To smooth out and finish surfaces, nothing is better than a power sander. There are various types of power sanders out there; Belt Sander is well known for grinding woods and evening out soft metal projects. I want to add that there is also variation in belt sanders. We can categorize them in two types-
- Handheld Belt Sander
- Stationary Belt Sander
If you are a woodworker or well-acquainted with sanding jobs, then you know how important is it to have a belt sander within your clutches. Sometimes, your wooden door gets stuck, and even for this, you can use a belt sander.
Before you decide which belt sander is suitable, let's gather proper knowledge on them:
Table of Contents
- Handheld Belt Sander
- Why Use a Handheld Belt Sander?
- How to Use a Handheld Belt Sander?
- Some well-known Handheld Belt Sander
- Choosing a Handheld Belt Sander
- Stationary Belt Sander
- Why Use a Stationary Belt Sander?
- How to Use Stationary Sander?
- Some well-known Stationary Sanders:
- Choosing a Stationary Belt Sander
Handheld Belt Sander
The handheld belt sander is portable. You can work with comfort taking it anywhere. It is not fixed in one place. Moving over the material, you can work with a handheld belt sander easily.
Why Use a Handheld Belt Sander?
- You can carry and work with it easily.
- Ideal for tough jobs and a lot of sanding.
- You can sue for sharpening and shaping jobs too.
- It covers more surface area than a random orbital sander.
- Ideal for removing old paint and varnish.
How to Use a Handheld Belt Sander?
There is not much of a revolution when it comes to the usage of a belt sander. The model is more or less the same. A handheld belt sander comes with a cord, sanding head; some come with a variable speed control while others don't. But choosing the one with variable speed control is best to work with.
The process is simple. Install the right type of sandpaper suiting your project. For example- 50, 40, or less than it is coarse while 80,150 and more are finer grit. Choosing the right grit is necessary no matter what type of sander you are using.
Turn on the power. Place the sander on the piece of wood or whatever project you are working on. Once you make the handheld sander sit on the piece, you do not just want it to sit there and spoil it. Rather, make a slow movement to the direction ahead and sand pushing lightly. Keep the sander moving onward and backward, not just across the piece. Running across will cause swirl marks.
The other key fact to remember is to keep the sander as flat as possible on the piece of wood.
Check now and then to see the result. Once you are done, switch off the power.
Some well-known Handheld Belt Sander
- Makita 9405 4" x 24" Belt Sander.
- Porter-Cable 362V.
- Black & Decker DS321 Dragster
- Hitachi SB8V2 Speed Belt Sander
Choosing a Handheld Belt Sander
You may not know well about this type of sander, that's why I'm narrowing down the things you should take into consideration while buying a handheld belt sander.
In general, handheld sanders come with these sizes- 3x 18, 3x21, 3x 24, and 4x 24. You should buy the large one if you are using it for the very first time. Start with the smaller one, then with the requirement of your project, you may change the size.
Image yourself standing with a robust sander for 30 minutes; how will you manage to stand like this? So, you better not go with the large and weighty one. Since it is handheld, you need a lighter machine to hold it for long.
Either for beginners or pros, it is better to use a handheld sander with variable speed setting. When you work too long with it, chances are to eat away too much of your material. You don't want that unpleasant thing to happen with you. So, look for one with a soft start setting.
Motor is an initial part of the sander. Suppose you want to save some hard labor, then do not buy the one with a tiny motor. Also, don't buy too large, it will be weighty to carry. Try checking how amps the motor is. Make sure it doesn't eat up too much power and blow a fuse. You will find most models telling the amps and voltage.
Having a dust collector is necessary. With having it, you won't make a mess with wooden particles around your surroundings. Not every model comes with a dust collector. Buy the best one with an attached dust collector.
Stationary Belt Sander
The stationary belt sander stays fixed at a frame. It mainly focuses upon smoothing out the piece of wood. The rapid movement combined with the different grit sandpaper's power wipes off the rough edges of the wood. The continued rotation of the motor causes the abrasive belt to sand any material that comes in contact with it.
It is almost identical with the handheld belt sander except that it stays in one place while the handheld sander is portable.
Why Use a Stationary Belt Sander?
- For cabinet making, a stationary belt sander is ideal.
- For sanding in high volume, you should choose nothing but a stationary belt sander.
- Best as a metal grinder.
- Also, you can do sharpening jobs with it.
How to Use Stationary Sander?
Turn the power on and put the piece you are willing to sand. Hold the work piece flatly over the stationary sander. Check with every stroke because it tends to waste materials unnecessarily. Use the right kind of grit, suiting your purpose.
Some well-known Stationary Sanders:
- BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt sander 4 in x 36 in.
- Rocket belt disco combo sander
- RIKON Power Tools 50-151
- POWERTEC BD4600 Belt Disc Sander For woodworking
Choosing a Stationary Belt Sander
Always check the quality of the belt installed in the stationary sander. Otherwise, you can face problems like changing it more than two times a week, which is a little bit tiresome and money consuming.
Also, check on the belt changing system. Mostly in the stationary sander, the belt changing system is a little bit complex. Try to see if it has a belt slippage before buying.
Having is dust pickup is better. Some stationary belt sanders come with a dust port; it saves time. So, buy one with a dust collector.
Check out the adjustments, layout, and addition of plastic. Having too much plastic will do no good for the sanding job. Also, if the adjustment mechanism is cheap, then the sander won't work longer for you.
At the end of the day, the decision comes down to you whether you want to choose a stationary or handheld belt sander. There is no question of a better belt sander; rather, it's more about your demands. If you are not a professional, then handheld sanders are a wise pick for you. Stationary belts sander, on the other hand, excels in the professional level of hard sanding jobs.