A belt sander is an extremely useful tool that can be used to assist you on various tasks. You can very easily shape or refinish large surfaces like wood or metal tables, floors, and cabinets. Obviously, because of the utility they offer, there are several belt sanders available in the market.
In fact, you have access to so much variety that it can almost feel overwhelming! This is why we did some research and prepared this article for you, where we look at options from Makita vs. Hitachi vs. Black Decker vs. Skil vs. Wen!
1. Makita 9903
With the Makita 9903, you’ll be purchasing one of the quietest belt sanders in its class. With a powerful 8.8 AMP motor and an auto-tracking belt system that eliminates the need for constantly adjusting it, it’s a powerful tool. You will also find that this option has a dial for variable speed control. This feature is extremely helpful because it allows you to adjust the speed however you need to.
Whether you work on wooden or metallic surfaces, the Makita can easily be used on both. Also included is a handy dust bag so you can work without having to worry about making a mess. It is also capable of sanding flush to the wall and is best utilized for stripping paint or rust. It is most useful to those working on small scale jobs or are otherwise home improvement enthusiasts.
- It is fairly quiet.
- Its automated tracking is unrivaled and helps you save a lot of time.
- Its ergonomic design makes it very comfortable to use.
- It is durable and has a very long life-cycle.
- It’s a bit challenging to find accessories.
- The sander does not come in its own case.
- It’s not as useful to professionals as it is to hobbyists.
2. Hitachi SB8V2
The Hitachi SB8V2 is a sophisticated tool of professional standards. It possesses a 9 AMP motor which is perfect for removing wood, paint or steel. You can save a fair bit of money on maintenance as Hitachi provides a 5-year warranty and also sells replacement parts, making it convenient to perform repairs.
With this sander, you will find variable speed control (which easily adjusts the speed to suit your tasks) and a clear front window which lets you keep an eye on your task as you sand, making steering much easier. Replacing sanding belts and brushes on it are also fairly simple. The Hitachi SB8V2 can also be used to sand flush vertical surfaces.
- Its lightweight design makes for an impeccable sanding speed and easy maintenance.
- Soft grip handles to increase the comfort of use.
- It can handle large projects without being very noisy.
- The belt tracking is not suitable for larger projects.
- Its dust collection ability is also underwhelming.
- The motor on the left side of the sander can cause balancing issues.
- It’s not a very good option for beginners or hobbyists.
3. Black and Decker DS321
Known for its design, the DS321 from Black and Decker can be efficiently used for detailed sanding projects, thanks to its retractable hood. The DS321 is a fairly lightweight sander with a 6 AMP motor and a relatively compact design. However, at the same time, you’ll see that its front roller makes life very easy as it allows you to sand in tight corners and other inconvenient spots, such as those between banisters or under cabinets, quite effectively.
Owing to its compact design, it’s also very light and, as a result, easy to maneuver. The Black and Decker DS321 is also a great option for sanding small spots as well as for handling more delicate projects. Detailed finishing is the best use of this sander. Black and Decker also provide a 2-year warranty with the purchase.
- Sophisticated and superior finishing abilities.
- It’s very cost efficient and ideal for non-professionals.
- Belt tracking is an issue as it requires constant readjustments which leads to a lot of time being wasted.
- It is not very useful for large-scale projects.
- It offers no real utility to professionals.
4. Skil 7510-01
The Skil 7510-01 offers you a 6 AMP motor, which would make it one of the most lightweight options on the market. At the same time, it has a lot of other impressive qualities, such as its micro-filtration system which can catch extremely fine dust particles, as well as its pressure control feedback system.
The feedback system helps you determine the right amount of pressure for your project without having to resort to guesswork, as the sander has an indicator on it that lights up to tell you that the amount of pressure is correct. Hobbyists and beginners alike will most definitely feel right at home with this belt sander.
- The Skil 7510-01 is very flexible and can sand flush on a variety of surfaces.
- The filtration system allows for a cleaner workspace.
- The pressure control feedback system makes it easier to deliver high-quality results.
- It’s also very cost efficient.
- Overall, it’s a great tool for home improvement enthusiasts.
- The available accessories are very limited and professionals will not find it very useful.
- It also lacks durability, as compared to the other sanders.
- It can’t be used for large-scale projects and is best utilized for very basic and simple tasks.
5. Wen 6321
The Wen 6321 is a handy belt sander. It only weighs roughly 6 pounds, meaning that you won’t feel particularly fatigued after using it for longer durations. Despite being designed for casual use, it does, in fact, possess a fairly powerful 7 AMP motor. The Wen 6321 guarantees you a good finish when sanding smaller areas.
The belt tracking can be easily adjusted using a knob and you don’t require any tools for changing belts. The included dust collection bag also means that you can save time on cleaning your workspace after you’re done working.
- It’s a very inexpensive option.
- The Wen 6321 is also extremely beginner-friendly.
- It is perfect for small repairs around the house.
- Clearing out the dust bag is very quick and easy because it’s detachable.
- The sanding belt is also great for swapping sandpaper and adjusting grits.
- It is specifically designed to be comfortable for left-handed people (a rarity among belt sanders).
- Its tracking abilities are underwhelming.
- It offers no real utility to professionals as it’s underpowered and can’t handle large-scale projects.
- It lacks a basic variable speed control, which can be frustrating.
Now that you’ve seen a general comparison of Makita vs. Hitachi vs. Black Decker vs. Skil vs. Wen in this article, it should be much easier for you to determine what kind of belt sander is best suited to your needs. For example, professionals need more sturdy tools at their disposal so they have no use for the Skil 7510-01 or the Wen 6321. At the same time, those same tools are very handy for hobbyists.
Admittedly, there isn’t one objective winner, because each sander accommodates different people. So, when you make your decision, keep in mind how you’ll be using the belt sander.