One of the more common tools is the Random DA (Dual Action) sander.
A DA spins and is moved about sanding off paint or rouging in bondo on a car or truck body.
Most any professional will use only air tools but electric units can also be used for home DIYers.
There are many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best Orbital Sander for Auto Body Work
- Ingersoll-Rand 4151
- BLACK+DECKER BDERO100
- ATD Tools 2088
- Bosch ROS20VSC
- Metabo SXE 450
Ingersoll-Rand makes this small hand orbital sander that is air powered.
A 6 inch round DA sand paper easily sticks to the pad and can be removed quickly.
It uses 8 CFM air which makes it work with low powered air compressors along with a 1/4 inch hose inlet.
The Ingersoll-Rand 4151 is a nice orbital that is smooth and with its adjustable speed is a good dependable unit.
I have used this unit and after many hours sanding it runs very well and fits into your hand almost ergonomically.
The low vibration of the unit wont leave your hand tingling from vibrations after using it for many hours.
It is a low-to-mid range unit that is perfect for the DIY home user or as a backup in a professional shop.
Black & Decker is a well known brand and makes many tools including this budget unit.
It is built for the part time user and will not last long in a professional setting.
Even though it is not the best unit around it would be good in some scenarios just don’t expect too much from it.
For those on a budget the ATD Tools 2088 is a good low-cost option.
It uses air to operate and a 6 inch pad with a 1/4 inch hose attachment.
Variable speed control is built-in which can spin up-to 10,000 RPMs.
At 1.65 pounds it is also light and easy to move about.
The ATD Tools 2088 is a low cost unit that is good for the home DIYer or part time user.
This unit from Bosch has a 2.5 amp moor with variable speeds.
It fits into the palm of you hand and has a dust bag collector that can be attached.
The Bosch ROS20VSC is a good mid-range unit will sand the paint of a car and other body work.
The Metabo SXE 450 is a high powered sander that has RPMs from 8400-22000.
It is an electric unit powered by 110 Volts AC.
A professional will not use an electric unit to sand and do body work, but if you have no compressor and need to use electric the Metabo SXE 450 with its variable speed is a good unit.
Choosing the right DA like any tool needs to fit your other equipment such as an air compressor.
If you don’t have an air compressor then depending on how big the job is you may want to invest in one.
Electric units can also be used but mainly for the weekend warrior DIY jobs.
Electric units are not used much since they are harder to control while air powered DA speeds are easily adjustable.
Electric vs Air Powered
Air powered orbital sander also called Pneumatic are the most used sanding tools, especially in large auto body shops.
Of course, air tools require an air compressor to keep it running which depends on your setup and whats available.
Electric powered orbital sanders have the benefit of not needing an air compressor, but since they use a motor can get hot and may need a short break occasionally to not burn up the motor.
Personally, I prefer air tools has they are quieter, powerful, have adjustable speeds, and last a long time.
Pros of air tools
Cons of air tools
Needs a compressor
Has a air line attached
Pros of Electric
Easy to plug in and get started quickly
No air compressor needed
Cons of Electric
Get hot from constant use
Don’t generally last as long
May not have variably speed