Best Belt Sander in 2020 (Top 7 Picks & Reviews)

best belt sander

Imagine you've promised your hand-made treehouse to your kids for his/her next birthday. But when it was done, you saw nothing but a weird looking pile of wood sticking to each other. Especially, the finishing was nothing but a mess.

Now, re-imagine the same scenario holding the best belt sander in your hand. We know what you're seeing in your mind right now is a perfectly finished project with a huge upgrade on the look. Want the same for all your upcoming projects?

Well, you're not too late yet. Just grab the finest belt sander, and you won't have to think twice about the perfect finishing. But picking it is like searching for a needle in dry grass, isn't it?

Don't worry. We're here with the magnifying glass to find that for you. Just keep scrolling, and you'll get to see why we've said that.

7 Best Belt Sander Reviews

You're looking for a belt sander, and there're hundreds of them in the market. So, will you just go and check all of them? The good news is we've done that part for you and come up with the top 7 of them. Now what you need to do is just pick your one up.

1. Makita 9403

Do you know the easiest way to piss your neighbor off or letting yourself have some hearing problem? Getting a belt sander that hits ears with a wave of sound like a hard slap. But you can avoid having that trouble around by picking the 9403 Belt Sander from Makita.

This low-noise belt sander is not only good for your ears with its 84 dB sound level but also can pull off any job you have in mind – thanks to its 11 Amps motor with the capability to pour all the power you need in your woodwork projects.

Plus, the 4" X 24" belt makes sure that you have the scope to sand a bigger area with ease just in minutes. And if you're thinking changing that belt will be a hard nut to crack, then you can be pretty much sure that it'll be among the easiest one you've seen so far.

1640 ft/min at no-load speed setting – doesn't it look like an impressive number to you? That's because this is what you're going to get from 9403. So, if anything that you won't have to worry here about is its ability to remove material faster.

Another thing you can cut off from your list is the chances of contamination. Thanks to its Labyrinth construction that maximizes the protection of motor and bearing from that. Besides, the lightweight design with its comfortable front grip adds some extra points to the handling.

Pros

  • The motor is powerful enough
  • Keeps the noise at a lower level
  • Comes in a lightweight design
  • Delivers a huge speed
  • Low on the chance of contamination

Cons

  • Variable speed option is unavailable

2. WEN 6502T

What is the size of the wood piece that you're holding in your hand? Is it small or big? It doesn't matter at all if you have something like the 6502T from WEN right there on your desk.

This two-in-one sanding machine comes with a 4" X 36" 80-grit belt and a 6" X 6" 80-grit sanding disc. Now, it's on you what you'd like to get started with because this bad boy can handle almost all kinds of tasks you have in mind.

Don't forget to use that Tension release lever if you need some changes in the sandpaper grits.

By the way, its disc sander comes with a 45° beveling worktable to have some extra drop of preciseness. And don't worry about the power; let its 4.3 Amp motor handle that. After all, with the maximum RPM of 3600, we don't think you're going to run short on power, at least.

It's not important that you'll always have to stick to the same position while sanding. In case you need some changes there, the belt is ready to go from 0° to 90° degrees or horizontal to vertical anytime you want. Looks like that tilting mechanism is going to be more useful than you thought.

But what has team WEN done to deal with the vibration? Well, look at its cast-iron base holding all the sturdiness in the world. Do you still think that you'll have to think about stability anymore?

And feel free to use that 2.5-inch dust port to attach a dust collector if you don't want to mess up your workshop with debris and dust.

Pros

  • Powerful motor delivers high RPM
  • Comes with 45° beveling worktable
  • Includes dust port for dust collector
  • Belt can be adjusted from 0°-90°
  • Cast-iron base ensures stability

Cons

  • Dust collector can be improved

3. Metabo HPT SB8V2

If you've never got the chance to hold a powerhouse in your hand, then we think you can fill that gap with the SB8V2 belt sander from Metabo HPT. We're not saying that out of the blue. After seeing its 9.0 Amp motor, we bet you're going to agree with us on that.

Putting such a powerful motor within wasn't a bad move at all, and its ability to nail the toughest jobs has proved that. And the variable speed will make sure you're getting total flexibility there where you can go for anything between 820 to 1,475 ft/min.

If perfect handling is what you're craving for, then let its elastomer grip surface handles with ultra-softness get that to you. On top of that, the machine's ball-bearing mechanism takes the vibration down as well.

But what you'll love the most is the quality of the belt of SB8V2. Like the best 3 x 21 belt sander, its wear-resistance has literally changed the game by doubling its service life. As a cherry on the top, its flush surface design not only has made the sanding faster but also perfectly even.

Wait a minute! Are you planning to call it heavy? Don't even think about it with its 9.5 lbs weight, which is, by the way, the main reason why you'll have better maneuverability there.

And if you think you need to have a peek on the sanding surface or the sanding belt, the tracking window will get you the desired visibility.

Pros

  • Powerful motor delivers variable speed
  • Ball-bearing mechanism lowers the vibration
  • Flush surface design helps with the quick sanding
  • Lightweight enough to have better maneuverability
  • The belt is resistant to wear

Cons

  • Belt tracking could've been better

4. Makita 9903

Remember the Makita belt sander you've seen earlier in this list with no variable speed? Well, team Makita is back to fill that gap up by their 9903 belt sander with the variable speed.

As we've started with the variable speed, let's see what 9903 got in that segment. The one to blame for its 690–1,440 ft./min variable speed is the 8.8 AMP powerful motor. And when you are sanding the hell out of the wood pieces, a durable dust bag will be there to catch all the debris and dust in no time.

Unlike some regular belt sanders, this bad boy does its work so quietly that your ear won't ever feel hurt. If you want to know that number there, then it's 85 dB. But what literally has made the operation super convenient of this handy sanding tech is not its 9.5 lbs weight but the comfortable front grip.

We don't know if you've had your share of hassling experience on adjusting the belt, but that's not going to happen this time. Thanks to its auto-tracking belt system that comes with the ability to track the belt without adjustment. Plus, its 16.4 ft. long power cord makes sure you're not being pulled back while working.

Pros

  • 8.8 Amps motor ensures variable speed
  • The dust bag helps in ensuring cleanliness
  • Keeps the operation quiet
  • Comes with the auto-tracking belt system
  • Power cord is long enough

Cons

  • Belt tracking could've been better

5. Ryobi BE319

Are you eagerly waiting for a decent sanding tech that you won't have to break the bank for? Guess what? Your wish is just about to come true with the BE319 belt sander from Ryobi.

While finishing a project, the first thing that makes us bang our head is the difficulty level. But team Ryobi has raised the bar of ease there with its 6.0 amp motor. Now, it doesn't matter what kind of project you're up against, this mini beast won't take a step back.

And what to say about the speed? When it can take the no-load speed at 820 FPM, then imagine if there's any chance of the harshest surface to withstand it. But that's not the most impressive part of the BE319. It's the low-profile design that allows to sand even the tightest areas on the wood.

On top of that, to let you have your complete focus on the job, it comes with the lock-on feature on its On/Off trigger switch. Now, not only it’ll be able to keep your concentration uninterrupted but will make the convenience level reach another height too.

Thanks to its rubberized grip on all the handles that won't allow you to lose control even a bit. And to sand a wider area in just minutes, it has an efficient 3" x 18" belt. By the way, when you need to change the belt, its tool-less changing system will ease that up for you.

Pros

  • Comes with 6.0-amp motor
  • Equipped with lock-on feature on On/Off trigger switch
  • Can reach tight spaces
  • Boasts a tool-less belt changing system
  • Rubberized grip ensures better control

Cons

  • The power cord is a bit short

6. TACKLIFE PSFS1A

Want to see compactness and perfection in the same structure? Then have a glance at the PSFS1A belt sander from TACKLIFE. You'll understand it all by yourself why we said it that way.

The biggest plus point of this amazing 2-in-1 belt sander is you can turn it into a bench sander anytime you want. All you need to do is making the two clamps useful with metal screws, which you'll get with the package. And don't worry about the hands-free operation as the lock-on button will help you out with that.

But what has team TACKLIFE done with the belt is something really appreciating. They haven't just given 1 or 2, but 13 pieces of sanding belts for you – 6 of them are 120 grits, and 7 are 80 grits. These aluminum-oxide sanding belts will not only get you awesome performance but will also save some bucks.

Now the question is, how much of the attention the makers have given to its convenience. Well, once you check the metal clamping lever that has made the belt change easy and quicker, you'll get the answer to that question.

And what about the power and speed? Let its variable speed knob with the 6-speed option and 5-Amp motor handle that part. Now you can jump from 0 to 560 RPM just with the touch of your fingertips.

Plus, when you'll be perfecting your tasks with the PSFS1A, its removable dust collecting box will leave no scope for you to have a dirty floor.

Pros

  • Comes with 2-in-1 mode
  • The package contains 13 belts
  • Removable dust box collects debris efficiently
  • Belt removing mechanism is easy and quick
  • Offers variable speed

Cons

  • High capacity of dust box would've been better

7. CRAFTSMAN CMEW213

It's time for a powerful ending of our review segment. We're calling it powerful because what's wrapping it up is none other than the CMEW213 from CRAFTSMAN. This 7-amp motor belt sander is something that you can simply call a perfect finisher.

As we've started with the motor, let's take a peek at what amount of speed it can generate. If you're short on time and need to finish the job ASAP, then its 800 max RPM will ensure that before you hit the last minute.

And once you bring this one in, you can count the days of bathing your floor with dust over. Thanks to its onboard dust bag that has made it possible. But the good sides just don't end there. Its 3-position handle is what opens the door to maximum comfort on the handling part. We bet you'll love that too.

Its tool-free belt release is so efficient and quick that you won't even have to waste too much time to put a new belt in. Now, it's on you what kind of belt you're putting in; just make sure it comes in a size of 3 X 21 inches.  And when you are done using it, the storing is so easy that even your kid can do that.

Pros

  • Huge RPM gets the job done fast
  • The bag is a perfect dust-catcher
  • Handle position is flexible
  • Changing the belt is easy and quick
  • Highly convenient to store

Cons

  • The dust bag capacity isn't too high

What to Look for Before Buying a Belt Sander?

Choose well, get well – that's what happens in every purchase decision, and even the belt sanders aren't beyond that term. In the case of belt sanders, focusing on certain aspects can ease it all up for you like a pie. Just look down, and you'll know what they are.

Capacity Motor

If there's anything that you should keep on the top of the list while looking for a belt sander, then it's the motor capacity or power. The higher its number will be, the better it will be. Usually, motors with 5-9 Amp is perfect for sanding. So, try to pick one within that number.

Belt Size

Not all the sanders come with the same belt size, and you know that too, right? But the problem with smaller belts is that these cover less area, which ultimately increases the overall project time. So, it's better to pick something with bigger belts. Make sure it's at least 3" X 18" so that you can have a wider coverage.

Speed

Wood or steel, none of them are so soft that you can sand them with a poor speed. You need some monstrous numbers there. So, check out if the one you're looking at can generate a sufficient amount of speed to get the job done. Otherwise,  what you'll be seeing is a sander that can't sand.

Dust Collection Mechanism

Isn't it one of the most painful parts of sanding when you see a ton of dust and debris all over the place? If you really want to avoid that view, then check out the efficiency of the dust collection mechanism of the belt sander before you swipe your card.

Another reason for choosing a sander with better dust collection ability is ensuring better durability of the machine. If it's not good enough, then you've got a good chance of ending up with a clogged sander in no time. Plus, the dust can cause some health issues too.

Vibrations

If it's a tool like belt sanders, then you can assume with closed eyes that there'll be some serious vibrations too. But the vibration can be really distracting and can also make the job harder than it already is. So, it's essential to pick a belt sander with good ergonomics that can handle the vibration and make it smoother.

Handling and Maintenance 

Calling a belt sander the best belt sander will be nothing but a joke if it comes with poor handling. It must have comfortable handles and perfect weight so that you can have the perfect balance during its operation.

Another thing you need to ensure is it's easy to maintain or not. That's because if it's a tough nut to crack, then it's going to bring up a ton of hassle too. And if you want some tips on keeping your machine in top condition, then check these maintenance tips out.

Design

Design isn't always about the outlook, especially when you're planning to buy a belt sander. Along with having an ergonomic design, it has to be able to reach anywhere on the surface that you'll be sanding.

Ease of Use

Anyone with the slightest idea about power tools should be able to use a belt sander. But that isn't the only thing we meant by the 'ease of use.' You'll have to change the sandpaper sooner or later, and the same goes for any filter as well.

If it makes you feel like changing the wires of a running airplane, then it's better to get something more convenient. But if you really want to know top to bottom of the 'usage' part, then simply check this video out.

Variable Speed

There's no way to deny that having variable speed can ease up the project better than anything else. But that's totally dependent on your preference. If you think you'll be using it for the same kind of projects where one certain speed will be okay, then you don't need to go for the variable one.

But if you're planning to lay hands on every type of project, then you must put the variable speed on the list. Plus, variable speed helps to control the intensity of the action more accurately too.

Benefits of Having a Belt Sander

Benefits are what give birth to reasons for buying certain items. Pick anything between pin to plane; you're going to see this same theory everywhere. Then why not for belt sanders? Let's check out what a belt sander can add to your book of advantage.

Minimizing the Hazards

If you've ever given sanding a shot with your hands, then we bet you've already got the taste of difficulty that comes with it. But when you've got something like the belt sander in your hand, the next thing you'll see is a done project with maximum perfection. Moreover, you won't even have to invest any labor there.

Time Saver

When you're picking up belt sander, you can bet on it saving you a ton of time. It's a combination of speed and power. As when you are up against those solid wood or metal pieces, you're going to need both of them. So, the easiest way to get them for sanding jobs is by getting a belt sander.

Strong Performance

If the surface is tough, you need something tougher to deal with it, and that's what belt sanders do. On the basis of the grits, you can handle almost any kind of wood and give it a surface full of pure smoothness. Even when you want a new blade or knife, these bad boys can help you out with that too.

Effortless to Use

It's not any rocket science that you'll have to break a sweat to use it. Like any other power tool, the steps are easy and simple for belt sanders, too – just assemble, power up, and apply. So, if you've got the minimum idea or experience of using a power tool, it'll be like nothing but a walk in the park for you.

Easy to Store

As you've already seen all of the belt sanders in our list, you probably have noticed that they all come in a compact size. So, unlike all those humongous tools, you won't have to worry about storing this one. Just put it in your cupboard or shelf once you're done using it.

Tips for Using a Belt Sander

It's always not your machine that controls the outcome of the work but you who's in charge. So, if you know how to pull a job off or the tips for so, then there's a high chance of walking away with a perfect result. Want to know some tips that can make the operation effortless? Then here they are –

  1. Always pick the best belt sander for the money. Choosing something just with the name of a belt sander is going to get you nowhere good enough. If the machine is efficient, you've got a good chance of getting a better performance there.
  2. Try to use good and efficient sandpapers. Choose sandpapers depending on the surface.
  3. Ensure the smoothness of the platen transition of your belt sander. Remember, smooth, not sharp. That's because the sharpness might spoil your work to a certain extent by causing a pivot.
  4. Don't sand back and forth only as that can ruin the surface. Try to go diagonally so that you can have an even finishing everywhere.
  5. Always sand the flat parts first. Then go for the uneven one.
  6. Don't let the sander stay in one place. This way, it'll do the digging that you don't want.
  7. Use safety gear every time. We're not talking about the glasses only but the earbuds too. As it generates a higher noise level, it can cause you health issues in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a belt sander for hardwood floors?

Yes, you can use a belt sander for hard floors. If you can do it right all by yourself, then there's a high chance of you being able to save some hard cash there. But make sure that you're following the right instruction properly to pull this job off.

Can I rent a belt sander?

A belt sander is nothing that you'll have to use every now and then until you're a professional woodworker. So, if you need it for a certain project, you can have it on rent. Just make sure you don't break anything there.

What is the ideal belt sander for knife making?

If you need a sander for your knife, then you can pick the 6502T from WEN. The first reason that has made it perfect for knives is its huge RPM, which is excellent for getting your blade the right edge. And the second reason is its adjustable belt that you can put to horizontal to vertical mode anytime.

Can I use a belt sander on a deck?

Yes, you can, and they're perfect for deck. We would've suggested floor sander, but they're basically for indoor floors. But when planning to work on something rough like a deck, it's better to use a belt sander as they can handle that easily.

Final Words

Who doesn't love to get appreciated for their work? We bet you do too. So, if woodworking is what you're passionate about, then why don't you snatch that round of applause by giving it your best shot with the best belt sander?

Okay! Let us help a bit more to get your one. If you're a fan of quietness and still want a huge push of power, then getting a 9403 or 9903 from Makita can help you out there. But when you need more versatility, like a change of angle, then grabbing the 6502T from WEN will be the perfect catch.

Having variability on the speed has always been a plus point of a belt sander. But when you need it to be wider, you can rely on the Metabo HPT SB8V2 with closed eyes.

Not everyone loves carrying a dust bag all the way. If you consider it as a hassle too, then maybe you're looking for the TACKLIFE PSFS1A with an attached dust box. And if you want nothing but something simple but powerfully efficient, then nothing can satisfy you like the Ryobi BE319 and CRAFTSMAN CMEW213.

About the Author Daniel Patrick

Hi. This is Daniel. I have nearly 5 years of experience in writer and technician specialized. Having been a project manager at an engineering firm. Currently working as the Writer and Chief Editor at ToolsLord.

Leave a Comment: