Removing paint, lacquer, or varnish from wood trim can be a fiddly and time-consuming job, but it’s very worthwhile. No matter the temptation, it’s a bad idea to just paint over the last coat since it looks terrible. Trim is one of the most attractive finishing touches of your home decor, and if you take the time to prepare it properly before painting, you will be richly rewarded.

Sanders are great tools for removing paint or other coatings from trim, and some sanders do the job better than others. This article features a test and review of the twelve best sanders for trim work. I put them through their paces and let you know how they compare.

In the detailed buyer’s guide to choosing the best sanders for trim work, I’ll show you everything you need to look for when shopping for a sander to help you prepare your trim. This guide tells you all about how sanders differ and what features and specifications you should look for.

Should you use a sander for trim work?

My short answer to this question is a resounding yes. The sanders we’ll be looking at all speed up the process of removing paint from trim. But, just to be clear, a sander isn’t the only option.

Using Paint Stripper

Under certain circumstances, a paint stripper can be a good alternative or complement to a sander to remove paint from trim. My main reservation with paint strippers is their potential to damage the underlying material. Make sure you read the label carefully and choose a non-toxic water-based product that is kind to wood.

Using a paint stripper is a good idea if you’re removing very old paint which might contain lead, but most of the time, I prefer the speed and convenience of a sander.

Sanding by Hand

Even when I’m using an electric sander, I always keep a sanding block close by to help me tidy up and take any swirl marks out of the wood as needed. But I wouldn’t dream of doing the whole job by hand when sanders are just so much faster and easier.

The 12 Best Sanders For Trim Work In 2021


  1. Black+Decker Mouse Detail Sander, Compact Detail (Bdems600)Best Budget Detail Sander For Trim Work
  2. Dewalt Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (Dwe6421)Customer Favorite Orbital Sander For Trim Work
  3. Tacklife 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander 3.0a With 12pcs SandpapersBest Value Sander For Trim Work
  4. Makita Xob01z 18v Lxt Lithium-Ion Cordless 5″ Random Orbit SanderBest Mid-Range Cordless Sander For Trim Work
  5. Bosch Ros20vsc Palm Sander – 2.5 Amp 5 In. Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher KitBest Orbital Sander For Trim Work
  6. Classic Mouse Detail SanderTacklife Value Detail Sander For Trim Work
  7. Dewalt 20v Max Xr Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit, Variable Speed (Dcs356d1)Best Multi-Tool For Trim Work
  8. Black+Decker 20v Max Sheet Sander (Bdcms20c)Best Cordless Detail Sander For Trim Work
  9. Tacklife 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander, 6 Variable SpeedBest Mid-Price Orbital Sander For Trim Work
  10. Rockwell Rk5132k 3.5 Amp Sonicrafter F30 Oscillating Multi-Tool With 32 Accessories And Carry BagBest Value Multitool For Trim Work
  11. Black+Decker 20v Max Random Orbital Sander, Cordless (Bdcro20c)Best Value Cordless Sander For Trim Work
  12. Worx Wx820l 20v Multi-SanderBest Value Multi-Tool For Trim Work

Let’s dive in.

1. Black+Decker Mouse Detail Sander, Compact Detail

  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 4.63 x 5.44 inches
  • Sanding Area: Triangular Pad With Finger Attachment
  • Motor: 1.2 Amp
  • Accessories: Sanding pad, Finger attachment
  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Speed: 14,000 orbits per minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: plastic tray
  • Grip Positions: 3

This Black & Decker mouse sander has a host of features that are ideally suited to trim work. Detail sanders are designed for tricky and intricate surfaces like crown moldings and window stools and aprons. I found that the iron-shaped sanding surface was excellent at lifting paint from little nooks and crannies, like baseboard caps and chair rails. In fact, it was so effective that I didn’t need to use the finger attachment much, only on the corners of the window and door casings.

The dust collection tray worked effectively but filled quickly. The relatively small 1.2 amp motor drives the sanding pad at an impressive 14,000 orbits per minute.

This detail Sunder is an excellent and affordable tool that is perfect for trim work. It isn’t the most powerful sander on the market, but at this bargain price, I’d be tempted to buy it just for detail work, even if I  already had a larger, less maneuverable sander.


  • The most affordable sander in our review packs a lot of useful features into a bargain price.
  • A compact and easy-to-use tool perfect for the curved surfaces of trim work.
  • The finger attachment is excellent at getting into out-of-the-way corners.


  • This isn’t a heavy-duty tool, and you will need to sand large areas like baseboards in stages, allowing the machine to cool in between.

Check price on amazon

2. Dewalt Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch

  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.31 x 5.69 x 6 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 inch disk
  • Motor: 3 Amp
  • Accessories: Papers available at extra cost
  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Speed: 12,000 orbits per minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: Dust Bag
  • Grip Positions: 2

This sander has a powerful three amp motor that drives it at a very respectable 12,000 orbits per minute. I found that this extra power made a real difference since it did a great job of loosening the paint, so the sanding disc removed it with ease.

This Dewalt is an easy-to-operate sander, and at just over three pounds, isn’t too heavy to handle. There is a comfortable over-the-top grip and a compact machine body that gives you excellent control. I found the sander fantastic on long flat sections of baseboard and had no problem using it for long periods without overheating.

It was easy to remove paint from most trim features, and curved molding surfaces were no problem. I had to use a sanding block to get into the tightest corners since orbital sanders don’t come with finger attachments, but this didn’t add much time to the job.

You can order extra sending pads when you buy this tool. Of the different paper grits available, I’d recommend getting the 80 grit for initial paint removal and the 120 grit for finishing work.

Of all the sanders I reviewed, this one has the most glowing customer feedback, giving you confidence that you’re buying a quality tool that will last.


  • The three amp motor packs plenty of punch
  • The large dust collection bag did a great job of capturing the paint.
  • Great for sanding the curved surfaces of trim.


  • The circular sanding surface of an orbital sander can’t access the corners of door and window casings.

Check price on amazon

3. Tacklife 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander 3.0a With 12pcs Sandpapers

  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 1 x 6.6 x 4.9 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 Inches
  • Motor: 3 Amps
  • Accessories: Sanding Discs 5-inch 12pcs (6Pcs X 80 & 6Pcs x 180 Grits)
  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Speed: 13,000 Orbits Per Minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 2

This Tacklife is an attractive and compact bright orange sander with an impressively large dust collection tray that won’t need emptying all the time. It’s a random orbit sander with a powerful three amp motor driving 13,000 orbits per minute.

The tool has speed controls allowing you to set the orbit speed at between 6,000 and 13,000 orbits per minute. This versatility gives you the control you need to remove the paint from trim without stripping away any underlying wood.

This sander offers you great features and comes in an excellently priced package with plenty of sanding papers. I think it’s a good choice of sander for trim work at a great price.


  • The well-designed control switch can be operated by simply pushing down with your palm.
  • The sander ships with plenty of 80 and 180 grit papers perfect for removing paint from all over trim.
  • The large dust collection tray does an excellent job.


  • This sander is excellent for paint removal but isn’t designed to capture dust from concrete or masonry.

Check price on amazon

4. Makita Xob01z 18v Lxt Lithium-Ion Cordless 5″ Random Orbit Sander

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 5.16 x 8.07 x 6.89 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 Inches
  • Motor: 18V
  • Accessories: 5″ Abrasive Disc, Hook & Loop, 120 Grit
  • Power Source: Rechargeable Batteries
  • Speed: 11,000 Orbits Per Minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 2

I ran this machine at a lower power setting and found that it still did a great job on trim. As with all cordless power tools, I always recommend buying one or more spare sets of batteries to pre-charge and recharge as you’re doing the job since there’s nothing worse than having to stop work just because you’re out of juice.

Makita has worked some clever design features into this sander that make it particularly well suited for the tricky job of sanding trim. There are three speed settings, and the control system regulates sanding speed at start-up to protect surfaces. The sander also has a unique orbital action designed to ensure a swirl-free finish. This is a great feature when you’re sanding wooden trim, and I found I didn’t need to tidy up afterward with a sanding block.

This Makita sander is a powerful and well-designed cordless tool that’s brilliant for trim work, where you really benefit from the extra control you get from battery power.


  • The sander has a light and easily controllable ergonomic design.
  • The unique orbital action protects wood trim from swirl marks.
  • The compact and ergonomic design makes the machine very easy to use with precision.


  • The batteries give you only 20 minutes runtime at full power

Check price on amazon

5. Bosch Ros20vsc Palm Sander – 2.5 Amp 5 In. Corded Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander/Polisher Kit

  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 inch disk
  • Motor: 5 Amp
  • Accessories: Carrying Bag, vacuum hose adapter (sanding disks optional)
  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Speed: 12,000 orbits per minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: plastic tray
  • Grip Positions: 2

This Bosch orbital sander is a high specification tool that uses advanced technology for ease of use and fine sanding control. It’s a light and compact device that’s straightforward to control, and I found it did an excellent job of removing paint from curved trim services without leaving any swirl marks.

Of all the standards I tested, this one gave the smoothest, most uniform finish, and I didn’t need to do any follow-up work with a sanding block. The sander has a vibration dampening feature, which makes it comfortable to use for long periods. Dust collection works very well, too, with special intakes designed to capture even the finest of particles.

This product is very well-reviewed by owners, and I agree that this is the best orbital sander for trim work.


  • Bosch’s integral pad dampening system is designed to prevent swirl marks.
  • The sander has a pliable micro-cellular backing pad that lets it work smoothly on contoured trim surfaces.
  • Orbit speed is controllable between 7,000 and 12,000 orbits per minute.


  • This is one of the more expensive mains-driven orbital sanders.

Check price on amazon

6. Tacklife Classic Mouse Detail Sander

  • Weight: 3.08 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 4 x 5.9 inches
  • Sanding Area:
  • Motor: 1 Amps
  • Accessories: 80 Grits Sandpapers – 6 pieces, 180 Grits Sandpapers – 6 pieces
  • Power Source: Corded-Electric
  • Speed: 12,000
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 2

This Tacklife detail sender is packed with features that make it an excellent tool for removing paint from wood trim. The sander ships with six pieces, of course, eighty grit paper to lift paint and six sheets of a hundred and eighty grit paper for fine finishing and smoothing work.

The sander has an easy-to-operate rubberized palm grip and weighs in at around 3 pounds, meaning it’s easy to operate with one hand.

Mouse senders are excellent tools for getting to grips with the curves and corners of trim, and this sander did a great job of getting into the tight angles of door and window casings. With the clever grip system changing sandpapers is the work of seconds, which is great if you remember what a tedious and repetitive job this used to be.

This isn’t the largest or most powerful sander on the market, but it’s ideal for intricate and delicate trim work.


  • The sander can connect to a vacuum hose.
  • The sander’s plastic dust collection tray has a large capacity and doesn’t need changing often.
  • An excellent price considering that twelve sandpapers of different grades are included with the sander.


  • The motor isn’t very powerful.

Check price on amazon

7. Dewalt 20v Max Xr Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit, Variable Speed (Dcs356d1)

  • Weight: 2.33 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.15 x 5.03 x 9.65 inches
  • Sanding Area:
  • Motor: 20V
  • Accessories: DCS356 3 Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool, Sanding Pad, Accessory Storage Box, 25 Sheets of Sand Paper, Wood with Nails Blade, Charger, Kit Bag, 2 Ah Battery, Universal Accessory Adapter, Fast Cut Wood Blade, Depth Guide
  • Power Source: Batteries/Charger Included
  • Speed: 20,000 Orbits Per Minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: No
  • Grip Positions: 2

This Dewalt multi-tool has an orbital motion like a random orbit sander. The tool comes with a whopping twenty-eight different sanding and cutting attachments, but for the purposes of this review, I simply used it to sand off paint. When you use it as a sander on wood trim, it’s highly effective, motoring along at up to 20,000 OPM.

The sanding attachment is in a rounded triangle, mouse configuration, perfect for getting into the tight corners of door and window casings. The LED light is handy since it enables precise control in dark corners, making sure you only remove paint and none of the underlying wood.

Cordless tools are a delight to use when you’re working on trim since they free you up and give you great control. The main drawback with this excellent tool is that there is no dust collection, so you’ll need goggles and a mask to sand off paint in comfort and safety.

This tool features a powerful twenty-volt brushless motor that runs smoothly for up to 57% longer than a similar traditional motor.


  • This multitool has a maximum speed of 20,000 orbits per minute, making it very fast and effective.
  • The dual grip design allows you to operate the tool in several positions.
  • There’s a great range of sandpapers and blades making this a versatile tool that you can use for many tasks.


  • The lack of dust collection is the biggest problem when using this multitool for trim work.

Check price on amazon

8. Black+Decker 20v Max Sheet Sander (Bdcms20c)

  • Weight: 2.59 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4 x 10 x 9 inches
  • Sanding Area: 4 Inches wide
  • Motor: 5 Amps
  • Accessories: (1) 20V MAX* 1.5Ah Battery, (1) Charger, (1) Detail Finger Attachment, (2) Sheets paper, (1) Sheet Detail Finger Paper, (4) Extra Sheets Tip Paper
  • Power Source: Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Speed: 12,000
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 3

This Black and Decker sheet sander is cordless, so it’s a treat to use on high-up trim like crown moldings and picture rails. At less than 3 pounds, it weighs next to nothing too. There are three grip positions to the ergonomic design means that the sander fits easily into your hands.

The hook and loop system for attaching sanding pads is excellent, making it simple to switch between fine and coarse-grit papers. And then there’s the finger attachment for getting into tight corners, which I found particularly useful on window and door casings. Note that this finger attachment is a precision tool that you’ll need to handle with care, but since it’s meant for occasional use on the hardest-to-reach corners, you won’t need to overuse it

It is tough to find fault with this sander when it comes to working on trim. The ‘mouse’ shaped sanding head is perfect for getting into tight corners. It’s almost as if this machine has been designed specifically to excel at trim work.


  • This light and maneuverable cordless device gives you complete control over your work.
  • Ergonomic design and three different grid positions make the sander easy to use.
  • The finger attachment is perfect for sanding the corner angles of trim.


  • Batteries don’t last very long on a full charge. I suggest you keep a backup set on charge as you work to swap out when required.

Check price on amazon

9. Tacklife 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander, 6 Variable Speed 13000rpm Electric Sander

  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11 x 6.3 x 4.9 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 Inches
  • Motor: 4 Amps
  • Accessories: Carry Bag, 10 Pcs sandpapers(5 x 80 grits and 5 x 120grits); Sponge Disc, Wool Disc, Polish Disc
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Speed: 13,000 revolutions per minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 3

This light and versatile orbital sander has a lot to recommend it for trim work. It features a 5-inch sanding disc that does a great job of lifting and removing paint. The 80 grit papers are ideal for the first stage of paint removal, and then the 120 grit papers do an excellent job of tidying up and completing the job with smooth trim. One feature that sets this machine above the competition is the six-speed control, perfect for the varying surfaces and needs of different pieces of wood trim.

This sander ships as part of a great value package that includes ten sheets of sandpaper and specialist discs for polishing work. A well-designed carrying case is also included, which is a nice touch, helping you take good care of the tool.


  • The hook and loop sandpapers are quick and easy to change.
  • The hammerhead grip is comfortable and gives excellent control.
  • Six speeds and 13,000 RPM give a great mixture of power and control.


  • It’s difficult to reach tight corners with a circular sanding surface.

Check price on amazon

10. Rockwell Rk5132k 3.5 Amp Sonicrafter F30 Oscillating Multi-Tool With 32 Accessories And Carry Bag

  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.3 x 4 inches
  • Sanding Area: Varies
  • Motor: 5 Amp
  • Accessories: Sanding sheets (26), Wood end cut blades (2), Sanding pad, Semi-circular blade
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Speed: 20,000
  • Dust Collection Tray: No
  • Grip Positions: 1

This Rockwell tool is a great value multipurpose sander and cutting device. The mouse-shaped sanding pad is well suited to removing paint from the tight corners of wood trim. Three different grades of sanding papers are included, allowing you to remove paint with rough grit and finish off with a finer grit.

Since this is a cordless device, I tested it on some harder-to-reach trim features, climbing a ladder to reach crown moldings and picture rails. The sander removed paint quickly and cleanly without marking the underlying surface unduly. There was no problem working on curves and corners since the iron-shaped blade is designed for detail work.

This multitool ships with no less than thirty-two blades, sanding pads, and accessories, and it’s a very versatile and well-priced battery-powered tool.


  • This tool has a very high stall force, meaning that you can apply high pressure to the sanding surface and still get good performance.
  • A powerful motor drives the device at speeds between 11,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute.
  • This light cordless tool offers excellent control and is perfect for working on things like crown moldings and picture rails,


  • There is no dust collection case.

Check price on amazon

11. Black+Decker 20v Max Random Orbital Sander, Cordless (Bdcro20c)

  • Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 11 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 Inches
  • Motor: 20V
  • Accessories: Extra battery
  • Power Source: Rechargeable Batteries
  • Speed: 12,000 Orbits Per Minute
  • Dust Collection Tray: Yes
  • Grip Positions: 2

This Black & Decker orbital sander is a super-compact (30% more compact than its leading competitor) power sander with a powerful 20 V battery driving 12,000 oscillations per minute. This machine’s small body size makes it well suited for trim work since the combination of lightness, small size, and ergonomic grips allow you to control it with impressive precision.

The compact dust collection tray works well, making for a dust-free workspace.


  • This compact device is ideal for trim work and small-scale finesse work.
  • Battery power makes it easy for you to access and work on it hard to access trim.
  • The sander comes with spare batteries.


  • The relatively short battery life means that you’ll be changing and recharging batteries often.

Check price on amazon

12. Worx Wx820l 20v Multi-Sander

  • Weight: 4.4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.06 x 4.72 x 6.77 inches
  • Sanding Area: 5 Inches
  • Motor: 20 V
  • Accessories: Charger; 5 sanding bases: 5in Random Orbit, ¼ Finishing, Detail, Finger and Contour; 3 sanding sheets for each pad
  • Power Source: Rechargeable batteries and charger
  • Speed: Unknown
  • Dust Collection Tray:
  • Grip Positions: 3

This excellent cordless sander gives you the best of all worlds when it comes to sanding paint off your trim. Use it in orbital sander mode and the powerful 20V motor makes short work of removing paint from large flat surfaces like baseboard. But then, when it’s time to get into the tight angles and small spaces of window and door casings or work on the curves and contours of other pieces of trim, you can attach the finishing mode or the detail and finger sanding heads.

This adaptability, together with the freedom of battery power, means that this is perhaps the best sander of all to do a quick and complete job of removing paint from wood trim. It’s fun to use and because of the different grip options, I didn’t notice that it was a pound or so heavier than some other machines. The various sanding heads switch in and out quickly and cleanly in seconds.


  • You would need to buy two or three other tools to get all the functions of this single device.
  • Trigger and palm sanding grip positions give you excellent control over the tool.
  • This five-in-one multi-sander is an all-purpose sanding tool with random orbit, finishing, detail, finger, and contour sanding. In short – it has everything you need to sand trim.


  • Battery life is the only limiting factor with this tool. I’d recommend buying a couple of changes of battery and keeping them all charged.

Check price on amazon

Buyer’s Guide

What Types Of Sander Are Best For Working With Trim?

Detailed trim is tricky to work with. You’ll need to get on your hands and knees to work on baseboards, climb a ladder to get to crown moldings, and use patience and finesse to get into the tight corners of door and window casings. Trim work involves accessing curved and complicated shapes in difficult-to-access spaces.

You need a light and versatile sanding tool to give you the mobility and finesse to prepare the trim properly. The following types of sander are t best suited for trim work.

Random Orbit Sanders

Random orbit sanders have an oscillating action that’s excellent at loosening and lifting paint, making it easier to remove with the abrasive sending surface. This means that orbital sanders are a great option for sanding trim.

The main drawback is that they typically have a circular 5-inch sanding surface which is excellent for sanding delicate and curved surfaces but not so great at getting into the tightest corners.

Detail Sanders

Detail sanders have a characteristic curved triangular sanding face explicitly designed to get into tight corners and awkward spaces. Many detail sanders come with special finger and point attachments that you connect to the front, allowing you to get into narrow and out-of-the-way places.


A well-designed multitool can save you the cost and trouble of buying and using several different power tools, allowing you to do all the work with one device.  Typical sanding multi-tools feature a variety of cutting and polishing attachments. Multi-tools are light and maneuverable, and well suited to sanding trim.

Check what sending attachments are available on a particular multitool to make sure it’s going to be suitable for getting into the tight corners and sanding the curved surfaces of wood trim.

Disc and Belt Sanders

Disc and belt sanders are large sanding tools that are great at sanding lots of stuff. But they are large and unwieldy compared to detail and orbital sanders and just aren’t suited for the intricate and delicate job of sanding wood trim. Use a different tool.

What features to look for in a sander for trim work


A powerful sander clears paint faster. Sanders with large motors have the kick to keep grinding even when you apply more pressure to the sending surface, so you’ll find a sander with a powerful motor is quick and easy to work with.


The orbit or vibration speed of a sender tells you how quickly the sanding surface moves. Generally, faster is better because it removes material more rapidly, but it’s handy to have a sander with variable speeds so you can adjust it as required. It’s also good to check the distance over which the sander vibrates because a broader vibration spread works better to loosen paint from your wood trim.


When you’re sanding trim, you get into out-of-the-way positions where it helps to have a light and maneuverable sander. You’ll need plenty of cable to get to high-up trim work like crown mouldings and picture rails, and an ergonomically designed sander will help you with ground-level work like baseboards.

Check the machine’s weight as well, because the lighter the sander, the easier it is to use for long periods. Anything around 3 pounds makes for a conveniently lightweight tool.

Another choice you need to make is whether to go for the freedom of a cordless sander or the economy and dependability of a  mains-powered device. Cordless sanders allow you to work freely and efficiently, but they are limited by short battery life and cost a lot more than an equivalent corded device.

Form Function

The comfort and variety of grip positions are important when choosing a sander for trim work. You’ll be using your sander in lots of different angles and positions to get into the little nooks and crannies around door and window casings for example. Your trim sander has to be well-weighted and comfortable to grip and control.


Are you buying a sender just to sand trim work?

If you plan to use your sander for other jobs, make sure you buy a machine that’s versatile enough to do all the different jobs. Here is where multi-tools come into their own since they feature various sanding, cutting and polishing attachments that you can use for many tasks.

Dust Collection

You Should always wear a mask when you’re sending paint but using a sander with effective dust collection makes it easier to see and work in comfort.

A large dust collection bag tray means that you can use the sander longer without emptying waste. Some sanders have a vacuum hose connection which is a helpful waste removal feature.


All of the sanders tested did a good job on trim work. The Bosch Palm Sander (ros20vsc) was the best all-round trim sander and the Dewalt 20v Max XR Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit (dcs356d1) was the best multi-tool for trim work.