Do you know the difference between a rotary and a random orbital sander?

When we speak about sanders, we usually think automatiDifference random orbital sanders and rotary sanderscally orbital sanders as they are the most common ones on the market today. However, different types of sanders exist for different types of applications. It is key to know the difference to make the right choice.

 

 

 

 

Random Orbital Sanders: how does it work?

RC7705V6 Random Orbital Sander

RC7705V6 Random Orbital Sander

This sander is a vibrating tool composed of a ball bearing mechanism where we come to fix a sanding round pad. This ball bearing allows the pad to rotate randomly. If the pad encounters hard points on the surface, it will go around it and work at it little by little with tiny orbits.
This way no single part of the abrasive material covers the same path twice during the same rotation.

Benefits of this tool?

The random turning ellipses avoid creating large scratches on the surface. A random orbital sander creates a uniform surface with minimum visible scratches possible. It gives a finer finish with a slow but uniform material removal.

This is perfect for:

Preparing a surface before and after painting. With the vibrations in tiny circles, the random orbital sander is used for ultra-smooth sanding. It can be used on wood, plastic or for metal working.
A random orbital sander can be used for various applications from painting jobs to restoring headlight transparency.

Rotary sanders: how does it work?

RC7128 Rotary Sander

RC7128 Rotary Sander

The rotary sander also comes with a round pad but compared to a random orbital sander, the rotary sander doesn’t vibrate. The pad is linked directly with the tool’s motor and therefore gets its full power. Consequently, the pad will spin in a circle very fast and when it meets a resisting point on the surface, it will remove it aggressively.

Benefits of this tool?

Because it gets directly the full power of the motor, the rotary sander has a high material removal rate. It can strip away thick layers of paints and rusts over a large surface. With aggressive stripping, the rotary sander allows for a quick and high abrasion rate.

This is perfect for:

Sanding paint, varnish, wood and plastic, polishing metal or removing rust. The rotating pad enables to quickly prepare large surface for more advanced prepping.

Be careful: the abrasives need to be chosen carefully based upon their application

For example, if you use a rotary sander with a soft abrasive, you can easily remove rust and paint with a limited effect on the metal.

Discover the Rodcraft sanders’ range:

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