The Best Electric Drywall Sanders in 2018

When it comes to sanding a big job, it can be something of a chore. If you’re looking to make short work of your project, then you’ll be well served by investing in a sander for drywall. This will make the sometimes laborious task of sanding drywall quicker and easier, leaving your project finished much sooner.

Here’s a list of the best drywall sanders available in 2016:

Harry , Homethods Author
Harry

the-best-electric-drywall-sanders-in-2016

Top 3 Best Electric Sanders in 2016

Porter-Cable 7800

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4.7/5 Rating

If you’re looking for a solid sander, Porter-Cable delivers. With a 13’ hose you won’t be tied to the vaccum and at 8.5lbs you’ll be able to use it all day without getting tired.

The sander functions from 1400 to 2000rpm which will allow you to choose the speed which you feel is best suited for the task at hand as well.

The overall length of this sander is unlikely to cause you issues either, coming in at 64 inches although it may not be suitable for rooms with super high ceilings.

If you’re looking for something simple that lets you get the job done right then this is the sander for you.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Variable Speed
  • Small enough to use in most rooms
Cons
  • Not long enough for high ceilings

POWER PRO 2100

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4.2/5 Rating

The Power Pro 2100 is a fine example of an affordable sander with a lot of power behind it. You’ll find that it makes short work of ridges in even the toughest compounds, and it can function at six different speeds from 1000 to 2100rpms which makes it flexible in it’s use.

The telescoping handle reaches from 48” to 66” which will let you take care of all of the extra little corners and the edges of the ceiling with a surprising amount of ease.

It also comes with a 30-day warranty which will cover any manufacturer defects that might occur.

Once you have it easily hooked up to a shop vac, you’re in business and you’ll be able to make short work of even the roughest drywall.

It comes highly recommended for the amateur on a budget.

Pros
  • Six speed settings
  • Telescoping handle
  • Warranty
Cons
  • Fairly cheap construction

ALEKO 690E Electric Variable Speed

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4.1/5 Rating

This sander from Aleko will allow you to take care of a surprising amount of tasks thanks to the telescoping handle.

The variable speed motor allows you to pick a speed suited for your stage in the project, and the overall length before telescoping comes in at only 27” before extension. This will allow you to use the sander nearly anywhere.

The versatility offered by this sander is pretty immense, but it comes in with a little bit cheaper construction than those from bigger brands and might not be suited for professionals.

Luckily, it also easily attaches to a shop vacuum as well.

If you’re looking to take care of just a couple rooms in your home, this budget offering from Aleko is exactly what you need.

Pros
  • Super affordable
  • Telescoping handle
  • Variable speed motor
Cons
  • Cheaper construction
NameSpeedLengthRating 
Porter-Cable 7800 4.7 Amp 1400 to 2000 rpm5’ handle4.7
Aleko 804A Electric Compatible with shop vacuums.Handle telescoping from 27” to 65” 4.4
Power Pro 2100 1000 to 2100rpmHandle telescoping from 48” to 66”4.2
Drywall Sander 750W 1000 to 2000 rpm63” handle4.2
Aleko 690E Electric Variable Speed 1000 to 2000rpmHandle telescoping from 4.1

What is an Electric Drywall Sander?

While it’s not recommended that you take a standard palm or DA sander to drywall, there are some devices out there invented specifically to speed up the process of sanding drywall.

In general, you’ll find that drywall sanders are attached to poles and come with a dust collection system. Both of these are pretty much required features, otherwise you’re going to have to mess around with ladders and the fine dust generated by a power sander will permeate your entire home.

Do not use a regular electric sander to do drywall. You’ll quickly find yourself choked with dust and they’re hard to position along the edges in order to smooth out the compound you’ve laid down.

Dust is your main enemy anytime you’re working with mud, electric sanders can aggravate this by tearing off smaller particles of drywall and sending them airborne. Even if you’re using a specialty sander, it’s a good idea to make sure you have at least a paper face mask, although a filter mask is preferable.

A specialty drywall sander will allow you to reduce dusk and get the job done right.

What Types of Electric Drywall Sander Are There?

For the most part, you’ll find that these sanders are separated by the length of their poles and the power of the vaccum attached. Keep in mind that a drywall sander uses a lot of power, since you’ll be both sucking up dust and running the sander itself.

Most of them will require an external vacuum in order to gather dust while you’re working. For the most part, any shop vacuum will work.

Variable speed sanders are particularly useful for the home craftsman, allowing you to use higher speeds to quickly eat through large portions of mud and lower ones to get everything smooth afterwards.

This choice can be vital if you’re working in tight quarters where dust will accumulate. Lower speeds will slow the air contamination with mudding dust.

There are also sanders with telescoping handles which allow you to extend the pole to a desired length. Telescoping handles are particularly useful in hallways and small rooms, since you can shorten things up while you’re working on the main portion of the wall and extend it when you need to get the ceiling.

What are the Advantages of an Electric Drywall Sander?

The primary advantage offered over hand sanding is speed.

You’ll be able to make short work of an afternoon long job with an electric sander. The problem with those that aren’t specialized for the purpose is that all of the time you saved will be taken back up while you have to sweep, vacuum and generally gather dust from everywhere in the house.

Plaster dust travels extremely far, so be sure to seal up the room even if you’re using a specialty sander. Masking tape can make a good seal if your doors don’t have thresholds at the bottom and will come up without leaving any residue when you’re done.

It’s also possible, with some skill, to end up with a smoother final finish than you’d be able to achieve with sandpaper. This comes from the additional power allowed by the electric motor, and you’ll need to make short circular motions in order to achieve it.

Don’t think that they can replace skilled sanding, or even replace having to use sandpaper entirely, but they’ll get the bulk of the work done in a hurry and allow you to focus on the areas that truly need an artisan touch like the edges where ceilings and walls meet.

You’ll also find that it takes a huge amount of the manual effort of finishing the wall up out of the equation. It might not seem like it to someone who’s never been there, but sanding drywall is hard work.

You’ll find that an electric drywall sander saves time and effort at this vital stage of your project, even when it comes to clean up.

Features to Compare

Now we can get into the fun stuff.

The first thing you’ll want to do is measure the room you plan on working in. This might seem backwards, but you won’t be able to use an exceptionally long drywall sander in a room that it’s too big to fit into.

Try to leave yourself several feet on each side. In hallways, this isn’t going to be quite as important since you generally won’t have trouble working along the length of it but if there’s only a short passage after a corner you’re going to want to check the length.

You can, of course, always step into the room after the corner and use the sander from there, but this will open the room to the dust generated.

After you’ve made sure you can work in the room, check the speed of the sander. Most will be variable speed, and this is important if you’re looking to minimize clean up afterwards. Use the lower setting to finish up, and the higher setting to “cut” when there’s still ridges.

Lower settings will cut slower, which means you’ll be able to avoid cutting through the tape as long as you’re careful.

The weight is also an important factor, go as light as you can while meeting the rest of your needs. The job will be done much quicker with an electric sander, but it’s still going to take a good amount of time and wielding a heavy sander will get old fast.

Surprisingly, how hard you on tools will effect how durable of a sander you’ll need more than the job itself. It’s fairly “light-duty” work as far as the tool itself is concerned but some people are just hard on tools.

If that’s you, make sure you have one that’s a bit tougher than most of the others on the market in order to ensure it lasts.

Lastly, check to make sure you can adapt your vacuum to the sander and that the length is suitable. If you have a lightweight shop vacuum you should be able to drag it along with the sander as you go, but a longer hose will keep you from being tethered to just one spot.

Keep the above in mind before making your purchase, and you’ll end up with something that will help you more than you can imagine when it comes to the final stages of your drywall project.

Safety with Sanders

While they’re not quite as intimidating as table saws or drills, there are some precautions you need to make sure are taken care of when you’re using your sander.

Goggles are an absolute necessity. Try to find a pair that seals to the face and try to avoid using plain safety glasses if you can. The first time you blink with gypsum dusted eyelashes you’ll know why you need full coverage over your eyes.

Truthfully, the dust is unlikely to actually damage your eyes in a serious way, but it will get irritating in short order.

The other thing to make sure that you have on hand is a filter mask of some sort. Coughing up drywall dust is an uncomfortable experience and it will quickly coat your lungs and sinuses when in the air. The vacuum should keep it to a minimum, but you’re still going to have to deal with some of it.

Finally, while the dust quite rarely irritates the skin, it’s always a good idea to wear heavy clothing and gloves while you’re getting your sanding done. You’ll be glad for it when it comes time to get everything off.

There’s even hoods you can buy to keep it out of your hair, and these are a great investment for those who have longer hair.

References

  1. http://www.familyhandyman.com/drywall/drywall-sanding-tips-and-techniques/view-all
  2. http://www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-drywall-sanders.php
  3. http://www.safetyonline.com/doc/drywall-workers-alerted-to-dangers-of-dust-0001

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