How to Use a Belt Sander? Easiest Way Described

Who wastes time now by doing manual sanding? Belt sanders have sorted the woodworker’s life a bit more. Now sanding wood pieces are way too easy with a belt sander. However, though they are of good use, they are not widely used in woodworking. Woodworkers often don’t use this device. That being said, when sanding work much and needs to be done faster, there isn’t any better alternative than a belt sander.

There is a lot of use of a belt sander, from making curved shape on small wood pieces, correcting misaligned joints, removing the top layer of the wooded floor, metal fabrication job to sanding the guitar neck, there is a lot you can do with a belt sander.

So if you are curious to know how to use a belt sander, then you are in the right spot. Not only using process, but there is also some additional information as well that you will in the future. And without any further ado, let’s get down to it.


In a belt sander, a belt rotates continuously at full speed. And it can catch anything that comes over it since it has a finer grit. So when you do sanding, make sure you do not wear loose cloth or anything else that might come in contact with the belt. If you are lady, make sure you take care of your hair, otherwise, it will lead to severe damage. Wearing a hoodie leaving the hair inside should work fine, but make sure that is well fitted, not loose.

And then you would want to wear proper hand gloves, so if in any case, your finger comes in contact with the belt, it wouldn’t be injuring. And lastly, wear protective eye goggles, this is when the sanding machine doesn’t come with a dust collecting bag. But still, anything can come to the eye when sanding, so it is best if you wear even a normal glass.

Pick the right belt

The very first thing you would want to do is choosing the right belt, everything depends on this. By choosing a belt I mean choosing the right coarse grit. There are belts with 40, 80, 100, and more coarse grit. And at the beginning, you should get started with 40 or 80, not more than that. That being said, the grit should be chosen depending on the material you will be sanding. Because unsuitable coarse grit can damage the material.

Secure the material

The next step is to secure the material that you will be sanding, in order words, clamping the material. Doing so will ensure that you sand the material nicely and easily. Plus, it will prevent the material from slipping as well, resulting in a greater finish.

Turn on the sander

Once you have clamped the material, now it is time to turn on the sander. Turn it on, and let it run freely for a while before you start sanding. Hold both the handles firmly and then lift it up. The rear belt should touch the material first and then rest the entire belt on the material.

Since the material is clamped strongly the sander wouldn’t be able to move the material and that will cause the sander to move forward. You have to hold the sander tightly in place. In the beginning, it might feel a little hard but with time it will get easier.

Apply decent pressure, shouldn’t be very hard and not too light. And as you sand keep watching the process and determine if you need to shift to little higher coarse grit or not. As I have mentioned before, if your belt sander comes with a dust collecting bag then you wouldn’t need protective eye goggles, otherwise, you must.

Finishing touch

Done with the sanding, got the desired finish? Then it is done! Sneak into the dust collecting bag of the sander, it should be full if you have done a lot of sanding, empty the bag, and again put it back to its place, make sure to attach securely. Before turning the sander off, let it run for a while and then turn it off and store.

Use of Belt Sander in Metal Grinding and Paint Removal

Not only wood, but belt sander also comes into play in metal grinding as well. Deburring, beveling, squaring, flattening, or rounding metal, all can be done with a belt sander. But you will need to be little experienced before using a belt sander in metal, because in metal the controlling little different, not as easy as wood sanding.

Whether it is plastic or metal pipe, or the sharp end of anything, that can be deburred with a belt sander. The task is simple, secure the material with a clamp and sand the area with the belt sander. Make sure to hold the sander tightly to prevent any slippage. Also, make sure to clamp the material properly otherwise it could lead to injuries.

Apart from this belt sanders are being used in removing stains, paint, varnishes as well. If you want to change the paint or varnish if a table, chair, or anything else, you can do it with a belt sander. Though the best sander for such work is an orbital sander, in case if you don’t have one, you can get away with a belt sander as well.

For this, you would have to attach a 60 grit coarse belt, no further than this. And then simply, sand the area from where you want to remove the paint or varnish. In that case, if the table or chair or anything else from where you are removing the paint or varnish is lightweight, you have to make sure that doesn’t move when you sand.


I am assuming now you have a better idea about how to use a belt sander. It is indeed a useful piece of device, if it is used in the right way, the satisfying result can be gained. Anyways, make sure to consider all the safety measures before using a belt sander and if there is anything more you need to know, hit us through the comment section.

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