Smallest Belt Sanders – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Cody
| Last Updated: January 9, 2021

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Belt sanders come in many sizes and will all benefit the user for different tasks.

In the article below, we'll discuss the ins and outs of owning a small belt sander along with how to find some of the best currently on the market. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best small belt sanders:

  1. Proxxon 38536
  2. Wen 6307 Detailing File
  3. TBVECHI Mini Belt Sander

Comparison Chart of the Smallest Belt Sanders

Product

Specs

Price

Proxxon 38536

  • Best Mini Belt Sander
  • Elongated body
  • Soft-rubber grip

Wen 6307 Detailing File

  • 1/2 by 18-inch belt
  • 2.4lbs
  • Three belts included

TBVECHI Mini Belt Sander

  • Best for the Money
  • Seven gear speed control
  • 10pc belt set included

Astro Tools 3037

  • Best Pneumatic Mini Belt Sander
  • 3pc belt included
  • Variable speed control

Ex Electronix Express Mini Belt Sander

  • 3400 RPM
  • 45-degree table tilt
  • Vacuum port

How to Choose a Mini Belt Sander 

Finding the best of the best can be a hard research task that isn't cut out for many people. A great reason to read through this next section on what features to keep an eye out for. 

Belt Size

Your sanding belt width will be an important factor in determining if it can effectively complete the tasks you have in store for it.

You don't want a narrow belt to be used on large workpieces. Otherwise, it'll take too long. However, it still needs to be compact enough to be deemed portable and easy to move. 

Handheld or Static Unit? 

Of course, the handheld unit will be more portable; this is also determined if it's cordless or not; they give the user more control over shaping and material removal than a static unit. 

A static unit is mainly used for workpieces before full completion or installation. They tend to be more stable and safe than a handheld device. 

Comfortable Grip

This feature mainly relates to handheld belt sanders, as you're handling them for longer periods. Most manufacturers will install a soft-rubber grip, which helps absorb vibration and reduce sore hands' likelihood. 

Review of the Best Mini Belt Sanders 

Now that you know what to look out for, below are a few examples of some high-quality belt sanders. 

Best Mini Belt Sander
Proxxon 38536

PROS

  • Can be attached via a lanyard
  • Elongated body for better control
  • Variable speed control makes it versatile
  • The narrow belt allows you to sand tighter spaces

CONS

  • Not suited for large workpieces

Our Review

An elongated body belt sander allows the user to properly control and guide where the sander goes. This makes shaping, finishing, and material removal on small workpieces more effective. 

The speed can also be adjusted between 12 and 25FPS; this makes it easier for you to work on various tasks or stages without swapping sanders. 

The narrow belt size allows you to sand down tighter spaces and awkward angles. The sander's back end has a lanyard attachment option, making it easy to carry or swap hands to another tool. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The belt sanders angle can be adjusted up to 60-degrees. The adjustable option allows you to work around awkward angles and designs. Larger or static units won't complete smaller or detailed tasks as this belt sander could.

Runner-up
Wen 6307 Detailing File

PROS

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Pivoting sanding belt for awkward angles
  • Variable speed controls for better flexibility
  • Auto-tracking provides an easier changeover

CONS

  • Not best for larger workpieces

Our Review

Sandpaper changeover can sometimes be a pain with re-adjusting the tracking, but thanks to auto-tracking, it makes this tedious task far easier and faster to complete. This unit has a pivoting sanding belt, which helps complete awkward angles and designs of a workpiece. 

Weighing at just 2.4lbs, you can easily carry this belt sander around in your bag without feeling fatigued; you'll also be able to work for much longer. The only issue with this belt sander would be that it wouldn't be suited for material removal on larger workpieces because of the narrower belt. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Auto-tracking has got to be the most stand out feature for this particular belt sander. You spend so much time changing the sandpaper and adjusting the belt to fit correctly; it could be spent working. An auto-tracking system saves you much more time than manually adjusting the sanding belt. 

Best for the Money
TBVECHI Mini Belt Sander

PROS

  • Easy to clean and fix
  • Variable speed control flexibility
  • Adjustable plate for angle support
  • 10pcs of sandpaper included with purchase

CONS

  • No effective protective casing

Our Review

With this purchase, you'll receive 10pcs of multiple grit sandpaper, a full set ready for whatever sanding or grinding task you have ahead. 

This works well with the variable speed control, ranging between 4000 and 8000 RPM, more than suitable for most woodworking tasks. The support plate angle can be adjusted to provide angled support to keep the workpiece steady.

A big benefit of using this particular belt sander is that it's easy to clean and fix as the important components like the belt and rollers are on the outside. This also comes as a downside as it means they'll be easier to break. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The best part about this belt sander would be that it provides the user with the same value as other high-quality belt sanders while being less expensive. It's important to keep the outside protected from any accidents as it's built to be more open, but it still does its required tasks. 

Best Pneumatic Mini Belt Sander
Astro Tools 3037

PROS

  • Extremely fast speed
  • 360-degree adjustable arm
  • Comfortable soft rubber grip
  • Three additional belts provided

CONS

  • Requires a pneumatic air compressor

Our Review

This sander can operate a powerful 16,000 RPM speed, an incredibly fast belt rate that is unparalleled with any other sander featured on this list. 

The soft rubber handle will provide adequate anti-vibration protection during these higher speeds; these speeds can also be adjusted to suit different tasks. 

If you're working on a workpiece that's got intricate designs or smaller spaces, the arm can be adjusted a full 360-degrees. To provide you with more value for money, they also include three additional belts with your purchase. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The pneumatic compressor needed to run this sander is what provides the incredibly fast speeds capable of this belt sander. To have a 16,000 RPM speed that can also be adjusted is really the most unique, stand out feature of this belt sander. 

Honorable Mention
Ex Electronix Express Mini Belt Sander

PROS

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Adjustable support plate
  • High-grade top plastic guard
  • It can be used on various materials

CONS

  • No variable speed control

Our Review

This static unit has a tiltable 45-degree support table; this benefits those that will be using their belt sander to sharpen or grind a material. Considering this is a benchtop unit and it weighs just 1.1lbs is astounding, making it incredibly easy to carry around and change worktops. 

The plastic guard is of high-grade quality and will effectively protect you from any flying shards of metal or wood. 

The only issue with this benchtop sander is that it doesn't have a variable control system, just a standalone speed of 3400 RPM. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The lightweight design is the unique selling point of this belt sander; when you think of a benchtop sander, you think of incredibly heavy and bulky. Nothing could be further from the truth with this sanding unit. A real asset for someone constantly on the move. 

What is a Belt Sander Used For? 

Depending on the belt size and additional features like variable speed control, the user can complete multiple many other tasks related to sanding. Below are just a few possibilities of tasks that can be completed. 

Material Removal 

Belt sanders are known for their powerful and aggressive speeds, which in turn are useful for quick material removal. Smaller sanders are still suitable for this task so long as it can keep up with the size of the workpiece. 

Shaping 

Handheld belt sanders are more suited to this task as they offer better control and can be guided along the workpiece. You can purchase finger attachments that can be used for more precise and detailed shaping. 

Sharpening 

Static units are more suited to sharpening as they don't require the user to hold on to the device. There are some that come with a belt sander and a disc sander, which are both great for sharpening tools. Variable speed control can also benefit sharpening tools. 

Belt Sander Safety - Dos and Don'ts of Using a Belt Sander

Sometimes it's hard to know what you can and can't do with new tools. Below are a few safety considerations to keep in mind when operating a belt sander.

Dos

What should I pay attention to when using a sander? Don’t worry, these tips will get you on the right track.

Do Use Proper Safety Equipment

It's always important to wear the necessary safety gear while operating power tools, consider safety glasses to prevent splinters from getting in your eyes and a dust mask to reduce the chances of particle inhalation. 

Do Work in a Ventilated Space

Hundreds of thousands of people per year are hospitalized due to particle inhalation when carrying out DIY or carpentry. Therefore, it's important to keep the workspace well ventilated by keeping a window open and a fan pointing towards the opening to push all the dust-filled air outside.  

Do Test Before Sanding 

Get in the routine of checking your equipment before turning it on; you never know what might have snapped or broken since the last time you used it. Checking the equipment before proper use will reduce the chance of injury or more serious breaks. 

Don'ts

Generally, using a sander is fairly simple. We do suggest you pay attention to these two tips though.

Do NOT Switch Sandpaper While On

This might seem obvious to many, but you should never have the power switched on during sandpaper changeovers. One wrong slip of the finger could end in you no longer having fingertips or an even more serious injury. 

Do NOT Wear Anything That Hangs

One caution we cannot stress more is that you make sure you tie back any long hair (including beards and bangs) and avoid any baggy clothing or jewelry while working with a sander. Any machine with moving parts, particularly belts and gears, can snag these items and cause potential injury,

How to Change Sandpaper on a Belt Sander 

Sandpaper changeover can at first be confusing but just follow our step by step guide on how to properly change the sandpaper belt. 

  1. Pull-on the tension release lever to loosen the belt
  1. Remove the old belt and replace it with the new one; ensure that the arrows on the underneath of the belt are facing the way of the belt spin
  1. Push the tensioning lever back into place and switch on to test it out. If the belt needs adjusting, this can be done with the belt adjustment knob usually placed at the side. 
  1. If you're happy with the setup, you're good to go. 

How To Measure Belt Sander Belts

There are some fairly easy ways to measure a belt sander belt; it doesn't need to be complicated. Our favorite method is by resting an unused belt on a flat surface, pushing down to make the belt flat, measuring the side facing you, and then doubling the figure you get. 

How to Clean a Belt Sander 

Maintaining your belt sander is important to keep it working efficiently. Below is a step by step guide on how to properly clean your belt sander. 

  1. You'll need an old shoe sole or abrasive stick cleaner, which helps remove buildup

  2. Clamp your belt sander to a vise and ensure it's secure but not too tight that it'll damage the tool; ensure the belt side is facing upwards

  3. Turn the sander on and run the cleaning stick or shoe sole along with sanding belt in small 1cm sections; when you see the buildup disappear, that's when you can move on to another section

Conclusion 

Belt sanders come in a variety of sizes and offer many uses on multiple sanding and grinding tasks. The above article contains everything you need to know before buying your next belt sander. 

People Also Ask

Of course, there are going to be a few questions remaining, which is why we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding small belt sanders. 

What Is A Belt Sander? 

A belt sander comes as a handheld or static unit; they operate in a linear motion using a sanding belt. They can often be considered as an aggressive sander and mainly used for material removal. 

How Much Is A Belt Sander? 

The average price range of a small, quality belt sander is between $50 and $150. Luckily, we also have an article on the best belt sanders under $100