Best Belt Sander in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

best belt sander
Sanding is by no means the first thing on a woodworker’s mind. There is any number of considerations that come before sanding. From what lumber to use to how well ventilated your shop might be, and with good reason – after all, you can sand any kind of wood, constructed in any manner.

Even so, any experienced woodworkers will admit the importance of properly sanding a project. Sanding rounds sharp corners remove dangerous or painful splinters and create a smooth surface that will be easier to paint or shellac.

As important as a step as it might be, sanding by hand is boring in the extreme and can be quite painful. Sandpaper tears frequently and heats up during use, prompting many woodworkers to invest in a sanding machine. The belt sander adds all the advantages of modern technology to the process, allowing you to speed through a dull step and bring your project to completion.

Shopping for power tools is always a tough decision, with an impressive variety of options available for any product. We’ve narrowed the belt sander field to the five best options to help you make your choice and get your woodworking back up to speed.

Best Belt Sander  – Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE

TOP PICK

1. WEN 6321

  • Good value for money
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Dust bag
  • Intuitive use
  • Quick release locks for handle, bag, and belt
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RUNNER UP

2. Hitachi SB8V2

  • Powerful motor
  • Tracking port
  • Elastic grips
  • V-belt drive for longer tool life
  • Variable speed control
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3. BLACK+DECKER DS321

  • Good balance of weight and power
  • Retractable hood
  • Angled belt for corners
  • Low profile reaches tight areas
  • Adjustable handle for user comfort
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4. POWERTEC BD1500

  • Belt and disc functions
  • Dual dust ports
  • Cast aluminum table
  • Minimal vibrations
  • Integrated miter gauge
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5. Makita 9903

  • Compact design
  • Powerful motor
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Highly durable
  • Good tracking
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Our Best Belt Sander Reviews and Comparisons

1. WEN 6321

Product Highlights

Oriented towards convenience, this sander has a number of helpful functions that make life in the shop just that much easier.

Features

  • 7 amp motor
  • 21” belt
  • Belt speed 13’ per second
  • Weighs 6.2 lbs

What We Like About WEN 6321

This product comes with a safety lock and dust bag to keep your working space clear and usable even through long projects.

What We Don’t Like About WEN 6321

Even with the integrated dust bag, the collection leaves something to be desired.

PROS

  • Good value for money
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Dust bag
  • Intuitive use
  • Quick release locks for handle, bag, and belt

CONS

  • Subpar dust collection
  • Plastic components are not the best quality

2. Hitachi SB8V2

Product Highlights

This tool can handle more than just wood – the Hitachi motor can grind metal or paint as well.

Features

  • 9 amp motor
  • Nearly 1,400 ft/s
  • 9.5 lbs
  • 21” belt

What We Like About Hitachi SB8V2

This tool can handle more than just wood – the Hitachi motor can grind metal or paint as well.

What We Don’t Like About Hitachi SB8V2

This is among the heavier models, weighing in at nearly 10lbs.

PROS

  • Powerful motor
  • Tracking port
  • Elastic grips
  • V-belt drive for longer tool life
  • Variable speed control

CONS

  • Bad dust collection
  • Belt comes out of alignment frequently

3. BLACK+DECKER DS321

Product Highlights

Those shopping on a budget are always pleased to see Black and Decker, and this belt sander is no exception.

Features

  • Weighs 8.2lbs
  • 7 amp motor
  • 21” belt
  • Belt speed 15’ per second

What We Like About BLACK+DECKER DS321

This Black and Decker sander deliver exceptional performance at extremely competitive prices.

What We Don’t Like About BLACK+DECKER DS321

This tool is constructed from lower-quality materials, giving it a shorter lifespan than most similar sanders.

PROS

  • Good balance of weight and power
  • Retractable hood
  • Angled belt for corners
  • Low profile reaches tight areas
  • Adjustable handle for user comfort

CONS

  • Poor construction
  • Bad tracking

4. POWERTEC BD1500

Product Highlights

A standing machine that is a cut above other belt sanders in terms of power and durability.

Features

  • 30” belt
  • 2.5 amp motor
  • 3450 rpm
  • Two dust ports

What We Like About POWERTEC BD1500

This machine is a combination disc and belt sander, making it your one-stop destination for finishing projects.

What We Don’t Like About POWERTEC BD1500

As a standing machine, this will suffer serious constraints in the context of a larger project.

PROS

  • Belt and disc functions
  • Dual dust ports
  • Cast aluminum table
  • Minimal vibrations
  • Integrated miter gauge

CONS

  • Stationery
  • More costly than other sanders

5. Makita 9903

Product Highlights

This is a well-rounded machine that strikes a solid balance between the many different facets that you want in your power tools.

Features

  • 8.8 amp motor
  • Up to 14,140 ft/min
  • 21” belt
  • 9.5 lbs

What We Like About Makita 9903

This machine ticks most of the boxes that a tool owner will be looking for, with a powerful motor and good tracking in a compact frame.

What We Don’t Like About Makita 9903

The vacuum hookup for this machine is awkward, and not compatible with most common brands of shop vacuums

PROS

  • Compact design
  • Powerful motor
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Highly durable
  • Good tracking

CONS

  • Relatively heavy
  • Does not come with a storage box

Final Verdict

These tools will have your project finished and ready for use in no time, making the chore of sanding lumber a few minutes instead of a whole tiring day. Your hands will be protected from splinters and friction burns – two infamous dangers of sanding – and your project will benefit from a clean, smooth finish that will take paint or varnish with ease.

If you are shopping for these tools for the first time, take care to buy one that will not overload your workshop electronics. A few moments spent reading the specifications can not only save time and frustration but can realistically prevent electrical accidents as well.

In a similar vein, make sure to use the correct size and grain of the sanding belt for your tool. If you are replacing a sander, it is a good idea to check the belt instead of simply switching it to your new tool. The belt can easily wear through in the middle of a project, leaving you in the lurch.

Although they do not have actual blade-like power saws or electric drills, do not take these tools lightly. A belt sander can cause serious injury if touched even briefly during operation. Even if you don’t touch the belt itself, the motor and reels can catch loose clothing or hair and tear it in short order.

For this reason, it is always worth an extra safety check when using a belt sander. So take a moment to ascertain that no unbuttoned sleeves, long hair, or loose jewelry will endanger you or others. When you are finished. Power down and store the machine in such a way that it will not cause any undue operation until you return.

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