Belt sanders are the huge, powerful gorillas for the sanding world. Very Few toolsthat could help you save as abundant time—or bust up the actual project faster. If you’re new to belt sanders or have been annoyed by yours, continue reading to find a way to keep that immense anthropoid under control.

Belt sanders are typically multiuse tools. They are regularly used for trimming to a scribed line , sanding really rough surfaces, razing surfaces (just like a substitute board during a hard wood floor) and freehand rounding and shaping. Because they need a ton of power and can handle coarse grits, they excel at the fast removal of wood. Also, in contrast to orbital and vibrating sanders, the sanding action is linear, therefore even with coarse grits you’ll sand with the grain and find a sensible-trying result. Though a belt sander isn’t an important tool within the homeowner’s arsenal, you won’t notice many experienced DIYers or carpenters without one.

The best multipurpose belt sander takes a three-in.-wide belt. You’ll see machines designed for wider and narrower belts, but they’re for specialised tasks. Within the 3-in. category, there are smaller tools that take three x 18-in. belts, midsize machines that take three x 21-in. belts and a pair of large sanders that take three x 24-in. belts. The smaller tools are lighter and easier to use one-handed for shaping and scribing. They’re sensible for smaller work and casual use. The larger tools have a lot of surface area and weight for smoothing wide surfaces. They’re higher for bigger work and look use. The 3 x twenty one- in. machines are a good compromise. You’ll realize 3 x eighteen-in. sanders for £fifty to £150 and three x twenty one-in. sanders for £100 to £250.

You’ll additionally find smaller belt sanders that take two-1/two-in.-wide belts. They’re lightweight and very handy for one-handed use. Sanders with four-in.-wide belts are heavy-duty machines best left to cabinetmakers.

Pick a belt, but not any belt Personally, I use 80- and a hundred and twenty-grit belts regularly, and barely, 50-grit. Grits coarser than fifty leave deep scratches that are difficult to get rid of. And if you’re doing finer sanding, you’re higher off using a random-orbit sander. Remember one in every of the principles of sanding: You’ll skip one grade of grit, however it wastes time and you’ll just wear out belts skipping 2. For example, you can go from eighty to 120, skipping a hundred grit, but don’t go from fifty to 120.

Aluminum oxide is that the traditional grit material. You’ll notice it in more cost-effective khaki-color type, good if you would like a disposable belt, and longer-lasting, dark brown premium belts. However, for grits of eighty and coarser, several folks now like zirconia belts (sometimes known as “planer” belts). They have sharper, harder cutting particles that cut a lot of aggressively, last longer and don’t clog as simply. These belts are usually bright blue or purple. Zirconia belts value slightly more than premium aluminum oxide belts.