- Gadget Review
- Belt Sander Portable Polishing Machine
Belt Sander Portable Polishing Machine
While doing any sanding work, it is essential to find the best belt sander. These have an excellent use for preparing wood surfaces for painting or varnishing. People use them on different types of surfaces for striping back or smoothing over any unwanted layers. Those who sand wood manually need too much time. Moreover, manually wood sanding is laborious too. This tool can save time.
It is essential to get a good quality finish on the project. For instance, when you are going to paint or varnish, the prep work of the materials is crucial. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how well you have done the next stage; you will don’t get desiring result. Power is the essential quality of this type of tool except which you must disappoint at that very moment. It is because without the power you can’t give an excellent finish to your work.
Multiple belt Sanders are available in the market. We have shortlisted the best Belt sander models to help you in this case and match your requirements.
We have done significant research on these power tools, and then we have suggested the best five models to you.
What is Belt Sander?
Belt Sander is a power tool. And, it is used to deliver good results in shaping & finishing wood and other materials. The tool comes with an electric motor and sandpaper. The motor turns a pair of drums on which a continuous loop of sandpaper is mounted.
You can move the machine over the material, or you can make it fixed. Users sometimes keep the stationary ones fixed on a workbench, due to which these are known as bench sanders. You may find these combined with disk sanders also.
Whether the work is to refinish wooden furniture or sand down drywall seams, these Belt sanders can quickly make your job done. The type of machine you are going to rely on is the kind of material you will work with. The device is an ideal solution for those who use it for sanding frequently and for larger projects. The tool needs a steady hand, but you don’t need to worry because you can cut any surface deeply by applying more pressure on the side.
Types of Belt Sanders
These are available in the market as portable and as benchtop models. The first one is a hand-held model. On the contrary, you must bring the necessary workpieces to its sanding surface while using a fixed benchtop machine. However, before choosing the model, users need to decide the type of job they are going to do using the gadget. Whether you feel each of these essential, then buy sanding stands and fences. These can convert the portable models into stationary models.
These are helpful to remove non-ferrous metals like aluminum. Usually, these metals clog grinding wheels, and thus these make them useless for grinding soft metals. The minor grooves in the sandpaper are opened up & going around the arc of the drive wheel and reduce the risk of clogging.
Whether you have an ideal area to fix the machine, then mount it on a tabletop. If there is no space, buy the stands to set the device in place. You can remove the tools easily also.
It is the top horizontal surface of this machine we use. Sometimes, the workpiece has a smaller size compared to the top of the belt. In this case, you have to set a fence over a drum and fix the workpiece in a stationary position. Now, let the belt spin beneath the workpiece.
When you will smoothen the end grain, reposition the machine to make the position of the working surface vertical. Generally, people use belts four inches wide by three feet long, which is the most common size. If you use more extensive tools, then use six-inch by forty-eight-inch belts or more extensive than that.
These machines consist of similar accessories – a belt, two drums, a motor, and a switch. People can carry this type of tool to any place where its extension cord can reach. We use this type of tool on the surface for sanding.
It is ideal for the cabinetmaker’s shop as it helps erase glue lines and make joints flush on facers. It indicates especially the front-facing vertical and horizontal elements which are used to frame doors and drawers. Then, you can complete the final smoothing using a finish sander. As this is a two-handed tool, you have to place your workpiece securely. While you turn on the tool, you must not keep the belt in contact with the work.
As soon as it has reached full speed, you need to take it gently onto the workpiece. Then, you have to first touch down with the rear of the belt. If you cannot erase material from the surface, the tool’s weight will do its job by applying all the force required.
The size of the tool varies like a full 1.2 by 2.5 m. Besides, a few machines come in large sizes as 1.2 by 0.7 meters. When you sand wood, it creates a large amount of sawdust. It is the reason why woodworking comes with some type of dust collection system. The dust system can look like a cloth filter bag or an extensive vacuum system. A filter bag is used in a portable sander, whereas a comprehensive vacuum system absorbs dust particles away into a central collector.
Use the Taut-belt sanders to adjust the angle of the idler drum to keep its position centered. You can use the Slack-belt sanding while producing guitars as well as other medium-sized wooden objects.
Power: Always select the model with more amps because you will get more power when there are more amps. In most cases, these tools come with electric motors having an amperage of 4 to 10 amps.
It is the critical aspect that makes one tool different from others. For example, you can see a 9-amp motor delivering better performance than a 2.5-amp motor. When using the machine on hard surfaces, always choose a high-powered tool for efficiently driving the belt.
These tools are available in various sizes of belts. It depends on the surface area you will cover while using the machine. The standard size of the belt is 3-inch wide (3 x 18-inch or 3 x 21-inch), but if you require, you can use other sizes.
The smallest size of the belt is 3 x 18-inch, and it is the lightest one also. This small tool enables you to use it with one hand. While you will use a belt with a bigger size, such as 4 x 24-inch, you require some arm strength for safely operating. With the help of the larger Sanders, you can sand wide planks of wood which is a significant benefit.
Always choose such a model that can offer you variable speed settings because of which you can use them for various tasks. A few machines are available with one speed, whereas others have variable speeds. You can use
Single-speed models with limited usage, whereas the variable speed, enables you to manage the speed.
Generally, these tools come with a speed range of 500 to 1,500 feet per minute. A few tools come with two speed settings (high and low), whereas other models come with a button to select different speeds. The larger the surface area on which you will work, the more oversized belt you will need.
The machine usually contains a built-in dust bag used to collect most of the coarser dust. Although we use this, a lot of fine dust still goes into the air. If you are not performing excessive belt sanding, you can get a hose to connect the sander to the shop vacuum.
The hose allows you to use it as this one came with your shop vacuum. It is generally very large or stiff, which is a significant issue. This small-diameter hose is super flexible and designed for dust collection. If you want, you can purchase it from a woodworking store. Usually, the dust ports are available of various sizes like squares, etc., due to which users need to fiddle around to get the hose to fit.
While you are going to purchase the best model, you need to consider this factor. People who are using the tool in a horizontal position should buy a heavier tool. Besides, those who want to use it overhead and vertical sanding have to purchase a lighter one. A few models are available at low weights like 5 pounds, whereas a few have more than 15 pounds. You should have a plan before settling on one.
$40-$100: You won’t get models with plenty of horsepowers within this price range. Most of these models are not perfect for heavy-duty sanding; instead, you can use them for home workshops.
$100 and up: Tools in this price come with tilting belts and cast iron bases. These feature a compact design that offers enhanced portability along with auto-tracking belt systems.
Top Belt Sander Brands:
MAKITA: This famous manufacturer of power tools was established more than 100 years ago. The company offers its users different types of tools such as battery saws, battery-powered screwdrivers, cordless angle grinders, cordless metal shears, cordless planers, etc. The headquarter of the company is in Aichi, Japan, whereas the head office is located in La Mirada, California.
WEN: Nick Anton was the founder of this company established in 1951. This company became famous for the power tools very quickly and produced top-quality power tools for many years.
The organization previously pioneered random orbital technology that you can see now in many polishers, buffers, and waxers for offering cars a streak-free shine. It manufactures tools such as electric soldering guns, chainsaws, and knife sharpeners. The head offices of the organization are in Charlotte, North Carolina.
ASTRO TOOLS: It has been manufacturing pneumatic tools for more than 30 years. The organization’s headquarters are in South El Monte, California, whereas it gets manufacturing benefits outside of Portland, Oregon. It delivers various tools such as air sanders, polishers, portable work lights, paint spray guns, and air cutting tools. Whether you want to buy an air belt sander, then it is a perfect brand.
These are the strong gorillas of the sanding world. Along with saving enough time during work, it delivers a nice finish to the workpiece.
- It helps to make the rough surfaces smooth. These tools can flatten, and level uneven surfaces are applying minimum effort. While you are going to use it, hold it straight and apply minimal pressure. Make sure that you need to avoid tilting the tool.
- The tool is perfect when you want to remove paint or any unwanted residue from a surface. Thus, it makes the surface smooth by clearing residue.
- You can use a hand-held belt sander for polishing metals such as brass and aluminum. However, for delivering a super finish to the workpiece, take the help of fine-grit sandpaper.
- You can use the tool for finishing touch to wood, metal, and flooring. These are useful for those tasks which are time-consuming, like smoothing corners and removing burrs. People use the machine for cleaning stains from wood, paint from surfaces, and resurfacing old furniture.
- These tools perform superbly for leveling and smoothing rough boards. Users only have to begin at an angle to the grain and then end with it. You can start using 80-grit, and then you can turn it into 120-grit.
The process to Choose the Best one:
The ideal width of the belt for multi-purposes using is 3-inch. You can see the tools designed for wider and narrower belts.
There are different sizes of tools that use different belt sizes. For example, the smaller ones have 3 x 18-in. belts, midsize tools have 3 x 21-in. belts, and larger ones have 3 x 24-in. belts. You can use the smaller ones easily for shaping and scribing. For casual use and minor works, these are perfect.
On the flip side, you need to use the larger ones for more extensive work and shop. However, it is recommended to use the 3 x 21-in. machines. A few models that come with 2-1/2-in.-wide belts are perfect for one-handed use, whereas devices having 4-in.-wide belts are used by cabinetmakers.
People who want to use disposable, and longer-lasting, dark brown premium belts, can use Aluminum oxide. This traditional grit material is available in a less expensive khaki-color form. Multiple users want to use zirconia belts for 80 grits and coarser. These are known as “planer” belts also. You can get them available in bright blue or purple color. These belts come with sharper, more rigid cutting particles. The Zirconia belts are a little bit more expensive compared to the premium aluminum oxide belts.
How to Use Belt Sander:
You must not push it down; allow it to do its work gently. Just move gradually, then overlap passes and let the machine go past the end without dipping. You have to make sure that you are not tipping the sander or changing speed or direction. It is better to keep the cable on the shoulder.
Watch Out for Gouging: If you want to stop gouges, take the help of new belts. Make sure that you are not using grits more acceptable than 120, and you have to keep the plate clean under the belt.
These are safe enough to use, but still, it is better to take precautions.
- You must not breathe dust as it is unpleasant for us. For protecting yourself, you need to wear a dust mask when you sand. If you want, you can rig up a shop vacuum to collect dust.
- You have to unplug the machine when you’re going to change belts or clear dust bags.
- It is recommended to blow or vacuum the residue before going to use the tool on the metal. Otherwise, when you are going to sand metal, it can generate sparks, due to which it can start a fire while getting mixed with the sawdust in the machine.
- You have to ensure that you have turned off the trigger before plugging the machine. It comes with a locking button holding the switch.
- These machines exert force during work, due to which you need to work securely. Otherwise, it can slide away from or right into you.
Watch Out on Plywood:
These are capable of taking off wood, due to which these can wreck plywood instantly. In this case, you can draw a pencil line for sanding solid-wood edging flush with the plywood. It helps to let you know when you need to start removing the veneer.
Belt Sander Maintenance:
You have to ensure that the tool is placed accurately as a few machines prefer a particular direction indicated by an arrow on the inside. However, if you want, you can install a non-directional belt. Hence, you merely have to track it to keep it centered on the roller.
First, your task is to hold it and then turn it on to check whether it rubs against the housing or begins to work. When the trigger is on, you need to adjust the position of the tracking knob till the belt is coming in the center position. While the tool is on the wood, it may require a slight adjustment. Whether the tool comes with automatic tracking, then you do not need to do anything.
Keep the Belt Clean:
You can take the help of a belt-cleaning stick for cleaning the pitch buildup on the belt. Then, your job is to push the rod against the moving belt for cleaning. If you have a large machine, you need to clamp the stick in a vise and sand it.
Suitable for Rough Sharpening:
These are perfect for sharpening rough surfaces of tools such as axes, shovels, knives, and chisels. You can use a zirconia belt, but you have to clean the dust bag by removing dust.
It is a valuable accessory for those who do woodworking too much. The stand holds the tool on its side,
upside down or vertical, allowing the machine to do its work easily. The design of the stand relies on the shape of your tool.
Five Best Belt Sanders
Description: Multiple reasons are there due to which people love to use this mode. The tool creates only 84 decibels of sound. Besides, it has a 4 x 24-inch belt that makes it an ideal tool to sand large workpieces.
People can use this tool for a long time and what makes it unique is that it doesn’t cause any hand fatigue. It is the large front handle that protects people from hand fatigue. The tool is equipped with a 360-degree swiveling dust bag that people can use with ease.
It is a single-speed sander. The quick speed of the tool can remove any material very quickly. People can use this powerful tool in your workshop for long periods. The labyrinth construction of its motor as well as bearings keeps these protected from contamination.
As the tool’s weight is merely 13 pounds, it allows you to carry it to various project sites. The device is perfect for woodworking, carpentry, floor installation, deck building, furniture making, and other regular contracting jobs.
The device offers you a one-year warranty that people prefer to have. It combines power and speed that enables you to remove materials both quickly and efficiently from various surfaces. The tool comes with a few drawbacks too. For example, the device leaves grooves on the material.
Motor: The product contains a strong 11 AMP motor. It comes with electronic speed control that allows the tool to maintain constant speed under load. It features a 4″ wide belt that has 1,640 ft./min speed.
Comfortable: It comes with a large front grip and offers a low level of noise. These are ideal for operator comfort.
More control: You can use the dust bag 360° that allows you to operate more conveniently.
- 360° dust bag
- Large front grip
- Perfect for woodworking, carpentry, etc.
- Motor with electronic speed control
- Low level of sound
- Heavy as well as expensive
- A small dust collection bag
WEN 6321 Corded
Description: Are you looking for a budget-friendly tool on the market? Then, choose this product as it is one of the most affordable ones available over there. The compact design of the product makes it very special. The product’s weight is merely six pounds, which ensures you will find it one of the lightest. It has a 7.0-amp motor that is not so strong, though. However, the speed of the belt is 820feet/minute, which is enough for any normal sanding project.
It contains a detachable dust collection bag that is perfect for easy cleanup. Users can access the tool quite easily and sand tight corners. It is the front roller that helps to do so by extending itself past the top edge. With the help of the lock-in safety feature, users can stand continuously. Hence, there is no need to grip the trigger constantly. It allows you to change the belt easily.
You don’t need to take help from any other tool for changing it. It offers a two-year warranty. Therefore, you can ensure that the quality of the tool is quite impressive. The skilled technicians of this brand are always ready to help their users while facing problems with it. However, you need to know that you must not use the tool for intense use. The device can overheat while people will use it for a long time.
Simple to change: The tool enables you to remove the belt easily. As a result, it can adjust grits and swap sandpapers easily.
Dust Bag: With the help of the dust bag, you can remove all the offshoots available near the workpiece. Therefore, it helps to reduce the work of cleaning inside of the workshop.
Replacement Belts: It comes with different belts such as 60-grit, 80-grit, and 120-grit three packs that are as follows:- 6321SP1, 6321SP2, 6321SP3.
- A detachable dust collection bag.
- Replaceable belts.
- Lock-in safety feature available.
- It gets overheated when used for long periods.
Genesis GBS321A Variable-Speed
Description: It is the best model for those who want to use this tool to tackle both small and big jobs. What makes it ideal is its quick, efficient, and versatile character. The tool is perfect for woodworkers, carpenters, and floor installers. People who are general contractors can use this device also. The 3 x 21-inch belt and an adjustable front handle make the device strong enough.
It comes with a low-profile design for user comfort. However, the flat side of the tool enables you to access the tight spots easily. There is an auto-tracking system also in the machine that helps to track the belts. As a result, you don’t need to adjust the tool now and then.
This tool comes with an 8-amp motor with a rotating speed of 390-1180 feet/minute. Like other tools, it also has a dust collection system that assists you in cleaning your workspace. Genesis comes with a 6.5-foot power cord that helps you to work on larger projects efficiently. However, when you use the tool for a long time, it becomes loose. After that, it begins to create an irritating noise. Whether you use the machine continuously, then it can be overheated. It needs to be reinforced before you will use the machine again.
Versatility: The low-profile design of the machine is suitable for getting into tight spots and working on smaller projects. Besides, it comes with a Single Lever Quick-Change Belt. Therefore, it will save your time in changing them on the next DIY project.
Speed control: It has different speed levels that make it versatile also. The variable speed helps to control the speed of sanding.
Comfortable: It features an adjustable Front Handle that helps to control the tool and offers you comfort. Sand exterior and interior doors, door jambs, cabinet surfaces and doors, and wood handrails help stop splinters.
Accessories: It comes with a Dust Bag and a single Sanding Belt. The product offers all types of things that allow you to start your next DIY project.
- Adjustable Front Handle.
- Powerful motor.
- Low-profile design.
- A few users reported that the dust bag is loose, not attached tightly.
Metabo HPT SB8V2
Description: It is known as the Hitachi HPT SB8V2 in the market. Metabo took over this division of power tools of Hitachi. Metabo is a German manufacturer of hand-held power tools. After taking over from Hitachi, they named it Metabo HPT SB8V2. The product comes with a similar innovative design or specifications.
All thanks go to Metabo that they didn’t change anything. The weight of the tool is nine pounds.
It comes with a nine-amp motor also. The device offers plenty of torque for its size.
This machine can rotate from 820 to 1475 feet/minute, allowing it to handle various sanding jobs. The position of the speed control dial of the device is excellent. On the main handle, the dial is placed. As a result, you can adjust the speed during your work easily. The handle also has a lock-on button on it. With the help of the button, you can lock the speed while you require it for repetitive tasks.
It comes with a clear plastic cover on the front side of the table. Therefore, you can see the belt position quite easily.
The gadget is equipped with one of the best drive belt systems you can get on the market. You can see here the V-belt and pulley design of the Hitachi company. This tool is highly resistant to wear and tear. The tool’s housing doesn’t consist of plastic, although it seems like it is made of aluminum.
Powerful motor: The tool comes with a 9 amp 1,020-watt motor. It offers heavy power when you are going to do the most demanding sanding jobs.
Dust bag: It contains a dust collection bag that helps to remove airborne particles from the workspace. Thus, it can help you to clean the work area. The Left-side mounted dust collection bag assists in providing more extraordinary results while you make corner sanding applications.
Excellent design: The machine has a Flush surface design that helps to sand quickly. It offers users a professional 5-year limited warranty also.
- Flush surface design.
- Dust collection bag.
- Strong motor.
- Lock-on button.
- V-belt and pulley design.
- Absence of storage bag.
JET J-41002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander
Description: What is unique about this product is that it combines a belt and a disc sander. Therefore, you don’t need to buy these two individuals. With the help of this machine, users can flatten surfaces, smooth curves, and shape contours.
Besides, it can handle precision edge work. Generally, a bench sander is fixed, but you can remove the platen of the machine. Thus, you can turn the tool into a portable one. The machine is perfect for smaller sanding projects.
The device contains a 3/4-HP motor. Besides, it comes with a deluxe miter gauge. It can lock at 45 degrees on the left and right. Apart from this, the product contains a sturdy steel base as well as rubber feet. These increase the durability of the product. With the help of the abrasive belt, you can remove materials with ease. Thus, you can access small openings and sand workpieces that have odd shapes and angles.
The machine allows you to use it for grinding, sanding, etc. It also helps to finish the outer curves of workpieces along with odd-shaped ones. The dust collector allows you to adjust any type of dust or residue. You can get a superior finish every time you work. While using the device, you can face difficulties while you connect the attachable work surfaces.
Three in one: It comes with an abrasive belt unit that can be used as a jigsaw, coping saw, or hand file when you delete material and finishings.
Adjustments: You can use the machine for small openings along with odd shapes and angles.
Iron Construction: The machine contains an adjustable dust deflector and dust chute.
- Cast iron construction.
- Dust collector.
- Offers superior finish.
- Powerful 3/4-HP motor.
- The motor can be worn out quickly.
Best Belt Sander Buying guide:
You may face difficulties when you are going to buy a new machine as you have to consider a few aspects before purchasing. However, you don’t need to worry about that as we have shortlisted these machines to choose your favorite one easily. You need to consider the necessary ingredients that make the device perfect.
It is a crucial aspect that you need to consider for any type of device. When a device comes with sufficient power, it allows you to do multiple tasks efficiently. It is the factor that can drive other machine functions, and thus, users can have a great experience. There needs to be a function in the machine that allows you to use the power as you prefer to offer you the ultimate results.
When you buy a device, you must check that the tool allows you to use its full capacity. The machine you will purchase has to be long-lasting. Besides, this tool should come with the ability to tolerate sustained pressure in the work area. You need to check that the device you will purchase is capable of offering consistent performance or not. No Client is there who prefers to change a tool regularly. That’s why it is better to go for a one-time investment. It is because it has the capability of fulfilling the demands.
Easy to use:
You have to check whether the model you will buy can make you feel comfortable or not. The success or failure of any machine depends on the clients how they use of the functions, not on the functions. It has no value if you can’t use a product properly, although it has all the upgrades. You have to ensure that the device comes with all essential improvements.
Whether you want to buy the best one available in the market, we suggest you go with the Makita belt Sander. This product is highly maneuverable, and you can use it to the tight spots with ease, even in close quarters. The tool also makes users feel comfortable, which makes it the best choice among all.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can you use the machine easily?
It looks like a portable conveyor belt. This tool allows you to move over surfaces so that you can deliver the excellent finish you prefer. You need to follow the safety precautions also when you use the machine. Therefore, it will be easier for you to master it till you are familiar with it. There is sandpaper available on the one-direction belt. What you have to do is to follow the wood grain merely for making an even surface.
- Which one is better— a belt sander or an orbital one?
We should say that these are complementary tools of each other instead of being substitutes. In both cases, you can find sandpaper to even out surfaces. You will get the best benefit when you use a belt sander first for removing the rough edges. What it does is that it strips off the wood, coating material along with paint. After that, if you wish, you can take an orbital sander’s help to give a finesse touch to your work.
- Is it possible to sand the concrete floor with a belt sander?
If you want to smooth concrete, you have to use a high-powered sander, and it should have a very firm sandpaper belt. Besides, the sandpaper you will use needs to come with a high grit count (about 400 grits) so that you can deliver the smoothest finish to the floor and erase all imperfections. Sometimes, you can find major flaws in the concrete. Then, you have to take the help of a specialized concrete floor grinder for your task.