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In Search of the Best Drywall Sander – Top 5 Picks [2018]

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drywall sander

What is the best drywall sander on the market in 2018? That’s a question we have dived right into today.

We’ve taken 5 top rated models available to give you a comparative low down. For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below.

For full, in depth review of each of our selected sanders, plus a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.


Best Drywall Sander – Top 5

DRYWALL SANDERNAMEDETAILSOUR RATING
TOP PICK:
PORTER-CABLE
7800 Drywall
Sander
DUSTLESS
4.7 Amp,
13-Foot Hose
POWER PRO 2100
Extendable Electric
Drywall Sander
6 Speed, 710 Watt
ALEKO 804A
Electric Drywall
Vacuum Sander
Variable Speed
Telescopic Handle
Goplus 800W
Electric Drywall
Sander
Variable Speed
with Vacuum
ARKSEN 750W
Drywall Sander
Variable Speed

Best Drywall Sander Buyer’s Guide

Image Credit: Scheppachdirect.com

Drywall Sanders – The Basics

Drywall installation is a specialized undertaking that occurs in sequential phases, with each phase requiring that the right equipment and tools are used correctly for the desired wall finish to be achieved.

One of these late stages is the sanding process which entails the rubbing-down of the plastered drywall so as to achieve a smooth-textured wall. The tool used for this process is called a drywall sander.

The different types of drywall sander

Image Credit: Youtube.com/user: PrecisionTaping

There are different kinds of drywall sanders which can be categorized into the following four broad types:

  • manual sanding block,
  • portable cable sander,
  • orbital drywall sander,
  • and dust-less turbo sander.

The manual sanding block

The manual sanding block is a relatively small, portable, hand-held and hand-operated drywall sander whose average dimensions are 4inches long, 2.75inches wide, and 1 inch thick.

It is mainly used for smoothing wall curvatures or sanding corners, as well as repairing small breakages in a damaged drywall. They are normally fitted with fine or medium grit sandpapers, and a sanding sponge can also be used. Their small size allows them to be used in confined or tight spaces.

A problem of dust

The sanding process releases lots of dust as the fine dust particles liberated from the drywall are thrown into the air by the rapid mechanical action of the sander.

Though this may present little problems when using the manual sanding block, it does present lots of issues if a machine-operated drywall sander is used.

However, these days many electric sander options can be connected to a vacuum system.

The dustless turbo sander

The dustless turbo sander is a lightweight drywall sander that comes equipped with a vacuum-operated dust collection system that serves to immediately collect the dust produced by the sander head when it is sanding the wall.

Its rectangular head can be operated at a high speed by an air-turbine system capable of generating up-to 10,000 revolutions-per-minute(rpm). Most of them come with a detachable extension boom that allows the user to increase the length of the sander boom so that the head can reach ceilings or other high places.

The portable sander

The portable sander is a professional-grade, high-performance drywall sander that incorporates all the features of a dustless-turbo drywall sander with two main exception; it has a circular head, and lacks a built-in vacuum system.

However, dust collection can be achieved by connecting the sander to a separate vacuum system.

Most portable drywall sanders feature up to 13-foot long extension booms to enable the user to access hard to reach areas and ceilings.

Orbital Sander

The orbital sander is a compact, hand-held drywall sander operated by a machine that causes its sanding disc to spin rapidly, as well as simultaneously vibrate in fine circular motions, called orbits.

They can be attached to a vacuum hose so as to ensure a dust-free work environment, but its use of orbital motions reduce how much area it can cover, as well as how deep it can abrade the wall.

Therefore, orbital sander cannot abrade lots of material from the wall, and for this reason it is used mainly for fine sanding.


What to consider when buying a drywall sander

When choosing a drywall sander, one needs to factor in the two main considerations: the type of drywall that needs sanding, and the amount of material that needs to be removed from so as to achieve the desired texture.

Thereafter, the cost of the drywall sander is taken into account as one knows which type of sander needs to be acquired.

Another important consideration to be taken into account when buying a sanding system is worker safety.

A good drywall sander should be simple to operate, and not too heavy so as to cause worker fatigue.

It should also have adequate dust collection ability; dust decreases the overall visibility hence exposing the worker to injuries through slippage and falls, as well as general discomfort if the debris gets in the eyes, ears and lungs.


Best drywall Sander – The Reviews

Image Credit: Festool.com

There are different brands, models, and make of drywall sanders in the market. Still, they can be rated based on their cost-performance efficiency, ease of use, durability, and incorporated safety features (including incorporation of a vacuum-operated dust collection system).

Using this rating criteria, let us now dive in and give you our in depth reviews on each of the selected sanders.

1. TOP PICK: Porter-Cable 7800 Portable Drywall Sander

The Porter-Cable 7800 is a professional-grade, high-performance electrically-powered portable dustless sander that uses a powerful 4.7amperes motor to power the spinning sander disc that is fitted on an articulated head.

This model is ergonomically-designed with the head designed to articulate smoothly on a strengthened and reinforced pole head. As the name indicates, it is designed and manufactured by Porter-Cable.

The 7800 model is designed to use 8-7/8-inch sanding discs which must be secured on the sanding pad using a hook and loop mechanism. The sanding pad gets rid of dust through static dissipation.

The entire unit weighs about 8.5 pounds-9 pounds, and the head unit and pole together measure 64 inches in total length. The pole and handle have a combined cross-sectional width of about 11.5 inches.

This time-saving model is designed to vacuum the dust away from the work surface. It collects up-to 95 percent of the dust immediately it is generated, hence greatly minimizing the dust that covers the work surface.

The strong pole of this drywall sander is not only built for handling and hoisting the sander, but is also designed to route the hose pipe and electric cables to the head unit.

The vacuum hose is 1.25inches in diameter, and this size allows it to smoothly and quickly suck the dust generated around the sanding pad, without the dust accumulating inside the hose and causing instances of blockage.

Initially, the rotating articulated head unit needs to be manually rotated so as to loosen it a little bit before the drywall sander can be put into use. This process quickly loosens up the joint, and allows the circular head to turn on the joint with minimal effort, hence making the sanding process quite effective.

The sanding pad is encased well in a brush-type skirt, except its free bottom side where the sanding paper or sponge is fitted onto the pad. This skirt has brushes on its interior wall.

These brushes are aid in dust collection because when the sanding pad spins, it throws the dust particles towards its outer edges and as the pad spins, the brushes clean the dust from the outer perimeter of the pad.

The dust on the brush bristles then falls into the skirt through electrostatic action caused by charge accumulation inside the skirt.

The dust particles on the skirt are then sucked into the vacuum hose, which then delivers them to a vacuum-operated dust collection bin.

The vacuum hose is 13 feet long, and is connected to the vacuum system on one end, and the drywall sander on the other end. The vacuum system is electrically-powered by AC power.

This hose is secured into the pole by a compression mechanism. However, after long periods of use, this hose connection can loosen, and for this reason, the worker needs to ensure that the hose is securely connected to the pole before starting the sanding process.

Also, the hose and the electric cable are separately secured into the pole, and this means that outside the pole, the hose and electric wires are dragged around the workplace as two separate cables and this can entangle the foot of the worker hence causing slippage or detachment of either the vacuum hose from the vacuum machine, or the electric cables from the socket.

Still, the worker can clip the cable and hose together if suitable well-fitting clips are available.

This model is powered by 120-volt 60-Hertz AC (alternating-current) power with its motor drawing a current of 4.7 amperes.

This motor uses serviceable brushes, which is convenient for users because they can easily service the brushes (mostly on their own) without the need of spending time seeking professional motor servicing. This also saves time, and increases the overall work output of this drywall sander.

The motor speed can be regulated by a small variable speed dial that is conveniently located in the handle grip attachment of the pole.

The motor speed can be regulated to spin the disc at a minimum speed of 1,400 rpm and a maximum speed of 2,000rpm. High speeds are used for removing lots of materials on the surface, while the slow speeds are used for gentle or fine sanding.

If the worker holds the sander for long periods, the sweaty hands cause the pole to be slippery, hence reducing stability of the grip hold. Therefore, the worker needs to repeatedly dry the hands after an hour or so of continuous use.

The Porter-Cable 7800 drywall sander comes with an instruction manual, along with hook-and-loop straps that can be used to enhance handling, or facilitate attachment of sander to an external vacuum. It also benefits from a 12-months limited warranty.

Pros of the Porter-Cable 7800 Portable Drywall Sander
  • Professional-grade porter cable dustless sander.
  • Durable.
  • Ergonomically-designed head unit.
  • Variable speed range of 1400-2000rpm.
  • Has 13-feet long vacuum hose.
  • 12-months limited warranty.
The Cons
  • Tires operator after 2 hours of continuous use.
  • Does not work well on interior corners.
  • Small dial size makes it liable to getting stuck, or failing to rotate as expected.

Bottom-line

The Porter-Cable 7800 is a professional-grade, high-performance, and easy-to-use electrically-powered portable dustless sander whose 4.7amperes motor features serviceable brushes.

In our opinion, the high cost-performance efficiency, durability, and overall design of the Porter-Cable 7800 make this the best drywall sander in our top 5 review roundup.


2. Power Pro 2100 Portable Drywall Sander

The Power Pro 2100 is a professional-grade, easy-to-use electrically-powered portable sander featuring a powerful, 710-watts variable-speed motor.  (The spinning sander disc holds a 9-inch sanding disc in an articulated head unit.)

Its pole features an extendable handle that allows the user to increase the pole length from the standard 4 feet to a maximum length of 5.5 feet which enables the head unit to reach ceilings and other high places in the drywall. It is designed and manufactured by Power-Pro.

The 2100 is designed to use sanding discs that must be secured on the sanding pad using a hook and loop mechanism.

It comes with a set of 6 9-inch sanding papers. These papers have the following grit values, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, and 240, (head here for details on the correct grit to choose for the type of finish required)

The entire unit weighs about 10 pounds, and the head unit and pole together measure 34 inches in total length.

The pole has a diameter of about 4.5 inches, and is holds an ergonomic handle that is 10 inches wide. This model is made from hard plastic and aluminum, hence rendering it corrosion resistant.

This ergonomically-designed model is designed to vacuum the dust away from the work surface. This greatly minimizes the dust that covers the work surface.

The strong pole of this drywall sander features the control gadget along with a removable ergonomic handle, which together allow the user to precisely control the sanding process.

The pole also routes the hose pipe and electric cables to the head unit. The vacuum hose is of standard diameter, and this size allows it to smoothly and quickly suck the dust without any instance of dust accumulation leading to blockage.

The top part of the pole terminates into a short curved bi-forked prong that articulates into a swivel joint that joins the pole to the head unit.

This unique bi-forked joint terminal offers 2 unique benefits; it increases the strength of the articulating segment of the pole, and improves the stability of the articulation joint by increasing the joint surface area.

The joint also allows the head unit to pivot on the pole across a wide range of angles that allow for back-and-forth, and side-to-side movements. This ultimately allows the user to perform sanding in interior angles and sharp bends in the wall.

The 80-grit, 100-grit, and 120-grit sanding papers are designed to be used to remove large imperfections as well as flatten a rough drywall surface.

The 150-grit, 180-grit, and 240-grit sanding papers are designed for fine sanding the drywall in readiness for painting.

The 13-feet long vacuum hose is connected to this pole using an adapter. There are also rings to hold the hose and power cable together.

The Power Pro 2100 is powered by a 120-volt 60-Hertz AC motor that draws 710-watts of power. The motor speed can be regulated by a variable-speed dial.

This allows the sanding speed to be increased in 6 distinct stages using a proprietary 6-speed control system.

The motor speed can be regulated to spin the disc at a minimum speed of 1,000 rpm and a maximum speed of 2,100rpm. High speeds are used for coarse sanding, while the slow speeds are used for fine sanding.

The Power Pro 2100 drywall sander comes with a carrying case, an instruction manual, and 2 carbon brushes. It needs to be secured to an external vacuum for it to work. It also benefits from a 90-days limited warranty.

Pros of the Power Pro 2100 Portable Drywall Sander
  • Professional-grade porter cable dust-minimizing sander.
  • Extensible handle that can reach a length of 5.5 feet.
  • Inexpensive to buy
  • Ergonomically-designed head unit.
  • Variable speed range of 1000-2100rpm that can be set in 6 stages.
  • Has 13-feet long vacuum hose.
  • 90-days limited warranty.
The Cons
  • Heavy.
  • Requires an external vacuum to work.
  • Tires operator after 2 hours of continuous use.

Bottom-line

The Power Pro 2100 is a professional-grade, durable, and easy-to-use electrically-powered portable sander with an extensible handle.

There is more than enough power with the 710-watts variable-speed motor ranging from 1000rpm to 2100rpm. Add the fact the unit is generously shipped with a range of sanding discs and you have a very competitive purchase. Highly recommended.


3. Aleko 804A Portable Sander

The 804A is an industrial-grade, easy-to-use electrically-powered portable sander. Like the Power Pro above this features a motor capable of 710watts output and variable-speed.

In fact it has a very similar overall design to the Power Pro 2100. The main differences being the disc operating speed.

The Aleko 804A has a telescopic handle that allows the user to increase the pole length from 53 inches to a maximum length of 65 inches, which enables the head unit to reach ceilings and other high places in the drywall.

The unit is designed and manufactured by Aleko.

Just like the Power Pro 2100, Aleko 804A can use 9-inch sanding papers which must be secured on the sanding pad using a hook and loop mechanism.

However, the diameter of its grinding pad is actually 8.5 inches. The tool comes with a set of 6 9-inch sanding papers. The entire unit weighs about 13.8 pounds, and the head unit and pole together measure 27 inches in length.

The pole and handle have a combined cross-sectional width of 12 inches and a height of 8 inches. Unlike the Power Pro 2100, Aleko 804A does not have a removable ergonomic handle.

The Aleko 804A is an ergonomically-designed model designed to vacuum the dust away from the work surface. This serves to greatly minimize the dust that covers the work surface. The strong pole of this drywall sander features the control gadget and an attachment arm through which the power cable is routed into the pole.

The pole also routes the hose pipe and power cables to the head unit. The vacuum hose is of the standard 1.25-inch diameter, and this size allows it to smoothly and quickly suck the dust without any instance of dust accumulation leading to blockage.

Just like the Power Pro 2100, the top part of the pole of the 804A terminates into a short curved bi-forked prong that articulates into a swivel joint that joins the pole to the head unit.

This unique bi-forked joint terminal offers 2 benefits; it increases the strength of the articulating segment of the pole, and improves the stability of the articulation joint.

Likewise, the joint allows the head unit to pivot on the pole across a wide range of angles that allow for back-and-forth, and side-to-side movements. This ultimately allows the user to perform sanding in interior angles and sharp bends in the wall.

The low-value grit sanding papers are used to remove large imperfections, and also flatten a rough drywall surface; while the high-value papers are for fine sanding the drywall.

This unit can work on interior angles and other awkwardly positioned wall segments, as well as reach high-placed ceilings.

This is due to its extensible handle which allows the user to achieve a total pole length of 5.4 feet. The vacuum hose is connected to the pole at its bottom-most part.

The Aleko 804A is powered by a 120-volt 60-Hertz AC motor that draws anywhere between 600watts and 710watts of power.

The motor speed can be regulated by a variable-speed dial. The motor speed can be regulated to spin the disc at a minimum speed of 600 rpm and a maximum speed of 1,500rpm. High speeds are used for coarse sanding, while the slow speeds are used for fine sanding.

Finally, the Aleko 804A benefits from a 12-months limited warranty.

Pros of the Aleko 804A Portable Sander
  • Industrial-grade porter cable dust-minimizing sander.
  • Extensible handle that can reach a length of 5.4 feet.
  • Durable.
  • Cheap.
  • designed head unit.
  • Variable speed range of 600-1500rpm.
  • 12-months limited warranty.
The Cons
  • Heavy for extended periods, (will tire the average operator after 2 hours of continuous use)
  • Sweaty hands causes the handle to become slippery.
  • Components are of a lower quality when compared to our top pick Porter-Cable

Bottom-line

The Aleko 804A is a durable, and easy-to-use electrically-powered portable sander. Much like the other sanders in our top 5 it features an extensible handle, and a variable-speed motor.

Considering the very budget friendly price, this could well be the drywall sander for you if you want something for only occasional use.


4. GoPlus 800W Dustless Drywall Sander

The Go Plus 800 is a professional-grade electrically-powered dustless turbo drywall sander whose 800-watt variable-speed motor powers has some real clout.

Again, the spinning sander disc holds a 9-inch sanding disc in the articulated head unit.

The tool features a LED light that allows the user to conducting sanding in dimly-lit wall areas. It also comes with a vacuum bag that is attached to one end of the vacuum hose.

Apart from its LED light and vacuum bag, the overall design model is quite similar to that of Aleko 804A and Power Pro systems reviewed above.

In fact, the manufacturer of this unit, GoPlus advises customers to use the sanding papers of Aleko if the sanding papers that came with this model run out.

The GoPlus 800W comes with a set of 6 sanding papers which covers a range of functionality to get you started.

The standard length of its telescopic handle is 47.2inches, which can be extended to a maximum of 66.9inches.

The GoPlus 800W is an ergonomically-designed model designed to vacuum the dust away from the work surface.

The strong pole of this drywall sander features the control gadget and an attachment arm through which the power cable is routed into the pole. The pole also routes the hose pipe and power cables to the head unit.

The vacuum hose is of the standard 1.25-inch diameter, and this size allows it to smoothly and quickly suck the dust without any instance of dust accumulation leading to blockage.

Just like the Aleko 804A, the top part of the pole of the GoPlus terminates into a short curved bi-forked prong that articulates into a swivel joint that joins the pole to the head unit.

This unique bi-forked joint terminal offers 2 benefits; it increases the strength of the articulating segment of the pole, and improves the stability of the articulation joint.

Likewise, the joint allows the head unit to pivot on the pole across a wide range of angles that allow for back-and-forth, and side-to-side movements.

This ultimately allows the user to perform sanding in interior angles and sharp bends in the wall. The low-value grit sanding papers are used to remove large imperfections, and also flatten a rough drywall surface; while the high-value papers are for fine sanding the drywall.

The GoPlus 800W can work on interior angles and tight spaces in the wall, as well as reach high-placed ceilings. This is due to its extensible handle which allows the user to achieve a total pole length of 5.5 feet.

The vacuum hose is connected to the pole at its bottom-most part, while the other end of the hose terminates into the vacuum bag. This model comes with a complete electrically-powered vacuum system that draws dust from the sanding disc into the vacuum bag.

The GoPlus 800W is powered by a 120-volt 60-Hertz AC motor that draws 800watts of power. The motor speed can be regulated by a variable-speed dial.

The motor speed can be regulated to spin the disc at a minimum speed of 800 rpm and a maximum speed of 1,500rpm. As mentioned elsewhere in our review round up, high speeds are used for coarse sanding, while the slow speeds are used for fine sanding.

The GoPlus 800W comes with a carrying case, an instruction manual, a carbon brush, 1-meter soft tube, and an internal hexagonal wrench.

Pros of the GoPlus 800W Dustless Drywall Sander
  • Uses LED lamp to light up dimly lit sections of the wall.
  • Industrial-grade porter cable dust-minimizing sander.
  • Comes with its own vacuum bag.
  • Extensible handle that can reach a length of 5.5 feet.
  • Ergonomically-designed head unit.
  • Variable speed range of 800-1500rpm.
The Cons
  • This is another unit that is difficult to use over extended periods due to its weight.

Bottom-line

The GoPlus 800W is an electrically-powered dustless turbo drywall sander that features a LED light and comes with a vacuum bag.

Its 800-watt variable-speed motor makes it one of the most powerful units in our top 5. A highly recommended option.


5. Arksen 750W Portable Drywall Sander

The Arksen is an easy-to-use portable sander with a 750watts variable-speed motor. The spinning sander disc holds an 8-7/8 inches wide sanding discs in the articulated head unit.

This sturdy and durable unit features a heavy-duty construction, with its corrosive-resistant aluminum frame ensuring that it maintains its overall structural integrity for a long periods of time.

It has a telescopic handle that allows the user to increase the pole length from 42 inches to a maximum length of 61 inches. The system is designed and manufactured by Arksen.

The entire unit weighs about 19 pounds, and the head unit and pole together measure 45.5 inches in length. The pole and handle have a combined cross-sectional width of about 12 inches.

Just like the four drywall sanders reviewed above, the Arksen 750W is an ergonomically-designed model designed to vacuum the dust away from the work surface. This serves to greatly minimize the dust that covers the work surface.

Also, just like the Aleko 804A, the strong pole of the Arksen 750W features the control gadget and an attachment arm through which the power cable is routed into the pole. The pole also routes the hose pipe and power cables to the head unit.

The vacuum hose is of the standard 1.25-inch diameter, and this size allows it to smoothly and quickly suck the dust without any instance of dust accumulation leading to blockage.

Just like the Power Pro 2100, the top part of the pole of the Arksen terminates into a short curved bi-forked prong that articulates into a swivel joint that joins the pole to the head unit. This joint design improve joint stability, as well as straightens the pole.

The joint also allows the head unit to pivot on the pole across a wide range of angles that allow for back-and-forth, and side-to-side movements. This ultimately allows the user to perform sanding in interior angles and sharp bends in the wall.

The unit can work on interior angles and other awkwardly positioned wall segments, as well as reach high-placed ceilings. This is due to its extensible handle which allows the user to achieve a total pole length of 5 feet. The vacuum hose is connected to the pole at its bottom-most part.

The Arksen 750W is powered by a 110-volt 60-Hertz AC motor that draws 750 watts of power. The motor speed can be regulated by a variable-speed dial.

The motor speed can be regulated to spin the disc at a minimum speed of 1000 rpm and a maximum speed of 2000rpm.

The Arksen 750W comes with a carrying case, an instruction manual, 13-feet vacuum hose, screwdriver, wrench, and a sand-pad. It must be fitted to an external vacuum machine before it can be used.

Pros of the Arksen 750W Portable Drywall Sander
  • Heavy-duty construction.
  • Industrial-grade porter cable dust-minimizing sander.
  • Extensible handle that can reach a length of 5 feet.
  • Ergonomically-designed head unit.
  • Variable speed range of 1000-1500rpm.
The Cons
  • Heavy to use.

Bottom-line

The Arksen 750W is an industrial-grade portable sander with an extensible handle, and a variable-speed motor powers that draws 750 watts of power.

The great price along with a good speed range of 1000rpm to 2000rpm make this a worthwhile addition to our top 5 review round up.


Image Credits: Scheppachdirect.com, PorterCable.com, Youtube.com/user: PrecisionTaping, Festoolusa.com