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What Are Belt Sanders Used For?

What Are Belt Sanders Used For
Written by Brent Butterworth
Last Update: May 3, 2023

Belt sanders are grouped as one of those aggressive and powerful sander you can use to strip wood off a surface within minutes.

The device has two drums of the same size and shape, where the sandpaper is looped around and allowed to fit in perfectly. If you’ve been wondering what belt sanders are used for, here’s your opportunity to get the answer.

What Are Belt Sanders Used For

What Are Belt Sanders Used For

Sanding Large Surfaces (Wood/ Metal)

Most times, the device is used as a hand tool to smooth up wood surfaces. You can as well mount the tool on the bench and used it as a bench sander.  It is also possible to have a benchtop disc sander with a blend of belt-sander.

Belt sanders are built with a dust collector, a system that is meant to control and collect sawdust. The tool is not just used on wood but on metal surfaces too.

Refinishing Exterior Wood Furniture

You can use belt sanders to carry out different jobs and make your project pretty easy and faster.

Since the tool is designed for large surfaces, you can use it to either refinish a metal cabinet or wood, floors and tables effectively and quickly. All you need to do is to mount the right size and type of sandpaper.

With the right sandpaper, the more the number, the more grit you get. So, in cases when you intend to take off stains, paint layers, or polyurethane, we recommend using grits that are 60 times heavier. And if you are working on a shelf, cabinet, or want to finish an unfinished project, you can then use a fine or medium grit, which is from 100 to 200.

Fixing Interior Doors

Most belt sanders are created to handle massive projects, but sometimes they appear to be perfect when used on smaller projects too.

If your interior door doesn’t fit in perfectly, you can easily shave off some part of the door that won’t match the frame properly. Usually, you can take off 1/8 inches from the normal size, and the problem is solved.

Right Time to Go for Belt Sanders

When you’re working on a delicate or fine project, we recommend using random sanders.

This can be a perfect choice when working on small projects too. Belt sanders can cut across most tough layers and materials of paint and varnish, but it’s not considered as the best option when it comes to finishing delicate work.

Sanding Results

Good appearance is one of the factors that stand belt sander out when it comes to sanding grain.

When the drums rotate the sandpaper, you don’t need to worry about the grain. All that is needed at this point is to handle the device properly while it spins on the surface where it’s placed.

Due to the tool’s in-built power, it is quite easy to make a mess out of your job. On the other hand, you can also get your job done with the device once it’s properly handled.

One of the mistakes most beginners do is to apply pressure on the belt sander while it’s in motion. This approach is very wrong and can only lead to damage on metal or wooden surfaces. When working on any project, be a piece of wood or metal; it is best to allow the sander to work with its natural weight.

Try not to change your direction or speed; move with stability while you progress from one part to another.

Pros and Cons of Using a Belt Sander

There are remarkable benefits, and features that are accompanied the use of belt sander, and at the same time, there are factors you can also be mindful of too. Now, let’s take a look at some of the device pros and cons.


  • Easy to use
  • Very powerful
  • Perfect choice for removing lots of material
  • Yield accurate results when used with a grain
  • It works perfectly on both metal and wood
  • The ideal choice for large, flat wood or metals


  • Sometimes, it can be too powerful for little jobs
  • Loud
  • Too powerful for drywall


If you want to remove surface material and need a tool to do that correctly, going for a belt sander can be a perfect tool that can help cut through surfaces. All you need is to choose the size and brand you feel is best, then you’re good to go!

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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