Manual sanders
 Block sanders
 Power sanders
 Random orbit sanders
Random orbit sanders, known as DA (dual-action) sanders, spin a sanding disc while moving it in an ellipse. This random sanding action helps prevent sanding marks.
Air sanders can use a lot of air, so compressor choice may be important.
Prolonged use of orbital sanders can cause a condition known as "Vibration White Finger", or "Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome". For more details, see Vibration protection.
 Electric vs. air
 Manufacturers and suppliers of DA sanders
- Hutchins Manufacturing has a variety of highly-reputed DA sanders in the $200-$300 range.
- Harbor Freight has a 6" air sander for around $30.
 Finishing sanders
 Wet sanding
 Sanding tips
- For a smaller sanding block, place a sanding block in a vice and cut it with a hacksaw.
- To make a sanding block for a specific use such as when a smaller size is needed to access a confined area cut a piece of half inch thick plywood to the correct size. Glue or screw a makeshift handle made from a small block of wood to the top of it. Cut your sandpaper large enough to wrap it around the block and then staple it to the block. You can do this with various sizes of dowel for areas that need a curved surface.
- To true a sanding block, put a piece of 180 grit sandpaper on a flat surface (plate steel, aluminum, etc.). Rub the surface of the block over the sandpaper. The flatness of the plate or flat surface will true up the surface of the block.
- To make a sanding block for an angle, place body filler in a bag and press it into the angle to make a mold. Or, for an actual sanding "block", place body filler on plastic wrap, press it into the angle, and press a block of wood into the back. When it hardens, it's bonded to the wood.
- For sanding concave areas, use a piece of rubber hose, PVC, or sticky-backed sandpaper wrapped around a scuff pad (scotch-brite) as a sanding block.
- To make a simple tool for cutting sandpaper, mount a hacksaw blade to a piece of plywood. Draw lines on the plywood for different cut sizes, and label them accordingly. To cut sandpaper, slide it under the blade until it lines up with the proper line. For photos of this tool, see this Hotrodders Bulletin Board discussion.
- To cut sandpaper, fold the paper and use a putty knife to cut the fold, or lay a ruler in the crease, then lay it on a table and pull up.
- Use pieces of sheet metal to size sandpaper:
- Using a stomp shear, or something else that can cut sheet metal straightly, shear a piece of sheet metal in the size of a piece of sandpaper.
- To cut sandpaper, simply lay the sheet metal on top of the sandpaper, and tear off the part of the paper not under the sheet metal.
- Drill a hole in the sheet metal piece for hanging on the wall, and paint it with a little bright paint so it's easier to keep track of.
- Use a paper cutter for cutting sandpaper. With a magic marker, outline different size sanding blocks on the surface of the paper cutter.
- Make use of modern sanding tools that more easily match contours, such as flexible sanders, the Body Shaper 461, or the Guide-Rite Contour Sander. Contour gauges (also known as profile gauges) for body work are available at many automotive supply stores.
- If you do a lot of block sanding, consider purchasing a more expensive "professional" sanding block, such as the Preppin' Weapon.
- Always fold sandpaper grit-side to grit-side first for more accurate folds.
- To cut down on waste, buy sandpaper in rolls, rather than sheets.
- To sand reverse curves, put the sandpaper on the top side of the sanding block.
- To sand under rubber, lift it up by forcing a cord or coated wire under it.
- Use a different sanding block for each grit of sandpaper. This will save time, and it will ensure that sandpaper is worn out before removing it from the block.
- Understand the different sandpaper grit ratings and and their micron equivalents. For more information, see this Abrasive grade comparison chart, or this Sandpaper article with grit size table.
- When color sanding a panel:
- Sand in alternating directions. For example, sand vertically with 1000 grit, then horizontally with 1500 or 2000 grit.
- After using 2000 grit, use a 4000 grit pad on a DA sander, which will highlight any of the previous sanding marks.
- After sanding, let a panel or vehicle sit in the sun for a few hours. Then, take it inside, wait for it to cool, and buff it.
- When calculating sandpaper costs, bear in mind that used sandpaper takes longer to use. To save on labor costs, it may be beneficial to discard sandpaper before it is completely used.