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Best Belt Sander Reviews (TOP 8) 2021

DIY hobbyists as well as professionals should consider having a belt sander of their own. It allows them to save some time, while giving consistent, even results as compared to sanding by hand. The following are the most popular belt sander models currently available in the market these days.

What is the Best Belt Sander?

ImageBelt SanderFeaturesRatingPrice
Hitachi SB8V2 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip HandlesHitachi SB8V2
  • 3 x 21 inch
  • 9 AMP
  • 820-1475 ft/min
  • W: 9.5 pounds
  • D: 6 x 6.75 x 4 inches
4.5Check
Makita 9903 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust BagMakita 9903
  • 3 x 21 inch
  • 8.8 AMP
  • 690-1,440 ft/min
  • W: 9.5 pounds
  • D: 11.63 x 5.63 x 6.19 inches
4.8Check
Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander with Cloth Dust BagMakita 9403
  • 4 x 24″
  • 11 AMP
  • 1,640 ft./min
  • W: 13 pounds
  • D: 9 x 16.1 x 9.76 inches
4.8Check
Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust BagBlack & Decker DS321
  • 3 x 21 inch
  • 7 AMP
  • 800 fpm
  • W: 6.5 pounds
  • D: 15.25 x 6.32 x 6.32 inches
4.3Check
PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt SanderPORTER-CABLE 362V
  • 4 x 21 inch
  • 12.0 amp
  • 1,000 to 1,500 SFPM
  • W: 4.4 pounds
  • D: 25.25 x 26.25 x 31.25 inches
4.3Check
PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust BagPORTER-CABLE 352VS
  • 3 x 21 inch
  • 8 AMP
  • 850 to 1,300 square ft
  • W: 10.75 lb
  • D: 10.38 x 12.5 x 5.75 inches
4.8Check
Genesis GBS321A 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust BagGenesis GBS321A
  • 3 x 21 inch
  • 8.0 AMP
  • 390-1,180 ft./min
  • W: 8.5 pounds
  • D: 14 x 5.75 x 5.75 inches
4.0Check
Black & Decker BR318 3-Inch by 18-Inch Low Profile Belt SanderBlack & Decker BR318
  • 3 x 18 inch
  • 6 AMP
  • W: 4 Pounds
  • D: 14 x 7 x 7 inches
4.0Check

8 Best Belt Sander Reviews and Comparison


1) Hitachi SB8V2 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander Review

Hitachi SB8V2 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles
Hitachi SB8V2 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles

This option is a 3 x 21 inch variable speed belt sander which comes with a wear resistant belt that has been designed for a longer service life. It also comes with several other features, including a front tracking and clear window that enhances visibility while sanding. It is both durable and powerful, and has been designed with professional grade features that run with a 9 AMP motor, allowing you to remove wood, paint and steel aggressively. It also has a longer lifespan, thus helping you save money for maintenance.

Despite the fact that the Hitachi SB8V2 model is lightweight, it is still durable and built to last. Due to its light weight, it becomes very easy to maneuver. In fact, you can also use it even though you may have some injuries which prevent you from carrying heavy objects. Thanks to its versatility this unit can also be used to flush vertical surfaces.

Pros

  • Durable and powerful
  • Professional grade features
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Reduces vibration when sanding
  • Durably built to last
  • Lightweight body and features

Cons

  • Quite difficult to empty the dust bag
  • Left-hand side placement of the motor

Check Price on Amazon


2) Makita 9903 3 x 21 Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander Review

Makita 9903 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Makita 9903 3 x 21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

This model comes with a particular feature that is not available in other units coming from other manufacturers – an 85 dB noise level which has been measured at high speed. It also comes equipped with a more powerful motor that can help you in getting your jobs done in a shorter period of time. This offers a better advantage because it reduces fatigue, and also aims for durability of the unit. With its variable speed setting range between 68 and 1440 FPM (feet per minute), this unit can allow you to match the speed to the application.

The Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3×21 Inch Variable Speed model is double insulated and comes with a front grip design. It also comes with a dust bag which makes it possible for a cleaner workspace. It has the capability to sand metal or wood, while removing rust and paint. It also comes with an auto-tracking belt system which can track without the need for adjustment. Overall, its unique design enables flush sanding going to the wall corner with the side and nose of a sander.

Pros

  • Comfortable operation with its front grip design
  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed control dial which matches the speed to the application
  • Auto tracking belt system
  • Innovative design in sanding flush to wall
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • Long power cord

Cons

  • Off-balanced unit at times

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3) Makita 9403 4×24 inch Belt Sander Review

Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Makita 9403 4″ x 24″ Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

If you have heavy duty belt sanding to do, the 4×24 Makita 9403 may be the one you are looking for. Comparing more popular 3×23 models, this has more power with an 11 amp motor moving at 1,640 ft per minute. Combining bigger size belt, faster speed and more power it can remove material a lot faster.

This sander balance and tracking is very good and sanding result is great. Even though this sander works hard, it doesn’t make a lot of noise – only 84 dB. It is designed to replace belt with ease and dust collection in the bag is good.  It is comfortable to operate with a large front grip. Like other Makita sanders, its motor and bearings are labyrinth construction sealed.

Pros

  • Large 4”x24” belt
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy belt change with lever control
  • Sealed motor and bearings design for durability
  • Good dust collection
  • Comfortable large front grip
  • Soft start

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Fixed speed

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4) Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sander Review

Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

This model comes with a 3 x 21 inch belt sander design – low profile but very useful. It is also equipped with a retractable hood which can easily be used in tackling detailed sanding projects. All in all, its compact profile provides you with better contact with the sanding surfaces. Its sleek design, together with its front roller makes it quite possible to sand even in tight corners, as well as difficult to reach spaces, such as in between banisters and under the cabinets.

The Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp model comes with several features that make it very comfortable and easy to use. For instance, its adjustable handle comes with three different control positions, perfect if you are choosy regarding the handle of your belt sander. It also has an adjustable belt tracking system that can keep your belt right in place while sanding.

Another very convenient feature of this unit is that you just have to flip the release lever in order to change the belts. It also has a dust bag which is located on the small side, including a zipper for a mess free and simple removal of the collected sawdust. This is an inexpensive belt sander and works great for not heavy duty work.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to lift and maneuver
  • Perfect for tackling sanding even in challenging to reach places
  • Wields the necessary amount of power needed
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Comes with an adjustable handle
  • Low cost option

Cons

  • Has less power compared to the more advanced belt sanders
  • Some people complain belt alignment need to be adjusted while using

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5) PORTER-CABLE 362V 4×24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander Review

PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

Like Makita 9403, Porter-Cable 362V is a professional quality 4×24 belt sander. Powered with a 12 amp motor, it can tackle large woodworking projects in a breeze. Its speed is variable so you can change the speed according to your job need. The motor is well placed just over the platen and its size and weight help to maintain the balance and give maximum performance without pressing it too hard.

Handles are ergonomically designed to give users an easy control and less fatigue. The dust bag is located near the handle and its top facing toward your face. When you sand for a prolonged time, it gets hot and the hot air is blown to your hands and face, which is uncomfortable. Used metal casing structure is good to increase durability but it gets too hot when you use long time. One safety issue is that this unit does not have the drive drum cover and its cord can get sucked between the drum and the housing if you are not careful.

Pros

  • Powerful 12 amp motor
  • Variable speed from 1,000 to 1,500 square ft per min
  • Large 4”x24” belt
  • Well designed motor location for balance and performance
  • Ergonomic design for comfortability

Cons

  • Dust bag location
  • Expensive
  • No drive drum cover

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6) PORTER-CABLE 352VS  3 x 21 inch  Variable-Speed Belt Sander Review

PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
PORTER-CABLE 352VS 8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

This 8 amp powered Porter-Cable 352V belt sander is well balanced and weighted to produce good sanding result. Having variable speed at 850-1,300 square ft per min also helps to deliver good sanding surface. Changing belt is very easy with the quick-release belt-change lever. Handles are ergonomically designed and well positioned.

Like the Porter-Cable 362V model, you need to be careful with the cord not to be sucked between the drum and the housing because it does not have the drive drum cover. All metal design is both good and bad – increase durability but gets extremely hot with prolonged use. Many people also complained that the dust collection is not working well.

Pros

  • Variable speed from 850 to 1,300 square ft per min
  • motor positioned over platen for balance and performance
  • Comfortable handles

Cons

  • Some dust collection problem
  • No drive drum cover

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7) Genesis GBS321A 3×21 inch Variable Speed Belt Sander Review

Genesis GBS321A 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Genesis GBS321A 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

It is a compact but powerful 3×21 belt sander. With a 8 amp motor power and variable speed, this belt sander works great. The low profile design is ideal to make it operate in a tight spot. The adjustable front handle gives its user more control and comfort to operate. The belt change is handy with a single lever quick change system. The belt tracking is good and easy to adjust if needed.

The sander does a good job of cycling dust away from the belt but the dust collection is not good. The dust bag catches a lot of dust but a lot escape through to make a mess. Also it is a little bit noisier than other sanders.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy belt change
  • Variable speed
  • Low profile design to reach tight area

Cons

  • Poor quality dust bag
  • Noisy

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8) Black & Decker BR318 3×18 inch Low Profile Belt Sander Review

Black & Decker BR318 3-Inch by 18-Inch Low Profile Belt Sander
Black & Decker BR318 3-Inch by 18-Inch Low Profile Belt Sander

This model has an only 6 amp power motor but it is enough for the applications suitable for 3×18 sanding area. The narrower sanding area and low profile design is good to get into tight spots. It is compact size and light weighted and you can use it at vertical application without problem.

It has comfortable grip of hands, which makes it easy to control to the direction you want to sand. The dust bag is easy to empty with zipper access. It is also affordably priced like other Black & Decker models. Some people complained the lock on button is hard to reach. This sander is great for small to moderate applications but may not be enough for a big project because of the small sanding area and its less powerful motor.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact and light weighted
  • Fits well in tight spaces
  • Comfortable hand grips
  • Easy to change belt

Cons

  • For small to moderate jobs
  • Hard to reach Lock on button

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Conclusion

When searching for an ideal belt sander, there are certain features that you definitely have to look for. You may want to make sure that dust bags are included, or whether or not you would want to have a manual or an automatic tracking system. Each of the items included in the list above come with their own set of features.

Hitachi and Makita are among the top manufacturers of belt sanders. Therefore, in order to make the best decision, it is highly recommended to list down the features that you are looking for, and compare them with the ones included in the models.