5 Best Handheld Belt Sanders Choices for 2019 – Tested & Reviewed

best handheld belt sanders

Sanding is the most important part of any woodworking project whether you’re making furniture or doing a home improvement project.

For sanding job, belt sanders are the most reliable, versatile and easy to operate sander. And if you get the handheld belt sander, it’ll allow you to work more comfortably. They are versatile, lightweight and even sometimes can be used as a stationary belt sander.

If you’re able to get the right model for your job, you will be able to complete your project easily and nicely. All you need to be concerned about some basic feature and your requirement and you’ll be able to choose the right one.

In this article, I’ve tried to inform you about those features and some of the best handheld belt sander of the market.

Hope this will help you to choose.

Handheld Belt Sander:

Handheld belt sander is the most used sander among the two types of the belt sander. You can use this sander to deal with your maximum sanding project. It comes in different shapes & sizes and the most interesting thing is they are lighter than the stationary belt sander, this is the reason people like this sander most.

On a handheld belt sander, the sanding belt is in the bottom of the tool and the position of the sanding belt make it ideal to sand floors or other stationary work-piece. They come with variable speed setting which makes these power tool versatile and you’ll have more control over your job.

You can also use some of these sanders like stationary sanders by operating them upside down. But don’t try to use a regular one in this way for safety purpose.

Best Handheld Belt Sanders Comparison Chart 

Preview
Editor’s Choice
Makita 9920 8.8 Amp 3-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip...
Craftsman 7A 3X21 BELT SANDER 00939595000P HIGH QUALITY HEAVY DUTY WITH FREE SHIPPING
Product
Makita 9920 8.8 Amp 3-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip...
Craftsman 7A 3X21 BELT SANDER 00939595000P HIGH QUALITY HEAVY DUTY WITH FREE SHIPPING
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
-
Editor’s Choice
Preview
Makita 9920 8.8 Amp 3-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
Product
Makita 9920 8.8 Amp 3-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag
Product
WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander
Product
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip...
Product
Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip...
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Preview
Craftsman 7A 3X21 BELT SANDER 00939595000P HIGH QUALITY HEAVY DUTY WITH FREE SHIPPING
Product
Craftsman 7A 3X21 BELT SANDER 00939595000P HIGH QUALITY HEAVY DUTY WITH FREE SHIPPING
Star Rating
Prime Status
-

Features of a Handheld Belt Sander:

Handheld belt sander are the handy tools for most of the sanding project. But you can only realize this fact if you get the right one from a lot of variations. You can easily choose the perfect one by considering some basic facts, like-

1. Power:

It would be better if you own a powerful handheld belt sander. Usually, belt sanders come with the motors of 6 Amp- 10 Amp. The higher the amps, the better the performance. Though the powerful sanders are a bit expensive but the performance will definitely meet your expectation. So choose the one that can easily handle your project.

Do you wants to read more about Best Drum Sander - click here

2. Size:

As mentioned earlier, you’ll find this type of sanders available in different sizes. You should choose the size with which you’re comfortable to work with.

You also need to check the belt size of the sander. Belt sanders are available in two sizes, 3x21 inches and 4x24 inches. First one is smaller and compact so you’ll be able to handle it easily and perfect for small projects. But if you need to deal with large projects often, 4x24 inches sander will work great.

3. Weight:

Another important fact you should consider while buying a handheld belt sander is its weight. Because the weight of a belt sander determines its ease of use and compactibility. You’ll find belt sanders in-between 5lbs- 15lbs. You can choose any from them according to the type of job you’ll do with the sander.

For example, if you need to deal with misaligned boards, only a heavy belt sander will help you to complete the project properly.

If you have to do overhead or vertical sanding during home improvement, lightweight belt sander will be the best choice.

4. Speed:

For speed, you can choose from the single and variable speed belt sander. In single speed sanders, you won’t be able to change or control the speed limit according to your project requirement.

But with a belt sander with variable speed, you’ll have the opportunity to control the speed whenever and however your job needed. This is why these sanders are the most popular one nowadays.

5. Dust Collection:

This is the most important feature you should check before buying any sander. Sanding produces a huge amount of dust and dirt which makes your workplace a real mess. So pick a belt sander with an effective dust collection process. Check that the bag of the onboard dust canister is large enough that you don’t need to keep emptying the bag.

You’ll also find some models with dust port or some which allow you to remove the dust bag and connect directly with your shop vac.

6. Belt Grit:

When the sanding belt and your workpiece comes in contact it creates resistance. If the motor of the sander isn’t able to overcome the resistance, the belt may slip, skip or stall. Even if the motor is enough powerful, the belt may wear down rapidly. So try to choose a belt with the grit of 80, 120 or 220.

7. Durability:

Before purchasing a handheld belt sander, you must check that the machine is made with strong materials. So pay attention to drive wheel, tracking knob, platen or idler wheel.

Top 5 Best Handheld Belt Sanders Reviews

11 Amp (4 × 24)- inches Handheld Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Features

  • Motor: 11 Amp;
  • speed: 1,640 FPM;
  • Belt: 4 × 24- inches;
  • Weight: 13 pounds;
  • Application: heavy duty wood applications. 
94%
Our Score

Review

Makita 9403 model is one of those rare breeds, that will never disappoint you with its performance. It is powerful, heavy and aggressive. The positive side of a slightly heavy handheld sander is, you won’t need to push it to do the job. The sander will glide through the length of the wood easily due to its weight while removing tons of material at the same time.

A common complaint about handheld sander is a small dust bag. As these machines are meant for small projects and/or to be used in short duration, hence the small dust bag makes sense. The good thing about the dust bag I got with this Makita 9403 sander is, it swivels 360 degrees. Despite its small size, its swiveling feature makes it more convenient.

This small beast is very expensive. For professional work, it worths every penny. But for craftsperson or beginner, a less pricey one will suffice to do the job.

Things We Liked

  • Quiet and convenient;
  • Powerful motor;
  • High-quality tool;
  • Suitable for demanding application. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive;
  • Small dust bag.
WEN 7-Amp (3 × 21- inches) Handheld Belt Sander with Dust Bag

Features

  • Motor: 7 Amp;
  • speed:  820 FPM;
  • Belt: 3 × 21- inches;
  • Weight: 6 pounds;
  • Application:  wood, steel and paint removal.
92%
Our Score

Review

For occasional DIY projects or seasonal crafting, this 6321 sander from WEN will cost just a few bucks to do the job right. The features are meant for beginners, making those surprisingly easy and convenient. The dust bag removal or belt change or tracking the belt or using the ‘lock on’ everything is stress-free with this handheld sander.

This one is almost half the weight of top rated professional sanders. The advantage of owning a lightweight sander is, you can use it vertically if the situation demands. This unit is lacking the power for long term demanding or heavy duty applications. But it is versatile; you an use it not just to polish wood, but also strip paint from a piece of old furniture or just round up a sharp edge and so on.

Things We Liked

  • Cheap price;
  • Suitable for tight corners;
  • Easier to use;
  • Larger dust bag. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not for demanding applications.
Makita 8.8 Amp (3-x 24)-Inch Variable Speed Handheld Belt Sander

Features

  • Motor: 8.8 Amp;
  • speed:  690-1,440 FPM;
  • Belt: 3 × 24- inches;
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds;
  • Application:  wood, steel and paint removal.
95%
Our Score

Review

If you can’t compromise the precision of your work even for the most minor tasks of woodworking, then Makita 9920 sander is made just for you. Most of the features of this sander are automated. For example, the belt tracking and speed control will save your downtime of adjustment those features manually. That results in better productivity and workmanship.

Most of the handheld sanders of the market are made for woodwork especially. But this model is versatile. With its variable speed, you can set the speed for wood, metal and any other materials that fall in-between.

The attached 16 ft power cord eliminates the use of additional power cord in the workshop or any other remote project areas. Besides, with its sides and nose, you can polish the most oddly placed surfaces like the sides of the door or wall or any other fixed surfaces. This machine is not cheap; one with a tight budget may need to break the bank to invest in this. However, considering the versatility and ease of use, I won't stop anyone to do so!

Things We Liked

  • Automated;
  • Long power cord;
  • Variable speed settings;
  • For both wood and metal.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.
(3 × 21)-Inch Variable Speed Handheld Belt Sander with Trigger Lock

Features

  • Motor: 9 Amp, 1,020-Watt;
  • speed:  820-1,475 FPM;
  • Belt: 3 × 21- inches;
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds;
  • Application:  wood, steel and paint removal.
90%
Our Score

Review

Maybe this one is the best high-quality handheld sander you can get at a low price. Only one thing may bother you to order this, that is the mixed reviews this sander got on Amazon. But there is no harm in trying your luck with this Hitachi SB8V2 sander as long as it is covered by a 5 years warranty, the longest warranty you can get for a sander.

Let me start with how comfortable it is to use. The speed can be set by a dia knob which is the most convenient than using a switch or trigger. Besides, both the primary and auxiliary handles are covered with soft grip materials to eliminate fatigue on hands.

The entire machine is well built, even the small parts are made to wear resistant. It is really surprising how the quality is ensured in this sander even at such a cheap price.

Things We Liked

  • Budget-friendly;
  • Variable speed settings;
  • Long lasting parts;
  • A long warranty is offered. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.
Craftsman 7 Amp Heavy Duty Handheld Belt Sander

Features

  • Motor: 7 Amp;
  • speed: N/A;
  • Belt: 3 × 21- inches;
  • Weight: 8.73 pounds;
  • Application:  wood removal.
88%
Our Score

Review

There are times in life when you lack the ability to deal with uncomfortable matters for a prolonged time. We can’t have that control on every matter, but for choosing a handheld sander, we can surely find one that is the most comfortable. This craftsman sander comes with an adjustable handle that can be fixed in positions depending on your requirement. I wish the top brand sanders had this feature!

It comes with variable speed settings, but it is not for use on materials other than wood. The speed is to be set depending on the type of application you and the material need. This sander is affordable, so, if you are a wood crafting person, you can consider this sander for your projects.

Things We Liked

  • LED work light included;
  • Affordable price;
  • Adjustable handle.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Suitable for only woodworking.

Conclusion:

So we can say that choosing the right belt sander requires to consider features like motor, power, speed, weight, size, etc.. and by reading this guideline you must have known that why they are important.

Now you only need to check the provided list and select the one that can help you in your project.

One thing I like to remember you that, you must be careful while using a handheld belt sander or any other power tool. Always protect yourself with helmet, gloves, goggles, etc.

If you liked the post, please leave your feedback.

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

Leave a Comment