Best Sanders For Decks2018-08-14T19:47:35+00:00

Top Sanders For Decks Reviewed

sanders for decks reviewedAre you currently refinishing your deck and want it to look its absolute best?

A high-quality sander is critical to the overall appearance of your deck and will make it look and feel more professional, rather than like the aftermath of an unskilled homeowner.

Finding a deck sander that best fits your needs can be difficult on a competitive marketplace full of options. That’s why we’ve selected the top belt sanders for you. Once you invest in one of these, you’ll be happy to see the high-quality results on your finished project.

Benefits Of A Belt Sander For Decks

Sanding a deck with a belt sander is the best option for wooden decks. Because these areas are completely flat surfaces that don’t have too many corners, sharp edges or narrow spaces, a belt sander with a wide belt is the best tool to cover the surface easily and efficiently.

Belt sanders are bigger than small or compact sanders, so they are perfect for large areas such as decks. They are also reasonably easy to manage and control if used properly and if you are working with a quality tool. They can also run for long periods of time without having to charge or rest, which is not always the case with smaller models.

Deck Sander Comparison Table

We’ve reviewed some of the best sanders for decks available, to help you find the right one. We go over each one in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick feature comparison:

Top Choice
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Reviews
Price
$227.00
Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control
Reviews
Price
$324.99
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles
Reviews
Price
$127.99
PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Reviews
Price
$169.00

Picking the Best Belt Sander for Your Project

Because sanding is such an important step in deck refinishing, it’s critical to find a quality belt sander that’s efficient, durable, and long lasting. Some are better for deck sanding specifically more than others, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to buy the wrong one.

Here are our top picks for quality sanders for decks that you can trust to enhance the look of your project and make your renovation process go smoother.

To help you choose the right tool for your specific needs, we’ve reviewed the four best sanders for decks available.

1. Makita 9403 4in x 24in Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Makita 9403 Belt Sander review

The Makita 9403 Belt Sander

This sander is standard in the industry and a reliable choice that will get the job done. It has a 4-inch wide belt and a speed of 1,640 feet per minute. It’s built with a large front grip, so beginners aren’t struggling to keep it upright while using it. At a reasonable 13 pounds, this sander is not too heavy and easier to hold than bigger models.

It also has a large dust bag that has a 360-degree rotation designed to minimize particles blocking your sight while using the sander. Its electric cord is located on the top of the machine, which is a huge convenience – nothing is worse than using electric technology with one hand and having to hold a cord in the other. The Makita manufacturers ensure that this product’s cord is out of the way so that you can sand easily.

If noise is uncomfortable to you, this sander is the quietest of its kind. Although this sander is guaranteed to hold up for multiple uses, it also comes with a 1-year warranty. This sander is your best option as it offers all the important components at a decent rate.

Makita 9403 Pros

  • Solid Grip
  • Standard features
  • Wide belt
  • Powerful
  • Quietest

Makita 9403 Cons

  • Less powerful than some other options on the market


Sale
Makita 9403 4' x 24' Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
257 Reviews
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
  • Quietest belt sander in its class: only 84 decibals
  • 4-inch-wide belt with a speed of 1,640 feet per minute for fast material removal
  • Labyrinth construction seals motor and bearings from contamination
  • Large front grip is positioned for operator comfort
  • 13 pounds; 1-year warranty

2. Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control

Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander review

The Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander

This is a heavy-duty, powerful sander that’s geared towards experienced users. Its 3.4 amp sander allows for a stronger sanding rate and maximum speed. Its enormous ½ sheet sanding pad is ideal for decks, allowing the user to cover a lot of surface area in a short period of time. It’s strong but sturdy and automatically in control, with the ability to control its vibrations and move steadily. It’s built in suspension system exclusive to Bosch models makes this model easy to control and handle.

The Bosch OS50VC also comes with a Sheetloc clamping system that keeps the sandpaper perfectly in place. If you’re uncomfortable by its high speed, there is a speed dial that controls its strong movement and can accommodate any type of wood.

Although it doesn’t come with a dust bag, it has a built-in dust canister that collects particles efficiently and is easy to remove and empty when necessary. It’s a little pricier than the standard Makita 9304, but it’s one of the most efficient and trustworthy options available.

Bosch OS50VC Pros

  • Extremely powerful
  • ½ Sheet
  • Professional
  • Low vibration

Bosch OS50VC Cons

  • Pricier than other options


Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control
58 Reviews
Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control
  • Powerful 3.4-Amp Sander: Allows for higher removal rate and maximum orbital sanding speed
  • Vibration Control: Bosch-exclusive suspension system minimizes vibration for superior handling and maximum comfort
  • Sheetloc Supreme Paper Clamping System: With paper-tensioning system for perfect paper fit- Also accepts stick-on paper
  • Variable-Speed Dial: Allows matching of speed and power to workpiece and task for best performance
  • Translucent microfilter dust canister with integrated paper filter and screw-off cap for easiest emptying

3. Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander review

The Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander

This is the most affordable model on the list that includes the minimum features necessary for a decent sanding job. It has a variable speed dial just like the Bosch model and an elastomer grip handle similar to the Makita 9403 to make it easy to hold and use.

Its small build makes it easy to control, transport, and use freely. It comes packaged with a large dust collection bag that’s easy to slip on and off. Besides its portable size, price, and standard features, this model’s biggest pro is its wear-resistant V-belt that is guaranteed to hold up for twice the service life of this sander.

At its base, it doesn’t come with a sanding belt, but it can be purchased with the belt as a combo deal for an incredibly low price that’s still more affordable than the other options.

Hitachi SB8V2 Pros

  • Well-rounded, standard features
  • Transportable
  • Most affordable
  • Wear-Resistant

Hitachi SB8V2 Cons

  • Smaller sheet
  • Sander belt not included


Sale
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles
172 Reviews
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles
  • Variable speed dial adjusts speed from 820-1,475 ft/min for improved manageability during any operation
  • Soft elastomer grip surface on the main and auxiliary handles for a comfortable and secure hold
  • Tracking window improves visibility of sanding surface and sanding belt during use and belt size is 76 x 533mm(3 x 21 inches)
  • Left-side mounted dust collection bag improves corner sanding applications, while reducing airborne particles to keep work area clean
  • Wear-resistant V-belt drives the sander for double the service life

4. PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander

Porter Cable 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander review

The PORTER-CABLE 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander

The Porter Cable is a 3×21 belt sander that has an all-metal housing, which makes this tool feel solid and sturdy. Although metal, it is technically lighter than tools like the Makita, at a manageable size of 10 lbs. The metal housing also helps the sander remain rigid when working, and it alleviates heat during long periods of use to prevent the machine from overheating. This machine is fantastic at keeping the belt in place and running for long periods of time.

Like the other models, it also comes with a variable speed dial and large cloth bag. This sander stands out because of its capability as a flush sander, which is the sanding of two adjoining surfaces. If your deck has stairs, this tool is small and sturdy enough with a solid belt and ability to reach in corners to efficiently sand these areas. The Porter has a quick-release belt changer, making belt changes easier and quicker.

This model also comes with a three-year warranty, convenient for any new users who are skeptical about this sander’s guaranteed durability.

Porter-Cable 352VS Pros

  • Variable Speed
  • All-Metal Housing
  • Cloth Bag
  • Affordable
  • Flush Sanding
  • 3-year Warranty

Porter-Cable 352VS Cons

  • Doesn’t have the same width and strength as the other options.


Sale
PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
131 Reviews
PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
  • Variable-speed belt sander with cloth dust bag; variable-speed dial 850-1,300 SFPM
  • Belt and gear drive system transfers power from the motor to the sanding belt
  • Designed for flush sanding up to vertical surfaces; dust bag swivels 360 degree
  • Fingertip belt-tracking knob; quick-release belt-change lever
  • Motor is located over platen for maximum performance and perfect balance

The Verdict: What Is the Best Deck Sander?

Although they all have different features with varying positives and disadvantages, these four models are well regarded by professionals as high-quality sanders that are guaranteed to transform your deck with quality. No matter which model you decide to choose, sanding a deck will prove to be an efficient process and rewarding investment.

All around, the Makita 9403 is a great product, but it’s also a tough choice considering that it can’t beat the Bosch’s power, or the Hitachi’s price.

However, out of these four, the overall best choice for an average deck refinishing is the Makita. It boasts the most well rounded features and at quality performance. It has the durability, guaranteed longevity, and power needed for any project, all at an average price that shouldn’t empty anybody’s wallet. It doesn’t hurt that this sander is quiet and has a cord that’s attached from the top so it’s not in the way while sanding.

Sanders For Decks FAQs

Will sanding a deck really make that much of a difference with the finished product?

The short answer is yes. Sanders smooth out harsh surfaces like wood through its sandpaper belt and a process called abrasion. The sander’s bottom is applied over wood that’s had significant damage or wear, stripping it of its upmost layer with a new coat.

A sander is applied before the refreshment phase, and it will completely enhance the smoothness of your porch. If you forego sanding a deck, you’re basically choosing to renovate using tired wood, which will never look as good as a polished deck.

What other types of sanders are there?

Although belt sanders are the best option for wooden decks, there are other types of sanders out there. These can be used in conjunction with the belt sander for a truly phenomenal end product.

Random Orbital Sanders, for instance, are handy tools. Unlike the belt sander that uses rolling paper to sand a surface, the orbital sander uses rotating discs, which not only rotates but also vibrates heavily. This gives a surface a heavy coating without grinding into the wood. These sanders are known for giving a surface the smoothest look possible, as they leave no marks or patterns on a surface. They can also be used for large or small tasks, depending on what your project requires.

You can also look into big sheet sanders, which are small lightweight tools that are good for smaller areas with edges such as stairs. They also won’t wear your arm out quickly because of their small size. However, for working on a large deck, a belt sander or orbital sander is recommended to help you cover the entire area quicker and more efficiently with the machine power needed.

Deck Sanding Video

If you have never sanded a deck before, here is a good YouTube video demonstrating the process: