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What Kind of Power Sander Can You Use for Drywall?

Sanding drywall is a fundamental part of installing drywall because you have to smooth out the plaster compound. While most prefer using hand sanders for drywall, there are several power sanders you can use for drywall and sanding plaster walls before painting. In this article we will go over the details of sanding drywall.

Manual Sanding Blocks

Manual sanding blocks are ideal for small jobs like repairing an area of broken drywall and sanding/smoothing corners/edges. Your typical sanding block will be near the following dimensions:

Manual sanding blocks work best with fine and medium grits, and also come with different angles for working in tight spots and not scratching nearby drywall. A sanding sponge is another popular sanding block attachment, perfect for corners and edges of drywall.

Orbital Drywall Sanders and Sheet Sanders

Orbital Drywall Sanders

An orbital drywall sander is a versitile, handheld power tool that will work for a massive range of home improvement jobs like removing drywall compound, paint, and rust. The Ridgid r2601 is a prime example of an orbital sander that is fit for just about any job, including drywall work. The only downfall is that it’s a handheld tool so if you need to reach a high place you will need to upgrade your equipment.

Sheet Sanders

A sheet sander is just like an orbital sander but works a bit differently. First off, a sheet sander accepts standard sheets of sand paper whereas an orbital sander uses sand paper with a different backing, like hook and loop. Second, an orbital sander uses random elliptical movement and a sheet sander just moves in a simple circular motion. For this reason, a sheet sander is basically like hand sanding but way, way faster.

Portable Cable Sanders

Portable cable sanders are like the big brother of orbital sanders. Used mainly in commercial jobs, it has up to a 13 foot extension that is perfect for ceilings and high walls. On top of not needing a ladder anymore, they also cover a much larger area than normal sanders. The two main cons are that they are heavy, up to 8 pounds, and cost somewhere in the range of $800. Overall, if you’re ever left wondering how to sand plaster walls that are tall – this is your solution.

Dustless Turbo Drywall Sanders

If you primarily work on small jobs around the house thena dustless turbo drywall sander is like a dream come true. Lightweight just like other handheld sanders but comes with a vaccum and bag that collects the dust as you sand. If you spend enough money you can get a dustless drywall sander that comes with a boom extension for those hard to reach spots.


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