Best Sander to Remove Paint

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Removing old paint is not an easy nor pleasant task, as is sanding in general. It takes a good chunk of time and patience to achieve the results you want. So how to remove paint from wood in the most efficient way, you may ask?

You can try different stripping methods, but in the end, when you have several layers of gloss paint on top of some lacquer finish, the only way to get rid of it is a powerful sander.

The best sander to remove paint will have to be a powerful one with quite a few features to make this job easier and faster. If you want to know more about other paint removal methods, check my post on removing paint from wood.

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Now you have two choices. First, go for a belt sander, or second, get the random orbital sander.

The first one will do the job for sure, and if you have a lot of old/reclaimed wood-like pallets, I’d recommend getting one anyway. But if you only have a budget for one sander that is supposed to be versatile and used for other tasks, get the random orbital sander(RO).

Removing paint with an RO sander may not be as efficient as a belt sander but you’re less likely to damage the wood surface with it.

Best random orbital sander to remove paint

Bosch 1250DEVS
  • Dual Mode: Provides 2 Sanding Modes: Random Orbit Mode for Normal Stock Removal or Fine Finishing and “Turbo” Driven Eccentric Orbit Mode for Aggressive Stock Removal at 5 Times the Rate of the Normal Random Orbit Sanding Mode
  • VARIABLE SPEED: The 1250DEVS comes with a powerful 6.5 amp variable speed motor (no load speed: 270 to 600 RPM, no load orbit speed: 3,100 to 6,500 OPM) provide power, flexibility for jobs
  • EASE OF USE: Get fast, smooth finishes on a variety of surfaces
  • PASSIVE DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM: Passive dust collection system that requires a vacuum cleaner and hoses; Accepts Bosch VAC001, VAC009 and VAC010 hoses (sold separately) or a Bosch VAC002 hose adapter (included)

This sander is a beast. With its 6.5 Amp of power, it will get your job faster and easier. You have to keep in mind that this sander could be a bit more difficult to control especially if you don’t have much experience with random orbital sanders. The auxiliary handle can help you with that, though.

Another thing great about this sander is the dual-mode. You flip a switch, and turbo mode turns it into a very efficient, aggressive stock removal machine.

Pretty handy when you need to get rid of gazillion layers of paint, isn’t it? Flip it back, and you can easily finish off your piece with the finishing mode.

It has a variable speed for even more control with a Constant Response circuit that keeps the speed maintained under heavy loads and a vacuum port for dust collection and mess-free work. The body is built of solid materials, and all bearings and gears, as well as the switch, are sealed against dust for long durability.

This sander is a very impressive tool that will not disappoint you. One of the best sanders on the market. It has many positive reviews on Amazon, and if you need more convincing, I wrote a full review on it that you can check out here.

  • 6 in sanding pad
  • 6.5 Amp of power
  • Great quality
Festool 571810 RO 150 FEQ Rotex
  • Dual-Mode Sanding with a gear-driven, aggressive mode for rapid stock removal or polishing and random orbital mode for fine sanding.
  • Jetstream dust extraction design delivers highly efficient dust removal, resulting in cleaner air, better finishes, and longer abrasive and pad life.
  • FastFix tool-free backing pad changing system allows the sander to adapt to different surfaces and tasks with appropriate pads.
  • Compact Size with a compact form and a 5" pad, the RO 125 delivers performance to even the tightest of places. Sanding Stroke-3/16" (5 mm).
  • MMC electronic controls deliver soft-start, step-less variable speed control, constant speed under load, and thermal and overload protection.

If you’re looking for an excellent dust collection in your sander, this Festool sander will be perfect for you. Festool is a leader among power tools manufacturers, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. But quality comes with a price tag, so be prepared to spend some bucks.

This Rotex sander has a 6-inch pad with 17 holes with the fastfix pad, which means tool-less and fast pad changes. No need to have many sanders with different grits on them. Just change the pad, and you’re ready to go.

The powerful Multi-Jetstream dust collection will help you contain all the sanded paint, which is very important, especially when sanding old paint that might contain dangerous lead.

Minimal vibrations with electronic vibration control-great if you are working long periods of time. An automatic dust extractor shut on/off as well as consistent speed under pressure with MMC electronic controls are some of the other great features that users love in this model.

This tool has a great balance and awesome control. As in the Bosch 1250devs, bearings and gears are enclosed, so better protection against dust means longer tool life.

That’s not the only similarity to Bosch sander. It also and similar OPM, power, and a dual-mode for aggressive stock removal or polishing and random orbital mode for fine sanding. Overall great sander but a bit pricey.

  • 6-in exchangeable pad
  • 6 Amp of power
  • Quality built
Bosch 120-V 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander
  • DUST COLLECTION: Features two dust collection systems including a micro filter dust canister with integrated paper filter and screw off cap and a vacuum hose connection with airflow control giving users a mess free job site
  • DUST COLLECTION: Features two dust collection systems including a micro-filter dust canister with integrated paper filter and screw-off cap and a vacuum hose connection with airflow control giving users a mess-free jobsite.
  • COMPLETE: The sander polisher kit includes removable front handle, tubular dust canister, VAC024 vacuum hose adapter, RS6045 6 Inch soft backing pad, 5 millimeter pad wrench, sanding disc
  • COMFORT: The Bosch ROS65VC 6 Random Orbit Sander and Polisher features Bosch’s exclusive Vibration Control a suspension system to minimize vibration for superior handling and maximum comfort
  • COMPLETE: The sander polisher kit includes removable front handle, tubular dust canister, VAC024 vacuum hose adapter, RS6045 6-Inch soft backing pad, 5 mm pad wrench, sanding disc

The vibration control suspension system in this tool is truly fantastic, and your hands will thank you for it. When it comes to dust collection, it has two dust collection systems.

The first is a micro-filter dust canister with an integrated paper filter and screw-off cap, and the second – a vacuum hose connection with airflow control. Both of them fasten easily to the port.

For removing paint, I’d recommend using a shop vac with an appropriate HEPA filter every time.

Bosch ROS65VC-6 supports two pad sizes, 5-in(with 6 holes) and 6- in (with 8 holes) one, so you get a very versatile tool. Both pads are included so you can hit the ground working.

This sander is fast and feels great. Variable speed and multiple grips on the body(including the removable handle at the front) make it a very efficient tool for multiple applications. Although it only has 3.3 Amps of power, I think, in this case, it is enough to tackle any paint removal job you throw at it.

It’s a great tool, but if you’re willing to spend that kind of money, I’d throw in a few more bucks and got the Bosch devs1250. Mostly because of the dual-mode, which makes removing paint and other sanding tasks a lot faster and easier.

  • 5 and 6-inch pads
  • Amazing vibration control
  • 2 dust collection systems

What to look for in the best sander to remove paint

#1. Power

Removing paint, especially old multiple layers of it, requires great power, so when looking for a sander for this kind of work, make sure it’s got enough Amps to do the job. Most of the 5in sanders will have something around 3 Amp, but if you can, go for 6in ones with at least 6 Amp of power. They will be great for heavy usage and will last longer.

#2. Variable speed

When choosing a sander for removing paint, variable speed will give you more control, especially when sanding the painted surface that is not even/flat.

#3.  Speed lock

This feature is great, full stop. It allows you to hold on to your sander more freely and focus on the task at hand. When choosing the sander, look for a speed lock that will lock at any speed, not only the highest.

#4. Good vacuum collection system for collecting old sanded paint

I think this is one of the most important features when it comes to sanding painted surfaces. Ensure the vacuum attachment stays attached, and the dust bag/canister collects most of the dust.

Another thing to pay attention to is an option to attach the shop vac. Even better, make sure you’re using a HEPA filter with your shop vac as well.

#5. Low vibrations

I don’t think I have to explain this one. Working long hours with a sander shouldn’t leave your hands numb so look for one with vibration control for more comfortable sanding and more control.


When choosing the best sander to remove paint, you want something that will do the job fast and hustle-free. All of these sanders are great tools and will do the job in question without a doubt. They all have amazing user reviews and will last ages.

Bosch Devs 1250 would be my pick in this case as it has nearly all of the Festool’s features at half of the price.

However, If you think that you need more choice or have a smaller budget, I’ve written an extensive buying guide on random orbital sanders, and you’re more than welcome to have a look. I hope you’ll find something for yourself there.

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  1. Hi Kasia,

    I enjoyed reading your column here and I’m wondering if you could give me some tips/help?
    We have recently had our house painted with a beautiful colourbond “Blue Ridge’. Its an old house and not cladded, still with the original weatherboard boards. It looked amazing until the whole front section of the house started bubbling. It’s now pretty bad.
    This has never happened to the painter before and I understand he used the best paint on the market at the moment (with a 20yr warranty.) He said its the old white paint reacting to the new paint ad heat. (We get the morning sun which can be rather strong this time of year)
    He/we need to remove the paint and sand it right back to the wood. He said he only has an orbital sander. I’m unsure of the make. BUT I’m wondering how you would approach a problem like this? What type of sander would you use?

    Your advice would be most appreciated.

    Kind regards,
    Rosie Kennedy

    1. Hi Rosalia,

      thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m glad you liked the post/website 🙂 I’m not a painting professional but I try to answer you the best I can.
      It could be several reasons for the bubbling to happen. In most cases, it’s excessive moisture in the substrate or original primer or one of the subsequent coats have failed. Painting with a darker color on top causes the surface to heat up(especially if the wall is exposed to the sun as you said) and draws the moisture to the surface. If the old coats have been spent then the blistering occurs.

      First of all, before doing any king of old paint removal please, please make sure it doesn’t contain lead. I believe you can send a sample off for testing. If it comes positive you have two choices. Hire a professional that will do it for you or approach it with a heat gun and a scraper. You’d have to make sure to use a good quality respirator specifically for lead fumes and googles. Lay drop sheets around the area which allows easy disposal of the paint peel. Also, have the hose or a bucket of water close by just in case a fire starts. But before starting any work I’d consult a professional anyway.

      If it’s a regular old paint you can use heat gun/infrared stripper plus a scraper and then random orbit sander. You can rent this Speadheater for a $30/day or you could invest in the Bosh DEVS1250 sander that I mentioned in the article or Makita GV7000C 7.9 Amp 7-Inch Vertical Sander looks like a great tool as well.

      I hope my answer will help you a bit to solve the problem. Let me know how it went and what solution you went for. Have a lovely day!

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