The Black + Decker BDCROS18 Cordless Random Orbital Sander is accessible, easy-to-use and capable of achieving a smooth, swirl-free finish on a variety of surfaces. We would’ve liked a little more runtime, and shorter charging durations, from the 1.5Ah battery included. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this tool is aimed at casual DIYers and hobbyists, rather than tradespeople and hardcore home renovators.
Excellent with softwoods like pine
Smooth, streak-free finish
Bundle has everything to start sanding
Simple design is ideal for beginners
Limited battery life
Works quite slowly (but effectively!)
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Effective sanding can make the difference between doing a decent DIY job, and creating a perfectly finished triumph that wows visitors to your home. The easiest way to get that sought-after smooth finish is to use a random orbital sander – such as the Black + Decker BDCROS18.
The BDCROS18 uses a random sanding motion, which leaves surfaces with a naturalistic finish, free from the streaks or swirls that can result from other sanding methods. It’s designed to sand materials including wood, metal and plastic — a perfect range for the average DIYer or craft hobbyist. Powering the tool is an 18V lithium-ion battery, which comes with the sander, along with a charger and carry case.
Our reviewer took the BDCROS18 for a spin during his home renovation, to find out whether the tool really can bring smooth, swirl-free finishing to a DIY project.
How effective is the Black + Decker BDCROS18 at sanding?
We were satisfied with the results of sanding with the BDCROS18, during our hands-on testing.
Our reviewer has been laying a herringbone parquet floor in his living room. He used the BDCROS18 sander to even out irregularities between the edges of the oak floor pieces. Sanding the hardwood with this sander was steady going, requiring about 20 minutes to sand a roughly two-square-foot area, but we were really impressed with the beautifully even, swirl-free result that emerged. The finish was excellent.
Product name: BDCROS18-GB 18V 1.5Ah Lithium-ion Cordless Random Orbital Sander
Features: Dust collector, random orbital action, durable mesh sanding sheets, rocker switch, soft carry bag
Power source: 18V lithium-ion battery (cordless)
No-load speed: 12,000 RPM
Weight: 1.27 kg
Disc size: 125 mm
Warranty duration: 2 years (exceptions apply)
Oak is a tough test material for a cordless sander to tackle, so we were keen to use the BDCROS18 on some softer, commonly used materials, too. With softwoods, such as pine, and with plaster, the BDCROS18 achieved its usual, smooth and streak-free finish in a matter of seconds. It proved particularly effective at rounding off the corners of square-edged pieces of wood.
Using the 1.5Ah lithium-ion battery that comes bundled in with this sander, we were able to sand continuously for around 20-30 minutes, before the battery required recharging. That’s enough runtime to do small jobs — such as sanding a shelf, or a simple piece of furniture. However, if you have big sanding jobs to do, such as sanding an entire panelled wall, or sanding a hardwood floor, then you’ll need more work capacity from your sander. If you have lots of sanding to do, we would recommend buying an additional Black + Decker 18V 4.0Ah Lithium-ion Battery, as this will equip the BDCROS18 with longer runtime and the option to switch between batteries.
The BDCROS18’s accessories worked admirably during testing. The dust collector attachment gathered a good proportion of dust (although, inevitably, a fairly large amount escaped); and the mesh sanding pad lasted well, despite the fact we used it for some tough jobs.
How easy to use is the Black + Decker BDCROS18 Random Orbital Sander?
Setting up this sander is very straightforward. The included 125 mm sanding mesh attaches effortlessly to the tool’s sanding pad, and the dust collection bag slots simply into place.
To operate the BDCROS18, you simply press the ‘on’ button at the front of the tool — or to turn it off, you press the adjacent ‘off’ button. There’s no need to hold a trigger down in order to keep the tool running, and there are no speed settings or other controls to worry about. Do take care not to press the ‘on’ button while changing the battery.
The sander is compatible with ordinary sanding sheets, as well as with the special carbide sanding mesh included with the bundle. If using a sanding sheet, remember to align the holes in the sheet with the holes on the bottom of the sander.
On our first use, we used the sander after giving the battery about 60-90 minutes of charging time. Unfortunately, the battery ran out within a few minutes of sanding. We tried again with a much longer charging period, and found that the tool worked far more powerfully, and for a considerably longer usage period. Interestingly, Black + Decker has equipped the battery charger with a ‘Hot/Cold Pack Delay’ feature, which pauses battery charging when the battery is too hot or too cold for efficient charging.
Using the BDCROS18 is a simple case of moving the sander in long, sweeping motions across the surface of whatever you’re sanding. You should be allowing the tool to do the work for you, rather than pressing too hard. This makes for very easy sanding — although you’ll expend some elbow grease while holding the sander aloft, to sand walls or other vertical features.
This sander requires very little maintenance in order to keep it working at its best. Just be sure to empty the dust collector after each use, replace the sanding mesh as required and give the tool a quick wipe every now and then.
For storage between uses, the bundled-in soft bag snugly holds the whole sander set.
Is the Black + Decker BDCROS18 a good choice for DIY?
This sander is a good option for occasional DIYers who prize quality of finish over quantity of work, and who prefer cordless tools to corded options.
If your DIY sessions usually consist of tasks such as sanding new shelves and skirting boards, or tidying up a wall surface, then the BDCROS18 would be a good choice of sander to use.
We probably wouldn’t recommend this sander, however, to someone who is going to undertake big, time-consuming home renovation tasks — especially if you’ll be working with very hard materials such as oak. The BDCROS18 works a little too slowly for jobs of this magnitude, although you’d get a great finish at the end of the day.
Some of you will no doubt be looking for a more powerful sander for DIY that still won’t break the bank. If that sounds like you, we can recommend the mains-powered VonHaus 3515091 Random Orbital Sander.
Buyers who already own a Black + Decker 18V lithium-ion battery and charger can pick the BD18CROS sander up as a ‘bare unit’ for a remarkably low price.
About this review
Homebuilding & Renovating is not given any compensation by VonHaus for our reviews, but may be allowed to keep the product for long-term testing meaning we can test it over a greater length of time, and update this review if required.
Pete Wise is a freelance writer and keen DIYer from Leeds. Pete's tool reviews have featured in titles including Homebuilding & Renovating, Ideal Home and The Independent. He also writes features and news articles for publications such as The Guardian, BBC Good Food and T3. When he isn't busy writing, Pete can often be found at libraries, pubs and live music venues. He finds tile-cutting strangely zen.