The Best Sanders for Hardwood Floors (How to Choose)

Published on: March 18, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Sanding a hardwood floor is not a big deal. But it can be very difficult if you don’t know which type of sanding machine you need to use on which part of the floor and have no idea about when and how to use the machines. Everyone is not wealthy enough to avail professionals for the job. Most of us prefer doing it by ourselves to save money. But lack of experience can make this easy task incredibly tough. 

the best sanders for hardwood floors

No worries, if you are new at this, I will help you to pick the right sander for floor sanding. You will also get useful tips on how to use the machine perfectly and alternative types of sanders to choose from. After reading the entire article, it will be easy for you to decide to buy or rent the sander you want from our list of top five sanders.

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The Factors You Must Consider When Choosing a Sander for Hardwood Floor

All the sanders we have listed here are not for everyone. Some are very expensive to purchase or rent. These require experts to operate and need a helping hand to move around. Some are all-rounders; these budget-friendly sanders are good for small DIY projects. Before going through the list of our top picks for hardwood floor sanding, you must have minimal knowledge about the machines you are going to need, the right way to use them, and so on. This buying guide will help you to rent or buy the right tool for your project. 

Types of Sander

To sand down a hardwood floor, there are various alternatives. Mostly, sanding a floor requires a drum sander, an edge sander to rip off the paint and stain from the floor, and an orbital sander to give it a fine finish and prep it for varnish. However, depending on your budget, the size of the floor, and the time you have, you can bring all those sanders or just an orbital sander to finish off your project. 

Drum Sander

These are mostly used for large areas and are used by rental yard employees. These are very expensive, hard to move because of their weight, and difficult to use for beginners. Besides, it requires experience to use. So, I don’t recommend even renting this for beginners on a budget, unless you are dealing with a huge mansion. 

Then you must keep in mind that you will need help to lift and move it. Try to pick the ones that are easy to assemble or expandable. A drum sander with variable speed has been listed here, you can try that for controlled applications. 

Edge Sander

Drum sanders can’t reach the edges of the floor. To get the corners done, an edge sander is handy. But we didn’t feel it was compulsory, so didn’t put it on our list. You can do it with an orbital sander as well. 

Orbital Sander

After aggressive sanding to scrap off the dirt out of wood, an orbital sander is used to give it a finer texture. Here is a trick for small DIY wooden floor sanding: use three types of paper coarse, medium, and fine ones with an orbital sander. Instead of an expensive and bulky drum sander, coarse sandpaper can be used to remove paint and varnish from a dirty hardwood floor. Then use other sandpaper for a nicer finish. Yes, this process will take time but it’s more convenient for medium to large projects. 

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The Size of the Floor

The size and the type of wood used on the floor are something to be considered before you start sanding. If it is a decades-old oak floor, then it will need a lot more sanding compared to the relatively new floor. Check for any nails sticking out of the floor. Try to remove those without harming the wood, otherwise, it may cause the sandpaper to rip off from the machine. 

Rent or Buy

Now you can decide on which machine or machines you need to complete your project. Drum sanders are not easily available at local stores, not their papers are widely available. So, when you buy or rent the drum sander from rental yards or online, make sure you buy sanding paper more than necessary. It will minimize your hassle of ordering papers in the middle of an incomplete project if this fall short. 

Other types of sanders and papers are easily available locally. But I recommend purchasing the orbital ones. These are useful not just for floor sanding, you can use them to sand almost anything. 


Be careful when you run the sander on the floor. Try to make only a straight motion on the floor lengthwise of the woods. Never ever make any swirling motion while sanding. Because, it won’t show at that time, but it will be noticeable after applying paint to it. Trust me, it won’t look nice. 

If you can manage, then leave the floor bare for a couple of days after you complete your sanding. This will help the floor to heal, dry out, and to get prepared for a stain. 

Top 9 Sanders for Hardwood Floors

1. Clarke (07081B) Sander for Hardwood Floors

  • Voltage:115 volts;
  • Wattage: 1800 watts;
  • Model no: 07081B;
  •  Height, Length, Width: 45 /18/18 inches;
  • Weight: 154 pounds.

The most efficient and appropriate on the list is Clarkflower Sanders. It is highly convenient in terms of unobtrusive speed, execution, and convenience. It is made for deliberate floor sanding.  sanding hardwood floors can be a matter of minutes or it may take an hour to do. With his sander will not have to twist your back to regain your comfort. No matter how hard the floor is, it has enough power to sand on anything and combined with its extraordinary residual volume, it is a fully nested engine.

It is durable and lightweight, and with extraordinary control, it is something that is not difficult to deal with. You can easily get professional quality finishes on your floor due to this non-vibrating sander. Since it is extremely expensive, I would probably recommend it efficiently or write down the opportunity that you have a ton of floor coverings, especially since you can use different sanders for each purpose, this one must be used for floors.


  • Enclosed powerful motor for dust-free operation;
  • Ideal for sanding a wide range of floors;
  • This is a great product.


  • Costly.

2. Lagler Hummel 8 inch Belt Floor Sander

  • Sanding drum width: 7 7/8″;
  • speed: 2880 RPM;
  • Uses 7 7/8 x 29 1/2 Inch belts;
  • Impressive working quality;
  • Weight: 175 pounds;
  • Fuse protection min.: 30 Amperes.

HUMMEL® this machine is the most popular floor edger. Long-term innovation for absolute noise-free quality and lots of machine control has made this drum floor sander. The number one advantage of using this unit is finishing the hardwood floor edging for a considerably less amount of time. The combination of a powerful rendering drum, a three-way drum pressure guideline, and a naturally controlled belt side combination of belt tensioning gadgets ensure no sanding scratches.

With a large number of global models being used, this belt sanding machine is widely acclaimed. There is an inspiration behind why it has been on top of the top wooden floor sander for quite some time. It is a powerful, amazing machine and accurate belt direction, a three-organized drum presser guideline framework, and a belt tensioning gadget with a powerful sanding drum.


  • Extremely economical;
  • Fail-safe and sturdy design;
  • The belt can be changed in seconds;
  • Low-fatigue work;
  • Optimized dust extraction.


  • No cons.

3. Mercury L-17E Lo-Boy Floor Machine

  • Powerful 1.5 hp, 175 RPM motor;
  • Weight: 102.0 pounds;
  • 48″ handle is adjustable for users of different heights;
  • Rugged all-metal construction.

The Mercury combines the plight of an all-metal floor sanding machine with the most mechanically powered engines, transmission, and electrical sections. You will find exemplary metal floor machine crafts with all-metal construction.  It highlights the most experimental floor occupations.

Providing both of your machines in one, its dual-speed floor machine offers adaptability to every type of floor.


  • Rugged;
  • Rotary floor machine for stripping, scrubbing, and polishing;
  • The all-metal base is long-lasting and durable;
  • The non-marking bumper protects walls and furniture.


  • Heavy.

4. Power-Flite ORB1420 Orbital Floor Machine

  • Its chemical-free floor finish removal;
  • speed: 3,500 RPM;
  • Low 69 dBA noise;
  • Motor: 1.5 hp fan-cooled.

The power floor machine sands on the floor in a completely different way. Unlike conventional “side-swing” machines, direct movement of the random orbital floor sander is easy for homeowners and requires little preparation. An assortment of grit sequences enables clients to clean, prepare floors, dry strip finish, and buff with the help of a single machine. Its rectangular plan removes the hassle of the edge and the detailed work.

These machines can eliminate floor finishes without the need for extra time, expense, and effort for synthetic compounds.


  • It can provide increased pressure
  • Specialty pads available for tile and grout cleaning;
  • Scuff removal and wood sanding;
  • Dust control model available.


  • No cons.

5. Bon HT8 HireTech Multi-Speed Drum Floor Sander

  • Motor: 4 brush motor;
  • Size: 8 inches;
  • Model no: HT8, 24-158;
  • Speed:  variable;
  • Includes Multi-Speed Floor Sander only;
  • weight N/A.

For fixing wooden floors on a professional basis (like contractors or interior designers) a big-budget drum floor sander is a must. The best types will be the ones that can be disassembled to transport to different sites. As these sanders are heavy, the ones that can be easily detached are the most convenient ones for professional use. 

This model from BON is just like those easy-to-use drum floor sanders. With its 8-inch sandpaper, a large dimension can be sanded in a short time. Besides, its drum guard and molded sides will not scratch your walls even if bumped accidentally. 

This machine has a powerful four-brush motor. The price is very high of this machine but for long-term professional use, the price is worth it. 


  • Easy to transport;
  • Molded sides won’t damage walls;
  • Variable speed;
  • Smooth finish.


  • Expensive. 

6. Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum

  • Motor: 1-1/2 HP, 12 amps, dual capacitor motor;
  • Size: 8 inches;
  • Model no: Ez-8;
  • Speed:  variable;
  • Includes Expandable Drum Sander only;
  • weight 145 lbs.

This one is less costly than the BON floor sander. Its motor is less powerful but efficient enough to do the job right. Its dust collection is so efficient that you will never consider purchasing other models anymore. 

Like other drum sanders, it can be broken down for transportation, but it is still very heavy for a single person to carry the parts. But for professional use, if you have a helping hand, transportation will be easier. I have heard reviews from DIY hobbyists that, you don’t have to be a pro to operate this machine. It runs smoothly and glides smoothly on the floor. 


  • Can be disassembled for transportation;
  • Dust-free;
  • Easy to control;
  • Perfect finish on the edge of the floor.


  • Very heavy. 

7. Bosch Power Tools – 5″ Inch Electric Orbital Sander, Polisher

  • Motor: 6.5 amps;
  • Disc Size: 6 inches;
  • Model no: 1250DEVS;
  • No-load orbital Speed: 3,100 – 6,500 OPM;
  • No-load speed: 270-600 RPM;
  • Includes Sander, dust tub, 6″ inch soft backing pad, auxiliary handle, pad wrench, sanding disc, dampening ring, and many more;
  • weight: 5.3  lbs.

For polishing floors to delicate fine furniture, everything made of wood can be polished with this sander. For floor polishing on your own, owning this unit will be rather realistic and convenient than renting a drum sander. It is more cost-effective and versatile; use it on your floor to polish, and use it on everything else to strip paint or sanding. 

There are two modes in this sander. One is for aggressive sanding and another for random orbital use. It is a nice all-in-one tool that should be kept in every DIY maniac’s toolbox. 

Using this sander is comfortable. There is no dust canister in this device. You must have a vacuum or other option for dust collection. Though it does not come with a dustbag, it is still able to extract more than 95 percent of the dust produced. 


  • Affordable;
  • Two modes for different applications;
  • Versatile use.


  • A vacuum and hoses are required for dust collection. 

8. Bosch OS50VC 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control

  • Motor: 3.4 amps;
  • Size: ½ inches;
  • Model no: 1250DEVS;
  • Speed: variable;
  • Includes Sander, dust tub, 6″ inch soft backing pad, auxiliary handle, pad wrench, sanding disc, dampening ring, and many more;
  • weight: 5.3  lbs.

This sander will eliminate the downtime of changing sandpapers and managing dust in many ways. It accepts clip-on paper and stick-on paper, so there is more option for you to choose from. The dust collection and disposal system is the best I have ever seen. It eats up all the dust it produces. From the see-through dust canister, you can see when it’s time to dispose of its content. A screw cap at the end helps to empty the canister without removing the canister from the machine. 

This sander has a variable speed for various jobs and a lock-on button keeps the speed constant throughout the applications. The vibration elimination system is patented by Bosch. You will agree with me when you first try this sander. The vibration is barely noticeable in this sander. 


  • Translucent dust canister;
  • Excellent dust collection and disposal;
  • Accepts sticky on paper;
  • No-vibration.


  • No cons.

9. BOSCH ROS10 120 Volt Random Orbit Sander

  • Motor: 3.3 amps;
  • Size: 6 inches;
  • Model no: 3727DEVS;
  • Speed: 4,500-12,000 RPM;
  • Includes Sander, pad wrench, soft backing pad, sanding disc, micro-filter dust filter, and many more;
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs.

It’s the cheapest sander among all the sanders we have reviewed in this list. But surprisingly, it is versatile and powerful. Its variable speed knob makes it suitable for almost any material. The disk size is large enough to sand floors in a short time. 

A combination of rotation and orbit movement is used to make smooth sanding no matter what surface. Besides, it won’t leave any swirl mark on the surface due to its effective pad-dampening braking system. So, the result is a smooth, mark-free finish on the floor, cabinets, tables, and furniture.

The dust collection is annoying. Some users have complained about its poorly designed dust port. If you can stand that design flaw, it is a good and affordable unit. 


  • Multipurpose;
  • Economical price;
  • Large pad size;
  • Uses a combination of rotation and oscillation.


  • Non-standard dust port. 

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Floor Sander for Hardwood Floors?

When choosing a floor sander for hardwood floors, it’s important to consider the type and size of the project, as well as the various floor sanders available. Factors such as power, dust collection, and ease of use should also be taken into account to ensure a successful refinishing process.


Sanding the floor is the first and foremost step of home renovation and redecoration. With a well-polished clean floor, you can give a house the glossy magazine look with just minimal and ordinary pieces of furniture. But to achieve that, you will need to do the sanding the right way. 

With our reviews and guidelines, floor sanding we tried to make floor sanding easy and enjoyable for you. The task requires a lot of effort and patience, but to be honest, the end result is worth every effort.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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