If you need to perform finishing and shaping jobs on your wooden floor, you need proper equipment. One of the best tools you can get is the belt sander.
The truth is that finding the best belt sander can be a difficult task. It depends a lot on what you are planning to use it for. This is a sort of tool that differs from one model to another, not only in the performances, but also the price.
Belt Sander Comparison
|No||Model||Picture||Power (Amp)||Belt Speed (fpm)||Weight (lbs)|
|3||Black & Decker DS321||7||800||8.2|
|7||Astro 3037||(Air Pressure)||16,000||2.1|
|10||Black & Decker BR318||6||700||6.6|
Top 7 Belt Sander Reviews
We’ve decided to present you 7 top rated belt sanders, some of which also fit in the belt sanders under $100 category.
1. Makita 9903
Makita 9903 is a belt sander that’s great in terms of durability, which is backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. When it comes to performances of this power tool, it comes with an 8.8 AMP motor, which is powerful enough to take care of all of your sanding needs if you’re an amateur. Even some professionals can use this belt sander, depending on the amount of work they have.
The motor is powerful, but that doesn’t mean it’s noisy. On the contrary, it makes the noise of 85dB, which is less than the noise food blenders make.
Another great thing about this product is that it has adjustable speed. This means that depending on the type of wood that you’re sanding, you can choose from several speeds, in the range between 690-1,440 feet per minute (fpm).
The belt sander is very easy to handle as it weighs only 9.5 lbs and has a front grip. On top of that, it comes with a 16.4 ft. power cord. The tool also features a dust bin, making sure that the sawdust won’t get spread in the air. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
2. Black & Decker DS321
With 7 Amp motor and 8.2 pounds of weight, this belt sander is ideal for those who want to use it for their hobby. Professionals might not find it useful for sanding a lot of wood, but for fixing certain areas and vertical sanding, this tool seems perfect.
It’s also very easy to handle and has compact dimensions. In fact, it belongs to the small belt sanders category, with the belt dimensions being 3 x 21 inches.
The power tool has an adjustable handle, which you can totally detract if it stops you from reaching certain areas. It also features an innovative front roller, which enables you to get to even the hardest reachable corners.
Being comfy and easy to handle are not the only things that make Black & Decker DS321 probably the best belt sander for amateurs. It is also very quiet and clean. Because it comes with a dust collector, the tool won’t spread sawdust all over the place.
The best thing about Black & Decker DS321 is that it comes with a superb 2-year warranty. This means that you don’t have anything to worry about it getting broken in the first 24 months. But even when the warranty expires, there’s no need to panic as Black & Decker products are known for lasting a really long period. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
3. Makita 9403
This belt sander has a superb electric motor, which is capable of producing 11 Amps. This makes the Makita 9403 great for professionals. In fact, you can do all kinds of heavy duty sanding work with this tool. The only problem is that it has only one speed, which is 1640 fpm.
Another thing that makes the tool not a great choice for amateurs is that it’s fairly heavy, especially compared to similar products. The weight of this belt sander is 13 lbs, while the belt size is 4″ x 24″.
Makita 9403 might be big and heavy, but it’s pretty quiet while working. The maximum noise it makes is 84 dB. On top of that, this belt sander is also very easy to handle due to its ergonomic design.
Speaking of its design, the Makita 9403 belt sander will not have any problems with sawdust, as the inner parts are sealed. That eliminates the possibility of the tool getting jammed. It also comes with a dust bag, so the sawdust will not make you any problems. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
4. Hitachi SB8V2
Manufactured by Hitachi, a company known for high quality standards, this belt sander is one of the most popular on the market. In fact, many consider it to be the best belt sander.
Its motor is very powerful. With 9 Amps, it can provide the tool with enough power to tackle all challenges. But being powerful doesn’t mean it’s heavy. In fact, with 9.5 pounds, the tool is one of the lightest belt sanders you can find.
When it comes to the performances, you can virtually sand any type of wood, because the sander comes with the controller for adjusting the speed. You can choose the speed from the range between 820-1,475 feet per minute.
The design of this tool enables you to easily maneuver it. In fact, it’s hard to find as comfortable belt sander for sale as Hitachi SB8V2. It comes with a dust bag that’s mounded on the left side, which makes the tool great for right-handed people. On top of that, the belt sander doesn’t require the use of a cable.
What makes Hitachi SB8V2 one of the best belt sanders in the world today is the warranty. The unmatched 5-year warranty might be the sole reason for someone to decide to get this product. With such great features and impressive warranty, you would think that this belt sander is expensive. However, the opposite is true. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
5. WEN 6321
This belt sander weighs only 6.8 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the market today. It’s also very small in size, with the belt size being 21 x 3 inches.
However, being small doesn’t mean WEN 6321 is weak. Its 7-Amp motor will help you do the sanding job easily. The maximum speed of this belt sander is 780, which isn’t too much, especially not if you compare it with other belt sanders from our list. However, it should be enough for you to do amateur work.
Obviously, WEN 6321 can’t match the performances of other belt sanders from our list. So, why did we think it is one of the best belt sander tools in the world? It is because it’s incredibly cheap. Considering its price, this belt sander is extremely good.
The motor of WEN 6321 might not be the most powerful in the universe, but the tool is fairly easy to handle. Not only is it very lightweight, the belt sander is also designed so that it’s easy to use it even in hardly reachable corners.
Another good thing about it is that it comes with a dust bag. The final reason why we recommend this belt sander is the impressive 2-year warranty given by WEN. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
6. PORTER-CABLE 352VS
With 8-Amp motor, light weight and compact dimensions, this belt sander is a great choice both for amateurs and professionals. This tool is designed so that can tackle all kinds of sanding and finishing jobs. That is why the one who operates it can choose from speeds between 850-1,300 feet per minute.
The design of this belt sander allows you to use it to sand even hardly reachable corners. You can also use it for vertical sanding.
PORTER-CABLE 352VS also comes with a mounted dust bag, so you can use this tool wherever you want. It also does not make too much noise, so you can do the sanding work whenever you want.
If all of these features are not enough to make you want to buy this belt sander, its 1-year warranty might. If the tool breaks, the manufacturer will give you a new one. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
7. Astro 3037
For the end of our belt sander reviews, we left Astro 3037. The belt sander is extremely lightweight and very small. Its dimensions are 1/2-Inch x 18-Inch, which makes it very easy to handle. It’s easy to carry, even with one hand, as the total weight of it is 2.1 pounds.
Still, the fact that Astro 3037 is small doesn’t mean that it’s not good. The truth is that its motor is weaker than the others from our list, but it should be able for basic sanding work.
Astro 3037 is great for all sorts of work. You can adjust its speed, while changing of the belt is performed in no time. This means that with a proper belt you can use the Astro 3037 sander even for grinding metal.
Another good thing about this product is that it should serve you for a long time, same as other tools made by this Californian company. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
Belt Sander Buyers Guide
What is a Belt Sander?
We can’t give the exact answer to this question as people refer to a wide range of items as belt sanders. Still, a broad definition is that it is an electrical device that operates by continuously moving sanding surface that’s mounted on a belt. This is what separates belt sanders from orbital sanders which use a revolving disc instead.
Another thing that makes a difference between these two types of sanders is that belt sanders are much better for sanding a large surface in a short period of time.
Belt Sander Benefits
If you need to take care of sanding a large surface, a belt sander can be your best ally. Not only will it sand the wood quickly, it will also do an impeccable job. Nothing can match a good belt sander in providing a professional-looking woodwork finish, even when operated by amateurs. Another benefit of belt sanders is that you can find them rather cheaply.
Types of Belt Sanders
Depending on what type of work you’re planning to do with your belt sander, you can choose from two kinds of these devices – stationary and portable.
- Stationary belt sanders – traditionally used by professionals, these sanders are designed to do a lot of work on regular basis. They stay in one place, while your job is to bring chunks of wood to it.
- Portable belt sanders – these sanders are easy to carry and are usually cheaper than stationary types. Still, you can’t expect them to do more work than stationary belt sanders, but if you’re an amateur, a portable sander should be your pick.
What to Look For In a Belt Sander
In order to choose the best belt sander for your needs, you need to examine the product’s characteristics carefully. Here are 10 things that you need to pay special attention to.
Most belt sanders are powered by electricity, so in order to do a good sanding job, the tool needs to have a strong motor. The most basic models of portable belt sanders usually have about 6 amperes.
Such power should be more than enough for you if you’re a hobbyist. It will allow you to sand all kinds of wood, although for some types it will take a while. That probably won’t bother you, especially if you’re not sanding wood too often.
However, if you need a belt sander for your professional work, it needs to have at least twice the amperage. A more powerful belt sander will shorten the time needed for wood sanding, allowing you to do more work.
Weight is what matters a lot when you are looking to buy a mobile belt sander. You should especially pay attention to the weight of the belt sander if you plan to use it vertically. Most portable belt sanders weigh about 15 lbs, which should be alright to carry, but if you can, try not to get one that’s heavier than this.
You will probably be able to find a belt sander with great performances, which doesn’t weigh too much. In fact, there are some portable belt sanders on the market that weight even less than 9 lbs.
Of course, there are gazillions of different belt sanders out there, but most of them can fit into two groups in relation to their size. The first one is 4 x 24 inches and it’s usually used by professionals for heavy-duty wood sanding. The downside of the large belt sander is that it’s usually heavy and not too easy to handle.
The other size is 3 x 21 inches, which is usually light enough to be carried by amateurs doing light sanding. In fact, the compact size of the 3 x 21 inches big belt sander allows you to use it to sand wood pieces that are aligned vertically, like it’s the case with wall paneling.
4. Belt Size
The rule about belt sanders is that the bigger the belt, the faster the sanding job will be. However, this also means that the tool will weigh more. So, the question now is whether you should get belt sander with a large or a small belt. Well, that depends on what you plan to use it for.
If you need a fast and thorough belt sander to use it for professional work, you should buy one with a large belt. If you need to use it for amateur work around your house, perhaps the better choice is the belt sander with a small belt.
5. Adjustable Speed Control
In the past, belt sanders had only one speed, but the models you can find today on the market come with several. Usually, belt sanders allow you to choose from speeds in the range between 500 and 1500 fpm.
So, why does this matter to you? Well, different speeds are good for doing different jobs. So, if you’re planning to use your belt sander for more than one type of wood, you should think about getting an adjustable speed belt sander.
You should know that sanding pile is not the same as sanding hardwood, but if you’re not a professional carpenter, you might not even know the difference. There’s also a trick on how to make a single-speed belt sander do a good work on all surfaces.
Instead of changing speed, you should change the belt. A belt with a finer grit on one-speed sander can do the same job as a stock belt on an adjustable-speed tool. Of course, it would be better to get a belt sander with variable speed, but only if it fits in your budget. Usually, the multiple-speed belt sanders are much more expensive than those with one or two speeds.
6. Comfort and Handle
Many people who are looking to buy a power tool fail to understand the importance of its comfort. The way the tool is designed in terms of comfort and handling should be one of the most decisive factors for you.
This is true for both professional carpenters and hobbyists. No matter how much experience you have, you certainly want to buy a belt sander that’s difficult and/or unpleasant to operate.
The problem about comfort and handling of a belt sander is in the fact that it’s different for every person. If the handles on a sander are too close, those people with big hands will find it difficult to operate it. On the other hand, if the handles are too far away from one another, it will be hard to control the tool, not to mention carrying it.
The distance between the front and the rear handle is the most important thing to check before getting the best belt sander. However, that’s far from being the only factor. You should also check if the alignment of the buttons suits you well. You don’t want to accidentally press some buttons on the tool while it’s working.
7. Belt Replacement
We’ve already touched on this subject earlier, but it is important to note that belt changing is an important part of sanding process. If you have a single speed belt sander or one with two speeds (high and low), sometimes you’ll need to change the belt in order to perform a finer work.
Even if your tool comes with the option for selecting the speed you want, in some cases that’s not enough. That is why it is extremely important that the belt can be replaced easily.
You would think that all belt sanders on the market today are not difficult to adjust, but with some you might have serious problems in changing the belt. That is why you need to pay attention to whether the belt is easy to change or not.
Some of these tools feature automatic tracking, while makes the belt changing job easy. Some come with a knob for that purpose, while some require special tools.
8. Dust Bag
Another thing that most people don’t pay too much attention to when buying a belt sander is the dust collector. It might seem irrelevant if the tool comes with or without a dust bag.
But, if you’re going to use the sander often, you’re going to need a dust bag. It is important to look for a belt sander that comes with installed dust bin as it’s practically impossible to stop the dust from spreading all over the place on your own.
In most cases, the belt sanders come with some canisters for collecting dust, but just having one is not enough. You need to pay attention to whether it’s big enough. If the canister is small, you will have to stop your sanding work often in order to empty the bag. However, it’s not good if it’s too big, as well. Too large dust bags might get in the way and affect the handling.
Apart from having a dust collector, you also need to see how the belt sander deals with sawdust that might get inside of it. Certain models have the closed design which prevents sawdust and other debris from getting inside the tool and possibly jamming it.
If you’re wondering how to know if a belt sander has this type of design, you should check the main specs as manufacturers are likely to point that out.
For some people, especially amateur carpenters, the price of a belt sander is the most important factor. We realize that you don’t want to get bankrupt from buying an expensive tool, but remember, high price usually follows a high quality. Famous proverb says that you’re not rich enough to buy cheap things ant that just might be truth when it comes to belt sanders.
Still, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find an affordable belt sander of high quality. The key is in knowing where to look for it. Luckily for you, we live in the internet era where the world has become a global village. These days you can find high quality tools that fit all of the criteria mentioned in this article, including an affordable price.
As we’ve pointed out in the previous entry, the price is a good sign of the quality of a product. Still, in order to make sure your belt sander is going to serve you well for a long time, you need to check its warranty. Warranty given by the manufacturer is what might be the final factor to take into consideration when looking for a new belt sander.
If the model you’re interested in doesn’t come with a warranty, we strongly advise you to forget about it. Regardless of how impressive the performances of such belt sander might seem, if it doesn’t have a warranty, you shouldn’t buy it.
In our opinion it is too risky to buy a belt sander without a warranty, especially knowing that there are hundreds if not thousands of similar models that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Now you’re probably wandering what’s our advice on the warranty period. The longer, the better is the rule here. Usually, most manufacturers give the warranty of one year, which seems pretty decent. Some give 6 months, which is also not bad. However, certain manufacturers like Genesis or Rockwell even give 2 years warranty!
Obviously, finding the right belt sander is not an easy job. If you want to pick the very best one for your needs, you need to approach the issue carefully and do your research thoroughly. Hopefully, this article will make that job easier for you. In order to find the best belt sander, simply follow our buying guide.