Random orbital sander

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A random orbit sander, with disks of various grit sizes

Random orbit sanders, also called Dual-Action or D.A. sanders (referring to the rotation of the disk and the head) are hand-held power sanders where the action is a random orbit. First introduced in 1982, random orbit sanders combine the speed and aggressiveness of a belt sander with the ability to produce a finer finish than that available from a standard, slow speed orbital finishing sander.

The random orbit sanding pattern is produced by simultaneously spinning the sanding disk and moving it in an ellipse. This ensures that no single part of the abrasive material travels the same path twice. Because of this unique random sanding action, the tool does not leave swirl marks, and is not sensitive to the direction of the wood grain. This makes it useful when sanding two pieces of wood that meet at right angles. Random-orbital sanders use sandpaper disks, and many include integrated dust collectors. Disks are attached using either pressure-sensitive adhesives or a hook-and-loop system. On models equipped with a dust collection feature, a vacuum effect sucks sanding dust through holes in the paper and pad, feeding it to a bag or canister.

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