10 Best Benchtop Belt Sanders of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews
Belt sanders are important tools in the workshop, and benchtop models add portability to their useful features. However, this tool comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not always easy to know what you will need before you start to use it.
We’ve chosen 10 different benchtop belt sander models to review for you so you can get a better idea of how these tools work. We’ll cover all of the pros and cons and tell you about our experience using them. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a look at the different components that make up a belt sander, so you know what to look for while you shop.
Keep reading while we look at the motor size, RPM, sanding angles, weight, stability, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander||
|Best Value||WEN 6515T Belt Sander||
|Premium Choice||Jet Tools J-4002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander||
|Rockwell RK7866 Belt/Disc Combo Sander||
|RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Disc Sander||
The 10 Best Benchtop Belt Sanders – Reviews 2021
1. BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander – Best Overall
The BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander is our pick for the best overall benchtop belt sander. The maintenance-free 36-inch belt is easy to change and allows you to sand at 0 and 90° to increase versatility. Also included is an 8-inch disk sander for even more options when you work. A 0.75-horsepower (HP) engine drives both sanders, and two dust ports help reduce the sawdust in the air. The cast aluminum base is lightweight (40 pounds) but durable, and it has four rubber feet to reduce vibrations. An included miter gauge on the disk sander helps you create angles, and the disk rotates at 1,725 revolutions per minute (RPM).
Since the aluminum base on the BUCKTOOL BD4801 is so lightweight, it can become top-heavy when sanding with the belt sander at 0°. The aluminum also makes it impossible to mount securely to a table.
2. WEN 6515T Belt Sander – Best Value
The WEN 6515T Belt Sander is our pick for the best value benchtop belt sanders. In fact, we are pretty sure it’s the best benchtop belt sander for the money on the market. It’s a 2-in-1 sander that can sand with a belt or a disk and uses a 2.3 amp motor that can reach up to 3,450 RPM with the disc sander and 3,160 feet per minute (FPM) with the belt. It’s lightweight at only 16 pounds, but the heavy-duty base keeps it pretty stable. There are two dust ports to help eliminate sawdust, and a belt guard helps reduce the risk of injury. A miter gauge helps you make perfect angles.
The downside to the WEN 6515T is that both the belt and disk decks are flimsy, and you need to be careful that you don’t press too hard. The deck on the belt also loosens constantly from the vibrations.
3. Jet Tools J-4002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander – Premium Choice
The Jet Tools J-4002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander is our premium choice benchtop belt sander. It uses a 0.33-HP motor to reach speeds up to 1,725 RPM and drives a disk sander and the belt. The belt is 42-inches long, and the disk is 8 inches. It features a heavy-duty steel base with rubber feet to help reduce vibration. The tables are iron for better stability and durability, and a deluxe miter gauge turns and locks at the most common angles up to 45°. At 63 pounds, it is stable and doesn’t move while you are working, and it features an adjustable dust deflector and dust chute.
The Jet Tools J-4002 Is an amazing Sander, but the guards are hard to remove, so changing belts can be time-consuming.
4. Rockwell RK7866 Belt/Disc Combo Sander
The Rockwell RK7866 Belt/Disc Combo Sander Uses 0.5-HP to produce 3,450 RPM. You can use it as a belt or disk sander, and it includes a 36-inch belt and a 6-inch disk. The platform is adjustable between 0 and 90°, and the table adjusts to 45° for plenty of versatility with angles and bevels. Belt changing is easy with a quick-release tension lever, and a safety switch helps protect from accidental startups. It includes a miter gauge, sanding disk, and sanding belt and is quite manageable at 41 pounds.
The main problem we experienced with the Rockwell RK7866 was that the 0.5-HP engine isn’t very powerful. Even moderate pressure causes the machine to vibrate, and too much can cause it to bog down and stall. It works well but requires a light touch.
5. RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Disc Sander
The RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Disc Sander uses a 2.3-amp motor to drive the sander up to 3340 RPM. The belt can tilt to 45° for making beveled cuts, and a belt tracking knob that allows perfect belt alignment. It has a 2-inch dust port and an on-off safety switch.
The downside to the RIKON is its all-aluminum construction. We don’t mind that the body is aluminum, but some parts should be more durable; the sanding disk mandrel is one example. The belts are hard to change because you need to remove several screws, and the small safety on-off switch makes it hard to tell where it’s set and hard to use.
6. Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt Disc Bench Sander
The Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt Disc Bench Sander uses a 0.75-HP motor to reach up to 3450 RPM. It’s dual-purpose like most of the others on this list and can disk or belt sand. The sanding belt will tilt to 90°, and aluminum tables are lightweight but durable. The sanding belt is 36-inches, and the disk is 8 inches. It features a dust port and includes a dust collection bag to help reduce the mess in your workshop. The cast iron base keeps the machine in place, and it’s still manageable at 51.1 pounds.
What we didn’t like about the Porter-Cable PCB420SA was that it was hard to change belts because you need to remove several parts. The table locks do not clamp down tight enough and allow angled tables to slip while you’re working.
7. Kalamazoo 1SM Belt Sander
The Kalamazoo 1SM Belt Sander uses a 0.33-HP engine to create speeds up to 1,725 RPM. The 42-inch belt is one inch thick and perfect for intricate work. The lower RPM helps keep the noise down, and the 32-pound weight is easy to move around.
The downside to the Kalamazoo is that the motors get in the way, and unless you’re sanding very small objects, they tend to bump into the engine. The table is also thin and weak and placed a little too low for comfort. There is no sander wheel, which we have grown accustomed to reviewing all the other models.
8. SKIL 3376-01 Belt/Disc Sander
The SKIL 3376-01 Belt/Disc Sander is a 2-in-1 sander that features a powerful 0.7-HP motor. The engine will drive the 10-inch sanding disk at a rate of up to 3500 RPM. The belt is adjustable from 0 to 90° for any sanding requirements. Tension spring adjustment helps keep belt tracking in line, and it’s extremely lightweight and weighs only a little over 25 pounds. The base is stable but contains predrilled holes so that you can mount it to a table.
The downside to the SKIL 3376-01 is that it can be hard to adjust the belt tension and the tilt. The disk sander is also too high and gets in the way while you are sanding.
9. Shop Fox W1838 Combo Belt Sander
The Shop Fox W1838 Combo Belt Sander uses a 0.33-HP motor to drive a 27-inch belt and a 6-inch disk sander. It’s lightweight and easy to move at only 22 pounds but features a durable cast iron base and a bright LED work light to accurately see your project. A miter gauge attached to the sanding wheel helps you sand perfect angles, and the table also folds to 45° to help you make beveled edges. A built-in dust port helps reduce the sawdust in your workshop.
While we were reviewing the Shop Fox W1838, we noticed it was harder to adjust the belt’s tracking than on most models and requires tools. There’s no decibel rating on the package, but this unit seemed louder than many others, and it had a rattle to it. The belt stays at 45°, and there is no way to adjust it like many other models. You need to lock the table in place with an Allen wrench, making it difficult to keep square because it turns the table tightening.
10. POWERTEC BD1502 Belt Disc Sander
The POWERTEC BD1502 Belt Disc Sander is a 2-in-1 model that features a belt and disk sander for maximum versatility. The belt is 30 inches, and the disk is 6 inches. The 0.33-HP engine will reach speeds up to 3,450 RPM, and it has two dust ports to eliminate sawdust. The tables are cast aluminum, and it has a cast iron base. Despite the iron base, it’s extremely lightweight at only 18.71 pounds, and it comes with a sanding disk and belt.
The POWERTEC BD1502 is another 2-in-1 sander with no decibel rating that users reported is quite loud, in fact, we think this was the loudest of all models. The engine is too weak, and it suffers from slowdowns and even stalls while working with light pressure. The base isn’t stable enough to keep the machine in place while working, and it tends to walk. The safety shields can’t be removed and limit the available sanding area of the belt.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider before purchasing a new benchtop belt sander.
Engine strength will probably be the first thing you look at when choosing a benchtop belt sander. While you don’t need a lot, an underpowered moor can slow down, shake violently, or stall completely. Most companies use horsepower to let you know how strong the engine is, and we recommend something with at least 0.5-HP for most people. If you are only sanding tiny objects and using a light touch, you can get away with something smaller, but the belts are also usually smaller, and the parts are not as durable. Some companies use amps to let you know how strong the engine is, and in that case, we recommend something with at least 2.3 amps.
When it comes to engine strength, more is better. It will make it easier and faster to sand without jittering, slowing down, or stalling.
RPM and FPM
RPM and FPM are the next things you will want to look at when choosing a benchtop belt sander. Companies usually use RPM when referring to the sanding wheel and FPM when discussing the belt sander, but they both refer to how fast the device is turning. Like horsepower and amps, more is usually better but don’t fall for a high RPM machine with low horsepower. It’s easy to increase RPM with pulleys, but these devices will quickly bog down and stall when you are using them because they don’t have enough torque.
We recommend looking for a machine that provides at least 1,500 RPM.
Most of the models on our list come with a belt sander and a disk sander for added versatility. These two abrasive surfaces can take care of most needs, but you should consider a few things.
The length of the belt matters and a longer belt will allow you to sand a larger object. You will also need to check the belt’s width and compare it to the projects you plan on doing. A wider belt will sand faster and remove material quickly, while a thinner belt will allow for more precise sanding. Some belt sanders will also enable you to change the belt’s angle between 0 and 90°. Adjustable angles can help make sanding easier and will allow you to tackle different projects than with a fixed angle.
You will also want to investigate how difficult it is to change the belt. Some brands have easy systems that use tension, while others may require removing multiple components. If you change belts often, a poorly designed belt changing mechanic will really slow down your work speed.
Many of the models on our list of reviews also include a disk sander. With disk sanders, you will find that the disk’s size and how it attaches to the spindle are important. A larger disk gives you a larger sanding surface to work with, which can help shorten sanding time and extend the disk’s life. How it attaches to the spindle is also important to consider. Many require you to use an adhesive to glue it on, while others might use a hook and latch system. A hook and latch system is like Velcro and is much easier to use. In some cases, you can convert a glue system into a hook and latch. The table is often adjustable for a disk sander allowing you to create perfect bevels, and it often includes a miter gauge as well for angle sanding.
We highly recommend purchasing a benchtop belt sander with at least one dust port. Dust ports are critical for keeping contaminants out of the air and lead to a healthier work environment. Most dust ports connect to a vacuum and remove sawdust as you work.
One of the biggest things contributing to the stability of your benchtop belt sander is the weight. A heavier machine will tend to walk and hop much less than a lightweight machine. Heavier machines also reduce vibrations. Some models have predrilled holes that allow you to fasten the base to the table. If you can’t or are unwilling to fasten the sander to the table, we recommend the heaviest machine you can manage.
A wider base and a low-profile design will also help reduce movement while you work. We tried to point out any models prone to vibration and movement in our reviews.
One more thing to consider when using these tools is safety equipment. Safety glasses with side support and heavy-duty gloves are a must when sanding your project to remain injury-free. The most important thing is to wear adequate breathing protection. Sawdust is terrible for your lungs, but metal dust and finishing compounds can be even worse. Ensure you always wear a mask, have plenty of ventilation, and your exhaust ports are connected and working correctly before beginning any project.
When choosing your next benchtop belt sander, we strongly recommend something like our pick for the best overall. The BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander has a powerful 0.75-HP engine and enough weight to hold it in place. It’s a 2-in-1, so you have the belt sander as well as the disk, and both are easy to change. The WEN 6515T Belt Sander is our pick for the best value, and the engine isn’t as powerful as our top model, but it still offers the user all of the important features at a reduced price.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and have learned something new from our buyer’s guide. If you think it can be helpful, please share this guide to the best benchtop belt sanders on Facebook and Twitter.
More buying guides like this:
- A closer look at the best belt sanders on the market (that are not necessarily benchtop)
- Belt vs orbital sanders: what are the big differences?
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Benchtop Belt Sanders – Reviews 2021
- 1. BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander – Best Overall
- 2. WEN 6515T Belt Sander – Best Value
- 3. Jet Tools J-4002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander – Premium Choice
- 4. Rockwell RK7866 Belt/Disc Combo Sander
- 5. RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Disc Sander
- 6. Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt Disc Bench Sander
- 7. Kalamazoo 1SM Belt Sander
- 8. SKIL 3376-01 Belt/Disc Sander
- 9. Shop Fox W1838 Combo Belt Sander
- 10. POWERTEC BD1502 Belt Disc Sander
- Buyer’s Guide