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Smoothen Rough Wooden Surfaces With the Best Belt Sander
Sanding means rubbing a rough surface with sandpaper to make it smooth. If you are a passionate woodworker, you must already know how important this step is in a woodworking project. But when done by hand, the task itself is very time-consuming and tiring. That’s why every woodworker has an electric sander in their workshop.
Today, we are looking at one particular type of electric sander – the belt sander. It is a simple power tool with a motorized belt. The belt is loaded with sanding paper which moves with the belt to handle tough sanding jobs quickly, quietly, and without creating a mess.
This post is all about the finest belt sanders of 2023. We have reviewed the most-prominent options currently available on the market. And have also curated a detailed buyer’s guide to help you identify the right one for your needs. Let’s dive in!Show contentsCompare the Quality Belt Sanders of 2023
Buyer’s Guide: Finding Your Next Belt Sander
Belt sanders quickly gained popularity because they can extract a lot of material in a short time. But being popular means the introduction of newer models, each claiming to be better than the other. So, how can you identify the right one for your needs? By using the buyer’s guide we have compiled below!
Stationary vs. Handheld Belt Sander
Belt sanders employ a pair of rollers and a sanding belt to remove the material from various surfaces. Design-wise, they are categorized into two types – stationary and handheld.
Stationary belt sanders are installed on top of a worktable. They take advantage of the table’s support to provide you with clean and accurate results, like even edges. Since they offer better control, you can use these with wider belts enabling a more powerful dust extraction.
However, their fixed position means you have to take the material to the tool. Hence they only work with limited board sizes.
Handheld belt sanders, on the other hand, are more compact. Hence, they consume less space for storage and operation and are also highly portable.
With these, there is no limit on board size. However, they usually work with thinner belts. Plus, the dust collection of these machines is limited to their hose attachment.
Features to Consider in a Belt Sander
A belt sander is a must-have in any project involving a lot of sanding. Here is a quick overview of some important features that you should consider in a belt sander.
Belt sanders come in both corded and cordless variations. The stationary ones are all corded models that run off the AC current obtained from a wall socket. Handheld models, on the other hand, can be both corded or cordless.
As with most power tools, you are likely to obtain more power from a corded model. But the tradeoff with these units is limited mobility and tethering to the power supply.
Cordless ones offer more freedom of movement. They typically operate on 18-volt lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, but you can also look into getting a more powerful unit with a 20-volt rechargeable battery.
You should weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the model that suits your needs optimally.
The rotating speed of the belt is another important aspect to be careful about. It is usually measured in feet per minute or fpm. Some manufacturers still use the rotation per minute or rpm to denote the speed of their tool.
Many belt sanders operate at just one speed which is usually 1,500 fps. Others support variable speed which ranges from 500 to 1,500 fps. Using these, you can adjust the sanding speed to your desire. But do note that belt sanders with variable speed control are usually more expensive.
You should select the speed setting that is more in line with your application.
The design of the belt sander is an important consideration because it determines the tool’s handling. An ergonomic belt sander ensures good handling and sanding by providing you with a secure and comfortable grip.
Look for a device with multiple handling positions and a non-slip handle to ensure comfortable operation. It should not fatigue you, even when you sand a large surface.
Compare the Quality Belt Sanders of 20231
Makita 9403 Belt Sander– Best OverallBuy on Amazon
At the top of our list, we have the Makita 9403 Belt Sander. This is a corded sanding device with a robust and efficient 11 amp motor. It’s designed for maximum productivity with a large round front grip, 360° rotating dust bag, and conveniently located power cord. It uses a 4 x 24 inches sanding belt that enables you to sand bigger areas in minimal time. Its speed controlling feature lets it maintain the speed under specific loads and stress. We have placed it first on our list for its powerful motor, low noise output, and efficient performance.Pros
- The ergonomic design makes it easy to operate
- One of the quietest machines
- Powerful enough to handle heavy-duty sanding jobs
- One of the most expensive options
WEN 6321 Belt Sander– Budget-Friendly OptionBuy on AmazonCheck On Walmart
WEN is a well-known manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools. Its 6321 Belt Sander is a powerful device designed to deliver excellent performance without being a burden on your budget. The tool is equipped with a 7 amp motor, allowing it to rotate over 13 feet per second. It is a compact and lightweight machine that you’ll find very easy to use. Thanks to its lock-in feature, you don’t need to constantly grip the trigger to get it to sand. And if the belt loses alignment, there is an adjustment knob to line it back.Pros
- Gets the job done quickly and cleanly
- Compact and lightweight for effortless operation
- Belt changing and adjustment are simple
- The dust collection system could be better
BLACK+DECKER Belt Sander– Most ErgonomicBuy on Amazon
Our next pick is an ergonomic and versatile belt sanding device from BLACK+DECKER. This belt sander is a powerful tool yet handy tool that can take care of most home jobs. It is equipped with a 7 amp motor and angled belt design for versatile usability. The low-profile machine sits flush with any surface, making vertical sanding possible. A good aspect of its design is the retractable hood that enables you to use the machine in various ways. Plus, like the other models on this list, this belt sander also has a dust extraction system in the form of a dust collection bag that keeps your work area and surfaces neat and mess-free.Pros
- Ergonomic design for easy sanding
- The adjustable handle ensures a comfortable grip
- A low-profile machine that’s compact
- Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs
Skil 7510-01 Belt Sander– Best For Home UseBuy on Amazon
The Skil 7510-01 Belt Sander is also one of the most affordable power tools currently available on the market. This belt sander incorporates a 6 amp motor with a 3 x 18 inches belt that ensures a satisfactory sanding job. It is suitable for DIYers who love retouching and finishing the woodwork around their house. While it is a fixed-speed sander, the automatic pressure control feature enables it to adjust its speed according to the load. The auto track belt system ensures it always stays on the right track and completes a convincing sanding job.Pros
- The powerful motor ensures optimum performance
- Can adjust its speed for optimum pressure
- Lightweight and easy to use
- You cannot adjust its speed
Craftsman Belt Sander– Easiest To UseBuy on Amazon
If it’s your first time buying a belt sander, you should definitely check out this belt sander from Craftsman. We really like this machine for its lighter weight and convenience. It has an adjustable handle that you can set in three different positions for comfortable handling. The onboard dust bag collects all the extracted material, so there is no dust left behind. Plus, the belt changes are also effortless thanks to the quick, tool-less release. Lastly, the power tool comes with a three-year limited warranty for customer satisfaction.Pros
- Sturdy and lightweight construction
- Adjustable handle improves handling
- Belt changes are very easy
- The dust collection bag is quite small
People Also AskedQ: What is a belt sander best for?
A: Belt sanders can quickly remove a lot of material, that's why they are a good choice for eliminating roughness and preparing the surface for other, less aggressive sanding tools like random orbit sander or finishing sander. You can also use one to refinish your furniture, floor, or level uneven surfaces.Q: What size belt sander should I get?
A: Many woodworking experts agree that 3 x 21 inches and 4 x 24 inches sanding belts are the right size for most home shop uses. Such a tool sands a reasonable amount of area without tiring you out. If you use a bigger machine, the higher weight and bulk will most likely fatigue you quickly.Q: How long does the belt on a belt sander last?
A: With moderate usage, a sanding belt can easily last for about 12 to 18 months. However, some other factors also impact the belt's life, including the grit of the sandpaper, the material of the belt, and the surface you are sanding.The Pop Wood Review Team’s product reviews and comprehensive guides are here to help you select the best gear and tools to efficiently complete top-quality woodworking projects. The content is created by The Pop Wood Review Team. Popular Woodworking’s editorial staff is not involved. Popular Woodworking is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.