Benchtop belt sanders are good for trimming uneven rough surfaces as well as sharpening knives and rounding corners. This tool is a powerhouse and is mostly used by professional carpenters or woodworkers. However, there is also a variety of bench sanders that is suitable for beginners and home users. This strong machine can work at high speed and can sand down any tough material easily. Some of the best benchtop belt sanders have different features like a powerful direct-drive motor, adjustable belt, bending worktables, deluxe miter gauge, and dual dust collection system. You can choose the sander of the preferable size and features that fit your budget. Read below to find the buying guide and the top five benchtop belt sanders you can choose from.
Buying Guide For The Best Benchtop Belt Sander
Here is a buying guide to help you out if you have absolutely no idea about the benchtop belt sander. We will talk about the parts you need to look out for to get the best sander in the market.
Good Dust Collection System
Sanding is not a fun and easy thing to do as it creates a lot of noise, dust, and fatigue. The dust can cause some severe health issues if it enters the lungs and eyes. Almost all bench and belt disc sanders come with the dust collection option. However, some come with dual dust collection ports. Having two ports can be useful as they work accurately on the ones they are working on. But it can be a bit problematic too. Some sanders have the dust port in an awkward position or at the side, which is difficult to reach for the vacuum hose.
Moreover, a single hose cannot connect with both ports. Another commonly faced problem is the fact that the dust port does not always come with an adapter. Then the vacuum hoses get harder to connect with the dust collection port. So, try to go for the single port system for less hassle. The efficiency of the dust collection depends on the blast gates that confirm the suction. Otherwise, the dust suction will not be accurate, and your workplace will remain messy.
If you are looking for a belt and disc sander, it means that you need a powerful sander for a project. Otherwise, you could just get the small belt or orbital sanders. So, if you are investing in a bench sander, check out if it has enough power to complete the task you assign. The belt and disc must run at a constant speed and not slow down at any point. We suggest you invest a little more money and get a heavy-duty sander that will be durable and last for years. You can find motors that power between 2 to 5 amps or 1/3 to ¾ HP, which are perfect for any type of DIY works and semi-professional projects. If you have researched a little, you will see that some of the bench sanders have a direct drive motor. These types of motors are effective and do not slow down easily making them suitable for heavy-duty work. However, they also have a negative side. Direct drive motors are harder to fix and replace than belt-driven ones, not to mention they are far more expensive. As the direct drive motor wastes less energy, it gets the maximum power, but the belt-driven ones cannot get that. So, choose wisely to measure the needs and the budget before settling for any bench sander.
You will need high-speed facilities in your sander when working on a metal object or some heavy-duty project. However, most benchtop sanders do not have a variable speed option, but you might find some expensive ones. The belt speed is measured by FPM or the feet per minute, and the disc speed is measured by RPM which means revolutions per minute. The higher the speed, the more material it removes. In other words, the speed resembles the strength of the sander. However, any speed below 1500 FPM Is too slow for any type of work. For the disc, the number is 1750 RPM. In this case, the wider the belt and disc, the better. However, the bench sanders listed here mostly have a speed above 3000 RPM. This is quite high-speed, and the user needs to be a professional to handle it properly. If you like to sand on materials other than wood, these bench sanders are perfect as they have a high speed that can easily take down metal. Be cautious while using the disc for sanding, as the different parts of the disc have different speeds to give you variations while working.
The benchtop sanders come with at least one work table for the disc sander. However, some come with two worktables, one for the belt and the other for the disc sander. The larger the table, the more comfortable you will be able to work. Most of the work tables are made of cast iron or aluminum. They work great as they minimize the vibration making it comfortable for the user. The disc worktable usually comes with a slot for the miter gauge. Having a good miter gauge is also important as it helps to sand at an angle.
As the sanding disc rotates, only half of it is available for sanding. So the bigger the disc is in diameter, the better. The sizes of the disc sander vary between 5 to 12 inches. Make sure to check if the sanding disc is easily replaceable or not. If it needs the removal of covers and other things, that is not a good idea to purchase.
Easily Adjustable Sanding Belt
The belt of the sander might need frequent changes of grits if you work for a long time. Most of the benchtop sanders come with a belt stand with a lever that can easily release the belt if you want to change it. A strong spring creates tension and keeps the belt in place. There is also a knob to track the belt while you work. It helps to bring the belt back to its place. Some sanders offer the change of positions of the belt sander so that you can have enough flexibility to work with it. If your sander has a split collar mechanism, then an Allen wrench can fix its position.
Top 5 Benchtop Belt Sander Reviews & Recommendations
We have shortlisted some of the best benchtop sanders according to the customer reviews and the performance. You can choose the sander that suits your needs. We have made your choice easier by adding every detail of the sanders. You will also find the pros and cons besides the functions and specifications of the top 5 benchtop sanders. Read along to find the suitable one for you.
BUCKTOOL BD4801 Belt and Disc Sander with 3/4HP Direct-drive Motor For Professionals
The Bucktool BD4801 bench sander is one of the best semi-professional bench sanders in the market. It comes with a powerful ¾ HP direct-drive motor that produces 3450 RPM speed on the disc and 2161 FPM speed on the belt. This bench sander has a cast aluminum base, making it sturdy, heavy, and prone to vibrations. Two separate dust ports are attachable to vacuum hoses for better dust extraction. It also comes with two work tables, and the one with the disc table has a miter gauge attached to it. Another special thing about this sander is that it has a steel cover mounted for the delivery so that the disc does not deform.
- Easy belt tensioning and tracking
- Works smoothly without creating noise
- Low vibrations
- The cast aluminum body makes it sturdy
- Two dust ports ensure good dust collection
- Steel cover for the disc sander
- Designed like a professional tool
- Tracking knobs can be a little difficult to use
Happybuy Bench Sander for Woodworking
The Happybuy benchtop sander comes with a wide 4×36 inch belt and a 6-inch wide disc. The wide size of the belt and disc can help the work get easier and faster. It comes with a 375W of power in the copper motor that is strong enough to get the speed of 1450 RPM. The sander comes with an adjustable belt that can be positioned either vertically or horizontally. Also, the disc sander comes with a working table that tilts at an angle and a miter gauge that helps to bevel workpieces or cut them in specific angles.
Things We Like About The Happybuy Sanding Machine
- Solid and durable cast steel frame
- Miter gauge and adjustable work table helps cut precise angles
- The belt can tilt up to 90 degrees and work both horizontally and vertically
- Comes with two separate built-in dust ports
- A strong copper motor also creates less noise
- Waterproof safety switch
- Ideal for satin or mirror finish, stock removal, or profiling
- The belt might slide off sometimes
JET J-41002 (577004) Best Benchtop Belt Disc Sander With Deluxe Miter Gauge
Jet J-41002 bench sander is famous for its detailed work. It can smooth out small openings and also take care of the oddest shape and angles available. You can use it on metal like using it to sharpen the edge of a knife. This flexible sander takes care of the largest pieces on the wide belt sander or on the 6-inch wide disc sander. However, the disc sander allows more efficient sanding, grinding, and smoothing on woodworks. This belt and disc sander have a deluxe miter gauge that can move both left and right.
- Miter gauge turns and locks on common angles while moving 45 degrees left and right
- Abrasive belt is strong enough to act as a jigsaw or hand file
- Has a removable platen
- Good for heavy-duty jobs
- Adjustable dust chute and dust deflector
- The steel base makes it sturdy
- Has rubber feet in the bottom for stability and low vibrations
- It is versatile and efficient
Lacks of the JET J-41002
- It is hard to assemble
Woodskil Belt And Disc Sander With Double Dust Exhaust Port
The Woodskil bench sander is suitable for various materials like wood, artificial plates, aluminum, and soft metal like copper, making it versatile for use at home or any furniture-making store. This sander comes with a powerful ¾ HP and a 4.3 amp induction motor that is reliable and quiet. It comes with an adjustable belt that can help the belt work horizontally or vertically. There is a double dust exhaust port, one each for the belt and the disc. Also, it comes with an easily replaceable belt and an auto belt tracking system that keeps the belt in the middle all the time.
Advantages of the Woodskil Bench Sander
- Low noise
- Adjustable belt
- The auto-tracking system on the belt
- Powerful motor provides high speed for better results
- Comes with a transparent PC guard to see what the belt is doing
- Has beveling worktable
- Includes miter gauge
- Double safety switch
- Dual dust port
- Best benchtop belt sander for metal
- Two years warranty
- The worktable close to the disc sander might not be stable
3-by-18 Inch WEN HB3185 Handheld and Benchtop Belt Sander For Beginners
If you got tired of seeing heavy and expensive benchtop sanders, then here is the best bench belt sander for you. The Wen HB3185 belt sander comes under forty dollars which is the cheapest considering the other benchtop sanders in the market. It comes in regular size as a belt sander, but you can clamp it down on a bench to use it as a benchtop sander. All you have to do is turn it upside down and attach the clamps, and it will be secured to use on your workstation. However, this will not be too powerful like other bench sanders as it only has a 5 amp motor. But this portable WEN belt sander can still do a pretty decent job while it speeds up to 558 to 820 feet per minute. The sander only weighs 5 pounds which means you can carry it anywhere and use it easily. You will hardly feel fatigued while working with this sander. However, this is perfect for beginners as it is highly affordable and easy to use.
Pros of Wen HB3185
- You can use it either as a benchtop or handheld
- Comes with clamps to attach to the bench
- Variable speed dial
- Lightweight and portable
- Lock-on power switch helps continuous sanding
- Can strip paint, smooth surface, and deburr jagged edges
- Has a good dust collection system
- Comes with additional items like dust adapters and sandpaper
- Does not have an auto belt tracking system
Benchtop belt sanders are a must-have tool for any professional carpenter or woodworker. It even works well on metal, so some also use it for detailing on metal or sharpening a knife. It works on shaping and rounding edges besides leveling uneven surfaces. As this tool is really powerful, it can handle any tough jobs presented to it. You have already seen the buying guide and the top five list, which should help you choose the best benchtop belt sander. But if you still feel confused, we recommend you go for the Bucktool BD4801 bench sander suitable for professionals as it has all the special features and a strong motor. However, your choice depends on the budget and need of the sander so choose the one you think is the right choice.
What are benchtop sanders used for?
The benchtop sanders are usually a combination of two sanders, the belt sander, and the disc sander. You get two sanding machines in one and mount them on a bench to be stable and secure. It can smooth surfaces and level them, round edges, and curve them, and do all sorts of big and small sanding tasks.
Is the bench sander and the spindle sander the same?
The spindle sander has spinning spindles that spin and sand, while the bench sander either has a belt or belt and disc both. However, you can use a spindle sander as a bench sander by securing it on a bench. But usually, by bench sanders, the first thing that comes to mind is the belt disc sander.