Best Small Belt Sanders: Options to Look for While Choosing

Published on: March 16, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

So, you have already tried to research the top-rated small belt sanders but end up being confused with all the different kinds; and can’t choose one. Well, we understand the situation, and here we are, to ease your pain. We have made selecting a small belt sander easier for you.

small belt sanders options to look for while choosing

Here, you will get to know different types of small belt sanders, their usability, and how to choose a sander that won’t disappoint you. To get a brief idea before ending up on one model, I recommend going through the entire article so that you never regret buying a faulty unit.

What Is A Belt Sander?

A belt sander may be a handheld surface sander that you simply can find in many workshops. This machine is usually employed by woodworkers, cabinetmakers, carpenters, furniture makers, floor installers, remodelers, and more.

This tool consists of two drums. One drum is found at the front, while the opposite is found at the rear. The facility tool’s motor moves the rear drum while the front drum rotates freely. 

Belt sanders are wont to sand large and flat surfaces, like tables, cabinets, and floors, using particular sandpaper called a sanding belt. Unlike your veritable flat sandpaper, a sanding belt is glued and accumulated to make a circle. Wood isn’t the sole thing it can sand; some models can also sand metal and remove paint and polish above the surface.

Belt sanders are significant for sanding rough surfaces, creating a scribed line, and leveling surfaces. you’ll also use it to make rounded shapes. Confine mind. However, belt sanders are powerful beasts that will rapidly sand away from your workpiece. If you would like a more subtle tool, you’re happier using an orbital or vibrating sander.

Installing a sanding belt is simple. To put in or change a sanding belt, you would like to flip the tool’s tension lever outward. Slide the old sanding belt off the sander, and slip a new sanding belt into the tool. 

Check the arrows printed inside the sanding belt, and confirm to follow that direction when installing a replacement belt. Align the new belt, and re-tension the tool’s lever. 

Check out this video on the way to properly replace and align a sanding belt. You’ll also read this text for more information on sanding belts and how to settle on the proper one for your project.

Options to Look for While Choosing Small Belt Sander


Almost all small belt sanders in the market work with variable speed. But the point is, what is the speed range for your requirement? So, check for the speed range of the machine; if it fits your requirement, then maybe it is okay to purchase. 


Different brands and models offer different accessories. Go through that part in detail before ordering the unit. Mostly, the professional grade tools come as a bare tools, without any accessories. In that case, you will need to purchase the necessities separately. For beginners, it is better to shop for tools that have a bag or box to store after use. 


Now, it is the most important part of a small belt sander. There are different kinds of small belt sanders available in the market, and each one serves different purposes. For example, benchtop sanders are great for polishing large surfaces and to sand small objects. 

On the other hand, the arm-style small belt sanders are suitable to polish hard-to-reach areas. In this case, the flexibility of the arm is important. So, study the functionality of the sander before you buy. There are also some sanders available that work in both styles. 

Size of the Dust Port Adapter

Usually, a dust bag is included in the packaging. So, the size of the adapter matters when you wish to use the unit with the dust collection system you already have. Mostly, the built-in dust collection system is not enough for professional-level frequent use. Using a separate system makes the experience more enjoyable. So, check the adapter size of the unit. Otherwise, you may need to purchase one to fit your shop vac. 

View Top 5 Small Belt Sanders Reviews

All of those aspects are considered together to supply an overall score, including their value for money. Please read our reviews below!

1. Makita 4.4-Amp ⅜ -Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander (Model No 9032)

  • Motor: 4.4 Amp;
  • Speed: 980-5,600 FPM;
  • Belt: ⅜  inches;
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds;
  • Application:  various.

This small belt sander works with the thinnest belt available in the market. An arm and belt of ⅜ inches are included in this package, but arms and belts of various sizes are also available in the market. I suggest ordering from those collections with this unit depending on your requirement. 

Its adjustable speed and adjustable arm are something that will make anyone love this tool at first sight. Altogether, these features have made this sander the best to do what it was born to do-sand any material in the hard-to-reach areas effortlessly. 

Even if the unit is tiny, it comes with a long cord, a dust port to use dust bags, and a satisfaction guarantee that offers a replacement if by any chance this machine does not win your heart. 

The price is quite high for a small belt sander. Only a handful of professionals will be willing to pay the price. However, no matter if you are a professional or a beginner, you will surely agree with me that this machine’s quality is worth the price.


  • Best for hard-to-reach areas;
  • Adjustable arm;
  • Lightweight.


  • Expensive;
  • Not for highly precise applications.

2. CRAFTSMAN Belt Sander, 3-Inch x 21-Inch (CMEW213)

  • Amperage Capacity ‎7 Amps;
  • Max 800 FPM For fast material removal;
  • Weight: 6.64 pounds;
  • Grit Type coarse;
  • Includes CMEW213 sand sander, a sanding belt, dust bag.

This model from CRAFTSMAN can be used either way as a bench-top sander or as a handheld sander. So, if you are new to this field, this sander is able to save your pocket from purchasing a benchtop separately. Otherwise, you can choose to invest in a pricey wide belt sander in the long run because the price of this sander is very low, and it won’t affect your pocket at all.

The price includes a large number of accessories in this package, along with the sander. So, this package is literally a jackpot for your workshop. This small belt sander has a variable speed dial and lock-on button for convenient use. Besides, there are two different size adapters included so that you won’t have any hassle finding the right dust port for this tool.

This unit is meant for woodwork exclusively. Because the speed it delivers may seem insufficient for more tough materials. 


  • Hook and accessories;
  • Long-time warranty;
  • Quick and easy belt changes;
  • High-performance dust collection.


  • No issue.

3. Proxxon Belt Sander BS/E (Model No 38536)

  • Motor: ⅛ hp;
  • Speed: 300-700 FPM;
  • Belt: 3 ×18 inches;
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds;
  • Includes 2 each 80 and 2 each 180 grit sanding belts and so on. 
  • Application: various materials like wood, metal, glass, or plastic.

With small belt sanders, usually necessary accessories are included with the package, but the manufacturers mostly neglect to include a storage case to protect the machine. However, this model from Proxxon will not disappoint you. After finishing the exhausting tasks, this machine will always have a home to rest due to the storage box. 

It is a versatile machine. From glass to metal, everything can be sanded with the right belt using this machine. Its adjustable arm rotates 60 degrees to reach tough places. The motor is also strong, and the features are easily adjustable. But putting pressure is not recommended for this sander. Hence, I can’t suggest anyone use it for highly demanding projects for a long time.


  • Very light;
  • Comes with an adjustable arm;
  • Storage case includes;
  • Easy to use.


  • Pricey.

4. Eastvolt 7 Amp, (3 ×18)-Inch Variable-Speed Belt Sander (Model No EVBS01)

  • Motor: 7 Amp;
  • 6 variable-speed from 200-360m/min;
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds;
  • Included  User Manual, Dust Bag, 20 x Abrasive Belt (grit number: 10*A80, 10*A120), Screw Clamps; 
  • Voltage 120 Volts (AC);

We have marked the swiveling features of the included dust bag as a positive side of this unit. But to be honest, the dust collection is the most annoying thing about this machine. If the port is oddly sized, then the regular vacuum adapter will not fit this.

However, the speed settings of this machine make it convenient to use on not only different materials but also different surfaces. Like, you can use this machine on a vertical surface but may feel the lack of power of the machine, which may require putting extra pressure if you want a super subtle finish from this.

The price is unnecessarily high for this sander. But the satisfaction it gives to its users is beyond comparison. Once you get used to it, there is less chance that you will ever want to replace it with something else. 


  • Easier to belt tracking;
  • Easy and accurate speed settings. 
  • Vacuum dust adapters include;
  • Swiveling dust bag.



  • No cons.

5. Genesis (3-x-21)-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag (Model No GBS321A)

  • Motor: N/A;
  • Speed:  390-1,180 FPM;
  • Belt: 3 ×21 inches;
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds;
  • Includes  Dust Bag, and One (1) Sanding Belt. 
  • Application: wood mostly.

If you own an effective dust collection system in your place, then I strongly recommend this model from Genesis for you. Because other than the dust bag, every feature of this unit is as useful as high-quality sanding machines.

There are no mentionable accessories included in this package. Hence the price only serves the quality machine that suffices to do various jobs from floor to furniture polishing. For people who solely work on wood-type materials, this sander alone can serve different projects. But if your projects need a sander that will scrap metal for you, then look for a more versatile one. 


  • Aggressive sander;
  • Cheap price;
  • Powerful;
  • High speed.


  • Inefficient dust collection. 

What Should I Search for in a Belt Sander?

Features to see for in Handheld Belt Sanders. Comfortable grip designs can help to avoid hand fatigue and supply far more comfort when running; even better with adjustable top handles for using the belt sander to smoothen edges at different angles.

  • Power;
  • Size;
  • Speed;
  • A Note About Abrasive Belts.

Why Do the Belts Keep Breaking on My Belt Sander?

Heat, humidity, and age can contribute to belt seam failures, but they are not the sole causes. When not using your sander, release the strain on the belt. If the matter persists, exchange the sander or have a guaranteed service center check the strain setting.


A small belt sander is a small and inexpensive item but is a useful one. A wrong sander can make you irritated by ruining your workpiece rather than fixing it. So, take time to purchase one. If purchasing online is not convincing for you, then feel free to visit the local hardware store. All the models we have discussed here are easily available and widely used. 

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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