5 Absolute Best Sanders for Cabinets (Tested & Reviewed 2023)
If you’re looking to refurbish your cabinets, having a power sander is a necessity. Sure, you could spend hours sanding by hand – but why waste time when a power sander can get the job done in under an hour?
Whether you’re looking to sand kitchen cabinets, or some cabinet doors in your office, these sanders can help you get the job done, effortlessly.
In this post, I’ll explore the best sander for cabinets and what you should consider before making your purchase. Let’s dig in!
In a hurry? The best sander for cabinets is the DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Orbital Sander. It’s powerful and versatile with a favorable price tag that can remove the existing finish on your cabinet doors. This sander is perfect to sand cabinets because it’s medium size allows you to sand cabinets faster without being overly large and heavy.
In This Article:
Best Sanders for Cabinets
- #1 Best Overall – DeWalt Cordless Sander
- Best Quality Sander – Makita Random Orbital Sander
- Best Value – Black & Decker Orbital Sander
- Best Finishing Sander – Craftsman Palm Sander
- Best Detail Sander – SKIL Detail Sander
1. DeWalt 20V Cordless Sander – #1 Best Sander for Cabinets
- Orbital sander with brushless motor provides runtime and efficiency to get the job done
- Variable-speed control of the hand sander from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM to match the speed to the application.
- Low-profile height of the power sander allows user to get close to work surface for precise sanding.
The best sander for cabinets is the DeWalt 20V Max Orbital Sander for a few reasons.
First, this is a cordless model, which can be extremely convenient when working on cabinet doors.
Next, it’s one of the more powerful sanders on my list, producing up to 12,000 OPM of speed.
Finally, it’s a has variable speed control, so you can adjust the speed of your sander as needed. Changing the sanding pads was super easy, too and the dust collection system did a fantastic job.
What I Liked:
- No cords that get in the way
- Extremely powerful sander, which can remove the toughest finishes from your cabinets
- Very comfortable grip with variable speed dial
- Can swap out batteries with other compatible DeWalt tools
What I Didn’t Like:
- Battery powered means it is slightly heavier than corded models
- Orbital design can make it difficult to sand around corners and tight spaces
- One of the more expensive sanders
Overall, I love DeWalt tools and their 20V Max Orbital Sander did an amazing job for sanding cabinets. This electric sander features just about everything you could want in a sander including an extremely powerful motor, a comfortable grip, and easily changeable sanding pads. My only complaint is that you won’t be able to reach tight corners because it’s an orbital sander but other than that, this sander is one of the best for any cabinet doors. This is one of the best cordless sanders you can find.
2. Makita 5″ Random Orbital Sander – Best Power & Durability
- Smoother and faster sanding with 3.0 AMP motor
- Variable speed control dial (4,000-12,000 OPM) enables user to match the sanding speed to the application
- Ergonomic rubberized palm grip and handle for improved operator comfort and control
If you’re looking for the most powerful sander that can remove finishers with a single pass – this Makita Random Orbital Sander is the way to go.
This sander is very similar to the DeWalt above, except it’s slightly more powerful and it’s a corded model – so you’ll need to have an extension cord or outlet close to you.
One thing I liked about this sander compared to the DeWalt is the additional grip that can make it easier to control and maneuver. With as much power as it produces, sometimes this sander can get away from you, but thanks to the second grip – you don’t have to worry about it.
This sander also has a great dust collection system that did a pretty good job of keeping dust out of the way.
What I Liked:
- Extremely powerful sander that delivers up to 12,000 OPM so you can sand faster
- Superb dust collection that helps prevent swirl marks
- Dual grip makes it easy to control this electric sander and it’s very comfortable
- Easy to change sanding pads
What I Didn’t Like:
- More expensive than other options
- Orbital sanders aren’t great for tight spaces and corners, so you may need to do some manual sanding
- Doesn’t come with a sanding pad in the box
If you want the highest quality and most powerful random orbital sander you can find, this Makita Orbital Sander is a perfect choice. It’s one of the best sanders for cabinets, refinishing furniture, and even decks. This is one of the most versatile sanders you’ll find and it does a great job on any wood surface. My only gripe with this sander is the price and the orbital style can require some manual sanding around tight corners. Other than that, this sander is certainly worth the money. Makita is a great brand that I’ve used for years, so it’s hard to go wrong with this sander.
3. Black and Decker Orbital Sander – Best Budget Sander
- HIGH PERFORMANCE ORBIT SANDER – 2.0 Amp corded electric random orbit sander for a swirl-free finish
- HIGH EFFICIENCY – Delivers 12000 OPM (orbits per minute) to quickly sand material
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT – Fits in tight spaces for more versatile sanding
If you want a sander that’s affordable and works well on cabinets – this Black & Decker Orbital Sander is worth a look.
It’s relatively powerful given the price and can produce 12,000 OPM of speed.
When I first turned this sander on, I was shocked by how much speed it could produce. However – you have to be careful. Because it doesn’t feature variable speed control, you can only go one speed setting that can cause swirl marks on your cabinets.
The dust collection system wasn’t as good as other random orbit sanders, but it did an okay job of removing dust.
I did like how lightweight it was so it didn’t exhaust my arms or shoulders when sanding.
What I Liked:
- Extremely affordable and a great value for the price
- Lightweight yet pretty powerful
What I Didn’t Like:
- Not quite as powerful as more expensive sanders
- No variable speed control, so it can only go one speed
- Corded model, so cords can get in the way
I was pleasantly surprised with how effective this Black & Decker Orbital Sander was given how affordable it is. If you’re refinishing a few cabinet doors and need a sander to get the job done, this sander might be worth it. That said, if you’re a common woodworker and sand regularly – I’d go with a more powerful sander. This sander doesn’t feature a variable speed setting, so I found that swirl marks were a problem. Also, it’s not quite as comfortable as other because of the speed it produces and how lightweight it is.
4. Craftsman Palm Sander – Best Sheet Sander
- COMPLETE TASKS WITH EASE: 2.0 Amps and 13,500 OPM of the electric sander gives you the power to complete tasks with ease
- ON-BOARD DUST BAG: High performance dust collection of the 1/4 sheet sander featuring on-board dust bag and connection to 1-1/4-inch vacuum hose
- DURABILITY: Dust sealed switch provides added durability
If you’re in the market for a finishing sander, this Craftsman finishing sander is a great choice for cabinet sanding.
This sander packs a punch given its size with a 2 amp motor that can produce 12,500 OPM of speed.
While it’s not as powerful as the DeWalt or Makita sanders, it still did a great job of sanding cabinets of any size.
The sanding pad was extremely easy to change – you just have to clip in a new sheet whenever needed.
What I Liked:
- Pretty good value for the money
- Easy to swap out sanding pads
- Works well for tight spaces and larger areas
What I Didn’t Like:
- Dust collection system wasn’t as good as others
- Not quite as powerful as some other sanders
If you’re refinishing cabinets, this Craftsman finishing sander is a solid choice that I’d recommend if you’re looking for a finishing sander specifically. Similar to a detail sander, this finishing sheet sander can reach corners that you can’t access with a standard orbital finishing sander. It’s also priced well and affordable for most people. That said, this sander wasn’t as powerful as the others, so it required more time to sand cabinets than some of the others. The dust collection system also wasn’t as good as others, but it did a decent job.
5. SKIL Detail Sander – Best Detail Sander for Cabinets
- POWERFUL – With a 1. 2 amp motor and 13,500 orbits per minute, it’s able to deliver a smooth performance over a variety of sanding applications.
- VERSATILITY ON THE QUICK – This 4-in-1 detail sander comes with an additional 3 detail attachments for fine finishing large surfaces corners/edges and any surface contour. These attachments are easy…
- TOUGH ON DUST – Between its micro-filtration system and the 1-1/4″ dust port for vacuum attachment you can choose your preferred way to keep dust away.
If you want a versatile sander that can reach tighter spaces and areas, this SKIL Detail Sander is a great choice.
It’s not quite as powerful as other sanders, but it can still produce 13,500 OPM of speed, which is pretty good considering the 1.2 amp motor.
This is one of the best detail sanders you’ll find, and it’s actually quite affordable. It comes with several different attachments so you can reach the space you need to, which is a nice benefit.
Wether you’re working on a DIY project, refinishing cabinets, or working on furniture – this is a good sander that I recommend.
What I Liked:
- Great for detailed sanding in tight areas
- Great value for the price
What I Didn’t Like:
- Not nearly as powerful as others, which can make your sanding jobs take longer
- Single speed motor can cause scratch marks
- Dust collection wasn’t great
This SKIL Detail sander is one of the best cabinet sanders because of it’s shape, price, and effectiveness. While it’s not as powerful as other sanders I’ve mentioned, it can still get the job done with a few passes. The main difference with this sander is the ability to reach into tight corners on your cabinet doors that you may otherwise have to sand manually. If you don’t mind spending some extra money, I’d recommend purchasing this detail sander in addition to one of the orbital sanders above. That’ll give you the best of both worlds so you can sand just about any surface big or small.
What to Consider When Buying a Sander for Cabinets
Power & Speed
When it comes to sanding of any kind, power and speed are two of the most important factors to consider.
These will determine how well you can remove paint or an existing finish from the wood – and therefore, how much time it’s going to take.
More powerful and faster sanders might be capable of removing the existing finish from cabinets in just one pass. Less powerful sanders might require three, four, or over five passes before the finish is removed.
When it comes to sanding a cabinet door, you want a sander that can remove a decent amount of finish in a couple of passes.
Looking for another sander? Check out these best sanders for deck refinishing!
Style & Size
There are many different sizes and styles of sanders available, but the best for sanding cabinets is either a random orbital sander, detail sander, or a finishing sander.
Random orbital sanders are one of the most versatile sanders because they can be used on a large range of projects – whether you’re planning to refinish furniture, strip your hardwood floors, or give your kitchen cabinets a new look.
I don’t personally like using a belt sander for cabinets because of how much material they can remove. Sometimes it’s too much power and can cause damage to your cabinet doors.
Detail and finishing sanders are great for smaller projects, but I tend to prefer random orbital sander for most of my sanding jobs. I usually hand sand the corners and small spaces with a sanding block.
There are also different sizes. Most orbital sanders will come in either 5″ or 6″ sizes, either of which would be fine for cabinets.
Cordless vs Corded
As with most power tools, there’s always a debate between corded and cordless models. As technology has advanced, the gap has gotten even narrower between which is better. Cordless tools can now deliver similar power without having cords in the way of your work.
However, you’ll need to ensure your battery is charged and keep in mind how long it will last on a single charge.
So which is better for sanding cabinets?
Ultimately, I prefer a cordless model to keep cords out of the way. Additionally, depending on how many cabinets you’re sanding – one battery should be enough to get the job done.
Now, if you’re sanding a large amount of cabinets, you may want to opt for a corded model – just remember to have an extension cord handy.
Looking to sand other surfaces? Check out these best sanders for wood trim!
Dust collection is another key aspect when determining which sander you should buy. Most sanders will have either a dust collection bag or a port to hook up a shop vacuum to so that dust stays out of the way.
But some sanders do a better job than others. So why does dust matter?
If a sander doesn’t have a great dust collection system, you could be left with sanding scuffs and swirl marks that aren’t very visually pleasing. Additionally, you’ll have to use more force with your sander which causes unnecessary wear and tear on your device.
For most people, price is also a critical factor that can make or break your sander. There’s certainly a large range of prices when it comes to sanders, but I think the question to ask yourself is “how often will I use this sander?”
This should help guide you when deciding which is best. If you’re planning on sanding many different surfaces and do tons of DIY projects – opting for a more expensive model is probably the right decision.
However, if you’re just looking for sand your kitchen cabinets and that’s it, you can opt for a low or medium tier sander.
Most electric palm sanders will cost between $30 and $200, but some belt sanders can cost over $300.
Need help sanding your cabinets? Check out the video below for more help!
What type of sander is best for redoing cabinets?
When refinishing a cabinet door, the best type of sander is either an orbital sander, detail sander, or sheet sander. I found that a belt sander is overly powerful and can cause problems.
What grit sandpaper is best for sanding wood cabinets?
It’s best to start with a 120-grit sandpaper when first sanding cabinets and removing any existing finish from them. Once you’ve gone over the entire surface once, you can use a finer, 220-grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish.
What’s the best sander for repainting cabinets?
I strongly recommend either the DeWalt 20V Max cordless sander or the Makita Corded Orbital sander for repainting cabinets. These sanders can deliver the power you need to remove the existing paint and finish and prep the cabinets for a new finish.
Final Thoughts on the Best Sander for Cabinets
There are so many great sanders on the market, but the DeWalt 20V Max Random Orbital Sander is the best sander for cabinets. This sander is powerful, easy to use, and keeps cords out of the way thanks to its reliable battery.
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, the Black & Decker Orbital sander is a great sander for the money and works amazing on kitchen cabinets of all kinds.