Using your hand and some sandpaper to smooth out anything takes a lot of time and energy. The advantages of getting the most effective belt sander are clear, but the difficulty comes in choosing the right one.
You need to consider how you will be using the sander to choose the right model in terms of durability, yet you do not need to dig too deeply into the specifics in order to find the right decision.
Luckily, we have done all the hard work for you. Follow this guide and you will be looking at the most important aspects of a belt sander, reviews from the experts that have first-hand experience and you will see the most popular options being bought today.
Types of Sanders to Consider
- Hand-Operated. This kind is standard and the most convenient in terms of where and how it can be used. It generally uses 4” x 24” size belts, which is standard so they are very easy to find. In terms of belt sanders, this is the one that most people will picture when you use that term. It is versatile and will last for a very long time, especially if well cleaned and maintained.
- Compact. This kind of sander offers the same convenience as the hand-operated option but is much smaller and more maneuverable. The belt size is commonly limited to 2.5” x 14”. This is the best belt sander to have in your collection if you need to do touch-ups on a regular basis, deal with very soft woods, or will not be using the sander often.
TIP: Look at the reviews of compact sanders to determine whether they can be used for extended periods of time without overheating.
- Stand Alone. The stand-alone sander generally comes with a solid iron bottom. The belt mechanism is set up on this solid bottom so that the sander can stay in place while you manipulate the wood to be pushed through the machine. This is a sander that is best for larger projects.
- Combination. This is essentially the same as a stand-alone sander but also has a disk sander component. This is a more serious option for those that have a full workshop.
Top 10 Belt Sanders Comparison Table
|1. Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt with 8" Disc Bench Sander||Stand Alone||$$$$||4.1|
|2. Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag||Hand-Operated||$$$$||4.8|
|3. Jellas 7Amp Belt Sander 3 × 21-Inch with Dust Bag||Hand-Operated||$$||4.5|
|4. BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 8 in. Disc Sander||Stand Alone||$$$$||4.6|
|5. Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander||Stand Alone||$$||4.5|
|6. Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag||Hand-Operated||$||4.4|
|7. Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander||Hand-Operated||$$$||4.3|
|8. Grizzly H6070 Belt and 5-Inch Disc Sander, 1 x 30-Inch||Combination||$||4.1|
|9. POWERTEC BD1502 Belt Disc Sander for Woodworking||Stand Alone||$$||4.7|
|10. TACKLIFE Belt Sander 3×18-Inch with 13Pcs Sanding Belts||Hand Operated||$||4.3|
Getting the Perfect Belt Sander for Your Money
Before you choose any belt sander you should carefully consider the following points:
- Accessories. Having a cloth bag, for example, will help you immensely with sawdust cleanup at the end of your project.
- Durability. A belt sander that is portable is often brought onto job sites to make adjustments rather than being kept in the workshop. Even if you will be bringing the sander into the house from the garage, you need one that will last through any kind of wear and tear.
- Stay on Track. An issue that plagues lesser quality belt sanders is keeping the belt on the track throughout longer jobs. Read reviews and investigate the sander you are seriously considering even further to ensure there is a dedicated system for tracker centering.
Top 3 Best Belt Sander Reviews
Using the Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt with 8″ Disc Bench Sander makes sanding in the workshop or around the house much easier. The company obviously makes high-quality tools and this sander is no different. The sander can really smooth down or remove a lot of wood in a short period of time, which in turn saves you time in completing any project.
As with any sander, but especially with one as powerful as this, it is necessary to keep it moving with soft woods to avoid any damage to the surface or any uneven work being done. That being said, it is possible to do some intricate sanding work with this tool.
With a case iron base, the sander is stable and does not vibrate. It comes with a dust bag to keep your area free of sawdust but be sure to have enough room behind the unit for the bag to inflate.
Compared to many other stand-alone sanders, this one is powerful with 3,450 RPMs. It is a quality sander with a single knob to easily adjust the tension of the belt. Jobs big and small can be dealt with using this one tool.
The Makita 9403 Belt Sander is made to make your life easier. It has all of the handles and the maneuverability to make operation a breeze, the belt stays secure at all times, the body is built to protect the motor and the inner workings of the tool and there is a dust bag to help with cleanup too.
The bottom of the sandbelt makes it easy to sand flush against walls and other flat surfaces, while the open front design means that you can also target smaller areas.
It should be noted that this is one of the quietest sanders in its class, which also makes it the best belt sander for home use. This might not mean that you can start sanding in the house before everyone is awake, but it does mean that you can work without disturbing the whole neighborhood.
The size of this sander is exactly what you want for the most flexibility in use. It weighs about 13lbs so you can pick it up easily for touch-ups but also know that it will tackle larger jobs too.
Having the Jellas 7Amp Belt Sander in your arsenal of tools will really make a difference in how you work. This is great to use in conjunction with a stand-alone or combination sander. It allows you to do more intricate work and allows you the flexibility to make adjustments on an actual job site rather than having to bring the wood back and forth from the workshop.
As this is a hand-operated sander, it is not too heavy or too light. It has a lot of power with a 7 Amp motor rotating the belt at over 13 feet per second. The handle has speed control to make it easy for you to adjust the speed.
Value for money wise, this is a good investment if you also have the other support materials to ensure you can complete any and all sanding jobs in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Difference Between a Belt Sander and Belt Grinder?
A belt sander is used for finishing tasks, while a belt grinder is typically used for more heavy-duty work. Belt sanders are also known as “sandblasters,” which can be confusing since they’re not actually blasting anything with air or any other form of power, but rather simply abrading surfaces and removing material to create the desired effect.
A belt sander doesn’t remove materials too aggressively as a grind does; it’s generally gentler on whatever surface you’re working on so there aren’t any deep scratches left behind that need later polishing out.
If you want something that will get rid of paint quickly from your car bodywork then go ahead and use a belt grinder. If you want a smoother finish to your work then you’ll want the belt sander.