Sanding is not the most glamorous job, but a lot of projects require it. If you’re going to buy a sanding tool, you need the best belt sander you can get. We’ll take a look at the ten best belt sanders of 2022 and give you an insight into all the important features they offer. We’ll look at how easy it is to change out the belt, whether they offer dust collectors, and how comfortable they are to use.
In addition to the basics, we’ll cover the most frequently asked questions in our belt sanders’ buying guide. From stationary belt sanders to cordless belt sanders, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best belt sanders of 2022.
View the Best Belt Sander for the Money, Below.
- Makita 9903 Variable Speed
- PORTER-CABLE 362
- Genesis GBS321A
- Makita 9403 with Cloth Dust Bag
- WEN 6502 with Cast Iron Base
- Black & Decker DS321 Dragster
- POWERTEC BD1500
- Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed
- WEN 6321 with Dust Bag
- PORTER-CABLE 371 14″
1. Makita 9903 Variable Speed
One of the Best Belt Sanders for Quiet Operation
If you're looking for power and speed coupled with ease of use, then you've found it in the Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander. The Makita sander is perfect for wood working projects. It's the ideal tool for furniture makers or carpenters, floor installers, deck builders and general contractors. The Makita has a powerful 8.8 AMP motor and can maintain a consistent speed with the electric speed control.
This belt sander is highly efficient and will remove material fast and accurately. The Auto-tracking belt system tracks the belt without needing adjustments. Thanks to the innovative design of the Makita, this belt sander will sand flush to the wall. The Makita only puts out 85dB, which is a lot less noisy than some of its competitors. This makes it one of the best belt sanders for a home garage.
The large, ergonomic front grip will allow you to operate the Makita sander is comfortably, and its low profile design provides better balance. The Makita also offers an efficient dust collection system - it features a cloth dust bag, which will reduce dust in your work area significantly. The 16.4-foot long power cord allows you to maneuver the Makita easily.
Powerful, fast, and quiet - this is the perfect tool for you to do any woodwork. The Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander is one of the best belt sanders on the market. With great features and easy operation, it's ideal for home or commercial use.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. PORTER-CABLE 362
Best Belt Sander for a Commercial Environment
The Porter-Cable 362 Belt Sander is the perfect tool for professionals and hobbyists alike. This 4" x 24" sander offers you variable speed control with a powerful 12 AMP motor. This sits directly over the plate, affording the Porter-Cable perfect balance. The heavy-duty all-metal design of the Porter-Cable makes it very durable and perfect for the commercial environment. A Variable Speed Dial allows you to select your speed settings from 1000sfpm to 1500sfpm. In addition, it offers a belt-tracking knob so you can adjust it quickly and easily.
If you need to change out your belt while working on a job, the Porter-Cable has you covered. It features a quick-release change lever as well as a fingertip belt-tracking knob, which reduces excessive downtime while working and allows you to dial in belt alignment over the rollers.
The dust collecting bag has a large capacity and can swivel 360 degrees. The fact that it can swivel ensures it won't get in your way as you work either. The ergonomically designed handles increase user comfort
If you're looking for a corded belt sander that will work well in a commercial environment but will be just as at home in your garage, the Porter-Cable 362 Belt Sander fits the bill.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Genesis GBS321A
Best Budget Belt Sander for Both Hobbyists and Professionals
The Genesis GBS321A Belt Sander is versatile, fast, and very efficient. It's perfect for anybody working with wood, including floor installers and carpenters. It's reliable and will give you the best results time and again. General contractors will love this product.
Featuring a powerful 8.0AMP motor, this belt sander operates with constant speed even under load. This is thanks to the electronic speed control function. In addition, the variable speed control dial allows you to match the speed to the application.
The Genesis offers a low-profile design that provides the user with great balance. The flat side will allow you to get into those tight spots. It also offers flush sanding. The auto-tracking system will track the belt without adjustment. It also features a single lever quick-change, which will ensure that you have minimal downtime. The dust collection bag is very efficient and will greatly reduce the amount of dust in your work area.
Working on larger projects is no problem with this budget belt sander. It offers a 6.5-foot power cord so you can reach where you need to. In addition, this corded belt sander is a lot less noisy than some of its competitors, and the front grip handle is adjustable, offering both comfort and ease of operation.
This is a great, feature-packed belt sander that offers a powerful motor to get the job done quickly and accurately. The Genesis GBS321A Belt Sander is perfect for both the hobbyist and the general contractor alike.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Makita 9403 with Cloth Dust Bag
One of the Best Belt Sanders for Low Noise and High Performance
The Makita 9403 Belt Sander offers not only great power and speed, but it's also one of the quietest models on the market today, putting out an incredibly low 84dB. This corded belt sander is the ideal tool for carpenters, deck builders, and general contractors who require a fast, reliable tool. This sander features an 11 AMP motor with electronic speed control that will maintain a constant speed even under load.
The extended base will allow you to sand flush against the wall, and the 4" wide belt coupled with 1640ft./min speed ensures fast and efficient stock removal. The grip of the Makita is ergonomically designed and is large enough to allow for the utmost comfort while operating. The easy lever control makes changing your belt quick and easy, preventing any work delays.
It features a replaceable ceramic wear plate and a low profile which offers great balance and keeps gouging to a minimum. Double insulation and labyrinth construction seals the motor and bearings, ensuring they remain free from contamination. That makes this a very durable belt sander that's perfect for commercial use. In addition, the 360-degree swivel cloth dust bag will keep your work area as dust-free as possible.
This is the perfect tool for general contractors and home users alike. The Makita 9403 Belt Sander is one of the best available on the market in 2022 and will make light work of even the toughest sanding jobs.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. WEN 6502 with Cast Iron Base
Best Belt and Disc Sander
The Wen 6502 Belt Sander is a brilliant two-in-one sanding machine that offers not only a 4 x 36-inch belt but also a 6 x 6-inch disc belt. The angled belt design will tilt from zero to 90 degrees.
This stationary belt sander is perfect for any heavy-duty sanding job. The cast iron base prevents heavy vibrations. The 4.3 AMP motor offers 3600 RMP, which is more than enough power to sand, smooth, and remove all splinters or jagged edges from your wood. Even under heavy load, it provides enough power to avoid bogging down.
A tension release lever allows you to change to sandpaper grit quickly. Attach your dust collector to the 2.5 "port and keep your workspace as clear of dust and debris as possible. The Wen belt sander's cast iron base will prevent wobbling and walking, so your sander will remain where you need it while sanding.
Most belt sanders are limited when it comes to angles. But this one features an adjustable belt that can tilt from vertical to horizontal and every position in-between - work on any project you want to, in any belt position. The sanding disc has a supporting table with 0-45 degree beveling capabilities and a removable miter gauge. If you're concerned about safety, it also has an extended safety guard.
If you need a good belt sander that is both powerful and versatile and can handle heavy-duty projects then you need the WEN 6502.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Black & Decker DS321 Dragster
Best Belt Sander for Use Around the Home
Are you looking for a great belt sander that will allow you to reach even the most inaccessible corners? The Black & Decker DS321 Dragster Belt Sander offers the home user all of this and a lot more. It's lightweight and compact, offering ease of operation. The front roller will allow you to get into even the tightest corners and reduce the need to flush sand.
It offers a 6.0 amp motor that's powerful enough to tackle most projects. For superb control, the Dragster offers a retractable, three-position handle. This versatile belt sander allows you to change your paper out quickly and easily with a belt release lever and adjustment knob, ensuring that the belt remains in the correct position.
The dust collector is very efficient and will keep your workspace as dust-free and clean as possible and improve visibility when working. The Black & Decker Dragster includes a medium grit sanding belt and weighs a mere 8.2 pounds. Offering a 2-year warranty, this is one of the best belt sanders for all home improvement enthusiasts.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. POWERTEC BD1500
Best Belt Sander for Small Home Improvements
This reliable belt sander will both sand and polish efficiently. It offers some great features as well as a powerful motor for the serious home craftsman, making it a must-have stationary sander for your workbench.
The POWERTEC BD1500 Belt Disc Sander offers a belt size of 1" x30" and a disc size of 5 inches. It's the ideal tool for home improvement enthusiasts and anybody that need reliable sanders for their projects.
This stationary belt sander has a powerful 2.5 amp induction motor which will offer a no-load speed of 3450 RPM and deliver 1/3HP - more than enough power to tackle most projects. In addition, the 4" x 7¼" tilting table tilts at 0-45 degrees and includes a miter gauge. These features ensure that you get precise angle sanding every time.
The POWERTEC BD Belt Disc Sander's tracking adjustment feature will ensure that the belt runs true. Get great dust collection - the two 1.5" dust ports will keep your work area clear and clean. Clear even fine dust particles. You can detach the back plate and roller guard to allow quick and easy belt replacement. The POWERTEC is well worth the price you pay for it.
This is an all-in-one belt and disc sander that offers great value for money and excellent power with a host of features to let you tackle any sanding or polishing project.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed
One of the Best Belt Sanders for Home Use
The Hitachi SB8V Variable Speed Belt Sander is perfect for use on wood or steel and is also great for removing paint. This reliable belt sander comes with a host of features that will allow you to tackle any project with speed and accuracy. Hitachi's Powerful 9 amp motor offers a no-load speed of 820 – 1475 ft/min with a trigger lock, so you don't have to hold the trigger down constantly.
The variable speed dial will adjust the speed, making it more manageable during operation.
Need accuracy? The Hitachi offers a clear front cover tracking window that allows you to see the sanding surface and the sanding belt to make sure you remain on track.
Hitachi has placed the dust collection bag on the left-hand side. This will help you to get into those tight corners and reduce the dust, keeping your work area clean and clear.
This belt sander is extremely durable with a wear-resistant V-belt that will extend the life up to twice as long as normal sanders. In addition, this model features a soft elastomer grip on the main and secondary handles. This feature makes it one of the most comfortable sanding machines to operate.
The Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed Belt Sander is one of the top belt sanders on the market in 2022. It's versatile and powerful, making it the ideal tool for home improvement enthusiasts.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. WEN 6321 with Dust Bag
Best Compact and Lightweight Sander
This is another great offering from WEN. The WEN 6321 Belt Sander is the perfect tool for smoothing out those rough edges and getting your surfaces splinter-free. The 7 amp motor rotates the belt at a rate of 820 ft/min to get through any project quickly and efficiently. It's compact and lightweight, weighing 6 pounds, which is great for limiting fatigue while sanding.
Another aspect that limits fatigue while working with the WEN 6321 is that it offers lock-in safety features, so you don't need to keep a constant grip on the trigger. The tracking adjustment knob keeps the belt true. The quick-release sanding belt allows you to swap out sandpaper or adjust grits easily. The front roller is designed with an extended front to allow you to reach into tight corners.
The dust bag is large enough to ensure that your workspace remains clean and dust-free while working. In addition, the WEN 6321 Belt Sander comes with an 80-grit sanding belt with additional sanding belts available.
This handy belt sander is perfect for any woodwork project you want to tackle. With great features, the WEN 6321 Belt Sander is everything you will need in a belt sander and a must-have tool for your garage.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. PORTER-CABLE 371 14″
Best Belt Sander for DIY Jobs
This compact belt sander will allow you to get all those DIY projects done in no time at all. The Porter-Cable 371 is designed with both DIY home improvement enthusiasts and professionals in mind. It's packed with features and designed for comfort.
Sand at any angle with the Porter-Cable 371. It's only 2½" x 14" and weighs a minuscule 5 pounds, making it one of the most compact belt sanders on the market in 2022.
The textured rubber body grip allows for one-handed control, and the removable auxiliary handle will let you use two hands. The Porter-Cable has a fantastic balanced feel, so you can use it vertically, horizontally, or any other orientation you need.
The design of the Porter-Cable 371 enables flush sanding and covers a wide surface area. The power switch is recessed and dust-sealed, so you won't turn it off accidentally while using it. The removable dust port will keep your work area clean and dust-free.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Buyer’s Guide Questions
If you have ever sanded down your tabletop or stripped paint, then you know these are very tiresome tasks that take a long time to do by hand. That’s why DIY enthusiasts, professional craftsmen, general contractors, and deck builders use belt sanders to get through the physically tedious job of sanding down surfaces, smoothing rough edges, and stripping off paint.
What is a Belt Sander?
A belt sander is a powerful tool that makes your life so much easier when tackling large sanding jobs (click here to read the study). There are many different brands and types of sanders, including the all-in-one belt disc sanders.
A sander features an electric motor. This motor turns a pair of drums, and a continuous loop of sandpaper is mounted over these drums. Sanders comes with various size motors and features, such as variable speed settings, automatic belt tracking, and more. (View the study from ALCE on the different parts of the tool).
These sanders vary in size, from small handheld versions (click to read the study of uses) to large ones used in manufacturing plants. Most of them are used for sanding wood but can sand other materials, including metal. They also have other purposes, such as stripping paint.
Are Sanders Difficult to Master?
Belt sanders are very different from your standard power tools, (such as a drilled disc), and yes, they do take a little getting used to. They are a lot larger and heavier than other tools and are also very lively when in operation. Controlling your sander is paramount to getting the best results. Once you’ve used one of these best-rated power tools, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without them.
If you have never used a belt sander before, it’s very important that you get to know the product. Read your manual to make sure you understand all of its functions. This includes how to change the belts, how to use the adjustable belt tracking, and how to apply it to your material.
Although many belt sanders are very similar in operation, their features differ from product to product. You can also get different types of belt sanders, from cordless belt sanders to stationary belt sanders. They all have different dust collection systems and features.
Once you know how to work your sander best, you’ll need to practice before tackling your actual project. You need to gain some experience, or you may find that you ruin your sanding project and have to start again. Try it out on softwoods, hardwoods, and even plastics or laminated sheets. Get used to the feel of the machine as you work with it.
What is a Belt Sander Used For?
Usually, these tools are used to remove unwanted material from surfaces. They smooth out edges and remove splinters by rapidly sanding surfaces. Due to their aggressive action, they are mostly used only in the beginning stages of a project. You can also use a sander to remove paint or finishing from wood.
These tools shape and finish off your wood and other materials as well, depending on the type of sandpaper you’re using. If your sander is fitted with fine-grit sandpaper, you’ll get a great, super smooth surface after sanding. Your all-in-one sander can also be used to polish your surfaces once you have a finished product.
How to use a Belt Sander on a Deck?
Many people see the size of a deck and think a big floor sander is needed for sanding such a large surface (view the study here). But, in fact, these are not the best tools for sanding your deck. They won’t be able to get to every plank and won’t handle uneven surfaces very well. Deck boards tend to be a little curved, so floor sanders won’t sand evenly.
Your best bet is a sander tool. Combine your sander with a palm sander or detail sander and sanding sponges for more inaccessible areas of your deck.
Be sure to wear safety gear such as goggles and a dust mask before you start your project. The dust made with sanding such a large area can be bad for your health. That’s why it’s so important to have a sander with a dust collection system, such as a detachable dust bag or a dust port. Some may even come with a transparent dust canister. so you can see exactly when you need to empty it.
Start with a heavy grit belt or an abrasive belt, in the range of a 50 grit, and then work backward on the boards.
Cover all the boards on your deck. Use the palm sanding tool for areas you cannot reach. Once this is done, start from the beginning again. This time, swap your abrasive belt for a lighter grit for sanding, such as a 60/80. Once this is done, you’ll see that your deck has a lovely smooth surface.
Can you Use a Belt Sander for Hardwood Floors?
The short answer is, yes, you can. However, be aware that it will be a lot of hard work, as it’s not the best tool for the job. (Click here for random orbital sanders). This also depends on the type of belt sander you use. Stationary belt sanders, for example, wouldn’t be a good fit.
However, many people choose to sand their floors by hand. This may not be as fast as your floor sanding machines, but it will get the job done with a reasonable amount of speed. Try and keep with the grain of the wood and your machine moving in circular motions or backward and forward and side to side. The more pressure you apply to your sanding tool, the quicker you can get the wood back to bare through your sanding efforts.
How to Change Sandpaper on a Belt Sander
There are five basic steps to change the sandpaper on your sander, no matter what brand you’re using.
- Release the belt tension lever, as all sanding belts are tensioned to be held in place. Pull it back, and you will see that it will become slack.
- Remove the old one.
- Align your new one with your sander. Make sure that it’s placed in the right direction. There should be arrows on your belt and sander. Make sure these arrows match up – if you put it on in the wrong direction it will break.
- Slide the belt onto the sanding tool and align it to the wheels, ensuring it fits best.
- You will need to re-tension your belt. You can do this by engaging the tension lever on your sander.
How to use a Belt Sander Correctly
Every type of sander will be different in design and features. However, most have the same basic operation. Read your product’s manual thoroughly to understand its particular functionality. No matter which tool you have purchased, remember that your sander must always be switched on before you place it on your material. Don’t switch it on after you have placed it on the material.
You must ensure that the flat paten is always parallel to the material when you lower it down. Once you have your sanding tool in contact with your material, it’s best to keep it moving to avoid dishing out. Remember, your sanding tool is heavy, so the pressure it exerts on your material is more than enough. If you add too much pressure by bearing down on it, you could ruin your material. Some models come with pressure control technology, which will ensure you put the right amount of pressure on the material. But if your model doesn’t feature pressure control technology, you just need to guide your tool in the direction you want it to go.
Another best tip is to move with the grain of the wood when sanding any kind of wooden material. If you go cross-grain, you risk creating a deep groove, especially if you leave your sanding tool in one position for too long.
Keep in mind the best practice safety aspects to using these power tools. We’ll cover a few of them here.
Practicing safety is always advisable when using any power tools (read the study on safety). First and foremost, you will need to protect your ears as these power tools can be very loud and cause damage if you don’t take proper precautions. Make sure that you switch the machine off when you want to change the belt or empty the dust bag. If you don’t, you could end up at the emergency room.
Remember, if you’re sanding metal, you will create sparks. This, mixed with any sawdust you’ve collected in the removable dust bag, could start a fire. Ensure that the dust bag on your machine is empty. It’s best to either blow all the dust out or vacuum it to ensure there is no residual sawdust before you attempt to sand metal materials. Hold your machine securely – these are powerful tools, and if you relax too much, you could cause an accident.
Finally, make sure that the machine is switched off before plugging it in. This may seem like a simple thing; however, it’s remarkable how many times these tools are switched on when plugged in, as many of them feature a trigger lock that keeps it in the on position. If your machine isn’t in the off position before plugging it in, it could end up flying across the room. This is dangerous and can damage your expensive power tool.
Sanders are powerful tools used for sanding that will make your DIY project a lot easier. Those physically tedious tasks will suddenly become a lot more pleasant to perform. Buying the right tool for you is essential. We’ve reviewed the best available on the market for 2022 for you to consider when making your choice.
Consider all the benefits each one offers, such as power, variable speed control, and quick-change belt lever, to name a few. Remember, the right belt sander for you won’t necessarily be the most expensive – it will just have everything you need for your projects.
We hope that our reviews of the best sanding tool are helpful and our buyer’s guide offers you some insight into these machines. The only thing left to do is get your sander and start that project you’ve been wanting to tackle.