How to Choose the Best Belt Sander
How do you choose the best electric belt sander? What features and functions should the best belt sander have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.
DIY activities are some of the most exciting hobbies that can passionate you. However, it can be quite difficult to enjoy such an activity if you do not have all the nedded tools at your fingertips or you use outdated tools.
The belt sander is one of the tools you need for the correct finishing of wooden, metal or plastic objects. No matter if you need such a device to support your hobby or your work, it’s always good to be informed in order to make the best choice.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Do You Choose the Best Belt Sander?
- 1.1 Types of Belt Sanders
- 1.2 Engine Power
- 1.3 Running Speed
- 1.4 Contact Surface Size
- 1.5 Sanding Belt Granulation
- 1.6 Which Features and Accessories Should Have the Best Belt Sander?
- 1.7 Manufacturers and Warranty
- 2 Recommended Belt Sanders
How Do You Choose the Best Belt Sander?
There are several types of sanders on the market that promise a finish as good as a belt sander can offer. However, the difference is in the ease of use, the durability and the quality and precision of the finish.
If you’re a beginner, you have a hobby, or you’re simply poorly informed, you need some more information about the belt sander in order to make the best choice. There are already a variety of models on the market that offer you every advantage and disadvantage, so you must know to make the best choice for you.
We have prepared a shopping guide with information for everyone, in which we will give you all the aspects you need to consider before making a good investment. So, to choose the best belt sander, take into account the following important details:
Types of Belt Sanders
The belt sander is an excellent piece of equipment to keep in hand when you need it, but it is also a device that even your work can depend upon.
Depending on the purpose for which it is purchased and how it will be used, there are several types of belt sanders:
Hobby Belt Sander
If you will not use the a device on a daily or very frequent basis, it is best to head to a hobby sander. It will best suit you if you intend to use it for simple and rare work mainly to finish the wood.
You will not need high performance or very varied features. A belt sander with moderate performance and some basic features will serve you more than enough.
It will also save you a lot of money in your pocket, because this variant is the cheapest one.
Semi-professional Belt Sander
Such a belt sander fits you if you intend to use it more frequently, but not for very complex tasks. Maybe you’re thinking of solving some finishes in your own household or even for some neighbours, or you’re going to refurbish your home furniture.
In this case, the best belt sander for you is one with a slightly higher power and durability. You can also think about choosing a machine that is also able to polish plastic and metal, not just wood.
Professional Belt Sander
We recommend a professional device if you are a professional. If you work in the field of DIY, you have a carpenter’s workshop, or you work in furniture production and processing, you practically use such a sander every day, it is absolutely necessary to choose a professional model.
Not only will engine power and runtime be greater, but you’ll have several grain variants of the sanding belt as well as more options created specifically for optimal handling and result as accurately as possible.
Manual Belt Sander
A hand sander is obviously more versatile in terms of portability and manoeuvrability. It is the ideal choice for home, allowing you more freedom of use. You can practically use it from any angle, which will help you in times when it will be necessary to follow the contour of an object.
Mounted Belt Sander
It is a more massive model that has no advantage in terms of portability. It is also known as a “grinding machine”, being used in specialized workshops. Because it is perfect for millimetre precision finishes, where a fixed device is more advantageous than a manual one, it is the ideal option for professionals.
This is an aspect that influences the efficiency of the sander depending on the hardness of the material that needs to be sanded. The harder the material, the more power you need.
The belt sander works on the basis of an electric motor for which you will need to connect to a power supply through a power cable. Engine power ranges between 500W and 1200W.
We recommend a device with a power range of 500-650W if you are looking for a hobby belt sander, strong enough to polish wood or plastic.
In order to be able to satisfactorily sand and without risk for the integrity of the machine even the metal, the engine power must exceed 800W.
Any sander with a power above this threshold falls into the semi-professional and professional category. Also, the durability of the sander is higher if the engine power is higher.
Running speed is a performance index expressed in either meters per minute or in revolutions per minute. The best belt sander guarantees a working speed of 400-1500rpm (revolutions per minute) or 200 m / m (meters per minute). Devices with these values can be used with confidence by any professionals.
Contact Surface Size
It refers to the size of the surface that comes in direct contact with the sanding area. It can be of square or rectangular shape. Standard sizes range from 75mm to 100mm. The higher the grinding surface, the faster the grinding process will be.
If you want more precision and not necessarily a higher working speed, we recommend that you acquire a sander with a narrow contact surface.
Sanding Belt Granulation
The sanding belt is an item without which you will not be able to use the sander, however it falls into the category of supplies, and you need to replace them periodically because they are exposed to wear.
Some manufacturers include one or two belts in the package. However, depending on the level of finishing you are going to need, you will need to pick up other belts with different grain sizes.
The grinding band grain size varies between 20 and 200. The higher the amount, the finer the granulation. In the first finishing process, when you need to remove large pieces of chip and as much material as possible, you need a grain size ranging from 20-40.
The belts or sandpaper bands, which are usually included in the manufacturer’s offer, have an intermediate grain size of 80. The bands that exceed this value, however, reaching 120 or even 200, are used for precise, fine or extra fine finishing.
Before buying the necessary sanding belts, make sure you have correctly checked the dimensions that match the purchased belt sander model.
Which Features and Accessories Should Have the Best Belt Sander?
- Working speed control – an electronic access function that allows the sanding options to be adapted to the particular material type, as well as the level of hardness or precision with which a surface is worked.
- Dust collection function – Inevitably when using a sander you will produce dust particles. For the work surface to be as clean as possible, we recommend a sander that has this function.
- Lock On – gives you the ability to lock your device at the desired work speed.
- Fast grinding function – creates the necessary conditions for enjoying an ergonomic working regime.
- Soft Grip padded handles – Another ergonomic option for optimal comfort during use.
- Adjustable handles – perfect for greater and easier manoeuvrability.
- Automatic belt adjustment – refers to the automatic adjustment of the belt for optimal operation, without any inconvenience or too many headaches.
- Dust collection bag – As with a vacuum cleaner, if this bag is in place, it should be cleaned or replaced periodically.
Manufacturers and Warranty
Satisfied users recommend the following manufacturing companies as capable of delivering high quality products at an excellent price/quality ratio. These are: Makita, Bosch, Silverstorm, Black & Decker or Hitachi.
Generally, any manufacturer offering a minimum warranty of 2 years is one that you can buy with confidence. Do not ignore the buyers’ opinion and try to consult and compare more reviews to choose the best belt sander.
Recommended Belt Sanders
Taking into account the above criteria and recommendations, studying the current market offer and user reviews, we present you below some models of belt sanders that offer excellent quality/price ratio.
- Variable speed
- Adjustable file arm angle & narrow sanding belt
- Quick belt tensioning system
- DUST COLLECTION BOX & LOCKING SWITCH: 1 dust extraction box and 2 vacuum cleaner adaptor are included, saving you the cleaning trouble; a locking switch allows you to work for a long time without pressing the trigger continuously
- QUICK & EASY TO CHANGE SAND BELT: Simply press the lever, and you can take off and put on the sanding belt, easier and more convenient; 75 x 457 mm larger sanding belt allows you to accomplish high-intensive, demanding and large-scale projects
- SANDING PLATFORM: Turn the belt sander upside down and fix it with the screw clamps, you will get a sanding platform, making it more convenient and easy to process items of small size
- Fitted with the Bosch microfilter system for efficient built-in dust extraction. Perfect handling - easy to control thanks to improved ergonomics and compact design
- Automatic belt tensioning system makes changing the belt quick and easy
- Manual belt alignment is not required as the belt is automatically held in the correct work position while sanding
- WIDE APPLICATIONS-Suitable for sanding various materials, such as wood, glass, ceramics, metal etc, easy and convenient sanding and polishing can be achieved if suitable sandpaper is chosen
- INVERTED SANDING PLATFORM-Put the belt sander upside down; fix it with two clamps and you will have a inverted sanding platform, which is great for dealing with items of small size and tricky shapes
- EASY TO CHANGE & ADJUST BELT- The orange adjustable knob allows you to adjust the belt easily through screwing it tight or loose; push the side lever and you can take off the belt to change it; simple operations without extra tool
- Soft grip provides comfort in use
- Adjustable belt tracking
- Dust sealed bearings and components
- Flat top for inverted applications and cloth dust bag
- Soft rubberised grip, designed for up close sanding to walls
- Powerful 940 W motor with industrial build makes this unit ideal for floor sanding
Last update on 2019-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API