The hand held belt sander is – and has been – the “go to” tool for hogging wood off quickly. Though known for its tendency to leave gouges, the belt sander remains a workshop standard for woodworkers and DIYers everywhere. With the introduction of belt sander frames, they got a whole lot more controllable.

The Belt Sander Comparison

This comparison of 11 different portable belt sanders creates its rankings by counting forum recommendations as votes. We focused on discussion threads from 2009 and 2010, and looked at easily available belt sanders (not those old Porter-Cables and Craftsmen whose passing everyone laments ;). ENJOY!

>> Porter-Cable: 29 Brand Recommendations
Porter-Cable 362VS 4×24 Belt Sander: 13 Recommendations

Porter-Cable 352VS 3×21 Belt Sander: 11 Recommendations

Porter-Cable 371K 2 1/2×14: 5 Recommendations

>> Bosch: 22 Brand Recommendations
Bosch 1274DVS 3×21 Belt Sander: 12 Recommendations

Bosch 1274DVS Belt Sander Review

Bosch 1276DVS 4×24 Belt Sander: 11 Recommendations

>> Makita: 12 Brand Recommendations
Makita 9903 3×21 Belt Sander: 5 Recommendations

Makita 9403 4×24 Belt Sander: 6 Recommendations

>> Dewalt DW433 3×21 Belt Sander: 6 Recommendations

DeWalt DW433 Belt Sander Review

>> Ryobi BE318-2 3×21 Belt Sander: 6 Recommendations

>> Ridgid: 4 Brand Recommendations
Ridgid 3″ X 18″ Variable Speed Belt Sander: 3 Recommendations

Ridgid R2720 3×21 Belt Sander: 1 Recommendation

Wait… Do I Really Need a Belt Sander?

Not everyone sees the value of a belt sander. Some folks prefer the ROS. However, the true believers are… well… TRUE BELIEVERS. Don’t mess with their belt sanders :) Here is some fuel for the belt sander detractors as well as the adherents…

ROS vs. Belt Sander
Do I need belt sander?

View Poll Results: Do you use a belt sander in furniture making?
Out of 67 SMC Respondants:
34 said: “I rarely use a belt sander when making furniture.” 50.75%
26 said: “I regularly use a belt sander when making furniture.” 38.81%
7 said: “I wouldn’t consider use a belt sander in furniture making.” 10.45%

12 Belt Sander Recommendation Threads

Here are the sources we drew our recommendations from – overall we hit up 4 different woodworking forums.
What makes a nice belt sander?
which 3×21 belt sander
Belt Sander Recommendation.
Belt Sander…again
PC Belt Sander Disappointment
hand held belt sander?
Belt Sander Size & Brand
Advice needed on portable belt sander
Recommend a hand held belt sander?
Belt Sanders
belt sander dead, need recommendation
Wanted: Your thoughts on Belt sanders
Handheld Band File Belt Sanders – a comparison of a handy tool