A belt sander is a powerful tool used to strip down rough wood fastly and aggressively. It is different from a palm sander, which is smaller and used for general sanding and provides a smooth finish.
One of the most common uses of a belt sander is to sand decks. So, if you want a belt sander for that but don’t know which brand or type to buy, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I’ll review 10 belt sanders and show you some important things to consider before buying it. The goal is to help you find the best belt sander for deck. Let’s get started!
Comparison of Belt Sanders
|Image||Belt Sander||Motor Power||Belt Size||Price|
|Makita 9403||11 amps||4 x 24 in||See details at Amazon|
|Makita 9903||8.8 amps||3 x 21 in||See details at Amazon|
|BLACK+DECKER DS321||7 amps||3 x 21 in||See details at Amazon|
|Metabo HPT SB8V2||9 amps||3 x 21 in||See details at Amazon|
|Triton T41200BS||10 amps||4 x 24 in||See details at Amazon|
|Makita 9924DB||7.8 amps||3 x 24 in||See details at Amazon|
|TACKLIFE PSFS1A||5 amps||3 x 18 in||See details at Amazon|
|WEN 6321||7 amps||3 x 21 in||See details at Amazon|
|CRAFTSMAN CMEW213||7 amps||3 x 21 in||See details at Amazon|
|SKIL 7500||6 amps||3 x 18 in||See details at Amazon|
My Reviews of 10 Best Belt Sanders for Deck in 2020
1. Makita 9403 Belt Sander
The Makita 9403 is a powerful and speedy belt sander that can operate with a really low noise level. It has an 11-amp motor an incredible speed of 1,640 ft per minute.
This is the ideal tool for any every day woodworker and carpenter, floor installer or even general contractor. It has a 4-inches belt so you can remove large stocks quickly and easily.
It also produces only 84 dB of noise, making it one of the quietest belt sanders there is. Meanwhile, the dust bag can swivel 360°for versatile usage.
However, the powerful motor means it can overheat easily. Some users also claim that it doesn’t leave a smooth finish.
- Low noise (84 dB) for comfortable use
- 360° swivel dust bag for ultimate control
- Powerful 11 amp and 1,640 ft/min speed
- Non-smooth finish
2. Makita 9903 Belt Sander
The next one on this list of best belt sander for deck is also by Makita, which is the 9903 model. In addition to only 84 dB of noise level, it comes with a large front grip design for the ultimate ease-of-use.
Its variable speed dial means that you can control the speed between 690 to 1,440 ft./min. depending on the application. This sander has an auto-tracking belt system which can automatically track the belt without having to do so manually.
Although it comes with a dust bag, apparently dust is more likely to collect under the board then inside. There is also no customer service for Makita USA to help you with any problems.
- Variable speed dial
- Auto-tracking belt
- Large and comfortable front grip
- No dedicated customer service
- Poor dust collection
3. BLACK+DECKER DS321 Belt Sander
The BLACK+DECKER DS321 is a high-performing belt sander with 7 amps of motor power. It’s versatile and perfect for working with tight spaces, thanks to the front roller and retractable handle that you can adjust to 3 different positions.
This means you have a wide control over the sanding process. It also has an angled design that lets you fit 3x closer to any edges.
This belt sander comes with a cloth dust collector. However, it seems that it’s not very effective and may stop working after a few weeks’ of usage. It’s also quiet light, making it unsuitable for handling larger projects.
- 7-amp motor
- Angled belt design
- Retractable and three-position handle
- Poor dust collector
- Not suitable for large projects
4. Metabo HPT SB8V2 Belt Sander
The Metabo HPT SB8V2 is a 9-Amp belt sander with 1020 W of power suitable for difficult sanding projects. It has a variable speed dial so you can precisely adjust the speed between 820-1475 ft/min, depending on what you need.
With a soft elastomer grip on all handles, you can use this comfortably and securely. Its wear-resistant V-belt also means that it will be more durable.
This Metabo sander has a tracking window for an improved visibility and lets you sand more easily. However, you should be careful when purchasing this as some sellers have been known to send opened and used products.
It also has a poor quality check, as some customers have received lower-quality units than others.
- Variable speed dial
- Comfortable grip
- Tracking window
- Used product
- Poor quality check
5. Triton T41200BS Belt Sander
The Triton T41200BS is a powerful 10-Amp belt sander that comes with two clamps to allow inversion mounting as well as handheld use, and a Bench Mounting Mat for extra stability.
It has a lock-on button which will allows continuous sanding for longer periods of time. The variable speed means that you have full control of the speed for a precise output.
Furthermore, it has a large sanding area so you can have an efficient work rate and sand larger materials too. There aren’t many drawbacks to this Triton sander, except some tracking issues that you might face. However, its Belt Tracking Adjustment should be able to help you align accurately.
- Inversion mounting
- Lock-on button
- Variable speed control
- Poor tracking performance
6. Makita 9924DB Belt Sander
Next up is the Makita 9924DB, which has 7.8-Amp motor power suitable for most regular sanding works and material removals. Its innovative design and extended base are means you can sand flush to wall with the sander nose and side.
This unit comes with an extra long cord for convenience and easy handling. It also has an easy-release belt lever so that you can change belts quickly.
Moreover, this Makita belt sander has an extended tool life, thanks to its heavy-duty ball bearing construction. The only downside of this product is in inaccurate deliveries in terms of plate size.
Many customers receive 4-inch plates instead of the advertised 3 inches, but you can easily cut this down.
- Extended base design
- Extra long cord
- Ball bearing construction
- Wrong plate size
7. TACKLIFE PSFS1A Belt Sander
The TACKLIFE PSFS1A is a 2-in-1 bench and belt sander with 5-Amps power. It has two metal clamps so you can use it as a bench sander and a lock-on feature for extra convenience.
Better yet, it comes with 13 pieces of sanding belts you can use for different projects. Meanwhile, the variable speed dial allows you to choose from 6 speeds between 0 and 560 rpm.
It also has a detachable dust box that is easy to remove and clean. However, its low motor power means its better suited for small projects and may easily overheat. It can also be quite hard to keep the sanding belts in position while in use.
- 2-in-in belt and bench sander
- Comes with 13 sanding belts
- 6 speed options
- Detachable dust box
- Not ideal for large projects
- Belts track off easily
- Motor burnout
8. WEN 6321 Belt Sander
The WEN 6321 is one of the best belt sanders for deck because of its compact design and light weight, despite the decent 7-amp motor.
Though weighing only six pounds for comfortable usage, it has a speed of 13 ft/ second. It also has a lock-in feature for added safety as you conduct continuous sanding without the constant grip.
This WEN sander comes with a detachable dust bag that will make clean-up much easier. Unfortunately, the belt guide is made from plastic and might fly off or melt if not attached properly.
- Light and compact
- Lock-in safety button
- Detachable dust bag
- Plastic belt guide
9. CRAFTSMAN CMEW213 Belt Sander
The CRAFTSMAN CMEW213 is a 7-amp belt sander with 800 FPM that can remove materials quickly. Its angled design means you can sand the edges of adjoining surfaces with ease.
The molded handle can be adjusted into 3 positions for improved comfort and versatility. It’s also compatible with the VERSATRACK Wall Organization System for practical storage.
The belt position, however, isn’t very stable and can move around a lot while in use. This model also overheats quite easily.
- Angled design
- 3 position handle
- VERSATRACK compatible
- Unstable belt position
- Overheats easily
10. SKIL 7500 Belt Sander
Lastly is the SKIL 7500, a 6.0-Ampcompact and versatile belt sander that can be used for any wood surface.
It features a patented auto tracking belt alignment system to ensure that the belt remains in the center and doesn’t move around. It also has a micro-filter dust canister and vacuum adapter for dust-free sanding.
You can easily change belts with the single-lever system, while the ball and roller construction ensures durability of this tool. Unfortunately, the reality is that this belt sander isn’t known for its long life as it breaks easily.
There’s also a poor quality check, causing many customers to receive faulty and less-than-ideal products.
- Auto tracking technology
- Dust-free sanding
- Single-lever belt change
- Breaks easily
- Poor quality check
How to Choose a Belt Sander – The Beginner’s Guide
Here’s what to consider before buying a belt sander for deck.
1. Motor Power
The first thing to pay attention to if you want the best belt sander for deck is its motor power. While sanding doesn’t require too much power, you still need enough to do a good job.
Most belt sanders have motors that range between 6 to 10 Amps. More powerful motors are usually more efficient and can perform better, but they are also more expensive and energy-consuming.
2. Belt Size
You should also consider the size, which will depend on what you’re planning to use it for. The most common belt sizes are either 3 x 21 inches or 4 x 24 inches, with the smaller one being more popular due to its compact and portable size.
This is ideal for everyday woodworking tasks. However, if you need to work on bigger panels, you might want to go for a bigger and industrial belt sander.
A belt sander can have only a single speed or multiple variable speed settings. While single-speed ones are quite limiting in their usage, this traditional type is usually cheaper to get.
However, I recommend having some control over the speed so you can adjust it depending on the project at hand. This can mean anything from two speed settings to a variable dial. The speed of most belt sanders can vary from 500 to 1500 feet per minute.
Weight is an important factor that can affect convenience and your efficiency during usage, especially with handheld tools. If you are planning to work mostly in a horizontal position, heavy belt sanders would be best.
For minor home improvements, overhead and vertical sanding, a lighter belt sander will make it so much easier to use.
Belt sanders can weigh between 5 to over 15 pounds. Therefore, it is important that you choose the best one for your specific needs.
5. Dust Collection
Using a belt sander can mean lots of dust and messy cleaning, which makes the dust collecting capability of your tool so much more important.
Try to buy one with a built-in dust bag or canister that is large enough. The best kind of dust collection system usually lets you connect the bag to a shop vac.
6. Customer Reviews
You should also consider reading the reviews from other customers. It can be helpful for you to find out what they like and dislike from the specific belt sander.
This is probably better than simply reading the official product description, because these people have actually used the product.
Lastly, it’s important to plan a budget before you buy a belt sander. While quality matters and it might make sense to spend more for a durable tool, remember that the most expensive sander may not necessarily be the best one.
There you have it, the 10 best belt sanders for deck and how to buy one. Hopefully this article is comprehensive enough and could help you decide which model is the right one for you.
Remember to take your budget and the previously mentioned factors into consideration. Good luck and happy shopping!