What is a Heavy Duty Sander?

S. Zaimov

A heavy duty sander is a power tool that removes material from a surface. Sanders are often used to smooth a surface, such as wood or metal, in order to prepare it for painting. These tools are commonly used for large jobs but can be used to shape furniture as well. There are different types of electric sanders, and a decision on which kind to use typically depends on the material to be sanded and the work itself.

A random orbit sander creates a smoother surface than a belt sander.
A random orbit sander creates a smoother surface than a belt sander.

Disc sanders, one of the first of these tools to be made, are some of the most powerful sanders. These tools can work for a long period of time, and are useful for reaching odd angles and achieving accurate measurements. Many disc sanders can tilt, which helps to create angled edges, and feature a miter gauge, which stabilizes the machine to maintain the desired angle. One problem with this type of heavy duty sander is that it can create unwanted circular marks if used over one spot for too long.

Safety goggles and breathing masks should be worn when sanding.
Safety goggles and breathing masks should be worn when sanding.

Belt and bench sanders are very powerful because each uses a motor to move the sanding belt at a high speed. This allows unnecessary surface material to be shed very quickly, but also creates a danger of removing too much, if the operator is not careful. These are often use for heavy duty work, which can create more dust than other sanders, so these tools commonly include a dust-collection bag to keep the air clean. The difference between a belt and a bench sander is that the latter is mounted on top of a table, while a belt sander is often used by hand.

A random orbit sander offers adjustable speeds and is generally used to give a finish sanding , or final smoothing, to flat surfaces. It usually features a sanding pad attached to an offset bearing, so it can move in any direction and can feather, or taper, edges. Due to its ability to adjust sanding speeds, an orbit sander can allow the operator to use a slower speed over soft pieces of wood, or use a faster setting on tougher jobs. With this type, dust is often removed from the surface through holes in the sanding pad.

Palm or pad sanders are usually used for adding finishing touches to a project, and are shaped to work well on corners. They are quite versatile and vibrate in a circular pattern. When operating, they need to be moved in the same direction as the wood grain in order to protect the surface from scratches.

when using the right type of heavy duty sander, it is important to maintain work safety. The sanding belt can cause serious injury, so physical contact with skin must be avoided. Safety goggles should be used to protect eyes from flying splinters. Breathing masks may be required when the work creates large quantities of dust. The user should also always make sure the power supply is stable before connecting the sander.

To maintain a heavy duty sander, a user should regularly empty the dust collector and clean the vents and motor. Also, sanding belts or pads should be replaced when they become worn and ineffective. The belt tension should be checked and adjusted, if necessary, to keep the heavy duty sander at maximum performance and prevent accidents.

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