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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 are lacking for power, and as shown by the Central Pneumatic Professional, size doesn’t always equal the most powerful on the list. There are some great finds in the air sander market and not a lot of duds, so as long as you meet your core requirements you’re pretty much guaranteed money well spent. Here is the list of the current best air sanders in today’s market.

  • Dewalt DWMT70780
  • Product Dimensions: Not Specified
  • Power Source: air-powered
  • Included Component: Not Specified
  • Warranty: Manufacturer
  • Jitterbug Random
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.2 x 4.3 inches
  • Power Source: air-powered
  • Included Component: bare-tool
  • Warranty: Not Specified
  • Ingersoll Rand IRT315
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 16.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Power Source: air-powered
  • Included Component: bare-tool
  • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase with sales receipt or invoice

1. Dewalt DWMT70780 Dual Action Orbital Air Sander

Working 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. Variations in the power are controlled through the touch control trigger while the cushion grip housing cover takes care of 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 was made quick and easy with the keyless quick disk release. With only 4 pounds to deal with in total item weight this is the ideal air sander for the busy individual.

For those wondering 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 be fine at the lower PSI levels. Because of the steady stream of power it uses you may want to settle for something on the higher end of the PSI just to ensure consistency. The look is reminiscent of a very professional grade unit, and it performs just as such. This isn’t a purchase that’s going to beat you over the head with extras, and just includes 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 sinking your money into.

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2. 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 as a low priced option for users looking for a starting 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. Air inlet is ¼ BSP or NPT so follows a pretty standard requirement for all those with previous equipment. The air hose is 3/8 for those looking for exact measurements, so make sure to buy accordingly. The air consumption is only 6CFM so it won’t kill you with requirements in that area, 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 for it being vibration free is not completely false, but it’s more along the lines of being vibration resistant. Expect to get a little bit of vibration, but nothing that won’t interrupt what you’re doing. It’s also one of the quietest on the list when in operation, moving it is 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 will be looking for more items from this company.

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3. Ingersoll Rand IRT315 Heavy Duty Air Twin Piston Straight Line Sander

A bit on the lower end of the high side in price, 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 the unit, and operation itself is not only smooth but consistent in terms of power. Size of pad is 2-34 x 17-1/2 so make sure to do your research with not only the area but the accessories. While the previous air sander was a one handed design, this unit thrives on being a two handed design so you’ll naturally get more control. Stalling isn’t something you’re going to get a lot of thanks to the twin pistons that are marketed with this product.

Vibration is down to a minimum, and if you run into any problems there is an automatic stop trigger release. Minimum hose size is 3/8 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 than 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 on the minimum end 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 hander rather than the one hand, then this is the way to go to ensure the job gets done proper the first time around.

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  • Chicago Pneumatic CP870
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Power Source: air-powered
  • Included Component: bare-tool
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Central Pneumatic
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Power Source: Not Specified
  • Included Component: bare-tool
  • Warranty: Not Specified
  • Ingersoll Rand 311A
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 10.5 x 6.4 inches
  • Power Source: air-powered
  • Included Component: bare-tool
  • Warranty: Not Specified

4. 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. With a weight of only 4 pounds, there is little to worry about in handling of it on a heavy job. Air consumption on the average is only 5 CFM so even an average air compressor should be able to run it well. 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. Motions available are 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. Warranty is the standard 1 year but is pretty good, 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 they can easily replace it 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 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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5. 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 the better end of the deal. The housing is a durable aluminum that last heavy beatings but is still light enough to be comfortable in multiple situations. Vibration is reduced with the rubber boot so your work won’t be interrupted by the tool while working. 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 pad.

As the lightest item on the list at 1.4 pounds, this featherweight still doesn’t lack in the power department when doing a heavy job. 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 eats up quite a bit of air, and it’s strongly recommended that you have a good air compressor to give it what it needs. 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 tops 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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6. 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 contains the lowest vibration while in use than any other 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 with making sure that the vibration and operation of the unit is silky smooth. The warranty is a bit of a letdown and they offer a 1 year limited, but it at least covers the 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 heavily, 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 of the work you can do with this unit includes 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, you’ll however be disappointed as that’s the only mode. This is a great buy that would be tops on anyone’s list, so make sure not to overlook it.

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Summary

It’s indeed a short but sweet list, with really no purely bad choices. The air sander market is brilliant for those that are looking to buy one today. Although some specs may say lower than 90, 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’re set, those two are a match made in heaven.