Imagine the time it would take if you had to sand down a large surface with just sandpaper by hand. Not only will it take forever to sand, but it will also not be perfect. That is why we thank the invention of power tools like the bench sanders. They will cut down the effort, energy, and time you will normally waste on sanding. By investing a few dollars on the best bench sander in the market, you can easily make a name for yourself with your craftsmanship. However, these bench sanders are not portable as they need a workshop to settle on.
If you invest money in a tool, it needs to function properly to make your choice worth it. It does not matter whether you spend a lot or a little. There are a lot of quality bench sanders available in the market. Keep reading the article to find out what a bench sander is and what you need to look for in a bench sander to become the best for you.
What does Benchtop Sander mean?
A benchtop sander usually means a sanding tool that needs mounting on a bench or a stationary setup. Most of the time, these bench sanders have a combination of a belt and a disc sander. However, they are mainly used for shaping and finishing wooden surfaces. But Sander also works well with metal and can sharpen the knife as well. Its motor takes power from the electricity and powers two rotating drums that turn the loop of sandpaper. You hold your workpiece on the moving sandpaper and sand as you need.
What Makes Benchtop Sanders Different?
If we compare the bench sanders with the handheld one, we will see that we can hold the latter one in hand while the benchtop needs to stay still at one place. In other words, you use the handheld one and take it to the workpiece while you bring the workpiece on the benchtop sander and operate it. The benchtop gives a lot more control while working. If you want to know about the difference between a benchtop and a stationary sander, here goes. The benchtop is a bit smaller than the stationary one in size. This small size makes it appropriate to use in a small workspace.
Why Do I Need A Bench Sander?
You need a bench sander if you work on long wooden pieces and sand curves or rounded edges. A bench sander often has a wide belt that can smooth out any long wooden pieces you bring. It is also powerful enough to round square edges as well as sand the curves. The disc sander comes with a miter gauge, which helps sand any objects at an angle from 0 to 45 degrees. Also, some bench sanders come with adjustable working tables, ensuring you get all the flexibility you need while working. The powerful motor of bench sanders makes every work easier and faster. Good quality bench sanders are never a loss to invest in.
Bench Sanders Buying Guide 2023
Before looking at the suggestions for the best bench sander, let’s discuss the things you must look out for in them. These features and qualities will depend on your need and the type of work you want to do.
The first and the most important thing you need to look at is the power of your sander. If your project needs more tough work, you need a powerful bench sander with a high RPM. As the motor power and the speed gets higher, the sander gets powerful.
Size is another important thing you must look at because the bench sanders are quite big and need huge workspaces. If you have a smaller workshop, you will have to choose the one with a much more compact size.
It is quite natural that a powerful machine like the bench sander will emit a lot of dust. However, to solve this problem, most bench sanders come with a dual dust collection system. One for the disc sander and the other for the belt sander. These dust ports are attachable to the vacuum hose for better dust collection.
Different Types of Bench Sanders
Bench sanders are usually three types, each with different purposes depending on what kind of projects you will do and what type of sander you will need. Let’s take a look at these sanders.
Belt and Disc
These types of sanders are a combination of a belt sander and a disc sander. So, you get a disc that rotates and treats curves and a belt sander with a flat surface to make your workpieces smooth. These are quite compact and really a good deal. It also has a tilting belt, a working table, and a miter gauge that helps sand at an angle you prefer. However, it also comes with an option to adjust it horizontally or vertically.
Drum and Oscillating Spindle
The drum sanders such as Supermax 16-32 work with flat, long, wide boards and pieces for sanding. They can easily sand doors and panels, mostly preferred by professionals. Moreover, the oscillating spindle works with drums that move up and down while spinning. This one is ideal for sanding curves and gives perfect shapes and contours to the workpieces.
How To Use A Bench Sander?
When you get your bench sander, the first thing you must do is to set it up if it comes in pieces. Make sure to read the manuals and secure everything correctly also, check if everything is level. Most of the benchtop needs to stay hooked on a bench or a stand. Mounting them on a bench is always a good idea as it makes them more stable and creates less vibration. Then you need to plug in your sander and turn it on to start.
Wait a few moments and see it reach the speed you need and start working. The disc and belt sander will start speeding up, and all you have to do is get your workpiece and gently place it on the moving disc or belt, and leave the rest to the sander. Also, make sure the dust port connects to a vacuum hose for a mess-free experience.
Choosing The Right Sander According To Your Work
Now that you have a bench sander, meaning you have two sanders in one, you need to use them accordingly. Both the sanders are there to do different jobs. You will have to decide which one to work with.
Versatile Belt Sanders
Belt sanders are perfect for any small or large project. It can easily sand hardwood floors, strip off paint and remove dry glue. Depending on the unit of the sander, you can smooth out any material fast.
Disc Sanders As Finisher
Disc sanders help prepare the large surface before any painting or varnishing occurs. Its job is smoothing out the surface. It also helps sand curves and rounded edges. With its miter gauge, you can choose the angle and then sand accordingly.
Top 12 Best Bench Sander Reviews For the Money
If you are confused about which bench sander you need for your crafts and projects, then you are at the right place. Here you will find the top-ranked bench sanders with their functions, specifications, and pros and cons. Check the whole article to find out which one is the best budget bench sander for you.
BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench-belt Sander Direct-drive Motor
This Bucktool BD4801 belt disc sander comes with a 4×36 inches belt and an 8-inch disc. It is user-friendly as it comes with two worktables and two individual dust ports for both the disc and the belt sander. The bench sander weighs about 43.6 pounds and comes with an impressive motor power that turns the disc at 3450 RPM and the belt at 2161 FPM. Also, the 3/4 HP direct drive indicates its strength.
Pros Of The Bucktool BD4801
- Adjustable work rest for the sanding disc
- Manual belt tracking system
- Quick-release makes the belt easier to change
- The adjustable belt can either be vertical or horizontal or tilted in a suitable position
- Sturdy cast aluminum base reduces vibration
- Rubber-feet allows stability while working
- Both belt and disc sander comes with a work table and miter gauge
- Comes with a safety switch and key
- Sanding disc comes with stainless steel protection during shipment
- Not ideal for heavy-construction site projects
JET J-41002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander (577004) With 2” x42” belt
The Jet J-41002 belt and disc sander come with a steel base and a cast iron construction. Rubber feet keep the sander stable and lower the vibration. It is suitable for some heavy-duty work as the removable platen helps it grind, sand, and finish off outside curves. Also, the abrasive belt works as a coping saw, jigsaw, and hand file while finishing or removing materials. Weighing about 60 pounds, it comes with a two-year warranty to assure you of the quality of the sander.
Advantages Of The Jet J-41002
- Heavy-duty steel base
- Comes with an adjustable dust chute and dust deflector
- Deluxe miter gauge that locks in common angle
- Abrasive belts removes material while finishing it
- Has a removable platen
- 8-inch disc rotates in 3450 RPM
- 2×42 inch belt spins at 3100 SFPM
- Can get into small openings
- Suitable for odd shapes and angles
- Might not get up to the speed after a few uses
WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base
Wen 6502T is a reliable and versatile belt disc sander you can find. It has a powerful 4.6 amp ½ HP motor that works well with the 6-inch disc and the 4×36 inch belt. The wide belt and big disc ensure the bench sander can handle any tough challenges. Also, it has a cast iron base that helps to keep it stable and minimizes vibration. The sanding disc and the sanding belt come with 80 grit sandpaper, an ideal grit for any work. There is a miter gauge with the sanding disc worktable, which helps cut at a specific angle. A beveling worktable and an extended safety guard make your work easier. The 2.25-inch dust port is ideal for attaching any shop vac. Moreover, the belt can reach a speed up to 1900 FPM while the disc can go 3600 RPM.
- Adjustable belt can either be horizontal or vertical
- Dust port allows attaching a vacuum hose for better dust collection
- Heavy-duty cast iron base
- Low vibrations
- Sanding disc comes with miter gauge
- Has extended safety guard
- The belt and sanding disc are easily replaceable
- Powerful motor provides good speed
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- No variable speed option
Happybuy Disc Combo Sander With Built-In Dust Collection
Happybuy has introduced a bench sander that is the combination of a belt and a disc sander. Like the previous sander, this one also has a 4×36 inches belt and is 6 inches wide. The sander has a heavy-duty steel body with rubber pads on the bottom to make it stable. It has a high-speed pure copper motor with low energy consumption and works pretty smoothly. Moreover, this sander has a miter gauge for perfect sanding and two dust port systems for the belt sander. The Happybuy belt and disc sander work great in grinding metals, wood, acrylics, etc. As it is suitable for tool polishing, you can find it in parts or building material factories.
Features of Happybuy Belt and Disc Sander
- Solid steel construction
- Combined belt and disc sander
- Has two separate built-in dust ports
- Full copper motor has enough power to sand well
- Works smoothly with low noise
- Miter gauge on the sanding disc makes the sanding precise
- Rubberized pads give stability to the steel-based body
- The belt is adjustable, so it can either work horizontally or vertically
- No belt tracking system
RIKON 50-122 Professional Power Tools Belt And Disc Sander
Rikon is a well-known brand when it comes to power tools. This Rikon 50-122 bench sander has a powerful motor of 8 amp and 1 HP that can take on any professional needs of the user. The disc can reach the speed of 2510 RPM, and the belt goes up to 1836 SFPM. As it weighs about 87 pounds, it needs a stand to mount on for stability. There is a worktable with the sanding disc that tilts 45 degrees along with a miter gauge. Also, the easy-to-change belts and sanding disc is important feature present in this sander.
Pros of Rikon 50-122
- The powerful motor can provide high speed for the belts and the discs
- Adjustable belt can either be vertical or horizontal
- Wide belt and wide discs can cover a large area on a workpiece
- Table attached with the disc tilts from 0 to 45 degrees
- Has a work support table on the belt sander
- Comes with a miter gauge
- It might slow down after a few usages
Woodskil Double Dust Exhaust Port Included
Woodskil presents a multipurpose belt sander that can sand wood-based panels, cork, hardwood, copper, and aluminum. The sander is suitable for furniture making and also home use. This means that it is suitable for both professionals and beginners to try out. With ¾ HP motor power, this sander provides speed up to 3600 RPM on the disc and 1800 FPM on the belt. It has a belt tension adjustment device that prevents the belt from losing in the machine. Moreover, there is a double safety switch to ensure there is no scope for accidents. Also, the cast iron body is there to eliminate vibrations so that you can have a smooth sanding experience.
- Double dust extraction system
- Sanding disc comes with a miter gauge
- Transparent PC guard allows the user to see the belt condition
- Double safety switch
- Suitable for easy polishing
- Sanding table with the miter gauge
- Powerful, quiet, reliable, and durable motor
- Easy setup
- Quick replaceable sanding disc and belt
- Wide belt and disc can cover a large area
- The disc sander table is not stable
Rockwell Belt and Disc Combo Bench Sander With Heavy Induction Motor
Whether you need curves, arcs, or contours, the Rockwell bench sander Is capable of all. With a 4.3 amp motor, Rockwell can provide seamless, praise-worthy performance. It can smooth out beveled edges and do well-praised DIY projects. Like other bench sanders, this one also has an adjustable belt that can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees and stay horizontal or vertical. This function makes sure you can operate the sander in any position you need.
Things We Like About Rockwell Belt and Disc Sander
- Heavy induction motor
- Safety switch
- Bevel table helps with sanding in angles
- Quick belt release system
- Comes with two year warranty
Things we don’t like
- No auto belt tracking system
Palmgren Bench Finishing Machine With 2 x 42 Inch Belt and 6 Inch Disc For Beginners
This sander from Palmgren offers the best benchtop belt sander for metal. The sander is ideal for hobbyists or those who have just started learning to make knives. The Palmgren sander can work on metal and is suitable to use in making them sharp. This sander gives you the best quality motor with 1/3 HP, 3.5/1.75 amp, which can provide 4000 SFPM on the belt and 3500 RPM on the sanding disc. While the on/off switch is in the center, it can easily be within reach if any emergency occurs. The bright switch is easier to notice. Also, the belt tension lever is at the side, while other sanders have it in the back.
- Cast base brings maximum rigidity
- Tilting table comes with both belt and disc sanders
- Dust collection port can attach with a vacuum hose
- Sanding disc table has a slot for the miter gauge
- Belt is adjustable in both horizontal or vertical position
- Belts are changeable in fast and easy ways
- Works on any kinds of materials
- The belt might not want to stay in place
Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt Disc Bench Sander
Porter-Cable has been in the market providing good quality products for a long time. This PCB420SA model from Porter-Cable weighs about 51.1 pounds and ¾ induction ball bearing motor. It is capable of providing 2160 FPM on the belt and 3450 RPM on the sanding disc. The belt and disc are wide enough to be able to cover large workpieces without any discomfort. There is a knob that makes the tracking of the belt easier, and also, the quick release system makes it easier for changing the belt. Moreover, It has a built-in dust port and also a bag to ensure better quality dust collection.
Pros Of The Palm Porter-Cable PCB420SA
- Cast iron base helps reduce vibration
- Both belt and disc comes with separate tables
- Sanding disc has a miter gauge
- Built-in dust collection system
- Strong motor power ensures sanding on any materials
- Sanding belt tilts up to 90 degrees to get any position as well as vertical and horizontal
- Easily replaceable sanding belt
- Easy belt tracking knob on the side of the machine
Cons Of The Palm Porter-Cable PCB420SA
- Sanding disc might wobble a little
POWERTEC BD1502 Belt Disc Sander With 1/3 HP Motor
The belt disc sanders utilize a small workspace and give you both sanders in one body. Powertec BD1502 bench sander is one of those sanders. However, it is quite light compared to other bench sanders. As it only weighs 18.06 pounds, you can carry this sander from one place to another. It comes with a 3 amp and 1/3 HP motor capable of doing all kinds of hard work. The 1×30 inch belt and 5-inch disc handle any detail work and a small workpiece piece. This sander comes with a dust port system, one for the belt sander and one for the disc, so that there is no chance of messing up.
Pros Of The Powertec BD1502
- Cast iron base makes it sturdy and stable
- Two dust extraction ports
- Two work tables made of cast aluminum provides support
- Tables can tilt 45 degrees for easy sanding
- Miter gauge helps to round any workpiece
- Belt guard for safety
- Might take some time to speed up
Sander SKIL 3376-01 Benchtop Sander Reviews
The benchtop SKIL 3376-01 sander comes with a 4×36 inch belt wide enough to give you more work area. The benchtop sander needs to be attached to a bench. That is why the Skil 3376-01 comes with a pre-drilled hole in its base to make it easier for you to mount it on a bench. It weighs about 30 pounds, and the speed can reach up to 5000 RPM without any load.
Pros Of The SKIL 3376-01
- Belt and disc both sanders in one machine
- Dust port accepts standard sized vacuum hoses
- Tension spring adjustment makes sure the belt stays in place
- Adjustable table allows to sand at any angle
- Mounting on a bench is easier with the pre-drilled holes
- Miter gauge helps to sand in specific angles
- Belt is also adjustable in horizontal or vertical position
- Comes with 3 year warranty
Cons Of The SKIL 3376-01
- Poor belt tracking system
Shop Fox W1855 Benchtop Belt and Disc Sanders With Single Phase Motor
If you need something for your small workshop that suits your small projects, then look at this one. The Shop Fox W1855 belt and disc sander come in a compact design ideal for smaller workshops. While adjusting to the space also gives you the control and precision you need in your projects. The cast iron base provides stability, while the variety of sanding belts and discs gives it several options to make sanding easy. The Shop Fox W1855 combo sander has a 120V, single-phase motor with ½ HP that takes care of every sanding project. However, the disc speed can reach up to 3600 RPM, and the belt speed goes up to 1900 FPM.
What are the features?
- 6 foot long power cord
- Sanding pads need pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing sanding discs
- Cast iron base
- One of the best benchtop belt sander models available on the market
- Die-cast aluminum table
- Easily replaceable belts
- Fast-tracking control knob
- Backstop for added safety
- 2- ½ inch dust port can attach to any standard sized vacuum hose
- T slot in the table helps set the miter gauge
- Might get hot after long use
Safety Precautions You Must Have For A Bench Sander
When working with a powerful machine like the sanders, you must ensure all safety precautions to avoid unnecessary accidents. Firstly, you should keep your eyes protected. When you are sanding any wooden or metal workpiece, there is a chance that small chunks of that material might fly back at you. The dust collection system can take in all the dust, but these chunks can fly. Remember to wear goggles to protect your eyes from these chunks and the dust that can come back at you.
Secondly, you need to get some ear protection. These benchtop sanders are a beast at work, and they are loud as well. Ear protection will save your eardrums from getting damaged and also make your work experience bearable. Lastly, do not forget to read the manual before starting your work. You need to have a clear idea about what you will do and how you will do it before starting. Planning it out will help you have a clear mind. Moreover, the workspace you work in needs to be clean with no children running around. Avoid loose clothing or hair as they can get stuck in the sanding drums and cause a dangerous situation. Lastly, do not get distracted when you work if you want all your fingers in place.
It might be a big decision to purchase a bench sander or not as it is a bit pricey and takes a lot of space. But trust me, this decision is only going to make your life and future work easier. If you manage to buy the right bench sander, it will serve you well, and sanding will be hassle-free for a couple of years. We have discussed all the feature details about the bench sander and gave you all the information, from its miter gauge to its belt and disc size. The guide to what to check before buying will help you choose according to your preference, but if you still feel confused, we will help you out.
Considering all the facts, we will see that the Wen 6502T is the best bench sander because of its power, unique features, performance, durability, and moderate price. This sander is suitable for both professionals and beginners, making the purchase worth every penny. However, you can choose any bench sander from the list above that you think suits best to your needs.
What is the best benchtop sander?
If we consider all the major facts, functionality, and performance while looking at the price we will see that the Wen 6502T is a great benchtop sander among all the other sanders in the market.
Can I set my bench sander on any surface?
Yes, you can. As long as the surface is secure and stable, you can mount any bench sander there. The place you set this can be a bench, a table, or even a floor. Just think about the safety issues before placing the bench sander anywhere.
Is it safe to use indoors?
It is safe if you take the correct safety measurements. The bench sanders are powerful and messy. Therefore you must have a good dust collection system ready before starting to work. Even if you are thinking about working in your garage while the doors are closed, you must have eye and ear protection ready.
What materials can I sand on my bench sander?
Bench sanders are powerful enough to sand through not just wood but also metal or plastics. But you will have to adjust the grit of the sandpaper and the safety precautions when you change the material.
What type of bench sander do I need?
There are a variety of bench sanders available in the market. You will need to find the one that is suitable for the work you will do. If you need to smooth out a large space, the surface belt sander will do the job. However, if you need rounded edges, go for disc sanders, and for fine jobs, there are spindle sanders. Plan your work and buy a bench sander accordingly.