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With this type of machine sanding is no longer a chore! The sander reproduces faster manual movement to rough out and ensure a perfect finish. The operation is also more comfortable.

6 sanders on the test bench.

Vibrating sanders tested

The editorial team has tested 6 models of vibratory sanders, responding to the most common needs of novice or experienced DIYers.
The Coup de Coeur of System D: AEG FS280

FS280PSS 300 AETE-OS 2520 EBO4900VJSRE 4351 TurbotecESS-3215VHG

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: handle

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: vibrating

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: handle

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: vibrating

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: handle

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: vibrating

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The vibrating sander is used to prepare surfaces to be painted, such as walls, ceilings coated with plaster or tables and wooden doors or its derivatives. Depending on the abrasive chosen, it can also sand metal or synthetic materials.

Simplicity and efficiency of vibratory sanders

Launched at full speed, the sanding pad gives the impression of vibrating, hence the name of vibrating sander. In reality, the plate (or sole) is driven by an oscillating movement, transmitted by a camshaft mounted at the output of the electric motor of a varying power here 250 to 500 W (AEG). The higher the number of oscillations and the amplitude, the faster and more comfortable the work. Of the six machines tested, the plateau oscillations are from 8000 to 26.000 osc / min (AEG) with amplitude from 1.8 to 2.6 mm. The most common and entry-level sanders have a rectangular tray 93 x 185 mm (1/4 of sheet). The six sanders in our test are designed for intensive and hard work. Their sanding surface is 115 x 230 mm (1/2 sheet).

Placement of the abrasive on the sole

The abrasive comes to take place on a synthetic foam sole Mounted under the die-cast aluminum or magnesium tray (Bosch) which brings strength and lightness. Of the six machines selected, the sole is equipped with a gripping coat which allows quick fixing of adhesive abrasives by simple pressure, and fastening clips that hold conventional abrasive sheets. These sanders all have a turbine that sucks the dust through the holes of the sole to direct them towards a filter cartridge (Bosch and Einhell) or a small integrated bag, rather effective. Finally, sanders are equipped with a speed variator to modulate the oscillation of the plateau.

Preparation and start-up of tools

Fix the abrasive sheet on the soleplate.

On the sole, the velcro strap offers the advantage of attach the abrasive sheet quickly. On the AEG, Makita and Metabo, the sheet holds particularly well during work. On the others, it slides slightly while heating.

Rod serving as a fastening system.

The six machines also offer a fixation with a clamp system: it's a simple rudimentary rod on Bosch and Einhell.

Fix the abrasive using a clamp system.

On the other models, the system is more sophisticated: the pliers is handled by two levers integrated into the housing.

Push button to start the sander.

Bosch and Einhell models set off with a pushbutton.

Trigger to start the sander.

On the other machines, it's a trigger under the main handle. Flexible to handle, it is accompanied by an acceleration lock button, hard to reach on the AEG.

Adjust the frequency converter.

The speed variator that equips each machine is usually a little far from the main handle, forcing to handle it with the second hand.

Dust recovery

Set up the dust collection bag.

On AEG and Ryobi sanders, the collection bag dust is very simple to put in place. On the Ryobi, he is a little small.

Disassemble the filter cartridge from a sander.

The filter cartridges Bosch, Einhell and Metabo are equipped with a paper filter. The cartridges disassemble completely to facilitate emptying.

Recover the dust in a paper bag.

The Makita has a paper bag which retains fine particles better. But only one bag is provided with the sander.

An engine placed far from the dust
On these machines, the motor is placed far enough from the surface to be sanded and therefore dust, dangerous for its life. On AEG, Metabo and Makita, it is more than 7 cm from the surface, which allows the sanding and other gypsum board joints to be sanded without overheating.

Elements of comfort

  • Designed for the comfort of the user, the trays are connected to the housing by rubber mounts which limit the transmission of vibrations, a source of fatigue and tingling. The AEG, Makita and Metabo models are the most efficient.
  • The foam sole, in addition to allowing the fixing of the abrasive, provides flexibility to sanding and absorbs irregularities. The thicker it is, the more comfortable it is. The thickness varies from 5 mm for Ryobi to 9 mm for Makita and Metabo.
  • The sanders are quite heavy and are used most commonly with both hands. One is placed on the front handle as a guide and the other holds the sander on the back. The handles are all sheathed non-slip material. The Makita and Metabo also offer a removable spherical handle to direct the sander more precisely.

Use a vibrating sander

Sander with a main handle and an auxiliary handle.

In general this type of sander is held with two hands: one on the main handle, the other on the engine block. For the heaviest ones (AEG, Makita and Metabo), a auxiliary handle provides good sanding accuracy.

Use a sander with one hand.

The lighter ones, like the Ryobi, can be used with one hand.

Scratches due to the lack of efficiency of the dust extraction system.

Thedust extraction lack of efficiency on the Bosch, which can produce small circular stripes on sensitive surfaces.

Lack of tightness between the machine and the collection cartridge.

The Einhell sucks well, but there is a lack of waterproofness between the machine and the collection cartridge.


Store the sander in a briefcase.

Four sanders (Bosch, Einhell, Makita and Ryobi) are delivered in one hard casepractical and solid.

Store a sander in a canvas bag.

AEG chose the synthetic canvas bag. It is less easy to store on a shelf. Only the Metabo sander is delivered without a bag or briefcase. You have to "put your hand in the purse" to buy one.

Evaluation criteria

  • Thesanding efficiency is the first quality requested. Comfort, handling, endurance are also taken into account as well as the ease of setting up and maintaining the abrasive sheet.
  • Theaspiration and the filtration are checked. Dust collection systems and their placement differ from machine to machine. Even though the suction is relatively efficient, it is not the same for dust filtration. On each machine, a vacuum cleaner can be connected with a hose adapter (not supplied).
  • Theergonomics and the settings test the slip-resistant cladding, access and position of the speed regulator as well as its ease of adjustment and the general shape of the machine which affects the grip.
  • The comfort in use relates to the handling of the machine and the rise of unwanted vibrations, which play on the fatigue of the user. The flexibility of the controls and the length of the electrical cord are also controlled. A cord too short requires the use of an extension: more weight to carry.

Test procedure *

An old oak table, pine panels covered with several layers of paint and plaster plaster applied to a wall were sanded. This last test was a real test for the filtration of dust and the handling of these machines penalized by their weight.
All were equipped with the same abrasive sheets. The roughing was done with 40 to 80 grain paper and finishes with grain 120 to 180.
Each sanding lasted about 15 minutes.
* The "System D" test benches are made in real conditions of use by our journalists. The results may therefore differ from those displayed by the manufacturers, whose tests are performed by laboratories according to standardized protocols.

The AEG vibrating sander, the favorite of System D

Vibrating sander AEG.

Robust, this sander is cut for intensive work. The work is done comfortably and in a clean environment. The filtration quality of the dust and the suction force are excellent. The controls for starting and adjusting the speed of oscillation fall well under the hand and the auxiliary handle is ergonomic. Finally, the sander comes with four abrasive sheets.

What to remember from the test?

Relatively close in terms of performance despite significant price differences, the sanders were sorted thanks to filtration accessories, comfort of use and their robustness.

  • At the top of the ranking, the Makita has a motor well protected from dust. Which is a plus for longevity.
  • The Metabo, in second place, is effective but lacks rigor on dust filtration.
  • TheAEG, third, loses some points on the comfort of use.
  • In fourth place, the Bosch has a filter cartridge which becomes more and more difficult to install as and when used. And the filtration is random.
  • Fifth, the Ryobi sins by its quality of manufacture.
  • Finally, Einhell close the march. Very economical (four times cheaper than the Metabo!), It is handicapped by vibrations too present.

Comparative table: 6 vibrating sanders

Notice and comparison: 6 vibrating sanders: handle

AEG (Our favorite)

Vibrating sander AEG.

FS 280 model
Price: 159 €
Engine power: 500 W
Number of oscillations: from 14.000 to 26.000 osc / min
Amplitude of oscillation: 2.5 mm
Dust collection: cloth bag
Cord length: 4 m
Weight: 3 kg
Warranty: 6 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 8.0
    Nothing can resist him. Sanding is effective in both roughing and finishing. Be careful, the sole, although thick, has a slightly fragile foam.
  • Aspiration and filtration: 8.0
    The dust is perfectly sucked and the collection bag, quick to install, filters effectively.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 7.6
    The start button dead man is very flexible. In contrast, the lock is a bit hard.
  • Operating comfort: 7.6
    At start-up, despite the weight of the machine, the soft start allows a smooth sanding attack.
Test result: 7.8


Bosch vibrating sander.

Model PSS 300 AE
Price: 150 €
Engine power: 250 W
Number of oscillations: from 14.000 to 24.000 osc / min
Oscillation amplitude: 1.8 mm
Dust collection: filter cartridge
Cord length: 3 m
Weight: 1.8 kg
Warranty: 3 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 7.5
    The sanding is quite fast and accurate. The abrasive sheets fit perfectly on the sole. But it is a little too close to the engine.
  • Suction and filtration: 6.5
    Dust evacuation is inefficient. The filter cartridge is a bit hard to put in place.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 7.5
    Spring clamps are not a problem. The speed adjustment knob is misplaced.
  • Comfort of use: 7,5
    The vibrations are well contained. Lightweight, the machine can be used on vertical surfaces without much fatigue.
Test result: 7.2


Einhell vibrating sander.

Model TE-OS 2520 E
Price: 69 €
Engine power: 250 W
Number of oscillations: from 14.000 to 24.000 osc / min
Oscillation amplitude: 2 mm
Dust collection: filter cartridge
Cord length: 3 m
Weight: 1.9 kg
Warranty: 3 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 7.0
    The paper clamps are very easy to handle. The machine is light, so easy to handle, but you have to press hard areas.
  • Suction and filtration: 7.0
    The suction leaves the work area clean enough. On the other hand, the dust is not perfectly filtered.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 6.0
    The push-button start control is wide, but the speed control knob is misplaced.
  • User comfort: 7.0
    The non-slip cladding is correct, but parasitic vibrations become unpleasant in prolonged use.
Test result: 6.7


Makita vibrating sander.

Model BO4900VJ
Price TTC: 255 €
Engine power: 330 W
Number of oscillations: from 8000 to 20.000 osc / min
Amplitude of oscillation: 2.6 mm
Dust collection: paper bag
Cord length: 4 m
Weight: 2.7 kg
Warranty: 3 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 8.5
    This machine is designed for long-term work. Sanding is done gently and finesse. The paper is put in place easily.
  • Aspiration and filtration: 8.0
    Collection and aspiration of dust are effective. On the other hand, the paper bag must be changed regularly.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 8.0
    The speed adjustment knob is ideally placed on the main handle and remains perfectly legible.
  • Comfort of use: 8.5
    Its weight does not facilitate handling, but the removable auxiliary handle provides a good grip.
Test result: 8.2


Metabo vibrating sander.

Model SRE 4351 Turbotec
Price: 275 €
Engine power: 350 W
Number of oscillations: from 8400 to 22.000 osc / min
Oscillation amplitude: 2.2 mm
Dust collection: cloth bag
Cord length: 4 m
Weight: 2.7 kg
Warranty: 3 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 8.2
    Enduring and quite well made, this machine is resistant to plaster dust. The abrasive sheets hold perfectly in place.
  • Suction and filtration: 7.6
    The dust is rather well evacuated and the collection box is put in place easily.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 8.0
    An additional handle is screwed on the front of the machine for difficult sanding.
  • Comfort of use: 8.5
    Few vibrations and a thick and comfortable cladding. The cord of 4 m allows to do without extension.
Test result: 8.0


Vibrating sander Ryobi.

Model ESS-3215VHG
Price: 89 €
Motor power: 320 W
Number of oscillations: from 12.000 to 21.000 osc / min
Oscillation amplitude: 2.2 mm
Collection of dust: cloth bag
Cord length: 3 m
Weight: 2.2 kg
Warranty: 3 years
Test results

  • Sanding efficiency: 7.0
    This machine full of energy is difficult to channel. It must be held firmly to keep the trajectory. For roughing no worries.
  • Suction and filtration: 7.2
    The dust is well channeled to the collection bag. Fine dust tends to pass through the bag.
  • Ergonomics and settings: 7.0
    The speed adjustment knob is well placed. The levers of the holding clips are wide and flexible.
  • Comfort of use: 6.8
    The vibrations are contained, but the sound level of the engine is high. The machine is well sheathed.
Test result: 7.0

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