Random Orbit Sanders are woodshop standards around the world. The random orbit means that the grit doesn’t make a noticeable “pattern” in the surface of your woodworking project. If you’re shopping for a new one – or your first one – this article gives you insight into which brands are most popular with woodworkers.

I counted up random orbital sander recommendations from 5 forums: Woodnet, SawmillCreek, LumberJocks, WoodWorkForums (Oz) and Contractor Talk. Without further ado, here are the top 5 most popular random orbit sanders:

1) Bosch: 20 Votes
The Bosch is the go-to standard for ROS. You won’t go wrong with the Bosch, though it’s definitely not the cheapest ROS available… Bosch was popular across ALL the forums.

Bosch 5″ Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander 3107DVS

Bosch 1250DEVS 6.5 Amp 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Vacuum Port

Bosch 1295 ROS Owners Opinions (SawmillCreek)

2) Festool: 19 Votes
Festools are expensive. Festool users love Festool so much they should be called cult members. It seemed like there were the most Festool fans in SawmillCreek.

6″ rand. orb. sander ETS 150/3

5″ random orbit sander ETS 125

Festool 150/5 random orbit sander review (SawmillCreek)

3) Porter-Cable: 12 Votes
Straight forward and steady, the Porter-Cable ROS seemed most popular with contractors. There were no raving PC fans… but then again they’re not the “raving” type ;)

Porter-Cable 97355 5-Inch Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander Kit

4) Makita: 9 Votes
Another solid contender, the Makita is a popular less expensive option.

Makita BO6030 2.7 Amp 6-Inch Random Orbit Variable Speed Sander

5 – tie) Dewalt: 7 Votes
Everyone with a Dewalt ROS seemed to really like it. A strong choice that will last a long time.

DEWALT D26453K 3 Amp 5-Inch Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit

5 – tie) Metabo: 7 Votes
Metabos seemed most popular “down under.” A solid mid-priced ROS.

Metabo SXE450 00458 3.8 Amp 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander

Everyone Else:
Ridgid Random Orbit Sander: 4 Votes

Cabinet Scraper: 2 Votes
Using Card Scrapers (FWW article)

Dynabrade: 2 Votes
(pneumatic air powered sanders)

Ryobi: 1 Vote

Forum Threads Cited:
Random Orbit Sander- Is there consensus on top 2 or 3? (WoodNet)
ROS Suggestions (SawmillCreek)
Random Orbital Sander? (LumberJocks)
Whats the best random orbit sander in your opinion (WoodWorkForums)
Which sander? (ContractorTalk)

Other Resources:
Stopping Swirl Marks in Your Finish (PDF file…)
Chris Baylor on Random Orbital Sanders