Yo whats up everybody I wanted to do a blog post on sanders because I have gotten a lot of questions about them. There are basically 3 sizes of sanders hand sanders, benchtop sanders, and stationary sanders. Hand sanders include palm sanders, random orbit sanders or ROS, detail sanders, and belt sanders. Palm sanders vibrate back and forth and you can get in corners with them because the bottom of the sander is a square shape. Random orbit sanders spin and vibrate and you get a really polished look with them. They have better dust collection then palm sanders and they have a lot more power. You cant really get into corners with a random orbit sander because the bottom is a circle shape. Detail sanders are used in tight corners and they work just like a palm sander does. Belt sanders are used to take off a lot of material very fast. They have a belt on the bottom that spins really fast so it can definitely take off more material then you wanted to. Most woodworkers don’t use handheld belt sanders very often.
Then you have bench top sanders. You have belt sanders, disc sanders,oscillating spindle sanders, edge sanders, and drum sanders. Belt sanders and disc sanders are usually in a combo machine but you can buy them separately. Bench top belt sanders are basically a handheld belt sander flipped over. Most woodworkers prefer to use a bench top or stationary belt sander over a handheld just because you can see what your doing much better and the dust collection is usually better. Disc sanders have a disc that spins and you can use it for sanding edges. Oscillating spindle sanders have a spindle that spins and goes up and down at the same time. They are used to sand inside curves. An edge sander is basically a belt sander on its side. Edge sanders are not very common as a bench top model. Drum sanders have a drum that spins inside the machine. Underneath the the drum is a belt that feeds the wood through. A drum sander works just like a planer only it uses sandpaper and if gives you a finished look.
Stationary sanders are a big floor standing version of bench top sanders. Stationary sanders have a lot more power then bench top sanders do but they cost a lot more.
-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA http://www.kostasworkshop.blogspot.com/