If you are a professional auto body repairman using an electric sander will be unthinkable.
But what if your a do-it-yourself at home person, that wants to do bodywork?
Can an electric orbital sander be used to do auto bodywork?
The short answer is yes they can be used. I have seen many at home individuals do good work with electric units.
The most common reason an electric sander is used if there is no air compressor available to use air tools.
The reason professionals don not use them is they have a high RPM and most often no variable speed.
The electric motors get hot fast which requires some cool-down-time as to not burn it up.
If you have a choice definitely go with air tools if not try and get at least a variable speed unit.
Remember a sander is only used to strip paint and rough in Bondo. After it is roughed in doing the sanding by hand is necessary to get a good finish.
There are many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
- DEWALT Random Orbit Sander
- BOSCH ROS20VSK Palm Sander
- BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander
DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421K)
The Dewalt D26453K has been available for awhile and is a good variable electric sander.
It has two speeds 7,000 and 12,000 RPM.
The motor uses 3 amps 115 volts so it will work basically anywhere there is electricity.
BOSCH ROS20VSK Palm Sander – 2.5 Amp 5 in. Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit with Dust Collector and Hard Carrying Case, Blue
This unit from Bosch has also been available for some time and is also a good unit.
It has a dial that controls the speed from 7,500-12,000 RPM.
It uses a 2.5 amps 120-Volt motor.
BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (BDERO100)
For those looking for just a very low cost unit than Black & Decker BDERO100 is worth a look.
It is a basic unit with no variable speed but good for those on a tight budget.
Using an electric sander for automotive body repair can be done but requires more time to get the job done right.
Air tools moving at slower speeds allows an operator to get body filler shaped up closer with less hand sanding.
The key to using an electric sander is to know when to stop and switch to hand tools.
If you have the money always get a compressor and air tools if you can, but for at home jobs an electric unit can get the job done in a pinch.