Best Sander For Stairs-Stairway to Perfection

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Last Updated on February 16, 2024

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Ever walked into a home and felt wowed by the stairs? They’re more than steps; they’re the centerpiece. But to make them shine, you need the right tool; sanders. Choosing the perfect one? It’s the real stairway challenge.

We’ve rounded up some of the best sanders for stairs, tackling everything from wood refinishing to paint stripping and surface smoothing. Plus, our buying guide ensures you make the perfect choice, even at the last minute.

10 Best sanders for stairs-A Comparison Chart

Preview Name Features Price
  • Power Source : Battery Powered
  • No load Speed : 8000-11000 OPM
  • Voltage : 20 volt
  • Weight : 1.9 lbs.
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  • Belt Size : 4″ x 24″
  • Belt Speed : 1,640 ft. /min.
  • Voltage : 115 volt
  • Weight : 12.6 lbs.
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  • Pad Size : 3-5/8″ x 7-1/4
  • No load Speed : 11000 OPM
  • Voltage : 120 volt
  • Weight : 3.3 lbs.
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  • Power Source : Corded Electric
  • No load Speed : 12000 OPM
  • Amperage: 3.5 amp
  • Weight : 3.5 lbs.
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  • Surface area: 3-5/8 x 7-3/8 inch
  • No load Speed : 12000 OPM
  • Amperage: 1.0 amp
  • Weight : 2 lbs.
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  • Voltage 120V
  • No load Speed : 8,000 – 11,000 OPM
  • Amperage: 3.40 amp
  • Weight : 6.0 lbs.
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  • Voltage 120V
  • No load Speed : 12,000 OPM
  • Amperage: 2.0 amp
  • Weight : 2.7 lbs.
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So, which would be the best for sanding stairs?

The handheld orbital sander is the best option for stairs. Random orbital sander produces enough power to handle various kinds of staircase jobs. Hardwood stairs need extra attention when sanding. An excellent orbital sander can relieve thousand of jobs. If you have read this article, you have already known which one is the most suitable sander for your job. Yet, if you are in a hurry and looking for our recommendation, we can sayDEWALT 20V MAX XR Orbital Sander is the best option.

In Depth- Reviews

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR- Best Random Orbital Sander For Stairs

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  • Height: 5.1″.
  • Length: 7.1″.
  • No Load OPM: 8,000 – 12,000 opm.
  • Power source: Battery Powered.
  • Voltage: 20V.
  • Grit Rating:220.
  • Weight: 1.9 lb .

If you are looking for a portable, handy, lightweight, and textured rubber over-mold grip for more comfortable refinishing as well as sanding, then DEWALT 20V MAX random orbital is the one you can go to the proceeding.

The variable-speed dial provides a minimum speed of 8,000 OPM to a maximum of 12,000 OPM for different types of projects with its limited 20 volts of power. DEWALT 20V MAX random orbit sander comes with a brushless powerful motor that provides good runtime and efficiency to complete the task.

However, Low profile height makes perfect and detailed sanding by getting closer to the work surfaces. You can easily sand oak wood stair treads with this machine. The dustproof switch makes the switch life last longer which makes it one of the best sanders.

The dust port comes with a directly-fit dust collector. The dust bag is a one-handed locking system enabled, which makes it more effortless. A further vacuum system with 1-1/4″ hoses is available for more cleaning stuff. For quick, easy grit sandpaper changing, a replaceable 8-hole hook and loop sanding pad is included. This hook and loop system can save your precious time.

As this model is battery-powered, so the vibration and noise are significantly low. This feature makes it the best hand sander for stairs. Another feature is compactness that makes it more reliable. If it comes to a handy responsibility, the users have to do the job more precisely. The DEWALT 20V MAX model is a wiser option for staircase refinishing as well as woodworking projects.


  • Best portable in its class.
  • Easy to use feature confirms comfort.
  • Makes low vibration.
  • One of the best sanders for durabilty.
  • This model has a hook and loop sytem.
  • Budget-friendly.


  • No noticeable cons
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2. Makita 9403-Best belt sander 

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  • Amperage: 11 amp.
  • Belt size: 4″ x 24″.
  • Belt speed: 1,640 ft. /min.
  • Voltage: 115V.
  • Weight: 12.6 lbs.

This belt sander model is pretty good for smoothing the large surface in a short amount of time. If you have to work frequently or regularly on the staircase tread, this would be the best choice. This heavy one can give you more confidence in performance.

This model comes with a strong 11 amp high-production-use and powerful 11 amp motor that confirms fast material removal.

The 4-inch wide and 24-inch long belt is more than enough for refinishing type of wood and can produce a speed of 1,640 ft./min. Labyrinth construction seals motor and bearings prevents dust contamination makes it more durable as well as provides long life. The handgrip is adequately large and ensures more stability.

The cord is located on the upper portion of the handle for more convenient operation. The noise level is also moderated to 84 DB. So it won’t bother you much on the job site, and you can keep yourself focused. Makita 9403 includes an abrasive belt and a dust bag. The dust bag is 360 degrees rotatable and makes your site cleaner.

This model is backed by a one-year warranty to keep you protected. If you are looking for something perfect DIY project, you better not look at the price.


  • One of the best sanders for Labyrinth construction and longevity.
  • Makes less vibration.
  • Easy to use.
  • Have a 1-year of warranty.


  • Expensive if you are a beginner.
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3. Makita BO3710-Powerful motor sander

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  • Pad Size : 3-5/8″ x 7-1/4.
  • Length: 10.0″.
  • Amperage: 1.7 amp.
  • No Load OPM: 11000.
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.

The Makita 1/3 Sheet Finishing Sander is small but sturdy and fast as well as smooth performance features with a rubberized palm grip.

If you are looking for comfort and performance combined, then it is the best option for purchasing.

The 1.7 amp motor may look diminutive, but it can make an impressive 12000 OPM to do most of the job. The ball bearing construction and counter-balance system reduces most of the vibration and noises.

Large 2-finger trigger switch increased operator comfort. This feature is possible with a conveniently located lock-on button. For a cleaner work environment, this edge sander provides a through-the-pad dust collection system. Besides, the high-capacity dust bag includes a built-in vacuum adaptor for an effective wastage removing system.

The aluminum cast body makes this sander more durable. A large rubberized clamping lever ensures quick and easy abrasive paper installation for saving valuable time, and this model includes abrasive sandpaper, dust bag, and punch plate.

It is much easier for you to use at all times because the counter-balanced system provides low vibration. You won’t feel any tediousness for a day-long operation. Give it a shot!


  • Reasonable price for everyone.
  • Lightweight in the market.
  • Best durable
  • 1-year warranty


  • No variable speed control
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4. CRAFTSMAN(CMEW231)-Best Corded Random Orbital Sander

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  • Power Source: Corded Electric.
  • Amperage: 3.5 amp.
  • Max speed: 12000 OPM.
  • Orbit Diameter: 5 inch.
  • Product Dimensions: 10.13 x 5.5 x 5.75 inches.
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.

This random orbital tool can be helpful when you are planning to renovate your staircase like when removing paint, giving a new refinishing look, or may flatten the stair treads even smooth or even getting rid of swirl marks.

This machine is the boss of its class. In the case of flat and horizontal surfaces, this versatile random orbital tool proved its ability.

CRAFTSMAN Random Orbit Sander comes with a 3.5- amp motor that can rotate the 5-inch sanding pad at a maximum of 12000 orbits per minute. This sander has a magnificent ergonomic look that makes your task easier.

The loop & switch sandpaper pads are easy and quick to operate. You can easily change the sandpaper. This model is based on a super dust collection system that makes it the best in the market in its section. This system includes an excellent dust bag and an 11/4in vac hose.

Switches are dustproof, making sure the sander gets a long living life. Overall the CRAFTSMAN Random Orbital Sander is one of the best sanders for staircase tread refinishing. You can use this machine for starting the sanding process before painting.

A budget-friendly yet price-worthy model like CRAFTSMAN Random Orbit Sander does not come frequently. It does not matter if you are a professional or an enthusiast, the CRAFTSMAN (CMEW231) random orbital sander that is powerful and easily controlled, can be your best buddy at work.


  • Durable in the long run.
  • One of the best sanders for long time durabilty.
  • Affordable for everyone.
  • An eye guard and magnifying lens were added.
  • Have 3 years of warranty .


  • Focused on a less powered motor.
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5. WEN (6313)-Sheet Sander

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  • Surface area: 3-5/8 x 7-3/8 inch.
  • Amperage: 1.0 amp.
  • No Load OPM: 12000.
  • Weight: 2 lbs.

 Wen is well known for its durability and longevity. Here is another classic piece from Wen, which comes at a very economical price.

Yes, we are talking about WEN 6313 Electric 1/3 Sheet Sander. This model is so reliable that the sanding comes right into the palm of your hand.

The 1.2 amp motor comes with 12000 OPM of spinning motion, which is more than enough for the primary staircase job. You will know the preciseness of the machine when you will be able to do most of the works.

Vacuum adapter enables easy attachments for dust collection, which is added with a dust bag. This compact and lightweight design ensures stability and makes sure your hand does not feel tired. The velcro base sanding pad allows for simple grit sandpaper removal and installation, which can save you valuable time.

Also, this wen sheet sander comes at a very reasonable price. As the cost of this model is very moderate, you may have to compensate for other options. Except for its built quality, you are good to go.


  • Easy to use.
  • Less vibration.
  • An eye guard and magnifying lens were added.
  • Low price.


  • Found a little lacking in built-quality.
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6. Bosch (OS50VC)-Electric Orbital Sander

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  • Height: 8.0″
  • Length: 17.0″
  • No Load OPM: 8,000 – 11,000
  • Motor: 3.4 amp
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Orbit Diameter: 3/32” (2.4 mm)
  • Weight: 6 lbs

The Bosch OS50VC 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finish Sander is categorized as super perfect for stair refinishing. The power, paper-clamping system, grip, and dust collection feature make this edge sander more eye-catchy, although it is high-pricey. As it comes with a high price range, so the professionals may go for it.

This Bosch sander comes with less vibration, allowing you the best handling feature. A powerful 4.3 amp motor gives you the maximum orbital sanding speed.

Besides, The variable speed control system provides this machine multifunctionality and allows the best performance for the specific job in the kitchen or the stairs. When it comes to saving time the variable speed control system is essential. The microcellular backing sanding pad adjusts to many shapes for affording high performance.

The dust collector is pretty good to keep the room cleaner, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning stuff, and you can focus on your staircase more. Bosch OS50VC 1/2-Sheet Orbital Finish Sander is one of the top-class sanders for stairs in its segment.

Flush sanding allows vertical surfaces on three sides. This orbital sander comes with a trigger switch with a lock-on button. The die-cast aluminum gear housing prevents wobbling and helps to minimize vibration. The translucent microfilter dust canister feature has an integrated paper filter and screw-off cap for easy and quick emptying so that you can save valuable time.

There is no remarkable negative view of this machine except for the cost. But for professionals, the price is negligible.


  • Have two different sandpapers.
  • Easy to set and change paper.
  • Better vibration control.
  • Efficient dust collector.
  • This model has the variable speed control system.


  • Expensive.
  • A tad Heavy.
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7. Bosch (GSS20-40)-Orbital Finishing Sander

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  • Height: 5.75″.
  • Length: 10.0″.
  • Amperage: 2.0 amp.
  • No Load OPM: 12000.
  • Voltage: 120V.
  • Grit Rating:120.
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.

Bosch GSS20-40 Orbital Finishing Sander is another budget-friendly model from Bosch, quite different from the first one. This model comes with a more favorable price to make this available for all users of rookies to experts. This Bosch random orbit sander is durable. So it lasts long enough for the staircase sanding process.

The Bosch GSS20-40 Finishing Sander has a powerful 2.0 Amp motor with 12,000 oscillations per minute, which is enough for fast, smooth results on all surfaces. The GSS20-40 comes with an excellent dust collection system that has a microfilter dust canister with a screw-off cap that makes the job fine and easy to emptying.

Low vibration with Soft grip makes sure that this sander provides super stable handling and gives more comfort. Assuredly, the wastage removing system that comes with the pad-dust system ensures a cleaner workspace. This sander is capable of standing along with vertical surfaces on three sides: front, left, and right.

This feature is called Flush-Sanding. The reliable clamping and pad design allows multiple sanding sheets, including stick-on paper. For wooden stairs, this model can be extremely standard.

In conclusion, The price of the Bosch (GSS20-40)-random orbit sander is reasonable, under 100 USD. In this price range, the Bosch GSS20-40 gives you the best longevity.


  • Easy to change paper.
  • Easy to use.
  • An efficient wastage collection system.
  • Less vibration.
  • Budget-friendly.


  • No cons.
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How to sand your stairs: A simple guide

  1. Prepare the Staircase: At first, you should remove any carpeting or old finish from the stairs. Ensure the area is clear of obstructions and protected with drop cloths.
  2. Use the Right Tools and Grit: Then, choose the appropriate sanding tool, I suggest DEWALT 20V Orbital Sander and start with coarse grit (60-80) to remove imperfections. Switch to finer grits (100-150) for a smoother finish.
  3. Start at the Top and Work Down: Begin sanding at the top of the staircase, moving down one step at a time to prevent debris from falling onto areas already sanded.
  4. Sand Treads, Risers, Edges, and Corners: Sand each tread and riser individually, following the wood grain. Use a sanding block or detail sander for edges and corners where power sanders can’t reach.
  5. Check Smoothness and Clean Between Steps: After sanding, run your hand over the sanded surface to check for smoothness. Remove dust and debris between steps with a vacuum or tack cloth before proceeding to the next step or applying finish.

Here You Can Read The complete Guide on: How to Sand and Stain Stairs?

Know before you buy

What Types of Sander Do You Actually Need for Sanding Stairs?

Staircase faces heavy foot traffic. To provide smooth and flawless stair-finishing, you have to use sanders. Hand-held Random Orbital sander, Palm sanders as well as detail sanders are usually the types of sander you should use on your staircase. If you have a short time then we recommend using the “Top Pick“. The hardwood stairs are often rectangular, so the square-shaped or triangular-shaped pad will work fine for the job. Usually, we used a belt sander or orbital sander.

Palm Sander

The palm sander uses vibration. This rapid circular vibration will smooth the hardwood floor of the stairs. The sheet palm sander is lightweight, handy to make sure every single corner of the stairs gets flatten. Above all, this hardy sander is mostly suitable for stair sanding jobs.

Detail Sander

The detailed sander is a hand-held sander that uses a vibrating head with a triangular sanding pad to sand the objects. This detail sander is also called a mouse sander or corner sander as a locale. 

Paper Attachment 

You have to change the paper of the sander at a time. This can be done in two ways. Some sanders come up with the Clip System. And the others with the Loop System. The clip system is an easier way to change the sandpaper. On the other hand, the loop system is a little time-consuming. While sanding, limited consumption of time may make you feel tedious. Hook and loop system is undoubtedly essential these days. So, choose certainly, when it comes to paper attachments.

Dust Collection Grip

The dust collection port helps you to keep your job site clean. An efficient system is required to make sure your job site is cleansed.


The maneuvering of a sander lets you do the refinishing work efficiently. A random orbital sander has the best portability.


The power of a sander plays an important role when buying. Stair sanding jobs require different amounts of capabilities matching the stair types. For hardwood stairs, you will need a sturdy and compact motor.


Comfort is one of the best factors you should consider before buying a sander. The more comfort you will get from a sander, the perfect sanding outcome you will get.


Warranty is one of the most considering factors for purchasing the best product. make sure the manufacturer provides a valid warranty with the product.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: What grit sandpaper for stair treads?

A: The grit number is the rating of the size of abrasive materials on the sandpaper. There are types of grit sandpaper for various steps and for various random orbit sanders. The higher the grit number, the more even finish you will get. Higher grit leaves fewer swirling marks on the wood. You can always start from 80 to 100 grit sandpaper. Then for a softer finish, you can go for 150 Grit. If you are not convinced with 150, you can try 220 grit sandpaper. The lower grit sandpaper is better for scrapping the old finish. We recommend the coarse grit sandpaper for a more enhanced finish. Try a sander that comes with a vacuum dust collection system. This system will help you not to worry about cleaning stuff.


If you have trouble choosing a sander for your stair refinishing job, you will get enormous information from this article. We have tried to review the top-rated sanders for stairs. We also have included the buying guide to help you the most before choosing the right sander.

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