Sander Buying Guide

Sanders are designed to smooth rough surfaces and can work on a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, flooring, and plaster.

They can also be used to turn smooth surfaces into slightly textured surfaces, making materials such as kitchen cupboards and PVC front doors more receptive to paint.

There are many types of sanders available, and they’re all suited to particular tasks. You can hire high-quality sanders from Speedy when you have a task to complete, meaning you can use the sander best suited to the job.


If you create an account with Speedy, you can benefit from quick checkout, order tracking, and access to our full hire range.


When using a sander, it is really important to wear the correct PPE. Using a sander will create a lot of dust, so eye protection and a mask are vital. Also, wear gloves and protective clothing.

You’ll want to cover any exposed surfaces such as furniture to reduce dust clean-up and also have a dust management system in place.


Different Types of Sanders

The type of sander you choose will depend on the job you need to do, and how much power you require.


Belt Sanders

Belt sanders are high-powered sanders. They are designed for really high-speed sanding, able to either strip or shape wood with force and rapid speed.

The design of a belt sander makes them best suited for large, flat surfaces rather than corners or delicate sanding. So, if you have some furniture to restore or old paint to strip from cabinets, belt sanders are ideal.

They use a replaceable sanding sheet. An electric motor spins it around in a looping action, keeping the sanding sheet flat and smooth, which is great for long heavy-duty jobs.


  • Sanding large surfaces
  • Quick, continuous sanding
  • Removing paint and varnish
  • Sanding coarse surfaces




Watch our guide on how to use a belt sander:



Floor & Edging Sanders

Floor sanders are designed to work on hard and soft wood flooring during restoration projects. They’re large, and able to cover wide areas of flooring at once, making them a more sensible option than a hand sander for tackling a full room.

Edging sanders work alongside floor sanders and can be used around the edge of the floor and in corners, where the floor sander can’t quite reach. It can finish off sections for more targeted results.



  • Sanding back real wood flooring
  • Restoring old flooring
  • Removing varnish or paint from flooring




Orbital Sanders

Orbital sanders, also known as random orbit sanders, are great for finishing off delicate work or on small and medium-scale sanding tasks. As the name suggests, the sander works in an orbital, circular motion.

They can be used on wood or metal surfaces, and many have built-in dust collection. Sanding discs are widely available in a range of sizes to suit your orbital sander. They’re great if you have various sanding tasks to carry out, as you can adjust the sandpaper grit level to adjust the power and sanding level.



  • Medium-power tasks
  • Wood and other materials




Palm Sanders

Palm sanders can often be used on wood or metal surfaces, but they’re best for small projects such as resurfacing furniture or evening-out paint marks.

As their name suggests, they’re one of the smallest sander models, so really easy to control and great for smaller areas such as skirting or dining chairs.

Palm sanders are less robust than an orbital sander, so while they can sand down rough paintwork, they can’t necessarily remove it.



  • Smaller tasks
  • Delicate work




Drywall Sanders

A drywall sander is designed for surface preparation, to provide a smooth finish for plastering or painting walls and ceilings. They can also be used on other materials such as wood, if covering a large area.

They will often have a long neck, increasing their reach and enabling their use without the need for ladders or scaffolding.



  • Wall and surface preparation
  • Sanding back old plaster
  • Sanding initial coats of paint





Which Sandpaper Do I Need?

When choosing the sandpaper you need for the sander, the first thing to consider is matching the shape and attachment style of the paper to the sander.

Some sanders use a hook and loop or clamp fixing to attach the sandpaper to the plate. For these, you need sanding sheets. Others will use Velcro, usually sanding discs. The latter is becoming more common.

You then want to choose the correct sandpaper grit level. We have a guide on how to choose the correct sanding sheets and sandpaper for your job.


Dust Management with Sanders

When using a sander, it is vital to control the dust produced during the work.

Some models of sander have dust bags or collection bags, but others will require a separate dust extractor or collection system. This could be connecting the sander to a vacuum cleaner pipe or using a dedicated dust collection system for larger-scale jobs.

Keep windows open, doors closed, and cover any furniture or fabrics with disposable dust sheets. Cover your clothes with disposable coveralls too, and always remember to wear breathing protection and eye protection when sanding.

When the job is done, vacuum thoroughly and use a carpet cleaner to clean any fabrics.




Speedy Hire, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of sanding and woodworking tools for hire nationwide.

Speedy has more than 200 local service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not open a Speedy account today online or visit us in your local depot to start hiring today?

Speedy in your pocket
Get a Speedy Account