An alternative tool to use for sanding is a power sander. There are many different types of power sander, designed for various purposes. These include a belt, orbital and disc sanders. Being a power tool, many users may find it much easier and quicker to use for bigger sanding jobs.
Power sanders have a mechanism to move the attached sandpaper in a rapid motion, in order to remove unwanted material. They are usually electrically powered, meaning the user can use them for long periods without exhaustion.
The major disadvantage to a power sander, when compared with a hand sander, is the price, as it is much more expensive to buy.
A sanding block is very similar to a hand sander, as it is a hand tool which the user operates manually.
There are different types of sanding blocks available, although the most common is made from wood, foam or cork, covered by an abrasive grit much like sandpaper.
These blocks are cheap and easy to use, which makes them ideal for small sanding tasks. However, they are often disposable, meaning once the sandpaper has worn down it cannot be replaced and the user must buy a new block. This could prove to be a disadvantage, as a user would need to stock up on blocks if completing a long or heavy-duty sanding job.
Another type of sanding block commonly used consists of a block of material (usually waste wood), around which a piece of sandpaper is wrapped and held in place by the user’s fingers. This is, effectively, a homemade hand sander, only without the handle and clamps.