How to Use a Sander?

How to Use a Sander

Whether it is making furniture or getting your wooden floors, ceilings, and walls done, sanding of wood is required. Sanders is designed to make the wood surface smooth with no sharp edges and grooves on it. This is daily-use equipment that can be found in any of your nearest hardware stores. Manual sanding can be tricky and hard and many woodworkers will agree that it is not the most enjoyable part of the job. But it is necessary to attain that silky smooth surface since it cannot be skipped or ignored at all.

Use a Sander

Choosing the right type of sander for your work is also necessary and knowing how it works is the most important thing. There is a type of sander for every surface. For instance, in some cases, you need to remove a large part of the material while in other cases you need to remove a thin layer only. Whatever the reason may be to use a sander, it is to be kept in mind that the right type will help you attain what you want and also increase work efficiency. Let’s find out about its types, and how to use them!

How to Use a Sander

Types of Sanders

There are 4 main types of sanders that can be used according to the service required because each sander is designed for a different purpose. I will discuss these four types which are most commonly used and serve all purposes of use. The following types are available in the market;

  1. Belt Sander
  2. Floor Sander
  3. Spindle Sander
  4. Orbital Sander

1. Belt Sander

These sanders are used for multiple purposes. It is called a belt sander because it has a belt wrapped around the two drums of it. These sanders are powerful tools made to be used for sanding rough surfaces, shaping, freehand rounding, leveling the surfaces, and for trimming the scribed lines. These tools are most effective to use but should be used but without proper expertise, these sanders can wreck your project.

Belt Sander

How to Use a Belt Sander

  1. Start with selecting the suitable sanding belt for your work. It is better to start with a belt of coarser grit of 40, 80, or 100, as it will help remove the scuffs and finishes. Next to get finer work shift to a grit of 180 for finishing the project. Release the lever of the sander to insert the belt on the drums, after that press it to secure the belt. Also, attach the ventilation bag to avoid getting the environment dusty.
  2. Now secure the material you are going to sand to avoid slips and miss handling while sanding it. It is preferred to wear goggles and a mask to avoid dust getting in your eyes and nose.
  3. Turn on your sander and start sanding with steady pressure. Let the sander pick up its pace gradually, and gently ease its belt on the wood. Make long strokes and check your work time-to-time to achieve proper results. It is advised not to press the sander too firmly to avoid ruined work results.
  4. Remove the ventilation bag to remove the dust accumulated in it and check the work results. Shift to a finer grit belt, reattach the bag, and repeat the process to achieve the desired results.

2. Floor Sander

These sanders are big with big bags to store the dust and material sanded. Floor sanders are designed to help you level out and refine your wooden floors. They are heavy and need to be dealt with proper care, otherwise, you can end up with a badly ruined floor. And if you work as a home remodeler, it is a must to be owned by you.

Floor Sander

How to Use a Floor Sander

  1. If you are new to using a floor sander, you will need a Polivac, it is lighter and softer as compared to the belt. It will provide you with slow and smooth movements when sanding the floor.
  2. Remove all the stuff from the floor, it is better to clean the floor once before you start sanding. Also, ensure that there are no protruding nails, and apply putty on them.
  3. You will have to choose the grit you need to use according to the wooden floor. If you are doing the sanding for an extra rough floor, use 24 grit. It is better to start with a 24 and then move on to 40, 80, 120, and Polyvac 150.
  4. Start at the center of the floor and keep on moving the sander in slow and steady motion without any jerking. Keep moving it gradually with the lowest grit and then move to a higher one. Keep in mind that you will need to change the sandpaper frequently.
  5. Go with as many smooth movements as possible. Remember to pull back the sander as you make your turns. After every stage, clean the floor and repeat the process with the required grit.

3. Spindle Sander

You may have done sanding of your wooden floor or material but what about shaping the wooden pieces for your project? A spindle sander is an oscillating sander to shape the wooden pieces according to your desired shape. These sanders come in all shapes and sizes according to the work required. It consists of a tabletop with a drummer and sandpaper on it, it keeps on in circular motion and gives fine touch to your material.

Spindle Sander

How to Use a Spindle Sander

  1. It comes in different sizes to work with. When you are buying it for work, please see your size requirements. Set up your spindle sander at a secure place and get your stuff ready.
  2. Choose the grit you need to use according to the refinement required and turn on the spindle. The power of the engine decides the speed of your sander.
  3. Start sanding the wooden piece to your desired shape. It is advised to wear safety gloves to stay safe from getting hurt.
  4. You will need to change the sandpaper from time to time to achieve the proper results. Repeat the sanding process till you are done with the work.

4. Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is specifically designed to avoid markings, scratches, or abrasions on the surface being sanded. It is named orbital sander because of the orbital discs used on it. These discs rotate in a specific way and sander the surface softly. These sanders are mainly used for finishing and do not have the risk of damaging the surface since they take very less material. They can also be used for sanding the walls given their design and work.

Orbital Sander

How to Use an Orbital Sander

  1. Before starting your work you should prepare safety glasses, masks, and gloves, and make sure the delicate surfaces are covered. You should have the right sanding paper with grit between 60 to 240.
  2. Ensure that the pad is firmly secured on the sander before starting the sanding to avoid any mishaps. Join the ventilation bag on the sander, so that no debris gets on the surface to get refined results without getting your environment dusty.
  3. Keep the sander moving at a constant level of pressure without stopping at one point. Maintaining proper pressure helps you work smoothly on the surfaces without damaging the material.
  4. Use the sandpaper with the required grit and clean the surface after every grit. Keep on working till the material comes into a proper state.


Do you push down a sander?

No, pushing down a sander is a common mistake that most people make. If you do not maintain proper pressure and push it down more than required, you end up destroying the surface.

How do you know if you have sanded enough?

There is a method to make the sanding process easier and know when to stop. Take a pencil to mark a line on the surface you are going to use a sander on. Keep on sanding the surface till the line is no longer visible. Keep on repeating this process till you get your desired results.

Why is my sander leaving marks?

A sander can leave marks if you use poor-quality sanding papers for the surfaces. Other reasons can be that you are pressing it firmly onto the surface and instead of moving it constantly, you are making stops and jerks.


Sanding is indeed not the best part when you are working to make smoother surfaces. It is a very delicate process and requires your full attention. You need to constantly keep the sander moving under noted pressure to avoid getting marks and uneven surfaces. The right choice of sandpaper is necessary because poor quality sandpaper can ruin your hard work.

Not every time you require using a sander! It is required to make surfaces even, remove splinters and give a beautiful shape to the material. Also when planning to get a sander, make sure it is versatile for normal use at home, not all sanders are meant for homes and should be handled by professionals only. Last but not least, always ensure your protection when using a sander. This was all from my side, I hope you find this article informative!

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