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7 Best Sanders for Decks of 2024

Updated
Refinish your garden deck with the best sanders.

Your new deck looks great when first laid, but it is under constant attack from weathering, mold, and mildew over winter. Grime builds up, making the surface slippery and discolored.

The best way to revive your deck is to refinish it, and for that, you will need the right tools. We check out the 7 best sanders for decks to make your life easier.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Makita 9403 Belt Sander
Best Belt Sander
Makita 9403 Belt Sander
  • 84 db operation
  • 11-Amp motor
  • Large dust collection bag
Product Image of the Makita Random Orbital Sander
Best Random Orbital Sander
Makita Random Orbital Sander
  • 3-Amp motor
  • 12,000 OPM
  • Ergonomic low vibration grip
Product Image of the DeWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander
Best Cordless Sander
DeWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander
  • 20V cordless operation
  • Variable speed control
  • One-handed locking dust bag
Product Image of the Bosch Power Tools Orbital Sander
Best Orbital Sander
Bosch Power Tools Orbital Sander
  • 7,300 OPM rotating disc
  • 2-in-1 tool
  • Multiple grip positions
Product Image of the Black+Decker Random Orbit
Best Budget Sander
Black+Decker Random Orbit
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle
  • Compact and versatile
  • On-board dust bag
Product Image of the Ingersoll Rand Heavy-Duty Air Sander
Best Pneumatic Sander
Ingersoll Rand Heavy-Duty Air Sander
  • Has a built-in silencer
  • Balanced construction
  • Speed control regulator
Product Image of the Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander
Best Floor Sander
Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander
  • 8-inch sanding belt
  • 3-stage pressure regulation
  • 30-year lifespan


The Best Sanders for Decks of 2024

Here are our favorite sanders suitable for sanding decks.

Makita 9403 Belt Sander

Best Belt Sander for Decks

This Makita is a tough act to follow. Not only is it our pick for the best belt sander, but it also wins in the quietest stakes. It only generates 84 decibels, which is pretty good for a deck sander. The sanding belt measures 4 x 24 inches and runs at a speed of 1,640 feet per minute (FPM).

It has an innovative design that allows you to get close to the action at edges and corners, plus, it benefits from Labyrinth construction, which seals and protects the motor bearings from debris.

It is one of the best tools to use on large decks, with the 11-amp motor making light work of the surface and the large dust collection bag storing all the debris safely until it needs emptying.

What We Like

84 dB Operation

Sanders are noisy, that’s a fact, but this model operates at 84 decibels, which is a low volume for a sander. If you have close neighbors, this has to be a consideration.

11-Amp Motor

The powerful 11-amp motor generates an impressive 1,640 feet per minute for more effective removal of the surface material. If you have a larger surface area, this tool makes light work of the task.

Trusted Brand

Makita is famed across the globe as a maker of quality power tools, and this model is no exception. It is robust and constructed of the highest quality materials.

What We Don't Like

Very Expensive

It’s a Makita alright, and it isn’t cheap. If you want this tool, you’d better save your pennies or hope that it is on special offer. Failing that, dig deep to get it.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 13
Dimensions (inches) 9 x 16.1 x 9.76
Amps/volts 11 amps
Speed (FPM/OPM) 1,640 FPM
Grit 80
Price $$$$$
Warranty 1-year

Our Ratings

Power
4.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
5 / 5
Durability
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

User Experience

My journey with this Makita sander has been nothing short of impressive. From the moment I turned it on, its superior power and efficacy were evident as it effortlessly revitalized my old, worn-down deck. Although this machine is on the heavier side, I found that its weight actually assisted me during the task, practically doing the work for me. However, be warned, it can get quite hot during intensive use, but that didn't deter its performance one bit. Despite the minor inconvenience of its heat and weight, the quality and efficiency of this sander are truly commendable, making it a valuable addition to my toolkit.

Makita BO5030K Random Orbital Sander

Best Random Orbital Sander for Decks

This is the second Makita sander to make the list. This model is a random orbital sander, meaning it rotates and moves side to side in a motion known as oscillation.

The 3-amp motor generates 12,000 orbits per minute (OPM), which is more than enough to remove material from the surface of your deck. It has a rubberized grip for control and grip, as well as reducing hand fatigue.

This model has oversized ball bearings for longevity and increased robustness. The sanding pads swap in super-quick time to keep you working and reduce downtime. You also get 8 dust extraction ports in the base of the disc to suck away dangerous debris.

What We Like

Random Motion

The sanding pad’s random action is more efficient than an orbital sander in that it removes more material with every surface contact. It also makes fewer marks, leaving your deck super-smooth.

12,000 Orbits Per Minute

The 3-amp motor produces 12,000 OPM. This is more than sufficient to strip a small to medium size deck with ease. It also makes a less visible impact on the wooden surface.

Ergonomic Grip

The rubberized palm grip presents a low vibration action. Reducing the vibration decreases hand and wrist fatigue to ensure longer operation time, and lowers the volume.

What We Don't Like

Smaller Decks Only

Unlike the belt sander, you might find this random orbital sander better suited to small to medium decks rather than substantial areas. You can sand significant decks but be prepared for the job to take longer.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 2.87
Dimensions (inches) 15 x 7 x 10
Amps/volts 3 amps
Speed (FPM/OPM) 12,000 OPM
Grit Not stated
Price $$$
Warranty 1-year

Our Ratings

Power
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Personal Perspective

My first impression of this Makita Random Orbit Sander was its simplicity and fair price point. As a hobbyist, I found it delivered great results straight out of the box, although the dust bag's friction fit can be a bit messy. However, the comfort of using this sander for extended periods could be improved, as it's not designed for switching hands without turning it off, and the lack of a secondary handle can cause fatigue when used at certain angles for more than five minutes.

DeWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander

Best Cordless Sander for Decks

We had to include a DeWALT in the review. This cordless model is 20 volts maximum, has a textured rubber overmold grip and adjustable speed control for greater versatility. The speeds range from 8,000 to 12,000 OPM.

This model has the latest in brushed motor technology, which increases your runtime, extending the life of the lithium-ion battery (sold separately). It also has a one-handed locking dust bag, but you do get the option of attaching a vacuum hose to extract the dust to a central canister.

The main advantage of this tool is its go-anywhere ability. It is the perfect tool for outdoor jobs like deck sanding.

The major downside with this DeWALT is the batteries and charger cost extra. Remember to factor that in when making a purchase. The batteries will increase the cost-base considerably.

What We Like

Cordless Operation

Why suffer the hassle of plugging in an extension cord and trailing it across the lawn to reach your deck. A battery-operated sander is the best option for speed and convenience.

Variable Speed Control

The speed adjusts from 8,000 OPM to 12,000 OPM, giving you the ability to go crazy speed when it counts and moderate rates for detailed areas, which requires greater control.

Brushless Motor

Brushless motors are the latest in advanced motor technology. They are more efficient, preserving the life of the tool while at the same time increasing the capacity of the battery, extending the runtime.

What We Don't Like

Separate Battery and Charger

This cordless sander is sold as the bare tool only. If you want this model, you will need to allocate extra cash for the charger and battery. That makes this even more costly compared to the competition.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 2.56
Dimensions (inches) 8.8 x 5.7 x 6.3
Amps/volts 20 volts
Speed (FPM/OPM) 8,000 to 12,000 OPM
Grit 60 to 80
Price $$$$
Warranty 3-year

Our Ratings

Power
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

I'm incredibly impressed with this sander's performance. It's easy to handle and doesn't cause hand fatigue, even with my carpal tunnel issues. The dust collection is impressive and the variable speed setting is a bonus. The pairing with off-brand batteries worked perfectly, and the overall sanding quality was excellent, helping me reveal the beauty of my old butcher block.

Bosch Power Tools GET75-6N Orbital Sander

Best Orbital Sander for Decks

Global brands dominate this list, and this Bosch sander sticks to that theme. This is a unique sander because not only does it orbit, you get a second setting that allows you to switch it to a random motion.

For this reason, the speed is measured in RPM and OPM. The oscillation speed maxes out at 640 RPM, and the rotating disc reaches 7,300 OPM. And that’s not all because you get variable speed control with the lowest RPM setting at 290 and the slowest OPM coming in at 3,300.

Like DeWALT and Makita, Bosch has an enviable position in the world of power tools, so it is no surprise that we had to feature one of their sanders on the list.

What We Like

Adjustable Speed

You can change the RPM from 290 to 640, while at the same time, the OPM ranges from 3,300 to 7,300. It gives you the ultimate control when working on different materials and sections of your deck.

2-in-1 Tool

Switching from random motion to orbital action means you can adjust the sander to cater to speed, accuracy, and maximum material removal.

Multiple Grip Positions

This model has an auxiliary side handle for better grip and control, as well as a rubberized overmold grip for less hand and wrist fatigue.

What We Don't Like

Super Expensive

This model is almost 3 times as much as the DeWALT cordless model. Bosch products are good, but do they justify this price tag? Only you can decide that.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 5.7
Dimensions (inches) 15 x 6.3 x 5.5
Amps/volts 7.5 amps
Speed (FPM/OPM) 290 to 640 RPM and 3,300 to 7,300 OPM
Grit 270
Price $$$$$
Warranty 1-year limited

Our Ratings

Power
4.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

First-Hand Impression

Love how this Bosch orbital sander has transformed my woodworking game. With my hobby woodworking business, I used to spend up to eight hours a week sanding, but this tool slashed that time in half. The turbo mode is incredible, helping me quickly remove material, but requires careful handling. The dust collection function is a dream, seriously reducing my cleanup time. A bit of a downside, the sander is a bit bulky and has a noticeable impact on the wallet upfront, but overall, it's a worthy investment for efficiency and quality.

Black+Decker Random Orbit Sander

Best Budget Sander for Decks

For those looking for budget-friendly but high-quality tools, then Black + Decker is always there. This powerful random orbit sander will spruce up your deck without breaking the bank.

It features a 2-amp motor for 12,000 OPM. For the low price, this is pretty incredible. You can enjoy a quick, frustration-free sand and a beautiful deck.

What We Like

Comfortable Ergonomic Handle

The handle on power tools is one of the most important features. At first glance, it may seem unimportant, but if you neglect to consider the handle shape and material, you may regret it. This has a comfort grip handle, so it’s easy and natural to hold. It will also reduce fatigue while you work.

Compact and Versatile

The small compact design of this machine is a big bonus. Not only is it lightweight, easy to store, and simple to transport. But it also ensures that it’s small enough to sneak into hard-to-reach places and tight corners for a more thorough finish.

On-Board Dust Bag

This tool features a handy dust collection bag attached to the machine. So instead of the dust flying around and piling up, it goes directly to the onboard bag. This can be easily emptied whenever you need.

What We Don't Like

Small Head, May Take Longer

For decks, you may find this frustrating purely because the sander is on the small side. The five-inch disc makes this an incredible sander for small jobs such as narrow wood and kitchen cabinets, but you may find it takes a while to sand down an entire deck.

Not Durable

One big sacrifice you make for the small price is that this isn’t a very durable sander. Some customers found that the motor was completely dead after a few months of routine use.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 3.16
Dimensions (inches) ‎7 x 5 x 6
Amps/volts 2 amps
Speed (FPM/OPM) 12,000 OPM
Grit Not specified
Price $
Warranty 2-year limited

Our Ratings

Power
3.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
3.5 / 5
Durability
2 / 5
Total Rating
3.25 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this sander has been largely positive, thanks to its compatibility with most round sandpaper and its steady, Velcro-assisted grip. After applying just a bit of pressure, I found myself thrilled with the results, despite an issue with the sawdust collection pouch that tends to let debris fly around. Despite minor setbacks, this sander still proves its worth - whether it's sanding down an old beater car to teach a teen some responsibility, making a huge deck sanding project easier without the need for battery charging, or even assisting with my first-time furniture refinishing project.

Ingersoll Rand 311A 6-Inch Heavy-Duty Air Sander

Best Pneumatic Sander for Decks

Pneumatic sanders are more powerful, and they generally have larger sanding pads for faster material removal. If you have a substantial deck, a pneumatic sander might be the best choice. We measure the effectiveness of air tools in CFM and pressure.

This Ingersoll Rand has a rating of 17 cubic feet per minute (CFM), which denotes the strength of the airflow. It also generates 12,000 RPM. If you want a low vibration model, this is the one.

It also has a lever throttle to reduce the pressure on your hands and wrists for less fatigue. The built-in silencer dampens the sander’s noise, and the swirl-free finish ensures the very best results.

The only downside with this tool is that it needs an air compressor to power it, which considerably ramps up the costs.

What We Like

Quiet Operation

This air tool comes with a built-in silencer that reduces the operating noise considerably. Unfortunately, it’s attached to a compressor that is far from quiet.

Balanced Construction

Your sander must be well balanced if you are to have total control over the way it operates. Balanced ball bearings give you that advantage, making it easier to manage at full speed.

Speed Control Regulator

The built-in speed control regulator ensures that you can change speeds to suit different surfaces and sections of your deck.

What We Don't Like

Needs an Air Compressor

Air tools need compressed air to operate. Air compressors are expensive bits of kit, so while this air sander is affordable, you can add a substantial sum to the overall cost to get you up and running.

Noisy Air Compressor

The air sander may have a sound dampener, but that doesn’t silence a noisy air compressor. If you have close neighbors, you might want to bear that in mind.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 4.2
Dimensions (inches) 4.3 x 10.5 x 6.4
Amps/volts N/A
Speed (FPM/OPM) 12,000 RPM
Grit Not stated
Price $$
Warranty 1-year limited

Our Ratings

Power
4.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
4 / 5
Durability
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

I'm really pleased with this DA sander, particularly for my autobody projects. It's a quality tool that performs consistently and quietly, although it does require a fairly powerful compressor to fully utilize its capabilities. However, it can get a bit heavy after extended use and the air regulator is a weak point, snapping off after two years of frequent use. Despite these minor issues, the sander has been invaluable in my workshop and I appreciate its overall performance and durability.

Lagler Hummel 8-Inch Belt Floor Sander

Best Floor Sander for Decks

This floor belt sander is the ultimate fast stripping tool. It covers vast areas with ease, so if your deck covers a significant surface area, this sander will get the task done double-quick. It also works on parquet floors and floorboards.

Essentially, it is like a massive belt sander, but it covers much more distance, thanks to increased power and an 8-inch sanding belt. The combination of an aggressive drum, 3-stage pressure regulation, and an integrated belt tensioning system ensure optimum performance.

The downside with this tool is it is heavy, aggressive, and extremely expensive. It’s more of an industrial sander rather than a domestic machine.

What We Like

Covers Lots of Ground

You can get your deck sanded in no time at all with this machine. It’s aggressive, and thanks to the 8-inch belt, it smooths the roughest of surfaces.

Great Dust Collection

If you want the best possible dust collection capacity, this sander has it. The collection bag is enormous compared to a hand-held device. It means you spend more time sanding and less time emptying the bag.

Superior Material Removal

If you have a deck ravaged by the effects of winter, this device strips away the grime, mold and mildew in one sweep. Nothing is more effective.

30-Year Lifespan

The manufacturer claims that this floor sander will last for 30 years. It’s a robust machine that will outlast almost every other tool featured. You sure pay for it, but if you have the money, it’s nice to know.

What We Don't Like

So Expensive

We are not talking hundreds to buy this machine, but several thousand dollars. Unless you have a deck that needs that kind of investment, steer clear of this model.

Limited Use

What this does well is cover large areas, removing surface material quickly. That’s it. Unless you need it, go for a sander with a bit more versatility.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 175
Dimensions (inches) Not stated
Amps/volts 230 volts
Speed (FPM/OPM) 2,400 RPM
Grit Not stated
Price $$$$$$
Warranty Not stated

Our Ratings

Power
5 / 5
Design
3.5 / 5
Sanding Efficiency
5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

If you've ever worked in hardwood restoration, you'd know about the reliable efficiency of this Hummel lagger. I've had mine for 8 years, and despite a few small part replacements, it's still running strong. The 2020 model even comes with a mounted light, making it an essential tool for professionals due to its simplicity and effective dust capture.

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Amps/volts Speed Grit Warranty
Makita 9403 Belt Sander Belt Sander 13 lbs 9 x 16.1 x 9.76″ 11 amps 1,640 FPM 80 1-year
Makita Random Orbital Sander Random Orbital Sander 3 lbs 15 x 7 x 10″ 3 amps 12,000 OPM N/A 1-year
DeWALT Orbital Sander Cordless Sander 3 lbs 8.8 x 5.7 x 6.3″ 20V 8,000 to 12,000 OPM 60 to 80 3-year
Bosch Power Tools Orbital Sander Orbital Sander 6 lbs 15 x 6.3 x 5.5″ 7.5 amps 290 to 640 RPM; 3,300 to 7,300 OPM 270 1-year limited
Black+Decker Random Orbit Budget Sander 3.16 lbs 7 x 5 x 6″ 2 amps 12,000 OPM Not specified 2-year limited
Ingersoll Rand Air Sander Pneumatic Sander 4.2 lbs 4.3 x 10.5 x 6.4″ N/A 12,000 RPM N/A 1-year limited
Lagler Hummel Belt Floor Sander Floor Sander 175 lbs N/A 230V 2,400 RPM N/A Not stated

Common Types of Sanders for Decks

There are many types of sanders available, but which ones are the best for reviving your deck? Let’s look at the 3 main types.

Belt Sander

The belt sander uses a continuous loop of abrasive paper to remove a substantial amount of material from your deck. It is the ideal tool to use, especially if the deck is a significant size. Belt sanders love flat surfaces, straight lines, and it is the perfect choice for reaching edges and corners.

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Random Orbital Sander

Random sanders resemble orbital sander in every way. However, they operate in an entirely different way. The sanding pad sits on an off-set axis, which creates an oscillating motion, meaning the sander rotates and moves from side to side.

The key advantage of this is it increases the device’s efficiency and reduces swirl marks, leaving your deck looking smooth and unblemished.

Orbital Sander

Orbital sanders are another great choice when sanding decks. They work differently from belt sanders because they rotate. The advantage of orbital sanders is they are more gentle, leaving less visible marks on the wood’s surface. The downside is they cover less ground, taking longer to finish the job.

How To Choose the Best Sanders for Decks

Finding the best sander for your dollars is a minefield, so knowing what to look for is crucial. Here are some pointers.

Dust Collection

Trust us when we say that dust is a real problem when sanding wood. The good news is that deck refinishing is an outdoor task, minimizing some of the harmful effects of hazardous dust.

However, you still need a sander with an adequate dust collection system. Some bag the debris ready to empty it when it gets full, while others attach it to a central hose and vacuum system for complete debris removal.

Variable Speed Settings

Variable speed may not be top of your priority list when sanding decking, but having the ability to change the speed the device moves gives you greater flexibility. You can select warp speed to cut through the grime and blemishes and then graduate to a more gentle rate.

When you are working near railings or corners, it might be better to dial down the speed because the faster you go, the less control you have.

How Loud Is It?

All sanders are noisy, but some are louder than others. Belt sanders create the most sound, but the others are hardly quiet. Invest in ear defenders, and remember that you probably have neighbors to consider.

Corded vs Corded

Corded

Corded sanders keep you working for longer without fretting about the state of the battery charge. Also, corded models are often lighter because there is no added battery weight.

And when the charge starts to dwindle on a cordless sander, you often experience a lag in performance. This doesn’t happen with a corded model. You get continuous power no matter how long you work. Plus, corded devices are often cheaper.

The downside is you are restricted to a power supply, or at best, an extension cord. When you consider that decks are in gardens you will need to organize a power supply to reach the work-site.

Pros

  • Continuous power.
  • Cheaper.
  • Lighter.
  • No charge time.
  • No power lag.

Cons

  • Requires a power supply.
  • Trailing leads.

Cordless

Cordless sanders allow you to work anywhere. This is ideal for outdoor use, like deck refinishing. If you get a cordless model, make sure you buy a spare battery. While you are using one cell, the other is there to take over when it loses charge.

Cordless models have a battery attached, which increases the weight and might cause more hand and wrist fatigue. The other disadvantage is the expense, not just for the bare tool but the spare batteries.

Try and get a model that includes at least one battery and a charger. Some only supply the tool itself and charge extra for the battery and charger. Also, keep in mind the charge time. Some models take longer than others.

Pros

  • Go anywhere.
  • No power cords.
  • Latest motor technology.
  • Fast charge time.
  • Increased convenience.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Inconvenient charge time.
  • Requires additional battery.

What’s Your Budget?

The budget is always a consideration, so whether you choose a cordless or corded model may depend on your cash flow. The more you spend, the better quality the tool and the more it can do. This is undoubtedly true in most cases.

However, the most expensive is not always attainable, so look for a mid-priced model with better quality components. Longevity is vital, especially if you want to save the cost of purchasing a new model every couple of years.


What Sander Size Do I Need for My Deck?

The answer is, how big is your deck? Large surface areas require bigger sanders if you want the job done swiftly. A belt sander is by far the most popular choice, thanks to its ability to remove large amounts of material.

Belt sanders also have the most grunt, making grime and blemish removal a lot easier, speeding up the process. Orbital sanders are also effective, leaving fewer swirl marks and giving a smoother finish. However, using an orbital sander does take longer to complete the task.

FAQs

How Can I Sand My Deck Fast?

Start with the preparation. The more nails and sharp edges you remove from the deck before sanding, the faster you will get the task done. Use a belt sander, starting with an 80-grit paper, and graduate to a finer grade as you go.

You could also use a drum sander, which is a floor-standing device that looks like a lawnmower. It makes light work of large surfaces but is a bit on the crude side when it comes to detail sanding.

Should You Sand Your Deck Before Staining?

If you want the best result, you should. Sanding removes blemishes and sharp edges that result in a poor finish. Also, winter brings damp conditions, increasing fungus and mildew growth.

Wet decks are incredibly slippery, so the only way to stop potential injuries is to sand and stain.

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Do I Need To Remove Old Stain Before Restaining a Deck?

It depends on the state of your old stain and the surface of the wooden boards. Some oils soak into the fibers of the wood to offer deep protection of the material, with a simple touch-up necessary every season.

For the best results, sanding is always the best policy.

Do I Need To Sand a Deck Before Oiling?

Ideally, you should always sand the deck before applying any new oil-based preserver. It gives the best results and provides the neatest finish.

Should I Sand My Cedar Deck Before Staining?

Cedar, along with any other wood type, benefits from sanding before applying a deck stain. Removing old layers helps to protect the wood and allows the new layers to bond properly. You wouldn’t paint onto an old flaking surface without first stripping away the old layer, so staining your deck is the same.

Is It Worth Sanding a Deck?

It is worth sanding a deck if it’s cracked or has spots and stains that may cause structural damage. Sanding a deck is cheaper than rebuilding it, so you should consider this option if you want a new aesthetic.

But it takes quite a long time to sand a deck (of course, this depends on the size of the deck), and you need the right tools for the job. If your deck is in good condition, it’s not worth sanding it.

How Long Does It Take Sand a Deck?

To sand a 10-square-meter surface of your deck, you need about an hour with a random orbital sander. If you do the math, sand every square meter takes about 6 minutes.

However, these numbers aren’t set in stone. As with every other large project, some variables come into play.

One of them is your deck’s current condition. It takes longer to sand a damaged deck than one still in good condition. If the deck has been subjected to severe weathering, you will need to remove not one but two layers of stain.

After the stain has been removed, you may find grey or black spots that need to be sanded off, and this process will take significantly more time.

The kind of coating that you have on your deck is also an important consideration. Removing specific brands or colors may take longer, particularly dark ones or certain ones.

Some can be quite difficult to remove, while others can be removed quickly and painlessly with little to no effort.

How Much Does It Cost to Sand a Deck?

If you turn to a professional deck sanding service, expect to pay between $3 and $6 per square foot. Home Advisor says you will pay between $550 and $950 for labor alone.

Because it can save them money, several homeowners decide to refinish their decks on their own. But this is time-consuming, so make sure you’ve got patience and free time to do it.

If you decide to tackle this project, expect to pay around $300 for the needed materials.

That includes the sander, deck cleaning solutions, paint brushes, paint rollers, stain, paint, sealer, plastic sheeting, and others. You might also need a paint sprayer and power washers, adding more to the cost.

Is It Better to Sand or Power Wash a Deck?

Sanding and power washing a deck are completely different things, so there is no “better.”

If you have a dirty deck but one that’s still in good condition, then power washing is more than enough to remove dust, debris, and different gunk and stains that ruin the looks of your deck.

But sanding is your best option if your deck has imperfections, is cracked, chipped, damaged, or is weathered. Don’t sand a deck unless you have to because you can wear out the deck and make a mess in the process for no reason.

Should I Use a Belt Sander or Orbital Sander for Deck?

Both belt and orbital sanders are good for decks, but the belt sander is the superior choice. You can get a clean and smooth finish by using a belt sander on a deck, and it’s a versatile tool that you can use for other projects as well.

What Type of Sander Is Best for a Deck?

Aside from the previously mentioned belt sanders, you can also use an orbital sander on your deck. Some argue that random orbital sanders are easier to control than belt sanders, and even someone with no previous experience in deck-sanding can achieve a nice finish.

You’re less likely to scratch the surface of your deck when you use a random orbital sander. Most random orbital sanders come equipped with a dust collection mechanism.

This assists in reducing the amount of dust produced throughout the sanding operation, so you don’t have a big mess to clean up afterward.


Love Your Deck

More than any other wooden surface in your home, the garden decking gets the most punishment. Is it any wonder that every season, after the winter, you should consider sanding away the grime and dirt from the surface.

If you want your deck to last and look good for years to come, think about a maintenance schedule and invest in a sander.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.