Belt sanders are multifunctional tools that are used in woodworking, steel projects, and much more. They make tasks that could be painstaking, like scribing or shaping tool blades, faster and more precise. Of course, like all power tools, the key is choosing the right belt sander and sanding belts for the job at hand.
Belt Sanders 101
Although there is a huge variety of belt sanders on the market, they generally fall into two categories: stationary and handheld. Stationary belt sanders are ideal for larger projects, because they are wider and work with wider belts. They typically combine a belt sander with another kind of power sander, like a spindle or disc sander, to make large projects more efficient. When you’re buying a stationary belt sander, choose one that has adjustable belt frames and tables, so you can work at different angles.
Handheld belt sanders are ideal for smaller jobs, like furniture building or minor renovation work. They have the advantage of being portable, so you can take them to different worksites. For handheld belt sanders, be sure to select a model with a comfort grip, noise reduction features, and an attachment for collecting dust. Ideally, your model should also have a lock feature to keep the belt running, so you can sand continuously without having to grip the handle.
Sanding Belt Selection
The sanding belt you need depends on how you’re going to use the sander. An entry-level option, aluminum oxide belts are ideal for bare wood, painted services, and some metals. Zirconia is tougher than aluminum oxide and can stand up to extended metal sanding. If you’re cutting sharp points, opt for a ceramic belt. Be sure to also consider the grit of each belt.
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Sparky Abrasives offers a variety of sanding belts in custom sizes made from premium materials. Our team can help you pick the right abrasive for your job, and we offer free, nationwide shipping on orders over $99. Order online or call 1-800-328-4560 for custom-made orders or unique specifications for your unique application.