Whether you’re prepping wood for a project or placing the final touches on a piece, a belt sander is an indispensable tool for creating smooth surfaces in record time.
Whereas palm sanders are more useful for small jobs and fine details, belt sanders are the overachieving workhorses within this family of tools. Belt sanders use a motor to spin a continuous loop of sandpaper around a set of drums, similar to the function of a treadmill or conveyer belt, but operating at faster speeds to produce the friction needed to smooth wood surfaces.
Belt sanders are not only powerful, they’re also versatile. For leveling purposes, the sander can be angled against the wood grain to establish a flat surface, and then applied along the grain of the wood as a final step. Belt sanders are also adept at trimming scribed lines and shaping and rounding off edges to create a flawless finish.
Belt sanders come in two main varieties: handheld and stationary. Handheld belt sanders are obviously the more portable choice and are ideal for using on surfaces that are difficult or impossible to move, such as extremely heavy furniture or wood flooring that has already been installed. Their compact bodies and light weight make them an excellent choice for taking to job sites, and they are available in corded electric and battery-powered cordless options.
On the other end of the spectrum, stationary belt sanders (also known as bench belt sanders) are sturdy, heavyweight tools that are semi-permanently mounted to a stable base. With this style of sander, the material to be sanded is brought to the tool, versus the opposite approach of handheld belt sanders. Stationary belt sanders offer superlative power and stability, but they’re impractical to move and therefore not as versatile as their handheld cousins.
What to Look for in a Belt Sander
When comparing belt sanders, be sure to consider the following factors to determine which tool will best meet your project needs.
Our Pick: WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander
With both belt and disc functions to handle all of your sanding demands, the WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander delivers premium performance at an extremely accessible price point. The 2.3-amp motor drives the belt up to 3,160 feet per minute and generates speeds of up to 3,450 RPM with the 5-inch disc, with a convenient beveling work table to tackle angled work pieces and other complex surfaces.
Its light overall weight and compact size make it easy to transport and store, while a sturdy base and included mounting holes keep it locked in place with no wobbling or walking to disrupt operations or damage your workpiece.
The 100-grit sanding belt and 80-grit sanding disc quickly and accurately sand, smooth and deburr flaws, splinters and rough edges, while an onboard miter gauge ensures precision.
Two separate dust ports connect to 1.5-inch and 2-inch dust hoses to whisk away sawdust and debris, keeping your workshop clean and safe. And like all WEN tools, the sander is backed by the company’s legendary customer service team as well as an impressive two-year warranty.
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WEN 6515T: Specifications
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Motor: 2.3 Amps
- Belt Size: 1 inch by 30 inches
- Disc Size: 5 inches
- Belt Speed: 3,160 FPM
- Disc Speed: 3,450 RPM
- Grit Rating: 80 (disc), 100 (belt)
- Warranty: 2 years
WEN 6515T: Features
- Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 1-by-30 inch belt and a 5-inch disc
- Two independent dust ports connect to 1.5-inch and 2-inch dust hoses with included adapter
- Both the disc and belt tables bevel up to 45 degrees for sanding angled work pieces
- Mounting holes and heavy-duty base provide stability during operation
- Integrated miter gauge ensures precision when using the 5-inch disc
Pros and Cons of the WEN 6515T
As with any belt sanders, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages when compared to other product options. This option is no exception. We would be remiss if we didn’t cover this hand planer from all angles. Below are some of the pros and cons that we have discovered with the WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander.
Pros of the WEN 6515T
- Two-in-one belt and disc design offers versatility as well as consistent performance
- Beveling disc and belt tables add precision to projects with angled surfaces
- Lightweight, compact design is easy to transport, while solid base and mounting holes ensure stability during operation
- Accessible belt area offers hassle-free belt changes and adjustments
- Two adaptable dust extraction ports minimize clean-up time
- Good value
Cons of the WEN 6515T
- Lacks variable speed option
Our Verdict on the WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander
In a crowded field, the WEN 6515T Belt Sander stands out for its impressive performance, excellent value and ease of use. Despite its compact, lightweight design, the sander’s durable construction and stable base minimize vibration for consistent results with every pass. With both belt and disc features, it’s one of the most versatile sanders on the market, and a beveling table and miter gauge ensure accuracy and precision. Dual dust collection ports keep your work space clean and reduce clean-up time, and a two-year warranty protects your investment through thousands of productive work hours.