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I recommend the orbital. It’s easier to control and will perform less aggressively. It also comes in handy later for power sanding over walls you may be prepping to paint or drywall repairs, something I also wouldn’t use a belt sander for. Regarding technique when sanding with orbital, it’s important to start and stop while the sanding pad is in contact ...


I had to do a small section once. Ended up doing the whole floor as time, sunlight and stain made it so difficult to match... I used a large drum sander (about 12”) with several grades of paper. First thing was to run diagonal to the boards / grain - this also helps reduce any curves in each board... Had to seal all the other rooms as the dust was amazing......


I've got both types of sanders and I use the belt sander when there is a lot of wood to be removed and the orbital sander when the amount of wood to be removed is small. You have a little better control with the orbital sander. With the belt sander, it's easy to put some pretty deep grooves in your work before you know it. I'd go with the orbital sander.


I always find belt sanders for this type of work to be a tad too aggressive. Especially when you only have a small area to do. An orbital sander will glide over the surface easier and has less risk of leaving grooves particularly if you're not used to doing this type of repair. Obviously, you want to use as fine a grit as possible - especially on the finish....

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