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How to Sand Wood: Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding | Woodworking Tips

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Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding | How To Avoid Sanding Swirls

Sanding wood is a technique that every woodworker needs to know. It might be a tedious activity but one that’s quite necessary. It gives you a quality finish on your woodworking project and leaves you quite satisfied with the results. There are many types of sanders as you can see below from illustrated images, but the most commonly used ones are orbital sanders which can be found on Bob Smith Tools.

Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

The Three Types of Sanders and What’s Best for You

How to Sand Wood Faster? How to avoid sanding swirls? What is the best orbital sander? How do you hand sand wood? Enhance your woodworking project to achieve more...

What is a Spindle Sander?

Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

Spindle Sander

Like any other sander, spindle sanders are modern tools that are used to get the best finishes of wooden surfaces. They work for detailed wooden projects or projects that have curved edges too.

The spindle sander has a rotating drum. The drum is cylindrical and is covered with sandpaper. This sandpaper enables you to get the smooth touch on rough edges. It rotates around the drum to prevent any form of unwanted friction.

There are many different types of spindle sanders. We have the stand-alone floor models, bench-top models, and handheld portable models. If you need a detailed sanding touch, choosing the spindle sander will be the best thing to do.

2 popular sander models from amazon on sale:

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How to Sand Wood: Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

If you want to learn how to sand wood faster, here are the best tricks for you. They are simple, so you don’t need to tense. Take a look at them.

Use the Right Tools

If you want to sand wood faster, you must forget sanding the wood manually. Instead, you should focus on sanding using the right tools. Tools are known to save so much time, double efficiency, and give you better results.

In this case, using the best spindle sanders will be the ideal thing to do. Spindle sanders allow you to work faster. They cover more ground in a short time and will save you from painful wrists and fingers too.

Grab another Sander

Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

Things to consider before buying a drum sander

Is you are using a spindle sander you can double the work time by grabbing the second one. This will sand two times faster than just using a single sander. You should, however, keep the sanders close so that you don’t overdo on part or even miss out on the others.

Skip a Grit or Two

Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

Orbital Sanders

Well, this is the point that most guys don’t actually know. While there are many grits for different types of sanding papers, you don’t have to follow them as they come. You can always move from the coarse grit and end up straight with the fine.

If you do this, you will save so much time and also do a lot of work the easy way. Here is a good example of how you can skip grits, save time, and still have the best results. You can come up with your own.

  • 80-120-180
  • 100-150-220
  • 120-180-220

Keep a Clean Surface

Keeping the surface that you are sanding clean as you keep on working is very important. It will maximize the contact between the sanding grit and the wood and, therefore, ensure smooth results.

One way to maintain a clean surface as you sand is to attach your random sander to a vacuum. It will keep down the dust and double the sander’s work rate. A boosted efficiency is awesome for any type of work.

NOTE: Even though most random sanders have an inbuilt system for collecting dust, it leaves a thin dust cushion on top of the wooden surface. This cushion prevents full contact between the sander and the surface that you are sanding.

Take Your Time

Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding

How To SanWood

It is important to remain patient irrespective of the type of sander that you might be using. For a spindle sander, this technique is even much more vital.

If you apply too much speed or too much force, you will end up with tiny scratches that staining will make visible. This means that you will have to sand them out again sometime soon or later. This is double work from my point of view. The trick is to nail it the very first time you make the try.

How to Avoid Sanding Swirls

If you are just learning how to sand wood, learning how to avoid swirls will be a helpful trick. These tiny scratches can be quite irritating. They will also leave you with poor results after a tedious job. Here are a few tricks to keep swirly scratches away.

  • Use a light touch and maintain patience
  • Don’t press. Just rest your wooden project or your hand on the random sander
  • Use your arm’s weight to achieve enough pressure
  • Move at a very low pace

These tips should help you to avoid swirls. They will also leave you with better results once you have stained your finished product.

Understand When to Stop

When do you say enough is enough? When do you realize that you have nailed the best sanding results? It takes a keen eye to do that. It also takes so much practice before you can actually make the correct choice.

Even so, what you should understand is this. If the grain that you are working on is coarse or has a rough texture such as that of oak or walnut, don’t waste your time sanding to fine. It will never happen.

Closed grains wood such as cherry and maple have a smooth texture. In this case, you have to use the higher grits before you can see the scratches out.

In addition to that, the type of finish that you are going to use also plays a key role. For a thick finish, stopping at 150 grits on open grains and 180 on the closed grains will be important. However, for the oily finish, 220 and 240 for the open grain and closed grain respectively is the best.

YouTube Video | How to use Oscillating Spindle Sander Safely

Video | 23 How To Sand Wood Efficiently | 2 Minutes Sanding Tip


If you want to have the best sanding results, you must keep these sanding tips in mind. If you do, you will find that learning how to sand wood is no brainer at all. You will also find out that you will achieve better results often.

Patience is also a key skill when it comes to sanding. It enables you to learn and will also prevent you from over-sanding or from missing out on several parts. Good luck with your next sanding project.

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2 thoughts on “How to Sand Wood: Smart Tricks for Faster Sanding | Woodworking Tips”

  1. Hey Thomas,
    Excellent tips on sanding woods!

    Just a little input: Random Orbital Sander (Dual Action) is a fantastic tool for sanding woods more efficiently. It doesn’t leave swirls marks on the surface. With that said, your tips will assist beginners in learning how to sand woods like a pro!

    I am going to share this article with my beginner woodworker friends – they’ll love reading this article.

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