Most people are still using paper and block to carry out their sanding tasks. This makes sanding look like a tedious, dull and boring process. The invention of power tools was meant to change this situation. Modern-day sanding, therefore, ought to be fun and enjoyable with the help of the best belt sander.
A belt sander is a heavy duty tool that helps in removing the stock and making the surface look smooth. It can be used in large wooden areas like floors, decks and kitchen cabinet.
In choosing the belt sander, you have to look at three key aspects. These are size, speed, and dust collection capabilities.
Best Belt Sander Reviews & Top Picks 2018
Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
This is a high-quality belt sander with a powerful 8.8 Amp motor. It has easy to use features that ensure efficient stock removal.
The 9903 is an ideal choice for carpenters, woodworkers, deck builders, floor installers, and general contractors. It comes with an auto-tracking belt system, a long power cord, and full variable control.
Efficiency one of its features is a powerful 8.8 amp motor. The motor has electronic speed control. This control can be used to maintain a constant speed during use.
Convenience also included is a variable speed control dial. The dial enables you to match the speed to that of the application. The level of noise is 84db making it one of the quietest sanders.
Accuracy – the other feature is the auto-tracking belt system. It tracks the belt without any adjustment. There is a front grip that ensures comfortable operation.
A low profile design has been used to provide better balance and performance. For easy maneuvering, a 16.4 feet power cord has been included.
An optional sanding shoe to help you determine precise sanding depth. An abrasive belt and a dust bag have also been included.
- A powerful motor
- Quicker adjusting of the belt because of its auto tracking technology
- Extra balance and control
- It’s quite costly
- Relatively heavier than other belt sanders
The Makita 9903 belt sander has enough power to smooth, sand and prime all surfaces ranging from metals to woods. If money isn’t your limitation, then this is the tool to go for. Its performance is way better than most models on the market.
Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
As a world leader in the provision of tools, Black & Decker offers a unique growth platform. Its DS321 Dragster is a 3 by the 21-inch belt that has a low profile design.
Its compact profile allows more excellent contact with the sanding surface. It features a retractable hood that can be used to handle large sanding projects. It has many features that are comfortable and easy to use.
This sander has the necessary power supply with its 7 Amp motor. This power is sufficient enough for simple house improvement tasks. It has decent size for getting your job done effectively.
There is an adjustable handle that has 3 different positions for comfort and control. There is also an adjustable belt to easily keep it in place during sanding.
For enhanced convenience, an action belt is included. This belt can be flipped once to release the lever.
This belt has a sleek design that enables it to access tight corner accuracy. You can reach tight spaces like between banisters and underneath cabinets. Its lightweight nature makes it a good option for sanding delicate pieces.
Its package includes a dust bag, medium grind sanding belt, and an instruction manual.
- A quality sander that is relatively affordable
- The dust bag has a zipper for easier access.
- It’s light and portable
- Feels somehow flimsy
- Doesn’t have a vacuum adapter
The DS321 Dragster is the excellent belt sander for light DIY tasks around your horn. It is quite affordable and provides a good starting point for beginners.
Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
The Makita 9403 model combines power and speed to give you efficient stock removal properties. It has less noise and easy to use features.
The model is ideal for carpenters, woodworkers, deck builders, floor installers and general contractors. It has an extended base that allows for flush sanding.
This sander uses an 11 AMP motor that works on a voltage of 115V. Its powerful motor makes it an effective sander for use in homes, shops, and offices. If you need a heavy duty belt sander that is powerful and relatively quiet then this is your ideal choice.
The belt measures 4 inches in width and has a speed of 1,640 ft/min. It’s one of the quietest belt sanders with its noise levels being 84dB. It can be conveniently used for flush sanding because of its extended base.
The labyrinth construction allows for sealing of the motor and bearings. A large front grip that comes with this sander provides for smooth operation and performance.
The lever control belts are also included and they are easy to change. The cord has been located at the handle’s upper portion for easier access by the user. Its performance is enhanced further by its double insulated wall.
- Has a cord at the upper portion as well as a large front grip for better results
- Changing the belt can be done quickly and easily
- Comes with a dust bag that works efficiently
- The tool is quite heavy
- The positioning of the handle may make it difficult to use
The Makita 9403 has fantastic qualities desirable in any belt sander. Its packaging includes an abrasive belt and a dust bag.
What is a Belt Sander Used for?
Power sanders can be real time savers on your projects if you use them right. When you’re using any power sander there are two things to avoid; underdoing it and overdoing it.
A belt sander spins looped sheets of sandpaper-like tank treads. It’s a powerful tool and it’s best for rough work. You need to know what you’re doing.
Are you aware of some of the uses for belt sanders? Here are some of the uses.
Removing Old Paint, Varnish or Stain
Removing stain can be time consuming, but this is where belt sanders come to place. Gouges happen when the belt or sandpaper gets gummed up with dust, grit pitch from the wood and glue.
Use clean belts and avoid sandpaper grits more beautiful than 120. Keep the sander moving at all times, so you don’t like sand in depression and keep it even on the surface, so you don’t create dips, bowls or other imperfections.
A belt sander can also be used for sanding large projects like solid doors or tabletops. It works so quickly and you can quickly make a mess of your project if you’re not careful.
If your sander has a variable speed, dial it down for delicate work. Take care not to round off the edge of your piece by tilting the sander. It helps to use a scrap of wood as a stop at the edge of your project.
Rough or Raw Surfaces
The belt sander would be your choice for that first pass on a rough surface. It’s great for rough work, but it can be hard to get the hang of, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
It isn’t essential unless you find yourself with a lot of these types of tasks. You can also use it to even out cupped boards or to take down a saw cut to your scribed mark.
How to Use Them
To install the sandpaper belt, you’ll unlock the tension between the two wheels. Flip the tension lever or on a spring-loaded model, push the front roller against your work surface.
Slip the new belt on with the arrows pointed in the direction of the spin and flipped the release to put the tension back on the belt. Turn it on to see if the belt rubs or slips. If it does, adjust the tracking knob to keep the belt centered.
Keep the sander moving at an even smooth pace and don’t press down on the sander. Let it do the work move in a zigzag motion. Let the sander go past the edge of the piece and overlap your next pass slightly.
Note: When using a belt sander, always wear eye protection, hearing protection and a dust mask. Unplug the tool before changing the pads or emptying the dust collector so you don’t hit the trigger accidentally. Check the trigger to be sure it’s off before plugging it in and never rest the sander on your project.
Any aspiring carpenter should have the best belt sander in his toolshed. Such a tool will be helpful in a variety sanding projects. We have reviewed the best tools for your consideration. Each of this tool has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Factors like size, power and performance will play a key role in your choice. With a limited budget, you can go for the D5321 Dragster Belt Sander from Black 8, Decker. On the other hand, you can stretch your pocket a little further and acquire the Makita models.
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