Power tools reduce the scope of tough manual labor by using an additional source of power/energy rather than the human body. Each power tool comes with its technical information to make it run smoothly. Even then, a lot of technical experts find it hard to choose a power tool that can work perfectly according to their required specifications.
Today, we review some of the best belt sanders, an efficient power tool used in shops and factories alike and pick out the best one in the end. Belt sanders are typically used for filling rough edges, and provide a smooth finish to metal, wooden and plastic articles.
Since many brands on the market boast a plethora of features, we have painstakingly compiled a list of affordable and best belt sanders here.
Best Belt Sanders On The Market of 2020
1. WEN 6502T Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base (Our Top Pick)
The WEN belt sander is a versatile power tool used to remove spiky and serrated edges on wood and lumber. Manufactured with high quality metal, the belt sander is stable and has a long life.
The belt sander has a robust cast iron base that prevents wobbling while in operation. Moreover, this stable base proves helpful while performing smoothening operations. This adaptable equipment also has a 2.5” dust port to which a dust collector can be attached for cleaning up sanded debris.
The belt sander is capable of tilting into various positions depending on the work. The machine can be tilted to any angle between 0 to 90°. Apart from the 4/36” sanding belt, this machine has a 6/6” sanding disc too. A support table equipped with 0 to 45° beveling capabilities, and a removable miter gauge accompanies the sanding disc.
Equipped with a 4.3-amp motor, the belt can achieve speeds of 3600 rpm. However, its only drawback is the constant speed; providing a variable speed motor would have made this sander one of the best on the market.
Other than this, changing sand paper grits is a breeze, thanks to the tension lever provided in the machine. This machine is a straightforward, serious power tool that can be used for both personal and professional uses.
2. TACKLIFE Belt Sander
Tacklife brings an amazing and powerful belt sander from its range of power tools to make all your work easy. The entire package consists of Tacklife PSFS1A belt sander 13 sanding belts, 2 screw clamps, 2 vacuum adapters, and user manual.
Aimed for multipurpose use, the Tacklife Belt Sander has a 5-amp motor for sanding purposes. Equipped with 6 dials, this belt sander has variable speed adjustments that can be set between 0 and 560 rpm.
With such a powerful motor, sanding operations become easy for a number of wood types, thanks to the included 80 and 120-grit belts. Out of the 13 sanding belts, there are seven 80-grit belts and six 120-grit belts. The grits contain aluminum oxide for efficient sanding, and meet different project requirements.
Designed for mobile as well as stable sanding operations, it has two metal screw clamps to be fixed on the table. This allows the sander to be used as a bench sander and the lock-on button keeps it fixed without wobbling. The metal clamping lever enables quick and easy belt changes in between work.
However, one of the drawbacks of hand-sanding with this machine is the amount of vibrations that affect your hands. Apart from this, the sander seems to work fine and cleaning is easy, thanks to the detachable dust collection boxes.
Tacklife also provides a good customer service promise on the market and this product comes with a 2-year seller warranty for long-term use.
3. Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander
Makita Belt Sander is a powerful tool with ease-of-use features for efficient stock removal from wood. One of the silent belt sanders on the market, this machine produces a maximum of 84 decibels. Ideal for carpentry and shop floor activities, this machine proves to be a swift machine in its performance.
With electronic speed control, the machine maintains constant speed under all load conditions. Equipped with an 11-amp motor, this powerful belt sander has a belt-travel of 1.640 feet/min with a 4” belt. This makes the Makita belt sander one of the fastest in its class.
Though built with good quality material, the sander seems a bit flimsy and feels a bit cheap in touch. However, the performance is undeniably great as the machine only weighs 13 pounds.
The case has a labyrinth construction that prevents debris from being sucked into the motor preventing any damage to the sander. It also has a dust bag with 360° swivels for convenient dust collection.
Available with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, the Makita belt sander comes with a 1-year warranty.
4. SKIL Belt Sander with Pressure Control
Skilsaw is a famous brand known for some of the innovative and cleverly designed power tools on the market. Presenting another compact and adaptable belt sander from its arsenal, the SKIL Sandcat is an amazing tool to work with.
Designed to sand, practically any type of wood surface, the Skilsaw Sandcat has a special pressure control system. This system has a pressure indicator to show the correct amount of pressure to be applied. Thanks to the auto-track belt alignment system, the 3” belt stays centered on the sander without any slippage.
To complement a smooth finish, the Skilsaw comes with a powerful 6-amp motor. And the entire unit weighs only 6.75 pounds making it one of the lightest sanders on the market. But the motor is only capable of single speed setting and therefore, has limited uses.
Cleaning and organizing are easy with this machine as it comes with a micro-filtration unit that captures and contains fine dust particles. It also has a 1-1/4” vacuum port for attaching a standard vacuum cleaner for easy collection of debris.
Overall, the unit is easy to handle, thanks to the on/off trigger with lock-on button and the single lever for belt changes.
5. Makita Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
The Makita 9903 belt sander is a powerful machine shop tool that combines efficiency and power. Equipped with an 8.8-amp motor, the motor can be controlled electronically to maintain constant speeds.
Ideal for grinding of stock from different types of wood, this belt sander is suitable for furniture makers and contractors who perform regular site works. With a 16.4-feet long power cable, this sander can be used away from a power source without any problems.
The variable speed control allows you to choose speeds between 690 and 1,440 feet/minute for sanding purposes. This enables highly polished surfaces on wood without exerting much force. With a low decibel value of 84 dB, the Makita belt sander is also a quiet power tool.
The ergonomic front grip gives the optimum working position and ample support while working on angular areas. Available with a full refund offer within 30 days, the user can return the product if he/she is not satisfied with its performance. Also, the product has a 1-year warranty that covers workmanship damages/ defects.
The dust bag included proves useful for collecting debris while in operation and can be attached to a vacuum cleaner for quick cleaning.
6. Metabo HPT SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander
Metabo is here with a quality product in its range of products once again. However, this time the brand has brought a variable speed belt sander that was earlier owned by Hitachi. Keeping aside marketing gimmicks, Metabo seems to have taken over the same machine, only rebranding its image into a new avatar.
The brand claims that Metabo HPT sander is the same tool that Hitachi used to manufacture. The handy sander is compact and weighs only 9.5 pounds. With a powerful 9-amp motor for this machine, the sander seems to be one of the powerful hand sanders on the market.
Following the footsteps of Hitachi, the model also assures an incredible performance. However, the vibrations from the belt sander make it uncomfortable for long periods of use. However, the elastomer grip is quite firm and the finish of the work seems to be superior compared to other brands on the market.
With a focus on increasing speed and efficiency, the belt sander has adjustable speeds between 820- and 1,475 ft. /min. In addition, the included dust bag also collects debris and other dust particles quite effectively.
7. PORTER-CABLE Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
The US brand PORTER-CABLE is here with a handy belt grinder for remodeling and finishing projects. The PORTER-CABLE sander is a 3/21” power tool that ensures a smooth finish to wooden constructions.
Suited for all carpentry works, the machine has a wide range of applications among professionals. Built with a powerful 8-amp motor, the belt sander has a variable speed arrangement for efficiency. You can choose between 850 and 1300 feet/min.
To improve performance and maintain balance, the motor is located over the platen for stability. The sander runs on a belt and gear drive system that transfers power from the motor to the sanding belt.
The machine has a dust bag with 360-degree swivel for collecting debris while in operation. It also has a fingertip belt-tracking knob and quick-release belt-change lever for easy belt changes.
Compared to other belt sanders on the market, it has a slower travel speed for the same amperage. Though this belt sander comes with a 100 g aluminum belt, the low speed results in quicker belt changes over time.
To compensate this, the brand makes up in service and provides a 3-year warranty on the tool and you can enjoy an overall good deal.
8. WEN 6307 Variable Speed Detailing File Sander
What separates WEN file sander from other belt sanders is its construction. The variable speed belt sander has a high-speed travel between 1080 and 1800 feet/min. Thanks to the auto-tracking system, the sander does not need any tensioning adjustments.
The sander has a 1/-by-18” belt for sanding operations. One of the unique features of this sander is that the belt can be pivoted to 55 degrees for angular sanding operations. The tool-free belt installation is easy for quick and easy belt changes during the job.
The unit comes with three high quality abrasive sanding belts capable of sanding different types of wood, metals, plastics, etc. Ideal for shop floor and on-site activities, the WEN file sander works smoothly and is portable.
However, in comparison with other belt sanders on the market, this lightweight sander has limited applications for high abrasive works. Overall, the sander is best for finishing operations and does not disappoint.
Available with a 2-year warranty, the WEN belt sander promises a good service for future operations.
9. Grizzly Industrial Belt Sander
Presenting the combo belt sander from Grizzly Industrial, the H6070 model is an ideal sander for shop floor activities. Thanks to its stable cast iron construction, this sander can be set easily on to a table in the workshop. The rubber foot mountings also reduce vibrations significantly providing a smooth finish.
The Grizzly Industrial belt sander has a belt and disc sander in one arrangement. The 30” belt can be used to smoothen big wooden jobs perfectly while the 5” disc sander makes it possible to sand smaller objects. The sanding tables for both belt and disc arrangements can be tilted 45° for added versatility.
This benchtop sander also has a removable belt platen and idler roller guard for easy contour sanding. Ideal for dry sharpening, sanding intricate parts and contour sanding, this power tool can perform almost all sanding activities in a workshop.
However, given the benchtop setup, the Grizzly Industrial bench sander needs a stable base for on-site operations. In addition, the 30” belt experience belt-lag while sanding due to the open suspension arrangement during prolonged usages.
Equipped with 1/3 HP motor, the sander is capable of running at 3450 rpms making sanding operations a breeze. This belt sander also comes with a 1-year warranty as a commitment to performance from the brand.
10. BLACK+DECKER DS321 Dragster Belt Sander with Clot
Black & Decker brings to you the new Dragster belt sander for all your finishing needs in the workshop. The complete package includes a high-quality sander medium grit sanding belt and a dust bag.
The Black & Decker sander has an innovative front roller to reach the toughest corners with ease. To make things easy, the sander has a 3-position, retractable handle for optimum control. However, the vibrations can induce some handling discomfort if used continuously for long periods.
However, the 7-amp motor is powerful enough to make all your tough jobs breezy. A retractable hood exposes the top of the sanding belt for sanding in tight spaces. Also, the flush body design gives you the ability to sand vertical surface apart from the 3 positions mentioned earlier. The dust collection bag does handy work and keeps your work area clean.
One of the compact and portable belt sanders on the market, this equipment weighs only 6.5 pounds. Lastly, thanks to the low-profile design for maximum functionality, the sander is a wonderful machine to work with good ease.
11. WEN 6524 Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander
Featuring an innovative belt sander, the WEN Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander is one of a kind. Equipped with a ½”, ¾”, 1”, 1-1/2” and 2” sanding drum sizes, the belt sander also has a 4×24” belt.
The 3.5- amp motor oscillates the belt and can reach speeds up to 1575 feet/min. The spindle can reach a speed of 2000 rpm and the belt oscillates 58 times/ min with a 5/8” stroke. The unit also includes a beveling worktable, five throat plates and six pieces of 80-grit sandpaper.
Sanding arcs, curves, contours, and oddly-profiled shapes are easy with this spindle sander. The onboard storage helps to organize the throat plates and rubber sanding drums with ease. The included 1-1/2” dust port can be attached to a dust collection system to reduce cleanup work.
The table can be adjusted between 0 and 45o for making angled edges and surfaces. Backed by a two-year warranty, the WEN belt, and spindle sander is a multipurpose sanding tool on the market.
The only drawback is the heavy construction that makes this machine restricted to the machine shop and shop floor activities only. Overall, the performance is remarkable and the product is designed to last for a very long time.
Selecting a belt sander is not an everyday work; the process requires a good amount of research and sizeable investment for professionals. Hence, to make your decision-making process easy, we have compiled a list of features to look for while purchasing a belt sander.
Choose the ‘correct’ belt sander
Belt sanders come in two types – stationary sanders and portable sanders. Choosing the right sander is important here since both types have their own limitations. As the name suggests, stationary belt sanders need to be fixed on to a table or workbench. This limits its usage for on-site activities; however, stationary belt sanders are more versatile than handheld sanders and can be used for multipurpose works.
Handheld or portable sander can be used for on-site operations. However, they are lightweight and often pose the problem of smooth finishes due to lack of proper pressure. And, these sanders have angular adjustments that are meant to compensate for their limitations as compared to stationary ones.
Handheld belt sanders are normally available in sizes of 3/21” and 4/24”. The 4/24” sander is wider by an inch and can grind whole boards and planks. The smaller 3/21” sanders are smaller and useful for delicate sanding work, profiles and scribing. You should select the correct belt sander according to your work requirements.
Belt sanders consume a lot of power due to the use of an abrasive belt in the system. Since there is friction involved, especially when the tool is pressed down on to the material, belt sanders must have sufficient power to grind and smooth material without slowing down. This is important to consider while aiming for a consistent finish.
Choosing a high ampere motor can compensate for your power requirements and perform well. Usually, stationary sanders have higher power but it also consumes more electricity. Choosing according to your work activity (heavy-duty or light loads) can determine the power for a belt sander.
For belt sanders, speed is always represented in Feet per Minute (FPM). Sander, having a higher FPM, removes a higher rate of stock; this means less time is needed for a particular surface area. However, having a higher FPM is not the penultimate benchmark for choosing a belt sander based on speed.
A variable speed control is useful as it gives versatility as well as consistent finishes for different types of material.
Although a technical aspect, choosing the correct abrasive belt is the most import part of a belt sander’s research and purchase. The belt’s abrasive quality is represented in terms of grits which is the number of abrasive particles per square inch of the sandpaper of the belt surface.
This means the higher the grit number, the smoother will be the finish. The sander that includes an abrasive belt and/or sandpapers must suit your requirements.
Here is an estimate for choosing an abrasive belt of your choice. 40 to 60 grit ranges are used for sandpapers and are said to be most coarse in terms of texture. Belts often have grit ranges above 80, and sometimes, 150 to 180 grit is also considered fine. For a satin-smooth finish, a grit of 360 is usually used.
Look for warranty; almost all brands offer a warranty on belt sanders. This comes in handy as the most durable machine will breakdown eventually. Therefore, you need to look for a good brand that offers a maximum warranty period.
WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp Belt and Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base is our today’s pick as the best belt sander. Thanks to its versatility and steady base, the belt sander comes as the recommended power tool by professionals on the market.
With all the technical aspects and comprehensive reviews listed out here, we hope that we were able to address all your doubts and queries pertaining to the belt sander. We hope the information has enabled you to easily zero in on an efficient belt sander of your choice.
We will be back with more reviews on different products in the future; until then, Ciao.