Our Best Belt Sander Reviews for 2020
Belt sanders are best for the roughest of rough surfaces. They’re also good for rounding and shaping wood and similar materials. Belt sanders are good for when you need to remove a lot of wood in a short period of time.
They outperform random orbit sanders, sheet sanders, and palm sanders in terms of the amount of wood they remove, so when you need a high wood removal volume option, it’s best to consider a large capacity belt sander.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at what you should be looking at in belt sanders, what features they should come with, and also three products that did exceptionally well in our tests. We found the best products, and we invite you to compare our picks to what you find by yourself. These are truly the best belt sanders currently available.
Belt Sanders Buying Guide
Now let’s get to the belt sander product features that you should be looking for. The best belt sanders will have some or all of these features, so be on the lookout for the following:
1. Variable Speeds
A great belt sander will be able to be used at variable speed settings. This is so you can accomplish a wider variety of projects without having to switch tools. The Surface Feet Per Minute on a belt sander usually varies between 500 and 1500 SFPM. The variable speed feature will ensure that you don’t gouge your wood and that your projects turn out just the way they’re supposed to.
2. All Metal Housing
If you want your belt sander to last for a long time, then consider one that has a full steel housing. Sander drops at the worksite can happen frequently, and if your belt sander is made of plastic or other cheap material, you might just find yourself with a broken belt sander. All steel housing prevents breakage and extends the life of the belt sander a lot.
3. Dust Collection Bag And Vacuum Compatibility
A dust collection bag keeps fine dust particles out of your lungs and collected so you can continue working. Some even swivel so you can stay in complete comfort when you’re sanding. Dust bags might not be able to collect all the dust you make, and that’s why vacuum compatibility is a great option.
Simply hook your Shop-Vac or other similar item up to the belt sander vacuum adapter, and you’re ready to go. Most professionals prefer having vacuum compatibility over stand alone units.
4. Easy Belt Changes
Switching out the sanding belt on a belt sander should be quick and easy. You’ll find that the more you work with your belt sander, the more frequently you’ll have to change the belt. After awhile, changing belts will become second nature to you
5. Low Decibel Operation
Being able to work with your belt sander without it causing ear damage is important too. Consider the health of your ears when you’re shopping for a belt sander. As far as decibels go, they should operate at around 85 or so. This is a comfortable sound level and one that most people can work with all day long.
6. Warranty and Manufacturers
Getting a good warranty with your purchase will allow you to return any factory defect for a refund. The manufacturer of your item goes hand in hand with this, and if you buy from a good company like DeWalt, JET, Makita, Porter-Cable, Skil, or Ryobi, you’ll find that your product is going to last long past the warranty point so you won’t need to use it.
Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander Review
Let’s take a closer look at the Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag. It features 8.8 amps of power and electronic speed control to maintain speed even under heavy loads. Also, with a variable speed dial, you’ll have the power to change to whatever speed best suits your projects, from 690 – 1,440 Surface Feet Per Minute.
It has a low profile design that provides good balance, and it even features an auto belt tracking system. And, if noise has always been an issue for you, don’t worry! This belt sander operates at a surprisingly low 84 Db, which most people will find really easy to work with.
The 16.4 foot power cord allows you the freedom to move around well in a shop setting, and you get the best bang for your buck with the included one year warranty.
We really love Makita. That leads us to believe that this is really is a top quality product, and one that’s worth considering as a professional.
- 8.8 Amp Motor
- 3″ X 21″ Sanding Belt
- Auto-Tracking Belt System
- 84 Db Noise Volume
- 9.5 Lbs Total Weight
- 1 Year Warranty
- Other belt sanders can’t stack up to the 5 out of 5 Amazon review score on this product
- Accomplishes sanding large areas much faster than a random orbital sander
- Sands at a high rate of speed (1,400 SFPM)
- Handle provides a lot of grab
- Dust collection bag can be swiveled out of your way
- 9.5 lbs total weight allows you to work with the tool without having to push down so hard
- This belt sander is nearly impossible to beat as far as cost and quality is concerned
- The included 80 grit sanding belt will get you off and running right out of the box
- No vacuum adapter
- Dust collection bag can be difficult to work with – Gets in the way sometimes
Porter-Cable 352VS 8 Amp Variable-Speed Cloth Dust Bag Belt Sander Review
If you’re looking for a quality belt sander with all metal housing, look no further than the Porter-Cable 352VS Belt Sander. This belt sander comes with variable speeds to help you match the perfect speed to your project. The dust nozzle swivels 360 degrees and you can even hook it up to a Shop-Vac to get rid of dust.
You’ll find that the serpentine drive belt doesn’t make as much noise as cog modeled belt sanders, and it even comes with an advanced gear system to reduce noise and help you improve the quality of your work.
The 8 amps of power is designed to sand down wood at a quick rate of speed and the 3″ X 21″ sanding belt is the same size professionals use to do their best work. You can feel comfortable that this is a well made product that’s worth a second look.
- 8 Amp Motor
- Variable Speed Settings
- 3″ X 21″ Sanding Belt
- 360 Degree Dust Bag Swivel
- Vacuum Compatibility
- Advanced Gear System With Serpentine Belt
- Flush sanding up to vertical surfaces
- Changing belts and using the adjustment control is a breeze
- Ergonomically designed handles provide comfort
- Belt tracking with this belt sander is awesome
- Very little vibration makes this a comfortable sander to use for hours at a time
- Able to be used with a vacuum for efficient dust collection
- People say that Porter-Cable really hit a home run with how well built this tool is
- Both powerful and well balanced
- Allows you to sand along corners and edges with ease
- Dust bag only captures a small portion of the dust you create
- Some people think this belt sander is overly noisy
Metabo HPT Belt Sander Review
If you want an affordable belt sander that can tackle pretty much any job, then check out the Metabo HPT Belt Sander, which by the way is the new name for Hitachi tool products!
The 9 Amp motor can get through nearly anything, and with preset stops at 45 and 90 degree angles, you’ll find you’re able to accomplish more than you might initially think.
This sander can operate horizontally or vertically, whichever you choose! It can easily be mounted to a benchtop or simply set down to be held down by its own weight.
- 7 1/2″ X 12″ Cast Iron Disc Sanding Table
- 45 and 90 Degree Stops
- Rubber Coated Drive Drum
- 4″ Vacuum Compatible Port
- 1 Year Warranty
- Switching out the belt on this sander is easy
- Feels very stable when placed on a flat surface
- A professional wood worker can find thousands of applications for this sander in a workshop type setting
- Jet sends replacement parts and honors their product warranties
- This sander will meet and exceed the average expectation
- Its adequate power and heavy duty construction will surprise you
- Makes a great replacement for aging and subpar performing belt/disc sanders
- Seems well built and able to withstand lots of use and abuse
- Worked great to shape the edges and smooth the flat surface of a 30 lb block of cedar with no problems
- On/Off switch positioning makes it cumbersome to turn on and off
- Guards are made of plastic
- And these are our top 3 choices for the best belt sander available today. These all are perfect for your home work shop, or even on a job site.