As a professional woodworker who also loves to work on hobby projects at his home shop, I am no stranger to tools. As with most men, I love power but I have also learned that quality and durability are equally (if not more) important. It is my goal to help you find the tools that have both the power that we all crave and the quality and durability that make something worth your money. I have seen it all, done it all and have a thing or two to pass on to you so I hope that this article is as helpful to you as it is enjoyable for me to write! In this article, we will discuss the best belt sanders, how to choose them as well as the best place you can purchase them.
How to Choose the Best Belt Sander
When choosing a belt sander, there are a few important things to consider. You will want to keep in mind the size of your job, what you want the sander to do and your budget. Keep those three things in the forefront of your mind as you shop and read up on:
1. Size of the Belt sander
Small sanders are better for smaller jobs and larger ones are better for larger ones. Simple enough, right? It’s pretty logical and no surprise that if you are looking to sand your whole house’s siding, you probably don’t want a compact sander. By the same token, if you want to sand a small area, a large sander doesn’t make much sense.
2. Corded or Cordless Belt Sander
Cordless sanders are portable but much heavier and you have to recharge their batteries. In general, I recommend corded. Although, if you aren’t sure if you will have a power source where you will be working, cordless may make sense.
Low-speed sanders are best for finer finishes. High-speed sanders are going to give you a rougher finish but get the job done a lot more easily and quickly. If you are looking for a smooth, silky finish, always go for lower speeds.
Your budget matters, of course. Belt sanders can run anywhere from the low hundreds into the thousands depending on what you are looking at. You can probably spend a couple of hundred dollars and get a good one, however. If you are not a professional or don’t do a lot of carpentry projects, it is not necessary to spend a ton of money on your belt sander. Choose one that is reasonably priced and fits your needs.
This may seem like a small thing but it can be a real pain to have to wear ear plugs for all of your projects. A quiet machine can be a real convenience and a joy to use.
Top 5 belt Sanders Reviews
1. Makita 9403 11 Amp – Suitable for Big Jobs
This tool delivers power without excessive noise.
You can even use it without ear plugs but it does the same work as most sanders in about half of the time.
I was amazed at how quietly it ran the first time I used it. It’s just a great machine. I love the dust collection system and the long power cord is awesome!
So much better than having to use an extension cord almost every time. It does require some arm strength to control because of how powerful it is so it isn’t really suitable for smaller jobs but for big jobs this is one of the best on the market!Click Here to Check it out on Amazon
2. Hitachi SB8V2 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
This is a well-built sander and works well. It is quite heavy so it does require some upper body strength to use.
The bag is OK. It collects a lot of the dust but it does leave some mess behind. Once I installed the belt and set the tracking it stayed true and did not wobble all over. The belt installation lever makes installing the belt quick and easy: Pull the lever back, install the belt, slide the lever up.
Voila! This is probably a close second to the Makita 9403 but I still prefer the Makita because of the dust bag and the fact that this one can be a bit noisy.Get the latest pricing for Hitachi SB8V2 On Amazon
3.PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander
I like this sander It’s durable and works well. I think it is probably really versatile too (I have only used it on a few jobs so I can’t say for sure). But there are 2 things that irritate me when using this sander.
1. The positioning of the cord coming out of the top of the grip and
2. The dust bag coming right out of the top of the grip. Are you noticing a pattern here? They are consistently in the way when I am trying to work.
It seems like such a simple oversight on the part of the manufacturers. I really wish they would have put more thought into its design because, aside from this major flaw, this thing is great. It’s just as good as my first 2 picks.Click Here to see the latest Price for this Item on Amazon
4. Grizzly H6070 Belt and 5-Inch Disc Sander, 1 x 30-Inch
This sander is just OK. It’s not bad. It’s really a great choice for someone who doesn’t use a belt sander often and who only needs it for small jobs.
It’s nothing spectacular but it does what it is supposed to. The motor lacks power and I don’t know how long it would last if used often for bigger jobs. But as I said, for smaller jobs once in a while it would probably be fine.
It’s considerably cheaper than my last 3 picks, well, so it really isn’t a bad deal for the money.This Item Can Be Found on Amazon
5. Makita 9031 5 Amp 1-1/8-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
I like this sander a lot. It works well and its small sizes is great for getting into those tiny spaces. It’s fantastic for small spaces but not as great for larger spaces as it leaves wheel marks when used on large, flat surfaces.
It is also possible to tire out the supports on the metal plate but it is still a very tough and durable too with a lot of power. It’s not cheap but compared to equivalent machines that go for much more, this gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
I truly hope that this article has helped you to choose a belt sander that will work for your needs. It is a personal choice and can’t be decided without considering your needs, your budget and your projects but my goal is to give you unbiased and fair assessments so that you can choose the best tool for you.
For additional information, make sure you check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_sander