Best Benchtop Belt Sanders in 2021: Buying Guide

Unless you’re built like The Hulk, you may not have the arms or the patience to sand your wood-based art manually. For the average carpenter and amateur woodworker, they can rely on belt sanders to give their workpieces an ultra-smooth finish.

best belt sander under $100

A belt sander is a tool that utilizes a fast-moving abrasive belt to smooth, splinter-free surfaces. Two drums turn a long loop of sandpaper, removing a huge amount of materials in a short amount of time. Other than giving your workpieces a nice, flat finish, a belt sander can also be used to shape rough stock and prepare it for further processing.

Types of Belt Sanders

Belt sanders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they typically fall into two different categories – handheld and benchtop.


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Benchtop Belt Sander | Bestseller

Bestseller No. 1
JET JSG-6DC 6'x48' Belt / 12' Disc Benchtop...
JET JSG-6DC 6"x48" Belt / 12" Disc Benchtop...
LONGER LIFE: Graphite-covered steel platen runs cooler, increasing machine and belt life.; POWERFUL: 1-1/2 HP motor easily handles the toughest sanding operations.

Handheld Belt Sander

A handheld belt sander (palm or otherwise) is one that you can carry around. You use it by gripping the tool with both hands and running the rotating belt over your workpiece. The best thing about handheld belt sanders is that although they produce a ton of sawdust, they usually have large dust collection bags, so you don’t need to sweep/vacuum anything. However, using this tool requires having a steady hand since applying too much downward pressure can remove more material than intended.

Best Belt Sander

Benchtop Belt Sander

A benchtop belt sander is one where you take the material to the tool, not the other way around. This stationary belt sander is also portable, but it requires a bit of muscle in doing so. Also, you need to mount this tool to a workbench or other surface to keep it perfectly balanced. Any slight imbalances can lead to messy sanding.

In this article, we’re going to focus on benchtop belt sanders. The reason or doing this is simple: although they’re larger compared to their handheld counterparts, they’re still extremely portable and come with a wide range of features that make it an extremely handy tool to have in the workshop.

Our Recommended Belt Sanders in 2021

10) WEN 6502

When you purchase this sanding machine, you get two sanders.

The first sander is a 4X36-inch sanding belt. The second sander is a 6-inch sanding disc.

Both sanders work very well. Each one rotates at 3,600 RPM, allowing for quick and efficient sanding. You can easily sand all-manner of surfaces.

WEN 6502 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander...
  • Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 4-by-36 inch belt and a 6-by-6 inch disc
  • Adjustable belt tilts anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees
  • Sturdy cast iron base prevents any heavy vibrations

9) WEN 6515

With this sander, you receive a 1X30-inch belt sander, and a 5-inch sanding disc.

For the most part, both of these sanders work well. One will, more often than not, be better for you than the other, depending on what you are sanding.

The belt runs at a speed of 3,150 FPM. For most sanding tasks, that is more-than-sufficient.

The disc runs at 3,450 RPM, which is a great speed.

WEN 6515 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander with 5 in....
  • Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 1-by-30 inch belt and a 5-inch disc
  • 2.3A motor provides up to 3160 FPM for the belt and 3450 RPM for the disc
  • Sturdy heavy-duty base prevents walking and wobbling during operation

8) BUCKTOOL BD4801

From Bucktool, we have a speedy and efficient sander.

You can, with this sander, use a 4X36-inch belt, or an 8-inch disc. Regardless of what you use, the sanding process will be easy and pleasant.

By using this sander, you can choose a rotation speed. Each rotation speed is locked to the ¾ HP motor, which is fast and allows for flexibility.

BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander 4 in. x 36 in....
  • Sanding belt and disc were directly driven by the motor shaft, maintenance-free, you don't have to adjust the...
  • Motor direct-drive design can increase 25% sanding efficiency than the traditional design. 3/4 HP total...
  • The belt can work at 0 or 90 degrees depending on the needs of your project, the driven drum allows for...

7) BUCKTOOL Belt Disc Sander BD4603

A 4X36-inch belt, and a 6-inch disc, give you a couple of good options.

Regardless of which sander you choose, you have access to a plethora of speeds. Each speed is a little different, making it easy to fulfill your sanding needs.

To choose your speed, you will be relying on the motor, which offers ¾ HP of power.

BUCKTOOL Belt Disc Sander 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and...
  • Sanding belt and disc were directly driven by the motor shaft, maintenance-free, you don't have to adjust the...
  • Motor direct-drive design can increase 25% sanding efficiency than the traditional design. Max. developed 3/4...
  • The belt can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees for horizontal and vertical sanding depending on the needs of your...

6) RIKON Power Tools 50-151

A 5-inch disc and 1X30-inch belt give you two good choices.

Beyond those choices, though, this sander allows you to tilt and adjust the sander itself, as well as what you are working on.

For those who need to sand at an angle, this is a great sander to own.

RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt with 5" Disc Sander,...
  • Belt Table Tilts from -0Degree- 45Degree
  • Belt Tracking Knob
  • Safety ON/OFF Switch

5) Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander

You can, with this sander, adjust the sander from 0-degrees to 90d-degrees. You can also adjust the table itself from 0-degrees to 45-degrees.

As a result of both of these functions, performing your sanding, the way you want it to be performed, is easy.

Beyond that, this sander offers a 4X36-inch belt, and a 6-inch sanding disc.

Sale
Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander
  • [HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL SANDING] The spacious 4” x 36” belt platform raises and lowers from 0-90° to...
  • [BEVEL EDGES] The sanding table adjusts from 0-45° for smoothing out beveled edges—you’ll have the nicest...
  • [HEAVY INDUCTION MOTOR] Powerful 4.3-amp motor provides plenty of power to sand down all your woodworking...

4) Palmgren 2″ x 42″ Belt, 6″ Disc

Just as the name implies, this sander comes with a 2X42-inch sanding belt, and a 6-inch disc.

Both of those sanders run at a speed of 3,500 RPM. You can use this speed to perform a variety of sanding tasks, with ease.

Palmgren 2" x 42" Belt, 6" Disc bench finishing...
  • 1/3 HP, 120/240VAC motor, 3.5/1.75 amp, 3500 RPM
  • 2-Inch x 42-Inch Belt speed 4400 SFPM
  • 6-Inch PSA abrasive disc, 3500 RPM

3) WEN 6500

From WEN, we have a sander that offers a 4X36-inch sanding belt, and a 6-inch sanding disc.

The 3.2-Amp motor this sander relies on can generate a speed of up to 1,150 FPM.

Since that isn’t a particularly high-speed, this sander is ideal for smaller sanding tasks that don’t require too much speed.

WEN 6500 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander...
  • Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 4-by-36 inch belt and a 6-by-6 inch disc
  • Belt tilts anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees
  • Features an open-style steel frame design

2) JET J-41002

For a 2X42-inch belt sander, you cannot go wrong with this one.

While you are using this sander, the belt and disc will both run at 3,450 RPM. That is a very nice speed, making for quick sanding work.

But, of course, due to this speed, more deliberate sanding can be a challenge.

JET J-41002 2"x42" Bench Belt and Disc Sander...
  • DELUXE MITER GAUGE: Turns and locks for common angles, 45 degrees both left and right
  • HEAVY-DUTY: Has a steel base, rubber feet, and cast iron construction
  • REMOVABLE PLATEN: Allows for sanding, grinding or finishing of outside curves or odd shaped work pieces on the...

1) POWERTEC BD4600

A 4X36-inch belt sander and a 6-inch sanding disc, are the two main features this sander offers.

The overall design of this sander is sturdy and reliable. You won’t need to purchase a replacement anytime soon.

To go along with that, the disc runs at 3,600 RPM, while the belt runs at 1,900 FPM.

POWERTEC BD4600 Belt Disc Sander For Woodworking |...
  • Includes: heavy duty belt and disc sander combination flaunts a 4”x36” sanding belt, 6” sanding disc, A...
  • Features: a 6-1/2 x 8-3/4 inch cast aluminum table that provides exceptional work support and tilts up to 45...
  • 2-1 design: sanding machine is equipped with both, an abrasive Belt and disc Combo, large enough and perfectly...

Benchtop Belt Sander Buying Guide

If you’re in the market for a benchtop belt sander but don’t know what to look for, we’re here to help. The following section will discuss the various specs and features to look out for, especially if you want a tool that’s both powerful and versatile.

Best Belt Sander Reviews and Comparison

Motor Power

The standard motor on a benchtop belt sander ranges between 1 and 6 amps. For average DIY guys and gals out there, a motor of about 4 amps will provide enough power for most, if not all, of your sanding needs. If you’re looking for more power for bigger projects, then try finding a 6-amp benchtop belt sander. A more powerful motor generally means quicker, more effective sanding.

Speed

When it comes to sanding, you’re going to want to find a high-speed tool. Quicker belt rotations mean removing more material in less time. However, you need to be mindful about how much pressure you’re applying to the belt with your workpiece since you could accidentally end up removing more than you’d originally planned.

A good speed to look for would be about 1,500 RPM or at least 2,300 SFPM (surface-feet-per-minute). Better yet, a variable speed feature would give you the option to do both light sanding and heavy-duty removal on one machine.

The 10 Best Belt Sanders

Belt Type

Even though belts are replaceable, it’s still a good idea to check what type of belt your sander comes with. The two choices available to you are aluminum oxide and zirconia. Both options work well in removing material, but many people prefer the more abrasive zirconia belt for both light and heavy sanding. If you didn’t get your hands on a zirconia belt, an aluminum oxide belt would work just fine; just make sure that you get the right grit size for either rough sanding or final sanding.

Belt Length and Width

There are two reasons why the size of the belt matters. First, longer belts have a longer lifespan so you won’t need to purchase replacement belts as frequently. Second, wider belts allow operators to sand larger workpieces with minimal movement and maneuvering. You don’t want something so small that you could risk sanding away your knuckles as you twist and turn your workpiece. A good size to be on the lookout for would be at least 3 inches wide by 18 inches long, but feel free to find something bigger or smaller depending on what you’re most comfortable with using.

Weight and Construction

Consider the weight and the materials used to make the benchtop belt sander. Even though this tool is technically portable, you really shouldn’t think of purchasing a model that weighs less than 30 pounds. Even if the belt sander is properly mounted onto your work surface, vibrations can cause the unit to rock unexpectedly.

The best benchtop belt sanders we’ve seen are typically made of steel and/or cast iron. These durable materials add much-needed weight to the tool to keep vibrations in check. If the tool is made out of plastic or aluminum, we recommend finding something else.

best benchtop belt sander

Disc Sander

One thing that manufacturers realize is that a belt sander can’t replace a disc sander and vice versa. To get the most out of your workbench belt sander, it’s a good idea to find a model that also includes a disc sander system. A vertical disc sander works a lot better at producing curved edges on your workpiece, so having the ability to sand, shape a point, and make curves in one machine is something you should definitely consider.

Bevel

This is one of the most overlooked features in a belt sander most people use this tool to sand and not shape. However, if you’re looking to make oddly shaped pieces of art of with a belt sander, ideally, the tool should have a bevel gauge and tilting work table. This will allow you to remove material from your stock at almost every angle without bumping your knuckles against the work table. The work table can usually bevel up to 45°, 90°, or not at all.

Dust Management System

Belt sanders produce a heck of a lot of sawdust – something that’s not exactly good for you in inhaled. You should only get a belt sander/disc sander combo if it comes with a reliable dust port. You can always purchase or 3D-print your own adapters if your shop vac’s hose doesn’t fit into the existing dust-collection port. An adjustable dust shoot that lets you redirect the direction of the port is a nice feature to have as well.

best benchtop belt sanders

Final Remarks

Both handheld and benchtop belt sanders are handy tools to have in your shop, but if you’re looking for ultra-sanding power and a multi-purpose tool, the benchtop belt sander is the way to go. You can sand large workpieces, shape pointed edges, and even make fancy curves without having to employ/purchase multiple tools. Basically, it makes sanding a whole lot easier and enjoyable to do compared to vigorously rubbing a sheet of sandpaper across the surfaces of your wood-based art.

If you’re planning on purchasing a benchtop belt sander, make sure that it comes with a strong motor (4 amps or more), is made of a durable material (steel, cast iron, or both), uses large-sized sanding belts (at least 3 by 18 inches), and comes with a reliable dust chute for ejecting sawdust. A tilting table and disc sander add-on are huge pluses.

Benchtop Belt Sander | Bestseller

Bestseller No. 1
JET JSG-6DC 6'x48' Belt / 12' Disc Benchtop...
JET JSG-6DC 6"x48" Belt / 12" Disc Benchtop...
LONGER LIFE: Graphite-covered steel platen runs cooler, increasing machine and belt life.; POWERFUL: 1-1/2 HP motor easily handles the toughest sanding operations.


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Last update on 2021-06-15 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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