About to begin your woodworking career?
I guess, so.
As you already know, you’ll need some equipment. And sander is one of the most important woodworking tools.
But not every sander can help you to achieve your goals. As a matter of fact, some sanders are so poor in quality that they are more of a hindrance rather than help.
But you want something full of quality features. That’s why you are here.
No worries. I’m here to help. Below, I will review the best bench sanders out in the market so that you can get your ideal machine.
Let’s get started.
Uses of Bench Sander
The primary use of bench sanders is as a woodworking tool. It enables you to give a proper finish to your projects.
But the use of the machine isn’t necessarily limited to only woodworking. You can use sanders also for reducing the thickness of metal or cutting plastic.
For example, if you have knives at the house that are dull as hell, then you can give those knives their edge back with the sander.
The bottom line is, sander is a versatile power tool that you can use for several purposes including woodworking and sharpening metals.
Our Best Benchtop Belt, Disc and Drum Sander Reviews
In this saturated market, it’s no easy feat to find the ideal sander. For this reason, we have come up with some recommendations which are regarded as the top benchtop sanders available in the market.
1. WEN 6500 4 X 36-Inch Belt And 6-Inch Disc Sander
It’s been more than five decades since the company was formed. In all these years, they have managed to build a great reputation among the consumers. Just like other Wen sanders, this one is also well-constructed. It comes with a cast iron frame which has holes at either end of it so that you can bolt the device to a bench.
The device can produce up to 1150 FPM, which is a decent amount of power. With this thing, you can’t take on large projects, but within its capacity, this thing does really well.
People that have limited space will like the sander as it has a small footprint. Weighing at 40 pounds,it’s neither too light to be unstable or too heavy to move around.
I’m not very impressed with the dust collection port since a significant part of the dust ends up on the bench. It will be a huge plus if the makers upgrade the dust collector. Nevertheless, the unit produces minimum noise and doesn’t vibrate much.
The included sandpaper is nice. And if you want to change the grit, it’s pretty easy. You just need to pull out the tension lever for that.
The miter gauge is made of either zinc or aluminum, while the knob is made of plastic. I must admit, the knob isn’t of the highest quality and may get broken easily. It’s also worth mentioning that both the belt and disc are sufficiently large for most of the projects.
2. JET J-41002 2-Inch By 42-Inch 3/4-Horsepower Bench Belt And 8-Inch Disc Sander
Jet tools not only manufactures sanders but other woodworking equipment as well. They are highly reputed in this industry and unlikely to alienate their loyal customers by lowering their standard.
Putting together the entire machine is a fairly easy task. As the entire process is intuitive, you won’t even have to follow the instruction guide. Nonetheless, the makers provide a few Allen wrenches with the unit to help you with the installation.
Moreover, a 100-grit disc and belt are also included with the package. The disc and belt run true and there’s no wobble at all. The motor is quite powerful and can be used to polish medium-sized objects. Also, the dust collection of the machine is also nice. It will make sure that dust does not wind up on the bench or floor.
If you are someone who doesn’t have much space in your workshop, then it’s ideal for you. For it occupies a very small amount of space. Nevertheless, you can mount this on a bench or table to work on your projects.
Keep in mind that you won’t have to bolt the machine down as this thing has rubber feet to keep the appliance still.
One big disappointment is that the device doesn’t include the variable speed option. That means you can’t adjust the speed according to the project. To make matters worse, the machine requires you to remove the table if you want to change the belt.
3. JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander
Another sander from the JET. But this one is a bit different from the earlier one. Instead of using belt and disc for sanding, this one uses a conveyor belt to smoothen your work. Nonetheless, in terms of quality, both are equally good.
You don’t need a second look at this machine to tell that this one is made really well. With 100 pounds of metal, this thing is as well-built as any other high-end drum sander.
If you are someone who prefers your machine to produce minimum noise, then look no further than this one. This one is regarded as one of the quietest sanders out there. Not that you won’t have to use earplugs, but it won’t certainly disturb your neighbors.
When it comes to ease of use, this one really shines. This thing is simple and easy to operate and thus an ideal choice for people who are looking forward to starting woodworking and have no prior experience.
The only drawback of the machine is that it takes quite a bit of effort to change the sandpaper. Let me warn you that the entire process might take a good deal of your time which could be frustrating while sanding large chunk of woods.
I have no complaints regarding the tracking of the conveyor belt. In fact, it’s great. Also, you can adjust the height to suit your purpose.
4. Porter Cable Benchtop Disc Belt Sander
Porter-cable is a renowned sander manufacturing company, and also trustworthy to the consumers. No matter whether you want to remove thickness or finish sanding with this one, it will have your back. The features that this one comes with is more than one would expect for the price.
When you run this sander, you’ll see that the motor is surprisingly powerful. The speed of the belt and disc is 2160 FPM and 3400 RPM respectively. That’s admirable considering the low price point.
Usually budget-sanders such as this one feature a small disc of either 6-inch or 4-inch. But fortunately, this one incorporates a large 8-inch disc sander, which makes the entire process much easier and enjoyable. Moreover, due to the cast iron base and rubber feet, the sander will remain stable during the sanding.
Let’s talk about some of the negative things. The included miter gauge is made of plastic and seems a bit shaky. And though it fits nicely with the disc slot, it doesn’t work well with the belt slot. Nonetheless, that’s not a big deal as you can use aluminum tape to make things more stable.
Another area that the manufacturers could improve is the dust collection system. It’s not well-equipped to catch all the dust.
It’s a really good thing that the unit features a cord that’s more than 6 feet. As a result, if you have a wall outlet close enough, then you won’t need any extension cords to plug the machine in.
5. Rockwell Rk7866 Belt Disc Sander
Rockwell has quite a reputation for offering quality sander at a very affordable price. Keeping with their reputation, this one is also priced very reasonably and offers a lot of bangs for the bucks.
I can say with full certainty that this one will be a welcome addition to your small shop. That’s because it’s remarkably lightweight for a sander and takes up a small amount of space. While the belt platform can be adjusted up to 90 °, you can adjust the sanding table from 0-45 °.
Keep in mind that this one is no industrial-grade sander. If you put too much pressure on it, then the motor might get bogged down. Also, it would have been better if the disc sander was a tad bigger.
Another thing that I didn’t like about the sander is that it doesn’t come with any manual guide. An instruction guide should always be included to ensure proper setup of the machine. That said, the installation is pretty intuitive, and you should have the device up and running within 10 minutes.
The included 80 grit sandpaper is of good quality. Moreover, this thing is unbelievably easy to use and a perfect tool for beginners.
Compare to the other budget-appliances; this one is built solidly. At least, It’s not going to wobble while you work on your project. And what’s more, quick-release belt lever has been used to take tension off the belt, which makes changing sandpaper a far lot easier.
6. RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt With 5" Disc Sander
I bet you won’t find another sander that offers so much in terms of both quality and performance at such a low price. If you are someone new to sanding and don’t want to spend a ton of money at the beginning, then this one might be the ideal choice for you.
I love how quietly the machine works. In fact, it works so quietly that you don’t even need to wear any hearing protection. Furthermore, unlike other cheap sanders, this thing doesn’t vibrate during the operation. As a result, the chances of mistakes get reduced remarkably.
I’d suggest this machine to people who have limited space at their place. For it’s a relatively small sander and doesn’t occupy a large area.
The dust control system is bound to make a positive impression on you. Let me assure you that you won’t have dust flying at your workplace and can use this thing even without a mask. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a separate port for both belts and the disc sander.
What’s really nice is that all the screws are made of metal. That makes the sander look good and makes the machine durable as well. Another feature that you’ll surely like is the support table which is solid and easily adjustable.
Since the motor is kept in a metal case, the machine is likely to last long. Besides, the motor runs well and is sufficiently powerful.
7. Palmgren 2" X 42" Belt, 6" Disc Bench Finishing Machine
Due to being a big brand, the expectation from Palmgren is always high. And I must say, they have delivered. Be assured that for the price, you won’t be disappointed as it’s considered as one of the best benchtop sanders out there.
Though you can’t use it like an industry-grade sander, it does its job nicely within its own capability. Keep in mind that this thing is meant to be work as a sharpener, and ideal for sharpening knives and similar objects. The bottom line is, if you need to work on cutlery, this machine will work very well for you.
The sander is able to remove material really fast without the belt losing balance. As it cuts aggressively, you’d want to start slow.
Though there’s no issue with the ability of the dust collector, you might not be pleased with where it has been placed. It has been positioned in a way that requires you to remove the dust collector every time you decide to change the sanding discs.
The speed of the belt is 4400 SFPM, while the disc runs at 3500 RPM. Moreover, the motor can generate more than sufficient power for sharpening sharp objects. However, I’m not impressed with the build quality. But then again, it’s a sharpener and not meant to be used for heavy-duty tasks.
Nonetheless, you’ll be pleased with the size of the disc and the belt (6-inch and 42-inch respectively). That means you’ll be able to take on projects of considerable size.
8. POWERTEC BD 4800 Woodworking Belt Disc Sander
This one is one of the cheapest belt and disc sanders out there. And the quality is also impressive. But if you are looking for something that will be perfect right out of the box, then this sander isn’t for you. You may want to look at some of the more expensive options.
What makes this thing stand out is the powerful motor. The power that the motor generates is good enough for most of the projects. So, that’s a huge plus for the low-cost sander.
Regarding the dust catcher, it isn’t very effective. So, I’d suggest that you use a mask to protect yourself from the dust if you decide to purchase this one. The machine comes mostly pre-assembled and doesn’t take a lot of time to set up.
The makers have left no room for a complaint concerning the build quality. The machine is made well and doesn’t come across as an inexpensive sander.
If you prefer to work in silence, then this thing isn’t for you. It produces a lot of noise and thus using hearing protection is mandatory. But then again this is a power tool and expected to be a bit noisy.
A feature that distinguishes it from other inexpensive options is the large 8-inch disc sander. Most sanders at this price range feature smaller disc sander. So, it’s a pleasant surprise to see the sander don a relatively larger disc.
9. BUCKTOOL 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander
If you have ever used a sander before, then you must know Bucktool. Perhaps, you have used one of their sanders. Now, as regards to this one, the machine offers great performance and chews through wood and aluminum easily.
Unlike other sanders at the price range, this one is well-equipped to sand larger projects. But do not push it too much. Otherwise, it could get bogged down.
The operation of the sander is exceedingly smooth. In fact, you can use the device without bolting to it a bench. However, you’d be well advised to secure the power tool to its place.
A problem that I have seen in most of the budget sanders is that changing sandpaper is often an arduous task. But this one is an exception and allows you to change the sandpaper with relative ease. As a result, you’ll have a good deal of your precious time saved.
When it comes to construction, this one is on par with some of the high-end sanders. Needless to say, it’s designed to last long and will serve you for years to come. So, if you value durability, then give this machine a try.
It would also be nice if it had a longer support table. You might think of myself as a bit picky; I believe the support table should be strong and long enough so that you get a stable platform to work your magic on the projects.
10. Powermatic 1791291K Model 31A 6-Inch/12-Inch 1-1/2 Horsepower Belt/Disc Sander
If budget is no problem for you, then I recommend that you go with this one. I am aware that this thing is super expensive, but it comes with premium features and is counted amongst the best bench sanders. The moment you set your eyes on the machine, you’ll realize that this is not your run-of-the-mill sander.
When you pay so much money, you expect perfection. Though this one doesn’t deliver perfection, it comes seriously close. The body is extremely well-built, and the casting is industrial-grade.
And what’s more, if you ever decide to swap out the motor for something more powerful you have the option to do so. Also, belt tracking is pretty impressive.
The dust catcher does a really good job of keeping the space clean. Not that nothing escapes from the dust collector, but it catches most of it. Nonetheless, do wear a face mask for dust protection.
It’s very simple to put the machine together. You’ll be able to set the entire thing up within minutes. Also, it’s incredibly easy to change the position of the belt which makes using the machine a whole hack of a lot easier.
Despite being such a powerful tool, it runs relatively quiet. Furthermore, this thing manages to hog out wood and metal without much vibration.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Apart from my benchtop sander reviews, you’ll also need a buying guide to find the right sander. So, here are the features that you need to consider before making an investment.
The types of project you work on will be determined by how powerful the machine is.If the machine is weak and the motor is unable to generate much power, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to work on large projects.
If you intend to sand huge stock, then I suggest that you get something that’s really powerful such as Powermatic 1791291K.
It’s highly important that the machine is well constructed and durable. Otherwise, it won’t serve you for long, and you will find yourself rummaging through the internet for another sander.
As I have mentioned in my benchtop drum sander reviews, the JET 628900 is one of the most well-constructed machines on the market and can be a good choice for you.
Also, make sure the machine comes with a solid base so that it doesn’t tip during mid-operation.
Unless you want to find yourself covered in dust after every working session, you need a sander with quality dust control.
Therefore, check if the dust catcher is good enough to protect you from the dust. That said, no dust collector could eliminate the dust problem entirely.
It would be a good idea to use a face mask to save yourself from the wood particles.
No matter how great the sander is, it won’t be of any good to you if you can't fit it into your garage or workplace.
Hence, before you decide to buy a sander, ask yourself if you will be able to accommodate the machine in your place.
If it seems too big for your space, do not buy the device irrespective of how amazing the deal seems.
You don’t want to spend a ton of time to round something off or reduce the thickness of a material.
What you want is a sanding machine that works fast.
So, the speed of both disc and belt is worth considering.
Also, it would be better if the machine features variable speed so that you can have better control over the entire procedure.
If the machine vibrates too much during sanding, then the chances are high that the project will get ruined.
To protect your work from unfortunate accidents, it’s imperative that you buy a sander that has minimum vibration.
Since sander is a power tool, it’s bound to make some noises. There’s no way you could work in complete silence.
However, some companies keep the noise level to a minimum, which is a great plus.
Though certainly not a crucial aspect, it’d be nice if the machine doesn’t make too much sound.
Having read all these bench sander reviews and the buying guide, I’m sure you have formed an opinion in your mind.
So, let me know in the comments section which one you are purchasing along with your feedback on my benchtop belt sander reviews.
And if you have any further queries regarding sanders, I’ll be glad to help.