Belt sanders are probably one of the most beneficial power tools for many woodworkers out there. You see, sanding is famous for being a boring part of woodworking because it usually takes a lot of time.
However, acquiring the appropriate tool such as a belt sander can make the job more interesting. For the most part, a belt sander is a tool that is particularly made to make sanding rather easy and quick. It doesn’t really matter what the sanding surface is, belt sanders will be able to support you in smoothing and preparing the wood surface for the next process.
Now, you don’t need to do the research for the best belt sanders out there, because we did the hard work ourselves. So, without further ado, let’s evaluate the best belt sanders you can today!
Table of Contents:
First and foremost, the Porter-Cable 352Vs is quite unique because of its solid and all-metal body. You see, a lot of belt sanders nowadays are incorporated with reinforced plastic, which is most of the time, not durable.
And because this unit is incorporated with metal, it is basically protected from different elements that can deteriorate the tool. Moreover, it comes with a durable exterior that makes it hard to damage.
On the other hand, the Wen 6502T is a perfect addition if you already have a tool collection because it comes with two tools in one big tool. It has a 4” x 36” belt sander and a 6” x 6” disc.
Its belt can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees which is perfect for various kinds of wood working tasks out there because it get rids of any awkward work. Its disc on the other hand is constructed along with cast Aluminum worktable that ensures that you’ll sand safely and accurately.
Who Should Get This?
A belt sander is a very versatile tool. Belt sanders are usually used for freehand shaping and rounding, levelling certain surfaces, sanding rough surfaces, and even trimming to a scribed line. Also, because they pack a good amount of power and can manage most rough grits, belt sanders are good at rapid removal of wood.
Moreover, compared to an orbital and vibrating sander, the sanding action of a belt sander is linear. That’s why even with rough grits, you can sand with the grain and still have a nice output. Even though belt sanders are not really categorized as essential in many household owners’ tool collection, you’ll find a lot of carpenters and experienced do-it-yourself enthusiasts having one.
What to Consider?
Let’s take a look at the main factors you need to consider when purchasing a belt sander.
When looking for a decent power tool, one of the most crucial aspects that you must consider is of course, the weight. For a belt sander, this factor is crucial because it determines the overall ease of use and convenience of the tool. If most of your tasks require you to use the tool at horizontal orientations when performing a lot of misaligned boards, then having a heavier belt sander will be very advantageous. On the other hand, a lighter unit will be perfect for vertical sanding.
Maximum Comfort and Control
A belt sander comes with a must-have parts that enable you to effectively control as you slide the sander through the surface you are doing the work on. To be exact, this is where the handle of the tool becomes very convenient. Now, when looking for a belt sander, don’t forget to get one with a good handle. Get one that has optimal grip and fit for your hands.
For all we know, dust is natural product produce from sanding wood and certain materials. Dust can get into our eyes or we might breathe it in. Because of this, we highly suggest that you get a belt sander that can extract dust.
Width and Length
These two factors are two of the most crucial factors when picking the best belt sanders. You see, the wider and longer the belt is, the faster you can get things done since you’ll only need a shorter sanding pass. However, if you’re assigned to a task that requires greater accuracy, then try to go for a narrower and shorter belt.
Even though belt sanders that are powerful can get your work finished, you can still put more power output by simply picking the speed that fits the task you are currently assigned to. Moreover, it’s a nice concept to pick a belt sander that comes with adjustable speed settings so you can transform it to a power tool which is amazing for delicate outputs.
As obvious as it is, more amps only means more power. And the same thing can be said with belt sanders. You see, these tools may feature an electric motor that operates between 4 to ten Amps. Thus, if you’re operating on rough surfaces, of course you might want to use a powerful motor. On the flip side, if you are doing tasks with small and softer materials, a 4 to 6 amp will do enough.
PORTER-CABLE 352VS vs. WEN 6502T Belt Sander | Ultimate Battle 
1. PORTER-CABLE 352VS Variable-Speed Belt Sander
The Porter Cable 352VS is pretty unique due to its durable and all-metal construction. See, most belt sanders in the market today are pretty much constructed using reinforced plastic, which is not really durable. And since the Porter Cable 352VS is constructed using metal, it is essentially protected from certain elements. Additionally, its sturdy exterior makes this unit hard to damage.
Precision and Versatility
This particular model also comes with various features that add to its precision and versatility as a belt sander. It comes with a powerful 8 amp motor which is engineered for industrial sanding. But even though it is primarily built for industrial sanding, it can also be utilized for other tasks such as intricate wood working.
Variable Speed Dial
On the other hand, its variable speed dial enables the user to pick a speed between 850 SFPM and 1,300 SFP. This enables the user to rival the machine’s speed to the kind of task they are working on. Moreover, it is incorporated with a quick-release belt change lever, ceramic aluminium oxide belt, and an adjustable belt tracking knob which provides better ease of use as well as accuracy.
What We Like
- Comes with a lock-in safety feature that enables for non-stop sanding without gripping on the trigger constantly
- Features a detachable dust bag to reduce mess
- Has a compact design to minimize user strain
- Easy to change sanding belt
- Comes with a spacious dust bag
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t come with any adjustable handle
- Doesn’t come with variable speeds
2. WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander
This particular belt disc sander from Wen is ideal addition to any homeowners’ arsenal as it gives a 4” x 36” belt sander and a 6” x 6” disc. In particular, its belt tilts from 0 to 90 degrees which make it very suitable for any wood working task and eliminating any awkward operation. On the other hand, its disc is incorporated with cast Aluminum worktable that guarantees that users can sand precisely and safely.
The Wen 6502T is a powerful tool especially because it operates on a 4.3 Amp and 1/2 HP motor that can go up as much as 3600 revolutions per minute. It also allows you to easily change the sandpaper if there are wear or you just want to switch the grit.
The belt and the disc sit on a durable cast iron base, so rest assured that there are no unnecessary vibrations. Also, you can link the tool to a dust extractor as it comes with a 2.25 inch port connector. And similar to most Wen products out there, the Wen 6502T comes with a 2-year warranty offer.
What We Like
- Its tension release lever makes changing sandpaper grits easy
- Incorporated with a 4.3Amp motor that gives as much as 3600 revolution per minute
- Comes with a sturdy cast iron base that significantly minimizes unnecessary vibrations
- Its belt can tilt anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees
- The table is incorporated with a miter gauge
What We Don’t Like
- This unit’s belt protector plate seems a little bit thin
- Its disc sander slide can’t be locked to the plate
Useful Tips or Tricks
For the most part, a belt sander is pretty much considered a safe tool. However, it is still wise to take some precautions.
Get Some Hearing Protection
First of all, make sure you have some hearing protection because belt sanders can be pretty loud.
Don’t Inhale the Dust!
Make sure not to breathe the dust because it’s not good for the health. As much as possible, equip yourself a dust mask while doing the work.
Unplug It First
Don’t forget to unplug the power tool before doing any kind of changes such as emptying the dust bag or changing belts.
Clean All the Time
If you use it to sand metal, you might create a fire because of the sparks and the dust residue you didn’t clean beforehand. Make sure to clean it all the time before applying it to any material.
Turn Off the Trigger
Don’t forget to off the trigger before plugging the belt sander in. A belt sander usually comes with a locking button that holds the switch in the “on” mode. Better be safe than sorry later.
Hold It Tight!
If you didn’t know, a belt sander can generate a great amount of force on your work. That’s why if your work is not tightly held, it might slide away right into you!
Most of the time, sanding is always a part of many wood working tasks. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing some kind of home renovations or improvements or making furniture, belt sanders are needed most of the time.
Also, these tools are actually one of the most trusted version of any sanders out there because they are simple to use and quite versatile. But regardless of it, you must still get the best belt sander if you want to get the most out of your task. As we mentioned above, choosing the best belt sander needs you to consider factors such as speed, weight, motor power, belt size, and many more.
With that said, we hope that you’ll get the best belt sander for your needs. If this review is helpful to you, please leave any comments down below.