Bench Grinder VS Belt Sander
You may have wondered which fared better; the bench grinder or the belt sander. While these two devices are known to smooth and hone dull surfaces, the two were actually designed to tackle different tasks.
However, DIY enthusiasts often ask which works better. This article will further explain and provide answers for the bench grinder vs. belt sander debate.
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The Bench Grinder: Difference Between Bench Grinders and Belt Sanders
The bench grinder is designed to sharpen specific items. It needs to be fixed steadily to a workbench or any other kind of mount. It is capable of grinding away rough edges smoothly on items like drill bits, scissors, knives, and chisels.
It can also repair tools from screwdrivers down to punches and smooth out welded joints and other sorts of defects. By using a wire wheel or buffer, a bench grinder can clean up and polish lots of tools.
The unit has two grinding wheels located on either side of the motor’s housing. The majority of every wheel is enclosed by a guard, but each perimeter of the component has around a 90-degree arc that is bare in front of the device. It comes with an eye shield as well, which is located in the guard’s opening, and below the grinder is where the tool rest is located.
The majority of home workshops do not require any of those business-type grinders, and something that has a medium size with a 1/2-horsepower motor will be enough for home use. Bigger ones with powerful motors and larger wheels are more for commercial/business use.
The Belt Sander
The belt sander, once fitted with abrasive paper, is capable of sanding thick layers of paint and can smooth out coarse surfaces at a quick rate. It should be handled with proper care due to the speed of its performance. If the unit is left immobile in one area of the item, it can damage its shape.
It has two tube-shaped drums which come as a closed loop of coarse paper that travels uninterruptedly. One drum is operated by an electric motor while the other is spring-loaded to sustain the pressure on the belt.
It is recommended for smoothing out flat surfaces and the cutting edge of tools or items slashed throughout the grain. The majority of contemporary sanders feature integrated dust collectors for convenience. They are often sold as a benchtop or portable model.
Which Should You Use?
To continue our bench grinder vs. belt sander discussion, we now come to which tool should be used best on all your intended sharpening and smoothing projects. For some DIY enthusiasts. they are more into the belt sander because it can be used on not only some metal materials but softer materials like plastic.
This makes the unit more versatile compared to the bench grinder. The belt sander also allows for making more accurate angles and accomplishing flatter surfaces.
Meanwhile, some are into the bench grinder since it has a bigger selection of wheels from the buffing kind down to heavy-duty ones like the diamond abrasive wheel. It can be bought as a bench-type grinder or as a freestanding one. The motors of this unit are intended for metal; thus, it comes with higher horsepower and torque.
One of the most crucial factors you have to consider though is the kind of abrasive belt that both items make use of. The belt sander can be utilized as a lightweight belt grinder by buying belts that are meant to be used on metal; however, belt sanders are limited when it comes to sharpening efficiency on steel materials and can lead to heat buildup faster due to the sander’s higher speeds.
If you want to sharpen your tools and other items with power tools, you can do so with a bench grinder and invest on few belts that are meant for a variety of uses. You can make use of a heavy ceramic belt for repairing the edges or damaged chisels, axes and other tools with thicker blades.
You can also use a flexible, fine-grained ceramic belt for sharpening thicker-bladed tools. If you are after significant sharpening, you can opt for those diamond-plate sharpeners, a ceramic rod or a sharpening stone.
To finish our talk about the bench grinder vs. belt sander debate, just go for the equipment that you are going to use the most often. This means you have to base the unit you are going to invest in on projects that you often do the most.
If you tend to work on plastic materials the most, then you will do fine with a belt sander. If you work with metal more often, you can invest in a bench grinder and its various accessories.
How to Choose a Bench Grinder
The grinding wheel is going to be the most important aspect of the bench grinder that you will want to consider. The grinding wheel can come in a variety of different types, and not all bench grinders will work with each type. Therefore, you need to choose a grinding wheel based on its intended use.
The grinding motor is the next pivotal aspect to consider. This is what powers the tool. But again, the power you need will also largely depend on what you are planning to do. Lighter tasks will require lower power.
Typical bench grinders also have an rpm range of between 2000 and 4000 and up. All of this is dependent on the bench grinder model. If possible, choose a bench grinder that has adjustable speed settings so you can customize the settings for each of your tasks.
A high-quality machine will also have a reliable body and solid build so it can withstand whatever work you throw at it. A good quality bench grinder won’t continually break down with regular use. Keep all this in mind as you find the best bench grinder.
How to Choose a Belt Sander
Stationary belt sanders are definitely big players in the sanding world. There are very few tools you can purchase that can do the same job and save you as much time as a belt sander can. They are versatile, multi-use tools. One of the most common uses of a belt sander is for sanding rough services, leveling a surface area, and trimming to a scribed line.
It offers linear sanding to offer you the absolute best results. If you are a carpenter or even just someone who loves DIYs at home, then stationary belt sanders are definitely something you want to own.
It is up to your own preferences, but many people choose to use an 80 or 120 grit belt. Anything over 50 may leave deep scratches that you will be unable to remove.
When choosing stationary belt sanders, dust collection is definitely an important consideration. Many models come with a built-in dust collection bin to trap all the coarse dust. However, there is still some fine dust that will get into the air, so if you sand regularly, you might want to consider getting a hose that allows you to connect the belt sander to a shop vacuum.
When looking for a belt sander, you should look for one with whole aluminum body construction to allow for more stability and sturdiness. Having a wide belt width is also ideal if you will be sanding larger pieces of wood.
Finally, if you purchase an adjustable table for your belt sander, you will be able to achieve different sanding angles.
When choosing between a bench grinder and a belt sander, you should consider the kinds of jobs you are going to be doing. For sharpening metal, a bench grinder is ideal. If you need to smooth a flat surface, then a belt sander is what you need.
Each one of these power tools has a rotating abrasive, so they are also often used in the same applications. If you can’t decide on just one, you can always purchase both and have access to everything you need for a variety of different jobs.
Sand and finish a range of projects with the power, versatility, and stability provided by a bench sander.
By Timothy Dale | Updated Jan 30, 2023 3:38 PM
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Bench sanders are designed to sand down large surfaces quickly and easily, so you can finish a woodworking project faster than you would with a handheld tool. They’re essentially a power sander with a weighted base for stability. Made to sit on a workbench, they are not portable, but are high powered and have the ability to handle an array of materials.
The best bench sanders include additional sanding tools, like a disc sander, belt sander, and spindle sander; some may also include a grinding or sharpening tool. When searching for the right one for your workshop, consider the type of projects you work on, how much power the sander offers, and the adjustability of the sander.
From belt sanders to disc sanders, this guide describes important features to consider when shopping for the best bench sander. Read on to learn about the workings of bench sanders and why the models below are some of the best on the market.
- BEST OVERALL:Ryobi 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander
- BEST PROFESSIONAL:Wen Belt and Disc Sander
- BEST VERTICAL:Bucktool Combo Belt Sander Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR WOODWORKING:Jet J-41002 2 in. x 42 in. Bench Belt and Disc Sander
- BEST PORTABLE:Wen 5-Amp Variable Speed Portable Spindle Sander
- ALSO CONSIDER:Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander
How We Chose the Best Bench Sanders
We researched the most sought-after bench sanders in their respective categories. The best models are determined by their type, power, user-friendliness, and other special features included by top brands.
After extensive product research, we included options in our list of oscillating spindle sanders as well as disc and bench sanders made with outputs of 3.5 to 6.5 amps of power for light- to heavy-duty sanding tasks. Many of the top picks selected come with features such as miter gauges, adjustable tables for horizontal and vertical sanding, and dust collection systems or ports for added user-friendliness.
Plus, some select picks have added safety features such as safety switches, LED lights, and adjustable eye shields to prevent any injury or misuse. For added help, we included options that have nonslip feet to prevent unwanted vibration or movement while sanding. Finally, some of these models are made to be compact and lightweight for transporting, and others are made with large, heavy constructions for professional use.
Our Top Picks
After reviewing some of the important features bench sanders offer, you may have decided on the best type for the work that’s planned. To help with the tool search, this list of some of the best bench sanders on the market is organized by type. You may find that one of the tools below is exactly what you need in the workshop to create that goal finish.
Ryobi 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander
The Ryobi benchtop belt sander can get a lot of sanding done in a hurry, thanks to the wide 4-inch by 36-inch belt sander and the driving force of the powerful 4.3-amp motor. This impressive bench sander also has a 6-inch disc sander and an adjustable sanding table that can be set from 0 to 45 degrees for optimal material positioning. It features an adjustable belt sander that can be positioned from 0 to 90 degrees for horizontal or vertical sanding.
The integrated dust port can be connected to a collection bag or to a vacuum to quickly and efficiently remove sawdust as it’s created, keeping the work area clean and clear of obscuring debris. For angled sanding, the sanding table has a miter gauge intended to support material at user-specified angles for smooth, accurate results.
- Type: Belt and disc sander
- Power: 120V / 4.3 amps
- Additional accessories: Integrated dust port, sanding table, and more
- 6-inch disc sander and adjustable sanding table; can be set from 0 to 45 degrees
- Can be adjusted from 0 to 90 degrees for horizontal and vertical use
- Can be connected to a collection bag or vacuum through the integrated dust port
- Miter gauge supports materials at any angle for precise sanding
- Base/frame is not finished and may damage the surface it’s placed on
- Heavy sanding may burn wood; may be best suited for light to medium sanding tasks
Get the Ryobi disc table sander at The Home Depot.
Shop Fox W1831 Oscillating Spindle Sander
This Shop Fox packs a lot of versatility into a low price, thanks to its five sanding drum sizes and six sanding sleeve sizes. As a spindle sander, it’s a good pick for delicate finishing work. It has a 3.5-amp (½-HP) motor and a wide base with nonslip feet to prevent the sander from moving while in operation.
The Shop Fox sander weighs just 30 pounds, so it’s light enough to move around the workshop. It has storage slots in its base for keeping accessories organized and close at hand and a dust port for collecting debris. For additional safety, its power switch can be locked with a removable key.
- Type: Oscillating spindle sander
- Power: 3.5 amps
- Additional accessories: Storage slots, wide base, and nonslip feet
- Versatile construction; 5 standing drum sizes and 6 sanding sleeve sizes
- Suitable for delicate finishing work and/or sanding types
- Wide base and nonslip feet prevent the sander from moving around while in use
- Light enough (at 30 pounds) to be portable in a workshop or on a jobsite
- Storage slots in the base can hold smaller tools and accessories
- Smaller oscillating range than similar oscillating sanders
- May not be compatible with some shop vacs and vacuums
Get the Shop Fox bench sander at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Northern Tool Equipment.
Wen Belt and Disc Sander
This Wen bench belt sander comes with two sanding tools—a 4-inch-wide belt sander and a 6-inch-diameter disc sander—so it can handle a range of projects. It weighs a portable 39 pounds, which is heavy enough to not easily wobble or slide during use. The sander has a durable, heavy-duty cast iron base. Both sanding tools have adjustable sanding angles.
The Wen belt and disc sander is powered by a 4.3-amp (1/2-HP) motor and has a simple tension release lever for changing the sandpaper. The belts on this sander are designed for easy replacement as well. Its dust collection port doesn’t direct the flow of sawdust on its own but provides an available place to connect a dust collector.
- Type: Belt and disc sander
- Power: 4.3 amps
- Additional accessories: Dual sanding tools and tension release lever
- 4-inch-wide sander and 6-inch-diameter disc sander; suitable for tackling multiple sanding projects
- Heavy-duty cast-iron base is less likely to wobble or move during sanding
- Simple tension release lever; easy to replace the sandpaper if necessary
- Dust collection port redirects dust and debris into a collection bag
Get the Wen belt and disc sander at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Bucktool Combo Belt Sander Bench Grinder
This Bucktool bench sander has a 2-inch by 42-inch belt sander that can be adjusted from 0 degrees to 90 degrees, so it can be set up to run horizontally or vertically, depending on needs. There’s also a 6-inch bench grinder that can be used for sharpening and a brush wheel for removing rust from tools.
The combination belt sander/bench grinder has a 5-amp motor and a cast-iron base for better support while working. The grinder also comes with an adjustable eyeshield and a built-in LED light, which illuminates the work area while the wheel is in use.
- Type: Belt and disc sander
- Power: 5 amps
- Additional accessories: Cast-iron base, eye shield, and LED light
- 42-inch belt sander adjusts from 0 to 90 degrees; horizontal and vertical sanding offered
- 6-inch bench grinder can be used for sharpening
- Brush wheel included; suitable for removing rust from tools and other items
- Multiple accessories included for additional safety and user-friendliness
Get the Bucktool belt sander and grinder at Amazon.
Jet J-41002 2 in. x 42 in. Bench Belt and Disc Sander
Woodworkers in search of a highly functional benchtop belt disc sander may want to check out this tool by Jet that has a powerful 6.5-amp motor. This ¾-HP motor drives the vertical 2-inch by 42-inch belt sander at up to 3,100 SFPM (surface feet per minute) and the 8-inch disc sander at up to 3,450 RPM (revolutions per minute), helping to ensure a smooth finish on woodworking projects.
The high level of power and the heavy-duty steel and cast-iron construction adds to the weight of the sander, sitting at a hefty 60 pounds, so it may not be a good choice for users who want to pack it up and take it to multiple job sites. However, the 45-degree sanding table does come with a removable miter gauge to help users produce a smooth, accurate finish while sanding at an angle.
- Type: Belt and disc sander
- Power: 6.5 amps
- Additional accessories: 45-degree sanding table and miter gauge
- High-functionality benchtop belt; suitable for multiple sanding tasks
- Belt sander is capable of 3,100 SFPM and the disc sander produces 3,450 RPM
- Heavy-duty steel and cast-iron construction provides long-lasting durability; suitable for use as a stationary belt sander
Get the Jet belt and disc sander at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Northern Tool Equipment.
Wen 5-Amp Variable Speed Portable Spindle Sander
Wen combines portability, affordability, and functionality in this portable oscillating spindle sander. It comes with three rubber spindle sizes at ¾ inches, 1 inch, and 1½ inches. The tool can be used as either a handheld spindle sander or a benchtop spindle sander when it’s secured to a workbench with the included mounting hardware. It’s equipped with a powerful 5-amp motor and features adjustable speeds between 1,800 and 3,200 RPM and oscillation rates between 50 and 90 strokes per minute.
This spindle benchtop sander is a compact option that’s about the same size as a standard drill, making it easy to carry the sander to the workpiece or to take the piece to the sander. The 1½-inch dust collection port helps collect some of the mess and minimizes cleanup as well.
- Type: Oscillating spindle sander
- Power: 5 amps
- Additional accessories: Dust collection port
- 3 rubber spindle sizes included; ¾ inch, 1 inch, and 1½ inches
- Can be used as a handheld spindle sander or benchtop spindle sander
- Adjustable speeds between 1,800 and 3,200 RPM; oscillating rates between 50 and 90 strokes per minute
- Suitable for portability; lightweight and compact enough for transporting
- Some users report some difficulty while using with limited visibility of what is being sanded
- May not be suitable for heavy-duty use; use for light- to medium-duty work
Get the Wen sander at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander
The Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander can get a lot of work done fast, thanks to its wide belt sander and 4.3-amp (½-HP) motor. The Rockwell tool also has a 6-inch disc sander and an adjustable sanding table that can be set from 0 to 45 degrees for optimal material positioning. This belt sander can be adjusted from a horizontal position to a vertical sanding position.
The Rockwell has a safety switch for preventing accidental starts. For convenience, both the belt and disc sandpaper are easy to change. The Rockwell sander also comes with a dust collection system. It weighs 42 pounds, which is light enough for most to move it around or store it away.
- Type: Belt and disc sander
- Power: 4.3 amps
- Additional accessories: Adjustable sanding table, safety switch, and dust collection system
- 6-inch disc sander and adjustable sanding table; adjusts from 0 to 45 degrees
- Versatile construction; suitable for horizontal and vertical sanding projects
- Built-in safety switch prevents accidental starts and unwanted sanding
- Dust collection system built in helps prevent particles from circulating in the air
Get the Rockwell combo sander at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Acme Tools.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Bench Sander
There is a lot to consider when searching for the right bench sander. From the space available to the type of sander, the following are some things to think about when looking for the best benchtop sander for a workshop.
One of the best features of a bench sander is that many different types of sanders fall under the category of bench sander, giving tool users a range of options for their woodworking projects. Bench sander types include belt and disc, drum, and oscillating spindle sanders.
- A belt and disc sander is a combination bench sander that includes a horizontal or vertical belt sander and a disc sander. This benchtop belt disc sander is a great choice for DIYers who enjoy woodworking projects because it provides more than one method for sanding, smoothing, and shaping woodworking pieces.
- Drum sanders have traditionally been large freestanding tools with impressive power, but recently manufacturers have started producing a type of drum benchtop sander that can sit on the work table or workbench. Drum sanders are designed to smooth long boards, panels, or doors, and can be thought of as a large, stationary belt sander.
- Oscillating spindle sanders have a vertical spindle where the abrasive sleeves are installed. This spindle rotates and oscillates up and down simultaneously, helping to prevent any lines from forming in the wood or alternate material. The result is a smooth finish on curves, contours, and other irregular shapes.
The amount of power a bench sander needs depends on how it will be used. Large projects benefit from a sander with a powerful motor that can rip through a lot of material in a short period of time. Smaller, delicate projects need a less powerful sander, as too much force can ruin a design or tear the material apart.
Additionally, a powerful sander is harder to control, which is not ideal when working with a small piece of wood. A bench sander with a ⅓- to ¾-horsepower motor (HP)—or about 1 to 5 amps—should be sufficient for most DIY sanding projects.
The best bench sanders for woodworking can be adjusted to customize motor speed, sanding angle, and sanding surface, which gives the tool the ability to handle a wider range of projects and materials. A bench sander with speed controls lets users throttle its power output.
JET Grinder & Belt Sander Combo Promo
The sanding angle on some belt sanders can be adjusted to horizontal or vertical. There are also bench sanders that can be set to use a range of sandpaper types for smoothing materials other than wood.
Ease of Use
If the goal is to find a tool that’s easy to use, look for a sander with intuitive controls, clearly indicated measurements, and clear instructions for use. It’s important for a bench sander to be heavy enough to remain steady as wood is pushed against it, but light enough to move around as needed in the workshop. A tool in the weight range of 30 to 40 pounds is usually ideal. Even with sufficient heft, it’s helpful for a sander to have a nonslip base so that it remains stable on the workbench during use.
Make sure to choose the right kind of bench sander for the work that’s planned. If the plan is to do fine work, a bench sander with a spindle sanding tool is the best bet. If a wide range of projects are planned, a sander with a belt sanding tool, disc sander, or grinding wheel may be the better choice.
Bench sanders can come with several different accessories or built-in features to help make it easier to control the sander and achieve the best finish possible on projects.
- Safety: Staying safe is the first concern while using a bench sander, so manufacturers have included safety features like a removable key to prevent the power from being turned on and a lockable power switch. Some products may come with other safety gear like gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, or a dust mask.
- Bevel capacity: Beveling is the process of sanding or cutting a square edge to create a sloping one. Bench sanders can include a beveling device that controls the specific beveling range or beveling capacity, though this feature is more common on circular saws, miter saws, and table saws. Bench sanders tend to rely more on miter gauges for angled cuts.
- Miter gauge: Some bench sanders have a built-in slot that can be used to secure a miter gauge, which holds the material in place during sanding. This is especially useful for sanding on an angle because the miter gauge keeps the angle consistent.
- Dust collector: Bench sanders produce dust and debris that can become a safety hazard. Look for models with built-in dust collectors. When running, these collectors produce suction that pulls dust from the sandpaper into a dust collection bag. After the work is done, the dust can be easily emptied from the bag.
Tips for Using a Bench Sander
Safety is important when working with a bench sander. It’s crucial to use personal protective equipment (PPE) including: safety gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, and a dust mask.
Operate the sander with a slow, deliberate pace to avoid accidental oversanding of the material. Like any benchtop power tool, a bench sander should be operated on a flat, stable surface so it doesn’t slip, wobble, or fall over. To recap:
- Use PPE when operating a bench sander.
- Don’t force the wood against the sander; move slowly and deliberately.
- Place the bench sander on a sturdy, flat surface so that it won’t shift while running.
With so many bench sander options and features, it’s understandable to have some lingering questions. If you still aren’t sure how to choose the best bench sander, the following helpful answers to common questions about bench sanders may help.
Q. What are bench sanders typically used for?
Bench sanders may have several different sanding tools built into them, including disc, belt, and spindle sanders. Each type of sanding tool on the bench sander has a different purpose. Disc sanders are good for sanding a lot of surface area in a hurry or stripping paint from old furniture.
Belt sanders can handle rough surfaces, and you can use them to round and shape wood. Spindle sanders are designed to produce a smooth finish on detailed edges and curves, so they’re good for fine carpentry and refinishing furniture.
Q. What is the difference between belt sanding and spindle sanding?
Belt sanders have a horizontal or vertical adjustable belt of sandpaper that runs through the tool like a conveyor belt. This type of sander can trim edges, level surfaces, and shape materials.
Spindle sanders have a single vertical oscillating spindle with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around it. They’re good for shaping edges, adding curves, and doing detailed work.
Q. What’s the size range of materials that I can use with a bench sander?
Bench sanders can handle a range of tasks, from smoothing long boards to beveling the edge of a dowel. They can handle big jobs or smaller jobs that would normally be done with a rasp or hand plane. The size of materials a bench sander can handle depends on the type of sanding tools it has and the size of the sanding surface.
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The Best Benchtop Belt Sander, According to 4,800 Customer Reviews
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best benchtop belt sanders 2023. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Sanding tools are used in construction, detailing, and across industries for all manner of projects; from wood surfaces to metal structures, a sanding machine comes in handy for a professional or a hobbyist.
Bench sanders typically come into play when adding detail, or closely measuring and cutting wood or metal. From construction and home detailing, to jewelry making and crafting, there’s a lot you can do with an abrasive belt unit of this kind.
Here is a list of the best benchtop belt sanders, followed by a buying guide to help you select the best benchtop belt sander for your needs.
Thomas’ Top Picks for the Best Benchtop Belt Sander 2023
From bench sanders to the belt and disc sanders, this article reviews the top-rated sanding tools on the market right now.
Best Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander: Triton TSPST450 Belt and Spindle Sander | Buy Now
Best Budget Belt and Disc Sander Table: RIKON Power Tools 50 151 Belt and Disc Sander | Buy Now
Best Belt Disc Sanders: Jet J 41002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander | Buy Now
Scroll down to see our top picks for the best disc sander you can find according to many happy buyers.
listed in this article were as shown in US on amazon.com (USA) as of May 2022
Best Belt Disc Combo Sander—Rockwell Belt Disc Combo Bench Sander
This four-piece Rockwell belt disc combo boasts cast iron construction, and a 4.3-amp, ½ horsepower motor providing a belt speed of 1700 SFM and a 3450 RPM.
The 4 x 36 in. belt offers a spacious platform that adjusts from 0 to 90° horizontally or vertically, and the disc table adjusts from 0 to 45° making it ideal for beveled edges. This 4-piece bundle includes a hex key, miter gauge, sanding disc and a 4×36-inch belt.
The quick-release belt tension lever allows you to easily change out the sanding belt for projects requiring different grits, and the safety switch ensures your power tool bench sander won’t accidentally turn on, keeping your shop or garage safe from accidents.
Weight: 41 pounds
Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 22 inches
Amps: 4.3 Amp
Best Benchtop Sander with Dust Collection System—Jella’s Benchtop Belt Sander BS750-SD
The Jella’s electric motor belt disc sander received consistently high ratings in every feature category. With 10 different sanding belts ranging from 40 to 180 grit, the sanding table adjusts to your specific product needs with ease.
While smaller than other belts which are usually around 4 x 36 in., this 3 x 21 in. sanding belt has six speeds and a 2-in-1 vacuum adapter for 32 or 35mm vacuum ports.
One reviewer called this a “mighty little sander,” and explained, “The dust collection bag is awesome. I didn’t have to go back and clean the mess up, and I didn’t have to worry about inhaling a lot of dust particles.”
Weight: 9.94 pounds
Dimensions: 15.43 x 9.13 x 6.69 inches
Best Bench Sander for Woodworking Projects—Makita 9403 Handheld Bench Sander
Available with six different bundle options, the Makita bench sander offers a medium grit range of 60-100. One of the quietest bench sanders in its class, this benchtop belt sander is only 84dB, making it ideal for indoor as well as outdoor use.
The dust port connects to a heavy-duty dust collection bag that keeps particles out of your lungs so you can deposit all debris straight into the trash.
Almost two times stronger than the 4.3-amp Rockwell Sander, this Makita boasts an 11-amp motor and a disc speed of 1640 feet per minute.
Weight: 13 pounds
Dimensions: 9 x 16.1 x 9.76 inches
Voltage: 110 V
Best Spindle Sanding Benchtop Sander—TRITON Oscillating Spindle Sander and Bench Sander
With grit options ranging from 80 to 240, the Triton TSPST450 is a 5-sleeved benchtop sander ideal for intricate sanding work. Lighter than cast iron, this cast aluminum table tilts from 0–45°, providing accuracy and strength no matter the angle you sand from.
Buyers are able to use five sanding sleeves included individually or in combination for their detailing and shaping work.
Versatile as a spindle or bench sander, one customer reviewed, “I was using spindles on my drill press before finally buying a spindle sander. I have all kinds of hand sanders but this is a very flexible power tool.”
Weight: 29 pounds
Dimensions: 15.4 x 13 x 17.7 inches
Voltage: 120 V
Best Belt Disc Sander—Palmgren Disc Sander and Finishing Machine
Palmgren’s 6-inch disc and 2 x 42-inch belt sander is a great addition to any workroom, hobby shop or garage. The 6-inch disc sander has a disc speed of 2500 RPM while the benchtop belt reaches 4400 SFPM.
Its disc table is slated to fit the standard size miter gauge while both the disc and belt have a tilting table, while a 1 ½ dust port ensures easy clean-up.
Used by many customers specifically for knife making, many reviewers encourage making adjustments for optimal performance. “It does a fantastic job,” reported one buyer, “[but] it did need to have the housing around the drive wheel ground down to accommodate a 36-grit belt. I’ve already spent several hours with this belt grinder and I thoroughly enjoy it!”
Weight: 35 pounds
Dimensions: 15.4 x 13 x 17.7 inches
Voltage: 120/240 V
Best Belt Sander for Heavy Duty Jobs—RIDGID Heavy Duty Variable Speed Belt Sander
The RIDGID R2740 is one of the budget benchtop belt sanders on this list that retails for under US100, and still manages to offer enough power for a multitude of projects. With a 3 x 18-inch belt and a 6.5 amp motor, this heavy-duty power tool reaches speeds of 400-950 SFPM.
Equipped with a high-efficiency dust collector bag for easy clean-up, its soft-grip handles are easy to hold and absorb vibrations making long-term more comfortable while the 12-foot cord adds mobility and convenience no matter where your project takes you.
“Great sander,” wrote one customer. “I’ve used it dozens [of] times so far on many types of wood (pine, ash, maple, etc.). It runs smoothly and the dust collection bag works great. However, I was also able to hook my shop vac hose to it, and that works very well.”
Weight: 5.8 pounds
Dimensions: 15 x 6 x 7 inches
Voltage: 120 V
Belt Grinder vs Bench Grinder. What’s the difference?
Best Budget Belt and Disc Sander—RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Power Tools Benchtop Belt Disc Sanders
At less than US145 dollars, the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 belt and disc sander provides plenty of power without drag or reduction. Users praised the strong cast-iron table and appreciated that they could drill through the cast-iron to make a dust port bigger than the 2-inch one it comes with.
A good indicator of Rikon’s attention to detail is the packaging the product comes in; it may cost Rikon a few cents more to package properly but it says a lot about their pride in their products and the importance of good customer experience.
Some users, however, found an issue with the iron construction removable platen, but were able to remedy the situation by “bending it back true.” Used by knife makers, in-home shops, and for the automotive industry, one customer described this bench sander as “well designed, great performance, and good value.
Weight: 18 pounds
Dimensions: 15 x 12.63 x 14.63 inches
Voltage: 120 V
Best Benchtop Belt and Disc Sander—Jet J 41002 Disc and Belt Sander
The Jet J 41002 is a massive belt and disc sander machine that is still compact enough to classify as a bench sander. The iron-construction removable platen allows for the sanding, grinding, and finishing of curves and oddly shaped pieces.
Both the bench sanders’ and the disc sanders’ tables are made of high-quality cast-iron, ensuring years of dependability. The 3-in-1 belt unit does the work of a jig, coping saw, and hand file for a quick and easy workflow.
The deluxe miter gauge locks 45° left or right, while the durable cast-iron body provides stability and its rubberized feet absorb vibrations for your comfort.
Weight: 60 pounds
Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.7 x 16 inches
Voltage: 115 V
The Best Benchtop Belt and Disc Sander—Summary
For the top bench sander, we recommend the Rockwell bench/disc combo (US136.86, Amazon) due to its tremendous speed, power, and ability at such an affordable price. Another bench sander of note is the Jellas bench sander, (US59.99, Amazon) which is great for hobbyists just starting out who would like to try sanding before investing in larger, more expensive tools.
Choosing the Best Belt Benchtop Sanders—Buying Guide
Since not every belt table tilt, and not every sanding table is large enough to hold a miter gauge, it helps to have a vertical belt sander that allows you to better reach angles and curves.
A miter gauge is attached to your workbench and acts as a clamp to hold pieces together as you cut them. They’re commonly found on table saws and station belt sanders. A miter gauge or miter bar are items that are helpful when using power tools to ensure clean cuts, accurate measurements, and an easy workflow.
Unlike a stationary belt sander, a handheld belt sander allows the user to complete all kinds of sanding jobs. If you need to attempt vertical sanding, angle sanding, or working at a sanding table, this portable power tool gives users better control and mobility across their workspace.
A great belt sander helps the user smooth out any imperfections, and maintains proper belt tension throughout the time of your project. When choosing a sanding belt, another important thing to consider is the amount of grit you require for any given project.
When choosing the best bench sanders for your upcoming projects, we recommend researching cast-iron-bodied sanders whenever possible. While cast iron is heavier than aluminum, these types also take longer to heat up, allowing you more use time between stops.
Whether using a benchtop sander, disc sander, or belt disc combo sander, you must be prepared for every job you take on. Wearing protective gear such as goggles is a must, and if you have asthma or are not in the best-ventilated area, dust and particles from the sanding surface can prove to be an irritant if you don’t wear an appropriate face mask.
Another way to combat this is by purchasing a belt or disc sander with a dust port, or a dust collector. These dust collection systems minimize the amount of residue and particles that accumulate on your workspace and make cleaning up a lot easier, too.
We hope our review of the best bench sanders has been helpful. For more suppliers of related products, including buffing and polishing compounds, abrasive discs, drum sanders, and diamond files, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
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