While sanding drywall is one of the most tedious parts of drywall installation, it’s a necessary evil.
Luckily there are many tools on the market to make sanding a more manageable and less messy process. So whether you’re looking for a sander that’s easy on the budget or one that helps eliminate airborne dust particles, we’ve got you covered.
Top Factors To Consider When Choosing A Drywall Sander
If you’re wondering if you need a sander that’s specifically for drywall, it depends. If you’re finishing a small area, you can get away with something like a sanding block.
However, if you’re sanding an entire room or looking for a professional option, you’ll need a tool tailored to drywall finishing.
Types Of Drywall Sanders
There are many types of drywall sanders, and the best fit for you will depend upon your project.
Here are the main types of drywall sanders:
Pole Sanders – Pole sanders are pretty simple. They have a head you attach your sanding pad or sanding screen to and a large pole that makes reaching high places easier. Pole sanders are very inexpensive but require manual sanding.
Orbital Sander – Orbital drywall sanders are handheld and sometimes come with a vacuum bag for dust collection. These sanders are power tools, but since they’re handheld, they make reaching tall walls and ceilings hard to do without a ladder or special extension tool.
Dustless Turbo Drywall Sanders – These power sanders come with a vacuum extension to collect dust as you sand, making clean up so much easier. These tools are perfect if you need to reach high areas or if you do many drywall jobs.
Portable Cable or Cordless Sander – These sanders are what professionals often use. They can be handheld or connected to a telescopic pole.
Speed and Motor Power
Electric drywall sanders are the way to go when you need to get a job done quickly. However, since they come with various motor powers, choosing one can be confusing.
At a minimum, you’ll want a drywall sander with five amps and 600 watts.
A lot of the electric drywall sanders also have variable speeds. This is important if you need to be more aggressive in certain spots.
These speeds typically range from about 500 rpm up to 2,200 rpm.
If you’re interested in a cordless drywall sander, they almost always come with a 20-volt battery. You’ll also want to look at the amp hour, which will tell you how long the battery will last.
Reach and Weight
Reach and weight is significant when selecting a drywall sander – especially when you need to sand the entire room.
Standard pole sanders are great for reaching high but take more muscle since they’re not electric. Handheld sanders can save you some work, but you’ll need a ladder to reach high places.
Electric sanders with a telescopic pole or portable sanders are the best for finishing ceilings and tall walls without overexerting yourself.
Sanding Discs vs Screens
The majority of drywall sanders use inexpensive hook and loop discs. You can find these discs in 60 to 240 grits.
A great benefit of hook and loop discs is that they’re extremely easy to change.
There is a con to them, though: they can easily clog. A great alternative is sanding screens.
Sanding screens are reusable and don’t clog as easily. You can often find these for pole sanders, but it can be hard to find sanding screens for other types of drywall sanding tools.
If you’re looking for a great overall drywall sander that will get the job done without costing you hundreds of dollars, consider the WEN 6369 drywall sander.
This sander has variable speeds, a 5 amp motor, and a 15-foot dust hose. The variable speeds go from 600 to 1500 RPMs.
The WEN 6369 works with hook and loop sanding discs and comes with six discs ranging from 60 to 240 grits.
And since this sander has automatic dust removal, you can eliminate the normal dust particles in the air caused by sanding. The telescopic body reaches up to five feet, and the vacuum hose reaches 15 feet.
Automatic dust removal with a 15-foot hose
Automatically adjusts to being flush against the wall
If you’re working on a small job or just want the best bang for your buck, go with the Hyde Tools Dust-Free Vacuum Sander. It’s incredibly inexpensive and will make your job go smoother.
This model is a hand sander with a vacuum attachment. It has a six-foot hose that will attach to any wet-dry vacuum and reduce dust particles by 95%.
This model is also compatible with washable sanding screens, which don’t clog easily and last longer than traditional sandpaper. The downside is that this isn’t electric, so it’s probably best for small jobs.
The six-foot hose attaches to all wet/dry shop vacs
3. Morphon Drywall Sander with Vacuum Bag (Best Handheld Electric Sander)
If you’re looking for the best handheld electric drywall sander, it’s hard to go wrong with Morphon.
The Morphon sander is available on Amazon and comes standard with a variable speed motor with six settings. It also has a vacuum bag attached, so you don’t need to worry about connecting it to a shop vac.
The heavy-duty head has a detachable brush on the perimeter.
The Morphon drywall sander is relatively lightweight at 8 pounds. In addition, it has an ergonomic handle that can make doing large jobs a little easier.
Variable six-speed motor
Automatic dust extraction (no need to hookup to shop vac)
The Dewalt 20V cordless drywall sander is the most expensive on our list and is the type of sander professionals often use.
This cordless drywall sander is compatible with Dewalt batteries and chargers. It has a variable speed dial and a brushless motor.
And the most significant benefit of using this is the adjustable telescopic wand that can help you reach tall walls and ceilings.
With that said, the Dewalt cordless drywall sander has its pitfalls – mainly because you have to buy separate accessories. It does not come with a vacuum system but has a hookup for the Dewalt dust extractor.
You also have to buy batteries and chargers separately.
Variable speed dial
Long, telescopic wand
Hook and loop sandpaper
You need to purchase the dust extractor separately
You need to buy the battery and charger separately
Our last pick is a tried and true pole sander. Because as simple as traditional pole sanders are, they get the job done and are easy on the wallet.
To complete a pole sander, you generally have to buy the head and pole separately. And, that’s the case for the Warner pole sander head.
This pole sander head is a swivel, making it easier to keep flush without rocking. The head is 9 inches long and 3.25 inches wide, so you can use any standard sheet of sandpaper. It will fit any ¾ inch pole.
If you’re working on a small area, you can get the job done with a sanding block, pole sander, or handheld sander. However, if you’re working on a bigger space and want the best bang for your buck, consider a drywall sander like the WEN 6369.
This sander has a dust extraction system, can help you reach high areas, and won’t cost you a fortune.