Best DA Sanders for Auto Body Work in 2021

Dual Action sander also called DA sander is a tool that allows the operator to use their ability to get rid of surface defects and get consistent finishes.

The term dual-action implies that the da sander can operate in two motions, the first motion is moving forward and backward, and the second one is moving in an orbital motion.

The best dual action sander can be used on various surfaces especially for auto body to get a clear, smooth finish. You may need to select the right one depending on the type of task.

Top 10 Best DA Sanders for Auto Body Work Reviews:

1. TCP Global Professional Heavy Duty DA Sander for Auto Body Work

TCP Global Professional Heavy Duty DA Sander for Auto Body Work

This TCP Global Professional 6″ DA Sander is a very high-performance sander. You get 6-inch backing plates, thus the name.

There are two different styles of the backing plate as well. One backing plate is for Hook and Loop, and one is for Pre-Stuck Adhesive (PSA).

Obviously, everyone would want their da sander to be as durable as possible. Besides, since it shows off a durable built quality, you can keep up with it for years to come.

The moment you pick this competent beast with your hand, you immediately know its quality. Heavy-duty ball-bearing makes sure there is a little vibration.

That means you don’t feel uncomfortable when using this sander, and it won’t damage itself either. And the components are made from heat-treated steel. If you know anything about tools and sanders, this makes it quite a durable kit.

Speaking of kits, you get quite a lot of things in the package too. There is lubrication oil, coupler plug, instruction manual, wrench, and of course, the sander itself.

With an impressive list of specs like 12,000 RPM and 90 PSI of operating air pressure, this da sander looks equipped to get almost any task you throw at it done without breaking a sweat. You can use it on different surfaces like metal, wood, composites, and also fiberglass.

If you’re a woodworker or work in an automotive shop, this da sander is a perfect choice.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Durable build quality that will last you a long time

  • Powerful operation that's up for any task

  • Doesn’t leave swirls which means your work comes out more professional

  • Includes lots of accessories in the box so it’s easy to set up

  • Lightweight and comfortable and won’t fatigue your arms

  • Great for working on different surfaces which makes it versatile

  • Full kit is great but the instructions are a tad bit difficult to understand

  • Included pads get the job done but sometimes can come off

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2. Ingersoll Rand 311A DA Sander for Auto Body Work

Ingersoll Rand 311A DA Sander for Auto Body Work

This DA sander balances power, ease of use, and durability just as good as the previous one, if not better.

Thanks to the built-in muffler, this dual action sander will drown out the loud noise a bit while you’re working away. This is one of those features which you don’t realize you missed till you actually try it.

Those who want a professional finish can also opt for this one. It will give you practically swirl-free finishes, which not only look really clean but are great for doing things like metal preparation and feather edging.

The speed is also the same as the previous one. It can go up to 12,000 RPM, and keep in mind the low noise, and low vibrations feature as well. All of these together make for a pretty cool little machine that you can handle and use easily.

It’s lightweight and compact da sander, which means if there is a need to take it with you on the road, you can.

You can easily control the speed with the lever throttle. This makes using this sander less painful and won’t fatigue you as quickly as some other options in the market. Overall, you will be quite happy with this one.

The balanced ball-bearing construction will last you a long time while giving you a very smooth operation as well.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Low noise operation makes it comfortable to use

  • Powerful 12,000 RPM free speed can handle all kinds of tasks

  • Doesn’t leave swirls which makes your work look more professional

  • Durable build quality that will last you a long time

  • A balanced ball bearing makes it run like butter

  • Easy to use and handle with convenient lever throttle

  • Unlike other sanders, the package contents are a bit lacking

  • Adjustment knob has a slight tendency to jam from time to time

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3. Hutchins 4500 6-Inch DA Super Sander for Auto Body Work

Hutchins 4500 6-Inch DA Super Sander for Auto Body Work

The Hutchins 4500 da sander design is quite unique and we love it for that. And the best part is it won’t cost a fortune either. If you’re looking for a top-quality da sander for auto body work that doesn’t skimp on important features, this one surely checks all those boxes.

Comfort is one of the more important features to look for in a sander. If you’re using the equipment for long periods of time, having a comfy sander is something you won’t regret. This has a rubberized grip, and thanks to the flex cover, your fingers won’t get stiff after use.

Adding to that is the cool custom handle. The handle allows you to work with the sander from different angles. So, no matter how complex the job is, it will be up for the task.

We aren’t done just yet. The motor reduces vibrations, and operation is exceptionally steady.

Another thing that makes this sander so good is just how efficient it is. A mark of a quality da sander is how well it can work with air.

Hutchins’ 4500 will give you more power on less air compared to other poor-quality models in the market. So, you get more done with less air, and that’s always a win-win.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Oversized drive head gives you full contact polishing

  • High 10,000 RPM top speed that can deal with most tasks

  • Uses less air but creates ample power which makes it more efficient

  • Lightweight and easy to use so it won’t tire your hands

  • A cost-friendly option that doesn't skimp on features

  • Low noise operation so you won’t create a mess in the workshop

  • While 10,000 RPM is good it isn’t as high as the other sanders

  • Limited pressure. It won’t support more than 90 LBS

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4. Valianto Heavy Duty DA Pneumatic Sander for Auto Body Work

Valianto Heavy Duty DA Pneumatic Sander for Auto Body Work

One of the coolest things about this da sander is how easy it’s to control. The built-in regulator lets you make adjustments on the fly and you can control the speed very easily. Those who are wondering, it’s a 12,000 RPM sander.

Use one hand or two, the choice is yours. It’s fairly lightweight, so your hands won’t get tired due to prolonged usage. And with 90 PSI of power, you can make quick work of almost all jobs.

This dual-action sander really isn’t worth the money if it doesn’t do its core job perfectly. Well, with Double Rotation technology, this one polishes like no one’s business. You get a very uniform and smooth finish.

Versatility is the name of the game here. You can use Valianto’s sander for lots of different tasks and applications.

Whether you’re working in an automobile shop, or with metal, this one is sure to be one of your prized tools. Even if you’re a woodworker, you will be impressed.

And of course, it’s low vibration as well, which is a must-have feature. It makes the sander much easier to use and creates little sound too.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Can be used for different applications which makes it quite versatile

  • Low vibration so it doesn’t make it sound like a jet engine when you’re working

  • Superb polishing that gives you a professional level finish and shines

  • Easy to use and won’t fatigue your hands quickly

  • Easy to control the speed with the built-in regular makes it a convenient tool

  • Bright and attractive design that makes it look good and easy to spot

  • Design looks cool to us but not everyone will be on the same boat

  • Bearing is good for the most part but some units are prone to bearing scream

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5. Sunex SX203N Quiet Dual Action Sander for Auto Body Work

Sunex SX203N Quiet Dual Action Sander for Auto Body Work

All of the da sanders we have seen so far are pretty quiet. But if you want the high performing da sander in terms of low operating noise, this one is hard to beat.

It isn’t a one-trick pony either. Apart from the impressive low noise levels, it’s powerful and easy to use too!

What makes it so quiet though? Well, there is a clever bit of engineering that’s going on here. The motor is in an insulated housing that gives you very low noise operation.

There is a built-in regulator. This lets you control the speed easily so you don’t have to do any sort of hand gymnastics to adjust it.

And since it’s a dual-action orbital sander, what you get is very high quality and fine finish on your work.

The ball-bearing construction also has the benefit of it being practically vibration-free. You will surely feel some vibrations for sure. But it certainly isn’t unbearable or too uncomfortable.

And since you can choose the speed with the variable throttle, you can turn it down if you need to feel even fewer vibrations.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with this dual-action sander.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Durable build quality that won’t break down easily

  • Easy to use which makes it good for any kind of users

  • Great for DIY enthusiast since it’s quite powerful

  • Pretty quiet operation means you can use it at home as well

  • Regulator gives you precise control

  • Low vibration thanks to the ball bearings

  • Some might not like the design of this

  • RPM is high but it can sometimes bog down

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6. Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Non-Vacuum DA Sander

Chicago Pneumatic CP870 Non-Vacuum DA Sander

The design of this DA sander is a classic one, to say the least. It isn’t too flashy, and some might say it’s a bit dated. The handle is a horizontal one that lets you grip the thing easily, and you can put enough pressure when you’re working with it.

The red finish also makes it stand out quite a lot. So, you won’t be fishing for it in your tools shed when you need it. Design aside, the build quality is also solid. It’s made from durable metal, which makes its chassis very rigid and strong.

One thing is for sure, this dual action sander will be an investment in every sense of the word and will last you a long time as well.

There is a power regulator which gives you precise control. You can be sure that whatever work you do with it, it will come out looking absolutely great.

Speaking of which, you can do some pretty fantastic pre-paint prep, blending, edging, and smoothing jobs. And as for comfort, the grips are very comfortable to hold and won’t even tire your hands all that quickly either.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Throttle lock helps you prevent accidental start ups

  • Durable metal build quality that will last you a long time

  • Attractive design makes it look timeless

  • 10,000 RPM of free spin will allow you to tackle all sorts of jobs

  • Power regulator gives you precise control over the sander

  • Easy to use for all skill levels

  • Although it's easy to use, it's a tad heavy

  • Grip would have been made better if it had a rubber coating

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7. Aircat 6310-6″ Composite Dual Action Sander for Auto Body Work

Aircat 6310-6

For auto body work, this DA sander has a cool red coating as well, but with a much more modern design and some cool features too. One of the standout things about it is just how lightweight it is.

The handle mount is the same as the previous one. You hold it sort of like a hammer. It’s a long handle, though. So, don’t worry about comfort. There is a cool little benefit you get from the handle.

Let’s get the first thing out of the way. Yes, it’s ergonomic, and your hands won’t fatigue. But that’s true for most of the sanders here. What makes this one unique is the long handle gives you a bit more reach.

Vibrations are also kept at a minimum thanks to the isolated motor. Or you won’t feel it as much, to be more precise. Plus, this da sander is quite a lightweight sander too! We don’t have complaints in that department.

The overall usability is pretty nice. What about power? Aircat didn’t leave any power on the table with this one. And that’s good for you, the user.

Although the dual action sander still runs at a max free speed or 10,000 RPMs, the low weight and low air consumption mean it’s very efficient. All that power is kept quiet too.

The motor uses an isolated design so you won’t disturb others around you when you’re using the da sander.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • A long handle gives you a bit of extra reach

  • Lightweight and is easy to use

  • Comfortable and ergonomic handle won’t tire your hands

  • Low noise operation perfect for quiet and peaceful operation

  • Motor doesn't need any extra lubrication

  • Completely sealed so dirt won’t go in

  • Some might feel like the 10,000 RPM is a bit underpowered

  • Richer box contents would have been nice to see and would add more value

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8. Presa Turbine 6″ All-in-One Electric Dual Action Sander

Presa Turbine 6

This is electric DA sander comes with a cord, duh. That might be something some would scoff at. But bear with us for a bit. The cord is quite long. It’s 19.6 ft, to be precise.

That means you can walk around your shop without much worry of running out of cord. It’s one of the perfect tools to have in an auto shop, thanks to this long cord. Speaking of having it in an auto shop, as we already mentioned, the polishing quality is phenomenal.

It will give you a clean and professional-looking shine that makes it look like it has been hand polished without the pain that comes with rigorous hand polishing.

The da sander will also give you superior control over it. The speed is adjustable, and you can tweak it perfectly to the job at hand. You certainly don’t want it running at full blast when you’re working on something delicate.

While it isn’t as light as the previous one, the handle is pretty comfortable to hold. It’s a customizable handle with 3 positions and also a side grip. So, whichever position works best for you, it can be adjusted to just that.

This is also a pretty solid choice for those who want a sander for their auto workshop. It will work with most car wash detergents.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Works with most car wash detergent which is convenient

  • Ergonomic and adjustable handle makes it comfortable to use

  • A powerful sander that can deal with demanding tasks

  • Package comes with a wide range of accessories

  • Long power cord that grants you freedom

  • Durable build quality that will surely last you a long time

  • Not the quietest sander since it’s so powerful

  • Long cord is cool but that means you don’t get a battery

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9. ZFE Pneumatic Dual Action Sander for Auto Body Work

ZFE Pneumatic Dual Action Sander for Auto Body Work

This one is perhaps the DA sander for beginners. It’s very easy to use. You just hold the thing with your palm and work away.

Comfort and ease are one thing. A good sander will balance all of its features like power, accessories, and design. Fortunately, it does well in all these departments.

This is a high horsepower and high-performance da sander that’s friendly for beginners but won’t feel like an incompetent piece of kit either. A lot of beginner-friendly sanders do this.

The motor can go up to 10,000 RPMs. That’s just as high as other professional-grade sanders on this list. So, you can be sure that you can get some serious work done.

Durability is taken care of by the incredibly solid materials ZFE used to build this dual action sander. It’s an all-metal build. Made from stainless steel, not only does it feel robust in hand, but it will also deal with wear and tear like a champ. The cylinders are also made from steel. And the balance of this sander is great too.

While we stand by our budget choice, this da sander can give that a run for its money. The value proposition is quite strong. It doesn’t cost that much to start with and then there are all the included accessories.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Easy to use which makes it beginner-friendly

  • Powerful motor that can deal with all kinds of jobs

  • Lightweight, so it won't fatigue you quickly

  • Can be used in wide applications which makes it quite a versatile sander

  • Comes with a full-featured box that increases its overall value proposition

  • Durable stainless steel build quality that’s sure to last you for years

  • Some customers reported it didn’t have all the items

  • Power is adequate but it consumes a lot of compressed air

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10. Gedu Professional DA Pneumatic Sander for Garage Work

Gedu Professional DA Pneumatic Sander for Garage Work

If you want a small dual action sander that packs a punch, you won’t regret buying this DA sander.

We have seen a lot of 10,000 RPM sanders in this list. This one takes things up a notch. It can go up to 12,000 RPM, just like some of the higher-end models we have reviewed.

And there is also the quality regulator. It lets you precisely control the thing and make sure you get just the amount of power you need.

Also, we love the design of this da sander. It’s a pretty attractive design and a tad bit whimsical. The bright yellow and red color scheme with a touch of black makes it look quite good, actually.

It isn’t just designed well, though. The build quality is fantastic as well. Made from stainless steel, you can be sure this one will easily hold its own through abuse. But of course, treat it well. You can’t expect any sander to last if you treat the thing like junk.

A cool feature of this da sander is the light motor assembly. So, if you need to do some vertical sanding, it’s practically perfect for that. This version which we have is the newer upgraded model.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

  • Durable build quality which will last long

  • Easy to control thanks to the regulator

  • Can be operated by all different skill level users

  • Rear exhaust helps keep the air out of your way

  • Light motor assembly makes it super easy to do vertical sanding

  • A pretty design that doesn't look tacky either

  • Although the design is cool, the speed switch is particularly easy to hit

  • Box contents are adequate but we would love to see more accessories

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Best Dual Action Sanders Buying Guide

We rounded up affordable and best dual action sanders in the market, so you can pick one without any hassle. But if you know what exactly to look for, you can make a more informed decision.

Type

The first thing you should consider is the type of sander you want. This part is important, and most DA sander reviews will tell you to consider the type you get first.

We listed two types – electric and pneumatic da sanders. If you want to get a sander for household or DIY tasks, an electric da sander will get the job done. But you need to be tied to a constant electric source.

Pneumatic dual action sanders are great for more professional-level jobs. Auto shops and other heavy uses can use a pneumatic da sander to its full potential.

Pad Size

Then there is the pad size or the orbit diameter. Large pad size is great for working with larger surfaces. It makes quick work of them when smoothing or sanding.

But keep in mind that the larger the pad size, the tougher it will be working corners. 6 inches is a good middle-ground for most people.

Power

If your da sander lacks enough power you will end up regretting the purchase. It will practically become a useless paperweight.

While the power and speed will depend on the type of projects you want to take on, at least 10,000 RPM should be the minimum.

Ease of Use

Unless you want your hands to be very tired just after a couple of minutes of use, it’s always a good idea to get a da sander that’s comfortable and easy to use.

Look for power regulators that let you control the speed easily and a rubberized grip. Also, a lightweight sander doesn’t hurt either.

Low Vibrations 

Speaking of comfort and not getting tired quickly, a sander with some way of dealing with vibrations will allow you to work for longer periods of time.

An insulated motor or any kind of low vibration feature is the best in this case.

Durability 

The last thing you want is your dual action sander to kick the bucket just after a couple of weeks of use. To avoid this, get one that’s built well and has durable components and quality ball bearings. Look for metal construction.

Price and Brand 

Lastly, you have price and brand. Settling on a price point is just a matter of deciding your budget and picking one that fits in that budget. But do keep in mind the previous features we mentioned.

As for the brand, all the ones we have reviewed here are reputed brand names and make great quality products. You can pick one that works for you and call it a day.

What is a DA Sander?

You have probably noticed that in some places, we referred to these sanders as DA sanders. DA is the abbreviated form of Dual Action. It essentially means that it has two motions.

One motion is where it moves backward and forward continuously, and the other is a rotary motion. This motion helps you get the best results when it comes to smoothing, sanding, or buffing.

You can use it on different surfaces like wood or metal. Even auto shops also use DA sanders to give the cars a nice and professional-looking polish. High-quality DA sanders won’t give you that swirl effect either. So, that’s another benefit.

How to Use a DA Sander

Tools you will require to work with a dual-action sander

  • A dual-action sander machine
  • Source of power
  • Sandpaper
  • Sandpaper discs
  • Dry cloth
  • Finish or primer

Step 1: Pick your paper

take your time to decide on what type of sandpaper is good for you. For starters, you can start with a coarse grit with fewer sand particles per square centimeters as you work towards finer sandpapers.

To arrive at this decision, you will analyze the condition and type of surface you want to work on.

For a rough material surface, a rough 60 grit paper will do the work. Then switch up to a medium grit or fine grit, depending on the level of smoothness you are aiming at.

Consequently, if your surface is in good shape and you seek a smoother detail, then there is no need to go through the hustle. Just get a fine paper with 200 grit, and it will do the magic.

Step 2: Measure and attach your sanding disc.

Once you are settled on the grit, please measure the size of your sander. Then select the correct size of paper to attach to it. All sanding discs come with a self-stick adhesive on the back that means you can easily stick or remove them.

If one disc wears out or completes its purpose, make sure it is removed because it is not advisable to use one disk on top of another.

Step 3: Clean your working surface

cleaning surfaces is an essential procedure when carrying out any task involving surfaces. This process is suitable for the sander and your safety.

Using your dual-action sander on a dirty surface may develop scratches or dirt marks on your surface. It may also cause wear to the surface of the sandpaper.

To check for dirt, you can directly look at the surface and see what is wrong. You may also need to run your palms across the surface and feel for any bumpy obstacles or indentations. It would be best if you then got a wet cloth to wipe off any removable dirt.

You will have to obtain a container filled with water, a scrubbing tool, and some detergent for tough stains. Wash thoroughly until the surface remains clean, then allow to dry.

Step 3: Wear safety gear

The sanding process involves a lot of debris production, and some of these particles are harmful when they come into contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth.

You will need a mask, a pair of goggles, an apron or overall and a pair of gloves. Also, make sure your feet are protected by wearing heavy shoes.

Some of these particles may cause terminal damage to your body if you use this machine in your day-to-day activities. Especially inhaled dust particles or paint particles that make their way into your throat then end up in your lungs.

Step 4: Restrict the area that needs sanding

You could be sanding a whole piece of wood or just a particular spot that needs to be leveled.

In many cases, it is vital to have boundaries on the exact location that you will need to work on to avoid sanding into other segments that may increase your workload.

Step 5: Start sanding

Select the material you want to sand and follow the provided marks to know the exact points required to be worked on. Ensure that your machine is well set up and the pad in perfect position following the arrow directions provided at the back. Start your device at a moderately high speed, then place it vertically on the surface.

Move along in a forward and backward motion or a circular motion depending on the type of surface and level of smoothness you want to achieve. Make sure your strokes are evenly distributed.

You may also want to adjust your speed appropriately; If you notice that the surface is too hard for the sander to go through, you can try higher rates.

If the results are still similar, you can replace the sanding disk and use a coarse one to penetrate easily. Once your surface has taken shape, stop the machine to avoid damages or scratch marks.

Step 6: Finishing touches

Turn off your sanding machine and replace the sandpaper, this time aiming for a finer grit as required for fine finishing. Turn on the device and proceed with sanding until you are satisfied with the work done.

Wipe off excess dust particles using a dry piece of clothing to confirm whether the result is satisfactory.

If you are okay with the appearance of the wood, you can use an excellent finish to protect against dust and weathering. You also can use wood varnish and wood oils if you want the wood to be exposed.

Essential Tips to Remember when Using a DA Sander

  • Start the sander on the work surface to avoid the machine digging into the work surface.
  • Stop off to prevent the machine from sliding across the surface, causing wild scratches, allowing you complete control.
  • Please do not place the machine at an angle because it will cause hard to remove gouges.
  • Avoid placing excessive pressure that interferes with the consistency of the finish.
  • Use the correct size of the grit. Low number grits are suitable for wood, plastic, paint, and many more. Grits above 100 are ideal for breaking edges and significant repairs.
  • Maintain your sander by using an automated lubricator that applies equal amounts of oil in different environments.

FAQs

1. Why is an Orbital Sander Called a DA Sander?

The reason an orbital sander is called a DA sander is because of the two motions it uses for sanding. These sanders will move forward and backward continuously. And also have some kind of rotary motion. These two motions work in tandem to give you the best results possible.

2. Can you Buff with an Orbital Sander?

You most definitely can. DA sanders can be used to buff paint and not just that. The finish you get is also pretty good. One of the best things about it is they are easy to use.

So, if there is a DIY project you want to take on which involves some buffing or polishing, you can rely on a high-quality dual-action sander to get the job done.

3. What is the Difference between a Sander and a Polisher?

The main difference is the spin speed. A controlled speed is good for protecting the paint finish. Being too aggressive can cause the paint to come off, especially around the edges.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t polish with a sander. Some DA sanders will have regulators that allow you to control the speed. Those can be used to polish paint as well.

4. When do you Know that you Should Replace your Sanding Pad?

No matter how high-quality your sander is, you will inevitably need to replace the pad. There are some telltale signs you can keep an eye out for to know when is the right time to replace it.

One of the most common ones is when the sanding pad slips from the center. In other words, it isn’t aligned correctly anymore. When this happens, you will feel it grab onto the surface or the project you’re working on.

And if you notice that there is a lack of consistency, then it’s probably due for a change. You will see that the grit isn’t there anymore. Lastly, you can check for worn-out spots on the pad.

Continuing to use a worn-out pad is a bad idea and is simply isn’t worth it. There is a risk of ruining your project. So, make sure you replace it when needed.

Conclusion

Whether you had used a DA sander before or tried another type of sander, you need to understand that the procedures are not much other than how you would operate a machine of the same kind. Every step provided is necessary to ensure you get the best results.

So, which one is the best da sander for auto body work? If you want a hassle-free experience and a sander with adequate power, durability and that is also easy to use, you can’t go wrong with the TCP Global Heavy Duty 6″ DA Palm Sander. It’s a straightforward tool that checks all the boxes.

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