The 10 Best Belt Sanders For All DIY’ers (By Type)

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray

A belt sander can be used for many projects, and there’s no doubt it can smooth off rough edges in seconds. I still love looking on with some amazement when I see the sterling job it has done with removing those rough edges on planks.

If you intend to work with any woodwork projects, can I suggest you go ahead and invest in a belt sander? It will help sand those large rough surfaces and even help level out boards on a floor, along with a host of other projects.

But I get it. You search for belt sanders and see many options thrown up in front of you. So, why not allow me to make life that bit easier?

You see, I’ve been using my belt sander for longer than I care to remember. So, I want to take this experience and put it to use to help you.

What you will find below are a total of 10 different belt sanders that I feel represent the best on the market right now. You will also notice I’ve split them into various categories to make it easier for you to find the right one.

Finally, I will give you a few tips and advice on selecting the correct belt sander for your own individual needs. So, if you are unsure what to look for, I have you covered.

using belt sander

How I Made My List

I didn’t simply select the first ten belt sanders I came across. Instead, each belt sander has gone through the same process before deciding if it would make it onto my list.

Each belt sander had to be shown to be robust, easy to use, and where it didn’t take an eternity to change the paper. Also, I looked at what other people had said regarding their experience with the belt sander before concluding that it was worth being included.

After all of that, I was left with these ten, and I’m confident you will find one belt sander perfect for your needs.

Best Benchtop Belt Sander – Bucktool Combo BG2600

  • Power: 3.5 Amps
  • Belt Size: 2” x 42” belt sander and 6” bench grinder
  • Speed: 3450 RPM wheel speed and 4480 FPM belt speed

Choosing the best benchtop belt sander wasn’t easy, but I finally opted for the Bucktool Combo as I feel it covers many bases with one tool. I love how this model comes with not only a belt sander but also a bench grinder and even a knife sharpener. It’s a great combination.

The motor is powerful enough to generate a speed of 3450 RPM, which is impressive and will make short work of your projects. Also, you can tilt the table for the belt sander to 90 degrees allowing you to work on more projects.

I also like how they have gone one extra step by including an eyeshield on the bench grinder, and this is an excellent addition. It also comes with a quick-release tension option, so changing that belt is painless.

Overall, I love how this sander incorporates many aspects into one machine. It’s easy to use, quick to set up and makes it very easy to deliver quality results on your projects.


  • You get a multi-purpose tool from this one machine
  • The eyeshield is a great touch and makes it safer to use
  • You can quickly change the belt without any problems
  • Tilting and adjusting the table is very easy to do
  • The machine is robust and will last for years


  • It does take up a bit more space than other benchtop belt sanders

Best Handheld Belt Sander – Makita 9403

  • Power: 11 Amp motor
  • Belt Size: 4” x 24”
  • Speed: 1,640 FPM
  • Weight: 15.8 lbs

I struggle to think of a poor tool produced by Makita, and this particular sander is not about to change that. While this is a heavy tool, it is backed by a lot of power, leading to stunning results. 

Complete with an 11 Amp motor, this sander works at a speed of up to 1,640 FPM. That does mean it makes short work of smoothing even the roughest of planks. 

But what I also love about this model is the fact it doesn’t cost the earth. Instead, you get a professional-level belt sander for what is pretty much a bargain price. Add in that you get a sander regarded as one of the quietest on the market, and there’s almost nothing for you to not love about this model.

It also comes with a dust collection bag, and I find this version more than adequate. It does an excellent job of picking up almost all the dust, but rest assured that some will be missed.

Overall, this belt sander has an excellent grip, has a slight pinch to the end helping you get into corners, and is set up to be quick and efficient. 


  • It has a powerful motor at 11 Amps
  • It works at an impressive speed making short work of things
  • The handle is comfortable and easy to grip
  • It’s pretty quiet for a belt sander
  • The dust collection bag moves around, so it’s never in your way


  • It is one of the heavier handheld belt sanders on the market

Best Cordless Belt Sander – RIDGID 18-Volt GEN5X

  • Power: 18V battery
  • Belt Size: 3” x 18”
  • Speed: 935 FPM
  • Weight: 6 lbs

Sometimes, having a cordless power tool makes sense, so if you want to know the best cordless belt sander, I suggest the RIDGID 18V GEN5X. I know it’s a bit of a mouthful for the name, but you get a great belt sander in return.

I love this model because it comes with a brushless motor. That generally means it’s more robust and requires less in the way of maintenance. 

Also, at just a fraction over 6 lbs in weight, I feel that using this sander is exceptionally easy. You also don’t get exhausted from using it since it does glide over wood without too many problems.

I’m also impressed with the running time you get on a single charge with this model. In addition, the model is designed to provide you with a steady flow of power instead of having to contend with surges, leading to a smoother end result.

Overall, this belt sander performs well even under duress while maintaining a steady power level giving you optimum control when handling it.


  • It’s lightweight at just over 6 lbs
  • It is effortless to move around and use
  • It delivers a constant level of power, meaning better control
  • It offers 935 FPM, which is ample for most people
  • The battery stays charged for a prolonged time


  • You don’t always get a charger included, so watch out

Best Oscillating Belt Sander – Triton TSPST450

  • Power: 3.5 Amp
  • Belt Size: ½” to 2” diameter
  • Speed: 1925 RPM for spindle and 1575 FPM for belt

While an oscillating belt sander is more of a specialist tool, I still feel it’s important to include one in my list. During my research, I found that the Triton TSPST450 always came out as the best.

It comes with 3.5 Amp of power, which results in the spindle having a speed of 1925 RPM, and the belt comes in at 1575 FPM. That’s more than enough for those intricate edges, which are also made easier by the table tilting through to a 45-degree angle.

I love how the spindle can both oscillate and rotate. That stops you from burning through the wood while offering absolute control over the end result. 

This sander offers a lot when you wish to do those more intricate projects.


  • It has both a spindle and belt sander option included
  • You get a huge number of sanding papers and sizes with the model
  • The speeds are impressive off such a tiny motor
  • The combination of both oscillating and rotating helps


  • It only works with small intricate projects

Best Mini Belt Sander – Makita 9032

  • Power: 4.4 Amp
  • Belt Size: ⅜” x 21”
  • Speed: 980 – 5,600 FPM

If you want to go small but still have a powerful belt sander for helping with those intricate jobs, then the Makita 9032 is the perfect solution. It may be a mini version, but it still has a 4.4 Amp motor generating up to 5,600 FPM. Also, I like how this version has a variable speed dial, so you can slow it down should you wish to be extra careful.

This model is undoubtedly for those finer woodworking jobs. It comes with a ⅜” x 21” belt, so you can get into those smaller areas. But what I like about this model is the extending arm. It makes working on more projects easier, and the arm swivels through 100 degrees.

Overall, this tool is handy and straightforward to operate. If you are in the market for a mini sander, this one has to be the best.


  • This is a small but very powerful sander
  • It has a variable speed dial offering you more control
  • It’s extremely powerful for its size
  • The extending arm pivots for easier use
  • It’s straightforward to use


  • It does clearly have its limitations due to the width of the belt

Best Corded Belt Sander – RIDGID ZRR2740

  • Power: 6.5 Amp
  • Belt Size: 3” x 18”
  • Speed: 400 – 950 SFPM

If you worry about batteries running flat, I suggest checking out the RIDGID ZRR2740 corded belt sander. It comes with a 6.5 Amp motor and a variable speed option ranging from 400 to 950 SFPM. I find that’s more than enough for the average DIY’er to be able to get on with different projects.

This model’s belt is standard at 3” x 18”. Also, it does come with automatic belt tracking, so everything should stay on track.

The cord is 12 feet long, so that’s ample for most people. I must also mention the soft grip handles and the fact it comes with a vacuum attachment to help suck up the dust. It’s one of the best for this, so if you worry about mess, then don’t stress.

This corded belt sander covers all the basics and performs exceptionally well. Also, it represents real value for money.


  • You get a lengthy cord at 12ft long
  • It has a fantastic dust extraction attachment
  • It has a variable speed offering you absolute control
  • The motor is more powerful than you expect


  • It can come across as a bit noisy

Best Budget Belt Sander – WEN 6321

  • Power: 7 Amp motor
  • Belt Size: 3” x 21”
  • Speed: 820 FPM
  • Weight: 6 lbs

I get that some people are working on a real budget, and if that’s the case for you, then I suggest not looking past the WEN 6321. This model still comes with a 7 Amp motor, pushing the belt along at a speed of 820 FPM. While this speed is lower than you will find on other models, I feel it gives a beginner more control over things.

One thing I like about this model is that WEN has ensured that adjusting this model is as easy as possible. That means changing belts and sandpaper is never a struggle, and you can be back up and running in next to no time.

You may also notice that this model has a unique front roller included. That helps you get into corners and right to those awkward edges, meaning you should never run into too many problems when using this belt sander.

Overall, I see this model as the best for those on a budget and a brilliant option for people new to belt sanders. It keeps things nice and simple while ensuring it gets the job done, which sounds like the perfect balance.


  • It’s straightforward to adjust almost everything on this model
  • It’s powerful enough for beginners
  • The front roller does indeed make a difference with those corners
  • It’s lightweight at only 6 lbs in weight


  • This is by no means a heavy-duty belt sander

Best Benchtop Belt Sander for Metal – Bucktool BD4802

  • Power: 1 HP direct-drive motor
  • Belt Size: 4” x 36” belt 8” disc
  • Speed: 3450 RPM disc speed, 2161 FPM belt speed

If you plan on working with metal and wish to own a belt sander capable of helping you out, I suggest this model by Bucktool. It’s powered by an impressive 1 HP direct-drive motor, which is more than most people would need.

But that power then means the 8” disc spins at a maximum of 3450 RPM while it pushes the belt to a maximum of 2161 FPM. That will make short work of sanding down metal and wood, while I still feel the model offers you a substantial amount of control.

I do also love the adjustment options with this model. The belt sander can be easily moved between 0 to 90 degrees, while the table for the disc sander goes to a maximum of 45 degrees. Basically, it covers all your angles.

Sitting on a cast aluminum base, I find this machine easy to operate. With the motor offering greater efficiency over other models, I believe you will be amazed at how robust this model is, even on heavy-duty projects.


  • You have two sanders in one with this model
  • The motor is very powerful and will make sanding metal very easy
  • It’s on a strong and sturdy cast base
  • Adjusting the tables for the sanders is easy
  • The motor is robust and requires little maintenance


  • It’s too powerful for people new to a belt sander

Best Belt Sander Under $100 – Skil 7510-01

  • Power: 6 Amp
  • Belt Size: 3” x 18”
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs

If you want to spend under $100 on a quality belt sander, I suggest considering the Skil 7510-01. Not only is this sander rugged in appearance, but it’s also capable of dealing with whatever you throw at it.

It comes with a 6 Amp motor to power the 3” x 18” belt, which is more than enough to manage to plane almost any type of wood you throw at it. But there’s one other element about this sander that I love.

You will see that it comes with a pressure indicator that lets you know when you are applying enough pressure. This is fantastic as it does increase the chances of you having a smooth finish at the end. 

In addition, this may be a budget sander, but it still comes with auto alignment, so there is no need to worry about the belt slipping off.

Overall, this sander is an excellent example of what’s out there, and if you want to spend less than $100, this could be perfect for most people.


  • It is very inexpensive
  • It still has a strong motor powering it
  • The pressure indicator works exceptionally well
  • It has an auto-alignment tool for the belt


  • It may be rugged, but it’s still not a heavy-duty sander

Best Benchtop Belt Disc Sander – Rockwell Belt Disc Combo Bench Sander

  • Power: 4.3 Amp
  • Sander Size: 4” x 36” belt and 6” disc
  • Speed: 3450 RPM and 1700 SFM

At times, having the ability to perform different tasks with one sander could prove significant. If that sounds like something you may have to deal with, then the Rockwell Belt Disc Combo Bench Sander could be the answer.

You get a belt sander on the top, complete with a 4” x 36” belt and a 6” disc sander on the side. The belt aspect can also be adjusted up to 90 degrees which further increases the number of projects you can perform with this model.

There is another table at the disc sander, which can also be adjusted to a maximum of 45 degrees. I find both aspects very easy to adjust, making this sander a joy to work with.

From a power perspective, it has a 4.3 Amp motor giving you ½ HP. I find this to be ample, and it also offers you a smooth finish without it ripping through the wood. It also comes across as a rugged machine, while changing the sandpaper belt and disc is pretty straightforward.


  • You have both a belt and disc sander in one machine
  • The belt sander is wider than most models
  • It has more than enough power to deliver a smooth result
  • The machine itself is robust and rugged
  • It’s all very easy to set up


  • It’s clearly not as portable as other options but still performs well

How to Choose Your Belt Sander

sanding wood with belt sander

The ten sanders listed above are all excellent tools in their own right, but I know it may have complicated matters for you. So, here are some tips that should help you narrow down your options and hopefully get your hands on the perfect belt sander at the first time of asking.


The first consideration is power. You want the belt sander to have enough power to smooth out those planks. Too little power may lead to it ripping the wood rather than smoothing it.

But power also relates to your experience of using a belt sander. Or those new to it, I would suggest a slightly less powerful and slower machine. Something around 6 Amps of power would be perfect.


The speed with a belt sander is measured in FPM. The higher the number, the faster the sander, but that’s not always something you want. If new to a belt sander, a higher number means it’s harder to control, and that’s not something you want.

If you have never used a belt sander before, I would look at one with a figure of around 800 – 1000 FPM. That will be enough to get you started.

But with speed, check if the trigger on the belt sander is pressure-sensitive or if there’s a variable speed dial. This will also provide you with better control.

Width and Length

When talking about belt sanders, you will notice I give the belt dimensions in length and width. In general, if you plan on working with wide material, then go for a wider belt. However, if it’s smaller projects, do the opposite and work with a narrower belt.

A Flush End?

One thing to note with a handheld belt sander is that some models have parts of the machine going past the end of the actual belt. This may only be a fraction of an inch, but it does stop you from getting to the edges.

Of course, this won’t matter if you simply plan on sanding down planks. However, you must avoid a machine without a flushed end if you are working on something with raised edges or corners.


A belt sander will produce considerable dust, so some dust collection is essential. However, don’t expect it to be 100% perfect. That won’t happen.

I suggest focusing on a model with a dust port that you can connect to your own extraction system, which may be a vacuum. While it’s still not perfect, it will reduce the amount of dust.

Those are the key components to look for when buying a belt sander. You will notice models with additional features, but these core parts are essential.

belt sander setup

Overall Conclusion

If you plan on working with wood in any capacity, then I would give some serious consideration to purchasing a belt sander. Even a small handheld belt sander is capable of producing some impressive results. 

The models I’ve listed above cover all eventualities, and that includes price ranges as well. I recommend you spend some time reviewing the tips I mentioned above and think carefully about your desired projects. 

Taking your time over this will improve your chances of picking the perfect belt sander. When you do, I guarantee you will notice a huge difference in how you tackle various projects. I believe this will be one of the best investments you will ever make with your tools.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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