Best Sanders for Furniture

Are you looking for the best sander for furniture? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re a professional or a DIYer, having the right tool when sanding furniture can make all the difference in getting the results you want and in making your life easier.

From orbital sanders to detail sanders, there are plenty of options available for furniture sanders on the market today. In this blog post, we will compare some of the top-rated sanders for working with furniture so that you can make an informed decision and pick one that best suits your needs and budget.

different sanders for furniture lined up with text overlay

If you’re planning on refinishing any furniture in the near future, you’re going to need a good sander. A quality sander will make the job much easier and help you achieve a professional-looking finish.

Click here to subscribe

But with so many different types and brands of sanders on the market, it can be difficult to know what is the best sander for furniture… for YOUR furniture.

Today we’re sharing our top picks for sanders and what to look for when shopping for one.

So whether you’re in the market for your first sander or are just looking to upgrade, read on for some helpful tips.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Best Sander for Refinishing Furniture

surfprep 3x4" electric ray sander

SurfPrep Electric Ray 3×4″ Sander

The SurfPrep 3×4″ Electric Ray is overall the best sander for refinishing furniture because of its versatility, small size, and how little it vibrates.

Even though this sander is pricey, at around $600, it covers all of the bases and does everything you need a sander to do when you’re painting furniture.

I personally held off from buying it for a long time because of the price tag. And when I first bought it, I was so nervous about it being worth it.

But now, 3 years later, it’s one of the few tools I wouldn’t want to live without, especially for large pieces of furniture and projects.

Watch this review video to see the SurfPrep Sander in action.

Read my honest review on the SurfPrep sander and if it’s worth it in this post. I recently helped my sister paint her kitchen cabinets, and it was a lifesaver for her.

surfprep 3x4" sander with foam sanding sponge

Pros:

  • Attaches to a shop vacuum or dust collector for a dust-free workspace
  • Is smaller and more lightweight compared to other power sanders
  • Quieter than any other sander I’ve used
  • Foam pads can be attached to sand details, curves, and grooves (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.)
  • Its rectangular shape makes it easy to get into corners

Check out our blog post about how to sand curved surfaces to learn more about SurfPrep foam sanding pads.

Cons:

  • It is pricey at around $600
  • Other sanders are more powerful at removing paint or stain
  • The foam pads are expensive

Where To Buy SurfPrep Sander

This post on what you need to get started with a SurfPrep sander is really helpful and talks about what I use with my SurfPrep sander.

Best Budget Sander for Furniture with Vacuum Attachment

Ryobi corner cat sander

Ryobi Corner Cat Detail Sander

This Ryobi detail sander is the best budget sander because you can attach a vacuum to it, and it works with SurfPrep sander’s foam pads.

It’s not a name brand, but it’s a great alternative SurfPrep sander if you’re on a budget, but you want the big features of the SurfPrep sander.

Check out this post on this SurfPrep sander alternative for more information.

Watch the end of our SurfPrep review video to learn more about this setup.

And then check out our post on the best sanders to remove paint to see how it compared to a couple of these other sanders when removing paint from a piece of furniture.

Also, here’s my list of the best detail sanders that you should check out.

Pros:

  • Can attach a shop vac or dust collector to it with an adapter (Double check that the adapter fits your shop vac hose and the sander port!)
  • Budget friendly!!
  • Can attach SurfPrep foam pads to it to sand details and curves (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.)
  • Easy to hold
  • The shape makes it easy to get into corners

Cons:

  • About the same weight and size as other power sanders
  • The foam pads don’t fit it exactly, but they do work
  • Other sanders are more powerful at removing paint or stain

Where To Buy Ryobi Corner Cat Detail Sander

Best Orbital Sander for Furniture

Dewalt 5" orbital sander

Dewalt Orbital Sander

Before I bought the SurfPrep sander, I used this Dewalt orbital sander when I needed to remove paint or stain from flat surfaces

It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles the other sanders have, but it is more powerful and can remove paint and stain faster.

Check out this comparison between Rotex Sander vs Orbital Sander and learn more about their features and functions as well as how they differ.

Pros:

  • Removes paint and stain faster than the other sanders
  • Budget friendly!!
  • Can attach a shop vac or dust collector to it with an adapter (Double check that the adapter fits your shop vac hose and the sander port!)
  • Can attach SurfPrep foam pads to sand curves and details (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.)

Cons:

  • The round shape makes it hard to get into corners
  • Only good for flat surfaces
  • Since it’s more aggressive, it can leave sanding swirls in the wood more
  • I’ve owned at least 2 of these because they end up dying after a year or two

Where To Buy Dewalt Orbital Sander

Best Sander for Furniture Restoration

Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander

Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander

The Festool RTS 400 REQ sander is one of my new favorite sanders. It’s a powerful and versatile sander that is easy to use.

I love the rectangle shape that allows it to get into tight corners, while its built-in dust extraction system keeps the workspace cleaner.

It has all the bells and whistles, but it is pricier than the last 2 sanders mentioned here. You’ll have to weigh the cost and see if it is the right sander for you.

Learn more about this sander in our Festool RTS 400 REQ sander review and our SurfPrep VS Festool sander review.

Pros:

  • Rectangle shape makes it easy to sand into corners.
  • Has a built-in dust extraction system with some suction of its own!!
  • Works well with SurfPrep foam pads (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.)
  • Removes paint very quickly and efficiently
  • Can attach to a shop vac or dust collector, with either the Festool hose.
  • Quieter than most electric sanders
  • Isn’t as jumpy as other sanders
  • Cheaper than SurfPrep sander

Cons: 

  • Not cheap, around $300
  • Slightly heavier and larger than the SurfPrep 3×4

Where To Buy Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander

Best Sander for Removing Paint from Wood

Festool Rotex 125 Sander

The Festool Rotex 125

Last but not least, I want to share 1 more sander with you. The Festool Rotex 125 is also a great sander for furniture. It is a bit pricey coming in around almost $600.

But, the Festool Rotex 125 is more aggressive than other sanders, and it can more easily cut through paint and stain on furniture. But, it also has a regular (fine) setting where it sands like a regular sander!

I have personally tested out this sander, and it is absolutely AMAZING on the coarse setting. Compared to the Festool RTS 400 REQ, the Rotex 125 sanded off a finish on a table in half the amount of time!

Here is our full Festool Rotex 125 Review for you to learn more about this amazing sander.

For additional information, head on over to our post about the best Festool sander for furniture.

Pros:

  • More aggressive than other sanders, so it can remove paint and stain faster
  • Easily attach to a vacuum or dust collector with the Festool hose.
  • Can attach SurfPrep foam pads to sand curves and details, but they don’t have holes (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
  • Built well and will last many many many years
  • Has a fine setting to sand like a regular sander
  • The pad is 5″, so it covers a lot of area.

Cons:

  • The price tag is high at around $600
  • The round shape makes it hard to get into corners.
  • Since they’re more aggressive, they can leave more sanding swirls in the wood, and be harder to control.

Where To Buy Festool Rotex 125

Click here to subscribe

What is the Best Sander for Furniture?

The best sander for furniture is one that fits your personal needs and one that can sand every type of furniture.

Most furniture has grooves, curves, extra little details, and corners that can be hard for some sanders to get into. With different types of sanders for furniture, it can be difficult which one to choose.

If your furniture is completely flat, you’re in luck, and you can use almost any sander that fits in your hand. But if you still need more information, check out the best hand sander for furniture here.

Overall, the very best sander for furniture, in my opinion, is the SurfPrep 3×4″ sander.

It can get into corners, grooves, and details, and it can remove paint and stain from furniture (it’s not the fastest, but it can sand down to bare wood.) And it attaches to a vacuum.

Check out my SurfPrep Vacuum POV-8 review here to learn all about it and if it’s the right investment for you. Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.

surfprep 3x4" sander

But, if you have a small budget, the SurfPrep sander isn’t going to be the best for you. The next best sander for furniture, in my opinion, is the Ryobi detail sander because it’s so versatile!

ryobi detail sander

If you are only interested in removing paint or stain on a flat surface, an orbital sander is the best option because it’s more aggressive.

If you need the best sander for removing paint or stain, an orbital sander is the best. But they are best for only surfaces that don’t have corners to get into.

Dewalt orbital sander is a great budget-friendly orbital sander. But if you want a more aggressive and longer-lasting sander, a Festool Rotex 125 is a better option.

dewalt orbital sander

Last, but definitely not least, the Festool RTS 400 REQ is a runner up to the SurfPrep 3×4 in my opinion. It is still pricey, but the rectangle shape makes it easy to sand in corners, and it sands quickly.

What Grit Sandpaper for Scuff Sanding?

220 grit sandpaper is the best for scuff sanding furniture before painting. It’s not too coarse, so it doesn’t scratch the finish too much, and it’s not too fine either.

diablo sandnet 220 grit sanding disc

When you scuff sand, you just want to scuff the surface up enough that you remove the sheen from the old finish and roughen up the surface to help the paint stick.

What Grit Sandpaper to Remove Stain from Wood?

To remove stain or paint from wood, start with 80 grit sandpaper to cut through the paint or stain faster.

Once most of the old finish is gone, use 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and finish removing the old finish.

Then use 180 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface a little more, and then use 220 to finish it off.

Moving through the grits one at a time will help prevent sanding swirls that can be left behind after too much aggressive sanding. Here is the variety pack of sandnet sandpaper I use.

diablo sandnet sanding disc variety of grits

If you’re working with furniture that has a wood veneer, start with 100-grit sandpaper instead. (Then move to 150 and finally 220 grit sandpaper.)

Veneer is easy to accidentally sand through because it’s so thin. Once you go through it, there isn’t any going back, and you can’t stain it without that area sticking out like a sore thumb.

What Sandpaper to Use on Furniture?

All of these sanders have hook and loop on their pads for easy adhesion and removal of hook and loop sandpaper.

The best sandpaper I have found for these sanders is either Diablo sanding discs or SurfPrep’s sanding abrasives. Learn more about sandpaper for furniture painting here.

Sanding Screens

If I am trying to remove the stain and topcoat, or the paint on furniture, I reach for either Diablo’s Sand Net screens or SurfPrep’s sanding screens most often.

Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.

Actually, I prefer these for everything.

diablo sand net screen and surfprep screen sheets

Screens don’t get clogged up as easily as sandpaper or film does. It also stays abrasive for longer, so it does a better job of sanding.

Foam Sanding Sponge

My next favorite sandpaper for sanders is the SurfPrep foam sanding sponges.

They come in the 3×4″ size (linked above). But there are also foam sanding sponges for other shapes and brands of sanders. Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.

Check out this post to get more information on SurfPrep Sanding Sponges.

Learn more about why these foam sanding sponges are a must have in your tool box, in our post about foam sanding pads for electric sanders.

surfprep 1/2" foam sponges in different shapes

Sandpaper

Next up is SurfPrep’s film sheets or Diablo’s sanding discs. Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order at SurfPrep.

They are quality sandpaper for power sanders (not cheap sandpaper that doesn’t work well.)

diablo sanding disc and surfprep sanding film sheets

They don’t rip and tear like regular sandpaper does, and they stay abrasive longer than regular sandpaper.

Diablo’s sanding discs come in the 5″ orbital size, but I still stick them on my 3×4″ SurfPrep and let the excess overhang. haha

There are a lot of different sanders on the market, but not all of them are created equal.

When choosing the best sander for furniture refinishing project, it’s important to consider your needs and budget.

We hope this post has helped you narrow down your choices and find the perfect sander for your project!

More Sanding Furniture Resources

Click here to subscribe

Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture. Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!

Different power sanders for furniture
SurfPrep 5" orbital sander

5 Comments

  1. Hello. I love your website and Facebook posts. I want to order the SurfPrep sander, but I’m confused about what kind of pads or screens I should order. I’m gong to be stripping paint and refinishing smaller pieces of furniture like the ones I’ve seen you do. I watched a lot of your videos and am still confused. Do I need screens with a sponge to sand? I want to order everything at once because I hate paying for shipping. I hope you can give me some suggestions. Thank you.

    1. Here are the things that I use the most.
      For removing old finishes 80 grit, 100 grit, 150 grit and 220 grit sanding screens. For curves I use the coarse 1/2 foam pads and then the medium 1/2 foam pads.
      If you buy the flexible interface pad (grey) you can use it similar to the foam pad. Stick the interface pad to the sander, then stick whatever sanding screen you want on the interface pad. It turns the screen into a foam pad. But, it’s not as flexible as the foam pads.

      For scuff sanding before painting I use 220 grit sanding screens for flat surfaces. For curves I use the medium plus 1/2″ foam pads.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Happy to hear it! Best of luck with your projects!

  3. Marie Raimondo says:

    Thank you for your help. I am new to this and can use all the help I can get.

    1. So glad you’re here! We have a lot of resources to help you through your journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *