How to Use a Belt Sander

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Are you wondering how to use a belt sander? Belt sanders are usually used in woodworking. If you wish to build furniture or something similar then this should be the tool of your choice. Of course, there are also many types of woodworking furniture that you can use for your project.

There are plenty of woodwork tools out there, but what does the belt sander have that others don’t? it is a specialty tool which means that it can do a specific job that other tools can’t. not only that but it can also stand as an alternative tool for other uses when you don’t have access to them.

Basically, a belt sander helps in taking off the stock on the wood quickly. For some, they don’t use the belt sanders, and for some, they barely use it in their projects. This would depend on what kind of woodwork you are are working on. However, they are very convenient types of tools.

Belt sanders are also great when you which to correct problems such as a misaligned joint that is on a glued table top. Some use the belt sander when it comes to forming curved type shapes on some small types of stock through clamping of the sander in an upside down manner, you can also use it like a stationary type of sander.

Usually, belt sanders can also be used to even out wood surfaces and it also helps to take off the top layer from a wooden floor. That’s why when you notice uneven ridges on an old wooden floor, you can easily use a belt sander to flatten them out, faster than manual labor. Try to look for one in the market.

Just be careful in handlingyour belt sander within just one place because it can cause you problems later on. Smoothing surfaces require the help of belt sanders and you will also need a palm sander for follow up. You can also use a random orbital sander for a smoother surface if needed.

Things To Do Before Using Your Belt Sander

  • Make sure to wear a hearing protection - knowing that you will be using them for a fairly long time, it can help when you protect your ears because belt sanders are very loud.
  • Be careful in breathing the dust- it is advisable that you wear a mask especially when you are not yet used to using your belt sander.
  • When changing belts, unplug the tool or empty the dust bag- this is for your personal protection, as you would not want to be harmed in the middle of changing belts. Always take precaution when using plugged tools.
  • Blow out vacuum the dust out of the sander- before you use the sander, make sure that any dust that is left is cleaned. This is because when you use the belt sander for metal, you can create sparks. The sparks can start a fire when it mixes with the sawdust that is left in the machine and even in the dust bag.
  • Check if the trigger is off before you plug in the sander - you can find that belt sanders have locking buttons which hold the on the switch. This is also for protection because the belt sander can automatically start with said mechanism, which is why you have to double check if it is off.
  • Secure your work before you use the belt sander- don’t underestimate the power of the belt sander. They can give out an amount of force on what you’re working on which is why it is important that you can securely hold it in place. You can use a stopper on the appropriate side of your work so thatit will not slide away.pick out a stopper which is thinner than what you’re working on so that the sander is able to clear it in the edge.

Steps In Unlocking The Full Potential Of The Belt Sander

Step 1: Using The Belt Sander With The Hands

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If you want to use the belt sander with the hand when smoothing out a surface, you have toensure thatyou are not wearing loose clothing. You will be working with the belt sander vigorously which is why you would not want anything to be in the way.

You have to bear in mind that belt sanders have a fair amount when it comes to torque which is why you need to have precautions all the time. Wear comfortable and body hugging clothes, or something similar. Don’t wear anything which has dangling compartments that can be caught with the belt sander.

Turn on the motor and let it reach full speed. Use both hands, you should place one hand on the trigger type handle, then another hand upon the forward type handle; this helps for stability. Ensure that you ease down the sander with a slightly forward kind of motion.

Towards the rear roller side of the sander should be in contact first with the wood. After that, you can let the entirety of the sanding start facing down towards the wood. Basically, its belt would normally start gabbing the wood and also it will be driving the the sander in a forward manner which is why you have to hand on tightly.

Work on the grain part of the wood carefully and don’t let the belt sander be stuck in just one place. The belt sander with a coarse belt could easily tear a huge quantity of stock quickly, which is why you will need to keep moving. Make sure that you stop and also double check your work. Start working with small places.

Step 2: Using The Belt Sander While Stationary Sanding

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This is another well-loved use for the belt sander. You can clamp a sander in an an upside down manner when on the work table. You can also use it like a stationary type of sander, it can be tricky, but when you have no choice, you can use it as an alternative.

All you need to do is to start clamping the belt sander on to the working table. Then start locking the trigger to the on button and hold down your wood work opposed to the spinning part of the belt until you form the shape you want. You can even use a stationary type of belt sander when you need a rough kind of tool sharpener like plane irons, chisels, and gouges.

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Step 3: Changing Belts Of The Belt Sander

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In changing belt sander belts, make sure that you pull out its power cord. This is simply a precaution because you would not want to bump into any kind of accident while working. Belt sanders usually have a release type of lever on its one side. This releases the tension you can find between the front as well as the back roller.

When the tension has been released, you can then start sliding the sanding belt from its rollers. The next thing you do would be to start applying a brand new belt on the rollers. Then begin releasing the lever of the belt sander and proceed to plugging in your sander when you are done.

Step 4: Purchasing Your Belt Sander

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There are three main features that you should look for when you want to buy a belt sander. The first feature would be the variable type of speed motor. This helps you in controlling how fast you need the belt sander to be.

The second variable would be the build of the belt sander. It should be solid enough to handle all the work. This should also keep you from pushing downward with an excessive force so that the belt sander can successfully remove the needed materials off the woodwork.

After which, the third variable should be the dust bag. Check whether or not, it comes with a reliable dust bag because this is an important part when you are working with a belt sander. See to it that the tool has a port that you can connect to a useful dust collection type system.


Did you enjoy the tutorial? Did it answer your questions on how you can use the belt sander in many different ways? Did you find it interesting and did it clear what belt sandersare for you? Will you need on for your woodwork and is it helpful enough?

If you have plenty of projects to work on, it is important that you also have the right tools with you. Belt sanders are there to help even out rough surfaces and edges of the wood or metal that you are working on, which is why it is important that you know how you can use it.

This is the best tool to use when you want to finish your work quickly. Of course, for this to work effectively, you also need how to handle it properly. Always make sure that you are free from accidents and take all the precaution before and after working with the tool.

We would be glad to hear from you so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below. If you loved our tutorial, you can always like and share this article with your friends and those who are interested in how belt sanders work.


  • October 28, 2017
  • DIY