11 Best Belt Sanders of 2020 Reviewed

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Carpenter sanding wood with belt sander at workshop in wooden cutting board project or woodworking carpentry

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Everyone strives for perfection, but only a few manage to achieve it. 

In every sphere of life, whatever one does, they have the desire to be the best. Similarly, when it comes to construction, the matter is no different. In fact, in the building realm, perfection is more of a necessity than a luxury.

It is the little things that often matter the most when you are working on a particular project. The closer you can get to a desirable finish, the more sought after you or your project will be.

To help you in this process, there are several tools, but probably one of the most important among them is a belt sander. But opting to use any sander is not the same as working with a great one.

So, to offer some help, we have a list of the best belt sanders in the market that can get you as close to perfection as possible.

 Best Belt Sanders 

 

Electric belt sander, sanding machine in male hand. Processing of workpiece on light brown wooden table. Side view, close up

  1. Makita 9903 Variable Speed

We start our list with one of the most popular brands in the market. Makita is well-known for making sturdy, fast, and user-friendly tools, and the Makita 9903 Variable Speed certainly scores well in all those aspects. With its fair share of top-notch features, you are sure to take a liking to his model.

Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with...
  • Powerful 8.8 AMP motor; only 85dB
  • Variable speed control dial (690-1,440 ft./min.)...

Why Did We Like It?

It is powered by an 8.8 AMP motor and has the ability to maintain consistent speed even under load. This is made possible by the electronic speed control, which allows you to manage the speed as per your needs.

Thus, it is fast as well as accurate and can remove different materials efficiently. It also comes with an auto-tracking belt system, which ensures that it tracks the belt without any adjustment. Besides, the innovative design even provides you with the option of sand flushing the wall with the nose and side of the sander.

On top of this, it does not make much noise, which is not only ideal for the workstation but is also sure to keep your neighbors happy. It produces only 85db of sound, making it one of the quietest models going around.

Finally, it has an ergonomic design that makes sure you have a comfortable experience even when working for long hours.

What Could’ve Been Better?

A couple of disadvantages of using it is that it is a little on the heavier side. This means that you may have difficulty in controlling the device. As a result, it also tends to vibrate a bit during work, which could have an impact on the finish of your project.

Pros
  • Efficient
  • Does not make much noise
  • 16.4-foot power cord
  • Ergonomic design
  • Powerful
Cons
  • Slightly heavy
  • May vibrate a little
  1. TACKLIFE PSFS1A Belt Sander

The final model on our list comes with certain unique features that are sure to pique your interest. The design of the TACKLIFE PSFS1A Belt Sander is something that is rarely seen in other brands, and as a result, it is highly reliable. Also, it looks elegant and you feel happy to work with it even on dull days.

TACKLIFE Belt Sander 3×18-Inch with 13Pcs Sanding Belts, Bench Sander...
  • 🏡【2 In 1: Bench & Belt Sander】 Provided...
  • 🏡【13Pcs Sanding Belts】 Come with 6pcs 120...

Why Did We Like It?

This is a 2-in-1 sander that comes with two metal screw clamps. These clamps give you the option of turning this tool over and fixing it to the table. Thus, it can function as a bench sander as well. 

Besides, you have the option of using the lock-on button that ensures you have more flexibility. This allows you to use it with one hand, so much so that controlling the 5 AMP motor is not a problem. 

The motor, in turn, comes equipped with a 6-dial variable speed knob that allows you to adjust the speed between zero to 560 RPM. With so much power, you can use it to deliver a quality finish on most surfaces. Finally, it has a detachable dust collection box along with two vacuum adapters that keep your workplace tidy. On top of everything else, despite all these features, it remains an affordable option. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The top speed on this model does not match that of the top brands. As a result, you may not get the desired speed you need for a particular project. Also, the internal belt drive may wear out after prolonged use, thereby affecting durability. 

Pros
  • 2 vacuum adapters
  • 2 clamps for stability
  • 2-in-1 sander
  • Efficient
  • Good dust collection box
Cons
  • The internal belt drive may wear out
  • The top speed is a bit slow
  1. Genesis GBS321A

When you hear the name genesis, it fills you with a sense of hope, and fortunately, this product does not disappoint. This is a highly versatile tool that is well suited to different materials. It is reliable as well, which has gone a long way in endearing it to the people.

Genesis GBS321A Single Lever 3" x 21" Variable Speed Belt Sander with...
  • VERSITILE - Low Profile Design gets into tight...
  • QUICK-CHANGE - Single Lever Quick-Change Belt...

Why Did We Like It?

This tool delivers consistently good results, and driving it is the 8 AMP motor that can operate even under load. This was seen in Makita 9903, and in this case, also, you can control the speed via the electronic speed dial.

Moving on to the design, it has a low-profile that offers you more excellent stability. Moreover, the flat-side ensures that you can get into tight spots for an all-round performance while also allowing flush sanding. Additionally, it has the auto-tracking system so that no prior adjustments are needed to track the belt.

The significant addition is the single-lever quick change that reduces the downtime. Therefore, you can use it for large projects as well, and to further aid in this aspect, it comes with a 6.5-foot power cord. Finally, it has an adjustable front grip handle, which makes it easy to use as well and thereby eases your load.

What Could’ve Been Better?

One of the things that you would want from your device is cleanliness. In this case, it is a problem as the dust bag is not the best, so your workstation may end up being a mess. Secondly, it is a noisy tool if you decide to use it for heavy-duty work.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Fast
  • Efficient
  • User-friendly
  • Single-lever quick change
Cons
  • The dust bag is an issue
  • Noisy in some cases
  1. Makita 9403

In movies, we often see an actor playing a double role. So, this brand, too, makes repeated appearances through numerous models. But just as the two characters played by the same actor are different, similarly, two models from the same brand are never the same. The Makita 9403 has made certain upgrades to cement its place in the market.

Makita 9403 4" X 24" Belt Sander
  • Quietest belt sander in its class: only 84...
  • 4 inch wide belt with a speed of 1,640 feet per...

Why Did We Like It?

This is a 4”x24” tool that not only offers a lot of power and speed but is also quieter as compared to the earlier model from this brand. The noise level is just 84db, which means that it hardly makes any sound even during the most strenuous projects.

Furthermore, it comes with a dust bag that is made of cloth, and there is a reason that this is important. This dust bag is efficient in stock removal which is a positive aspect for anyone from professionals to non-regular users.

Now, coming to power, it has an 11 AMP motor that is one of the most powerful going around. So, to control the power, you have at your service an electronic speed control system. However, the significant improvement is the inclusion of a replaceable ceramic wear plate that provides a better balance.

Apart from these, it has double insulation and a labyrinth construction that makes it durable.

What Could’ve Been Better?

There are a couple of issues you may encounter with this tool. For one, the cord may get snagged, which the designers could have looked into as this is a common problem. The other problem lies with the vacuum system that may get clogged, thereby affecting cleanliness.

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Fast
  • Quiet operation
  • Efficient
  • Double insulation
Cons
  • Cord may get snagged
  • The vacuum system may get clogged
  1. WEN 6502

Although sanding may be a tedious task, there is no reason you cannot enjoy it with the right product. In this regard, the WEN 6502 is best suited for your purpose, flaunting a sleek design and attractive color combination. It looks like a modern radio set, and you can be sure that using it will be like music to your ears.

WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander with Cast Iron...
  • Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 4-by-36...
  • Belt tilts anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees

Why Did We Like It?

This is a capable 2-in-1 belt sander that is equipped with two-disc belts measuring 4”x36” and 6”x6” respectively. The belts are complemented by its ability to tilt from zero to ninety degrees to provide better coverage and productive output.

This makes it suited for heavy-duty jobs, and so it is fitted with a cast iron base. The base prevents heavy vibrations and allows you to have a firm grip on the device.

Furthermore, to cater to rigorous tasks, it comes with a 4.3 AMP motor that offers 3600 RPM that is more than enough to prevent your device from bogging down. This power also takes care of sanding, smoothening, and removing splinters or jagged edges from wood.

On top of this, it has a tension release lever that makes it easy for you to quickly change the sandpaper grit.

What Could’ve Been Better?

However, there are a few problems, starting with the table, which is flimsy. This could affect your project as you will be devoid of the necessary stability. Along with this, the miter gauge provided is not the best, and the designers could have done a better job.

Pros
  • 2-disc belts
  • Cast iron base
  • Extended safety guard
  • Belt tilts up to 90 degrees
  • Dust port
Cons
  • Table is flimsy
  • Poor miter gauge
  1. Black & Decker DS321 Dragster

As the name suggests, this is a fresh product that has black as its primary color scheme. The Black & Decker DS321 Dragster is a highly versatile tool that provides customers with much-needed satisfaction during work. It may not have the muscular build like other sanders, but it sure does pack a punch.

Why Did We Like It?

The versatility this tool promises is due to the front roller that makes it possible to reach even tight spots. This reduces the need to flush sand, and you can save valuable time while at work.

For power, it has been equipped with a 6 AMP motor that is good enough to manage most projects. Now, to control this power, it has been equipped with a retractable, three-position handle that allows you to make quick changes to your paper.

Further improving the control is a belt-release lever and adjustment knob that keeps the belt in the proper position. This ensures that you have one less thing to worry about. Thus, it is a user-friendly product as well, and this is seen in the dust collector that comes with it.

This dust collector is exceptionally efficient in that it not only keeps your workbench clean but also provides you with better visibility.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Just looking at it, you get the feeling that longevity may not be its strongest suit. It does tend to break down after a couple of months of rigorous use, so the durability is not the best. Besides, the adjustment knob is stiff, and you may face difficulty in getting it to work. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Efficient dust collector
Cons
  • Durability is an issue
  • The adjustment knob is stiff
  1. POWERTEC BD1500

If a device has power in its name, then you know what its most influential aspect is. Without a doubt, the POWERTEC BD1500 provides you with a lot of energy, but that said, it is also reliable as well as efficient. You are sure to find this product well equipped with many features that will make your work life comfortable.

POWERTEC BD1500 Belt Disc Sander for Woodworking | 1 in. x 30 in. Belt...
  • Includes: heavy duty belt and disc sander...
  • Features: 2 cast aluminum tables provide...

Why Did We Like It?

This model has a belt size of 1”x30” and a disc size of 5-inches that makes it a valuable acquisition for your workbench. As a result, this tool works well for projects in your home as well as outdoor work. 

It comes with a 2.5 AMP induction motor that is usually not seen in other brands. Thus, this motor provides a no-load speed of 3450 RPM along with 1/3HP that makes it good enough for a majority of tasks. In addition to this, it has tilting tables measuring 4” x 7.25”.

These tables can tilt to a maximum of 45 degrees and are supported by a miter gauge so that you have all the angles right while sanding. Besides, it has a tracking adjustment feature, so that the belt works fine for a wide range of jobs. 

Finally, it has two 1.5” dust ports that help to keep your work area clean. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Firstly, the metalwork table that is provided has rough edges. So, you need to be very careful lest you cut yourself while working. Added to this is the fact that the shape of the base is uneven, which makes it tough to get the stability needed for intricate jobs. 

Pros
  • 2-in-1 belt sander
  • Accurate
  • Tracking adjustment feature
  • Quick and easy belt replacement
  • Two dust ports
Cons
  • Metalwork tables have rough edges
  • The shape of the base is uneven
  1. Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed

This brand has been around for a long time, and so most users will be sure to check out its products. Having said so, past achievements are no guarantee of future success, and so the Hitachi SB8V2 Variable Speed is built to handle several tasks with ease. It also sports a highly attractive design and has the features to back it up.

Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander...
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT....
  • Variable speed dial adjusts speed from 820 1,475...

Why Did We Like It?

This tool works fine whether you want to use it on wood, steel, or for removing paint. This is made possible by the 9 AMP motor that provides a no-load speed ranging from 820 to 1475 ft/min. There is a trigger lock mechanism as well, so you do not wear yourself out, holding down the trigger. 

This feature is, in turn, supported by the variable speed dial that offers you greater control during work. Staying on the topic of control, it has a clear front cover tracking window that allows you to see the sanding surface and the belt. Therefore, you can keep your device on track and get better results. 

Furthermore, the dust collection bag is situated on the left-hand side that serves a compelling purpose. This will enable you to get into the inaccessible spots while at the same, the dust bag will keep your workplace clean. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The primary concern we have with this model is that you may end up getting a shock. This should have been taken care of as safety is one of the first things that buyers look at. Added to this is the issue with the belt adjustment feature, which could impact your project. 

Pros
  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Comfort
  • Front cover tracking window
  • Durable
Cons
  • May occasionally get a shock
  • Belt adjustment is a problem
  1. WEN 6321

This tool comes in an all-black look with splashes of orange that makes you take notice. The WEN 6321 is an improvement on the earlier model and what it does well is to focus on the finishing. Thus, you will be happy with the perfect finish that can make your project stand out. 

Sale
WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag
  • 7-amp motor rotates the belt at over 13 feet per...
  • Compact design weighs in at a mere six pounds to...

Why Did We Like It?

This tool has a 7 AMP motor that rotates the belt at 820 ft/min, which means that it can get through any project quickly and efficiently. It is compact too, and incredibly lightweight, thereby reducing fatigue and making long working hours possible. 

Further enhancing the user-friendliness is the lock-in safety function that makes sure you do not need to have a grip on the trigger at all times. Also, it has a tracking adjustment knob that ensures the belt is working fine. 

Complimenting this feature is the quick release function, which makes it easy for you to change the sandpapers or adjust the grits with the utmost ease. Besides, the front roller has an extended front past the housing edge which has the benefit of allowing you to reach the tight spots or corners. 

Along with these, it comes with an 80-grit sanding belt as well as extra belts so that you can carry on working without any interruptions. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The designers have not included a storage bag, and so you may have trouble if you do not have a suitable spot to keep this device. Apart from this, the dust collecting ability is not that good, which means you are likely to end up with a relatively messy workbench. 

Pros
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Quick-release sanding belt
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No storage bag
  • Dust collection is not that good
  1. PORTER-CABLE 371 14”

This is one of those devices that has chosen the road not taken. What we mean by this, is that while other brands were busy piling up on features, the PORTER-CABLE 371 14” decided to improve your comfort. So, now you are guaranteed an efficient performance even during the toughest jobs. 

PORTER-CABLE 371 2-1/2-Inch by 14-Inch Compact Belt Sander
  • Textured rubber body grip provides comfortable...
  • Flush side enables sanding up to perpendicular...

Why Did We Like It?

This is a compact device that has been constructed, keeping in mind the needs of different users. It measures 2-1/2”x14” and weighs in at only 5 pounds. Thus, it is a highly maneuverable model that maximizes ease of use. 

Added to this, is the textured rubber body grip that allows you to control it with one hand. But if you want to use both your hands, then that is possible as well thanks to the auxiliary handle. So, you have a fantastic balance when you use this model. 

This balance is better seen when you use it vertically, horizontally, or in any other way according to your task. Furthermore, it is designed in such a manner that it has a flat side that enables you to brush right up to perpendicular surfaces. This means that you can cover a large surface area.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

One of the problems of this model is that it tends to heat up during work. This could deter potential buyers who may not risk buying a product that may break down during extended use. Besides, the drive belt has also shown a propensity to disintegrate after a few months. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Removable dust port
Cons
  • May get hot during extended use
  • Drive belt may disintegrate
  1. PORTER-CABLE 362

If you are on the lookout for a product that meets commercial demands while being equally adept at home, then you are likely to stumble across the PORTER-CABLE 362. This is one of the most trustworthy brands, and this latest model lives up to all the expectations. It is a powerful tool that can meet a variety of demands.

PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
  • owerful 12.0 amp motor provides professional power
  • Motor is located over platen for maximum...

Why Did We Like It?

It is a versatile, 4”x24” tool that comes with a variable speed control feature. This will allow you to control the 12 AMP motor according to the demands of different projects. This setting gives you the option of selecting the speed anywhere between 1000 SFPM to 1500 SFPM.

The motor, in turn, has been placed directly on top of the plates, thereby offering excellent stability during work. And speaking about the design, it comes in an all-metal body that makes it highly durable and well suited for tough jobs.

Along with these, the adjustable belt knob works much like the Makita 9903, ensuring you can adjust it quickly as well as efficiently. Even if you need to change the belt during work, you can take the help of the quick-release belt lever and a fingertip belt-tracking knob.

These two features work together to significantly reduce extra downtime and you can just dial in the belt adjustment.

What Could’ve Been Better?

As with most sanders, in this case, too, the power cord could get snagged. So, you need to be careful during work so that your sanding operations do not come to a premature end. Besides, the fan exhaust expels hot air, which could affect the overall performance.

Pros
  • Variable speed dial
  • Durable
  • 360-degree swivel dust bag included
  • Quick-release change lever
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Fan exhausts hot air
  • The power cord could get snagged

A skilled carpenter is using the power sander as a tool to polish his furniture instead of sandpaper.

Belt Sander Buyers’ Guide 

Purchasing a new appliance is difficult, but certain aspects can make it easier. Our list of the 11 Best Belt Sanders of 2020 does the first part of the task for you by narrowing down the products. For the second part, you have to look at the essential ingredients of what makes a sander great:

  1. Power 

For any device, the critical aspect is power. With enough power, you can tackle a multitude of tasks with ease. The power drives all the other functions on the model and gives you a great experience. It must also be equipped with a function so that you can use the power as per your requirement to get the best results. 

  1. Durability 

To serve its purpose and ensure you can use it to its full capacity, a device must be long-lasting. It must have the ability to withstand sustained pressure in the workplace and deliver consistent performance. Any customer cannot afford to change a tool regularly. So, they prefer a one-time investment that can fulfill their demands. 

  1. Ease of use 

Finally, for any model to be successful, you must feel comfortable with it. The success or failure of a tool does not depend on the functions but on the buyers who will use those functions. If you struggle to use a product, then it loses its value despite all the upgrades. All improvements must, in some way, contribute to enhancing the user experience. 

Electric belt sander, sanding machine in male hand. Processing of workpiece on light brown wooden table. Close up.

Verdict 

Let’s not shy away from the truth – sanding is a difficult task.

But that is no reason for it not to be fruitful. Over the years, humanity has come up with new and innovative ways to improve our quality of life. And in that respect, technology has led from the front.

With better products on the market, daily activities and chores have become more manageable. And in that regard, sanders have also changed. Having looked at numerous products, we have found that the Makita 9903 Variable Speed is arguably one of the best products out there.

That being said, if you are looking for sheer power, you can opt for the POWERTEC BD1500, while the PORTER-CABLE 362 also covers almost all the bases. So, all that remains now is to improve the work-life by bringing home your favorite model.

So, enjoy your day and happy sanding!

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