Need opinion on sanders, that run off compressor for woodwork sanding?

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Forum topic by Jim Reeves posted 03-02-2010 09:54 AM 12365 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Reeves

208 posts in 3022 days

03-02-2010 09:54 AM

I am thinking of buying a sander takes 6 inch round sandpaper.
Just wondering if any views on it or results if anyone uses sander run off compressor think main purpose is removing paint or bodywork.
But need to know before buying if ok for woodworking sanding?

-- jim

23 replies so far

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3020 days

#1 posted 03-02-2010 01:02 PM

I have a fair number of air driven tools (including sanders) but I wouldn’t normally recommend air sanders for wood working. For one thing, the air line is more restrictive with regard to getting inside cabinets, etc than a power cord is. Secondly, sanders are notorious air hogs (they require high CFM to operate) and therefore would require a substantial compressor. Additionally, air sanders are much less likely to be configured for dust collection. Finally, a quality air sander (one that won’t overwork anything but an industrial compressor) can easily be more expensive than an electric sander. About the one exception that I might make would be to use a fairing board style straight line air sander if your doing something like cedar strip boats since the contouring of long flowing hull lines would be fairly similar to actually doing automotive body work. For just about any other woodworking application, IMHO you’d be better off with an electric sander.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#2 posted 03-02-2010 01:04 PM

I’m no expert, but just based on common sense, I don’t see there be any problem. never use before but I’ve seen Pnuematic Sander being used in woodworking shop. I’ve also seen Marc ( used it in the video I watched before. Maybe the main disadvantage is there is no port for dust collection system as far as I know.

I’m still trying to locate/link the video…..

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 03-02-2010 01:10 PM

Here is the question I found on…

Could not locate the video yet…!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 03-02-2010 01:31 PM

The biggest problem is that the air sanders will use a tremndious amount of “energy” charging and rercharging the compressor tank. You will find that an 110 volt sander will be “cheaper” to operate.

View Tony_S's profile


867 posts in 3081 days

#5 posted 03-02-2010 01:54 PM

Got a whole shop full of Dynabrade orbitals. No question they do a better and faster job than electric orbitals.
Major drawback in a small shop would be air consumption…total air hogs! If memory serves me….they use about 18 CFM. Each.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View acanthuscarver's profile


268 posts in 3710 days

#6 posted 03-02-2010 02:08 PM

Tony’s right. Dynabrade sanders are what I’ve used in my shop for the last 25 years. They are by far the best air driven sanders I’ve seen. He’s also right in that they pull down a lot of air. You’ll need a fairly large two stage compressor. I have a 5hp, 80 gal. compressor. You can run a single sander for 10 – 15 minutes before it kicks in. My sanders pull between 15 & 16 CFM but my compressor puts out 18 CFm so it catches up eventually. If we have two sanders going at once in the shop, the compressor struggles for about 20 minutes before giving up the figh (the sanders slow down consderably due to lack of air pressure).

The only electric sander that I’ve seen that’s even remotely close to a Dynabrade is the Festool. It eats most other electric sanders for lunch. If you don’t have a large compressor, it’s the way I’d go. They’re not cheap but they will get the job done.

-- Chuck Bender, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4098 days

#7 posted 03-02-2010 07:15 PM

I have been using a Bosch 6” random orbital sander professionally for 11 years. I am using the original one and it is still going strong. It has fallen off the table numerous times and I have replaced the brushes in it 4 or 5 times and it just keeps on going.

I have it hooked up to dust collection using a Festool hose with a Fein vac adapter attachment. At the time I bought it, there wasn’t a Bosch vac adapter immediately available in the store, but there was a Fein adapter so I bought it to start using the shopvac for dust collection right away.

I use an electronic switch that turns on the shopvac automatically when I start running the sander. It is a Craftsman electronic switch that normally costs about $20.

My experience with this sander has been great.

I use Mirka sandpaper with it.

6" Random Orbit Sander

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3040 days

#8 posted 03-02-2010 11:38 PM

If you have the compressor capacity (volume) should work just fine – but if you have to upgrade to a larger compressor this might not be the best option for a sander – just my two cents worth – lol

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3003 days

#9 posted 03-05-2010 12:29 AM

When I was doing furniture and cabinets full time, in my shop I only used random orbital air powered sanders. They don’t get hot, they aren’t so top heavy and easier to control and they last a heck of alot longer than an electric one. Speed control is possible as well. The compressor was a 5 hp two stage so you do need alot of air. Dynabrade made a good one. I always liked them.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View buzz1956's profile


6 posts in 3004 days

#10 posted 03-05-2010 03:16 AM

hope u have a big compressor

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3287 days

#11 posted 03-05-2010 03:38 AM

like buzz said, u really need a big compressor but the finnish they produce is very nice and faster than electric i think anyway.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3114 days

#12 posted 03-05-2010 03:45 PM

hmmm…. got both… I usually use my electric for wood and air for body work… Just seems more handy and the dust collection is a point. Mainly I think the electric must be cheaper vs the big compressor coming on and off… I like the heavier sanders for bondo and sanding car panels.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4004 days

#13 posted 03-05-2010 04:45 PM

I agree the dynabrade sanders win hands down over electrical. But they consume air on a scale most hobbyist compressors can’t supply.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3711 days

#14 posted 03-05-2010 05:06 PM

I have a 6’ rigid sander which I connect directly to my shop vac or my dust collector. In wood we tend to ignore air usage because we are prone to using air for nailers, which don’t use a lot of air. Air tools (been using an air ratchet on a project lately) seem to use a lot of air and the compressor (5 horse, 80 gal) to be coming on every few minutes.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Chrmakr's profile


20 posts in 3026 days

#15 posted 03-06-2010 02:15 AM

Besides CFM, another consideration is quality of air – most large shops that use air powered tools have inline driers and lubricators.

-- Doug Roper Chairmaker and Instructor,

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

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