We thought we should check out what sanding attachments are available that you can add to your drill. First up we would like to say that if you are someone who will be doing a lot of work with wood, then please just invest in a good sanding tool.
The most popular are the random orbital sanders. You can read about those by clicking here.
The attachments available for drills work fine, but they are really only suitable for doing basic and quick jobs. They should not be used as replacements for people who need to do a lot of sanding work.
Standard Sanding Attachment for a Drill
That said let’s have a look at what the different sanding attachments are, and what you can actually use them for. The most popular are the circular pad type that get placed into the chuck of the drill. Have a look at the image below to see what they look like.
The metal part (shank) at the bottom goes into the chuck and then pads are attached to the surface, which in this case happens to be made from a rubber material.
That part is known as the backing pad and these types of sanding attachments can be used with any type of drill.
They vary in size but the most popular is one with a 2″ diameter. They cost around $5 and will hold certain types of pads. You buy one of these and then you can get different types and grades of pads which are attached to the rubber
Disc Sander Kits
These are becoming more popular and I like these a lot. They fit all types of drills which is always useful and they come with a set of different discs that you can use for things like removing paint, and sanding woods and metals.
These are ideal for the smaller jobs around the home and for any type of light sanding.
Here is what a typical reviewer said about these sanding discs and it is something that is absolutely spot on the mark,
As you see it is similar to what I have been saying about the difference between buying a stand alone sander, or making the choice to get a small attachment, and using your drill.
These will do the job nicely for most people and helps avoid the expense of buying something like a rotary or orbital sander.
Sanding Drum Kits
Not many people will be familiar with these and I knew little about them until I saw a friend using them in his workshop. They are not too badly priced at around $12-15 and they also make a great gift for a DIY type of person.
I am sure you will agree it is a neat looking piece of kit and looks great in the box as well. You will however really only need these if you are into turning or doing intricate scrolls. They have rubber drums and you attach the sandpaper sleeves to them and this allows you to then work with wood and shape it.
These work best if you can fit them into a drill press and then bring the wood to the drill. It just makes the whole process steadier to work from and a lot more secure.
They are also really useful if you are working with smaller wooden parts. You can see how to use one of these in a drill press and it really does make a world of difference.
Black & Decker Matrix Sander
You can also get what are referred to as matrix sanders such as the one pictured below from the brand Black & Decker. Just be careful though as almost always these will only attach to certain brands, and indeed certain styles within the brand.
Depending on which pads you want to use, these can then be used for sanding, rust removal, scrubbing, polishing and various types of detailed or finished sanding. Like many of the sanding products they use what is called a “hook and loop” paper attachment system.
Should You Just Get A Proper Sander Instead?
I think that you should, and I own a couple myself. Clearly drills are designed to drill holes and even though they can be used with a variety of attachments, they do not always work that well. That is certainly how I feel about these type of sanding attachments.
Actual sanding machines are not that crazy expensive and it does no harm to have one of them in your tool kit if you can afford around $30. You can check out my reviews here on the best sanders.
So what types are available and which type should you go for. Have a look at the video below and you will be much better informed. The video lasts 5 minutes and s well worth a watch.
So as you can see the one you pick will come down to what you want to use it for.
- Belt Sanders – ideal for what is termed rough sanding and paint removal
- Random Orbit Sander – smoothing out moderate to rough surfaces
- 1/4 Sheet Finishing sander – the one that you need to use for the perfect finish
So as the video will inform you there are three stages to sanding which are rough, preparation and finish. So do you need all three types to be able to do all of your jobs?
These vary in price from around $50 to $250 depending on what you are willing to pay. The one that I have shown here is the Makita 9403 model. That is one at the higher end, but also very high quality.
This is the ideal sander for making boards flat and doing it quickly. If you have big jobs to so that will require a lot of sanding then this is the best choice for you.
They are also really good at doing shapes and making finer adjustments to curved surfaces.
Those who work with wood, especially floors, should have one of these in their kit. These are classed as heavy duty sanders, and they are good at quickly removing wood.
They can also be adjusted for those finer finishing touches. You can check out my reviews on the best belt sanders by clicking here.
Random Orbit Sanders
These are cheaper and cost around $30-75. The one I have shown here is from Black&Decker and it is the most popular choice for many users. They are neat little sanders that get the work done pretty quickly.
Rather than having to worry about a drill attachment, you have a nice grip and can stay focused on the actual sanding rather than worrying about a wobbling disc.
They can be used for many different types of work and use hook and loop fasteners for the pads.
They also have a built-in dust extraction system which is really useful and easy to detach and empty. Just be careful not to apply too much pressure. You can check out my full reviews on the best random orbital sanders by clicking here.
1/42 Sheet Palm Finishing Sander
Again these cost around $50-99 for a good quality product. The one I have shown here is from Makita and it comes with a nice tool box for storage. So if you are someone who is into perfection and want a complete smooth finish then this is the one for you.
It takes 1/4 of a sheet of sandpaper which is how it got its name. Some people will cut up a sheet of sandpaper but these days, the smaller sheets can be bought in packs of different grades of paper.
That just makes things more convenient. They clip on to the bottom of the sander and they make a beautiful finish.
This particular model is a big seller for this type of sander.
By now you should know what types of sanding attachments are available for your drill. I have also showed you the options of buying a sander instead and what types are available.
I have a couple of attachments that I carry when out on a job, but just use different actual sanders in my workshop depending on what I am doing. I also have a cordless sander which I prefer to use, rather than an attachment for a drill.
It is just a matter of having the right tool for the job.