For most of the history of carpentry, the only way to sand down your floorboards and furniture prior to painting or varnishing was to use a coarse and fine sandpaper and loads of manpower plus labor hours. This has always been the case until the invention of the sander, particularly the belt disc sander.
The disc sander is different from its handheld belt sander counterpart in that it’s almost always a benchtop type of sander that appears like a grinding mill. The non-stationary or mobile sander is usually the belt sander sans disc or disk and it appears like a vacuum cleaner (especially with the dust bag) or a clothes iron.
Indeed, power sanders or sanding tool solutions are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This guide will help you consider which disc sanders are worth buying and what these products bring to the table. Always remember that you should definitely buy a sander based on your needs.
That’s what belt/disc sander shopping is all about. Just read any of the many belt disc sander reviews out there and you’ll know the truth. Pay attention to the specs too. You’re either left with a dust port or dust bag.
Just read any of the many belt disc sander reviews out there and you’ll know the truth. Pay attention to the specs too. You’re either left with a dust port or dust bag.
|WEN 6502 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base||$176.34||Buy on Amazon|
|Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander||$150.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Rikon 50-112 4-Inch x 36-Inch Belt 6-Inch Disc Sander||$157.27||Buy on Amazon|
|Grizzly H8192 Belt with 8-Inch Disc Sander, 1 by 42-Inch||$390.95||Buy on Amazon|
Best Belt Disc Sander Reviews
1. WEN 6502 Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base
- Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 4-by-36 inch belt and a 6-by-6 inch disc
- Adjustable belt tilts anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees
- Sturdy cast iron base prevents any heavy vibrations
- 4.3A motor provides up to 3600 RPM
- Tension release lever provides for simple changes between sandpaper grits
The Wen 6502 is a sanding machine that includes both the 6-by-6-inch disc and the 4-by-36-inch belt. This gives you multiple sanding options that you won’t get from standalone disc or belt sanders.
What’s more, the belt can tilt from 0 degrees to 90 degrees for better sanding convenience. It’s one of the best benchtop sanders out there. Like many stationary sanders, the WEN 6502 benchtop sander also benefits from a sturdy cast iron base that keeps the machine from experiencing heavy vibrations that could make your aim go off askew and whatnot. This is important because this piece of equipment can go up to 3,600 RPM as its speed thanks to its strong 4.3-amp motor.
No piece of timber, lumber, or wood can stand a chance against the grinding and sanding action of the all-powerful Wen 6502. It offers half a horsepower of strength that goes a long way in grinding pretty much every surface into dust without it bogging down under heavy load.
There’s a consensus among benchtop sander reviews in regards to how easy it is to change the spacious 4 inches by 36 inches belt of this sanding machine. You can switch and replace different sandpaper grit levels without wasting too much time in the changing process.
Furthermore, the Wen 6502 is capable of accommodating your work piece’s shape, size, and needs. This makes it a solid product for the do-it-yourself garage user or woodworker.
2. Rockwell RK7866 Belt Disc Sander
- [HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL SANDING] The spacious 4” x 36” belt platform raises and lowers from 0-90° to accommodate almost any project
- [BEVEL EDGES] The sanding table adjusts from 0-45° for smoothing out beveled edges—you’ll have the nicest picture frames in the business
- [HEAVY INDUCTION MOTOR] Powerful 4.3-amp motor provides plenty of power to sand down all your woodworking projects
- [EASY BELT CHANGES] Quick-release tension lever lets you easily change out sandpaper grits for different projects
- [SAFETY SWITCH] Prevents accidental starts so you can confidently leave your shop when you’re done for the day and not have to worry
As for the Rockwell RK7866 Belt Disc Sander, it fulfills its supposed capabilities and then some by keeping up with the current standards of what a benchtop or tabletop sander is supposed to be and do. This is what makes it a great candidate for best belt disc sander bar none. For example, its belt platform is capable of adjusting from 0 to 90 degrees so that it’s easier for you to do vertical or horizontal sanding.
Meanwhile, the sanding table surface itself can tilt from 0 to 45 degrees if you wish to professionally sand down beveled edges on tables and frames. The Rockwell RK7866 makes it all possible with its heavy-duty 4.3-amp induction motor that delivers consistent performance even under load.
As a seeming prerequisite for any benchtop disc sander out there, the Rockwell RK7866 Belt Disc Sander also has a quick-release belt tension lever so that you can easily change belts at a moment’s notice instead of having to take minutes or hours to do so. As far as this best belt disc sander review is concerned, the Rockwell RK7866 is the best when it comes to cost-effective sanding action.
In fact, the Rockwell Company makes a lot of other tools that meet or exceed expectations. It particularly excels when it comes to ease of use, power, and dependability. What Rockwell lacks in name recognition, it more than makes up for in its utility and completeness.
3. Rikon 50-112 Belt 6-Inch Disc Sander
- Cast Iron and Steel Construction. Heavy duty base provides vibration-free operation
- Belt Speed 1900 SFPM Helps finish the workpiece fast with smooth results
- Disc Speed 3450 RPM Direct drive for increased torque and reliability
In regards to the Rikon 50-112, it’s renowned for its good heavy construction, amazing customer service, a great amount of power, reliability after moderate use, and well-thought-out-out design. In terms of its detriments, few if any of the multiple belt disk sander reviews can pinpoint a flaw of the sander that’s not due to factory defects and a minority of users complain about them.
Perhaps some might be annoyed at how much of a small hobby sander it is, expecting to instead get a commercial-grade one. However, this isn’t a valid criticism. As far as hobbyist woodworking or home improvement is concerned, the Rikon 50-112 is definitely one of the best sanders out there.
In regards to its specifications, it offers cast iron and steel construction, ensuring long-lasting toughness all around. What’s more, it ensures vibration-free operation as well because of its heavy-duty base that’s practically immovable by the motor (which is no slouch when it comes to its power).
As quite a number of benchtop belt disc sander reviews would point out, the Rikon 50-112 belt and disc sander also have a 1,900 surface feet per minute (SFPM) belt speed and 3,450 rotations per minute (RPM) disc speed. In other words, it offers the best of both worlds in terms of disc sanding and belt sanding. Just remember that disc sanding is best done on heavy-duty applications while belt sanding should deal with fine detail projects or jobs.
4. Grizzly H8192 Belt with 8-Inch Disc Sander
- A perfect match to your bandsaw or scroll saw this Combination Belt/Disc Sander will shape and smooth right to the line. A 1/3-HP TEFC capacitor start
- Includes single knob tracking and two 2-Inch dust ports
- Approximate shipping weight is 63 lbs
In regards to the Grizzly H8192 belt and disc sander, it’s quite the doozy of a sander. It offers a third of the horsepower from its motor to deliver 3,450 RPM of speed. Both its disc and belt sanding tables can be tilted 45 degrees to give you more leeway when sanding down irregularly shaped blocks or workpieces as well.
What’s more, it’s able to stand out among the rest of the benchtop sanders out there by having big table sizes (the belt sander table is 5.12 inches by 5.12 inches while the disc sander table size is 4 inches by 7.31 inches). The belt also has unique specs like an idler roller guard and a removable belt platen that you won’t see in the other sanders in this review.
The customers who usually avail of a Grizzly over your usual line up of WEN, Rikon, and Rockwell benchtop sanders are those who have hobbies such as knife-making. A benchtop belt and disc sander is just what the doctor (or blacksmith) ordered in terms of sharpening any type of blade.
So what makes the Grizzly H8192 the best belt disc sander? It delivers where it counts. It lives up to its name as a grizzled sander veteran or a grizzly bear that’s virtually unstoppable when you use it because you won’t be able to choke out the motor and get it to stop by simply pressing too hard on the belt. It’s far too powerful to succumb to that.
Belt Disc Sander Buying Guide
The Specific Specs to Watch Out For
- Speed and Power: As a rule of thumb, the rotation or strokes per minute of your prospective belt disc sander should be at around 3,400 to 3,600 on average that’s running on a 4 horsepower or higher motor. It’s the opinion of this belt disc sander review that this is the most important spec to consider.
You’re assured of smooth results with this rate of belt speed as well as increased reliability and torque for this rate of disc speed. It’s a home improvement enthusiast’s dream to have such a sander around because now they can save money buying raw materials and sanding them off by themselves.
- Metal Construction: In order to make sure your sander will last a long time, buy one that’s made of metal for the most part. Make sure that all the moving parts of your sander are metallic. Even if the rest of it—the levers and tightening wheels—are made of plastic in order to lower costs, as long as the important parts are made of metal you’ll be fine.
Just make sure to watch out and be careful with those plastic parts while attempting to control the parts that are made of metal (which tend to last forever).
- Tension Release and Fast Belt Changes: When searching for a dependable belt sander, look for one thatincludes a tension release lever that offers simple changes to sandpaper grit, whether you’re in need of fine sandpaper for detailed sanding or coarse sandpaper for heavy-duty sandpapering of the rawest of materials available.
Just check out any other benchtop belt sander reviews available, and you’ll end up with the same conclusion.You don’t have to take the piece of equipment apart to tighten it up. Just remember to adjust the belt before usage.
- Stable Base: As for the stable base, this is critical for any benchtop or stationary belt and disc sander so that you can end up with dependable sandpapering action every time that’s not compromised by a machine that’s too wobbly to work. This makes for a device that’s the epitome of versatility and reliability.
Once your sander is stable, all else will follow as far as the rest of the specs are concerned, ensuring you that allthe jagged edges, burrs, and imperfections on whatever workpiece you’re working on is removed without error.
- Tilt Feature and Angular Sanding: There are certain sanders that are capable of tilting the angle of their disc or belt as well as tabletop in accordance with the shape or design of the workpiece you want to sand or grind down.
As many disk sander reviews will take note, a good sander should be able to do that so that you can make all sorts of decorative woodworking pieces that you can install under the eaves. The angles can help you out with trimming and scribing as well as sanding and leveling.
Belt Disc Sander Accessories and Upgrades
A disc sander looks much like a grinding mill and goes about sanding in the same fashion. A belt sander is more treadmill-like in appearance and offers softer and more nuanced contact for detailed sanding action. Which one should you choose? It depends on your needs. You should let your needs dictate which sander or accessory to buy.
- Hose or Vacuum: You might want to invest in a hose and vacuum for the sake of cleaning out the finer sawdust or particles in the air when you’re doing a lot of belt sanding activity and there’s a mist of dust surrounding you. This can literally clean up your act, so to speak. A sander with upgrades should streamline and boost the effectiveness of your ultimate sander choice. Many disc sander reviews agree with this assessment.
- Customized Stand: You also need to invest in a shop-made customized stand that holds your sander to the side, whether it’s vertical or upside down. This should allow you to bring the workpiece to the tool instead of having to bring the tool to the work piece (which is a lot of work and requires utmost care, concentration, and tenseness to keep the sander from destroying the piece).
The design of your belt and disc sander stand or vacuum should be based on the sander’s shape in order to get the perfect fit of sorts. The stand adds balance and solidity to your sanding capabilities while the vacuum helps out reduce cleanup issues.
Reminders Regarding Belt Disc Sanders
Although the disk sander is supposed to be a safe tool, it’s still smart to err on the side of caution and take the necessary precautions.
- When using a benchtop sander, it’s important to hold the workpiece straight while at the same time keeping the pressure on it minimal since its motor will do the rest of the sanding work. Most belt and disc sander reviews agree that benchtops have the advantage when it comes to sanding down larger areas and component parts.
- You should buy a mobile or handheld belt sander instead if the floorboards you wish to sand down are already installed and you want to smoothen them out in a vacuum-cleaner-like or mop-like fashion. In contrast, you need to put the workpiece on the benchtop instead.
- You should also get sanders with labyrinthine internal designs so that the sawdust, iron dust, or other dust types have a hard time entering the device and ruining its insides.
- Also, remember that a benchtop or stationary sander can afford to be bigger than your average mobile sander, so it covers a bigger sanding area. These sanders can also have both belt and disc sanders available.
- Because the grinding capabilities of a disk sander are so aggressive and impactful, control is of the utmost importance. You don’t want it to grind away your workpieces completely.
- You should also wear hearing protection because these sanders are quite loud (even the quietest ones are at least 84 decibels).
- You should avoid breathing the dust as well. As many disc belt sander reviews might take note of, you shouldn’t breathe the dust when doing some sanding because it’s bad for you.
- Even with a dust bag present, you should still wear a dust mask or rig a shop vacuum for dust collection. Before changing or emptying the dust bag of your tool, you should unplug the machine first to avoid getting hurt by the resulting mess.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line when it comes to the different belt and disc benchtop sanders reviewed in this article.
The Wen 6502 is perfect for operators who wish to get a solid product that can accommodate any size, shape, and material of the workpiece it’s supposed to sand down to the utmost satisfaction of even veteran workers. As for the Rockwell RK7866, it’s the sander you can depend on when it comes to cost-effective sanding that keeps up with all the current standards of a top-notch benchtop sander.
Meanwhile, the Rikon 50-112 is the belt and disc sander you should avail of if you wish for sturdiness and functionality that’s beyond what you’d usually see from the cheapest junk sanders out there.
Finally, the Grizzly H8192 is a powerhouse of a sander that can grind the toughest of materials or the rawest of workpieces into perfect shapes, like how a hungry grizzly bear can make short work out of its prey as soon as it gets its claws on it. You should pick a belt and disc sander, but not just any sander available.
You should match the product in accordance with your needs, whether you wish to get a sander that’s versatile or accommodating, cost-effective or affordable, serviceable and durable, and powerful or tough on sanding. As soon as you can match your needs with the sander, shopping for this product becomes easy.