Guide to Sanding

When it comes to construction projects, sanding plays a critical role in achieving a smooth and polished finish. Whether you’re building a new house, finishing interiors, or refurbishing existing structures, sanding is a crucial step in preparing surfaces for painting, staining, or other finishing treatments. But with so many sanders available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your specific project.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the different types of sanders and sandpaper grades.


First, let’s take a look at the different sanders that we offer at Alliance Tool Hire, along with their key features and benefits:


200mm (8″) Floor Sander

This heavy-duty sander is designed for sanding large floor areas quickly and efficiently. It features a powerful motor and adjustable handle for easy operation.

180mm (7″) Floor Edging Sander

This compact sander is perfect for sanding edges, corners, and hard-to-reach areas. It features a dust bag for easy cleanup and can be used in conjunction with our 200mm (8″) floor sander for a complete floor sanding solution.

Orbital Floor Finishing Sander

This sander is specifically designed for refinishing hardwood floors like parquet. It features a powerful motor and a large sanding pad that provides efficient and even sanding across the entire floor surface. The random orbital motion of the sanding pad ensures that the finish is smooth and consistent, without leaving swirl marks or scratches.

Large surfaces

Belt Sander

This powerful sander is designed for heavy material removal, such as sanding down rough surfaces or removing old paint or varnish. It features a continuous loop sanding belt that moves at high speed for efficient material removal. 

Smaller surfaces and finishing

Orbital Sander

These versatile sanders are suitable for both rough and fine sanding applications.

The Orbital Sander’s relatively small rectangular sanding plates means that it works well on flat surfaces such as flat wood or composite wood surfaces and varnished or painted surfaces. 

Palm Sander

This compact sander is ideal for finishing and smoothing small surfaces and corners, such as furniture or cabinetry. It features a square sanding pad and is easy to operate with one hand.

Interior walls

Drywall Sander

This specialised sander is designed for sanding drywall, plaster, and other construction materials. It features a long handle and flexible sanding pad for reaching high or hard-to-reach areas.

Due to high levels of dust this sander should be paired with a dust extraction unit.

Sandpaper grades

Now that you know more about the different types of sanders, let’s talk about sandpaper grades. The grit number on sandpaper indicates the coarseness or fineness of the grit. The lower the number, the coarser the grit; and the higher the number, the finer the grit. For example, 40 to 60 grit is considered coarse and is suitable for removing rough surfaces, while 120 to 220 grit is considered fine and is ideal for finishing and smoothing surfaces.

Below are our suggestions for grits to use for common sanding jobs:

Refinishing wooden furniture: Start with 80-grit sandpaper to remove the old finish or paint, then move up to 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface. Finish with 220-grit sandpaper for a polished look.

Preparing surfaces for painting or staining: Use 120-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface and create a better bond with the paint or stain. For a smoother finish, follow up with 220-grit sandpaper.

Smoothing out rough edges on metal or plastic materials: Start with 80-grit sandpaper to remove any burrs or rough spots, then move up to 120-grit sandpaper for a smoother finish. Finish with 220-grit sandpaper to create a polished surface.

At Alliance Tool Hire, we have a wide range of sanders and sandpaper grades to suit your specific project needs. Whether you’re working on a large-scale construction job or a smaller interior finishing project, we can help. 

Call the team on 0800 464 7060, send us an email [email protected] or find your local depot.

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