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Belt Sander Guide | What is it & How to Use for Woodworking & Others?

Are you familiar with the term sander? If not, then let us begin from the basics. Sander is a tool used to smoothen any rough surface. It involves using sandpaper or any other abrasive material to accomplish the purpose. Now, what exactly is a belt sander? Read more to know its purpose, benefits, and how to use a Belt Sander properly.

Belt Sander Definition

A belt sander is also a powerful tool used to rub the surfaces of wooden or any other material surface to make them equal, smooth, or shiny. It is a kind of sander usually used on many metals, but it is often used on wooden items more often. A belt sander is used on longer pieces such as planks due to its structure. It helps you remove the rough edges off your material surface in no time with zero labor. However, the task takes a bit of effort, which is worth it. Sanding would help you achieve the satisfying finish touch on your material.

Belt Sander Uses / Benefits

Belt sanders are quite a tool for use because of their multi-dimensional benefits. It is not only used to brush up or smoothen your rough surface, but it has quite some other working features which could help you complete some time-consuming tasks within minutes. This tool could save you so much energy and still give you the best results on some tough spots. Some of its benefits would be:

What is a Belt Sander Used for?

Let’s see what do you use a belt sander for,


A belt sander is rather powerful due to its motor, but it does not lack in its accuracy of the work. Apart from smoothening any wooden surface, it also works on other materials. For example, you could use the same to cut rough corners, remove burrs or remove paint stains from your block.


Apart from smoothing surfaces, they can also polish different metal surfaces such as aluminum or brass. They are feasible and good enough to make the surface appear shiny but not the greatest extent. If you seek perfection with shine, prefer other mediums such as grit sandpaper.

Remove Surface Residue

When we mentioned smooth, we also meant removing surface residue. The term refers to any dirt, dust, or paint marks that can be removed easily using a belt sander. So along with smoothing, keep it clean with the help of this multifunctional instrument.

This tool comes with plenty of benefits. Unlike many other surface smoothing devices or tools, it can do more than rub off the tough surface. It is quite a simple machine to operate upon with proper safety measures along with multifunctional. The tool is efficient and effective if you follow the correct steps while working with it. The steps are right below this statement.

How to Use a Belt Sander?

Before you begin with the work on your material using this motor-driven tool, make a check of certain things that are quite important.

Requirements for Belt Sanding

  • Check if the motor is clean and has no ridden particles that obstruct the work.
  • Make sure the belt used in the motor is the size of the pulley, or the machine could be damaged.
  • Use good sandpapers in your machine for the best results.
  • Wear your safety gear to ensure no harm to yourself while you work.
  • When you begin and make connections, keep all switches off.

Step-by-Step Guide for Using a Belt Sander

Step 1: Pick The Right Belt

As mentioned above, picking the right belt is an important part of the process. Make sure you choose the right belt for your work. You could go for a belt of higher grit as they give better finishes and soothing texture to your material. For initial smoothing purposes, pick one between 40-100. It should be the right choice.

After completing initial smoothing, finish the project with a finer grit. Pick and attach a 180 grit to your belt. To do so, you need to slide the sander in the belt by releasing the lever and then closing it, so the connection is secured.

Step 2: Wear Your Safety Kit And Get That Toolbox

The step is pretty easy as before you set on to sanding, make sure you wear eye protection to save yourself from the flying wooden titbits. Alongside, keep your toolbox ready. Although you would not need too many of them, you should have basic tools handy.

Step 3: Brace That Material

A material could slip away again and again while you work. Therefore, it is necessary to brace the material with the surface you are working upon to avoid it because it could lead to an unpleasant situation.

Step 4: Turn On The Machine And Sand

  • Now you are ready to turn on the machine and sand your piece. Keep the sander on the material and turn on the switch.
  • Let it roll for a few seconds until it speeds up.
  • Now, slowly start putting pressure on your sander against the material as you ease it onto the rough surface of the piece.
  • Make longer strokes for an even finish with a bit of pressure.
  • Keep checking your piece if the work is being done right.
  • Once it feels finished, keep the machine off-board and check the sandbag. If it is full, empty it down and connect it back with the sander.

Step 5: Winding-Up

As said, now you move to the finer part. Change the grit, pull in a finer grit, and start finishing up what you started. Keep sanding until you get your perfect finish.

Belt Sander Safety Tips & Tricks

The tool is powerful and could be harmful. Therefore, maintain slight precaution while you handle a belt slander. Here are some safety tips recommended when trying to handle things with your hands. Make sure to follow them and take all the safety precautions mentioned before giving it a go.

  • Turn the switch off while or before you connect the power supply.
  • A belt sander has a motor connected to it, which is why keep your hand inches away from that machine. You would not want to cut off your fingers while brushing off your planks.
  • While performing the activity, your face would come in close contact with the machine. Hence, wear a mask to cover your face.
  • If not a mask, wear goggles on the list to cover your eyes as small pieces of the material could enter your eyes.
  • Do not try to handle the machine with one hand. Use both hands appropriately. One on the trigger switch and the other on the front handle knob.
  • Inspect the machine and adjust the belt before you put it into use. Also, after completing the task, make sure you clean the machine correctly for future use.


In a nutshell, a belt sander is just another type of stationary sander which is quite easy to use if used under precautions and care. It is one multifunctional device for several purposes and makes the best. On good terms, you can do something productive without wasting heavy time and manual labor. The tool is handy and requires little care, but at the least, it does provide you with benefits that suffice. So, how exactly would you rate the complexity of a belt sander? Why not try it for yourself and then make that decision.