A Guide to Finding Best Wide Belt Sander

Published on: March 19, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

So you need to get a wide belt sander for your project!

Well, you’ll find a lot of options to choose from. But to complete your project perfectly, you need the perfect sander.

As there is a number of variations for sander, you may become overwhelmed by them.

a guide to finding best wide belt sander

If you’re really in that kind of situation, you can have a look at this buying guide.

Here, we’ve discussed the top-rated sanders of the market along with the features that make a wide belt sander the best one. So that you can find the best wide belt sander for your projects easily.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Wide Belt Sander

You can choose any wide belt sander from the mentioned list. But before choosing one, you also need to know about the features of the sander, at least the basic ones. You can check from two different views-

Features That Make the Sander Best

The features that make a wide belt sander the best sander are-

Control Panel

Almost all belt sanders these days come with a control panel, with which you can track what is going on in the sander. Generally, these control panels are easy to operate but you may find some with a complex operating system.

So before buying a wide belt sander, you should check that the operating system of the control panel is straightforward, simple, and has a digital readout.

Variable Speed

Most of the sanders come with variable speeds, so you’ll be able to sand your workpiece at different speeds according to the requirement. But not all sander comes with this type of speed. In that case, you need to check how fast the sander rotates to sand any object.

But it is better to get a sander with variable speed so you’ll be able to use it for various purposes.

Dust Collection

Having a smart dust collection system with your sander will ensure that you won’t end up with a messy workshop after completing the project. The wide belt sanding machines we’ve reviewed here comes with an impressive dust collection system.


The power that is provided by the wide belt sander is another thing you need to consider for buying a new one. Most of the wide belt sanders come with a motor of around 20 HP and that is great, even a little less than 20 HP is also okay.

You also need to check the power source of the machine, like whether is it electric-powered or battery-powered and get the one with which you can work comfortably.

Read more: Finding the Detail Sanders

Features that Help You to Work Easily With the Sander

You also need to check the features of a sander that will help you to deal with it comfortably. And they are-


This is the most important fact you must look for while buying a wide belt sander. Because you don’t want to mess with the safety of the tool or yourself. If the tool is going to be used by different people, make sure that it has a lot of features that ensure the safety of its users.

The safest wide belt sander comes with several standard & emergency stops which a user can find easily when needed.

Ease of Changing the Belt

Check that the belt-changing process of the sander is easy and simple. That means, if the abrasive belt of the sander breaks down during your work, you must be able to change it in a short time without any belt breakage.

Because a complicated procedure will take a lot of time to change the belt and you won’t be able to finish the project at the right time.


Portability is a must-have feature for a wide belt sander. A portable sander will allow you to adjust the position of the tool or move it whenever needed. There are a number of portable sanders that are designed with minimum weight and provide you stability while you’re moving in different spots.

Digital Readout

A sander with a digital thickness gauge can give you the exact measurement in inches and be able to give you an accurate finish with minimum sanding line. Moreover, a wide belt sander with that feature is easy to calibrate and also can remember the memory automatically for multiple operators.

Top 6 Wide Belt Sanders Reviews

1. Grizzly G0539 Wide-Belt Sander

  • Motor: 15 horsepower,  3-phase, 220V/440V;
  • Table Lift: 1/4 HP
  • Footprint: 19″ x 51-1/2″;
  • Width: 36-1/2-inch;
  • Thickness: 6-inch;
  • Length: 14-inch;
  • Speed: 2600 FPM;
  • Conveyor speed: 15-49 FPM.

This unit has digital settings to adjust the speed of conveyors, oscillation, platens, and countless other features. The adjustment can be made to the tiniest bits possible so that you will always have the same perfection as long as you want. 

This machine can easily handle boards up to 37 inches. So, if your production is mainly about making super fine cabinets and doors with perfect surfaces, then this machine is surely a must-have for your shop.

My favorite thing about this beast is its control panel, which doesn’t let you do anything manually. Besides, there are three types of sanding options to choose from. You can choose among platen up, platen down, or platen even. In combination with the variable oscillation, the proper sanding can do miracles to the stocks if handled properly.

I couldn’t point out one verdict about this wide belt sander. The matter’s, highest capacity is 36 inches; if your requirement is higher than this, then there are other options that may satisfy your needs.

Things We Liked

  • Safety shut-off bar;
  • Micro-adjustable graphite/felt platen;
  • Digital readout and control panel;
  • Safety shut down;
  • Different platen types for different materials.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Requires single-phase power to operate.

2. Grizzly G0487 Double Wide-Belt Sander

  • Motor: 30 HP, TEFC, 3-phase, 220V/440V;
  • Table lift motor: 1/4 HP, TEFC;
  • Footprint: 68″ x 31″;
  • Width: 51″;
  • Thickness: 6″;
  • Board Length: 11″;
  • Board Thickness: 3/16″;
  • Front Drum Speed: 3500 FPM;
  • Rear Drum Speed: 2600 FPM.

This one is another version of the previously reviewed 51-inch sander from Grizzly, but a more affordable one. Apart from digital settings, it has digital readout features. So, using this machine is the easiest thing even if you are new to these types of machines.

This wide belt sander has been made keeping in mind budget woodworking shops that work with large boards. Workers of such shops usually are beginners, hence operating this sander is also made the easiest among all the sanders available from this manufacturer.

The capacity of this sander is limited to boards of 37x6x11 inches. But the good thing is, it can be operated in single-phase power outlets, whilst other similar machines require three phases to kick start.

Like any other wide belt sander, you will be able to adjust the feed rate, sanding and oscillation rate, and so on. The ease of belt changing and tensioning prevents belt breakage. No matter how intimidating this machine looks, operating this is child’s play.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to use;
  • Precise application;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Overload protected.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not widely used.

Read more: 5 Best Drum Sander Reviews, Click here

3. SHOP FOX 43-Inch Three Phase Double Head Wide-belt Sander (Model No W1757)

  • Motor: 25 HP, 3-phase, 64/32A;
  • Conveyor motor: 2 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation:  1725 RPM;
  • Maximum board width: 43-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 6 -inches;
  • Minimum board thickness: 3/16 inches;
  • Minimum board length: 14 inches;
  • Maximum sanding width: 6-Inches;
  • Dust port: (10) 4-Inches;
  • Front drum surface speed: 3,543 FPM
  • Rear drum surface speed: 2,565 FPM
  • Conveyor speed: 14 – 60 FPM
  • Sanding belt size: 43-by-60-inch
  • Approximate weight: 3380 lbs.

It is a monstrous machine that swallows wood stocks as long as 43 inches and 6 inches thick and replaces rough surfaces with the world’s finest feather-smooth boards in a blink. But let me clear one thing first, this machine is meant for shops that work with large and thick stocks on a daily basis and needs a high production rate. Because, the price, weight, and space this machine requires, can be a daydream for small shop owners.

The benefit of three types of sanding has been incorporated into one machine. You can do surface removing, surfacing, and feathering in one go with this machine. Besides, if something seems not right, with its emergency stop, you can discontinue the work immediately. This feature is proven to be life and money-saving for the users.

The power this sander provides comes from its three-phase motors that run on three-phase power sources. Besides, to enjoy its miraculous features, you must be prepared to pay a fortune.

Things We Liked

  • Suitable for large production houses;
  • High capacity;
  • Easy to use;
  • Emergency shut off.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Needs three phases to operate;
  • Pricey, large, and heavy.

4. Powermatic 16-Inch Open End Belt Sander (Model No 1791251)

  • Motor: 7-1/2 HP, 3-phase;
  • Conveyor motor: 2 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation:  1725 RPM;
  • Maximum board width: 16-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 6 -inches;
  • Minimum board thickness: 3/16 inches;
  • Minimum board length: 14 inches;
  • Maximum sanding width: 6-Inches;
  • Dust port: 4-Inches;
  • Front drum surface speed: 3,543 FPM
  • Rear drum surface speed: 2,565 FPM
  • Conveyor speed: 14 – 60 FPM
  • Sanding belt size: 17-by-54-inch
  • Approximate weight: 1106lbs

The open belt gives the flexibility of using larger boards even if the capacity of the sanding belt is limited. Besides, it takes up smaller space and costs less compared to closed-end sanders. When it comes to this sander from Powermatic, it comes with a separate digital readout that you can choose not to purchase right now as it is a little bit pricey.

Maintaining this sander is easier than maintaining a closed belt sander. A closed one comes in a more compact form and leaves less opportunity to clean, grease, or replace its parts on your own. I loved everything about this Powermatic sander when I tried it. I would like to recommend it to anyone who wants the functionality of a pricey high-capacity sander in an economic form.

Belt changing can be problematic for this sander. If proper caution is not taken, you may end up breaking it in a snap.

Things We Liked

  • Comes with a load meter;
  • Open-ended belt;
  • Accurate setting changes.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Belt changing needs caution.

5. Safety Speed 10HP Wide-belt Sander (Model No WBS3760101)

  • Motor: 15 HP, 3-phase/ 10 hp single phase;
  • Conveyor motor: 3/4 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Maximum board width: 36-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 6 -inches;
  • Minimum board thickness: 7-1/4 inches;
  • Maximum board length: UNLIMITED;
  • Dust port: 6-Inches;
  • Conveyor speed: 0-18 FPM
  • Sanding belt size: 37-by-60-inch

This one is another open-type wide belt sander that is able to work with unlimited length. There are two motors of 15 hp and 10 hp motors to choose from for your own Safety Speed sander. So, depending on your power sources, you can order the three-phase or the single-phase one.

This machine is lacking high-tech features like most of its competitors do, but the benefit is, that makes it cheaper. Its electric belt tracking system and five emergency stop features give you accuracy and safety.

This unit is lacking important information like the speed settings of the conveyor, oscillating details, and other settings. Besides, there is no customer review online to judge this machine. Hence, you have to explore this one at your own risk.

Things We Liked

  • Low cost;
  • Can work with unlimited length;
  • Electric belt tracking.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Lacking valuable details.

6. Powermatic 1632 Open-End Belt Sander (1791250)

  • Maximum Board Width 32″;
  • Maximum Board Thickness 5″;
  • Dimensions: ‎36 x 36.5 x 0.5 inches;
  • Minimum Stock Length: 16 Inch;
  • Main Motor (HP) 5;
  • Voltage 1PH, 230V;
  • 15 and 32.5 FPM variable convoy speed;
  • Dust Ports one @ 4″ diameter;
  • Weight: 996 lbs.

Since we’ve reached the final product on this list, you can see that it is one of the most sensible choices on this list. However, it is still going to provide you with a huge amount of extraordinary highlights that you have to finish some work. If you search carefully for this item in detail, you will find that it has a standing and dual-feed engine speed of 15 and 32.5 FPM that will give you everything you need.

In light of its completeness, you can sit back and relax to realize that this incredible deal has a lot of incredible features thrown in and you can be praised for using it every time. In conclusion, the most extreme selling width in this particular sander is a remarkable 16 inches and comes with a residual port of about four inches all around.

Things We Liked

  • Side access door for easy belt changes;
  • Sanding Width: 16-inch;
  • Front-facing emergency safety stop;
  • 4-inch dust port.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No clear cons to mention.


What is the Difference Between a Belt Sander and a Drum Sander?

Sanding paper is not the same as the two devices. This basically enables one to slip the sanding belts to keep them absent and closed with great effort. Drum and belt sanders are two distinct devices for hardwood floor resurfacing. Belt sander machines look like conventional drum sanders.

To What Extent Does it Take to Sand one Story with an Orbital Sander?

You should plan your time for your venture before an injury to your floor. A decent general guideline is that 140 square feet will take you five hours to work alone. This suggests that a 600-square-foot room is a long day’s work.


If the basics are now clear to you, you can easily choose one from the list we’ve provided. All of them are able to complete your project perfectly as we’ve enlisted them from our experience.

Simply think about the project you need to work with most of the time, match the features with your requirements and you’ll be able to select the right one for you.

But the most important thing you should remember while working with a sander is to be careful about your safety and always wear your safety gear before starting your project.

Finally, if you’ve any other queries about the wide belt sander or any other tool, you can let us know. We’ll try to share the related information with you.

Featured image credit: Amazon.com

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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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