How to Use a Belt Sander Woodworking Tool?

Last Update On: February 24, 2022 // Author:

Do you know about the most tedious activities that most woodworkers want to get rid of? If you guess finishing, smoothing, and polishing, then you have guessed the right one. Well, polishing, smoothing, and finishing can be simplified by using a power tool like a belt sander.

It is a multitasking tool with an electric motor that can be used to finish and shape wood and other materials. As the belt sander is an electric and powerful machine, it requires proper technique to use to get quality results.

Since this woodwork requires a lot of care, you must know How to Use a Belt Sander properly. Anyway, we have outlined in this context the steps required to use the belt sander properly, so stay tuned.

What Is a Belt Sander Used For?

What does a belt sander stand for? Well, it is a multi-use tool that is commonly used for smoothing rough surfaces and also leveling surfaces. Belt sander is also used for freehand routing and shaping and trimming to a scribe line as well. You can use this multitasking tool for smoothing and shaping wood and plenty of other materials.

What Is a Belt Sander Used For?

It has an electric motor that rotates the two drums on which an uninterrupted loop of sandpaper is mounted. The electric motor contains a lot of power which can handle coarse grits, and excels at removing plenty of material at high speed.

Safety Tips When Using a Belt Sander

Whether you are a beginner or a Pro Belt Sander user, you always need to follow some safety precautions. Below we have included some common safety tips you need to follow while using a belt sander.

Safety Tips When Using a Belt Sander

  • You need to wear impact-resistant eyewear, gloves, and a mask to keep yourself safe from the dust.
  • Try to wear a hearing protection kit because this machine works noisily.
  • Always unplug the sander before changing the belt and before emptying the dust bag to prevent electrical problems.
  • Don’t forget to empty the dust bag before using the sander to send a metal. That is because metal can create sparks which will cause fire issues.
  • As it is a powerful tool, always hold the belt sander tightly.
  • Always trigger off while plugging the sander in.
  • When you reach the end of your material, don’t do too much out of it with the sander. Sander will lean under his weight, surrounding the edge of the wood if you go much further.
  • You should always keep your belt sander clean. Because if the belt is clogged, the sandpaper will not work even if it is sharp.

How to Use a Belt Sander

To get a smoother workflow and better belt standing results, you must know How to Use a Belt Sander properly. Follow the below section to get a detailed outline of the belt sander’s usability.

How to Use a Belt Sander

1. Select Your Belt

Selecting the right belt is the first thing you need to ensure before beginning sanding. You can start with coarser grit like  40, 80, or 100; this will be good enough to remove scuffs and finishes. Then to get a perfect finish, you can use finer grit like 180.

However, if you want to put the belt directly to the sander, then at first release the lever. You will find the lever on the sander’s flank or side and then slide it into the wheels. After inserting, press the lever close to keep it secure.

2. Prepare the Wood or Other Material

In the second step, you have to prepare the thing you want to sand. If you want to sand wood, then clean it up and make sure it is dust-free. Using clamps can be a good idea because they will secure the wood and work on its surface.

Prepare the Wood or Other Material

When you clamp the materials, it will protect your materials from sliding off while working on them. Many stationary belt sanders come with clamps; if you do not get them, they get them from any tool store.

3. Put Safety Gear

Before proceeding to sand, put the necessary safety gear to protect yourself from occupational hazards and injuries. You need to wear goggles, gloves, loose-fitting clothes because flying wood shrapnel or dust particles can be dangerous. Goggles will protect your eyes and gloves will protect your hands from the sharp edge.

Since the dust from the sanding process is often light, it is easily driven by the wind, and you can breathe a little. You can easily prevent this by using a protection mask.

4. Start Sanding

Turn on the power button and let it run for a couple of seconds. It will allow the sander to gain enough speed before producing sanding. Gently place the belt on the wood, then lengthen and even stroke along the wood grain. Here are the steps you can follow while making the first contact.

Start Sanding

  • Apply uninterrupted pressure and avoid excessively pressing it down as it may cause scratches.
  • Run the sander evenly and avoid moving it clockwise or anti-clockwise, unless you have a design purpose.
  • Carefully work the edges of the wood through the sand grid until it gets the desired smooth.
  • Frequently stop and check the sanding progress. It will help to cool off the tool, which will prevent essential component damage.

5. Wind Up

Once you are done, ease the tool from the material and check the dust bag or ventilation bag. If the bag gets full, empty it and simply attach it again. Now switch between the sanding belts with another finer grit and repeat the process to get the job done perfectly.

Benefits of Using Belt Sander

Belt sander is an effective electric device that contains countless benefits. Here we have included some of the core benefits of it, have a look.

Benefits of Using Belt Sander

Easy to Use:

With minimal effort, you can ensure a smooth surface and shape of different materials. Along with smoothing, belt sander can also help to level rough surfaces with less effort.

Removal of Unwanted Surface Residue:

Belt sander is a powerful tool that will remove material from the surface. When you want to remove the finish and paint from any furniture, including kitchen cabinets, a belt sander can be handy. You will easily use a sander for Kitchen Cabinets and get a nice finish and shiny look.

Wide Range of Use:

Belt sander is a handy tool that you can use in a wide range of materials. Along with use for wood, a belt sander can polish the uneven surface of different materials metals like brass and aluminum.

Wide Range of Use

Good for Soft Metals:

When many conventional pedestal grinders cannot sand soft metals, a belt sander can do it easily. That is because when you use the belt sander, it will not get clogged on the materials’ surface.

Efficient Sanding:

Belt sanders work aggressively, removing plenty of materials from the surface in very little time. Nothing can beat the belt sander’s performance in removing unwanted residue and maintaining a smooth finish of materials.


Sanding is a common step used in most wood-based projects to deal with wood finishing. It is the process of polishing or smoothing a surface with sand or sandpaper. Sending can be possible in different ways, including using a manual approach or using a power tool.

Instead of sanding manually, using a power tool like a belt sander will help to save time, energy, and even money. Above, we have discussed what a belt sander is and  How to Use a Belt Sander. We also discussed what safety tips need to follow while using a belt sander. Simply follow every step of this context so that you can sand materials through a belt sander reliably.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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