The Best Drywall Sanders

You want a clean, smooth finish to your walls, but what is the best drywall sander for the job? It’s a tough decision –  There are options out there, from extremely inexpensive manual drywall sanding tools to multi-thousand dollar sanding systems.

Sanding a whole room without power tools is arduous – several hours for one person. You can cut that time down to minutes with the right power sander. Sanding drywall also creates a ton of dust – something many power sanders are designed to handle. All of the drywall sanders listed are meant to cut down on the amount of dust and can be used for various projects and sanding jobs.

The top pick for an electric power drywall sander is the WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander. The WEN delivers professional performance at a reasonable price and can tackle a relatively wide range of tasks. It’s a portable and lightweight sander, which makes it ideal for both storage and moving. 

Depending on your drywall project and sanding, there are different drywall sander models, each with pros and cons.

Drywall Sanders In This Review

What Makes A Good Drywall Sander?

When looking for a drywall sander, it’s important to consider the application(s) for which you’ll need the sander and to keep a few important features in mind. 

If you’re patching drywall or doing a small project, these power sanders are not for you. Though they have been selected for ease of use, portability, and lightness, they’re still big pieces of equipment not suitable for small jobs and repairs.

These drywall sanders are best for DIYers who need to do anything from one room to a whole house of drywall and want an electric sander that they can take to other applications like filing popcorn ceilings, on plaster, and finishing floors. 

Do you need a heavy-duty drywall sander? There are bigger and better drywall sanders, with professional-grade sanders going for thousands of dollars. If you are drywalling every day, these types of sanders might be worth it.

The drywall sanders listed here are a great value for the money and will give near-perfect results when used correctly, but don’t quite hit the level of dust collection and ease of use as the systems that you can find at the very top end.

You’ll find drywall sanders with both telescoping handles and extra-long hoses. The telescopic handle is nice because you can adjust according to whether you’re doing ceilings or walls and how you personally like the grip and balance. Sander hose length is important when you’ve got big rooms – a 15-foot dust hose is more than enough to reach every corner without moving your vacuum.

Electric drywall sanders usually have variable speeds, though, with a cheaper product, you may find just one. Variable speed is important if you’re starting on really rough or uneven walls – high-speed tools will take down uneven compounds much quicker, and you can use the lower speeds to feather out the compound on the seams.

You’ll also want to be able to switch to a lower speed if you’re doing something like removing plaster, paint, or popcorn ceilings.

These power drywall sanders are meant to reduce dust, but not all sanders have the same dust collection capacities. If you want the easiest option – one with its own dust collector bag is most convenient. 

You could opt for a manual sander and a drywall pole sander for ceilings at the very budget level. For patchwork and maybe a tiny project, you should do just that. For a quick, beautiful job on projects around the home, these sanders are great for professional-looking results in a fraction of the time. 

The Best Reviewed Drywall Sanders

WEN 6369 Variable Speed Drywall Sander 

WEN 6369 Variable Speed 5 Amp Drywall Sander with 15' Hose
  • Variable speed adjustment operates anywhere from 600 to 1500 RPM
  • Hook-and-loop base pad makes changing sandpaper easier than ever
  • 5-Amp head-mounted motor provides maximum torque to the sanding disk

This drywall sander is a great value for the price and tops the list as the best choice for anyone who has home drywall projects, big or small, to complete. It does nearly as good of a job as the more expensive sanders and has some handy features. 

The 360-degree flexible sanding head automatically adjusts to be flush to your working surface, and variable speed makes it suitable for all your drywall sanding needs and beyond. The WEN’s 9-inch head covers a good area, and the hook-and-loop system on the base pads makes for quick and easy installation.

The 9-inch sanding discs with hook-and-loop pads are easy to find, and you can even get generic replacements for this model. The WEN also has the best two-year warranty on the list.

The big drawback to this WEN is the weight and motor position. It isn’t the heaviest drywall sander you can find at eleven and a half pounds, but it’s not a light model either, and the motor at the head can make it feel even heavier.

It will serve you great for most projects, but anyone spending a whole day sanding might find this to be an issue. Buyers also report that it will vibrate and wobble if you’re not careful with placement. It’s a tool easy enough for beginners.

The WEN is a quality tool and a terrific buy. This one comes with sanding pads included, but again, they’re reasonably priced and easy to find when you need replacements. WEN makes another model at an affordable price if you’re looking for something with variable sander heads to sand tight corners. 

The flexibility and price point of this tool make it great for almost every user. It’s the best you can get for under 200 dollars and should last you a long time. 


  • 5 Amp
  • variable speed control
  • 600 to  1500 RPM
  • 15-foot hose
  • 6 pieces of hook and loop sandpaper disks included
  • automatic dust removal system
  • 11.5 lbs
  • 2-year warranty

PORTER-CABLE 7800 4.7 Amp Drywall Sander

PORTER-CABLE 7800 4.7 Amp Drywall Sander with 13-Foot Hose
  • Lightweight drywall sander with variable speeds ranging from 1400 to 2000 RPM
  • 13-foot vacuum hose that dissipates static
  • Lightweight, 8.5-pound body for easy handling

This professional-grade dustless drywall sander has tons of great reviews. It is the most expensive drywall sander on this list, but it is suitable for contractors or anyone doing serious drywall work. It’s light, at just eight and a half pounds, and incredibly well balanced with its motor (generally the heaviest part) between the grips. It is a dream to use for ceilings and high on walls.

Its variable speed means it’s up to just about any tasks and can blaze through a room at top speeds. The hose is suitably long for just about any room, and the hook-and-loop straps make changing the sanding discs easy.

The Porter-Cable is well known among professionals and DIY enthusiasts as one of the best drywall sanders on the market, but you pay for it. Though this is a fabulous piece of equipment, the big downside is it may be out of reach for many weekend handy-people, nearing five-hundred dollars just to get started with it. It’s also not the most portable drywall sander and does not come with a carrying case.

This is the drywall sander you should buy if you are really serious about doing a professional job quickly and easily. You will need a substantial project or many projects to justify its price tag, but the Porter-Cable is on the top end of what a non-professional user would buy. Great to use, sturdy, and an all-around terrific tool.


  • 4.7  amp
  • variable speed control
  • 1400 to 2000 RPM
  • 13-foot hose
  • hook-and-loop straps
  • 8.5 lb
  • 1 year limited warranty

ALEKO 690E Electric Variable Speed Drywall Sander

ALEKO 690E Electric Variable Speed Drywall Sander with Telescopic Handle 600 Watts
  • ALEKO’s drywall sander is strong and reliable; made to sand and polish walls, ceiling, and floors; remove residue and adhesive; etc
  • 600 watt, 110V, 60Hz, ETL approved; adjustable speed: 1000-2000 RPM
  • Can be used on its own or hooked up to a vacuum cleaner attachment, sold separately

This is a powerful drywall sander that won’t break the bank. The Aleko is a no-frills sort of machine, though it does come with sanding discs and dust vacuum hose attachment.

It will sand down a wall in minutes and tackle about anything you need to be sanded. The telescopic handle gives it some versatility and means it will easily transition to floors.

There’s no getting around it: The Aleko is a heavy unit. While the balance is better than other head-mounted motor designs, it is still a beast to try to use on ceilings at over fourteen pounds for those who don’t mind the extra weight and want a more powerful option.

Get the Aleko if power and speed are your number one. It will tackle floors, popcorn ceilings, and really rough mud-jobs. What you give up in mobility, you get in power. 


  • 600-watt motor
  • variable speed control
  • 1000 to 2000 RPM
  • 14-foot hose
  • 6 sanding discs included
  • 14.12 lbs
  • telescopic handle: 43 to 65 inches
  • 1-year warranty

Orion Motor Tech 850W Electric Power Drywall Sander with Vacuum Dust Collector

This dustless sander is a reliable option for anyone who values portability. The Orion Motor Tech comes with a carrying case and its own dust collection feature. The whole kit is ready to go out of the box with extra sanding discs and replacement gaskets.

It’s reasonably priced and good for projects around your home, even has LED strips, so you don’t have to use a handheld light in dim areas. The Orion Motor Tech’s swivel head gets where you need it to go, and the extendable handle makes it easy to use on floors. If you’re a first-time drywaller or need something to get your project started, this is a great option.

The Orion Motor Tech is on the heavy side at fourteen pounds, and users report the dust collection bag isn’t great and can leak if you treat it roughly. This model comes with an optional vacuum attachment, so you can still hook it up to your Shop-Vac if you prefer, though you are paying a little extra for the built-in dust collection.

Get this tool if you need a ready-to-go machine that you can get to work with right away. This is a well-known brand with a great reputation and lots of help online from users who know the product. Even if you don’t use the vacuum dust collector included, you’re not paying a ton extra.

As a bonus, your local hardware or specialty shop has probably seen this sander before and can help you if you run into trouble.


  • 12 Amp
  • variable speed control
  • 800 to 1900RPM
  • 78.7-inch hose
  • 12 pieces sanding discs included
  • automatic vacuum system
  •  extendable handle reaches 57.1 to 82 Inches
  • 2 built-in LED light strips
  • 14 pounds
  • 1-year warranty

Ironton 8 1/2in. Drywall Sander

Ironton 8 1/2in. Drywall Sander - 7 Amp, 750-1,600 OPM
  • 8 1/2in. drywall sander has head-mounted 750 Watt, 7 Amp, 110V motor to deliver smooth operation
  • Operates at 750–1,600 OPM
  • Sands drywall joints in a fraction of the time of conventional sanders

This is a good unit at a great price. When you’re looking for something with all the basic features, in a basic package, the Ironton delivers.

Users liken its sanding ability to the heavy-duty gold-standard Porter-Cable model at a fraction of the price. It is a durable machine that’s built to last.

It has enough power to quickly take down popcorn ceilings and gets low enough for finer projects like stripping paint and plaster. The Ironton, unfortunately, has a head-mounted motor, which makes it more difficult to lift and hold aloft for an extended period of time.

It’s also got a non-standard sanding pad diameter, making buying discs more difficult and may add an extra cost to owning it. You may have fewer options for generic discs with this sander. 

When you have light sanding needs, the Ironton is a perfect drywall sander. It’s inexpensive (as far as drywall sanders go), has everything you need to get the job done, and you can use it for other projects as well. If you are looking for a drywall sander at the lowest end that still does a good job, this is it.


  • 7 Amp
  • variable speed control
  •  750 to 1,600 OPM
  • reaches up to 12 feet high
  • 11 1/2 foot-hose
  • 23.9 lbs
  • 1 year limited warranty

Getting The Most From Your Drywall Sander

When choosing the best sander for drywall, it’s important to consider what you’ll use it for, how long you’ll need it, and how much you’re willing to spend. Even with a lower-end model, you can still get good results, so it is more a matter of how quickly and easily you want to complete your drywall finishing. 

Where are you working? If you’re working alone and changing job sites a lot, you should consider a more portable sander. The models that break down and come with a carrying case are great for travel and storage if space is an issue in your workshop. 

How often are you going to use your drywall sander? Professionals and weekend DIYers have different needs. If you only ever do one room or a wall at a time, then weight probably won’t be an issue. If you’re built smaller or have a huge area to cover, especially if it’s ceilings – you’ll want a lightweight drywall sander. The position of the motor is also a big deal. Motors attached near the head of the sander will feel much heavier when you’re holding them high up on walls or ceilings. The sanders listed can all be used easily high up, but a few pounds will make a difference after prolonged use.

Do you have a wet/dry vacuum? This isn’t a necessity, though highly recommended. If you really don’t want to spring for a ShopVap or something similar, you at least need a drywall sander with a built-in automatic dust collection system.

Should you just rent a drywall sander? If you decide to rent, you can spring for a much more powerful machine; however, these generally have a learning curve. Renting is a great option if you’re familiar with professional drywall sanders and you need to do a one-time project.

What are your other options? If you already have an orbital sander, especially if you have one with a dust collection system, you can use that for small projects and save yourself the space of a large, dedicated tool and the cost of a 120 dollar and up piece of equipment. If you’re going to use an orbital sander, you must use drywall sanding screens, not the sandpapers you use on wood. A screen allows dust to move between the wall and the sanding pad, while sanding paper will create build-up. Orbital sanders will also create a huge amount of dust, so large projects are not recommended. Not just because clean-up will be a nightmare, but breathing in drywall compound is hard on your lungs and can irritate your eyes if it gets in.

Invest in the right tool for your job. You probably don’t need a two-thousand dollar set up for one room, but your project will be done in a fraction of the time with a quality electric sander. 


Can I use an Orbital Sander on Drywall?

Yes, this type of sander can be used on drywall rather than a dedicated drywall sander, however, you will have to be very careful not to get carried away, or sand finished drywall. An orbital sander will work for small projects, but large areas that produce a lot of dust may damage the motor, and even a mask can’t keep out that much dust.

What Grit Sandpaper is Best for Drywall?

When sanding drywall mud, start with grits between 100 and 120. A coarser grit may be tempting, but an electric drywall sander sands fast, and you risk damaging your drywall. If you’ve done an exceptional job with your joints and already have a pretty smooth surface, start with 150. 

Can My Vaccum Handle Drywall Dust?

Your regular vacuum certainly cannot handle the fine particles of drywall mud. You can use the drywall sander’s vacuum cleaner attachment with your Shop-Vac, but you’ll still need a heavy-duty HEPA filter to keep drywall dust from spewing back into the air. Ideally, you have a collection bag (or DIY collection bucket).

What Else Can I Use a Drywall Sander For?

Drywall sanders are easier to justify than other dedicated tools because you can take them over to other applications. Use your drywall sander to take down popcorn ceilings, remove old paint, plaster, adhesive residue, and sand floors.

Do All Drywall Sanders Collect Dust?

Not necessarily. The ones listed here do, but cheaper models, particularly small handheld models, may not. If you’re doing a large job, make sure the drywall sander you choose has an automatic dust collection system, or you will be in for a huge mess.

Should I Get a Kit or Just the Sander?

Depends. Some models have non-standard-sized sanding discs, which may be hard to find at your local hardware store. Conversely, if you’ve got one project in mind, you might be paying more for heads and sanding discs that you’ll never need. Generally, the kits are a good deal if you’re buying the sander to keep around for various projects.

Can I Use a Manual Sander Instead of an Electric Sander?

Yes, you can always sand by hand. You need a sanding block or drywall sponge for corners, small patches, and for catching rough spots that you missed. Manual sanding is tough, and it would be a long and difficult task to take on more than a small room with a sanding block and drywall pole sander.

Can I Use a Power Sander For Patching Drywall?

It would be best if you did not use an electric sander for small jobs. It can quickly scuff and ruin the surrounding area, and it’s a big, awkward piece of equipment for fine jobs. Use a manual sander or even a sanding sponge when you’re patching drywall.

What Is The Best Vaccum For A Power Sander?

Your standard shop vacuum can handle dust kicked up by your power sander provided you have the correct accessories. You will need a filter and probably a dust collection device. Some models of electric drywall sanders require a specific dust collection machine – these are generally high-end professional models, and yes, the machine is often sold separately.

Do I Need A Dust Collection Bag?

A dust collection bag isn’t a must, but it will make your project clean up much easier. All that dust can be a nightmare to get out of your ShopVac drum, and just tossing a dust collection bag is much easier. Some models come with a dust collection bag and integrated system, making it all that much easier, though be advised, sometimes with less expensive models, less effective than the tried-and-true ShopVac attachment.

Is Drywall Sanding Different From Wood Sanding? 

Yes. When you’re sanding drywall, you should be using a sanding screen, not the kind of sandpaper you’d use to sand wood. The sanding screen lets dust escape and prevents build-up. You can find discs of sandpaper that fit the hook-and-loop attachments for your drywall sander, but if you use them on compound mud, it will likely overload your motor or at the very least create a ton of dust, even your dust collection system can’t handle.