Belt sanders are used for smoothening down rough surfaces with great speed and high strength. These kinds of products are comprised of sanding belts, a series of strong cloth that is placed over two cylindrical drums.
The drum in the back is driven around by the belt sander’s motor while the one in the front is used to spin around. There is usually a lever attached to the sander that helps the user move the belt into its appropriate place.
An adjustment option is preferable since it would mean that the belt can be automatically adjusted as the user moves around in the work area.
In addition to being useful in removing stock off of woodworking, the belt sander is also great for clearing off old paint, varnish, and spots. The speed adjuster ensures the user the guarantee of always a smooth finish. Ideally, there are two types of belt sanders: handheld and stationary.
Types of Belt Sanders
When a belt sander is stationary, it means that it is fixed and the work must be moved near the sanding belt to be operated on. For the sanding to be perfectly balanced, stationary belt sanders are usually placed on a workbench. In such a case, a workbench may be called a bench sander.
What are stationary belt sanders specifically used for? They are used for removing non-ferrous materials, for example, like aluminum. Although aluminum and other such non-ferrous materials usually end up clogging wheels, belt sanders are mostly immune to damage since the metal bits pass the wheel by going around it.
A handheld belt sander is more flexible to use since the product can be readily moved to the work area rather than bringing the work to the belt sander.
Handheld belt sanders usually consist of additional features such as an adjustable power speed regulator which makes sure that despite so much motion, the product remains in perfect balance and does not hamper any sort of work activity.
How does the sander work? It consists of a bunch of pulleys to keep putting a coated abrasive material on the wood to remove stock from it. Either the wood is kept fed to the sander or the sander is moved near the wood.
Best Belt Sanders Reviews
1. Makita 9403 (Best Rated)
Considered to be one of the quietest sanders of its type, the Makita 9403 is a dream come true for any carpenter, woodworker, serviceman, builder-man or contractor.
It only weighs 13 pounds and as aforementioned, offers a very minimum level of noise (only 84 decibels, to be exact). The belt is only 4 inches wide but comes with great electronic speed that keeps the job smooth and constant. In fact, you can expect to remove stock material at a rate of 1,640 feet per minute with the Makita 9403.
Efficient and practical at the same time, the Makita 9403 can be used without any worry of it going under the weather. Customers have claimed that the product has run 100 hours without suffering any kind of problems. Although it may be a bit heavyweight, it has a large front grip that enables its user to maintain proper balance while operating it.
Furthermore, the Makita 9403 has solved the biggest singular problem of any sander: getting rid of the dirt and dust the sander procures while working. The Makita comes with such a strong blower so that there is no requirement for a vacuum. This would save you from wasting time on unloading the dirt from the vacuum!
2. Genesis GBS321A (Affordable)
More than anything, the Genesis is easy to use and easy to tolerate. It is easy to use because it allows a speed control for its 8.0 AMP motor so the user can regulate the speed as per his or her comfort. In fact, the speed range is from 390 feet per minute to even 1,180 feet per minute. It is easy to tolerate because it is less noise to operate.
The belt may be a bit longer than sander belts are usually expected to be, being 21-inch in length but there is a front grip handle that can be adjusted automatically for efficient and hassle-free operation.
In alongside with its dependable belt, the Genesis has a structure that has been specially designed to make sure that its user can easily get to tight corners. This is why the product is so much more preferable for woodworking and sanding wood panels, projects that require flexibility and swiftness.
Other useful features of the Genesis GBS321A include a duct collection bag to collect dust while getting work done and a power cord so that the user can work for a more extended amount of time without worrying about the battery going dead!
3. Porter-Cable 362V (Powerful)
With a body entirely built from metal and an amp motor of 12 AMP, the Porter-Cable 362V is indeed a beast that has been designed to withstand prolonged operation without any rest.
It is also heavy itself since it weighs 15 and a half pound and measures in at 14 inches high. However, this won’t be a disturbance. All you need to do is guide the Porter-cable, and it will do all the work.
Why is it easy to guide? The speed dial is placed on the rear of the handle so that changing the speed according to demand is very effortless.
The user also need not worry about collecting dust since there is a collection bag that automatically does that job needlessly and can even swivel around for any sign of dirt without causing any distraction. The belt is also the same way: it adjusts itself as you move and does not sway from the track.
Small advantages such as these work together to become a better one: while using the Porter-cable, the user only needs to focus all his or her attention on the job itself, rather than worrying about collecting the dust or adjusting the belt.