Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray
If you have ever worked with drywall with a home improvement project, you will know how important it is to get everything nice and smooth. That applies whether you are talking about walls or adding boards to form a ceiling.
But sanding down drywall ready for the next stage in your project is not always easy. However, using a sander designed explicitly for drywall can make it easier and faster.
I do admit that I hate sanding, but the key for me is getting the job done quickly and getting it pretty much perfect straight away. I know that does eliminate doing things manually, which I am perfectly fine with doing, and that is why I have made sure that I have the ideal sander for these types of jobs.
But a quick search online shows you have various models and versions to choose from, so I get that it’s quite perplexing and confusing at first. Don’t worry though. I have you covered.
What you are going to find below are six of the best sanders for dealing with drywall. I’ve used my experience with tools, mixed with my research skills, to uncover this list of sanders that I feel will work perfectly when dealing with drywall.
But I’m also going to help you in another way. After the list, I will provide you with various tips and tricks to make choosing your new sander easier than you anticipated.
- Best Sander for Drywall Mud – Porter Cable 7800
- Best Electric Sander for Drywall – Bosch OS50VC
- Best Orbital Sander for Drywall – Black & Decker Orbital Sander BDEQS300
- Best Dustless Sander for Drywall – Hyde 09170 Dust-Free Vacuum Sander
- Best Small Sander for Drywall – Black & Decker 1.2A Mouse Detail Sander
- Best Cordless Sander for Drywall – DeWalt DCE800B
How I Made My List
To make my list, I used different criteria. I want the sander to be powerful enough to do the job it’s intended for and to do so with a reasonable amount of speed. Also, I don’t want it to feel too heavy. After all, you could hold this machine for some time, and a heavier one will tire you out faster.
There was also the issue of dust. Does it create a lot, or does it help to collect the dust? In addition, how easy is the machine to use, and do you have any problems with changing sanding pads?
In the end, I could then come up with these six, and I know at least one model will fit your needs.
Best Sander for Drywall Mud – Porter Cable 7800
- Power: 4.7 Amp
- Speed: 1400 to 2000 RPM
- Reach: 13 ft hose included
If you need to deal with drywall mud, then you need the right sander to cope with those conditions, and I suggest the Porter-Cable 7800. This professional-grade sander is an outstanding example of what’s out there on the market, and with it having a variable speed of between 1400 to 2000 RPM, it leaves you in complete control.
But another feature I love is the hose. Covering a total of 13ft, it makes this machine very easy to move around, and it also catches an impressive amount of dust. But don’t worry about the weight of this machine either. It’s lightweight, and I like this as it does stop you from feeling exhausted when using it.
I also love that they have kept things simple when attaching the sanding paper. They use the straightforward hook approach, which is highly effective at keeping the paper on.
But there is one final feature I’d like to mention, and it’s referred to as a brush-skirt. It sits around the sander head, and it stops you from damaging any boards near the drywall. It’s a great addition and something that will undoubtedly prove useful.
- You have a variable speed option for better control
- It collects most of the dust via a hose
- You can attach sanding paper literally in seconds
- The brush skirt is a great addition
- It can sound a bit noisy
Best Electric Sander for Drywall – Bosch OS50VC
- Power: 3.4 Amp
- Speed: 8000 to 11000 OPM
The Bosch OS50VC shows you don’t have to go big regarding a sander for your drywall project. However, this sander is excellent at what it does, and I see it as one of the best electric sanders on the market.
This particular model comes with a 3.4 Amp motor, and I feel this is enough to smooth out those edges and get your drywall perfect. Also, it’s an orbital sander that works at a speed of between 8000 to 1000 OPM, thanks to a variable speed dial.
I do love it has this variable option. I believe it means you can maintain more control over the sander, giving you better results.
But there is something else that makes this model stand out for me: how it deals with vibrations. Considering you will be using a sander for some time when dealing with drywall, the fact this model effectively absorbs vibrations is a significant help. Vibrations tire you out, so anything that counteracts this is a good idea, in my view.
I also love it uses a SheetLoc clamping system for the paper. That means the sanding paper is held perfectly in place and will stay there while in use. Also, knowing the paper is fitting perfectly does help with using the machine as you know exactly what is going on at all times.
Finally, it comes with a dust canister and catches a reasonable amount of dust particles. It’s also translucent, so you can see when it’s full, and I prefer that to the bag version, where you need to basically guess.
Overall, this sander is powerful, good at what it does, and will make short work of getting your drywall nice and smooth.
- It has a variable speed dial offering you greater control
- The SheetLoc system works well to secure the paper
- It has a dust collection system which is perfectly adequate
- It reduces vibrations making it easier to use the sander
- It’s relatively lightweight
- It doesn’t come with an extending pole for higher areas
Best Orbital Sander for Drywall – Black & Decker Orbital Sander BDEQS300
- Power: 2 Amp
- Speed: 16,000 OBM
If using an orbital sander is your preferred option, then I think you should consider this model by Black & Decker. It comes in at the lower end of the price range, and it’s still a brilliant sander.
The first thing I must mention is the speed because that 16,000 OBM is seriously impressive. It may only have a 2 Amp motor powering it, but I know you will be amazed at how smooth it can get that drywall.
Another thing I love about this model is that you can easily use it with one hand. Also, it feels pretty comfortable when you do so, and with the sander being one of the lightest out there, you also won’t feel exhausted either.
You will also notice that this model comes with a fantastic dust collection bag. It uses three types of filtration, which translates into collecting a lot of dust.
Attaching the sander paper also takes seconds, and I feel it adheres quite well and won’t move around when in use.
This sander may appear basic, but it does a fantastic job and is exceptionally easy to use. Add in the fact that you can use it with one hand, and I feel it’s one of the best when sanding your drywall project.
- You can easily use one hand, and it’s still easy to control
- It has a high OBM giving you a smooth finish
- The dust collection is brilliant
- You can quickly change sanding paper without too much hassle
- The sanding area is relatively small, so that will slow you down
Best Dustless Sander for Drywall – Hyde 09170 Dust-Free Vacuum Sander
- Power: 6 Amp
- Size: Comes with 6ft Hose
If you want to keep dust to an absolute minimum, and who wouldn’t, then I recommend the Hyde 09170 dust-free vacuum sander. Attaching to almost any vacuum cleaner on the market means you effectively suck up the dust as it’s made via the sanding head. It’s a simple idea, and it’s also highly effective.
They have also ensured that attaching the hose and head is exceptionally easy. It uses a simple clamp system, but it does eliminate any possibility of dust escaping. So, it can only go one way, and that’s into your vacuum cleaner.
Overall, the simplicity of this machine is what makes it stand out. You just attach the sanding paper to the head, switch it on, and get sanding.
- It catches up to 97% of dust particles
- It attaches to almost any vacuum cleaner on the market
- Attaching everything is straightforward
- You can quickly change sanding paper with ease
- You need to check if your version has the pole included, as not all do
Best Small Sander for Drywall – Black & Decker 1.2A Mouse Detail Sander
- Power: 1.2 Amp
- Speed: 14,000 OBM
There may be times with your drywall project when you need to get into tight corners or work along edges. At that point, you require a smaller sander that will not damage other items around you. So, this Black & Decker Mouse Detail Sander comes into its own.
It may only have a 1.2 Amp motor, but it produces an impressive 14,000 OBM, which should lead to a smooth finish. Also, I love the triangular head, which allows you to work into those corners.
It also comes with its own dust collection housing, and I must say it’s pretty impressive at catching that dust. Using this model with one hand without worrying too much about vibrations is also possible. In addition, this sander is lightweight, so fatigue should not become an issue.
- It’s compact but powerful
- It gets into tight corners with ease
- The dust collection is excellent
- It’s lightweight
- You can work this with just one hand
- It is compact, so don’t expect to cover a large area
Best Cordless Sander for Drywall – DeWalt DCE800B
- Power: 20 Amp
- Speed: 700 to 1200 OPM
I’ve always been a massive fan of DeWalt products, so I included one on my list. However, the DCE800B is an impressive sander, and if you are looking specifically for a cordless version, then this is one I would strongly suggest you consider buying.
It has a seriously impressive motor and a variable speed dial of between 700 to 1200 OPM. I love when you can change the speed to suit your needs, and DeWalt has made this part as easy as possible.
It comes with a brushless motor, which means less maintenance, and the motor should last longer than other models. It also comes with a 9” disc, so it covers a good area at once.
The sander is attached to a telescopic pole, extending to a maximum of 40”. That’s more than enough for most drywall projects, and it’s easy to click the pole into place with it then holding firm.
It does also feel well-balanced even when the pole is extended. That alone makes it easier to maintain control over the sander when using it.
Finally, it has a dust extraction system and wireless ON/OFF capacity. However, you need a suitable dust collection system in place for this to work.
- It is extremely powerful, giving a smoother finish
- It has a variable speed dial, which is very easy to operate
- It feels well balanced when in use
- The telescopic pole is strong and steady
- It has a dust collection system included
- At almost 13 lbs, it may feel slightly heavy to some people
How to Choose the Perfect Sander for Drywall
I get that you have probably looked at the options above and now feel even more confused about the right sander for drywall to go ahead and buy. So, I have a few tips to make life that bit easier.
I see the power aspect as the key component when choosing the perfect sander for drywall. If you are looking for a basic model, you should aim for a machine with around 600W of power.
However, if your intention is to go for something used more regularly or for more heavy-duty work, then I would advise you to move up in power to around 800W or even as high as 1200W.
The power will reduce the time you need to spend sanding everything down. It will make short work of your project and increase your chances of getting that perfectly smooth finish.
The other main area I want you to focus on is the rotational speed of the sander. I find that a model with a rotational speed in the region of 2000 RPM works best for most situations. At this speed, you should find that the sander can cover a lot of space without too many problems. Also, it removes enough of the upper layer without digging too deep into the drywall.
The Power Cable
If opting for a corded version, I suggest you pay close attention to the length of the cable. This clearly influences how you use the sander, and you don’t want to find yourself struggling to cover your entire working area.
Of course, you can also opt for cordless versions, which will instantly remove that problem, but some people still prefer to plug their sander into their primary power supply.
Consider for a second how you will be holding a sander up off the ground for potentially a prolonged period of time. That means the weight of the sander is essential, and it’s one thing I really looked at when creating my list.
I would never suggest going over 10 lbs in weight with these sanders. At that point, the chances of your arms and shoulders becoming fatigued rather quickly will not be in your favor.
Thankfully, a number of smaller sanders weigh very little, and I suggest you check those out if you worry about fatigue.
A sander can produce a substantial amount of dust, so knowing how a sander collects it should also play a role in your decision. Not every sander does offer you this, while others are certainly better than some.
You should be looking for a dust vacuum bag for the sander. That’s often the easiest way of collecting dust while in use. It’s easy to attach and empty, and it stops you from breathing in all the dust while you work.
I feel that these five areas are the most important points to consider when choosing a sander for drywall projects. Of course, the size of the entire machine is also important. The bigger the machine, the more space it can cover at the one time. However, it also then adds to the weight.
Overall, it’s all a balance between what you feel you can manage to operate without it taking too much time to complete your project.
Using a sander for your drywall projects makes so much sense. It allows you to complete your project in a fraction of the time while also giving you that smooth finish you are always looking for.
The different sanders I’ve mentioned above are all excellent in their own right. They will help you get those end results and do so without too many problems. If you know you will be indulging in a drywall project, I suggest you make sure you have the right sander in advance of starting.
Doing so will show how everything will run more smoothly in the project. You won’t have the same hiccups, and it won’t feel like it’s taking forever, and it’s all thanks to the sander. This tool really is a potential game-changer, and it’s one you won’t regret buying.