Best Belt Sanders for Knife Making (2021 Top Picks Reviewed)

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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There are many ways to maintain a sharp edge on your knife. However, nothing quite beats using a modern belt sander.

In the following article, we'll show you why a belt sander is best, how to find a quality belt sander, and even show you some of our favorites. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best belt sanders for knife making:

  1. Grizzly Industrial G0787
  2. Palmgren 81061
  3. PowerTec BD4600

Comparison Chart of the Best Belt Sanders for Knife Making

Product

Main Features

Price

Grizzly Industrial G0787

  • Quick release belt lever
  • Belt rotates 90-degrees
  • Provides 3600 RPM

Palmgren 81061

  • 4400 RPM speed
  • Adjustable miter gauge
  • Adjustable belt arm

PowerTec BD4600

  • 90-degree adjustable belt
  • 1900 RPM belt speed
  • Aluminum material

Rikon Power Tools 50-151

  • Best 1x30 Belt Sander for Knife Making
  • 45-degree adjustable belt
  • Heavy-duty miter gauge

Jet Tools J-4002

  • Best 1x42 Belt Sander for Knife Making
  • Adjustable miter gauge
  • 1/3 HP

Bucktool BD4801

  • Best 4x36 Belt Sander for Knife Making
  • Two dust ports
  • Adjustable 90-degree belt

Jet J-41002

  • Best 2 Inch Belt Sander for Knife Making
  • Removable plate
  • 45-degree adjustable miter gauge

What Makes a Belt Sander Great for Knife Making?

There are a few features or characteristics that would define a belt sander as high-quality. Belt sanders should possess at least one of these, and you should keep your eye out for them when doing your research. 

Tilting Ability 

If you own knives and you've sharpened them before, you know that you need to tilt the knife at an angle to sharpen the blade. 

Therefore, if you're looking for a belt sander to sharpen a knife, it should come with a minimum of a 45-degree tilting feature. 

Powerful, But Not Overbearing

Most experts would recommend a belt sander that provides a minimum of ⅓ HP and 1800 RPM. If you're operating a sander that offers less than this, it could damage the blade of your knife. 

However, anything more than 3500 RPM could mean that you could lose control of the knife if you make one small mistake in movement. 

Extra Features 

Consider things like rubber feet to help with stability as these sanders have a problem with vibrating. 

Angle locks are also featured on some high-quality belt sanders; these features hold the knife in place while sanding, allowing you to create a precise edge. 

Review of the Best Belt Sanders for Knife Making 

Researching through the thousands of belt sanders on offer will be a time-consuming task, which is why we've featured some of our favorite belt sanders for knife making. 

Best Overall
Grizzly Industrial G0787

PROS

  • Has an adjustable speed knob
  • Has an adjustable miter gauge
  • The belt sanders angle can be adjusted
  • Can be used on other tasks such as woodworking

CONS

  • Is quite heavy

Our Review

The Grizzly Industrial sander has both a belt and disc sander. The belt sander can run speeds of 1970 FPM, and the disc produces speed up to 3450 RPM; both sanders can have their speed adjusted. 

To provide a sharp blade, the belt sander can also be rotated between 0 and 90-degrees. The disc sander has an adjustable miter gauge that can be locked at a certain angle to provide precision shaping. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The Grizzly Industrial sander isn't just used for creating sharp blades; it can also be used for tasks involving woodwork or other metal related sanding. The versatility of this sander provides plenty of value for the user. 

Runner-up
Palmgren 81061

PROS

  • Both sanders can be tilted
  • Has both a disc and belt sander
  • Speed can be adjusted for both sanders
  • Miter gauge can be adjusted to different angles

CONS

  • The high speeds can vibrate the sander

Our Review

If you utilize both the disc and belt sander, you'll be able to use this sander for more than just knives, making it a lot more valuable for the user. The individual sanders allow you to adjust the angle at which they operate. 

The disc sander also has a miter gauge that can lock at a set angle and hold the knife steady for a blade's precise working. 

You'll have the ability to adjust the sander's powerful speed capabilities of up to 3500 RPM for the disc sander and 4400 RPM for the belt sander. 

The only downside is that it can vibrate quite aggressively if not installed correctly if it's running at these high speeds. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The high speeds provided by this product are what make it stand out. You'll not require such high speeds for standard blade sharpening, but it always helps other areas of knife making, such as shaping the handle and polishing the wood. 

The multiple use-cases of this tool make it stand out; you can use it for all parts of the knife making process. 

Best for the Money
PowerTec BD4600

PROS

  • Both sanders have adjustable tilts
  • A lot smaller than most belt sanding units
  • Adjustable speeds for disc and belt sander
  • Locking miter gauge holds the knife in place

CONS

  • Heavier than other sanders featured

Our Review

This sanding unit's compact design is an attractive feature as it takes up far less space than others that are of the same quality. 

To sharpen the blades with great accuracy, you can tilt the disc sander to 90-degrees, and the belt tilts to 45-degrees. Not only that but to hold the blade securely, you can adjust the miter gauge's angle and lock it in place. 

The disc speed can reach 3600 RPM and 1900 RPM for the belt sander, more than suitable for the entire knife making process; these speeds can also be adjusted. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

A quick-release belt change is excellent for those working with this unit regularly, as the belt will need changing depending on how often you use it. Without this feature, it takes much longer to remove and reset the sanding belt properly. 

Best 1x30 Belt Sander for Knife Making
Rikon Power Tools 50-151

PROS

  • Two effective dust extractors
  • Miter gauge can also be adjusted
  • Belt sanders angle can be adjusted
  • Meets the requirements for knife making

CONS

  • The speed cannot be adjusted

Our Review

You'll be able to meet the minimum power requirements for knife making, the belt sander can provide 3340 RPM, and the disc sander offers 3350 RPM. 

The only issue is that you can't adjust the speeds; this can limit the sanding unit's type of tasks. 

The belt sanders angle can be adjusted to 45-degrees, the miter gauge can also lock itself at a set angle for more precise sanding. There's one dust extractor on both sanders to keep your workstation clean. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This model is relatively light and doesn't use up too much space, which is a rare advantage of this particular unit. 

Many sanding units can be bulky and heavy. However, this sander only weighs 18lbs as well as having height-adjustable rubber feet. 

Best 1x42 Belt Sander for Knife Making
Jet Tools J-4002

PROS

  • Easy change belt
  • Adjustable miter gauge
  • Belt sander provides 3000 RPM
  • Can be used for projects other than a knife making

CONS

  • Weighs a massive 63lbs

Our Review

The unit provides you with a belt and disc sander. However, the individual belt sander will be primarily used for knife making; it offers 3000 RPM, which is more than enough. If you need to change the belt quickly, it has an easy change system that makes it much faster. 

Suppose you're operating the disc sander for shaping the knife or wooden handle. In that case, it can lock the material in place and a set angle. The only downside with this product is that the weight of the unit is massive at 63lbs. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The selling points for this sanding unit are that you can carry out much more than just creating knives. 

For example, the flex shaft attachment will allow the user to carve, drum sand, and deburring. The removable platen also will enable you to grind, finishing, and even shaping materials.

Best 4x36 Belt Sander for Knife Making
Bucktool BD4801

PROS

  • Wide belt limits frictional damage
  • Two dust ports keep the workshop clean
  • A belt sander can be adjusted to a 90-degree angle
  • A quick-release belt makes belt changes fast and ease

CONS

  • The speed can't be adjusted

Our Review

The belt's width allows you to use different areas of the belt, which helps reduce any frictional damage or burns caused by overuse. 

If you're operating the belt sander, it can be easily adjusted to a 90-degree angle. If the belt needs to be changed, the quick release option makes it quick and easy to change. 

The belt reaches speeds of 2161 RPM, which is just enough for working a blade. With such high speeds, plenty of dust can be created. Therefore the two dust ports are a helpful addition in keeping the area clean. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The thicker 4x36 sanding belt is the most significant advantage and the selling point of this sanding unit. If you use belt sanders often, you'll understand that using the same portion of the belt can create some serious heat, burn wood or wear down the belt. The thicker belt helps reduce the chance of friction burns and wear. 

Best 2 Inch Belt Sander for Knife Making
Jet J-41002

PROS

  • Angles can be adjusted
  • 3000 RPM for belt sander
  • Heavy steel design keeps it stable
  • Removable platen allows shape work

CONS

  • The speed can't be adjusted

Our Review

You have a lot of flexibility with this belt sander; the removable platen provides you with the option of more shape work along with general sanding, grinding. 

Not only that, but the miter gauge can be adjusted to lock into a particular angle for more precise sanding. 45-degrees can also adjust the belt sander. 

The belt sander unit provides the user with 3000 RPM, but it doesn't allow you to adjust the speed. An unexpected benefit is the unit's weight; the 60lbs of weight ensure stability and reduce its chances of toppling over. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The stability of this sanding unit is a great feature. 60lb weight will ensure you'll not trip and knock it over. The heavy-duty steel base with rubber feet also provides a stable structure. 

Usually, the weight is a deterrent, but because you'll have this placed in a dedicated space, the weight won't impact the user as much other than being a benefit to stability. 

Can You Find a Quality Belt Sander That's Affordable? 

Low prices don't always mean low-quality. Many expensive sanders are high-quality but have so many unnecessary features to flesh the product out to make it seem like it's worth more money. However, cheaper products might have minimal necessary features to get the job done. 

Therefore, when you see cheaper sanders with just a handful of features and a simple design, this could mean they prioritize, including the essential elements, to keep costs down for the consumer. 

Hold up, are you interested in other topics about sanders? If so, these might be something to check out: 

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Belt Sander for Knife Making 

There are plenty of benefits for buying a quality belt sander for specifically creating knives. Below are just a few advantages. 

You'll Have Full Control Over the Process

Of course, you'll be able to sharpen a blade, but you'll also be able to work on every aspect of the knife making process just from this one sanding unit. 

Most quality sanding units will also offer a disc option. You'll be able to shape wood for the handle, as well as finish, polish, and grind metal at an adjustable angle of your choice. 

You Can Use the Sander for Other Projects Too

Knifemaking isn't the only possibility for a high-quality belt sander; think of it as an investment in your workshop. Many tasks and projects can be worked on using a belt sander, or disc sander commonly comes with the same unit. 

It Will Save You Time

If you're creating a knife from scratch, you don't need a belt sander. However, if you're a professional and want to complete the knife to the highest quality but the least amount of time, the belt sander is the obvious answer. A high-quality belt sander will be able to provide over 1800 RPM, that'll get the job done in no time. 

Conclusion 

The important part to remember is that you're not just buying a belt sander for knife making; it can be used for so much more. The belt sander significantly reduces the time it takes to create a decent blade and is, therefore, the common tool for knifemaking hobbyists or professionals. 

People Also Ask

The following section includes some of the commonly asked questions and their answers regarding belt sanders and making knives. 

What Grit Belts For Knife Grinding

Standard rough grinding would require either a 50 or 60 grit belt and to finish off, the 100 or 120 grit belt would suffice. 

What Grit Belt For Knife Sharpening

Standard knife sharpening can be done using just a 100 grit sandpaper. However, experts recommend that a 200 grit sandpaper can give you a far smoother finish with an incredibly sharp blade. 

How To Get Into Knife Making

There are plenty of resources on YouTube or Google to help beginners get set up. All you'd need is an angle grinder, steel, files, drill, grill to heat treat the knife, and some sturdy wood for the handle. 

How To Sharpen A Knife With A Belt Sander

  1. Attach your 200 grit sanding belt

  2. Make sure the sanding belt spins away from you, also ensure the belt isn't too right and has enough slack that it can bounce back at you when pressed

  3. Tilt the knife and run it across the sanding belt a few times, don't put too much pressure on it as it'll quickly remove metal

  4. Dunk your knife into some room temperature water as the friction will have heated the blade