We’ve shared quite a bit about sanders in recent weeks, and we’re going to continue this trend by featuring another type. Basically, these are buffing tools used for finishing wood. They have a single row of sandpaper attached to a conveyor belt that goes round-and-round for quick sanding. Users are likewise given the freedom to control speeds or intensities depending on the task at hand.
Belt sanders come in either handheld or benchtop designs and are perfect for those who need things done fast. New users will also find solace in knowing that these don’t cost much and are incredibly easy to use, especially when compared to their more robust counterparts.
Nevertheless, this power tool certainly plays a vital role in the woodworking process. As such, we’d like to take a closer look and share our insights with you. We’ll also be identifying the top eight models so consumers currently canvassing should find our best belt sander review article highly beneficial
So without further adieu, let’s dive into this topic, shall we?
Belt Sander Comparison Table
- A 12-AMP motor produces 20% more sanding strength than most of its competitors
- The frame is engineered perfectly so it often feels like an extension of your arm when in use
- Despite sporting an 11-AMP motor, this tool makes very little noise to ensure regular peaceful working
- Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case any damages or defects may arise
- Its compact size allows it to be taken anywhere without much hassle
- Can do a multitude of different tasks including the removal of paint and removing concrete
- Is one of the most affordable choices; perfect for the first-time consumer
- Fitted with a detachable waste age for quick and easy disposal of dust particles
- Allow users to select a speed from 690 to 1,440 feet per inches and match it with certain tasks
- Its cloth bag is better for the environment and helps strain dirt more competently
- An ergonomically-design base allows it to be used vertically, not to mention reduce stress
- The sanding belt is extended and slightly protruded to get into tighter spots
- Dual fans work to keep the motor cool and direct dust towards a certain location
- A 6.5-AMP may not be impressive, but it’s built for toughness and great for more intense jobs
- Its narrower design is more convenient to control and gets into even the snuggest of areas
- Requires very little assembly so you can instantly use it upon opening the box
Belt Sander Reviews
The Porter-Cable 362V is a handheld device perfect for long hours in the workplace. Its wide handles are easy to grip and designed especially for utmost convenience. This structure offers greater controllability and feels almost like an extension of your arm.
At the same time, a 12-AMP motor delivers 20% more power than those in its sub-category. This, paired with an efficient belt-and-gear system, allows for smooth energy transfer from one part to another and is a viable option for all sorts of different tasks. Particularly, specialists who require accurate sanding with minimal errors should consider this unit.
Moreover, a strategically-placed dial allows you to manage the speed and select any function from 1,000 to 1,500-SFPM. Since most tasks have different needs, this should help uphold the level of products you create, as well as control it better.
We would recommend the Porter Cable 362V Variable Speed Bench Sander to all types of users, including hobbyists, enthusiasts, and even professional carpenters and contractors. It wide range of feature will undoubtedly provide value in whatever environment it is put in.
The brand, Makita, though better known for introducing hulking power tools is also adept at portable models. One perfect example is the Makita 9403 Belt Sander. At 13-lbs with a belt measuring 4x24 inches, it is ideal for individuals with limited space to work with.
Still, it does not allow its size to serve as a hindrance. An 11-AMP perfectly complements the larger belt space by producing a maximum speed of 1,640-SFPM. The Makita 9403 efficiently removes layers of wood for a cleaner finish. Best of it, this unit is whisper-quiet and won’t serve as a distraction while working.
Fortification is another element that this unit has clearly prioritized. Besides a tough frame, it also uses labyrinth construction that protects the motor and bearings from any forms of damage, thus preserving your initial investment. The Makita 9403 Belt Sander is likewise covered by a 1-year warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which shows how strongly manufacturers believe in their product.
It’s not all the time that we would explicitly call something the greatest ever, but this is definitely one of the best belt sander currently available to consumers.
Its name may have changed, but the quality remains the same. This is what Metabo, or otherwise known as Hitachi Power Tools, wants all loyal customers to remember. And it’s quite evident once they unveiled the SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander.
Similar to the first two examples, this sander is also extremely compact and ideal for the on-the-go user. Its ergonomically-design body, despite its size, can efficiently remove paint and rust, prep lumber, and even polish materials as tough as concrete. Truly, this is an ode to how well-built the Metabo HPT SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander is.
The budget-friendly price tag is another popular advantage that comes with owning something like this. Since not everyone has unlimited access to money, we absolutely appreciate having it around. Newbies to woodworking – not to mention long-time mavens looking for a secondary tool – should find this instrument very attractive.
Nevertheless, we’re glad to know none of its excellence was sacrificed for inexpensiveness. Ever since its introduction, the Metabo HPT SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander has maintained its status as a go-to option for the modern-day aficionado.
Whoever said belt sanders are expensive has clearly never come across the WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag. With a price tag that’s well below $50, this is perhaps the most affordable you can ever find. Just be warned, though, because it’s better matched for everyday hobbyists or simple crafting projects than the wear-and-tear of the construction site.
We know this may already sound cliché by now, but we’re glad the manufacturers haven’t let its low price get in the way of quality. As evidenced through an above-average 7-AMP motor and long-lasting sanding belt, the WEN 6321 is built for many different responsibilities. The front roller has even been slightly extended, giving you more reach into those really tight corners.
Another fixture worth mentioning is this unit’s dust collection system. Now, don’t roll your eyebrows because it isn’t like anything you’ve seen before. The WEN 6321 is furnished with an optional waste bag that catches residue of all sizes, ranging from sanding threads to sawdust. As a result, your workplace will return to being as clean as before you started working.
Ultimately, our goal is to calm everyone’s nerves and show that the WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag is well worth the risk. Those that have taken this leap of faith are now handsomely rewarded by the value this tool provides.
There’s a reason why we have two Makita products highlighted on our best belt sander review. And that’s because over a hundred years of experience has allowed them to master this craft almost completely. Don’t believe us? Then check out the Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag for proof.
Though slightly less robust than the 9403 model, it does offer users with wide speed selection that ranges from 690 all the way to 1,440 feet per minute. All you’ll need to do is twist a knob, and the rapidity instantly shifts. Not all prototypes have this, yet we’re so glad this one does as it augments the controls and maintains the product superiority at an all-time high.
The Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag’s sanding strength and performance – among others – are its driving strength when driving to the top. Despite being a little pricey, it should continue its run as a tool versatile enough to hand different situations.
Another excellent possibility to consider is the Black and Decker DS321 Dragster Belt Sander. However, don’t just be captivated by its eye-popping color combination; literally, take a closer look and you’ll see all the wondrous things that make it truly one of a kind.
Firstly, its shape is quite different from what consumers are used to seeing. The sanding belt has been elongated for better leveling of corners or edges, as well as get three times closer to adjoining areas. A retractable hood also exposes its top for use on a more diverse range of applications.
Besides that, the Black and Decker DS321 Dragster Belt Sander is light enough to be utilized on vertical surfaces too. Its weight, combined with an easy-grip and tremendously flexible handle, provides supreme comfort even after long hours. We absolutely love how it works to put you in the right positions without expounding any type of stress.
And finally, this unit sports an impressive dust collection system. Once it accumulates enough waste, the bag can be detached for easy cleanup. This, in our opinion, is a perfect microcosm of what the Black and Decker DS321 Dragster Belt Sander renders for its consumers: reliability beyond measure and user-friendly features that make woodworking so much simpler.
Contrary even to its name, the Ridgid ZRR2740 Variable Speed Belt Sander is not unbending at all. Instead, it flawlessly finds solutions to user concerns and ensures that the outputs created are always top-notch. Moreover, its consumer-friendly price only increases its appeal even more.
A very unique feature of this tool is its dual-fan dust collection setup. While most units are only equipped with a single vent, this has two with each having a specific role to play. One is assigned to direct cool air into the motor and keep its temperature low, while the other gathers unwanted dust particles for proper disposal. These may initially seem pointless, but they do a lot in keeping up the efficiency while you work.
The Ridgid ZRR2740 Variable Speed Belt Sander runs rather smoothly too. Its 6.5-AMP motor is built for rougher jobs and works seamlessly with an ergonomically-design handle to significantly minimize vibrations. A tracking tool likewise ensures that the sanding belt is aligned at all times, so your movements are straight.
Not all models out there are as refined as, making it an obvious contended for the best belt sander. We sincerely love the Ridgid ZRR2740 Variable Speed Belt Sander and everything this tool offers.
The final nominee on our best belt sander review is another one from Black and Decker. Its BR318 model may seem ordinary at first, yet a closer look will show just how valuable this tool can be. Here are a number of its best features.
At its forefront is a shape that’s thirteen percent narrower than the rest. While some operators might prefer something hefty for added durability, the Black and Decker BR318 Belt Sander proves that being slim is just as effective. One could even make the argument that its shape is more appropriate for working long hours on intense jobs.
Additionally, the sanding belt has been positioned lower, so it’s closer to the workpiece. Now, this design isn’t seen in a lot of units, but we’ve experienced firsthand how effectively it works. The proximity actually helps you maximize and control the sander better, particularly on edges or adjoining surfaces. Furthermore, the texture is made much smoother as well.
Customers on a strict budget can likewise enjoy what the Black and Decker BR318 Belt Sander brings. Its affordable price is yet another thing to love, especially since its versatility and functionality both remain unfazed. Take a look at this if you’re looking to improve your talents dramatically.
Things to Consider When Buying a Belt Sander
To help match a specific sander with your complex needs, here are the top four things that you must consider. Remember, research is better than replace. It’s important to do it now than to end up regretting things later on.
1. The Handles
Most belt sanders would require you to hold it up for several hours. That’s because more options on the market are actually handheld tools. As such, having something with enhanced gripping strength and comfort will go a long way in preserving your strength. So when canvassing, we recommend you test it out personally. In the end, no amount of hype or sales talk can be more important than the level of comfort you are feeling.
2. Position of the Belt
The belt is perhaps the most vital portion of this power tool. Its ability to sand properly is greatly determined by this tool’s alignment and location. Sadly, it has the potential for catastrophic results if even off by a few millimeters.
If you can, be sure to choose a belt sander that automatically aligns. We also advise something narrow, light, and whose sides are slight protruded. Not only is this much easier to control, but also great for all types of surfaces.
3. Dust Collection Bag
A dust collection port may be serviceable, yet having a bag is so much better. Especially if it can be detached from the machine and carried directly over a trash can. This helps streamline the cleaning process by at least half. Either way, it’s all about being efficient.
Also, we advocate the use of cloth containers instead of plastic ones. Since we’re supporters of the environment and minimizing your carbon footprint, this should go a long way in reducing waste, not to mention, plastic.
Belt sander aren’t typically expensive and are usually a lot cheaper than orbital models. But this doesn’t mean you can splurge money on something that isn’t exactly necessary. As customers, we owe it to ourselves to find the best value for money deal out there. And mind you, this doesn’t automatically mean the cheapest.
Maximizing the price is all about prioritizing your needs. If you find something that meshes your budget and lifestyle together, then that’s a win in our book. Of course, to minimize – or totally eliminate – the risk of overspending, try setting a limit and adhering to it until your last breath. This means it should take a truly out-of-this-world offer before you to cave, or in our words, take your breath away.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
In the next section, we’ll be answering the questions that bother you most. Take a look at what we have to say.
1. What is the difference between a belt sander and palm sander?
While both are handheld types, the position of the sanding mechanism is what sets these two apart. A palm sander is built the same as a flat iron with the sandpaper just in one orientation. On the other hand, a belt sander looks like a roller where the sheet goes around in a circular motion.
2. What types of tasks is a belt sander best used for?
Woodworkers primarily use this device for finishing or prep works. If you need something done quickly, thoroughly, and without any hassle, this has to be a top choice. It specializes in jobs such as making or repairing furniture, leveling lumber or concrete, and cleaning up handicrafts made at home.
3. If a belt sander costs so less, is investing in a warranty package still necessary?
Of course! The warranty doesn’t just depend on the price. It’s a way for you to protect your interests and collect if the manufacturers aren’t doing their job properly. Most important, this premium is a sign of how invested a company is to your well-being. Remember, brands that don’t care won’t even bother extending any type of after-sales service. All they want is to make a quick dollar.
At this point, you’re probably sick of hearing – or reading – about my thoughts. That’s totally understandable. Even I’d be drained, to be honest, which is why I’m planning on making this quick.
Every single unit on this list has something unique to offer. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. But once we looked at everything holistically, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. And this is our choice for the best belt sander on the market.
The Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag is truly one of a kind. Its wide range of speed settings, recyclable dust bag, and lightweight frame are just what the modern-day consumers needs. Though more than that, we believe in the vision Makita has for this industry. Their history and track record are a bonus to an already comprehensive piece of equipment.