We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Hand Sanders?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are a wide variety of hand sanders available for the do it yourselfer. Hand sanders are generally considered to be any type of sander that can be used by holding it in your hand. This includes electric and drill operated sanders as well as manual sanding blocks.

With the wide range of hand sanders available it is important to remember that regardless of how carefully you choose a sander, it is also important to choose sandpaper with the appropriate grit. Sandpaper with coarse grit will remove too much material, no matter how lightly it is applied. Likewise, the most aggressive use of fine grit sandpaper will not do any good in the early stages of a woodworking project.

The least expensive and oldest design of hand sanders is the manual hand sander. This can be a plastic block that has grooves to hold the sandpaper in place, or a block of wood with a strip of sandpaper tacked on. A manual hand sander is good in areas where you do not want to work too quickly and risk taking off to much material. It is also an inexpensive option if you are working on a budget.

Belt sanders are aggressive sanders. They remove a great deal of material easily, and it is easy to remove too much if you are not watching carefully. To prevent this from happening, pay attention while you are working and keep the sander moving the entire time.

Belt sanders work by a drive roller that is connected to the sander’s motor. A sandpaper belt wraps around the rear and front roller of the belt sander. The drive motor moves the sandpaper belt.

A disk sander connects to an electric drill. If you already have an electric drill, the disk sander is an inexpensive addition. It is important when using the disk sander that you keep it moving at all times, or you may leave the imprint of a circle from the sandpaper disk on your project.

Drum sanders can run on electric motors or be attached to drills. It is easy to mark your project with a drum sander, but this can be prevented by investing in an oscillating drum sander. The oscillating motion prevents the rubs and marks that are so easy to cause with a traditional drum sander.

Pad sanders are used for finishing work. They should be used with fine grit sandpaper. Pad sanders come in all different sizes and shapes. You can get them with points and straight edges, which make it easy to complete the finish work on your project.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ElizaBennett — On Jun 25, 2012

For the kind of thing that I've generally done, one of those black sanders has been adequate -- just a little sanding between coats of paint, sanding down spackel after patching a hole, that kind of thing.

But if you are someone who does a lot of little project, you might want to invest in a small electric hand sander. My mother has one of those Black and Decker Mouse sanders. Not only is it kind of adorable, it's faster and easier than using a block sander while still offering a lot of control for the user. It's relatively idiot-proof.

I don't even have to buy one -- I can just borrow hers for my next project!

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.