Best Metal Finishing Sanders Buyers Guide [Bench and Handheld]

Last Updated on March 2021

One of the most crucial stages in metalwork lies in the finishing details hence the need for metal sanders.

Metal sanding involves refining metal by removing porosities and contaminants in order to get a uniform surface and the desired level of smoothness.

You must always pick a high quality sander best suited for your work’s unique nature and one that aligns with your budget.

While many factors affect the choice of a metal sander, there are typical considerations that you must take into account before making the final purchase decision:

  • Power – the more the amps, the more powerful the tool is, thus a good eletrical cord is key
  • Speed settings – some sanders have one speed while others have variable speed setting that allows you to handle multiple tasks by adjusting the speed to suit specific tasks
  • Material – the type of metal you will be working on is key. However, many users prefer a multipurpose sander
  • Weight – determines the sanding position (horizontal or vertical) as well as the ease of carrying out your duties.

Bench Metal Finishing Sanders Review

1. TACKLIFE Belt Sander PSFS2A

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 20 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Amperage Capacity: 7.5 Amps

It is a 2 in 1 sander being a belt sander that can be converted into a bench sander The 7.5Amp pure motor transmits strong power to the sanding belt, making it more efficient. A larger sanding belt ensures that you finish the work in a shorter time.

Additionally, the sanding belt only has one metal clamp lever making it very easy and faster to install.

This sander is ideal for sanding different materials such as metal, tile, wood and glass, among others. It comes with a big dust collector capable of handling large projects hence maintaining a clean and uncontaminated working area.

It features an adjustable speed and trigger lock. We are talking 13 different speed knobs (runs from 450 to 750 RPM) on the very powerful 7.5 amp motor. The speed settings are adjustable depending on the needs of the project you are working on while trigger lock helps to free your hand when using it as a bench sander.

The TACKLIFE PSFS2A is quite powerful as two screw clamps accompany it. It is flexible and convenient such that you can turn it over and fix it on a surface such as a welding table surface to be used as a bench sander.

The adjustable knob helps align the sandpaper to continue running along the right track. However, be careful not adjust it severally at any one time as the sandpaper can easily be broken.

What we liked

  • Speed setting – 13 different speed knobs and speed runs from 450 to 750 RPM.
  • Power – it comes with a 7.5 amp, 900W motor.
  • Soft-rubber wrapped handle convenient and safe to work with.
  • The convenience of a 2 in one sander.
  • A large dust box that is effective and easy to clean.
  • Faster installation of the Sanding Belt.

Disliked

  • It cannot withstand heavy use.

2. XtremepowerUS

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 13 x 17 x 12 inches
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric

It features a powerful motor, which qualifies it as multifunctional both for small & large sanding tasks on a variety of materials.

This 2-in-one sander consists of a belt and a disc sander each with different speed levels. The belt sander applies mostly to metals and more significant projects while the disc sander applies mostly on woodwork and smaller projects.

This sander has fully adjustable in-built tables on both the belt and disc sanders. These tables can incline up to 45 degrees. Additionally, it features a quick-release tension lever that helps you to change the belt quicker and easier.

The disc sander is of a higher quality because it is made up of heavy-duty steel, making it more durable. This, combined with a strong base that protects against heavy vibrations, ensures stability and safety while using it.

Disc Sander comes with a dust collector system. It has a vacuum port that allows you to connect the sander to other vacuums to get rid of the dust easier: minimal debris and cleaner work.

Clear assembly instructions are included in the package to easen the process of putting it together; there is no need for professionals hence saving time and resources.

What we liked

  • Convenient and straightforward design that is easy to assemble
  • The tables are adjustable
  • High quality – heavy-duty steel base of the disc sander ensures its durability.
  • Easy to clean dust collector box.

Disliked

  • It is quite heavy

3. 1″ X 5″ Belt Disc Sander

Features

  • Adjustable Tables
  • Perfect For Hobbyists
  • 2-in-one Sander

This 2 in one sander features a powerful 2.5 Amp motor and inbuilt adjustable tables that can easily rotate from 0 to 45 degrees angle enhancing its safety features once locked in place.

This is the perfect sander for small to medium projects as well as for users who like to handle their own stuff without any commercial need. It is therefore popular among households and utilized for their personal domestic needs.

The 2-in-one sander consists of 1″ Belt & 5″ Disc Sander; therefore, it can be converted from a disc sander to a belt sander and vice versa.

The beauty with this sander is that it can be used on both wood and metal to brush up, polish, and generally improve the surface you are working on.

The downside of it is that it cannot handle large tasks and is only suitable for small to medium jobs. However, this is OK because the primary users are the do it yourself (DIY) individuals and hobbyists. Once there is a need to upgrade to a large-scale use, you can always buy a different sander.

What we liked

  • Adjustable Tables that can easily be changed from 0-45 degrees.
  • It features a powerful 2.5 amp motor.
  • 2-in-one – convertible from belt to disc sander and vice versa
  • It caters for the niche market of hobbyists and DIY users.

Disliked

  • It is only useful for small-medium projects.

4. JET J-41002 2″ x 42″

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 23.1 x 16.7 x 16 inches
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Item Weight: 60 Pound

This is a heavy-duty jet sander made up of high quality material consisting of a steel base, rubber feet, and cast iron construction.

It is a 3 in one sander with an abrasive belt capable of handling the work of a coping saw, jigsaw or hand file in the process of removing material and finishing. This belt removes and finishes material simultaneously, thereby allowing the user access into small openings, odd shapes and angles that would otherwise be inaccessible.

It features a deluxe miter gauge that turns and locks for common angles, 45 degrees both left and right.

Another attractive feature that enables sanding, grinding, or finishing outside curves or oddly shaped work pieces on the belt is the removable platen.

The dust deflector and dust chute are adjustable.

What we liked

  • Features that allow access into small openings and odd angles
  • Conveniently 3-in-one
  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Easily adjustable

Disliked

  • It is heavy

5. ZFE 1200W 110V Sander Set

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 20.6 x 10.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Grit type: Fine
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric

This sander set is your perfect cleaning partner that effectively removes rust, oxide layers and scratches. It is applied for stainless steel, steel nonferrous metals, plastic, and wood on the grinding, polishing, fine polishing (mirror work), for use on cast iron, steel, stainless steel, and nonferrous metals. It is ideal for tarnishing, burnishing, and polishing stainless steel and nonferrous metals.

Its double insulation enhances safety. This is because it helps prevent electric shock structure, utilizing single-phase motor driver with immense power, speed and convenience in operations, and generally more secure features.

Always remember to examine it carefully before every use for any defects or cracks. Maintain adequate lighting and workplace cleanliness at all times.

What we liked

  • Double insulation security feature
  • Spotless, clean finish
  • Portable and solid construction

Disliked

  • Need extra care as can be delicate

1. Astro Pneumatic Tool 3037

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 15.5 x 3.5 x 2 inches
  • Grit type: Medium
  • Item Weight: 2.2 Pounds

The Astro 3037 features five different adjustable speed settings with a maximum speed of 16,000 RPM. The RPM adjustment is set on the handle. Its main work involves removing spot weld slag or spatter, but it can also function in preparing metals.

Whenever you need to get rid of welds from hard to reach places, such as corners or vehicles and motorcycle frames, an air sander is your only option this particular one being one of the best in the market.

One of its best features is the 360° adjustable arm, whose angles you can easily adjust by turning the Allen bolt in the provided wrench.

Typical metal sanders are light in weight he lightest of them all being air sanders. Usually, sanders for metal are lightweight, and the lightest of them all are air sanders. With the Astro 3037, you can work for longer hours without suffering from fatigue, as it only weighs 2.2 pounds. This makes it conveniently portable, as well.

What we liked

  • Variable speed control that can be adjusted from 0-16,000 RPM.
  • Efficiency in spot weld removal
  • 360° Adjustable Arm – You can change the arm angle.
  • Portability and ease of use due to its light weight

Disliked

  • Noisy hence can be a nuisance.

2. ZFE Sander

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 20.6 x 10.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Grit type: Fine
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric

One of the ZFE sanders’ best features is the six variable speeds that are adjusted according to your needs. This feature allows it to be used for various duties including but not limited to dust removal, polishing, finessing the finish as well as clearing any scratch marks. It can also be used on different material such as metal, cast iron and steel, among others.

The ZFE sanders is a heavy-duty because it requires a lot of strength as it interacts with the metal being worked on. Its weight is the source of strength. In this regard, you will be pleased to know that the handle is L-shaped in order to make it easy for the user to hold and manage the weight.

It also has variable speed control feature meaning that this one tool can be used for a different project. This factor makes it very efficient and cost-effective.

The machine is accompanied by a heat-dissipating hole, replaceable carbon brush and a motor switch. It is further double isolated to protect it against shock structure.

What we liked

  • Versatility – with the right drums, you can use it on any material
  • Variable speed control that you can adjust to suit the specific project.
  • L-Shaped handle that eases holding of the tool due to its heavy weight
  • High quality product

Disliked

  • High-priced.

3. BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10.25 x 4.63 x 5.44 inches
  • Grit type: Coarse
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Item Weight: 2.4 Pounds

The Black & Decker BDEMS600 Mouse Detail Sander features a 3-position grip for control and ease of use in several applications;

  • Palm grip – ideal for sanding surfaces
  • Precision grip – ensures the perfect maneuverability
  • Handle grip – provides accessibility into super tight areas

It ensures the maintenance of a clean working area because of its high-performance dust collection with micro-filtration complete with a transparent dust canister to help let you know when it is filled up.

This sander is designed to be compact and ergonomic to enable it to access tight spaces and maximize user control.

It runs at 1400 orbits/minute, at 1.5 amps of power and Includes (1) BDEMS600 Sander, (1) Finger attachment, (1) Sanding pad.

What we liked

  • Transparent dust canisters
  • Three-position grips

Disliked

  • It is delicate on heavy jobs

4. DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch

Features

  • Size: 10.38″ × 7.25″ × 6.2″
  • Weight: 4 pounds

This one features a 3.0 Amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM.

It comes with a dust-sealed switch to protect against ingesting dust, ensuring a longer life. This Improved dust collection also interphases with the vacuum locking system, thereby increasing efficiency.

The one-hand locking system on dust bag is another innovative feature that is appealing to users.

What we liked

  • Access into tight corners
  • Easy switch between grips

Disliked

  • No versatility of work

5. Makita BO5041 5″

Features

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10.8 x 4.8 x 6 inches
  • Voltage : 110 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Grit number: 1

The BO5041 uses quick-change five-inch eight-hole hook-and-loop abrasive disc and has an efficient through-the-pad dust collection system that ensures a cleaner work environment. The high capacity dust collection system with inbuilt vacuum port adapter is engineered for improved dust collection. The rubberized palm grip and top handle fit like a glove with even pressure and easy control.

It also features a Makita-built 3 AMP motor with over-sized sealed ball bearing construction for longer tool life. It combines power, speed and performance with improved grip and control, including an innovative adjustable front handle that allows for sanding in corners and confined areas.

Variable speed control dial (4,000-12,000 OPM) enables a user to match the sanding speed to the application with a large two-finger trigger switch with conveniently located lock-on button for continuous use and increased operator comfort. The large 1/8-inch random orbit action delivers fast and smooth sanding and a swirl-free finish, with a pad control system for controlled pad speed upon start-up.

What we liked

  • Maximum productivity with the pad brake
  • Double insulated
  • Faster and super smooth sanding provides a swirl-free finish
  • Cleaner work environment
  • High capacity dust collection system with built-in vacuum port adapter for improved dust collection
  • Oversized sealed-ball bearing construction for longer tool life

Disliked

  • Can be quite pricey

Power

The amount of power you need depends on the toughness of the jobs you’re going to undertake, and how long it will take you on average to do them.

Material

Different metals require different sander type. However, it is not practical to buy as many sanders as the material you have. Note that as long as it is the correct type, most sanders can sand the most common materials. Also, consider the shapes and sizes of the material that you want to sand. With sanding comes dust and debree, for a deeper dive and the best workshop shop vacs [Read our Buyers Guide]

Speed setting

A sander with adjustable speed control is preferable because you can use it on different material and on different occasions. This multifunctionality is value for money and resourceful in the long run.

Cordless versus corded

The cordless option is useful if you spend a lot of time on different job sites or climbing up ladders. The corded option works best if you spend long periods sanding on a bench, and where you can plug the sander directly into a power outlet without the additional bulky extension cord.

Finish type

Be clear on your desired finish type as the lower the number, the coarser the finish and vice versa.

Budget

It would be best if you struck a delicate balance between cost and quality. Also, keep in mind accessories as you will be buying these regularly during the sander’s lifetime.

Now that you are equipped with information to guide your purchase decision based on your specific needs, remember to exercise safety controls for the machine and yourself. Always protect yourself by wearing a dust mask with a foam strip to protect your face as well as appropriate overalls to protect the rest of your body.

For proper maintenance of the sander, blow the dust off it using compressed air or a vacuum with focus on the air vents. Do not let dust build up on your working area, clean it up during and after use, make use of that dust collector box too.

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