Originally Posted by bstreep
Couple of thoughts:
After using "cheapo" sanders for years, we bought a mid-priced Milwaukee. Holy carp, what a difference it made. I mean, it's only $60. But the cheap
Sanding pads on sanders only last so long. You can buy new pads on Amazon.
I'm not a fan of hook n loops. I prefer a clamping type, and the above Milwaukee is WAY superior to most.
Choose good sandpaper. It's not a place to skimp. If you have a soft bottom, try the screens they use for sanding drywall, you might like them better.
Being a woodworker, I have used pretty much every kind of orbital sander made over the last 35 years. My last 2 have been a Milwaukee and a Ridgid. Hands down, the Ridgid is the best OS I have ever owned.
While I really liked the aggressiveness of the Milwaukee, every time I raised it even a little, setting it down would leave small tear-outs in the surface. The circular is just too strong, at any speed or grit.
The Ridgid, on the other hand, had the same orbital action, but the circular rotation was far less aggressive when touching back down.
Even the dust collection on these two goes to the Ridgid. I rarely need to use a dust mask(though I do anyway), where all the others demand it.
I’ve also used Porter-cable, Hatachi , Makita, and Black and Decker, and the only two I would ever consider buying
again are the two mentioned prior, with an extreme preference to the Ridgid.