To smooth out drywall and ensure seams disappear behind paint, you’ll need to sand the drywall (Source). Sanding drywall can be a burdensome and messy task, especially if you’re sanding your drywall by hand. The best drywall sanders, particularly power sanders, can help you easily sand drywall without pain and without mess.
Drywall sanders are motorized devices that set sandpaper into a constant, typically circular motion. They’re affixed to a long pole that is sometimes extendable so you can sand hard-to-reach areas. They also come with sandpaper pads that will eventually require replacing.
Drywall sanders can also come with a vacuum that sucks up the dust as it’s created. While these can be incredibly effective, you should always wear goggles and even a mask when sanding drywall (Source).
Drywall sanders are perfect if you’re a contractor trying to save the enormous amount of energy involved in manual sanding. They’re particularly useful if you experience muscle or joint pain. While a drywall sander can be a contractor’s best friend, they’re simple enough for an amateur drywaller to use as well.
Prior to purchasing a drywall sander, you’ll want to consider how much power and how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the motor is capable of generating. You’ll also want to consider the diameter of the sanding pad, as well as the weight of the unit. If it comes with a vacuum feature, this is also particularly useful.
If your arms get tired when sanding drywall manually, check out these top-rated drywall sanders.
What Is The Best Drywall Sander?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best Drywall Sander?
- 2 Most Common Issues People Have with Drywall Sanders?
- 3 Is A Drywall Sander Worth It?
- 4 Comparing The Best Drywall Sanders
- 5 1. The Porter Cable 7800 – The Best Drywall Sander
- 6 2. The Zeny 800 Drywall Sander – Best Discount Choice Drywall Sander
- 7 3. The Aleko 804C Drywall Sander – Best Drywall Sander for the Price
- 8 4. The Wen 6369 Drywall Sander – Best for Tough Sanding Jobs
- 9 5. The Power Pro 2100 Drywall Sander – Best for All-Around Drywall Sanding
- 10 What is a Drywall Sander?
- 11 Features of the Best Drywall Sanders
- 12 What to Consider Before Buying a Drywall Sander
- 13 FAQ’s About Drywall Sanders
- 14 Ready To Buy The Best Drywall Sanders?
The Porter Cable 7800 is the best drywall sander since its very lightweight and has a 13-foot vacuum hose that helps dissipate static. Additionally, this model has special straps for easy mounting and handling.
Most Common Issues People Have with Drywall Sanders?
- Too Big and Heavy: The size of the model is important for those who expect it to work in tight corners. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a model without considering the size and weight. It is reasonable for you to expect a model that is lightweight for all-day use.
- Replacing the Pads: Many people have made the mistake of purchasing a drywall sander without considering their long-term practicality. Replacement pads can sometimes be specially-sized by manufacturers, making them both harder and more expensive to purchase.
- Makes a Big Mess: Using a sander of any sort has long been a job that can make a big mess of dust. This is also something that many modern drywall sanders have started to account for.
Is A Drywall Sander Worth It?
A drywall sander is worth it if you have to work on more than one room. A pole sander can help you save time and avoid the hard work involved with manual sanding. However, one should be careful when using such sanders as to not gouge the wall.
Comparing The Best Drywall Sanders
|The Porter Cable 7800 Drywall Sander|
|The Zeny 800 Drywall Sander|
|The Aleko 804C Drywall Sander|
|The Wen 6369 Drywall Sander|
|The Power Pro 2100 Drywall Sander|
1. The Porter Cable 7800 – The Best Drywall Sander
To minimize dirtying the environment, it also features an effective dust collection system. Alongside that, it has a convenient 13-foot static-dissipating vacuum hose that’s great for reach hard to reach areas.
Its 9-inch circular pad and dial ranges of between one to five, with the fifth setting being its full power, too, while its articulating sanding head allows the user great maneuverability and comfort while in use. It also doesn’t gouge on the surface due to the presence of the little bristles.
Additionally, its “skirt” traps dust that is then sucked up into the vacuum. Hence, the 180 grit sandpaper disc is perfect for sanding drywall compound whereas the 120 grit sandpaper is for sanding old paint.
- Variable Speeds
- 13-foot static-dissipating vacuum hose
- Easy to mount and handle
- Hook and loop straps
- Quite expensive
- Cannot do inside corners
2. The Zeny 800 Drywall Sander – Best Discount Choice Drywall Sander
Those who have tried it attest to its sturdy high-end design, which might be quite heavy. It is made of high-quality aluminum metal with a portable grip handle and an 8.8-inch disc. And for exceptional power, it also comes with a 750-watt power output as well as speeds ranging from 1000 to 2000 RPM.
Additionally, it measures 65 x 11 x 10.5 inches and includes the sander hose, hexagon wrench, manual bag, screwdriver, and a hexagon wrench for ease of use. This makes it a perfect choice for both professionals and newbies.
- Portable grip handle
- Hexagon wrench
- Durable aluminum
- Features six sand pads
- Quite heavy
- Hard to find replacement discs
3. The Aleko 804C Drywall Sander – Best Drywall Sander for the Price
To start, it measures 27 x 12 x 8 inches and weighs approximately 15lb for ease of use. It has a telescoping handle for enhanced comfort during sanding with powers ranging from 600 to 1500 RPM.
Such rotation speeds are supported by the 600-watt to 700-watt power input. For effective sanding, it features an 8.5-inch grinding pad, six sandpaper discs, and a hose.
The hose can easily be attached to the shop vacuum for ascertained dust collection, which is perfect for anyone looking to sand walls without worries of cleaning afterward.
Those who have tried the Aleko 804C Drywall Sander attests to its top-notch performance, design, and undoubted durability. Many are impressed by its quality and sanding power, too.
Lastly, some mentioned that they sanded their whole house walls and ceiling and achieved a smooth glass-like surface within 90 minutes with minimal effort and mess.
- Six sandpaper discs
- Variable speeds
- Hard to find replacement pads
- Slightly heavy
4. The Wen 6369 Drywall Sander – Best for Tough Sanding Jobs
On the other hand, its feature highlights are its telescoping body, 8.5-inch pivoting head, and variable speed controls ranging from 600 to 1500 RPM alongside six 9-inch sandpaper discs of 60, 80, 120, 150, 180, and 240-grit coarseness.
Additionally, its hook and loop base pad make it easy to change the sandpaper. Meanwhile, the 5 amp head and automatic dust removal system ensures a clean job.
Hence, it is best for those looking to undertake drywall sanding in an accurate, easy, and exceptional performance. Besides, it is also lightweight and comes at an affordable price.
- Automatic dust removal system
- Variable speed
- Hook and loop base
- Long dust hose
- Six sandpaper discs
- Telescoping body
- 2-year warranty
- Sandpaper discs could be hard to find
5. The Power Pro 2100 Drywall Sander – Best for All-Around Drywall Sanding
It provides finishing touches on a new construction and drywall renovation in a faster and convenient way. Additionally, it reduces cleanup time significantly with the help of its external industrial vacuum cleaner.
However, it requires 710 watts of input power to facilitate its variable speeds ranging from 1000 to 2100 RPM. For convenience, though, it comes with a 13-foot vacuum hose and an additional 5.5-foot extendable handle.
Meanwhile, its durability is ensured by its strong, lightweight, and aluminum make. It attaches to the hose via a strong hoop and loop fasteners. And like other high-end models, it comes with a set of six sanding paper discs.
Other additional features of this device include adapters that attach the hose from the unit, a removable large handle for better control and precision, a carrying bag for easy cleanup and hauling, rings that attach the hose to hold any power cables out of your way, and extra carbon brushes.
- Variable speeds
- Extendable handle
- Long vacuum hose
- Hook and loop straps
- Lightweight aluminum
- Quite heavy
- Might leave swirl marks
What is a Drywall Sander?
When you are installing new pieces of drywall, many people find it necessary to smooth out the finished product and flatten it. Unless you want to do this manually with a traditional handheld sander and elbow grease, getting an electric drywall sander is the much better and efficient product to use.
Features of the Best Drywall Sanders
Getting a great drywall sandering unit to best assist you with your sanding tasks is a process that is easy for some and difficult for others. Unless you know what to look for, the prices to expect, and so on, getting one of the best drywall sanders requires you to do a little research.
If you are lost and not sure where to start, we are here to help you. Here are the features that you need to look for if you want to get one of the best drywall sanders on the market.
Lightweight Enough for Long Use
Our muscles are only capable of comfortably lifting and holding objects for so long. This is why the weight of the model you choose should be a primary concern.
Unless you are a bodybuilder or have above-average strength, the weight of the model you choose should be one of the first things to check. Typically, a high-quality drywall sander will weigh anywhere between 8 to 15 pounds.
Comfortable & Extendable Handle
While you are using a drywall sander, you need to consider your comfort and ability to use it efficiently. The handle of your drywall sander should be comfortable, grippy, and extendable enough for you to hit those high and hard-to-reach spots.
To find a drywall sander with enough extendibility, most people will measure the height of their walls. Unless you work with drywall sanders professionally, a handle that extends anywhere between 5 to 15 feet is usually enough.
Plenty of Power and RPM
Low power specifications and RPM limits tend to be present on the most affordable drywall sanders, but also make sanding tasks a lot more time-consuming. If you purchase a drywall sander, don’t cut yourself short by purchasing a model that doesn’t give you enough power.
At the very minimum, find a model that can do 600 RPM and has 600-watts of power. Ideally, this will also have variable speed settings that can spin much faster, and extra power than what is needed.
Durable, Sizeable, and Easily Replaced Pads
The strength and design of the pads is another feature to consider if you want to find the best drywall for your needs. For starters, they should be strong enough so that you don’t need to replace them that often. As long as you don’t sand over nails, good pads will last several days of use.
The size of pads your drywall sander uses will also affect the efficiency of the product. Large pad diameters around 10 inches or so will help you finish sanding quicker. Finally, make sure that the pads for your model can be replaced without needing to purchase from the same manufacturer.
Included Vacuum Attachment
One of the most common frustrations of using a drywall sander comes when it is time to clean up a massive pile of dust. If you want to avoid spending extra time cleaning up dust after each job, get a sandering model, which includes a vacuum attachment.
Usually, you will need to have a separate shop vacuum ready to plug into your drywall sander. As you sand the drywall, there are holes in the pad which connect to the vacuum and suck up the dust before it falls to the ground.
What to Consider Before Buying a Drywall Sander
As mentioned before, finding the best drywall sander can be a challenging task. This calls for meticulous research and comparing the various features of top products on the market.
Begin by getting to know the various technical aspects of drywall sanders. Note that they are available in different sizes, varying power outputs, weights, and different overall design.
Additionally, keep in mind the following factors that determine the effectiveness of your drywall sander.
Drywall Sander Type
Drywall sanders are categorized based on various types. Some of the common types include orbital, detail, and belt sanders. Other models could also include the finishing sanders and electric drywall sanders.
Belt sanders are perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as sanding shutters. For curved shapes, consider an orbital sander or eccentric sanders. Similarly, wall sanders or giraffe sanders are ideal for standing up high.
Other sander types include vibrating sanders that are good for finishes and for parquet flooring. Meanwhile, electric sanders stand out from the rest for their comfort and quality performance.
Ease of Use
Drywall sanders are made to ease your sanding work. Many people don’t often consider the advantages of having a sander when installing drywall.
However, ultimately, they come to realize the importance of having a drywall sander at home, especially if the services of a professional drywall repair aren’t affordable.
That said, always consider an easy to use drywall sander, be it a corner or drywall ceiling sander. To ascertain this, it is prudent to always try out the sander before purchasing.
However, this may not be possible if you are planning to purchase the sander online.
The usability of any drywall sander directly lies in the weight of its model. For great effectiveness, high functionality and compactness, consider a drywall sander that weighs around eight pounds or less.
With such weight, the operation will be easy and comfortable. This is especially true if you will be using the sander for a long duration. Lighter units will keep you active during long projects.
Drywall sanders have a varying range of RPMs. A sander with a high RPM offers higher power. However, keep in mind that such sanders come with relatively more weight. They could also be more expensive.
Nonetheless, such units significantly save your time and effort. However, if the heavy-duty sanders are out of your budget, consider moderately-powered units that offer both quality and durability.
Sanding Pad Diameter
The sanding pad diameter indirectly determines how much time you will take sanding. Sanding discs with large diameters contact the drywall more as every revolution gets the work quickly done.
Similarly, a significant disc diameter adds some weight to the sander. Therefore, you should always balance between the disc diameter and your comfortable weight of the unit. A large diameter disc sander may make it difficult to lift or use, this will be of no use.
If you are familiar with sanding, you will attest that drywall sanding produces a lot of dust. Therefore, to avoid having quite a lot of cleaning to do after sanding, consider a drywall sander that features an effective dust collection system.
This is especially of immense importance if your furniture and other household items are in the house.
Other top considerations to look into include:
- Durability – the material used in its construction determines the durability of a drywall sander. Of all metals, aluminum is the best choice. It is lightweight yet durable.
- Head design – does the head of the drywall sander swivel? A swiveling head means that you can reach all corners and angles with ease.
- Attached vacuum accessory – whilst some sanders need a specific vacuum to operate, others work well with any shop vacuum.
FAQ’s About Drywall Sanders
Q: Can I use a power sander for drywall?
Yes, you can. However, people experienced with sanding drywalls often recommend a hand sander. The thing with power sanders is that you must be extremely cautious and maintain an even pressure. Also, spend minimal time sanding each area because the drywall is not very thick.
Note, too, that if you are sanding a large wall or if your wall has hard-to-reach areas, then a power sander is ideal.
Q: Can I use a sander for plaster?
Yes, you can use a sander for plaster. But first, be sure you’ve cleaned the surface. Then, determine the type of sander you’ll have to use according to the plaster’s surface.
You can use a block hand sander if the plaster is only a bit uneven. Meanwhile, if the surface is too rough, an electric sander would do the job.
Q: Is drywall dust harmful?
It is harmful over time. talc, calcite, mica, gypsum, and silica are some of the compounds that make up drywall. These compounds have long been associated with varying degrees of eye, nose, throat. and respiratory tract infections.
To put this into perspective, a hazard evaluation by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) determined that drywall sanders are exposed to 10 times more the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 15mg/m3 for total dust set by OSHA.
Thus, to ensure you do not suffer this kind of exposure, it is advisable to purchase drywall sanders that come with a portable vacuum. The vacuum captures and eliminates the dust before exposure to a worker.
Q: How do you limit exposure to drywall dust?
As noted above, one should avoid drywall dust at all costs. There are three ways one can limit exposure for both the workers and the occupants of the house.
Prepare the Area
Preparing the area includes taking preventative measures before the job starts, to ensure the dust will not spread all over the house. Some of these measures include:
- Using heavy-duty plastic sheeting to block off all the vents and openings. The sheeting reduces the dust dispersed through the air.
- Using plastic sheeting to cover the floor and the furniture so that the upholstery does not absorb the dust.
- Turning off the HVAC system so that the dust does not get into it and spreads throughout your home.
- Removing any window and door screens so that air can move freely from inside to outside, ensuring the dust will not be trapped in the house.
Ready To Buy The Best Drywall Sanders?
Drywall sanding can be made easy or tough based on your choice of drywall tools. Large jobs often require that you consider the best sander on the market. Similarly, light to medium drywall sandering tasks requires quality tools for ascertained quality results.
The best hand sander drywall tool ought to be lightweight for easy maneuverability, feature an efficient dust collection system, be easy to use, be durable, and have a swiveling head design. To find the best sanding drywall tool, consider our drywall power sander review and guide above.
And, if you need to secure drywall in place, consider looking at our list of drywall screw guns. Cost is often a tricky aspect when purchasing power tools and other construction tools.
Robert Remkes says
I have been in the plaster game for 30 plus years and we use chinese made brushless sanders that will kick the ass of any of these sanders.Extremely reliable light and brilliantly designed not to mention half the price.I have tried every sander you have reviewed myself over the years including a festool.Although I wish it was not made in china.Maybe a USA company could copy one.