The 10 Best Belt Sanders For Projects

The 10 Best Belt Sanders For Projects

The 10 Best Belt Sanders For Projects

If you spend hours working with metal, wood, and other materials, you will find a belt sander incredibly useful for creating the ideal finish.

In this guide, I’ll recommend my favorite belt sanders that are suitable for all types of tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts.

I’ll also discuss some of the important features you should consider before buying one.

Makita 9403 Belt Sander

Makita 9403 Belt Sander

  • Emits only 84dB
  • Belt width: 4”
  • Speed of 1640 FPM
  • Compatible with any 4 x 24” sanding belt (uni-directional)
  • Unique labyrinth design protects bearings and motor from contamination
  • Ergonomic large front grip for convenience and comfort

The Makita Belt Sander is the quietest model in its class with its audio output of only 84 decibels. It features a 4” belt with a speed rating of 1640 FPM for super quick material removal.

The bearings and motor are sealed and protected against contamination with its unique labyrinth design. This unit is conveniently lightweight and compact with a weight of only 13 lbs.

What customers are saying

Customers were incredibly happy with their purchase and commented on its smooth and quiet operation, heavy duty construction, and exceptional performance.

Some customers, however, found a mold line on the rear drive wheel which left a line on their workpiece.

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This Belt Sander from Porter-Cable comes with a metal housing for added durability and protection against damage.

The belts are kept centered which means you do not have to stop to adjust the belt.

The sander stays unbent even during heavy duty applications, and the belt remains cool with the metal housing that assists with dissipating heat.

You can adjust the belt’s speed with the variable speed dial, and the unit features a unique 360º swivel dust bag. This is particularly useful when you are sanding along edges or corners.

You can look forward to quiet operation with the unique serpentine drive belt as well as the Porter-Cable drive belt. This sander is an excellent fit for heavy duty jobs.

What customers are saying

This sander received excellent reviews. Customers were most satisfied with the heavy duty and robust construction, powerful operation, overall quality, and value for money.

However, some customers complained that their units stopped working or the motor burned out.

Rikon Power Tools 1 x 30 Inch Belt Sander

Rikon Power Tools 1 x 30 Inch Belt Sander

  • Rikon belt sander with variable speed
  • Efficient motor for fast material removal
  • 1x30” belt size
  • Uses 6” discs
  • Durable base and frame for additional sturdiness
  • Tracking knobs for frame and blade adjustment

The Rikon Belt Sander is the ideal choice for minor repair jobs or making doll furniture, toys, jewelry, and other small craft jobs.

The unit has a compact size of 32.5 lbs and the motor is incredibly effective in propelling the disc and belt for fast material removal.

With the variable speed dial, you can adjust belt and disc speed to achieve optimal sanding performance, and the robust base and frame offer additional sturdiness.

The angle is adjustable from 0º-45º and the dust collection port plus hood helps you keep your work area neat and dust free.

What customers are saying

This belt sander received great reviews with customers loving its ¾ HP powerful motor, speed adjustment feature, and overall quality.

Black+Decker Belt Sander With Dust Bag

Black+Decker Belt Sander With Dust Bag

  • Dust removal and advanced visibility with included dust bag
  • 1 medium grit belt included
  • Modern front roller for sanding even tight corners effortlessly
  • Retractable handle with three adjustments for better control
  • 7A Motor
  • Flush body for sanding against upright areas
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fast release lever for easy belt changes

This Belt Sander comes with a 7A motor for sanding along edges, as well as a flush body that allows sanding against upright surfaces.

You can enjoy advanced visibility with a convenient dust removal bag, and the forward thinking front roller makes sanding effortless, particularly in tight spaces.

This unit features a low profile design with a longer reach, making it highly functional. The retractable handle with three positions gives you enhanced control while working.

The compact and portable design of this sander also makes it ideal for home improvement jobs.

What customers are saying

Most customers loved this unit and had nothing but praise for its great performance, portable and convenient design, and overall value for money.

Still, some customers said the belt tracking adjustment is problematic due to dust bag placement, and the belt keeps wandering off instead of staying centered.

Grizzly Industrial Combo Belt Sander/Grinder

Grizzly Industrial Combo Belt Sander/Grinder

  • Industrial sander/grinder combo
  • ½ horsepower motor that delivers 3450 RPM
  • Integrated cooling tray
  • Integrated wheel dressing device
  • Magnifying eye shield and adjustable work light
  • Dust port
  • 2 x 27“ sanding belt
  • 6 x ¾ x ½” grinding wheel (arbor)

With this versatile Grinder/Sander Combo, you can grind a flawless edge on cutting and tooling edges.

The grinding wheel included is ideal for hollow grinding, and the belt can be used for flat grinding. The unit comes with a ½ horsepower motor that delivers 3450 revs per minute.

Other features include its integrated cooling tray, wheel dressing device, dust port, magnifying eye shield, adjustable work light, sanding belt, and arbor grinding wheel.

What customers are saying

This sander/grinder combo received decent reviews with customers saying it does what it is supposed to, and the sanding belt stays nicely on track.

Many also mentioned that it provides great value for money. Still, some customers complained about having issues with belt tracking.

Wen 6500T 4 x 36” Belt & 6” Disc Sander

Wen 6500T 4 x 36” Belt & 6” Disc Sander

  • Dual sanding device with 4 x 36” belt and 6 x 6” sanding disc
  • Belt is adjustable from 0º to 90º
  • Steel frame in open style
  • 2A motor with 1150 RPM output
  • Tension release mechanism for easy sandpaper grit changes
  • 2 year warranty

You cannot go wrong with the WEN Disc Sander, ideal for smoothing and deburring splinters and jagged wood surfaces.

The 3.2A motor delivers a speed of 1150 FPM, and belt changes are quick and effortless with the unit’s tension release lever.

The belt can be adjusted from 0º to 90º which allows for versatility when working with different workpieces. The compact sander is easy to transport and store for use in different locations.

Included in this package, you’ll find an 80 grit sanding belt along with an 80 grit sanding disc, and a miter gauge with a stop bar that offers maximum precision and safety.

What customers are saying

This unit received plenty of excellent reviews with customers commenting on its durable construction, super easy belt changes, and solid adjustments.

However, other customers mentioned that the motor is not immensely powerful, but the sander is well worth the money spent.

Makita 9404 Belt Sander

The Makita Belt Sander features a variable speed adjustment of 4×24”, a quiet 84dB operation, and an 8.8A motor.

The unique design allows flush sanding to a wall corner with the side or nose of the unit. The auto track belt device ensures the belt tracks without the need for adjustments.

This tool is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 10.3 lbs. The unit also comes with one abrasive 4×24 belt, a fabric dust bag, and a 1 year warranty.

Hitachi 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

The Hitachi Belt Sander comes with variable speed adjustments for enhanced flexibility while working. The soft grip handles ensure operator comfort along with a secure grasp.

The unit features a tracking window for better visibility of the sanding area and belt while in use.

The wear resilient V belt powers the sander and extends its service life. You can also keep your work surface clean, and reduce airborne dust thanks to the dust collection unit included.

Craftsman Belt Sander

This Belt Sander features a 7A motor with a sloping belt that allows you to sand nearer to connecting surfaces. It also delivers a maximum of 800 FPM, which enables quick stock removal.

Belt changes have never been easier with the tool-free belt release mechanism.

Other standout features include a dust removal bag, 3 position ergonomic handle for user comfort, and a 3 year restricted warranty.

Ridgid Heavy Duty Variable Speed Belt Sander

The Ridgid renewed Belt Sander features a dual fan dust removal system with one fan collecting dust and the other cooling the 6.5A motor

This unit is gear and belt driven, ensuring advanced robustness and powerful operation. You’ll be able to remain comfortable while sanding, thanks to the soft grip handle that lowers vibration.

The auto belt tracking device keeps the belt centered. All in all, a good buy.

Belt sanders are versatile tools, but they’re mostly used for sanding jagged surfaces, trimming scribed lines, leveling surfaces, and doing freehand shaping and rounding.

Because they pack a powerful punch and can handle rough grits, they are an ideal power tool for quick wood removal.

However, unlike vibrating or orbital sanders, a belt sander uses a linear action for producing perfectly smooth results.

Stationary belt sander

Stationary belt sanders are semi-permanent or fixed sanders installed on an unchanging base.

These units use motorized abrasive belts for sanding surfaces and are identical to handheld units, except that it remains in one location.

Small stationary models come with horizontal bands, and stock that needs to be sanded is fed from the top. Larger models come with a table to place your work item when sanding.

Portable belt sander

A handheld model has equally basic features to a stationary unit, i.e, a motor, belt, two drums, and a switch. A portable unit can be used at any place within the extension cord’s reach.

This tool is two handed and therefore the stock piece must be secured before starting work.

These units are excellent for fast removal of material and are most suited for leveling and smoothing rugged boards.

Belt size

Belt sanders use different sized belts, and the belt size is what regulates the surface area that can be covered by the sander.

A conventional belt sander uses a 3” wide sanding belt, however, you can select other sizes. A one handed sander is the smallest and most lightweight unit, generally using 3×18” belts.

Using larger sanders with bigger belts can cover larger areas and wide wooden planks.

Weight

Weight is a vital feature since it determines the ease of use. If you often require a sander with a horizontal position, a lighter model would be most suited.

Some units weigh as little as 5 lbs while others can weigh as much as 15 lbs.

Power & speed

Power

The higher the amps, the more powerful the sander is. Standard belt sanders have electrical motors with an amperage of 4A to 10A.

If you need a belt sander for sanding hard areas, it’s best to invest in a unit with a powerful motor that can easily propel the sanding belt.

Speed

A belt sander with variable speed is ideal since it can be used for various projects. While some models come with only one speed, others have multiple speeds.

With a variable speed sander, the speed can be adjusted to match the project you’re busy with.

Dust collection

Belts sanders generate a massive volume of dust. Therefore, it is wise to choose one that comes with a powerful dust removal system.

Check for one that features an onboard dust bag or canister, but make sure it is big enough. This way you do not need to keep on emptying the bag.

Some sanders come with a dust port that allows you to connect a vacuum. This is incredibly convenient for people who use sanders regularly.