Sanding floors is not an easy task at all, and definitely not when you are talking about hardwood floors. To make sure that you are not ruining your floor by sanding it instead of replacing it, you need to have knowledge about the proper sanding techniques, and the best sanders available in the market to do that job.
Here is where we come in to help you.
This best sander for hardwood floors guide will not only help you compare various sanders but also help you consider which one is perfect for your needs. Therefore, give this a read and bring life back to your flooring with our insights.
A list of our Favorites for 2021
Oreck Commercial ORB550MC
Dimensions: 49.6 x 13.6 x 9.7 inches
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
Dimensions: 9 x 16.1 x 9.76 inches
Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex Sander
Dimensions: 11.02 x 15.5 x 11.4 inches
Bon HT8 HireTech Multi Speed Drum
Dimensions: 30.75 x 17.5 x 15.75 inches
BOSCH OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander
Dimensions: 17.9 x 5.8 x 8.9 inches
Oreck Orbiter All-In-One Floor Cleaner
Dimensions: 15 x 10.5 x 9 inches
Clarke Floor Sander Floor Sander
Dimensions: 20 x 18 x 45 inches
7 Best Sander for Hardwood Floors
Here is a list of 7 sanders along with their pros and cons to help you make a choice. Give them a read to find your ideal product.
1. Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine
The Oreck Commercial orbital floor machine is one of the best sanders for wood floors, along with other types of flooring. You can use any cleaning pads or sandpaper for along with this product for your various needs – whether it is cleaning, getting stubborn residue out, scrubbing, sanding, or polishing.
It does not leave any brush marks or create any gouges either. Along with being a great cleaner, this tool is also powerful. Equipped with a motor power of 4 HP, this is great for removing all your stains and marks right off your hardwood floors.
Besides, the product is quite durable, ensuring that you can get a lot of usages with just one right purchase.
One of the best things about this cleaner is the way it moves. The random orbital motion in which it oscillates helps to reach even the sharpest corners of the room and ensures maximum cleanliness. Since it is compatible with a lot of cleaning tools and agents, you just need to find the right one for you to get clean flooring all over.
Something that bothers a lot of people while cleaning is to have the short wire of the machine get in your way. This limits flexibility and wastes time by needing to change power outlets as you clean every few feet. And this tool eliminates that problem, too, by having a cord that is 50 feet in length.
2. Makita 9403 Belt Sander
The Makita floor sander is one of the best sanders for wooden floors. At 11 amps, this device is very powerful and great for removing paint and materials off the floor without damaging it. It is well known for its ability to remove 1640 feet of material per minute and therefore used more in preparatory work.
Although this machine is very powerful, it does not produce such sound that you need to wear noise-canceling headsets. At 84 decibels, the sound is tolerable and not much harmful to your health.
The vibrations are also not felt to such an extent that you begin to experience discomfort after prolonged use.
One of the best things about this machine is definitely how user friendly it is. With a large comfortable grip at the top, you can operate the product for long hours comfortably. The dust collection bag at the top right corner keeps itself out of your way and ensures that no dust gets in your eyes.
Another great thing to consider about this device is how well it has been constructed. Its outside is built from high-quality plastic and aluminum. And its inside is equipped with different bearings and seal. This model is good at keeping dust out of its sensitive parts, translating into many years of usage.
3. Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex Sander
The Festoon Rotex sander is known as one of the best floor sanders for the hardwood floor, and for many amazing features. First of all, the brand is well known for its many durable products, and this particular model is not any different from that. With multiple sealing, it protects its inside parts from dust well.
One of the best things about this model is that it has two modes. The aggressive mode is beat for when you want to remove layers of your floor as quick as possible, mostly in the prep stage. The random orbital mode is for fine sanding and polishing, and can the flooring a nice, smooth finishing.
Another great thing about this device is its efficient dust removal system. Equipped with a Jetstream dust extraction system, this model effectively gets all dust out of your way, prevents it from spilling, and makes your job a whole lot easier by not having to sweep off the remnants frequently.
Changing pads in this device is as easy as turning the green button on it and replacing the old pad. Last but not least, this model comes along with a systainer, which is great for storing the device in a compact and neat way. The systainer has a predetermined place for everything, making putting away the device simple.
4. Bon HT8 HireTech Drum Floor Sander
The HT8 Drum floor sander is mostly used by professionals on a rental basis. This model is well known for its high power of 4.5 HP and is great at removing all kinds of paints and materials off the floor in the sanding process. Its 4 different operating speeds give you the flexibility to choose.
One of the struggles of carrying around a drum sander is that it is almost always nearly unmovable. However, that is not the case with this model. It can be broken down into 3 distinct parts, therefore increasing portability and ensuring you get the tool at the right place with minimum hassle.
Along with these features, this model has an efficient dust removal system, which helps to keep the dust out of your way. A good dust removal system is a must in any good sander, as dust can not only make your project hard to work on, it can also impose several threats to your health if ingested.
Also, another great thing about this product is that, like most huge drum sanders, this one does not scrape your walls. The molded sides help in ensuring that. Not only this, but replacing any abrasive of your choice is also super easy with this model. Therefore, it is truly a purchase worth the money.
5. Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander
The Bosch Electric Sander is one of the best sanders for refinishing hardwood floors, due to its unique deliverable features. At 3.4 amps, this device is more powerful than a lot of alternatives in the market and is known for doing its job well. It can sand large areas through its orbital motion at a fast pace.
One of the best things about this model is its SheetLoc system. Usually, replacing and removing papers from the sander can be quite a hassle due to paper clip systems.
But this model employs a lever-like tool, which you just have to push to replace the paper within. Thus, you get the same results with zero nuisance.
Clearing the dust off the floor as you are working can be quite an irritating thing to do. So is checking the dust container every few seconds to assess when you need to empty it. This model offers the solution to both these problems – with a clear dust canister that efficiently collects all dust.
Another great thing about this model is that it has several different operating modes, so you can choose according to the kind of floor you are working with and the result you want to achieve. This model also does not produce many vibrations, although it is powerful and thus is comfortable to use.
6. Oreck Orbiter All-In-One Floor Cleaner
The Oreck Orbiter floor cleaner is also known as one of the most versatile cleaners of all time. This cleaner can be used not only to sand and scrub hardwood floors, but also to get stains and dirt out of marble, tiles, and other kinds of flooring. They are used to clean carpets too without water.
One of the best things about this model is that it is very easy to use. You do not need to have any experience in using this beforehand. Simply refer to the manual or a tutorial video, and get going on your cleaning job. It is also easy to transport from room to room, considering it’s not too heavy.
Having a short cord with a floor cleaner can create a lot of hassle. It basically means that you have to unplug and re-plug the cleaner while going to separate rooms because the cord is too short. However, this model features a 30 feet long cord, which helps you easily move it to other rooms.
Another great advantage of the model is that it does not make much noise at all. Some sanders produce a lot of noise along with vibrations, making it an irritating experience for both you and your neighbors. However, since this model does not have any such problem, you can buy it without worrying.
7. Clarke Floor Sander
The Clarke floor sander is one of the best sanders in terms of efficiently cleaning all stains, dirt, grime, and residue off the floor and sanding it to make it all prepared for refurnishing. It does not create any brush marks, scratches, or gouges like a drum sander or a belt sander. Hence, it is a good option.
One of the best things about this sander is that it is quite fast. It oscillates about 3600 orbits per minute, which helps it to remove all stains from the flooring without any problem at all. Most orbital sanders that are available in the market cannot match up to this power, making this a great buy.
Another great thing about this model is how efficiently it removes dust. Its dust collection system always keeps your work free from dust, prevents any spillage from the container, and gives you a clean surface to work on. As a result, you are free from the disturbances and minor threats that dust could bring.
Along with these unique features, this device is also equipped with a fan-cooled motor. This fan works well to protect the device from any overheating. Along with that, the device has a transparent plug which works as a power indicator.
Features to Consider When Looking for a Sander for Hardwood Floors
These are the factors you should look at before buying a sander. Below we are going to talk about them.
Type of Sander
Depending on the kind of use you are looking to get out of your sander, you can choose between three types. Each sander is used for a different purpose, but you can tweak how you use them and buy the ones you need according to your budget.
These sanders are quite huge in size and hard to move around due to their weight. They are also expensive than the other two kinds. These sanders are mostly used to get the paint and varnish off floors in large rental spaces.
However, using these sanders require quite a bit of experience, so it is best if beginners do not experiment with these. And if you do need to use it for a project, make sure to get help in carrying it around, and try to buy one that can be assembled easily. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself.
This type of sander is used to get paint and layers off from the edges of the surface you are working with. Most sanders are way too big and cannot properly work around the edges, leading to bad finishing. Since this is much smaller in size and can be handheld, this sander can solve that problem.
Orbital sanders are best for hardwood floors, as their main job is to provide finer texture to the surface.
You can use a drum sander to scrape the existing layers off and then use an orbital sander to get your desired finish, or you can use sandpapers of different grits with this sander alone to get the finished result you want.
Type of Floor
They type of floor you are working with, as well as its age, are very important factors to consider when buying a sander. If you are dealing with a floor that’s very old, you will need a more aggressive sander, whereas a sander with medium grits will do the job just fine for relatively newer floors.
Safety is one of the prime aspects when choosing your sander. The dust that gets in the way while you are sanding your floor can impose hazards on health. Therefore, try to get one that has a dust collectible system attached to it.
If you need to get your job done quickly and with as much precision as possible, then you need to look for a powerful sander. However, there is always a trade-off between power and portability. There are a lot of cordless sanders in the market which are portable but not the best when it comes to power.
On the other hand, most of the powerful sanders come equipped with a cord. Therefore, it is entirely your decision as to what feature matters to you more, and depending on that, you should purchase your product.
As we discussed in the previous point, the powerful sanders usually have a cord system. However, most people prefer cordless sanders as it offers greater portability and allows you to move more freely. Plus, there is less risk of sustaining severe injuries from tripping over the cord, especially if you are on a ladder.
Different floors need different kinds of speed while they are being sanded, depending on the roughness or smoothness of their surface. Therefore, it is always best to look for a sander that has multiple speed options so that you can choose the one you need according to your surface and the kind of result you want.
Ease of Use
Last but not least, it is very important to buy a sander that you are comfortable with using. Otherwise, all your money will go in vain. Make sure that your sander has a comfortable grip, which will be all the better if it is made with rubber.
That way, you will not get tired even after using it for hours, and it will not result in any major discomfort from continuous use.
How to Use Floor Sander?
ou can use a drum sander and a corner and edge sander to give your floor the look you want. Here is a detailed description of how to use a sander for your floor:
First of all, you need to set up the drum sander. You must take off the retainers, and put the piece of sandpaper you want inside the device. Make sure that the sander is not plugged in while you’re doing this, and place your sandpaper correctly.
In terms of choosing the appropriate sandpaper, use a rough one for floors that are not in a good state.
After doing this, plug in the sander and get it started. Lower the drum on the floor and go around diagonally on the floor to sand it. After making one diagonal pathway, you have to go the other way. Continue like this until the whole floor is finished.
Once the floor is done at large, it is time to pay attention to the corners. Make sure that the edge sander you will be using is unplugged, and put the new sandpaper inside it. While choosing sandpaper for the edges, get one with fine grits. After that, go about the edges to scrape all the layers off that the drum sander could not reach.
Lastly, sweep down the floor and use a damp cloth to clean off any excess dirt. In case you find any rough parts, sand that part only.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best sanders for hardwood floors:
What type of sander is best for wood floors?
Random orbital sanders are best for sanding wood floors.
How long does it take to sand a floor with a floor sander?
The time it takes to sand a floor depends on various things. If the size of the floor is big, it will obviously take more time compared to smaller floors. On top of that, floors that are not in good condition (rough and with cracks and dents) will need a lot more time to be sanded.
How can I refinish my hardwood floors myself?
To refinish the hardwood floors yourself, you will need the help of a random orbital sander. Those coupled with fine gritted sandpaper should do the job pretty nicely.
How do you sand a hardwood floor?
To sand a hardwood floor, you might need to go over the large parts with a drum sander, and then use a detailed sander to get the edges.
How do you know when you're done sanding?
When you can feel that there are no rough patches left, and the floor looks overall smooth without any dents or cracks, that is when you know that you are done sanding.
Choosing the best sander for hardwood floors is definitely not the easiest task. However, with the help of the insights you have now gained by reading our article, you might find it easier to purchase one.
We would recommend you to try the Festool Rotex Sander due to the dual modes it has, along with the easy pad changing and dust collection system.