bag with one-hand locking system
- Brand: DEWALT
- Model: DEWALT DWE6423K
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.38 * 7.25 * 6.2 inches
- Size: 5 inches
- It is powerful
- It has a wide surface area of 5 inches
- It is easy to control
- It comes with insulation for vibration reduction
- It comes with a variable speed dial
- It can be hard to connect the dust bag to an external air vacuum
- It is a bit loud
- Its dust bag is not large enough
Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control
The Bosch OS50VC is a convenient and comfortable sander. It features a 3.4 amp motor and a variable speed dial that lets you control the speed rate from 8,000 to 11,000 RPMs. It also has a vibration control system that minimizes the vibration felt by your arm. The gear housing of this machine is constructed from die-cast aluminium, and this improves the life span of the sander.
Another interesting feature that the Bosch OS50VC has is its dust collection system. It extracts every speck of dust and also filters the clouds of particles up to ½ micron. The canister is translucent blue, and this allows you to see when it is time to empty the canister. You won’t have to detach the cup, it has a twisted cap at the end, and this lets you dispose of the dust without detaching the canister.
With the vibration control system that this machine has, you will able to use it for an extended period without feeling fatigued and it is also ideal for the older generation that may have arthritis. This sander is durable, powerful and comfortable for sanding decks and other hard surfaces.
- Flush sanding ability
- SheetLoc Supreme paper clamping system
- Accepts stick on paper
- Low vibration
- Dust collection system with a translucent microfilter dust canister
- Removable handle
- Variable speed system
- Brand: Bosch
- Model: Bosch OS50VC
- Weight: 0.48 ounces
- Dimensions: 17.9 * 5.8 * 8.9 inches
- Color: Blue
- It features an efficient dust collection and disposal system
- It has low vibrations
- It is comfortable and efficient
- It is compatible with other types of paper
- Some users have complained about it jumping around
SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander with Pressure Control
SKIL 7510-01 has the best value for money. It is a 3 by 8-inch belt sander that works well with wooden decks. It is powered by a 6 amp motor that allows you to work on any surface, whether it is rough or hard. It comes with a sanding pressure indicator light that alerts you to when it is under pressure, and this increases its life span. However, it keeps sanding no matter how hard you are holding it. It has very effective and distinct features which tell you that it was not made cheaply.
This sander has a single speed, and its highest speed is half of what other models can reach. It also has a microfiltration mechanism that captures the finest of dust, but the dust collector has difficulty staying attached, and this can cause distractions.
- Pressure control technology
- Auto track system
- Microfiltration system
- Translucent dust canister
- Single lever belt change
- Corded electric with 120 volts
- Brand: SKIL
- Model: SKIL 7510-01
- Weight: 6.75 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.63 * 13.75 * 6.55 inches
- Color: Red
- Great money value
- It is durable
- It comes with an auto-track system
- It has a transparent dust canister
- It is powerful
- It has a quick belt replacement system
- It has a narrow belt
- It has a slow rotation
- Its dust collection system is not effective
TACKLIFE 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander
The TACKLIFE brand is a new brand, but customers love this product. It has high performance and speed. It has six variable speed options that help the user to control the speed to meet the requirement of the task at hand; it can reach 13,000 OPM. It is compact, and this lets it fit into small corners without any hassle.
It has an all-ball bearing configuration for reduced vibration and noise, and this makes it ideal for indoor use. This sander is highly efficient and versatile; it comes with various speed controls and a dust collection system that is convenient. It is compact and suited for small spaces.
- Six adjustable speed dials
- Supplied sanding disc
- High-performance dust collection
- Compact size with ergonomic design
- Rubber palm grip design
- Precision engineered all-ball bearing for reduced vibrations
- 350 watts
- Brand: TACKLIFE
- Model: TACKLIFE PRS01A
- Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.1 * 6.6 * 4.9 inches
- Color: Orange and Black
- Suitable for indoor use
- It has an efficient dust collection system
- It comes with six different speed controls
- It leaves you with a smooth finish
- It is easy and comfortable to operate
- It is not suitable for drywalls
- Sometimes the vibration can be overwhelming
Makita BO5041K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Kit
The Makita BO5041K is a great tool that has a 3.0 amp motor that gives you a smooth and fast sanding. It has an ergonomic rubberized palm grip, and handle that makes it comfortable to use for extended periods. It also has a dust collection system that fits a dust bag or vacuum cleaner. Its pad brake offers you with maximum productivity.
This sander features a variable speed control dial that lets the user switch between 4,000 to 12,000 OPM. This product has an adjustable front handle that allows you to use the sander in corners and confined spaces.
- 3.0 amp motor
- Large two-finger trigger switch with lock-on
- A high capacity dust collection system
- 1/8 inch random orbit action
- Pad brake
- Variable speed control dial
- Adjustable front handle
- Ergonomic rubberized palm grip
- Double insulated
- 300 watts
- Electric corded
- Brand: Makita
- Model: Makita BO5041K
- Weight: 3.09 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.5 * 16.3 * 10.3 inches
- Color: Blue
- It is lightweight
- It is versatile
- It is affordable
- It has a durable casing
- It has reduced vibrations
- Its dust collection system is not efficient
Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander
The Hitachi SB8V2 has a compact dimension 0f 3 * 21 inches that allow you to easy control the sander and take it anywhere you want. It is powered by a 9 amp motor that allows you sand rough surfaces and remove paint and stains. It comes with a variable speed control knob that lets you adjust the speed between 820 to 1,475 ft/min and an elastomer handle grip for easy control and added comfort. It also has a dust collection bag that is easy to remove and slip-in.
It features a water-resistant V-belt that can withstand wear and tear, and this improves the life span of the machine. It also features a front tracking window that provides the user with clear visibility. It also has a push lever that lets you quickly and easily replace the sanding belt.
- Variable speed control dial
- Trigger lock
- 9 amp, 1020W motor
- Soft wear-resistant V-belt
- Flush surface design
- Tracking window
- Soft elastomer grip
- Brand: Hitachi (Renamed as Metabo HPT)
- Model: Hitachi SB8V2
- Weight: 9.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 * 6.75 * 4 inches
- Color: Green
- It has a strong motor
- It is affordable and durable
- It comes with soft grip handles
- It had reduced vibrations
- The tracking window is not reliable for large projects
- It has a small dust bag that won’t be suitable for large jobs
- It has a small sanding sheet
- The sanding belt is not included in the package
PORTER-CABLE 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander
The PORTER-CABLE 352VS is made with metal, and this makes it sturdy and solid. Its metal case prevents overheating and makes the sander durable. It is powered by a 9 amp motor that comes with a speed control dial that allows the user to control the speed between 850 to 1,300 SFPM (surface feet per minute).
It comes with a dust bag that turns to 360 degrees, and you can always move it out your way if you want. It has the ability to sand adjoining surfaces. It can reach any corner. It is also easy to change the belt thanks to its quick-release belt changer.
- Variable speed dial
- Belt and gear drive system
- For flush sanding
- Fingertip belt tracking knob
- 3-year warranty
- Brand: PORTER-CABLE
- Model: PORTER-CABLE 352VS
- Weight: 10.75 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.2 * 8 * 10.2 inches
- Color: Grey
- It features a speed control dial
- It has a metal casing for durability
- It is affordable
- It has a flush sanding feature
- It comes with a dust collection bag
- It has incorrect cord arrangement
Bosch 1250DEVS orbital sander
The Bosch 1250DEVS is powered by a 6.5 amp motor and a 6-inch circular pad. It has a variable speed of 3,100 to 6,650 OPM. It can handle any surface. It has a dual-mode sanding feature that allows you to control the orbital speed for high precision. It has dual sanding modes that allow you to choose from the random orbit mode to the eccentric orbit mode.
The random orbit mode works best for easy materials while the eccentric orbit mode is five times faster and more aggressive for rough surfaces. It features a dust collection bag that gets rid of all the dust. It is convenient and easy to use.
- Two sanding modes
- Variable speed
- 6.5 amp motor
- A passive dust collection system
- Orbit speed of 3,100 to 6,500 OPM
- Brand: Bosch
- Model: Bosch 1250DEVS
- Weight: 7.39 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.8 * 7.8 * 6.2 inches
- Color: Blue and Black
- It is powerful
- It is suitable for any surface
- It has dual sanding modes
- It has a large sanding pad
- It vibrates a lot
- It has a small dust collection bag
Buying Guide Questions
What is the best sander for a deck? What is the easiest way to sand a deck?
Our top pick for the best sander for decks is the Makita 9403 Belt Sander. It has all you need in a high-quality sander for your deck. It is versatile and powerful.
Should I sand my deck before painting? Can I use a belt sander on my deck?
Yes, it is important to sand your deck before painting. If you power washed your deck, then wood fibres will remain raised and may cause splinters and this why you should sand your deck before painting. It will give you a smooth finish.
A belt sander is the most preferred choice for sanding deck surface. Use a belt sander for large jobs and a finishing sander for edges and corners.
Can I sand a deck with an orbital sander? How can I sand my deck fast?
An orbital sander is a specialized tool used in sanding wood, and it is the most efficient sander to use on a deck. They are easy to use and have a high performance.
What grit should I use to sand a deck? What happens if it rains after I sand my deck?
You should use a 60 to 150 grit sanding paper or disc for a deck. A more coarse sandpaper may cause damage to the wood, and a fine sandpaper will take a long time to do the job. The deck has to be clean and dry before sanding.
If the deck gets wet after sanding before it is painting, then you will have to wash and sand it again. A full day of sun will be enough before you can sand again.
Can I paint over old deck paint? Do I need to sand the deck first?
If the old paint is peeling or lifting, then it must be removed before being repainted. But if the old paint is still adhering to the surface of the deck and has no cracks or blistering, then you can go ahead and paint over it.
Yes, it is best to sand your deck before painting so that you can get that smooth finishing.
Is it better to sand or strip wood deck? Do I need to wash deck after sanding?
It is best to sand your deck if it needs less penetration and the deck is flat. The process of sanding requires labor and time to get a consistent result. A stripper might be the best option for larger decks, but the cost will be higher.
These are the information that you need to know in order to choose the right deck sander for your deck job. Keep in mind the kind of task you need to sander to do and choose accordingly. As we reach the end, we suggest that you use the Makita 9403, but if you prefer and orbital sander then go for the DeWalt DWE6423K. Both of these machines and others on the list will give you a smooth finish.
You can go through the buyer’s guide and product review to see what best suits your needs.