Best Belt Sanders: Smooth Out Rough Edges

These top belt sanders are guaranteed to help you even out rough surfaces

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Do you spend a lot of time in your garage working on wood, metal, and other projects? If so, you will appreciate the benefits of a belt sander in helping you create the perfect finish. It works the same way as a treadmill, and you only have to move the sanding belt over the surface to even it out. If you are in the market for one, here are a few options you could consider. 

  • Best Overall
    Makita Belt Sander
    Summary
    Summary
    A heavy-duty, motor-operated belt sander with powerful sanding action.
    Pros
    Pros
    Lightweight. Ergonomic front handle. Quiet operation. Motor and bearing sealed for enhanced protection. High-quality construction. Includes a dirt collection bag.
    Cons
    Cons
    Not recommended for first-time users. Small dust collection bag. Expensive.
  • Best Value
    WEN Corded Belt Sander 
    Summary
    Summary
    A corded sanding tool with high-speed sanding capabilities.
    Pros
    Pros
    One of the cheapest sanding tools. Lightweight and compact design. Includes a detachable sandbag. Features a trigger lock-in for enhanced control.  Great for DIY users.
    Cons
    Cons
    Not designed for heavy-duty use. May overheat with continuous operation.
  • Honorable Mention
    Black+Decker Belt Sander
    Summary
    Summary
    A plug-and-play sander designed to fit in tight corners and vertical surfaces.
    Pros
    Pros
    Allows for easy reach into tight spaces. It has a convenient adjustable handle. Great for small projects. Changing the belt is fast and easy. Reduces operator fatigue. Designed to offer great control of the machine.
    Cons
    Cons
    Low powered. No variable speed control setting. May need frequent adjusting.

Tips

  • Safety comes first when using any power tool, including a belt sander. Wear protective gear to cover your eyes, nose, and ears when working. Sanded material may cause discomfort if inhaled or if it gets in your eyes. 
  • Unplug the device before you change the sanding belt or empty the dust collector to avoid getting electrocuted or blowing dust all over the room. Also, ensure that it’s switched off before you plug it into an electric outlet. 
  • Always keep the belt sander moving and lift it from the surface when you are done with that section. Leaving it on one spot may create a slight dent in the material. 
  • Do not shift from working on wood to the metal without emptying the dust collection bag. Sanding metal can create sparks, which may ignite the sawdust in the bag. 

FAQs

Q: Is a belt sander difficult to use?

A: A belt sander is like a portable conveyor belt that you can move over surfaces to get the finish you want. It’s not that difficult to master as long as you are familiar with the safety precautions you should take when using one. The sandpaper on the belt typically moves in one direction, and all you have to do is to make sure that you follow the grain of the wood to create an even surface. 

Q: Is a belt sander better than an orbital sander?

A: They are more like complementary tools than substitutes for the other. They both use sandpaper to even out surfaces, but you’d have to first use a belt sander to get rid of the rough edges, since it’s more aggressive. It strips off the wood and coating material, including paint. After that, you can then use an orbital sander to add a touch of finesse to your work. 

Q: Can you sand a concrete floor with a belt sander?

A: You would need a high-powered belt sander with a very firm sandpaper belt to smooth concrete. The sandpaper should have a high grit count (about 400 grits) to get the smoothest finish and remove imperfections of the floor. If there are major imperfections on the concrete, consider using a specialized concrete floor grinder to make your job easier. 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for one of the best belt sanders, we recommend the Makita belt Sander. It can get to tight spots and is highly maneuverable, even in close quarters. It’s also easy and comfortable to use. 

A more budget-friendly option is the WEN Corded Belt Sander