Types of sander: Which do you need for your DIY projects?

Orbital sander and sanding pads on wooden table
(Image credit: Steven Jenkins)

Self builders and DIYers all need a sander, but which types of sander should you consider to get the job done? Choosing the right sander is essential if you want to finish a project properly. 

You don’t want to be investing in a floor sander if sanding skirting boards, but the difference in sanders isn’t always this obvious. Should you get a detail sander or orbital sander for sanding doors or windows? What about newly plastered walls? Can I use different sanders for the same job? Here we guide you through the popular types of sanders and which works best for what.   

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.