How To Buy The Best Belt Sanders – Buying Guide
For most forms of sanding, a belt sander is practical. But, if you choose the right model from the many choices out there, this is only valid.
Although the form is often the first consideration to consider when choosing one, several other important items do need to be held in mind. And they include the following.
Sanding does not need much power, at least not as much as other things like sawing, but you do need to make sure the belt sander you choose has a powerful enough motor.
Belt sanders will come with engines with an amperage as small as 6-Amp, and some will have as high as 10-Amps or more. The belt sander with more powerful motors tends to be more effective and work better than low-amperage ones. In most cases, however, they will also be more expensive.
You will have to select between single and variable velocity sanders when it comes to RPM. Single-speed belt sanders are the oldest type, and their use is limited by the fact that you can not adjust the pace.
On the other hand, variable-speed models allow changing the speed depending on the project. And for most models the velocity ranges from 500 to 1,500 feet per minute.
Many belt sander models have only two speed settings (high and low) while others have a dial, which allows you to choose any speed in between. The variable velocity sanders are perfect for use with different materials.
There are different sizes of belt sander on the market; therefore, you need to decide what you want. It’s also important to remember that the sizes depend on the size of the sanding belt they are using.
Most belt sanders will break into two sizes, 3 x 21 inches and 4 x 24 inches respectively. The 3 x 21 belt sander tends to be the most common because its lightweight, compact size makes it simple to handle and suitable for everyday woodwork projects.
For working on large panels and even when you want to own a heavy industrial sanding machine, the 4 x 24-inch belt sanders are perfect.
Choose the smaller models when you intend to use the machine under various circumstances or when you want something for use at different worksites.
Weight is also a crucial factor to consider when buying any handheld power device. It is also an important consideration for the belt sanders, as it defines the ease of use and comfort.
When most of your activities allow you to use the sander in a horizontal position while operating on badly misaligned surfaces, the better choice is a heavier belt sander.
If doing some home maintenance, the lighter the belt sander better for vertical or overhead sanding because it is easier to manage.
You can get a sander with a belt that is as light as 8 lbs, and others will be over 20 lbs. And then what you’re going to choose depends on how you want to use the sander.
The Dust Collection
A belt sander generates lots of grit, and afterward it will leave you with lots of cleaning. Ensuring you choose a belt sander with an appropriate dust collection system is important.
An onboard dust canister or bag is always a nice addition, but do make sure it’s large enough to avoid emptying it.
Many models also have a dust port or allow the dust bag/canister to be removed and the shop vac attached. Such models are the best when it comes to dust-gathering, and if you use your belt sander often, that’s more so.