We all have our experience with sanding a surface by hand. We use a wooden block, wrap some sanding paper around, and try our best. And still, after hours of work, we haven’t come far. With belt sanders, you can save time and money because it works much faster and more efficiently. While the tools are simple in design, there is a lot they can do. First of all, you smooth any wooden surface. Then you can flatten some smaller items you made or tame the leg of a hardwood chair.
The great advantage is that the continuous spin of the belt provides equal distribution of the sanding paper. For small corrections, you can use the sanding disc some of the products have built-in. A belt sander is a tool you need in a proper workshop, as a hand-use device, or mounted to a bench. Since there is a wide range of tools available, we took a representative sample of belts with different features on our list of the 10 best belt sanders in 2020.
List of Best Selling Belt Sanders
10. PORTER-CABLE Belt Sanders with Bag
If you are sanding your cabinet or door in the garage, dust can become a problem for your eyes and respiratory system. That’s why a dust bag on a belt sander is an essential accessory, and the Porter-Cable tool just provides this protection. You can swivel the bag, so it won’t be in the way and still collect dust. The industry standard belt sands different kinds of surfaces smoothly while keeping you safe during operation. The solid metal case is perfect for heavy-duty use, and you regulate the speed of the belt between 50-1,300 SFPM.
If you remove the dust bag, you can attach the belt sander to a dust vacuum machine. The bag is washable and made from durable fabric. What we like about this device is that it keeps the belt always in the middle. We had some frustrating experiences with cheap devices, where the belt was moving left and right at a higher speed. The Porter-Cable keeps the belt tight and precise at any time.
- Large dust bag included
- Tight sitting belt
- Speed can be adjusted
- Quick-release when changing the belt
- Dust can still get out of the bag opening.
9. WEN 6500T 2-in-1 Belt and Disc Sander
This sanding device is a smart construction because it combines two tools in one. You can use it as a stand belt sander as well as a disc sander. The sizes are descents, 4-by-36 for the belt, and the discs are six inches in diameter. You can tilt the belt between 0 and 90 degrees. If working on the disc, a pusher get’s your material at an adjustable angle to the sander, similar to a meat slicer.
WEN gave the tool a 3.2A motor, which speeds up the belt and the disc to a maximum of 1150 FPM for the disc’s belt and 1780 RMP. The stand has an open design and is easy to clean. You can adjust the belt with a screw and tighten or loosen it to your liking. The main switch sits on the back of the tool and is easy to reach. It shuts down both devices immediately when pressed.
- Two sanders in one tool
- Adjustable belt and disc
- Fits common disc sizes
- Good for home use
- Cannot be used as a hand sander
8. Jellas BS02 Belt and Bench Sanders
Another 2-in-1 tool is the Jellas BS02. It is, by default, a regular hand belt sander. But if you turn it upside down, then it becomes a bench sander. You just need to fix it with the two provided clamps to the table or workbench. A powerful 7.0 Amp motor speeds up the belt fast enough for treating any kind of surface, from soft- to hardwood and even painted surfaces. You also have dials to regulate the speed according to your specific requirements.
To ensure you can start right away, the set contains the belt sander as well as two grits in different densities, from 40 to 180. The sanding belts are made from aluminum oxide. You can attach a dust bag as well if needed, but you can also connect a vacuum cleaner hose. Installing the machine is very easy; you just need to attach the belt, making sure that the arrows on the machine and belt are pointing in the same direction.
- Can be used as a bench sander
- Solid built with durable material
- Selection of belts already included in the set
- 2-years customer support provided
- The dust bag doesn’t sit tight enough.
7. SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat with dust box and filter
Fine dust and microparticles are unavoidable when you sand wood or other surfaces. However, some belt sanders provide extra protection by installing filters and dust boxes. Those plastic containers are tighter than fabric bags. With a micro-filter attached, this belt and box system is the right choice for those concerned about their lungs.
But aside from safety features, the Skil belt has excellent technical features as well. It’s an auto-track system; for example, it keeps the belt on track all the time. The belts can be changed by lifting up just one lever. Beneficial, in particular for beginners, is the pressure control. The device will give a warning when too much pressure is applied.
- Filter for dust and microparticles
- Flush edge sanding
- 6.0 Amp of power
- A useful tool for sanding wooden surfaces
- Power switch with lock-on function
- The dust box could be larger.
6. TACKLIFE Belt Sanders with 13 belts
Tacklife wants to make sure once their belt sanders arrive at their customer’s home, you can start your work right away. That’s why they put 13 belts into the box, all with different grades. Whether a door isn’t closing well anymore or you need to smooth the cabinet’s surface a bit, there are enough choices.
To avoid the belt from slipping, you can fit and level it with a screw at the bottom before starting your tasks. If you have smaller items you want to sand, you can turn the machine into a bench sander. You turn it around and use the two metal clamps to fix it at a table. You can adjust the speed on both modes with a knob and 6 dials between 0-560 rpm. The 5.0 Amp motor is strong enough to remove residue from surfaces and smooth them afterward.
- Can be used as a bench sander
- 13 belts in the box with different grades
- Adjustable belt tracker
- Speed up to 560 RPM
- Weight 7.43 pounds, still good for overhead use
- Two years of customer support
- The motor is not as strong as with other models.
5. BLACK+DECKER DS321 Dragster Belt Sander
There can’t be a list of belt sanders without at least one model from Black+Decker. They are one of the most well known and respected manufacturers of home tools. This means you get high-quality products used by tens of thousands of customers.
We selected this belt sander mainly because of the strong 7.0 Amp motor. As you may know, more power prevents you from applying too much pressure on the tool and surface. This belt has quite an innovative design with a rather small front roller. But this design enables you to get into spaces other belts won’t reach. To make working even easier, the handle is retractable and can be secured in three different positions. The tool comes with the sander itself, a middle grinder belt, and a dust bag. The latter can be attached to the outlet and will collect all dust and particles.
- High-quality tool from a well-known brand
- Sanding against vertical surfaces
- Small front belt roller for maximum access
- Retractable hood
- Dust bag and one belt included, ready to go.
- Adjustable handle
- The dust bag can be in your way.
4. Bucktool disc and belt sander
Bucktools also don’t need an introduction since it is another well-known brand. This tool comes with a sanding belt as well as a disc. A great plus is that the device is designed to be maintenance-free; you don’t even need to adjust or tighten the belt.
With its direct-drive, Bucktool enables the sander to be more efficient, while at the same time, it develops less noise than other products. While the disc use is fixed, you can tilt the belts up to 90 degrees. Coming with a cast aluminum base, the machine won’t tip when used, and it also meets the CSA standards. The disc has the standard 6’’ size while the belt’s measures are 4’’ x 36’’. The maximum speed for the disc is 3450 RPM, while for the belt, it is 2165 RPM. To collect the dust, you can attach a vacuum cleaner hose to the outlet.
- Well known brand
- Two devices in one
- High-speed disc and belt
- Sturdy aluminum base
- Meets CSA standards
- No dustbag included
3. Bucktool combo Sander Grinder Sharpener
If you own a Bucktool knife, you experience high quality and sharpness. To keep it this way, the Bucktool combo cannot only wooden sand panels but also sharpen your knives. That makes sense since you have a belt and motor anyway. All you have to do is change the belt and adjust the angle.
This machine’s primary purpose is still sanding, particularly finishing materials like metals, wood, or plastics. You can use the belt either vertically or horizontally; turning it is relatively easy. In both positions, the metal frame will keep it sturdy. If you want to change the belt, you just turn a knob, you don’t need any special tools. And for safety reasons, a part of the belt is covered with an eye-shield, but an LED will provide you enough light to see the working area.
- Belt and sharpener
- High-quality metal frame
- A well-known brand for tools
- Maintenance-free operation
- Tool-free belt changes
- Great for finishing products
- Has to be used on the stand, no hand sanding
2. Grizzly vertical belt sander
This 1/2 Horsepower benchtop sander comes with a belt and a disc. It is intended for finishing and sharpening products. The belt and the disc run at high speed to ensure an equal sanding and smoothening of the products. It has a fast-tracking adjustment knob to make sure the belt is in the middle and a standard ½’’ port to connect a dust bag (not included) or a vacuum cleaner hose.
Whenever you have smaller items to work on, this vertical belt sander is an excellent addition to your workshop. The motor has 1/2 horsepower and a maximum speed of 3600 RPM. You can rotate the belt platen 90 degrees if you have larger items you want to work at. With its compact design, it also fits in smaller workshops.
- Powerful motor
- Belt platen can rotate
- Hose connector to collect dust
- Belt and disc in one device
- Cast iron base
- Bench mode only
1. Makita 9403 Anti-Noise Belt Sanders
Sanding a surface is not only dusty but can also be noisy at times. The latter is an issue Makita wants to address. The toolmaker reduced the noise to 84 decibels, which is on the workshops’ low end of tools noise production. The belt has a standard width of 4 inches and runs at 1640 feet per minute, fast enough to polish most surfaces.
There are a few things we really like: the construction of the belt sander seals the motor and the bearings, so they won’t get contaminated and will last longer. Also, it has a very comfortable handle and a long power cord. If you have to work on a long surface, the Makita sander is your friend. A front grip makes operation even more effortless and helps to apply just the right amount of pressure to the belt.
- Quiet operation with less than 84 dbA
- Comfortable grip and front knob
- Standard 4 inch belt
- Weighs only 13 pounds
- Dust bag included
- 1-year warranty
- No sanding belt included
Belt sanders are not expensive anymore and come in handy whenever you need to smoothen something. They are easy to use, and the market provides a lot of different products with specific features. If you made a wooden frame for your family portrait, finishing it with a belt is done in no time. The handmade shelf made from oak gets a final taming with some 120-grade sanding paper, making it soft and easier to finish with paint. Those tools are intended for both professional and DIY use. Having one at home is a necessity.
When looking for a belt sander, you should first consider what it is needed for. If you need to sand large surfaces, you may want a belt sander with a comfortable handle and a dust bag. If you work with smaller items, a bench belt sander might be a better option since you can also mount a vacuum cleaner hose on it. Some products provide both options. A disc is not a must for most use cases but comes in handy and is a good addition. Regarding the motor power, the more, the better, mainly when you work with large items. Using well-known brands gives you a bit more confidence, but in our experience, also new brands provide high-quality products these days.
Safety Guide for Belt Sander
When you are in a work-shop, safety always comes first. The belt sanders we reviewed here follow the most common safety standards, such as a fast switch that brings the belt to a halt immediately. Those machines also have protection so your hand won’t touch the running belt and a pusher when using the disc. We recommend wearing protective glasses and a dust mask as well as leather gloves when operating those devices. Although they are safe as a tool, accidents may happen if you are not focused, and protective gear is just another level to keep you safe.