The 10 Best Belt Sanders of 2021 | Unbiased Review

If you’re looking for the perfect woodworking tool to shape and give clean finishing to your woodpieces, then consider choosing the best belt sander.

Also known as a strip sander, the belt sander can replace sandpaper in a wood workshop. But it delivers better performance and speed with its electric motor alongside pairs of drums that gives a sharper sandpaper effect on your wood—thanks to its continuous loop mechanism.

Also, belt sanders are either handheld or stationary. So, finding the perfect choice for your sanding process could be tricky—considering the various options—available in the market.

The good news is:

I created this article to show you 10 of the best belt sanders.

So, if you’re ready to see them—let’s begin!

Quick Overview

Before we commence with this very detailed and long article, I gave it a thought to show you a piece of brief and concise information about the best belt sanders—listed in this article. So, if you’re in haste to make your buying decision, you can take a look at our top ten and their key features.

My Recommendations

To produce this comprehensive and well-detailed article, I carried out a lot of research and ran tests on different belt sanders. Then, in the quest to get the best out of the rest, I did a lot of digging to find the ten best belt sanders, which I listed in this guide as my top options.

I had a few qualities in mind during my research and fact-finding quest—which I used as a benchmark to select my top picks.

Honestly, the ten belt sanders listed here didn’t tick the box for all the required features as there’s no such thing as the perfect tool.

But I was able to select these tools because of their key features that made each of them unique.

My advice for you is simple:

Dedicate some time to read through this guide properly from start to finish if you want to get a well-informed decision about the best belt sander—perfect for your woodworking process and expertise.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 belt sanders.

1. Best Cordless Belt Sander – RYOBI P450

Ryobi is one of the few brands that manufacture cordless belt sanders–and their product is top-notch.

With a very quick motor and the ability to work under pressure, this piece of machinery has earned its position as the best cordless belt sander on the market.

Here’s why I think the Ryobi P450 is the best in its category:

  • The RYOBI P450 has a brushless motor that offers a longer runtime and lifetime than other brushed models. It is also battery-powered (battery not included)
  • The handle of this tool has rubber molds to give you maximum comfort over an extended period
  • You can use Ryobi’s 18v lithium-ion one + battery line for the tool. All the models are compatible, including the P1 series
  • Its cordless design allows you to work on all kinds of furniture and flooring 
  • The brushless motor is placed at the front of the tool for even weight distribution
  • You can collect dust with a dust bag or a dry vacuum. Both offer an amazing way to keep your workspace tidy

What’s Included?

  • (1) Ryobi P450 Cordless belt sander
  • (1) Reusable dust bag
  • (1) Sanding belt (80 grit)

My Favorite Feature: “Adjustable Pommel”

  • The tool has an adjustable pommel for maximum ergonomics

One feature I appreciate about this tool is how you can move the pommel in five different positions. When you find your ideal position, it makes the tool even more comfortable

2. Best Reliable Belt Sander – Makita 9403

The Makita 9403 is an amazing tool for woodworkers, furniture makers, deck builders, carpenters, and general contractors who want the most reliable belt sander to handle the job effectively.

Plus, its combination of power, speed, and ease of use put it one step ahead of its counterparts.

Here’s why I think the Makita is the best reliable belt sander:

  • This belt sander is very quiet as it only produces 84 decibels. So, you won’t get distracted or disturbed by the noise of this tool
  • Labyrinth construction protects the bearings and motor from contamination
  • You can get maximum comfort with the large front grip of the tool
  • It has an innovative design for better flush sanding to walls with the side or nose of the sander

What’s Included?

  • (1) Abrasive belt (4” x 24” 80 grit)
  • (1) Dust bag
  • (1) Makita 9403 belt sander

My Favorite Feature: “Fast Material Removal”

  • You can remove materials from surfaces quickly with the tool’s 4-inch wide abrasive belt (moves as fast as 1,640 FPM)

The Makita 9403 has both the power and speed you need for a fast and quality result. The powerful motor (11 AMP) has an electronic speed control that helps you maintain the speed you need.

3. Best Versatile Belt Sander – WEN 6502T

 If you’re looking for a way to use a belt sander and a disc sander in one tool, you can opt for the WEN 6502T.

This incredibly versatile tool is both a belt and disc sander. It easily smooths, sands, and removes all deformities on your piece of lumber.

Here’s why we think this tool is the best in its class:

  • It is a two-in-one sanding machine with a belt (4 x 36 inches) and a disc (6 x 6 inches)
  • The belt can be adjusted anywhere between 0 – 90 degrees
  • The tool has a solid base that stops heavy vibrations
  • You can easily change the sandpaper grits with the tension release system
  • The motor (4.3 amps) offers a max speed of 3600 RPM
  • You can use your favorite dust collector with this tool by attaching it through the dust collection port

What’s Included?

  • (1) WEN belt/disc sander
  • (1) Belt sander (80 grit)
  • (1) Disc sander (80 grit) with a beveling table

My Favorite Feature: “Beveling Table with Miter Gauge”

  • The table has beveling capabilities (0 – 45 degrees) and a detachable miter gauge

I like this feature because the tool not only allows you to add an angle to your workpiece. Also, it helps to hold your wood at a set angle with the miter gauge — while sanding.

4. Best High-Performance Belt Sander – SKIL 7510-01

When it comes to performance, the SKIL 7510-01 stands at the top of the list as the best performing belt sander.

It comes with great features that improve the result of your project while making it an enjoyable one. To top it up, it’s also one of Amazon’s bestsellers.

Here’s why I think this tool is the best high-performance belt sander on the market:

  • It has a micro-filtration system that makes sure your workspace stays clean by trapping fine dust particles
  • The dust canister is transparent. So, you’ll know when it’s time to empty the canister (no more guesswork!)
  • With the tool’s auto-track alignment system, your sanding belt will always be on track (centered)
  • The powerful motor (6.0 AMP) can sand a wide variety of lumber surfaces
  • The tool is vacuum compatible. In other words, you can attach any vacuum of your choice to the tool

What’s Included?

  • (1) Sanding belt (3 x 18 inches, 80 grit)
  • (1) Dust canister
  • (1) SKIL 7510-01 belt sander

My Favorite Feature: “Pressure Control Technology”

  • This feature warns you when too much pressure is applied to the tool

I love this feature because it prevents you from putting too much pressure on the belt sander. By monitoring the sanding pad, this technology shows you the right pressure for an optimal finish.

5. Best Low-Profile Design Belt Sander – Makita 9903

Makita is well known for producing good-quality power tools and industrial accessories – and the Makita 9903 model is no different.

The tool has a subtle design that packs a lot of power and features. So, it’s a great option for beginners and DIY woodworkers.

Here’s why we think the Makita 9903 is the best low-profile design belt sander:

  • Makita 9903 has a powerful and quiet motor (8.8 AMP and 85db)
  • The auto-tracking belt system tracks the belt, so you don’t have to adjust it yourself. 
  • You can adjust the speed of the tool between 690 – 1440 ft/min with the variable speed dial
  • It features a front grip design for a more comfortable sanding operation
  • It also uses a dust bag for dust collection
  • The long power cord (16.4 ft) allows easier movement when sanding

What’s Included?

  • (1) Makita 9903 belt sander
  • (1) Abrasive belt
  • (1) Dust bag

My Favorite Feature: “Low-Profile Design”

  • The tool has a low profile design that allows you to sand tight spots or spaces

With this feature, you can always get those hard-to-reach tight spots and spaces with the low-profile design of the Makita 9903.

6. Best Compact Belt Sander – Genesis GBS321A

The Genesis GBS321A is the best fit for woodworkers, carpenters, and other general contractors that want a belt sander with a small design.

Plus, the tool packs a punch despite its small design and constantly gives predictable results.

So, here’s why we think this tool is the best compact belt sander on the market: 

  • Powerful motor (8.0 amp) with electronic speed control that ensures you have constant speed under pressure
  • Variable speed control that helps you match the right speed between 390 – 1, 180 ft./min for the right job
  • Effective dust collection bag that minimizes dust in your work environment
  • The tool’s adjustable front handle makes it comfortable and easy to control

What’s Included?

  • (1) Genesis GBS321A belt sander
  • (1) Dust bag
  • (1) Sanding belt

My Favorite Feature: “Quick-Change”

  • The Genesis GBS321A features a single lever quick belt change

This feature is my favorite because you don’t need tools to change the sanding belt. Hence, the process is easy and time-effective.

7. Runner-Up Belt Sander – Metabo HPT SB8V2

The Metabo HPT offers great value. So, it’s no surprise that we rated it as our runner-up belt sander.

It offers professionals a versatile performance while staying in the price range for DIYers. Though it doesn’t have the best compact design, it’s the most capable in its class.

Here’s why we chose the Metabo HPT as our runner-up belt sander:

  • The tool features a powerful 9 amp, 1,020 watts motor that provides enough power for the toughest sanding jobs. Plus, the Metabo HPT has the most powerful motor on this list
  • The variable speed dial located at the bottom of the handle helps you get the right speed for various applications
  • The dust collection bag is left-mounted. So, it reduces the mess from corner sanding application and keeps the work environment clean
  • The flush surface design makes sanding faster and even
  • When you purchase this product, you get a 5-month warranty

What’s Included?

  • (1) Metabo HPT belt sander
  • (1) Dust bag
  • (1) Sanding belt

My Favorite Feature: “Tracking Window”

  • The tracking window improves visibility when sanding surfaces

This feature allows you to see the surface of your workpiece when you’re sanding against it. This way, you’ll reduce the number of errors you make.

8. Best Budget Belt Sander – WEN 6321

The WEN 6321 combines high performance with affordability, making it our best budget belt sander.

The WEN 6321 offers great value for your money, and it’s a good tool for newbies. Also, DIYers can finish small projects easily with this tool.

Here’s why we think the WEN 6321 is the best in its class:

  • The high-power motor (7 amp) spins at a speed of 820 feet per minute and supplies enough power for sanding rough splinters, finishing edges, and stripping paint
  • It weighs only six pounds. Thus, it has a compact design that reduces your fatigue when sanding
  • The dust bag is detachable for easy cleanup and mess prevention
  • It’s easy to adjust belts, swap sandpapers, and change sanding belts. Plus, you can do this without tools
  • With the extended front roller feature, you can reach tight corners and confined spaces

What’s Included?

  • (1) Wen 6321 belt sander
  • (1) Sanding belt (80 grit)
  • (1) Dust bag

My Favorite Feature: “Lockable Trigger”

  • It helps you to lock the trigger button and keep the machine running

This feature is my favorite because it removes the stress of pressing down buttons to keep your sander running. Instead, you can lock the trigger. So, it offers you a more comfortable operation.

9. Best User-Friendly Belt Sander – RIDGID 18-Volt GEN5X

Ridgid leaves the competition in the dust with the 18-volt brushless sander. We’ve seen a lot of brands go cordless, and Ridgid doesn’t fall behind.

You can handle the toughest jobs with the RIGID 18-volt belt sander and enjoy tons of features that make your operation enjoyable. Plus, it’s a simple tool that’s very user-friendly.

Here’s why we rated this tool as our best user-friendly belt sander:

  • High-power 18v brushless motor that supplies enough power to handle the toughest jobs
  • Features a quick belt release feature that allows you to change belts easily and tool-free
  • The tool has an automatic belt tracking system that keeps the belt in the center
  • Prevents finger fatigue with the trigger lock switch
  • Variable speed dial makes it easy to use different speeds for different applications

What’s Included?

  • (1)  Base tool
  • (1) Dust bag
  • (1) sanding belt (80 grit)

My Favorite Feature: “User-Friendly”

  • This model is quite easy to use and pretty straightforward

The Ridgid 18-volt is powerful and extremely user-friendly. You can get right up against a perpendicular surface and sand up to the edge by simply adjusting the belt positions. 

10. Best Tight Spots Belt Sander – Astro Tools 3037

The Astro tools 3037 is the go-to if you want to remove spot welds from your workpiece. Its method is quicker and cheaper than standard methods.

The tool has a wand-like design that makes it easy to reach tight or confined spaces. Hence, we crowned this product as the best tight spot belt sander.

Here is why we rated this product as the best in this category:

  • Effective tool for weld spot removal
  • Features a basic belt tension lever
  • The tool has a variable speed control to help you adjust the RPM required for your application (up to 16,000 RPM)

What’s Included?

  • (1) Astro pneumatic tool belt sander
  • (3) sanding belts (40 grit, 60 grit, and 80 grit)

My Favorite Feature: “360 Degree Adjustable Arm”

  • You can adjust the arm of the tool to any desired position

This feature is my favorite because it gives you better access to hard-to-reach areas with a simple turn of the bolt using a wrench.

Final Thought

As I noted in the beginning – there is no one-size-fits-all tool. My personal preferences for the best belt sander are Ryobi P450 and Metabo HPT SB8V2.

While writing this guide, I did my best to help you to choose the best belt sander.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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