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Best Sander For Stairs Reviews And top Picks




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best sander for stairs

What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a home? If you haven’t figured it out already, it’s the staircases. However, you need the best sanders for stairs if you want your staircases to look smooth and elegant. Refinishing your staircases is a task that can be rather easy with the right set of equipment.

Before you can start the refinishing project, you need to consider purchasing a saner. A good sander will ensure that the whole process is fast and easy. The bad news is the fact that you will have to choose one sander from hundreds of options in the market.

Due to all the confusion involved in the buying process, we have put together the top 5 sanders for stair review. Included in this article is a comprehensive guide to help you know everything about sanders for stairs. In the end, you should be able to pick the best value sander to suit your needs.

Top 7 Best Sanders For Stairs in 2021

1. DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K)

DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K)

The DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K) is an excellent choice if you are looking for a sander that features a powerful motor. Note that you get a magnificent 3.0-Amp motor that provides great performance when working on different projects, including the staircase.

Apart from power, the DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K) works at speeds of up to 12,000 OPM which is rather impressive. Notice that the amount of speed is sufficient for getting a perfect finish on your stairs. You will enjoy working with this impressive machine due to the quality of the finish. 

What I love about the DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K) is its height. Notice that its height is considerably shorter than most machines in the market. It is, therefore, easy to use since you work closer to the project. You will have more control over the workpiece to guarantee a flawless finish.

The separate counterweight design ensures that there is reduced vibrations when working with this sanding machine. You will also notice the rubberized body that also helps reduce vibrations while working on your project. However, this does not mean that you won’t feel any vibrations while working. The vibration levels will be considerably less than if you were using other models.

The DEWALT Palm Sander (DWE6411K) features an impressive dust collector system. note that you can connect this tool to the vacuum to ensure you work in a clean and neat environment. I found the dust collection system of this sander to be rather effective and helpful when working on large projects.

Note that this sanding machine also includes a dust-sealed switch. Your device will be protected from dust ingestion which guarantees long-lasting services. Understand that you need a sander that can provide efficient and long-lasting services since you will be working on different projects.


  • Provides an impressive speed of up to 12,000 OPM’s
  • Rubberized body to reduce vibrations
  • An effective dust collection system
  • Shorter height to get you more control
  • Powerful 3.0-amp motor


  • The pad isn’t user-friendly

2. Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander

Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander

If you are looking for an easy-to-control sander, the Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander is an excellent pick. Note that it is specially designed for beginners who have no clue where to start. For starters, the vibration is kept at a minimum to ensure you can get more control over the device. Note that most beginners tend to make the mistake of letting the sander slip out of the hand due to vibrations.

Note that it also comes with a vibration control that allows you to minimize the vibration levels while working. You will also notice the ergonomic handles that further help you get better control of the machine. Beginners can, therefore, work for longer without getting fatigued.

The Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander also comes with an effective paper clamping system that makes it easy to attach and remove the paper. Because this sander also accepts stick-on paper, you will find it quite easy to get a smooth and professional finish.

What I found rather interesting about this sanding machine is the 3.4-amp motor that packs a lot of power. You get to choose between speeds of 8,000 to 11,000 OPM, thus ensuring you can work on different types of problems. Note that the adjustable speed settings will help you get a smoother finish regardless of the type of wood.

The dust collector system of the Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander features screw-off caps and a micro-filter canister. You will quickly empty the bag when it gets full, thus allowing you to get back to work immediately. Few rest breaks will help you get a consistent and professional finish when working on your staircase.

In general, the Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander is a great sanding machine that does the job right. Beginners will find it rather easy to work on several projects in their home, including the staircases. Note that this sander accepts 60, 80, 120, and 180 grits.


  • Features a stable 3.4-amp motor
  • Fast speeds ranging from 8,000-11,000 OPM’s
  • Ergonomic handles increase comfort
  • Low vibration levels
  • Accepts different grit sandpapers


  • Rather expensive, especially when you are on a budget

3. Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander

Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander

The Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander features a lightweight design that offers smooth performance. It is, therefore, a suitable model for large projects since you get an impressive combination of power and speed. With a weight of 2.6 pounds, you can work for long hours without getting fatigued.

You will quickly notice that you need fewer rest breaks when working with this impressive machine. Notice that you will get a smooth and consistent finish when you take fewer rest breaks during a project.

The Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander is specially designed for finishing and woodworking. It is, therefore, one of the top choices when it comes to sanding your staircases. As stated earlier, you get impressive speeds of up to 14,000 OPM’s to guarantee a smooth finish.

What I love about this sander is the amount of comfort that it provides. You get an ergonomically rubberized grip that fits perfectly in your hands. You will find it much easier to control this device even when you are a beginner.

The ball-bearing construction of the Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander ensures that noise levels are greatly reduced. The tool will also vibrate less which means you can quickly get a smooth and even finish.

The Makita B03710 Sheet Finishing Sander also features an effective dust collection system that is quite effective. You will find it easy to perform cleanup once you are done with a project. Note that the dust bag of this sander features an extra mouth to ensure dust and debris are collected faster and more effectively.


  • An excellent dust collection system
  • Less noise due to the ball-bearing construction
  • Powerful 2.0 Amp motor
  • Speeds of up to 14,000 OPM’s
  • Lightweight and compact design


  • The speed of this machine isn’t adjustable

4. DEWALT DCW210B Orbital Sander

DEWALT DCW210B Orbital Sander

The DEWALT DCW210B Orbital Sander is an ideal choice for individuals looking for a versatile machine. First, this sanding machine features variable speed settings to ensure you can adjust the speed to suit any type of project. You will, therefore, find it easy to maintain an optimum speed for a professional finish when working on your staircases.

What I found rather interesting with this model is the textured rubber grip that delivers impressive control and comfort. Note that you can work for long hours with this device without feeling fatigued. You will, certainly, enjoy working on your stairs, even when you are a beginner.

The low height of the DEWALT DCW210B Orbital Sander also increases the amount of control you have during a project. notice that you get more control when you work close to the surface. This feature will also ensure that you never miss a spot while working on any kind of project.

The DEWALT DCW210B Orbital Sander comes with a brushless motor that reduces the vibration levels and increases the run time. You will, therefore, get long-lasting services from this impressive machine. Note that a brushless motor is designed to work for long hours without any glitches or problems.

The hook-and-loop sanding pad makes it quite easy to change the sandpaper while working. Note that you will need to use different grit sandpapers to get a more professional finish. This sanding machine allows you to quickly change the paper, thus reducing the downtime.

However, the charger and battery of this sander are sold separately. You might want to include the cost of these components before making a purchase. All in all, this sander is an excellent choice if you are looking for a versatile machine for your workshop or garage.


  • Easy to use
  • Variable speed settings
  • Comfortable rubberized grip
  • Lightweight and compact construction
  • An adequate dust collection system
  • Brushless motor reduces vibration levels


  • Not enough power for long operations

5. WEN 6313 Sheet Sander

WEN 6313 Sheet Sander

The WEN 6313 Sheet Sander is an excellent choice for individuals on a budget. You get a pocket-friendly sander that doesn’t compromise on performance. For one, the powerful 1.2-Amp motor delivers up to 12,000 OPM’s. You will, therefore, find it quite easy to work on your stairs.

What I love about the WEN 6313 Sheet Sander are its lightweight and compact design. This machine will ensure that you can keep on working for long hours even in a vertical position. Understand that a lightweight model will increase efficiency due to reduced rest breaks.

Note that The WEN 6313 Sheet Sander is perfect for sanding large surfaces. Its 3 5/8-inch by 7 3/8-inch surface ensures that you can complete large projects quickly. The good news is that you will always get a smooth and professional finish when you use this machine.

The dust collection system of the WEN 6313 Sheet Sander is also pretty impressive. It will ensure you maintain a clean and neat working environment. You will also find it easy to clean up after a project due to reduced dust and debris.

However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t wear your protective gear during a project. Understand that inhaling the dust and loose sawdust can lead to serious health problems.

The Velcro base pad makes this sander an excellent choice for beginners. You will find it quite easy to remove and install sandpaper when working on your staircase project. Understand that you will need to use different grit sandpaper to get a smooth and polished finish.

The WEN 6313 Sheet Sander is a great sanding machine that comes at a budget-friendly price. It is, definitely, worth considering since it provides versatility. You can use this machine for different projects around the home. 


  • Comes with a powerful 1.2-amp motor
  • An excellent dust collection system
  • Velcro base pad makes it easy to remove and install sanding paper
  • Lightweight and compact design


  • Isn’t built for large projects

How To Choose the Right Sander for Stairs

Getting a suitable sander for stairs will ensure you get the job done quickly and effectively. Understand that a wrong sander can ruin the entire project if you are not careful. Am sure you know that replacing your staircase can be rather expensive.

You must consider a lot of factors when choosing the right sander for stairs. Luckily, below is an extensive buyer’s guide to help you understand all the things that you need to consider.

Size and Weight

Did you know that the medium and small sanding machines are ideal for sanding stairs? You will easily get to those hard to reach inner sides and corners without any problem. Note that large model sanders will not allow you to effectively sand the corners of your stairs. You will, therefore, need to manually sand such areas using your hands, which can be rather tiresome.

Understand that the medium and small sanders are equally lightweight. You can, therefore, work for longer hours without getting fatigued. In some situations, you will have to hold your sander vertically to guarantee a smooth finish.


Professionals know the different grit sandpaper that they will need for the job. However, most beginners don’t have the slightest clue on where to begin. Understand that you must use the right sandpaper and speed to get an even finish.

Start with coarse sandpaper at a low-speed setting and slowly transition to the finer-grit sandpaper. Note that more on how to properly sand your stairs are featured in the section below. We will walk you through all the necessary steps to guarantee a smooth finish.

Variable Speed

Most experts will tell you that variable speed is not a significant consideration when it comes to stairs. However, note that beginners need a variable speed machine to ensure they get the project right. Understand that variable speed settings will help you complete the project faster and accurately.

Getting a sanding machine with variable speed settings also ensures you get value for your money. Understand that a machine with variable speed settings provides versatility. You can work on different projects, apart from refinishing your staircase.

Dust Collection System

Start by asking yourself whether you have a shop vac? If you don’t have one, then you have to go for a model with an excellent dust collection system. Note that cleaning up after a project can consume a lot of time and effort. You will also be feeling tired after the project, which makes things even more difficult.

A sander with an effective dust collector system will make work much easier. You will not have to spend an entire afternoon cleaning up once you complete a project. Note that most sanders nowadays come with a dust collector system that can be hooked into a shop vac.

A good dust collection system also helps to safeguard your health. The dust particles and sawdust will get into the air when you don’t have an adequate dust collection system. What this means is that you risk inhaling these particles while working. Notice that you will be exposing yourself to serious health problems.

Noise Levels and Accessories

Many sanders in the market come with numerous accessories to ensure you get a smooth and even finish. When you are a beginner at DIY projects, you have to carefully consider the different accessories that come with your purchase. A dust canister, sandpaper, toolbox, and battery will come a long way in helping you during your first project.

The noise level is an important consideration, especially when you live in crowded neighborhoods. Understand that you don’t need a machine that makes a lot of noise. Most of the time, the neighbors need peace when in their homes. 


When buying any piece of equipment, you have to consider the warranty. A long warranty will ensure that you are protected in case the machine breaks down. You can focus on getting a high-end finish rather than worrying about any potential breakdowns.

Look at customer reviews to get a clear picture of the type of warranty you are getting. It would also help if you considered the return policy of the seller. You don’t want to end up with a faulty machine that cost a fortune lying around in the workplace.


Your budget will play a huge role in the type of sander that you purchase. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a suitable sander for stairs. All you need to do is find a device that fits within your budget and provides high-end services.

Consider the features of the device and whether it is suitable for the task. It would also help if you avoided the extremely cheap models in the market. Note that most of the cheap models in the market are made from cheap materials that won’t provide long-lasting services.

How To Refinish your Staircase- Step Guide

When refinishing your staircase, the sanding process can either be done with a sander or your hands. However, note that using a sander will make the work easier and faster. Pick a suitable model from our top 5 reviews, and let’s get started refinishing your staircase.

Step 1 : Remove the Existing Carpet

Some stairs have carpets while others don’t, depending on your style and home aesthetics. You must start by removing the existing carpet in case you have one. This task is rather simple and straightforward, especially when you are a DIY enthusiast.

Step 2 : Patch Holes

Inspect your stairs for any holes or cracks. You can then use a wood filler to fill up all the patches and holes on your staircase. Note that filling the holes will ensure you get a smooth surface for an even sanding. Wood filler is readily available at your local warehouse and doesn’t cost a fortune. The user instructions will contain more information on how to patch holes using the wood filler.

Step 3 : Sand the Stairs

Once all the cracks and holes are filled up, you need to start sanding. As stated earlier, you can always choose to either use your hands or a sanding machine. If you don’t want to purchase a sander, you can always hire one at a cheap price.

Do not move your hand quickly when working with a sanding machine. You need to move at a slow pace to ensure that every inch of your staircase is properly sanded. Because your sander has a good dust collection system, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up after the project.

Start with coarse-grit sandpaper to ensure that all the rough edges are properly taken care of. You can then move on to medium-grit sandpaper and repeat the entire process. Finally, finish off with fine-grit sandpaper to give you a smooth and professional finish.

Understand that you must sand along the grain to avoid damaging your staircase. Sanding against the grain can greatly damage your stairs. You may have to spend a fortune on repairs.

Step 4 : Re-paint the Stairs

Spray painting your staircase is an easy and straightforward step once you have the proper technique. Luckily, you can quickly learn about spray painting in our extensive paint sprayer section. However, if you are looking to quickly get a few pointers, here we go.

First, ensure that the paint is properly thinned to allow for a smooth and consistent finish. You must then spray from a distance of about 10 inches from the surface. Ensure you work horizontally to ensure you get a professional finish.

It would help if the paint overlapped by about a third for a richer finish, However, note that you need to stick to a similar pattern until the entire project is finished. With spray painting, the most important skill to master is the technique.

If you are a beginner, ensure you practice on a piece of cardboard until you get the technique right. The good news is that you can quickly learn how to use your sprayer to get a professional finish. Although you can also use a brush or roller, these two methods will take a lot of time.

Final Verdict

When thinking about the best sanders for stairs, my top choice has to be the Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander. It is a lightweight, powerful, and fast model that comes at a pocket-friendly price. You get an impressive machine that has minimum vibration, a good dust collection system, and variable speed settings.

However, note that all the sanders on our list will give you reliable services. Ensure you find a model that fits within your budget and packs all the necessary features. It would also help if you looked at customer reviews to give you a clearer picture of the product.

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