Makita 9903 vs 9920 Belt Sander

Makita 9903 vs 9920: Unbiased Comparison & Buying Guide

Makita 9903 vs 9920 Belt SanderAre you looking for a heavy-duty belt sander and got confused between Makita 9903 and 9920? You are at the right place, then. Here we will talk about these two top belt sanders from Makita and compare them side by side. Comparing Makita 9920 and Makita 9903 belt sanders will show how powerful these two are. The main difference lies in the belt size, but other than that, they are somewhat the same product. Belt sanders are an essential tool for every woodworker, and it is important to find one suitable for your needs. To sort out all your confusion and figure out which Makita sander is the best between these two, you will need to read till the end. To find out more similarities and differences, read the whole Makita 9903 vs 9920 comparison article thoroughly. It contains all the details about them.

Main Features of Makita 9903 Belt Sander

The Makita 9903 Belt sander is suitable for amateurs and professionals like carpenters, woodworkers, contractors, or builders. It comes with a high-power motor and an adjustable speed which can complete any job quickly. This sander has a long power cord and a low noise system that stands out compared to other brands. This sander is a great choice if you are looking for a high-quality belt sander suitable for any heavy-duty job.  

Let’s set eyes on some of the main features of this sander to see what makes it different from other Makita sanding machines. As all belt sanders from Makita look alike, we need to check out the features to differentiate between them. 

Dynamic Motor And Speed

Makita 9903 belt sander comes with a strong 8.8 amp motor that has a speed adjustable system. The variable speed control ensures you control this high-powered belt sander and prevents accidentally sanding too much material. However, you can adjust the speed of the sander starting from 690 to 1440 feet per minute.  

Low Noise

The belt sanders create a loud noise that makes it hard to work with. Usually, the experts recommend using ear protection while working for this. However, Makita has a solution to that. It introduced a range of sanders that create less noise so that you do not need to wear any ear protection. Makita 9903 belt sander has only 85 dB making it the quietest sander among its class. Purchasing this will save you from unnecessary headaches. 

Auto-tracking Belt System

This feature is handy when you have a fast and powerful sander like Makita in hand. While working with a belt sander the belt can go off the track. It needs frequent adjustments, or else the belt will get damaged in the machine. The auto-tracking system fixes the belt itself, saving you time and effort. 


With a powerful motor, Makita 9903 is capable of sanding, not just wood but also metal. It can remove paint and rust easily from any surface. Also, this sander is double insulated, which ensures its safety and durability. It is lightweight, weighing only about 9.5 pounds. Also, the auto-tracking belt keeps the belt in place without any manual help. Moreover, it works well during flush sanding, leaving you with a smooth finish. We have also added what we liked and didn’t like about them in our Makita 9903 vs 9920 article to help you get all kinds of information. 

What We Like About The Belt Sander Makita 9903

  • Impressive motor power
  • Variable speed option
  • Effective dust collection system
  • Comfortable front grip
  • Low noise
  • Compact size
  • Not too much heavy
  • Helps in flush sanding
  • Long power cord and sanding belt
  • Auto-tracking belt
  • Double insulated

What We Don’t Like About The Makita 9903 Belt Sander

  • There is no adapter to connect the dust collection port with a vacuum

Main Features of Makita 9920 Belt Sander

The Makita 9920 belt sander weighs about 9.9 pounds, and like other Makita sanders, it also has a long cord and low noise system. The price is relatively moderate if you think about the quality performance and the features we get with it. Its powerful motor generates enough speed to work long hours without heating up. Makita 9920 belt sander comes with a sturdy front grip knob to easily control the fast-speed sander. Also, the dust collection system takes care of the mess it creates. Here are some of the main features you need to know about Makita 9920 before purchasing the sander. 

Sanding Belt

The rotation of a sanding belt in a loop is what makes a belt sander able to sand. The belts are easily replaceable by pulling a single lever. Also, the belts are available in different grits to give you the type of sanding you need. Makita 9920 belt sander has an auto-tracking belt system that will keep the belt on its track. So you will not have to fix the belt manually anymore. 

Front Grip Handle

Makita 9920 belt sander has a small front grip handle that ensures you have a firm hold on the sander to control it while sanding. With a powerful motor, this sander can reach a high speed that can make it hard to handle for beginners. This handle allows them to use both hands and have a stable working sander. While it gives you fewer chances to drop it off, it also makes sure you do not have any fatigue or cramps by holding it with a single hand.

Dust Collection System

Sanding will create dust, and some of them might have chemicals mixed with them which can be harmful if they enter your eyes or your lungs. A dust collection system can minimize the dust in your workspace and give you a cleaner environment. Makita belt sander 9920 comes with a dust bag that is big enough to work for a long time without any need of emptying it. For better results, you can attach the dust port to a vacuum hose. 

Variable Speed

The 8.8 amp motor of the Makita 9920 belt sander comes with a variable speed option. It has a speed dial near the handle, and you can adjust the speed with it. However, it can only change the speed from 690 to 1440 feet per minute, allowing you to choose a low-speed or a high-speed option. Beginners might find this option helpful as they can learn to control the sander at low speed and then move on to the higher settings. 

What We Like About The Belt Sander Makita 9920

  • Worth the price
  • Auto-tracking belt system
  • Easy to change sanding belt
  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed dial
  • Has a front grip handle
  • Can sand flush to the wall with nose and side
  • Long power cord
  • Low profile design for better balance
  • Good dust collection system
  • Low noise

What We Don’t Like About The Makita 9920 Belt Sander

  • Dust bag comes in the way while sanding

Who Are They Suitable For?

These belt sanders can round, shape, level, remove edges, and also smooth down any odd-shaped workpiece. The belt sanders are must-have tools if you often need to sand big and flat wooden surfaces. However, these sanders are not for just wooden objects. With suitable grit sandpaper, they can smooth metal surfaces as well. So, a versatile belt sander like these can come in handy for many uses. No matter which sander you choose, you will find the same functionality in them.

Similarities Between Makita 9920 and Makita 9903 Belt Sanders

  • Both sanders are corded and come with a long power cord
  • They both have an auto-tracking belt system
  • The dust collection system is the same in both
  • Same motor power
  • Variable speed option is present in both of the sanders
  • Same low noise construction
  • Front grip is present in both sanders
  • Both can sand flush to the wall

Exact Differences Between Makita 9903 vs 9920

  • While the Makita 9903 belt sander comes with a 21-inch belt, the Makita 9920 comes with a 24-inch belt
  • Makita 9903 is slightly more affordable than the Makita 9920 belt sander
  • The Makita 9920 belt sander is a bit heavier than the Makita 9903 and 9403 sanders
  • Makita 9920 is a bit louder with 85 dB while Makita 9903 is only 84 dB

What to choose? : Makita 9920 or Makita 9903

We notice more similarities than differences between these two sanders. The main difference stands in the belt size as one is longer than the other by a few inches. But does it actually matter? In some cases, it does. The longer belt in Makita 9920 belt sander can sand longer objects flatter as there will be more space in the belt. Also, as the belt is longer, the grit will last longer too. However, compared to this sander, the Makita 9903 belt sander is more affordable and lighter in weight. You can choose either of them because they almost have the same functionality and provide you with the same performance. But if you only need to choose one, we suggest you go for the Makita 9920 belt sander as it will make your belts long-lasting and finish work faster. 

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