For doing any sort of serious woodworking, one of the most essential tools that you need to have in your arsenal is the belt sander.
This is the go-to tool for quickly smoothing out large surface areas quickly and efficiently. Even if you don’t do a ton of woodworking yourself, you can always use a good belt sander in your garage.
If you are wondering where you can find the best belt sander, look no further than this article. We are here to review a diverse selection of these tools with different features, price points, and more. We also take a look at the best benchtop belt sander
If you want to know which of the 5 that we reviewed was the best, we will say right now that it is the Makita 9403 Belt Sander.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Belt Sander 2021:
SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander
For the first review on our best belt sanders list, we wanted to review a moderately priced belt sander that has a very broad spectrum of appeal. While we will be looking at some high-end and budget tools later on, we specifically wanted to begin by reviewing something that is quite firmly in the middle.
The belt sander that we ended up feeling was the best choice is the SKIL 7510-01 Sandcat Belt Sander. As far as power tools go, SKIL is a brand that is usually in the middle of the pack when it comes to things like price, so the fact that they have produced a tool like this makes sense.
Don’t let the price fool you however, as the SKIL packs quite a few features that make it punch well above its weight.
Aside from its decent power output, it also has quite a few other very good features that we absolutely need to mention. First off, there is the built-in system that automatically keeps your belt centred on the object that you are sanding, which produces consistent sanding jobs.
Secondly, there is the pressure control mechanism that is designed to warn you about when you are putting too much pressure on something before you ruin the wood that you are working with. Finally, there is the great dust collection feature that makes cleanup after big sanding jobs a lot easier and quicker.
If we had to mention one complaint about this belt sander (and there aren’t very many complaints worth mentioning), it would probably have to do with the tool’s dust collection.
As we will explain throughout the course of this article, when dealing with something like belt sanders, dust collection takes on an extremely important role because of the sheer amount of debris that they can create. Having to constantly clean up all that debris yourself can be a major hassle, which is why having built-in dust collection on your belt sander is a must.
Another great thing about this machine is that the dust collection ports are located very close to the front wheel which makes dust collection very easy. I don’t know about you, but when I’m sanding something it’s very annoying to have a huge cloud of dust collecting up near my face, especially because this happens with the first few passes.
With this machine I can just reach over, take off the belt, add some more sandpaper, and go through the process again. If you have pets or kids at home, it can be hard sometimes to keep them away from the sander and especially when they start playing around with the dust collected from the belt.
- Great features at a reasonable price.
- Collects dust and debris very well.
- Good power output.
- Warns you when applying too much pressure.
- Features that automatically keep sander centred.
- Dust collection system needs to be improved.
Makita 9403 Belt Sander
While we started off our review list with a belt sander that was moderately priced and that had a wide appeal, this is not going to be the case with this next review on our list. Those of you looking for a power tool that is very high end will want to give the Makita a try.
The Makita Belt Sander is an expensive, but also extremely high-end tool. It is so well-made that it verges on being too much for more amateur handymen; professional or serious handymen, on the other hand, will no doubt love this tool for the reasons that we will describe below.
Firstly, we have to talk about the power output of this tool. As is almost always the case when it comes to tools, power is the most important thing to look for and Makita clearly recognized that. As you will find our later on in our buying guide, the power output of belt sanders is measured using feet per minute.
This sander achieves a power output of around 1,640 FPM, which is very good for any belt sander meant for home use. It enables the tool to relatively quickly and easily smooth our extremely rough surfaces.
Now, typically powerful belt sanders can be both difficult to control and extremely noisy, but neither of those things apply to this tool. Not only is very easy to control thanks to a large, well-placed grip, but it is also pretty quiet for a tool of this power (most wouldn’t call 84 DBs quiet, but for a powerful belt sander, it certainly is).
While this is overall an extremely good Makita belt sander, we do have to address the elephant in the room with regards to this product, which is definitely its price. In terms of actual performance and quality, we really can’t find any meaningful faults with the product. However, with a price tag of over $250, this is pretty expensive as far as home belt sanders go.
So, the choice ends up being entirely with you as regards to price. If the cost is too high for you to stomach, then there are plenty of other options on the wider market or on our list that offer at least somewhat comparable performance at a much easier to stomach price. If, on the other hand, you are willing to pay the high price, you are going to end up with a very good belt sander that you can rely on.
When it comes to belt Sanders, there are few products that can compete with the Makita 9403 Belt Sander. This sander comes in two different models: the Pro-sander and the Pro-Prayer. They both accomplish their tasks admirably, and are well worth the price. The Makita 9403 Belt Sander is an ideal sander for anyone working on an aluminum body or wood deck.
The Makita 9403 heavy-duty belt sander comes with a strong 11-AMP electrical motor for maximum high-performance use, yet the sander is quietest of its kind in its category. The motor is sealed with the company’s labyrinth design to prevent contamination from entering the bearings and motor housing.
Other convenience features include a long-stroke power cord located above the grip, a handy power dust bag that swivels 180-degrees for easier access and several grip positions. The dust collection bag is easily removed without the need for a cloth, and the entire assembly is extremely compact and lightweight.
The Makita Heavy Duty Belt Sander is a solid, durable product that is built to last a lifetime. It comes with the standard three-year limited warranty and is available in a variety of finishes to match most decor. The overall build of this tool is very sturdy, which makes it a great option for anyone who wants to work on their projects around the home or in the garage.
This excellent sander does not take up much space when in use and is very easy to use thanks to its ergonomic design and powerful motor. With its powerful torque and long-stroke speed, you will have no problem completing even the most difficult sanding jobs.
- Not too noisy.
- Easy to handle, despite its high power.
- Very well-built.
- Great power output of 1,640 FPM.
- Easily one of the most expensive belt sanders you are going to find right now.
WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander
We figure that since the last review on our best belt sander list was of a very expensive option, that we should balance the list out by taking a look at an inexpensive belt sander to help balance it out.
The belt sander that we ultimately decided to include on list was the WEN 6321 Corded Belt Sander. This is not the only WEN sander that you will be seeing on our list, but not all of them are as inexpensive as this one. The main reason why we are looking at this tool in the first place is precisely because it is very inexpensive.
One of your first questions is likely to be “exactly how cheap is this tool.” Given that we are including the WEN on our list of the best sanders in large part because of how affordable it is, it is a good question to ask.
In terms of price, we can’t imagine any other decent belt sander topping this product from WEN. You can get their 6321 sander for as little as $35, which is a steal for a decent product that doesn’t break after one or two uses. While the power output of this sander isn’t quite on par with the higher-end entries, for the low price that we just mentioned, one can’t exactly complain too much, can they?
In fact, this sander does very well overall and manages to include quite a few features that one normally wouldn’t expect on a sander this cheap. It has a detachable dust bag to make removing debris simpler, it has a nice grip, and it has some useful safety features. So, all-in-all, this is definitely quite good given its very low price.
- Cheapest belt sander on our list.
- Detachable dust bag.
- Comfortable handle and comfortable to use.
- Power output doesn’t come close to the higher-end saws.
TACKLIFE PSFS1A Belt Sander
The next sander that we felt deserved a review on our list is the TACKLIFE PSFS1A Belt Sander. This sander is notable because it is very similar to the SKIL that we started off our article with. They are similar in that both are very moderately priced, but still surprisingly high-performance tools.
So, if you want a good tool that you can rely on, but you also don’t want to spend a hundred dollars or two for something like the Makita, then you can for either the SKIL or the TACKLIFE.
Thanks to a high-quality 4 amp motor, the TACKLIFE is more than capable of tackling any sort of sanding job that you need it to. It can achieve a very respectable FPM and it always leaves your wooden finishes, furniture, etc., looking smooth and perfect.
While we do think that the tool could control a lot better, that ends up being a pretty minor complaint in the grand scheme of things and it doesn’t really detract from the overall performance of this tool.
Perhaps even more appealing than the performance of this belt sander is how great its dust collection is. It has an easily detached dust collection box, as well as vacuum adapters that allow you to hook a vacuum up straight to the tool. We all know that cleaning up after you finish a big woodworking project can be a major pain, but with the PSFS1A Belt Sander, it doesn’t have to be
- Makes dust removal easy.
- Powerful 4 amp motor.
- Makes quick work of tough jobs.
- Very easy to keep in top condition.
- Control could be a bit smoother.
WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander
For the final review on our best belt sander list, we are once again going to be reviewing a product from WEN, but this one is certainly a good deal more unique than the last product from them that you saw. While that particular belt sander was included on our list because it was quite cheap and still a decent tool overall, the 6502T is certainly quite a bit different.
As the name of the product gives away, this is a unique tool that essentially combines two different tools into one package, which is pretty common these days. The WEN 6502T is both a belt and a disc sander rolled into one.
While that may make it a bad option for those who just want a pure belt sander, there are many of you reading this who will no doubt appreciate the added convenience and versatility that this hybrid tool brings to the table.
As we stated earlier, this is a unique hybrid tool that combines both a belt sander and a disc sander into one package. We are glad to say that each component performs equally well. The 4.3 amp motor is capable of providing an RPM output of around 3600 for the disc sander and around 1900 FPM for the belt sander.
As you know from our list by now, both of these numbers are pretty impressive for home belt sanders. While you can certainly find more powerful options out there, none are going to be quite as versatile as the WEN will be. It should also be noted that this is also quite inexpensive, given the value that you get.
Something else to consider is the size. While most belt sanders can be picked up and used anywhere, the fact that this is essentially two tools means that it is quite bulky and that it can be difficult to pick this tool up to use it.
- Great value for your money.
- Not too expensive, despite giving you 2 tools for 1.
- Good power output for each tool.
- A very bulky tool.
- Not for people who just a straight belt sander.
Best Belt Sanders – Buying Guide
To accompany our product reviews above, we want to quickly go over what makes a particular belt sander a good option or not. In this buying guide, you will find out exactly what you need to know to differentiate the many best belt sanders on the market from one another.
We know that there are a lot of belt sanders out there and picking the right one can always be a bit tricky because of the sheer number of options, so hopefully this guide helps with that dilemma.
How Powerful Is The Belt Sander
The first thing that you want to note is how powerful the belt sander is. You want a powerful belt sander because that helps to make the whole process of sanding a lot quicker. You can easily and quickly sand down even very thick and tough materials, which is what you want.
The power output of belt sanders is measured in one of two ways. The first option is by using RPMs, which stands for revolutions per minute.
This measurement is typically used for circular sanders, but some companies will use it for belt sanders as well. The second and more common of the two measurements is feet per minute (FPMs). If the FPM or RPM of a sander is higher, then that means that the tool is more powerful. This could be ideal for the best benchtop belt sander
Another helpful measurement is the amperage of the motor. All belt sanders are equipped with motors and motors with more amps tend to deliver more power overall. Also, higher amp motors tend to be more well-made, so they last a lot longer overall.
How Accurate Is It
Sanding down wood is all about making it look as nice as possible. Well, nothing looks worse than improperly sanded down wood.
To help avoid this problem, you need to have a belt sander that does something to help prevent you from being inaccurate. Many high-end belt sanders have features that do things like correct you if the belt begins to become inaccurate or do anything that impacts the final finish of the wood.
Something that goes hand in hand with the accuracy of the tool is how comfortable it is to use. A tool that is very comfortable to use will generally produce more accurate work. Something that will determine how comfortable a tool is to use is whether it has a comfort grip or not.
A grip that fits nicely into your hand and that is suitably large will help to make the tool a lot more comfortable to use and it will also produce more accurate work since you can maintain a better handle on the tool (this is especially important if you have a very powerful tool).
Does The Belt Sander Fit Into Your Budget
The next thing that you want to consider is whether the belt sander fits into your budget. We are happy to say that belt sanders generally come in a pretty wide array of prices. On one side of the spectrum, you have very cheap tools like the WEN 6321 that offer decent performance at a very suitable price.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, you have sanders that offer really high-end performance at much higher prices. Then of course, you have options that are firmly in the middle (such as the SKIL and TACKLIFE sanders). So, no matter where you happen to fall when it comes to personal budget, you can find a belt sander that fits into it.
Main Differences Between Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander
When choosing between Belt Sander Vs Orbital Sanders, it can be difficult to know which one is the best for your needs. This is mainly because both machines work pretty much the same way, though they have some key differences that may make a difference to you.
Before deciding which machine you want to use, it is important to understand the differences so that you can make the right choice for your projects. Both machines are designed to do the same job, which is to sand a surface and remove any burrs or dust from the surface. Here are the main differences between Belt Sander Vs Orbital Sander.
The main differences between Belt Sander Vs Orbital Sander are:
Belt Sander utilizes constant-loop sandpaper, while Orbital Sander utilizes sanding disks that spin in little circular circles. Which one is better for you depends on the size of the surface you need sanded, and whether or not the surface is going to have a lot of wear or tear.
Although both machines are pretty similar in their ability to sand and generally perform the same functions, there are differences in the quality of the sanding that each machine can provide. Belt Sander tends to sand smoother surfaces, while Orbital Sander tends to leave behind smaller particles of dirt, and can be used on very rough and uneven surfaces.
The first difference in the two types of belt Sanders is in the method of feeding the belt between the drum and the sander. In the case of Belt Sander, the sand is placed on a drum that is pushed through the sandpaper as it is pulled across the belt. The belt then picks up dust as it goes along and is released when the drum stops and the dust are collected.
The Orbital uses a very fine belt that allows for very little dust collection, although this is not always the case.
Both types of sander have a unique way of operating that allows them to complete jobs with large amounts of dust produced, and without the need to back out the belt halfway through to clear the dust. The rotating drum allows the user to continuously sand, without having to stop for the dust collection.
This allows a much larger dust area to be finished in a shorter amount of time, while providing a consistent and smooth finish. A larger dust area results in a faster rate of sanding time and allows for a more even finish.
Another difference in the two types of woodworking tools is the speed at which the tools move. For small projects such as furniture, belts can be used to quickly sand the wood, while drums take longer to make the sanding motion. This allows for the user to choose between the two speeds.
Using the slower belt sander for small projects will save time, but will likely produce a less professional looking end product.
There are several different sizes of drum that can be used for woodworking projects.
The roller type is the best choice for most woodworking projects, because it has a smooth interior surface that keeps the dust and sand from getting into the air. It is important to note that the smoother the interior surface of the belt, the finer the detail of the final finish.
Some of the smoother belt Sanders have a series of belt-sized abrasive pads that can be used to polish the flat surfaces after the belt has been driven to its maximum speed.
The size of the motor and the diameter of the wheels will also affect how quickly a wood worker can complete sanding projects. Large wood shop machines can run for hours on end and still never reach the finish desired. For this reason, a smaller handheld sander may be best for some smaller projects.
Orbital Sanders are typically powered by a gasoline engine, so it will need to be stored in a vehicle trunk or mounted on a stand when not in use.
All three types of woodworking tools have their pros and cons. It is important to understand all of these differences, so that the project choice is made correctly. By understanding the differences between the tools, the woodworkers will have a better chance of choosing the right tool for the job at hand.
While there are many differences between the random orbital sander, the differences in the finishing tools will help the woodworkers choose the sander that will best finish the project.
We have included a comments section to go along with our best belt sander review list, so that you can let us know what you thought of our article.