If you are installing or repainting drywall, chances are, you’ll need a drywall sander to remove loose paint and other rough residues. This tool will work on both ceilings and floors, and is a lifesaver when you’re working on a big remodeling project.
So, what’s the best drywall sander out there? To help you choose one that meets your needs, I’ve reviewed a couple of worthy units below and listed their features, pros, and cons.
My overall top pick is the Makita XLS01Z 18V LXT Cordless 9-Inch Drywall Sander, which will run up to 35 minutes on a single charge of its 18V LXT 5.0Ah battery (sold separately) with the use of any 120-grit abrasive disc.
The large power trigger switch provides comfort and great usability when you’re handling jobs that require you to work in awkward positions. It also has a lock-on feature to use for continuous sanding work. Aiding your handling further is the 2-position rubberized soft grip to help reduce user fatigue.
It has a head swivel that has good flexibility and maneuverability depending on the situation. For managing drywall debris, it has a removable dust brush and it also has roller wheels for edge sanding on the wall. Since it runs on a brushless motor, it will make less noise, cause the tool to run cooler, and won’t need frequent maintenance because it does not need carbon brushes.
To maintain the drywall sander in terms of motor operation, it has an overload sensor in case it’s close to overheating. Since it has an adjustable extension pipe up to 16-1/2 inches, it will be suitable for high ceilings and walls. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: The sander runs on a brushless motor, allowing it to run cooler with fewer maintenance needs. It also has a comfortable grip and extendable pipe.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The tube design could be redesigned and improved to enhance its dust extraction capability.
Yet another unit with a brushless motor, the DeWALT DCE800P2 20V Cordless Drywall Sander Kit is a convenient tool for both sanding and dust extraction, thanks to its wireless capability when paired with any Wireless Tool Control compatible dust extractor. Thanks to its telescoping shaft, getting into difficult spaces won’t be a problem.
I like that it has Airlock technology that lets you connect to most DeWALT dust extractors quickly and without the need for tools. With a 20V MAX DCB205 battery, it will run up to 30 minutes using most sanding pads (it comes with DWE7801 Soft and DWE7802 Hard backing pads that are ready for use).
With its variable speed dial, it is easy to adjust the drywall sander depending on your project, to avoid ruining the material or overworking the unit. Moreover, the sander has a balanced tool weight distribution to help reduce worker’s fatigue, especially helpful for big remodeling projects.
Because of its articulating head, working at various angles won’t be a hassle thanks to the good contact design of the sanding pad. The drywall sander weighs 8.59 pounds and is backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It has wireless capability that makes dust extraction convenient if you have the compatible DeWALT machines. I like its overload warning system to help you preserve the motor life.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Looking for a compatible Airlock adapter is the challenge for this tool.
If you’re just looking for a convenient tool for your next drywall project, the WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander is a decent choice. It has a variable speed adjustment from 600 to 1,500 RPM, which allows you to adapt to various projects and materials without overworking the unit.
Since it has an automatic dust removal system, it adds to the convenience of the tool along with the 15-foot dust hose that reduces the need for excessive clean-up. It has a 5-amp mounted motor that provides sufficient torque for most sanding disc grits.
This unique sander accommodates types of sanding heads: circular and triangular, both of which require no tools in installation. Moreover, the drywall sander comes with ready-to-use sanding discs, from 60 to 240 grit (9 inches each) and 11-1/4-inch triangle sandpaper.
The drywall sander weighs 9 pounds, so it’s neither too heavy nor too lightweight. Because it has up to 5 feet of telescoping capability, it allows you to reach farther, such as when working with ceiling projects. The tool is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a long reach that’s suitable for ceiling projects. Moreover, it already comes with free sanding discs of different grits (and shapes) to adapt to your various projects.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The dust extraction strength needs some work (or you’ll need a more powerful shop vacuum).
For professional use, the Festool 571935 Drywall Sander is a great choice, thanks to its EC-TEC direct-drive brushless motor. Moreover, since the motor is placed over the pad, it provides sufficient power and flexibility. The sander only weighs 7.93 pounds so it’s not too much of a hassle to carry around when working on ceiling projects.
It has a flexible head design that allows you to work freely, and with better movement. Moreover, the variable speed of 400 to 920 RPM makes it adaptable to different projects without ruining the material or overheating the unit. It has an 8.9-inch abrasive diameter and intuitive controls to support user comfort.
The top section of this drywall sander is removable, which helps when working on smaller edges. In addition to that, it has an integrated dust extraction design that works with most dust extractors on the market today.
As for compatibility, this drywall sander works well with Granat/Planex sanding abrasives. This sander comes with a 215-mm StickFix sanding pad and a carrying bag. It is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: The drywall sander is lightweight, making it easy to carry for ceiling projects. It has a removable top area that lets you handle smaller edges for sanding. Moreover, it is compatible with Granat/Planex sanding abrasives.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Perhaps putting a better handle on the sander would make user fatigue less of a problem.
As a sander with a 15-foot dust hose for easy jobsite clean-up, the WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5-Amp Drywall Sander is a convenient tool for most DIY and remodeling tasks. It has a variable speed adjustment from 600 to 1,500 RPM to adapt to different situations and materials without straining your motor.
Since it has a hook-and-loop base pad style, changing to the appropriate sandpaper grit is a breeze. What’s more, since the unit already includes 60 to 240-grit sandpaper (9-inch), you’ll get started right away. To provide sufficient torque to the sanding disc, it has a 5-amp head-mounted motor.
I like that it has a 360-degree pivoting head (at 8.5 inches), which will be helpful for flush sanding depending on the surface you’ll need to work on. When it comes to storage, the foldable design of this drywall sander will save valuable space in the garage or shed.
The drywall sander has eight holes for the sandpaper attachment and measures 59 inches long and weighs 9.2 pounds. Like most WEN products, it is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It comes with a plethora of ready to use sanding discs, all of which are easy to attach to your drywall sander due to the hook-and-loop attachment. It also has good dust extraction due to the long hose.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The drywall sander is a little on the heavy side compared to most standard units.
If you want a powerful motor for your DIY or home remodeling project, the WEN 6362 10-Amp Variable Speed Handheld Drywall Sander is for you. This rugged machine has a variable speed option that goes from 1,500 to 2,300 RPM so it’s ideal for stubborn paint or rough drywall.
Like most drywall sanders, it has an 8.5 base pad that has a hook-and-loop system that eases the hassle of changing your sandpaper grit. As for dust extraction, it has a 7.5-foot hose to help you keep your workplace clean, as well as a dust collection bag and two dust hose adapters. These adapters will fit 2-1/4, 1-1/2, and 1-7/8-inch hoses so it’s simple to match your existing shop vacuum.
When it comes to comfort, this sander has a reversible auxiliary handle so it is accommodating even to a left-handed user. What’s more, it has a shoulder strap to decrease the strain on your arms during all-day sanding projects. To get you started, the drywall sander also comes with a bonus pack of eight pieces of sandpaper.
With a powerful 10-amp motor and a lock-on power switch to avoid accidents, this drywall sander will keep you focused on the task at hand. It is also backed by a 2-year warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It comes with dust hose adapters for easy and convenient adaptability to various shop vacuums.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The dust extraction hose isn’t that long compared to most models out there.
Yet another unit with a notable dust extraction is the Tacklife Six-Speed Drywall Sander, which has an automatic vacuum system alongside a flexible hose and a dust bag. What’s more, I like that it significantly reduces drag and user fatigue, thanks to the bottom ball design.
With six speeds to choose from (500 to 1,800 RPM), you’ll have an easier time adapting to different drywall sanding tasks ahead. The 9-inch sanding plate is easily rotatable, while the angle is adjustable (up to 90 degrees) using the spring to ensure quality sanding even on difficult areas and spaces, such as ceilings.
I like the LED lights around the base plate, as they come in handy when you’re working in a dim area or jobsite. Aside from that, the drywall sander has a chassis edge that’s detachable for easy use in corners. There’s also a telescoping handle that makes ceiling sanding comfortable for this tool.
Like most drywall sanders, it comes with bonus sandpapers (12 pieces) for your various project needs. The sander is powered by a 6.5-amp pure copper motor.
Things I Like About This Product: It has an adjustable angle, LED lights to enhance visibility in dark work areas, and a shoulder strap for added comfort. It is also ideal for working with corners due to the detachable chassis edge.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The drywall sander weighs 15 pounds, so it’s quite heavy for the average user.
When it comes to dust management, the Ginour Variable Speed Drywall Sander with Vacuum Attachment is a great choice. This unit has a variable speed feature with seven settings from 1,000 to 1,800 RPM to suit your needs. Like my previous pick, it has an LED light to help you see in dim and dark workspaces.
However, what makes this drywall sander unique is the vacuum attachment, which will help a lot with dust extraction. The 9-inch sander head has a rotatable design up to 360 degrees, to adapt to various situations. Its floating head design allows you to adjust easily to uneven walls with a 1 to 10-mm fluctuation range.
To help you work on large and high walls (or ceilings), it has a telescoping extension rod (up to 5.5 feet), as well as a supporting arm and back handle to reduce user fatigue. What’s more, it has a lock button to help you stay focused on your job.
Although the tool weighs 10 pounds, it has a sturdy build and a powerful 6-amp motor. When it comes to dust extraction, it comes with a 13-foot-long flexible dust hose and a dust bag for easy Shop-Vac connection.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a long dust extraction hose, a vacuum attachment, and LED lights for easy visibility in the dark.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Weighing 10 pounds, the drywall sander is quite heavy for the average user.
With an 800-watt motor, the Power Pro 1090X Electric Drywall Sander is a unit with a variable speed of 500 to 1,800 RPM. Like my two previous picks, it has an LED light for visibility in dim areas, which provides user convenience.
It weighs 14 pounds and has a dust hose with a vacuum bag for easy dust extraction. What’s more, sweeping dust from the wall is done simply by the ball bearings under the head. To help with flexibility for various wall and ceiling projects, its 9-inch sanding head has a swivel feature. What’s more, it has a pivot lock to keep the head position in place.
Compared to most drywall sanders, this unit has a 10-hole design for much better dust extraction. Moreover, the bottom part is removable along with a detachable brush segment for angle and edge sanding purposes.
If you’re aiming to work on ceilings, it has a handle extension as well. Like many of my picks here, it comes with 12 pieces of sanding discs (9 inches), all with different grits from 80 to 240. Other extras include two replacement carbon brushes and a carrying bag.
Things I Like About This Product: It has good dust extraction due to its included dust hose, vacuum bag, and 10-hole design. It also has an LED light for convenient visibility.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The drywall sander is a little heavy to lift compared to most units, weighing in at 14 pounds.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Drywall Sanders Featured Above
If you’re curious as to how I chose the drywall sanders above, here are some factors I considered, which will help you out with your choice as well:
The variable speed of a drywall sander is usually around 600 to 1,800 RPM, depending on the amperage of the motor. Most motors that you will find are 5 amps, but some are more powerful and are meant for heavy-duty use.
The importance of variable speed in a drywall sander is to help you choose the appropriate speed that the disc spins depending on the material that you’re working on. For very stubborn paint and other unsightly appearances on any wall or ceiling, you’ll need a higher speed.
However, you don’t always need a high speed, which is why the variable speed feature helps conserve battery life and preserve the motor lifespan. When the unit runs at a slower speed, it also decreases the chances of overheating.
Convenient Dust Extraction
Dust extraction is very much needed in a drywall sander because drywall debris is no joke – it pollutes the air and is dangerous to inhale. To prevent such mess when working on a drywall sanding project, consider a unit with good dust extraction methods.
For instance, it should have around 8 to 10 holes at the bottom for easy dust extraction while you sand. It should also have a convenient dust hose that spans somewhere between 6 and 15 feet – a longer hose is more suitable for bigger homes or projects. Most drywall sanders also come with a dust bag for you to use right away.
Last, but not least, it also helps to have a drywall sander that comes with various shop vacuum adapters. In this way, you don’t have to worry whether or not your existing vacuum would fit with the drywall sander.
Special cases, such as the DeWALT DCE800P2 20V Cordless Drywall Sander Kit with wireless capability (if you have Airlock-capable DeWALT units), make dust extraction convenient.
Most drywall sanders on the market today are cordless so they will depend on battery power. The lithium-ion battery is the most commonly used type today since it holds a charge longer due to having no memory effect.
Likewise, most units also have an overload sensor to protect the battery and the motor from too much temperature pressure. Consider a unit that runs at least 30 minutes on a single charge (depending on the grit of the sanding pad that you use).
With that said, some heavy-duty drywall sanders are corded for your convenience. These drywall sanders are great if you intend to work on a big project or an all-day sanding job.
Like most power tools, standard drywall sanders on the market today have lock-on switches. This will prevent you from accidentally triggering the switch, thereby keeping your focus on the task rather than the tool.
Aside from that, having a comfortable handle will help with user fatigue, especially since most drywall sanders aren’t that lightweight due to their motor. Having a shoulder belt is also a plus point to help keep your arms free from too much pressure.
Aside from that, a couple of drywall sanders have extra features, such as LED lights, to keep your work area well-lit. Examples of such sanders are the Tacklife Six-Speed Drywall Sander, Ginour Variable Speed Drywall Sander with Vacuum Attachment, and the Power Pro 1090X Electric Drywall Sander.
A brushless motor is a great choice for a drywall sander, especially if you’re looking for a heavy-duty unit to use for difficult projects. That’s because a brushless motor will run cooler since it does not possess any carbon brushes, thereby lightening the load. With that said, brushless motors also need less maintenance because they don’t have carbon brushes that require replacement.
As mentioned above, having a 5-amp motor is already sufficient for a drywall sander that will be used for the most common projects, such as for DIY repairs and remodeling. However, for tougher jobs, such as for a very rough popcorn ceiling, you will need a higher amperage and a more powerful motor, such as around 10 amps.
Most drywall sanders on the market today have a telescoping handle. This allows extended reach when you need to deal with popcorn ceilings (or just sanding a ceiling in general) to avoid accidents from having to step on a platform to reach them.
Another great feature that many units have is the adjustable head. This allows you to work with angles, especially that such drywall sanders have around 90 to 360-degree pivoting heads that will make your job easier.
Aside from that, many drywall sanders also have detachable portions of the top or head part, which is ideal for cleaning up edges and tight spaces.
The ideal weight of a drywall sander is around 7 to 9 pounds. Anything that’s 10 to 15 pounds is considered too heavy, unless the user is quite strong. However, for prolonged use, especially on popcorn ceilings, having a lightweight drywall sander would come in handy to minimize user fatigue.
When buying a drywall sander, consider the weight depending on the project that you will be working on. If you don’t intend to use it for a long time, a drywall sander that’s a little heavy to carry will most likely do the job well. However, if you intend to use it for hours and days of projects, look for a unit with a lightweight design instead.
A drywall sander may include a couple of extras, such as free sanding discs for you to use right off the bat. These sanding discs are usually 9 inches in diameter, although some of them are 11 inches or so. The grits also vary from 60 to 240 to match a variety of needs.
What’s more, you’ll also find a drywall sander that includes extras, such as a shoulder belt for easy carrying, especially for all-day work.
You’ll want a drywall sander that has easy installation for the appropriate sanding disc depending on the project. A hook-and-loop system is more suitable and advisable since it doesn’t give you a lot of hassle when you want to replace the sanding disc right off the spot.
Most drywall sanders today also have a foldable design so they won’t take a lot of space, especially if you don’t have the luxury of a big garage or shed.
Last, but not least, a drywall sander is a kind of power tool so you’ll have to know about its warranty. Check the warranty period and what’s covered (such as parts or the motor) so that you will know what to do when (hopefully not) an emergency comes. By knowing that there’s a good warranty policy, you’ll feel at ease with both the product and the company.
As a whole, my top pick is the Makita XLS01Z 18V LXT Cordless 9-Inch Drywall Sander, which runs on a brushless motor so it runs significantly cooler than most units and is not troublesome to maintain. My second choice is the DeWALT DCE800P2 20V Cordless Drywall Sander Kit, which has a wireless capability for convenience in dust extraction and operation.
You will like the WEN 6377 Variable Speed 5-Amp Dual-Head Drywall Sander if you’re on a budget, since it has sufficient power and a long reach. For a premium option, you’ll love the Festool 571935 Drywall Sander since it is lightweight and has a removable top area for edge sanding.
Among drywall sanders that I think are great for dust extraction include the WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5-Amp Drywall Sander and the WEN 6362 10-Amp Variable Speed Handheld Drywall Sander.
If you prefer drywall sanders that have LED lights for dim areas, I recommend the Tacklife Six-Speed Drywall Sander, Ginour Variable Speed Drywall Sander with Vacuum Attachment, and the Power Pro 1090X Electric Drywall Sander to light your way.