Pneumatic Tools: 6 Most Powerful Air Sanders

Here is a list of the best air sanders for your money, and wow are there some good ones on this list. None of them lack power, and as shown by the Central Pneumatic Professional, size isn’t always the most powerful on the list. There are some great finds in the air sander market and few duds, so as long as you meet your core requirements you’re pretty much guaranteed money well spent. Here is the list of the best air sanders in today’s market.

ImageProduct
Jitterbug Random Orbital Air Palm Sander Pneumatic Tool Finish Sander 8,000 RPM
Jitterbug Random Orbital
The air hose is 3/8 mm so make sure to buy accordingly. The air consumption is only 6 CFM so it won’t kill your energy supply, while still maintaining great power for a product of this size.
Ingersoll Rand 315 Heavy Duty Air Twin Piston Straight Line Sander - 2-3/4-Inch x 17-1/2-Inch Pad
Ingersoll Rand IRT315
It needs a minimum 90 PSI, so a fairly good air compressor will be needed to consistently run the unit.
Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Dual Action Sander
Chicago Pneumatic CP870
The air inlet NPTF is ¼ inch, so with a little planning ahead you will be ready for anything that’s needed to work with that range.
Central Pneumatic Professional 2" Mini Orbital Air Sander
Central Pneumatic Professional 2
Out of all of the items on the list, this one has the most in one package. It includes coarse, fine, and medium 2-inch sanding discs with hook and loop backing pads.
Ingersoll Rand 311A 6-Inch Heavy-Duty Air Dual-Action Quiet Sander
Ingersoll Rand 311A
With the purchase of a 5-inch backing disk you even have the option of using 5-inch pads, adding to the unit’s versatility.
Jitterbug Random Orbital Air Palm Sander Pneumatic Tool Finish Sander 8,000 RPM
Jitterbug Random Orbital
The air hose is 3/8 mm so make sure to buy accordingly. The air consumption is only 6 CFM so it won’t kill your energy supply, while still maintaining great power for a product of this size.
Ingersoll Rand 315 Heavy Duty Air Twin Piston Straight Line Sander - 2-3/4-Inch x 17-1/2-Inch Pad
Ingersoll Rand IRT315
It needs a minimum 90 PSI, so a fairly good air compressor will be needed to consistently run the unit.
Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Dual Action Sander
Chicago Pneumatic CP870
The air inlet NPTF is ¼ inch, so with a little planning ahead you will be ready for anything that’s needed to work with that range.
Central Pneumatic Professional 2" Mini Orbital Air Sander
Central Pneumatic Professional 2
Out of all of the items on the list, this one has the most in one package. It includes coarse, fine, and medium 2-inch sanding discs with hook and loop backing pads.
Ingersoll Rand 311A 6-Inch Heavy-Duty Air Dual-Action Quiet Sander
Ingersoll Rand 311A
With the purchase of a 5-inch backing disk you even have the option of using 5-inch pads, adding to the unit’s versatility.

Top 6 Air Sanders

Jitterbug Random Orbital Air Palm Sander Pneumatic Tool Finish Sander 8,000 RPM

With a cell phone company of the same name that caters to the elderly, the Jitterbug Random Orbital is anything but a low-priced option for users looking for a beginner’s air sander. It has an incredible 8000-RPM free speed making it one of the most powerful on the list, despite not having a huge brand name behind it. The air inlet is ¼ BSP or NPT so follows a pretty standard requirement as experienced users will know. The air hose is 3/8 mm so make sure to buy accordingly. The air consumption is only 6 CFM so it won’t kill your energy supply, while still maintaining great power for a product of this size. Make sure to have an air compressor that can handle a minimum of 90 PSI or you will run into some weird spikes.

The claim that it’s vibration free is not completely false, but it’s more accurately vibration resistant. Expect to get a little bit of vibration, but nothing to interrupt your job. It’s also one of the quietest on the list when in operation and moves as smooth as butter. No heavy handed use is needed here, as you can apply a small amount of pressure and still get excellent results. For dry or wet sanding it works well on wood, plaster, and fiberglass. One of the more unnoticed features is the built-in regulator that handles speed control. It doesn’t seem like much until you use it and notice how great it performs live. This little tool is a surprise on the list, and is one of the best you can get when it comes to air sanders. Definitely worth the purchase and you’ll probably be looking for more items from this company.

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Ingersoll Rand IRT315 Heavy Duty Air Twin Piston Straight Line Sander

On the slightly lower end of the expensive models, the Ingersoll Rand is a unique straight-line sander that is capable of 3,000 reciprocating strokes per minute. Quick-action paper clamps completely take the frustration out of working with a sander, and the operation itself is not only smooth but consistent in terms of power. The pad size is 2-3/4 x 17-1/2 inches so make sure to do your research on not only the area but the accessories you’ll need. While the previous air sander had a one-handed design, this unit thrives on being a two-handed design so you’ll naturally get more control. You won’t get a lot of stalling with this unit thanks to the twin pistons.

Vibration is down to a minimum, and if you run into any problems there is an automatic stop trigger release. The minimum hose size is 3/8 inches and the product weight is an average of about 6.6 pounds. A good warranty backs up the product, and you can expect to be taken care of up to a year after purchase. This is a low-maintenance tool so there is really little to do other giving it the occasional oil, but you should still be wary of not just how you take care of it but what compressor you pair with it. It needs a minimum 90 PSI, so a fairly good air compressor will be needed to consistently run the unit. Besides the high PSI requirement, this air sander delivers as promised and is another high recommendation on this short list. If you’re in the market for a two-handed model then this is the way to go to ensure the job gets done properly the first time around.

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Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Dual Action Sander

If power is what you’re looking for, then look no further than this low-priced Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Dual Action Sander that operates at an incredible 10000 RPM. The design is very old-school, but is one that has stood the test of time and is used by many professionals today. With a weight of only 4 pounds, there is little to worry about in handling of it on a heavy job. Air consumption on average is only 5 CFM so even an average air compressor should be able to run it well. The air inlet NPTF is ¼ inch, so with a little planning ahead you will be ready for anything that’s needed to work with that range. It has various available motions such as rotary and orbital to handle metal preparation, finish work, and feature edging. A built-in speed regulator is the perfect addition so that the unit works with you rather than against you.

Accidental startups are managed with the lock-off throttle, a safety feature employed by most air sanders. The warranty is a standard 1-year but is still pretty comprehensive, although due to the great quality of the product it is likely you won’t be needing it. For users needing a smaller head than the included 6-inch, it can be easily replaced with a 5-inch. The pad itself is a little stiff when compared to the other units on the list, but it’s in no way a deal-breaker and may become a preference for some users. This is one of the better units on the list due to its great power, so keep in mind that you will need an equally powerful compressor to run it. An average compressor will run it well, but if you want greatness then you’ll definitely want to pair it with something considerably stronger. Highly recommended, and is another surprise on this list since it has such an old-school design.

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Central Pneumatic Professional 2″ Mini Orbital Air Sander

Another low-priced item on the list is the Central Pneumatic Professional 2″ Mini Orbital Air Sander that has an air consumption of 4 CFM at 90 PSI. It’s a bit power hungry but considering how well it works, you’ll be getting a great deal. The housing is durable aluminum that can take heavy wear but is still light enough to be comfortable in multiple situations. Vibration is reduced by the rubber boot so your work won’t be interrupted. If the paddle switch is used correctly you’ll achieve comfort and greater control when using this air sander. Out of all of the items on the list, this one has the most in one package. It includes coarse, fine, and medium 2-inch sanding discs with hook and loop backing pads.

As the lightest item on the list at 1.4 pounds, this featherweight still doesn’t lack power on heavy jobs. You can count on the orbital motion of the sander to give you a swirl-free finish and professional overall look. Don’t let the size fool you, as this is one of the most power hungry units on the list. It consumes quite a bit of air so it’s strongly recommended that you have a good air compressor to give it what it needs. It works very well in tight spaces so you don’t have to do too much positioning to get it right. It’s quite good for an air sander but not one of the top units on the list, which is surprising since it is so small yet so powerful. It’s a fairly decent model that won’t do a bad job as long as you have the equipment to back it up.

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Ingersoll Rand 311A 6-Inch Heavy-Duty Air Dual-Action Quiet Sander

Last on the list is the low-priced Ingersoll Rand 311A 6-Inch Heavy-Duty Air Dual-Action Quiet Sander that has the lowest vibration than any other product on the list. It’s most likely due to the balanced ball-bearing construction, with an outer professional look that makes it stand out from the rest. The built-in adjustable regulator controls the speed and helps make sure the vibration and operation of the unit is silky smooth. The warranty is a bit of a letdown — a 1-year limited — but it at least covers major parts. Hand and wrist fatigue are kept to a minimum with the lever throttle, which is one of a handful of features that make this a breeze to use.

You’ll only have to deal with 4 pounds while working for long periods, and with a low noise to power ratio you’re all but guaranteed a great work environment. This is one of the brand names on the list that has been in business for a while, more than 100 years to be exact. Some jobs you can do with this unit include feather edging, metal prep, and finish work. Replacing the default disk pad is very easy and won’t cause you any hassle if you have a preferred pad. With the purchase of a 5-inch backing disk you even have the option of using 5-inch pads, adding to the unit’s versatility. If looking for another mode other than orbital, however, you’ll be disappointed as that’s the only mode. This is a great buy that would be top of on anyone’s list, so make sure not to overlook it.

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Dewalt DWMT70780 Dual Action Orbital Air Sander

Coming in at the low end of the price point is the Dewalt DWMT70780 Dual Action Orbital Air Sander with its aluminum body that can withstand even the worst work conditions. For sweaty palms, the handle is comprised of rubber with an easy-to-reach speed control dial so you don’t have to go out of your way to make adjustments. The power is controlled by the touch-control trigger while the cushion grip housing cover protects you and your project from unnecessary bumps. If you switch out sanding pads a lot then you’ll be relieved to know that the process is quick and easy thanks to the keyless quick-disk release. With only 4 pounds to deal with in total, this is the ideal air sander for busy individuals.

The sandpaper is 6 inches with no holes, which, believe or not, is hard to find when looking for a quality model that supports this size. Make sure that you have a compressor that is powerful enough to handle this, although it should work fine at the lower PSI levels. Because of the steady stream of power it uses you may want something with a higher PSI just to ensure consistency. The look is reminiscent of a very professional grade unit, and it performs just as such. This purchase doesn’t overdo it on the extras, and includes just the bare necessities. Considering the quality of the unit is quite high, this can be overlooked since you’re getting a tool that will last you for years. As the first on the list it’s a good start and well worth spending your money on.

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Summary

It’s a short but sweet list, with no really bad choices. The air sander market is brilliant right now so it’s a good time to buy. Although some specs may say lower than 90 PSI, I think you’re better off with a minimum of 90 PSI especially with the built-in regulators on most units. If you want to get the best out of your air sander you have no choice but to pair it with a comparable air compressor. Once you get that right, those two units are a match made in heaven.

Last update on 2018-12-14 at 10:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API