The 5 Best Drywall Sanders Reviewed

Drywall Sanders

Drywall sanding can be a messy, ugly task if you're doing it by hand.

Fortunately, dustless drywall sanders have revolutionized drywall sanding- enabling you to dramatically reduce the length of time it takes to do a job (Source).

Plus they suck up the majority of the dust and debris, making cleanup much less of a hassle. Some users even recommend using dust controlling sheetrock joint compound to further minimize unhealthy drywall clouds when sanding (Source).  

The variable speed drywall sanders we take a look at let you access hard-to-reach places with telescoping handles and pivoting heads that can swivel in all directions (Source).

With a little practice, they will adjust to be flush against surfaces and feature adjustable RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) speeds for additional control. Though, you will have to do some manual work on corners, since they can't get flush into the crevices (Source).  

Porter Cable Product Specs:

  • Especially lightweight (8.5 lbs)
  • Variable speeds that range from 1,400 to 2,000 RPM
  • A 13' static-dissipating vacuum hose
  • Hook-and-loop straps make it simple to mount and handle

One sheetrock installer we spoke with, who has worked with hundreds of feet of drywall, says that he purchased this particular electric drywall sander to make life easier on himself. He says that after a little bit of practice, he got the feel for how to use this machine correctly, avoiding creating swirl marks on the drywall, and found that it was many times faster than doing it by hand, without producing any dust at all.

If the drywall taping has been done effectively, he says, there will not be a ton of sanding that you will have to do anyway. One downside is that this drywall sander cannot do inside corners. Because of how it is designed, it will not be able to get any closer than about 3/4 of an inch to the actual corner. This means that you will have to do some manual sanding of corners after you finished sanding with the dustless drywall sander.

As well, though he commends the lightweight and balanced design, since you will be holding it over your head for extended periods of time, it will begin to wear you out. It's best to switch off between doing walls and ceilings- that way your arms don't get over-exerted. Let's take a look at 5 of the best-selling drywall sanders on the market today and see how they compare. 

Drywall Sanders Compared

Best Drywall Sanders For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This drywall sanding tool offered by Zeny is well-built, powerful and easy-to-use. Users love the sturdy design, but some do note that it’s heavy. This drywall sander is made of high-quality aluminum, and it has a portable grip handle, an 8.8-inch disc, 750-watt power output, a speed of 1000-2000 r/min and a weight of 10 lbs.

This power sander for drywall measures 65 x 11 x 10.5 inches and the package also includes a sander hose, six sand pads, a hexagon wrench, a screwdriver and a manual bag. Overall, this is a perfect choice both for professionals and newbies.

In general, users have a high opinion of the Zeny drywall sander, and they don’t have any major complaints regarding its efficiency and performance. A buyer comments that the assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow and that this vacuum drywall sander works far better than he expected.

The reviewer also shares that he sanded his wall quickly and efficiently and there was a minimal amount of dust left due to the effective vacuum hose.  Another happy customer mentions that he can reach almost anywhere with this 750-watt drywall sander and that he can use it for hours without tiring.

A satisfied buyer also states that this sanding tool arrived quickly and in good condition, and he would gladly recommend it. However, one user complains that he couldn’t find replacement sanding discs. 

Pros

  • A portable grip handle
  • Six sand pads
  • A hexagon wrench
  • A manual
  • Well-built
  • Made of high-quality aluminum
  • A vacuum hose

Cons

  • Hard to find replacement discs
  • Heavy

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are searching for a high-rated drywall sander, you might take a look at this electric sander offered by Porter Cable. Users love that the dust collection feature, but some do note that this drywall sander is not suitable for inside corners.

This drywall sanding tool has a variable speed ranging from 1400 to 2000 RPM, hook-and-loop straps, a 13-foot vacuum hose for removing dust, and a weight of 8.5 pounds. The product dimensions are 64 x 11.8 x 11.5 inches, and you also get a sanding pad and an instruction manual.

A buyer shares that he has been drywall sanding for about 15 years and that the Porter Cable drywall sanding tool is one of the best sanders available. The reviewer also states that he does his job quickly, efficiently and with virtually no dust thanks to this sander. Another happy user mentions that he was immensely impressed with the performance of this 4.7-amp electric sander and that he managed to sand six rooms fast and with minimal efforts.  

A satisfied purchaser states that this power drywall sander leaves no marks and he is very pleased with the smooth surfaces that he achieves. However, some customers have complained that this 4.7-amp drywall sander is too heavy and bulky and it’s uncomfortable to use it, especially for ceilings. Some users also state that it leaves swirl marks and that the drive shaft and the rubber casing break quickly.

Porter Cable Video Review

Pros

  • Variable speeds
  • Hook-and-loop straps
  • A vacuum hose
  • A sanding pad
  • A manual

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Complaints of swirl marks
  • Not suitable for corners
  • Expensive

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This electric sander for drywalls is cheap, comfortable and useful for hard-to-reach areas. Users love the price and the durable construction, but some do note that it’s heavier than they expected.

This electric sanding machine measures 27 x 12 x 8 inches, and it has a telescoping handle, a variable speed of 600-1500 RPM, an input power of 600W – 710 W, an 8 ½“ grinding pad, a hose, and six sandpaper discs. You can easily attach the drywall sander to a shop vacuum to collect the dust, so this is perfect for anyone that wants to sand his walls without worrying about cleaning afterward.

In general, users are pleased with the performance, durability, and design of the Aleko electric drywall sander. A buyer shares that he sanded his whole house with this drywall sander and that he is extremely impressed with its quality and power.

Another customer mentions that he sanded his walls and ceiling for about 90 minutes and that he achieved a smooth glass-like surface. The reviewer also states that there was almost no dust left after the job was done and that he liked the variable speeds very much. A purchaser says that he was skeptical of the usefulness of the Aleko dustless electric drywall sander due to the low cost, but the sander worked flawlessly.

However, one customer has complained that he can’t find a replacement pad after his got damaged.

Aleko Sander Video Review

*This video demos the Aleko 690E and not the Aleko 804C

Pros

  • Variable speeds
  • A telescoping handle
  • Six sandpaper discs
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Hard to find replacement pad
  • Slightly heavy

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This drywall sanding tool offered by Wen is powerful, well-constructed and an excellent choice for anyone looking for an efficient drywall sander. Users love the fast sandpaper change, but some do note that it’s heavier than they expected.

This 5-amp sanding tool has an 8.5-inch pivoting head, variable speed adjustment from 600 to 1500 RPM, a hook-and-loop base pad for quick sandpaper change, a 5-amp head-mounted motor and an automatic dust removal system with a 15-foot dust hose.  The package also includes six 9-inch hook-and-loop sandpaper discs – 60, 80, 120,150, 180, and 240 grit and a two-year warranty.

Moreover, the Wen sander has a telescoping body, so you can comfortably reach up to five feet.

A buyer comments that he finished remodeling his house quicker than he expected due to this power drywall sander and that it saved him time and money. He would recommend it to anyone looking for the best drywall sander. Another reviewer mentions that this electric sander for drywalls is accurate, easy-to-use, and lightweight and that he is very pleased with its performance and price.

A happy buyer also shares that this dust free sander is the perfect tool for him and that he uses it regularly without any problems. However, some customers warn that it’s hard to find original sanding paper discs for the Wen drywall sander.

Pros

  • Variable speeds
  • A hook-and-loop base pad
  • An automatic dust removal system
  • A long dust hose
  • Six sandpaper discs
  • A telescoping body

Cons

  • Sandpaper discs are hard to find

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This electric variable speed drywall sander is efficient, well-constructed, easy-to-use and powerful. Users love that the sander works smoothly and fast, but some do note there is no slow speed.

This drywall sanding tool has an input power of 710 watts, six speeds from 1000 to 2100 RPM, a speed dial, an extendable handle ( 4 -5.5 feet), a 13-foot static-dissipating vacuum hose, and hook-and-loop straps. The dimensions of this portable drywall sander are 48 x 5 x 10 inches, and it’s made of lightweight aluminum, so it weighs only 10 pounds.

As a whole, users are pleased with the functionality of the Power Pro electric drywall sander. A purchaser mentions that this power drywall sander is well-built, easy-to-control and fast. The reviewer states that he used it continuously for nine hours and sanded over 4000 sqft and the drywall sander performed beyond his expectation.

Another buyer comments that he sanded two rooms plus the ceilings in no time and that this drywall vacuum sander cuts down this sanding time in half. A satisfied purchaser also shares that her husband uses this electric sander almost daily with no complaints and he would recommend it to anyone looking for the best power sander for drywalls.

However, some customers have complained that this sander is heavy and that it digs into the drywall, so it’s hard to achieve a smooth surface. Some clients also complain that it leaves swirl marks and that the head is not flexible enough.

Pros

  • Made of lightweight aluminum
  • Hook-and-loop straps
  • Variable speeds
  • Extendable handle
  • Long vacuum hose
  • Well-made

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Too powerful
  • Might leave swirl marks

What Are Buyers Saying?


Another option that we took a look at was the Festool drywall sander. One reviewer told us that it works exceptionally fast- though it took some patience to get familiar wielding it. He found that it was important to keep the sander moving and flush to the wall to prevent the dreaded 'swirl marks'. This is a pretty pricey option, however, but for those of you who despise drywall sanding, it can be a wise investment, considering that it is one of the higher-end options we examined. Another reviewer praised the thoroughness of its dust extraction- he also advises using dust controlling sheetrock joint compound to limit the noxious cloud of drywall dust that sanding kicks up. Another professional contractor praised this as a professional-quality option that is effective for the mobile contractor. 

One of the first drywall sanders with vacuum attachments that we looked at was the Zeny sander- it features a portable grip handle that enables easy movement, an aluminum frame, a working voltage of 110V/60Hz, and a swiveling head that allows it to reach into any angle or corner. One buyer we interviewed told us that it worked exceptionally well for his purposes, saying that it was straightforward to assemble with the included instruction manual. He even used it on some occasions in conjunction with drywall stilts to access really high ceiling areas. 

He advised to give it a final once over after assembled to make sure everything is completely tight and nothing is loose on the power drywall sander. He said that after he connected the motor and vacuum hose he began working on a high ceiling- a home repair job he had been dreading for some time. The articulating head made the job very easy, though he recommends that you use the correct sanding pads to get the best results, always avoiding nails in the wall as you sand. As far as messy dust, he says that his vacuum easily attached to the drywall sander and that it collected about 95% of all of the dust from the job activity.

Sanding With The Porter Cable Sander

Another option we examined was the Porter-Cable 4.7 Amp dustless drywall sander. Its manufacturers advertise it as a lightweight option featuring a variable speed is that range from 1,400 to 2,000 RPM. In addition, this dustless drywall sander includes a 13-foot vacuum hose with static dissipating technology, an 8.5-pound lightweight body frame, hook and loop straps designed to make handling and mounting it a breeze.

One Porter Cable buyer was impressed that the articulating sanding head had such exceptional rotation, enabling him to stand in place as he performed the sanding, only minutely changing the angle of his body to reach different areas of the ceiling or the wall. As far as dust, he told us that he didn't even need to wear a mask as he was operating it. In terms of how high you can reach, he found that for his purposes, doing anything higher than 9-foot ceilings was too difficult- though he used a small step stool to get into higher areas.

In his opinion, you will not get exhausted doing the walls, but when you begin having to do ceilings, holding it over your head for prolonged periods, that's when you'll begin to feel the muscle strain and burn in your arms and shoulders.

He also recommends that you don't need to spend a ton of money purchasing a shop vacuum from Porter Cable- he says that his $20 Bosch shop vacuum has functioned just fine for his purposes. Another buyer we spoke with said that while this certainly is an expensive electric-powered drywall sander, what you are investing in is relief from the pain and aggravation and general exhaustion of performing manual drywall sanding.

He advises new users to take breaks, splitting up the work so that you divide the wall and ceiling sanding in a staggered fashion. Another buyer we interviewed told us that he was rehabbing his house, performing renovations in his kitchens and bathrooms, and found that the Porter Cable dustless drywall sander was essential to performing the job. He advised new users to get a bunch of 220 sanding discs to keep around. In terms of how it functions for him, he compliments the smooth order on motion, saying that he used a sanding block to perform manual touchups of the corners, and in this manner he was able to quickly finish entire rooms.

How To Sand Inside Corner Drywall

The Aleko variable speed dustless sander was another option we took a look at. It features a telescoping handle and ships with six sandpaper discs. One buyer we spoke with who specializes and DIY home rehabs says that once he unboxed this Aleko model he was pleasantly surprised by the quality and design of the tool. He used 80 grit paper and says that after several hours of extended sanding, during which he really pressed it to its full capabilities, the machine didn't break down. He says that it sucked up nearly all of the dust into his shop vacuum, but does note that the paper discs that come with the unit come with holes and he couldn't find any replacements that had those holes.

However, he says that this was not an issue and that generic paper sanding discs work just as well on this Aleko model. Another reviewer was highly impressed by this variable speed dustless drywall sander, saying that she was able to polish off ceiling sanding without any issues at all, giving it a glass smooth sheen.

The Wen 6369 5 Amp drywall sander is another option on the market- it features variable speed adjustments that can operate from 600 to 1,500 RPM, a hook and loop base pad that makes swapping out sandpaper simple, an automatic dust extraction system that includes a 15 foot dust hose to suck up all of the sanding debris, as well as 240, 180, 150, 120, 80, 60 grit 9 inch sanding discs. The manufacturers also say that its pivoting 8.5 inch head can swivel in all directions, saying that it can be adjusted to be flush with every surface. One reviewer that we spoke with said that for the price, it really is unbeatable value.

The final option we examined was the Power Pro 2100 electric drywall sander. The manufacturers say that it includes 710 W of input power, powered by a variable six-speed motor ranging from 1,000 to 2,100 RPM; includes a telescoping handle that can adjust from 4 to 5.5 feet, enabling you to reach higher ceiling areas. It's constructed from hard plastic and aluminum, designed to be fairly lightweight at 10 pounds.

One professional drywall finishing contractor that we spoke with says that in the past he has been the victim of purchasing cheap Chinese knock off sanders, so when he invested in this Power Pro he wasn't sure what to expect. He has been pleasantly surprised by it, saying that it has durable power connections and controls, doesn't wobble while in use, and the RPM controls are easy to modify. Being such a heavy user of drywall sanders, he used it extensively the first day right out of the box and says that he was able to sand for over eight hours straight, doing at least 3000 ft.² of epoxy-treated concrete ceilings that were coated with a joint compound.

In terms of value, this home repair contractor said that the ROI was incredible- in one day it paid for itself, and now he is positive that he prefers to own rather than rent these tools. Another home rehab specialist who has done most of his sanding by hand overtime finally gave in and upgraded to an electric version. He says that it is one of the best decisions that he ever made, that it cut down on job times extensively, saving him a great deal of physical and mental aggravation completing home sanding jobs.

In addition, most users said that it was easy to connect the Power Pro dustless drywall sander to their dust extracting shop vacuum- and this dramatically minimizes the amount of dust and debris in the air, making it a healthier work environment and much easier to clean up when done. In addition, the manufacturers included a handy carrying bag, so for individuals who need to transport their sander to different job sites, or to help out a family member in need, this is a great way to tote your tool around. You can visit your local Home Depot, consider purchasing one online, or investigate rentals from a local tool supply store. 

Sanding Tips and Advice

If you have a drywall sanding remodeling job to do, it's important to invest in the right tools. Some tips to get the best results:

  • Make sure you choose a fine sandpaper- if you go with 80 grit paper it's likely to leave undesirable marks on the wall.
  • Familyhandyman.com recommends using 120 grit or 150 grit paper to achieve the best results- you can buy pre-cut sheets to fit on to whatever sanding apparatus you decide to use.
  • Another bit of advice, resist the urge to sand over gouges and ridges- it's better to trowel them over with a coating of joint compound.
  • Make sure you do a once over of your work with a handheld flashlight to ensure that every surface has been effectively sanded. You can use a pencil to mark problem areas that need to get more sanding or require filling.
  • Make sure that after you prime the walls that you send them again- doing this you can remove lumps and paper fuzz that will mar your paint job.
  • If you are using one of the drywall sanders we recommended on this page, pay special attention to corners- you can use a sanding sponge for corners to make sure that you don't gouge or scuff the corners with the sander.
  • Use a light touch with the sander- do some trial runs before you start working on the real project so that you get a feel for the sort of pressure to apply to get the job done best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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