A dustless sander is a type of power tool used in many trades for many purposes. Depending on the application for which it was designed, the sander can vary in size and shape. A dustless sander is essentially any orbital or belt sander that has been designed or modified so that suction removes the sanding dust before it can be breathed by a worker or settle in a room.
Dustless sanding is not just helpful for worker health and safety. It is also beneficial in work areas that are already furnished. This keeps sanding dust from falling into electronics and other delicate equipment. In a home setting, dustless sanding creates less cleanup time for homeowners.
Drywall sanders help installers and other drywall professionals to cut down on dust while maximizing reach on tall walls. Drywall dust is especially fine, making it hard to clean and harmful to breathe. A drywall dustless sander often has a rectangular head and uses standard-sized drywall sanding sheets or sanding paper. It can be hand held, with a drywall vacuum hose adapter, or it can help reach high places with an extension pole and attached pivoting head. This type of sander is always an orbital sander, rather than a belt sander.
A dustless sander can also be a portable power tool that is used by carpenters and home improvement enthusiast on wood or drywall. It can run on batteries or have a power cord. These small handheld units typically have a circular or triangular orbital head. Such a dustless sander requires special sandpaper with hook and loop backing to fit onto the non-standard orbital head. Some handheld models are belt sanders, but these are often larger and heavier than handheld orbital sanders. These handheld models typically come with a small collection bag, rather than an adapter for a vacuum hose.
The largest type of dustless sander is the floor sander. This large, heavy-duty sander usually works in the same way as smaller orbital sanders, but on a much larger scale. In some cases, floor sanders are belt-sanders instead of orbital sanders.
The most powerful dustless sanders are run by a gas-powered motor located outside of the construction site. A long vacuum hose is attached to the vacuum motor and trailed into the work area. The sander is then hooked up to the vacuum hose. The gas-powered motor ensures greater suction, and therefore better dust collection.