Sanding by hand is not an expired method in today’s woodworking world. In fact, several types of projects require meticulous hand-sanding in order to smooth out curves, contours, and crevices. But nonetheless, there are motorized sanders available on the market that are best for larger flat surface sanding projects.Two of the most popular hand-held versions are palm sheet sanders and random orbital sanders. They are perfect for smoothing out coats in between final finishes, removing old finish, sanding away paint, and more. The power tool that suits your project largely depends on the size of the job and the amount of material that needs removed. Continue reading to learn a bit about both, and what their advantages and disadvantages are in the world of woodworking.Orbital SandersOver the past decade, orbital sanders have gained a substantial amount of popularity in the carpentry and woodworking industry. In fact, it is more than likely to find one in every carpenter or handyman’s shop. With the increase in demand for hand-held power sanders, the price has dropped significantly in the past few years, making them more attainable for the every-day woodworking enthusiast. They are beneficial because their advanced technology makes them easy to use for any skill level, and they allow for a faster job and smoother results. Its random orbital pattern eliminates visible sanding marks as well, resulting in more even-looking finishes.Random orbital sanders operate by using round sanding discs that attach to the base of the sander with either a hook and loop fastener or some sort of adhesive. This feature is considered one of the downsides to using orbital handheld sanders. The motor moves the sanding pad in a “random” elliptical-like motion using an offset drive bearing, which reduces the appearance of sanding swirls and marks. These power sanders use bigger motors with variable speeds, reduce hand fatigue, and retain dust collection holes that are effective at managing residual sanding dust. A few disadvantages include cost, inconsistent product availability, and incapacity to navigate corners and crevices.Sheet SandersThe smaller cousins to big sheet sanders, palm sanders are handheld power tools have been around for quite some time. They are a smaller, less expensive version of a power sander that uses larger sheets of sandpaper. Palm sheet sanders use quarter sheet squares of sandpaper that can be bought at any local hardware store. They attach to the base of the sander with clamps, and a motor moves the sanding pad around in circular motions at an accelerated speed. Palm sanders are great for sanding between coats of finish or paint, or simply sanding smaller surfaces. And since the sheets are square, in contrast to orbital sanders, they can reach corners and crooks.A few disadvantages to palm sanders is their need for more elbow grease. They can cause hand, wrist, and finger pain after prolonged use. Also, they are also prone to leaving behind swirl marks, and they do not retain pre-punched dust collection holes. These holes must be punched in yourself, adding to the time consumption for switching out sandpaper sheets.