Top Sanders For Decks Reviewed

sanders for decks reviewedAre you currently refinishing your deck and want it to look its absolute best?

A high-quality flooring sander is critical to the overall appearance of your deck and will make it look and feel more professional, rather than like your home improvement project is the aftermath of an unskilled homeowner.

Finding a deck sander that best fits your needs can be difficult on a competitive marketplace full of options. That’s why we’ve selected the top belt sanders for you. Once you invest in one of these, you’ll be happy to see the high-quality results on your finished project.

Benefits Of A Belt Sander For Decks

Sanding wood decks with a belt sander is the best option to prepare for deck staining or painting. Because these areas are completely flat surfaces that don’t have too many corners, sharp edges or narrow spaces, a belt sander with a wide belt is the best tool to cover the surface easily and efficiently.

Belt sanders are bigger than small or compact sanders, so they are perfect for large areas such as decks. They are also reasonably easy to manage and control if used properly and if you are working with a quality tool. They can also run for long periods of time without having to charge or rest, which is not always the case with smaller models.

Deck Sander Comparison Table

We’ve reviewed some of the best sanders for decks available, to help you find the right one. We go over each one in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick feature comparison:

Top Choice
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander - 3.4 Amp 1/2 Inch Finishing Belt Sander Kit with Vibration Control for 4.5 Inch x 9 Inch Sheets
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)
Price not available
Price not available
Top Choice
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander - 3.4 Amp 1/2 Inch Finishing Belt Sander Kit with Vibration Control for 4.5 Inch x 9 Inch Sheets
Price not available
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)
Price not available

Best Deck Sanders

Because sanding is such an important step in deck refinishing, it’s critical to find a quality belt sander that’s efficient, durable, and long lasting. Some are better for deck sanding specifically more than others, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to buy the wrong one.

Here are our top picks for quality sanders for decks that you can trust to enhance the look of your project and make your renovation process go smoother.

To help you choose the right tool for your specific needs, we’ve reviewed the four best sanders for decks available.

1. Makita 9403 4in x 24in Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Makita 9403 Belt Sander review

The Makita 9403 Belt Sander

This sander is standard in the industry and a reliable choice that will get the job done. It has a 4-inch wide belt and a speed of 1,640 feet per minute. It’s built with a large front grip, so beginners aren’t struggling to keep it upright while using it. At a reasonable 13 pounds, this sander is not too heavy and easier to hold than bigger models.

It also has a large dust bag that has a 360-degree rotation designed to minimize particles blocking your sight while using the sander. Its electric cord is located on the top of the machine, which is a huge convenience – nothing is worse than using electric technology with one hand and having to hold a cord in the other. The Makita manufacturers ensure that this product’s cord is out of the way so that you can sand easily.

If noise is uncomfortable to you, this sander is the quietest of its kind. Although this sander is guaranteed to hold up for multiple uses, it also comes with a 1-year warranty. This sander is your best option as it offers all the important components at a decent rate.

Makita 9403 Pros

  • Solid Grip
  • Standard features
  • Wide belt
  • Powerful
  • Quietest

Makita 9403 Cons

  • Less powerful than some other options on the market

Makita 9403 4' X 24' Belt Sander
949 Reviews
Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
  • Quietest belt sander in its class: only 84 decibals
  • 4 inch wide belt with a speed of 1,640 feet per minute for fast material removal
  • Labyrinth construction seals motor and bearings from contamination
  • Large front grip is positioned for operator comfort. Variable speed control dial : No
  • 13 pounds; 1 year warranty

2. Bosch OS50VC 120-Volt 3.4-Amp Variable Speed 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sander with Vibration Control

Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander review

The Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander

This is a heavy-duty, powerful sander that’s geared towards experienced users. Its 3.4 amp sander allows for a stronger sanding rate and maximum speed. Its enormous ½ sheet sanding pad is ideal for decks, allowing the user to cover a lot of surface area in a short period of time. It’s strong but sturdy and automatically in control, with the ability to control its vibrations and move steadily. It’s built in suspension system exclusive to Bosch models makes this model easy to control and handle.

The Bosch OS50VC also comes with a Sheetloc clamping system that keeps the sandpaper perfectly in place. If you’re uncomfortable by its high speed, there is a speed dial that controls its strong movement and can accommodate any type of wood.

Although it doesn’t come with a dust bag, it has a built-in dust canister that collects particles efficiently and is easy to remove and empty when necessary. It’s a little pricier than the standard Makita 9304, but it’s one of the most efficient and trustworthy options available.

Bosch OS50VC Pros

  • Extremely powerful
  • ½ Sheet
  • Professional
  • Low vibration

Bosch OS50VC Cons

  • Pricier than other options

Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander - 3.4 Amp 1/2 Inch Finishing Belt Sander Kit with Vibration Control for 4.5 Inch x 9 Inch Sheets
93 Reviews
Bosch OS50VC Electric Orbital Sander - 3.4 Amp 1/2 Inch Finishing Belt Sander Kit with Vibration Control for 4.5 Inch x 9 Inch Sheets
  • VERSATILE: Flush sanding ability sands close to vertical surfaces on 3 sides
  • ACCURACY: SheetLoc Supreme Paper Clamping System for perfect paper fit. Also accepts stick on paper
  • CONVENIENCE: Lowest vibration of any electric orbital sander.Orbit Diameter:3/32 inch
  • DUST COLLECTION: Translucent micro filter dust canister with integrated paper filter and screw-off cap for easiest emptying
  • KIT CONTENTS: Includes OS50VC sander, micro filter dust canister, removable front handle, VAC024 vacuum hose adapter, 5 mm hex wrench, sanding sheet and punch plate

3. Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander review

The Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander

This is the most affordable model on the list that includes the minimum features necessary for a decent sanding job. It has a variable speed dial just like the Bosch model and an elastomer grip handle similar to the Makita 9403 to make it easy to hold and use.

Its small build makes it easy to control, transport, and use freely. It comes packaged with a large dust collection bag that’s easy to slip on and off. Besides its portable size, price, and standard features, this model’s biggest pro is its wear-resistant V-belt that is guaranteed to hold up for twice the service life of this sander.

At its base, it doesn’t come with a sanding belt, but it can be purchased with the belt as a combo deal for an incredibly low price that’s still more affordable than the other options.

Hitachi SB8V2 Pros

  • Well-rounded, standard features
  • Transportable
  • Most affordable
  • Wear-Resistant

Hitachi SB8V2 Cons

  • Smaller sheet
  • Sander belt not included

Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)
253 Reviews
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Variable speed dial adjusts speed from 820 1,475 feet/min for improved manageability during any operation
  • Soft elastomer grip surface on the main and auxiliary handles for a comfortable and secure hold
  • Tracking window improves visibility of sanding surface and sanding belt during use and belt size is 76 x 533millimeter(3 x 21 inches)
  • Left side mounted dust collection bag improves corner sanding applications, while reducing airborne particles to keep work area clean

4. No products found.

Porter Cable 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander review

The PORTER-CABLE 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander

The Porter Cable is a 3×21 belt sander that has an all-metal housing, which makes this tool feel solid and sturdy. Although metal, it is technically lighter than tools like the Makita, at a manageable size of 10 lbs. The metal housing also helps the sander remain rigid when working, and it alleviates heat during long periods of use to prevent the machine from overheating. This machine is fantastic at keeping the belt in place and running for long periods of time.

Like the other models, it also comes with a variable speed dial and large cloth bag. This sander stands out because of its capability as a flush sander, which is the sanding of two adjoining surfaces. If your deck has stairs, this tool is small and sturdy enough with a solid belt and ability to reach in corners to efficiently sand these areas. The Porter has a quick-release belt changer, making belt changes easier and quicker.

This model also comes with a three-year warranty, convenient for any new users who are skeptical about this sander’s guaranteed durability.

Porter-Cable 352VS Pros

  • Variable Speed
  • All-Metal Housing
  • Cloth Bag
  • Affordable
  • Flush Sanding
  • 3-year Warranty

Porter-Cable 352VS Cons

  • Doesn’t have the same width and strength as the other options.

No products found.

The Verdict: What Is the Best Deck Sander?

Although they all have different features with varying positives and disadvantages, these four models are well regarded by professionals as high-quality sanders that are guaranteed to transform your deck with quality. No matter which model you decide to choose, sanding a deck will prove to be an efficient process and rewarding investment.

All around, the Makita 9403 is a great product, but it’s also a tough choice considering that it can’t beat the Bosch’s power, or the Hitachi’s price.

However, out of these four, the overall best choice for an average deck refinishing is the Makita. It boasts the most well rounded features and at quality performance. It has the durability, guaranteed longevity, and power needed for any project, all at an average price that shouldn’t empty anybody’s wallet. It doesn’t hurt that this sander is quiet and has a cord that’s attached from the top so it’s not in the way while sanding.

Sanders For Decks FAQs

Will sanding a deck really make that much of a difference with the finished product?

The short answer is yes. Sanders smooth out harsh surfaces like wood through its sandpaper belt and a process called abrasion. The sander’s bottom is applied over wood that’s had significant damage or wear, stripping it of its upmost layer with a new coat.

A sander is applied before the refreshment phase, and it will completely enhance the smoothness of your porch. If you forego sanding the deck, you’re basically choosing to renovate using tired wood, which will never look as good as a polished deck. A nicely finished outdoor deck can add enjoyment to the homeowner, and increase the value of your real estate at the same time.

What other types of sanders are there?

Although belt sanders are the best option for wooden decks, there are other types of sanders you could use to sand your deck, hardwood floors, as well as other surfaces. These can be used in conjunction with the belt sander for a truly phenomenal end product.

Random Orbital Sanders, for instance, are handy tools. Unlike the belt sander that uses rolling paper to sand a surface, the orbital floor sander uses rotating discs, which not only rotates but also vibrates heavily. This gives a surface a heavy coating without grinding into the wood. These disc sanders are known for giving the entire deck surface the smoothest look possible, as they leave no marks or patterns on a surface. They can also be used for large or small tasks, depending on what your project requires.

You can also look into big sheet sanders, which are small lightweight tools that are good for smaller areas with edges such as stairs. They also won’t wear your arm out quickly because of their small size like palm sanders might. However, for working on a large deck, a belt sander or orbital sander is recommended to help you cover the entire area quicker and more efficiently with the machine power needed.

Other Deck Equipment

In addition to sanding, other tools are useful for keeping outdoor decks looking their best. Pressure washing your deck is a great way to remove dirt and debris. Power washing is also useful for removing material left between deck boards, and won’t harm cedar decks, pressure treated decks, or composite deck materials. For painted decks be sure not to turn up the pressure too high, or it can actually lift off the paint.

Deck Sanding Video

If you have never sanded the outdoor wood of a deck before, here is a good YouTube video demonstrating the process:

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