When To Use A Belt Sander


A belt sander is used in forming shapes on wood and also finishing wood and various other materials. An electric motor powers the belt sander, which continuously rotates a pair of drums that have sandpaper mounted on them. They take care of all the tedious jobs you may be dreading, like sanding a deck before applying stains or sharpening tools. They can handle a whole lot more.

Also, see;

How To Use A Belt Sander

Best 10 Sanders For Decks

Types Of Sanders

On the market, you will find various kinds of electric sanders, and all of them have their specific tasks. Below are the types of sanders and what task they perform;

Belt Sander

Belt sanders are used in removing materials by sanding it down efficiently. You can choose the type of grit to use depending on the task you want the sander to perform, whether it is for a smooth finish or to quickly remove excess material. Belt sanders are either hand-held or bench mounted.

Bench Sander/Stationary Sander

They are a modified form of the belt sander. They usually come with a rotary or disc sander. These sanders are very powerful and are mostly used in shaping wood and to sharpen tools effectively.

Random Orbital Sander

These are very common; they are portable and are available in different sizes and shapes. They do not use sanding belts but instead need special sanding discs that are joined to the base place.

Detail Sander

They are used in sanding areas that are hard to reach, such as corners, edges, and other tight spaces, but they need special adhesive sandpaper. They have a small vibrating triangular head where the sandpaper is attached to.

File Or Finger Sander

They are similar to the detail sander; they are mostly used in sanding narrow areas where your belt sander can’t reach.

Disc Sander

The disc sander is not as common as other types of sanders. They are known for their abrasiveness and how great they are for sharpening tools, but they don’t work well when it comes to finishing.

Floor Sander

Floor sanders are large, and they come in two types, which are the edging and large drum sander. The edging sander is used to reach places where the drum machine cannot reach.

How To Operate A Stationary Belt Sander

If you want to use your belt sander as a stationary belt sander, all you have to do is clamp it to your workbench in an upright position. After you have done that, place the trigger in the on position. The best time to use your belt sander is when you are sanding small pieces or forming shapes out of wood. Once you have attached your sander and put it on, you can hold the wood against the belt and keep sanding the wood till you get your desired shape. Stationary sanders are great for sharpening tools such as plane irons, gouges, and chisels.

Best Types Of Sanders For Wood

Three types of sanders perform various tasks for you when you are working with wood. If you need a sander that will quickly remove many materials, then go for the belt sander, it can also shape wood and give the wood a smooth finish.

When using a belt sander to sand wood, it is important to sand with the wood’s grain and not across to prevent the appearance of gouges on the surface of the wood. Ensure that the sander keeps moving to avoid making a deep spot if it stays at a position for too long. After you’re done removing the excess materials, and you’re ready to sand between coats or do some finishing work, you can use the random orbital sander and the sheet sander to compliment your belt’s work sander.

The belt sander is best used for rough work and removing excess material or shaping wood. But most times, what woodworkers or carpenters need is a smooth surface or need to remove an old finish or sand between coats while doing the final finish; then, you need two different types of hand-held sanders, which are the random orbital sander and the palm sander, they provide you with the smooth finish a belt sander can’t.

Best Type Of Sander For Furniture

When it comes to furniture, the belt sander is the best. It is especially helpful in sanding down dressers and tabletops. It will easily remove the paint and sand it down to raw wood in a short time. Belt sanders are powerful and heavy-duty tools, meaning you need to be careful while handling them. Ensure that your grip is firm on the sander throughout the period of use and keep is moving continuously to prevent damage to the wood.

Belt sanders give you two options with their grit belts. The heavy grit belts allow you sand away excess material while the lower grain belts give you a smooth surface. They are also used in smoothing out the rough edges of any kind of furniture. The high numbers are the heavy grain belts.

You can turn your hand-held belt sander into a stationary sander by clamping it down on your work table. This makes it useful in sanding small pieces of wood; if you want to sand smaller areas on your furniture where the belt sander can’t reach, you can use the detail sander to finish the job.


Knowing the types of sanders and how to apply them will save you the trouble of trial and error. You won’t want to damage a good piece of wood. Belt sanders are powerful and will allow you efficiently remove paint, get rid of excess material, and a lot more. However, they are not the only type of sander; using other types of sanders to compliment the work of your belt sander will provide you with your desired end result.