The 5 Best Air-Powered Straight Line Sanders [Ranked]
A straight line sander vibrates in a straight line, rather than in circles.
It's commonly used for areas in which hand sanding is tedious or "blocking" is required. The majority are air-powered, a couple of them are electric powered (Source).
The straight line sanders we examine here are all air-powered and can provide 3,000 reciprocating strokes per minute.
How Do They Compare?
All are twin piston with the exception of the Astro 888S Short Straight Line Sander, which is single piston (Source).
The Ingersoll Rand straight line sander is one of our top picks. It provides 3,000 reciprocating strokes every minute, generating reliable and smooth power with quick action paper clamps. Its twin pistons ensure that it will not stall so that you can perform accurate, precise leveling and shaping of flat surfaces, and it's two-handle design makes it easy to control when it begins kicking back.
One buyer who works as a woodworking contractor, toiling over furniture and cabinets, says that he has been using this straight line sander for over a year now. He told us that he frequently works on large sanding surfaces, and prefers straight-line sanders to belt sanders because they are much easier for him to control, preventing nicking or damaging the surface material.
Our Top Pick: The Ingersoll Rand IRT315
- POWERFUL SANDING MACHINE: Ingersoll Rand’s 315G Straight Line Air Sander has a twin piston design that keeps extra power in reserve to prevent stalling.
- Provides 3,000 reciprocating strokes per minute
- Easy action paper clamps
- Intersoll Rand buyers say it provides smooth & reliable power
- 2-34" x 17-1/2" pad
- Two handle design for steady vibration operation
- Weighs 6.6 lbs
One buyer that we spoke with who had previous negative experiences purchasing a straight line sander from Harbor Freight at a relatively low price, was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this Ingersoll Rand straight line sander.
They compliment its fast operation and sturdy design, saying that it is a professional-quality tool that is competitively priced.
Another buyer told us that it took a little bit of time and patience to learn, but with 160 PSI feeding into it, once the pressure is regulated down appropriately there are not too many concerns about over-sanding.
Users say that near the base of the handle you will find the air hose attachment- all you'll need to do is thread a compatible quick release nipple directly into the nut. Overall, a quality tool. Let's take a look at 5 other options.
|Straight Line Sanders||Our Rating||Price|
|The Ingersoll Rand Heavy Duty Straight Line Sander||4.1||$$|
|The PowRyte Air-Powered Straight Line Sander||4.3||$|
|The Chicago Pneumatic Heavy Duty Straight Line Sander||5.0||$$|
|The Astro 'Short' Straight Line Sander||4.7||$$|
|The Hustler Straight Line Air Sander||4.5||$$$|
The 5 Best Pneumatic Straight Line Sanders
Ease of Use
This heavy-duty straight line sander offered by Ingersoll Rand is efficient, reliable and well-designed. Users love the durable construction, but some do note that they received a defective unit.
This air line sander measures 3.6 x 16.6 x 6.8 inches, and it has a quick action paper clamps, a 2-34″ x 17-1/2″ pad, a two-handle design for vibration-free work mode, automatic stop trigger release, a 16.8-inch spindle, and a speed of 3000 SPM. It weighs only 6.6 pounds, and it has twin pistons, so you don’t have to worry about stalling.
In general, users have a favorable opinion regarding the Ingersoll air straight line sander, and they praise its performance and functionality. A buyer comments that this straight line air sander is fast, reliable, and well-built. The reviewer also states that the air sander arrived quickly and in perfect condition and that after several months, it’s still working smoothly.
Another happy customer mentions that this is a straight line sander of professional quality and that it’s perfect for long flat surfaces since it doesn’t leave any swirl marks. A happy purchaser shares that he was impressed with the smooth and powerful performance of the Ingersoll air sander and that he would recommend it without a second thought.
However, some customers have complained that the sander tends to overheat after several hours of work. Some users also complain that the straight air sander started to lock up and stall only after a couple of days.
- Quick action clamps
- A two-handle design
- An automatic stop trigger
- Complaints of malfunctioning
- Tends to lock up and stall
Ease of Use
This straight line air sander offered by PowRyte is powerful, effective, easy-to-use, and well-constructed. Users love the price, but some do note that it’s not as powerful as they expected.
This air straight-line sander measures 16.1 x 6.3 x 2.8 inches, and it has a twin piston design, a 16-inch long backing pad, tensioned spring clamps, two-handle design for vibration-free work, a weight of 5.8 pounds, and a speed of 3000 SPM. The recommended operating pressure is 90 PSI with a ¼-inch air inlet. Overall, this is a cheap, but powerful straight air sander made of metal, so it’s suitable for any homeowner.
As a whole, users are pleased with the PowRyte air sander, and they agree that this is a durable and efficient sanding tool. A buyer comments that he has been using this straight line sander for a couple of years and that he is very impressed with its quality and performance.
He would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive air sander. Another happy user mentions that the sander works smoothly even after hours of continuous work and that the handle is firmly attached. The reviewer also states that this straight line sander doesn’t use too much air and that he is very pleased with the achieved results.
However, a customer has complained that he received a defective tool and that the screws had already fallen out. The user shares that he doesn’t expect this sander to last very long.
- A twin piston design
- A 16-inch pad
- Tensioned clams
- A two-handle design
- Complaints of malfunctioning
Ease of Use
If you are looking for a top-rated heavy duty straight line sander, you might take a look at this straight air sander offered by Chicago Pneumatic.
Users love the quiet work mode, but some do note that it’s expensive. This twin piston straight line sander measures 15.7 x 5 x 2.2 inches, and it has a speed of 3000 SPM, a CP pinch guard for protection, easy to attach abrasive clamps, a comfortable handle and trigger, a ¼-inch air inlet, and a weight of 6 lbs. The air consumption is 8.5 CFM and the cushioned pad measures 2-3/4-inch x 17-1/2- inches.
In general, users have a very high opinion of the Chicago twin piston straight line air sander, and they praise its lightweight design and durable construction.
A buyer comments that he was very surprised how smoothly this air sander worked and that he can comfortably use it for hours without tiring. Another pleased customer stated that this compact straight line sander performed beyond his expectation and he would recommend it to anyone looking for the best air sander available. A satisfied purchaser also mentions that the heavy-duty straight line sander works quietly and that he has been using it for almost two years without any issues or complaints.
The reviewer also says that if you use this air sander properly, it leaves a completely flat and smooth surface. However, one customer has noted that the clips that hold the sandpaper are too tight and it can be difficult to flip them.
The Chicago Pneumatic Sander Video Review
- Twin piston design
- A pinch guard
- Easy-to-attach clamps
- Tight clips
Ease of Use
This straight line air sander offered by Astro is compact, light and useful for confined and hard-to-reach places. Users love the size, but some do note that it gets stuck from time to time. This small air sander has a single piston handle design, a speed of 3000 strokes per minute, a weight of 4 pounds and a 2-3/4″ x 11″ sanding paper.
The Astor straight line sander measures 14 x 7 x 3.5 inches, and the sound pressure is 89 dBA, while the sound power is 98 dBA and the vibration is less than 2.5 m/s24.
As a whole, users are extremely satisfied with the performance, usefulness, and durability of the Astro compact air sander. A buyer comments that this is a perfect choice if you need to sand some difficult-to-reach areas and that it works more smoothly than he expected.
Another reviewer mentions that it’s very easy to maneuver with this small straight line sander and that it doesn’t leave any swirl marks. He would recommend it to anyone who needs a cheap air sander. A happy user also shares that this is the best straight line sander that he has ever owned and that it’s made of high-quality material.
However, one customer has complained that there are no clamps for the sanding paper.
- Perfect for hard-to-reach areas
- Single piston design
- No clamps
- Gets stuck
Ease of Use
If you need an efficient air sander, you might want to consider the Hutchins straight air sander. Users love the sturdy construction, but some do note that it’s expensive.
The Hutching straight line sander measures 17.1 x 6.4 x 3.4 inches, and it has two inline cylinders, double rack-and-pinion gear assemblies, a speed of 3000 SPM, a 2 3/4 x 16- inch pad, a weight of 7 lbs, and the air consumption is only 6.2 CFM. Overall, this is a straight line air sander of high-quality and price, and it’s made in the USA.
Overall, users agree that this is the best straight line air sander available, and they praise its efficiency, usefulness, and powerfulness. A buyer comments that he is immensely impressed with the Hutchins air sander and that it’s fast, well-balanced and well-made.
The reviewer states that this is the perfect choice for anyone that wants an air sander that will last for years without breaking. A happy customer mentions that he owned one of these straight line air sanders for 15 years and he couldn’t have been more satisfied with its performance. The reviewer also states that it worked flawlessly and that it rarely got stuck.
Another purchaser shares that he chose this air sander after tremendous research on the Internet and that it worked far better than he expected. However, one customer has complained that this straight line sander looks cheap and he is disappointed by its performance.
Oiling The Hutchins Pneumatic Sander
- Two inline cylinders
- Double rack-and-pinion gear assemblies
- High-quality material
- Low air consumption
Types of Sanders
In general, a sander is a type of power tool that is designed to smooth surfaces using sandpaper abrasion. Sanders let you attach sandpaper to the mechanism in some fashion and then rapidly move it, and are often powered by compressed air.
- Belt sander (can be stationary or hand-held)
- Oscillating spindle sander: A sander installed on a spindle that both rotates and oscillates out and in or down and up across the axis of the spindle. Great for sanding curves and contours that could be challenging with manual or orbital sanding.
- Random orbital sander: The random-orbit sander is very similar to an orbital sander except that the random-orbit tool has a round pad whereas the regular issue orbital sander has a square sanding pad. The way it works, is that it randomly orbits and vibrates in tiny circles and is designed for both ultra-smooth sanding and stock removal.
Since the pad simultaneously spins and vibrates, it actively protects against leaving behind swirls on the wood surfaces that frequently plague the functionality of regular orbital sanders.
When purchasing, just be aware that a random-orbit sander is an able to remove wood as speedily as a belt sander can, and it is a bit more troublesome to keep control over than an orbital finishing sander.
- Orbital sander: A hand-held sander which vibrates in small circles. The sanding disk will spin while moving concurrently in small ellipses that causes the orbital action that it is renowned for. Largely employed for fine sanding or where small material must be eradicated.
- Straight-line sander: A sander that vibrates in a straight line, rather than in circles. Perfect for areas in which hand sanding is tedious or "blocking" is necessary. The majority are air-powered, a couple of them are electric powered.
- Detail Sander: A hand-held sander that utilizes a tiny vibrating head using a triangular shaped sandpaper. Useful for sanding edges and incredibly restricted spaces. They are also referred to as "mouse" or "corner" sanders.
- Table top drum sander: A bench top sander that utilizes a rotating drum. Similar to a jointer, the user changes the elevation of the grit, by altering the grit of sandpaper, to modify the degree of cut. The wood will be hand fed up against the drum to accomplish a flat, sleek surface. May be used for surface sanding, paint stripping, edge sanding, and working on cabinet door projects.
- Stroke sander: A sizable manufacturing sander which uses a hand-operated platen on a regular sanding belt to implement pressure. For big areas including tabletops, entrance doors, and cupboards.
- Wide-belt sander: A substantial sander comparable in principle to a planer, but much bigger. Utilizes a large sanding belt head rather than a planer's shaping head, and demands air from a separate source to tension the belt. For rough sanding substantial surfaces areas or finishing projects. Employed mainly for production furniture and cabinets.
- Profile shaper/sander: An industrial device that includes a powered transport with a number of workstations for carrying out shaping, sanding, or any other finishing treatments on one or even more edges of elements in shelving, cabinetry, furniture etc.
These types of devices produce and complete ornamental edges in an automatic operation making use of rotating, sanding wheels, shaping heads foil applicators along with other specialised equipment.
- Drum sander: A big sander which uses a rotating sanding drum. In a way, much like a planer, the user adapts feed rollers to feed the wood in to the device. The sander smooths it and directs it out the opposite side. Suitable for completing huge surface areas.
What Are Buyers Saying?
Another option we examined was the PowRyte Basic 100111 pneumatic straight line sander. The manufacturers say that its twin piston design enables the tool to store extra power, which consequently prevents stalling, therefore facilitating difficult sanding projects. The 16 inch backing pad is an especially large surface area engineered to provide consistent sanding finishes on large areas.
Finely tensioned spring clamps are provided to make paper changes effortless, all powered by 3,000 reciprocating strokes per minute at 90 psi. Users we spoke we have endorsed this air-powered straight line sander for jobs like surface preparation and the rapid material removal from large surface areas.
Buyers have provided some mixed feedback for this tool though- some of them say that it's a cheap piece of junk, while others use it for residential applications as DIY hobbyists say that it is a durable option that works as well as more expensive sanders.
Another buyer who was displeased with this sander says that you would be better off purchasing from a more well-known brand that carries a strong warranty. In his opinion, the construction is shoddy and the materials are suspect- the metal that makes up its internal mechanisms are an aluminum alloy, not designed to last for a long time.
The Chicago Pneumatic CP7268 straight line sander is a twin piston option that provides 3,000, 1 inch strokes per minute. Chicago Pneumatic says that it is designed to be an especially lightweight and compact option, weighing in at only 6 pounds, with an ergonomically designed handle and trigger made for a comfortable grip. One buyer we spoke with praised it as a true value-buy, saying that it provides plenty of power to leave a smooth and flat sanded surface if you know what you are doing. Indeed, this pneumatic straight line sander has received uniformly positive praise with users saying that its performance, power and durability are top notch.
Another air in-line sander we examined was the Astro 888S short straight-line sander. Astro Pneumatic Tools advertises this particular sander as being equipped to easily and smoothly feather, with a single piston that is fast and efficient, providing 3,000 strokes per minute. One home contractor we spoke with said that it has great size, but wishes that it was a dual piston tool and also dislikes that it lacks clamps for the paper. Another professional repair person said that it's a great alternative to use when your other straight-line sanders are too long.
Another option we examined was the Hutchins Hustler 2000 straight line sander. Buyers told us that it works flawlessly, that it is a bit more expensive than other options, but the consensus is that it is a high-quality option that will withstand prolonged and extended use.
If you are in the market for a power sander, you should understand that there are a variety of different options on the market, including orbital sanders, belt sanders and even random-orbit sanders.
When it comes to sanding, nobody enjoys it, but purchasing a powered option can dramatically cut down on the work time, as well as provide professional-looking results. If you are looking to work on large, smooth surfaces, many home repair professionals decide to purchase a speedy and powerful belt sander. You will be able to equip it with sanding belts that are abrasive cloths that continuously loop over cylindrical drums.
Whenever you have to smooth flat boards, make sure that you perform your sanding so that it is parallel to the wood grain, doing it in this manner helps to avoid scratches. You'll want to keep the sander moving at all times, avoiding any lag as you sand the surface, and paying particular attention to smoothing narrow edges of boards.
One way to efficiently sand multiple edges is to clamp several of these boards together. This method is called gang sanding- it is able to save you a lot of time and also produce quality results as you balance the broader sanding belt on the edges of more narrow clamped together single boards. In general, as popularmechanics.com advises, belt sanders are ideal for removing varnish, stain, paint and old finish-and they also recommend beginning your sanding job with a 60 grit belt and then working your way towards finer grits until you have accomplished the degree of smoothness you were looking for.
An orbital finishing sander, on the other hand, is a relatively lightweight and maneuverable option that is not designed for heavy stock removal. It is designed for more delicate applications, vibrating in tiny and gentle circles, enabling contractors and DIY woodworkers to sand in any direction that they want.
This method of action makes it ideal for doing really smooth wood sanding, whether you are working on hard and wood putty, rounding sharp wood edges, or sanding down hardened coats of varnish or paint.