Different Types of Sanders

Sander infeed | Stirling Machinery

When it comes to detail and finishing work on timber components, sanders are a simple but powerful solution. The variety of sanding abrasives, materials, guides and machines make sanders one the most versatile pieces of equipment in any workshop. Whatever you are producing, the right sander can increase the quality of your finishes while cutting your production expenses down to size. There are a few common types of sanders available for industrial applications, and they can handle everything from low volume hand finishing to large volume, high capacity processing. In this article, we are going to look at the sanders that could make the biggest difference to your production capacity.

Belt Sanders

A staple of modern workshops and joineries, belt sanders are among the most powerful sanding machines in use. Belt sanders are available in a range of sizes, and can be configured for everything from detailed shaping to finishing large volumes of flat panel and plank products. As the name suggests, belt sanders make use of an abrasive belt to remove material from the surface of components. When paired with interchangeable roller heads and sanding beds of different shapes and sizes, a belt sander can be used for almost any application.

High volume workshops often make use of specialised belt sanders. Wide belt sanders are available with abrasive belts up to 1600mm wide, making them large enough to handle most standard sizes of flat panel timber stock. Similarly, workshops often use top and bottom sanders that apply a surface finish to both sides of a workpiece at once. Simultaneously processing both sides of a workpiece not only saves time, but it also makes it simpler to integrate belt sanders into modern automation systems.

Disc Sanders

Table mounted disc sanders are a simple but versatile timber manufacturing machine. Often backed up by powerful motors, disc sanders place a circular abrasive pad on a spinning disc. A workpiece can then be pushed up against the sanding pad for shaping. The power of disc sanders comes from their adjustable tables and suitability for freehand work. Most industrial disc sanders are available with tables that can be tilted perpendicular to the sanding face. Workshops like furniture makers often use these tilting tables to apply and refine bevels on the edges of components. Sander tables are also commonly produced with standard tracks that accept guides like mitre gauges.

Spindle Sanders

Typically used by smaller workshops that need fine calibration and finishing tools, spindle sanders use a small diameter abrasive drum to sand intricate shapes and refine curves. As the drum of the sander turns, an oscillating spindle sander will move the drum up and down, exposing more of the drum to the workpiece and preventing the abrasives from overheating and clogging. Available in a range of sizes, interchangeable abrasive drums make short work of finish sanding for cabinet and furniture makers who often perform lower volumes of more detailed work.

Planer Sanders

Planers and sanders traditionally perform two separate jobs in timber workshops. Where planers are designed to remove large amounts of material to even out the faces of timber stock, sanders remove less material but provide much finer control over the finish. Modern workshops often use machines that combine planing and sanding into a single machine. Planer sanders save significantly on the labour and processing time invested into each component. Combining the functions also means that computers can control the process and achieve the consistent results expected by high volume manufacturers and their clients.

Ready to Upgrade Your Manufacturing? Contact Stirling Machinery Today

Choosing the right machinery for your workshop can have a major impact on the quality of your components and the costs invested in manufacturing. Stirling Machinery is available to help. We supply a range of industrial sanding machines, and our team can tailor a solution that matches your manufacturing and automation needs. To improve the quality of your products and finishes with our sanding equipment, simply get in touch with our team today.


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C Series Finger Jointer & E Series Moulder

“Every step of the way, Stirling showed that they could partner with us in a meaningful way. We weren’t looking for a quick set-and-forget arrangement. We wanted a genuine collaboration that would see us through from consultancy and installation to operation and beyond.”

Chris Skeels-Piggins


Planer Sander

“Stirling Machinery’s Planer Sander replaced the two existing sanders we had onsite. Finishing tabletops, a process that originally took two to three hours across two machines, has now been reduced to a matter of minutes in a one-pass finish. The team took the time to understand my operation, how it is run,and what we were looking for in terms of increased capacity and timber finish, and came back with a tailored solution that ticked all of the boxes.As a furniture maker of 35 years, I have been very impressed by the level of service,support and results Stirling has provided. From adding one machine, we have gained time, quality, space, output and efficiency and I couldn’t be happier.”

Geoff Laffan

Director of Winna Furniture

A Series Moulder & Vertical Resaw

“What Craig and the rest of the team at Stirling care about is that the timber industry in Australia goes to a higher quality level. They want to see our customers getting the best product, they don’t just want to sell something. Craig is always asking the questions to make sure that whatever he sells me is going to make my product higher quality and the customer happier.”

Thor Diesendorf

Managing Director of Thor's Hammer