On this page you can find all the various wide belt sanders that we have for sale on the platform, but you can also find various tips to make sure that you’re getting just the type of equipment that will satisfy your needs, at the best price possible.
There are two very unfortunate scenarios. The first one is where you end up buying a wide belt sander and you find out that you could have gotten a much cheaper version that would have fully satisfied the requirements that you have. It’s our intention here at Atlantic Aspiration to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
The alternative is that you end up buying a piece of equipment that can barely handle your needs, where the truth of the matter is that you would have been a lot better off with a larger belt sander that is more suitable for your commercial needs.
What are they used for?
Whether you’re installing a floor, have a small shop or otherwise work with wood, you will know that it doesn’t come in those beautiful finishes that you see when you go to buy it, and prior to it getting that end quality, there are a lot of different steps that are taken, including the potential sanding and treatment of the wood.
If you’re simply a DIY who likes to work in your garage, there’s probably no need for you to buy an elaborate piece of equipment to deal with those rough edges, but if you provide commercial services, there is no way you will be able to do the sanding work required for these types of jobs.
Although the manual way of sanding surfaces is by far the most laborious, there are a range of options in between also that many people consider, why we also have a page specifically dedicated to drum sanders – a more affordable option than the wide belt sander, yet still a solution that may be able to get the job done for commercial purposes too.
What is the best one?
If you Google, you will be quick to find that the options for this type of machinery are many with Google suggesting the wide belt sanders being the SHOP FOX W1756, Safety Speed WBS3760101, SHOP FOX W1738, Woodtek 924006 and the SHOP FOX W1709.
We personally believe that it is quite the simplification to simply say that those are the best ones out there, when that doesn’t at all take into consideration your personal needs and wishes.
A review of the things to look for in your search – the ultimate buying guide
While you can choose to buy any of the different machines listed on this page, they’re not all going to best serve the functions that you are looking for, as there are certain features that not only make for a better one, but make for the right one.
If you are going to be spending this much money on a piece of equipment for your shop, you will also want to make sure that it actually does what it’s supposed to, and that includes providing you with the various options accessible through an easy-to-use interface and control panel.
Control panels are very standard on these machines these days, through which you are more easily able to see everything that is going on and change the various settings. It can therefore be a good idea to figure out if the machine has an operating system that you feel comfortable with.
The ability to regulate the speed of the sander
While really cheap wide belt sanders may have very limited options as to what they will allow you to do, the reasonable ones will provide you with the various options that are needed, including the easy possibility to actually change settings when it comes to the sander. Without the ability to do that it would be like pruning flowers with a chainsaw – you would have absolutely no control over doing very specific work and just being at the mercy of the machine hoping that its settings work for you.
Working together with your current dust collection system
When you’re doing woodwork in this manner, it’s very important that you are aware of the need to protect your internal organs, including your lungs and that means that a good dust collection system is needed in combination with the sanding system that you have, why you will need to make sure the two are compatible and working in a way that you won’t be exposed to all the dust that comes from the sanding.
How many HP do you need for the job?
The standard for these machines is generally around 20 HP but it is more important that you’re considering the various things important for your needs like the quantity and type of materials you will be running through it.
Look for safety measures
When you’re operating machine shop equipment, safety is always a concern and it is no different with these types of machines, where you will want to make sure the machine has easy ways of stopping its operation if a situation arises where it is needed.
How do you go about changing the abrasive belt?
Over time, sanding will wear down the abrasive belt to a point where it is no longer efficient at its use and where you will want to change it so you can keep continuing the work you’re doing. It is important that you make sure the way the belt is changed is a way that you are happy about, as you will otherwise find yourself annoyed when you start having to do work with the machine. For drum sanders alike, there are different ways of changing the belt with one being able to remove the belt whereas another is adhered on and the belt is therefore ruined when it is removed at a later point.
Digital readouts ensure that you get the specifications required
With a lot of these things, it is not ideal if you’re off the measurements required even by one tenth of an inch, and having the sander provide digital readouts ensures that you’re not suddenly shipping wood to the opposite side of the country just to find out that it didn’t have the necessary specifications.
Best wide belt sander for a commercial, small shop
If we were to simplify and say that there is the right wide belt sander for a small shop that still has a bunch of commercial needs, our best recommendation on the basis of various reviews would be for you to get the SHOP FOX W1678, however your options are many and depend on a variety of what it is you’re looking for in terms of functionality, and what it is you are planning on using it for. There are smaller and bigger options where one may be better for certain types of purposes, where other, bigger industrial needs could very easily mean that one recommendation for a wide belt sander may be perfect for one shop but simply might not get the job done, if you are looking for a specific feature or if you have especially wide and thick boards that you are hoping to sand.
It’s important to know that there are certain features that are preferred for certain types of work, and these machines also come in varying degrees of automation. While we don’t recommend it, there is also the option of buying a used piece of machinery, but the issue with that is that there is no guarantee that you will get the level of performance that you are hoping for because the previous owner may be selling a piece of machinery that they were already aware wasn’t going to offer a whole bunch more before it naturally gives up, perhaps because the machine has been having a lot of issues in the past.
It is important that you know what you are getting yourself into before you buy a wide belt sander as they cost a lot of money. We also encourage you to be careful in choosing a machine that comes from one of the manufacturers that we trust.
Small, 24 inch options when it comes to wide belt sanders
When it comes to wide belt sanders, the 24 inch is generally considered a small option, and here’s a quick overview of some of the popular models, including those sold by Grizzly.
From Grizzly, you’ll find the popular Grizzly G0582 which includes some of the popular features we talked about like digital readouts, powered table elevation, access to variable speed settings and more.
Another popular alternative that comes in at almost the same price includes the SHOP FOX W1710, which also has digital readouts, and it is extremely easy to change the belt system, too.
36 & 37 inch options
36 and 37 inch wide belt sanders are other, bigger more commercially minded machines that our users are looking for. We find that the SHOP FOX W1738 is a very popular option with its many features, including a safety shut-off bar, rubber pressure drums, integrated dust ports and more.
In future versions of this article, we plan on including a bunch more information like talking about the versions from:
- woodtek 13
- and other industrial grade options
Those versions of this document will also talk more about drum sanders vs wide belt sanders, and what their differences are so that you can make a calculated decision.
wide belt sander vs drum sander – what’s the difference?
How much do wide belt sanders cost?
These machines vary significantly in cost, but if you’re looking to buy from a reputable company, you can get an open-end 15″ wide belt sander for roughly $5,000. A 36 or 37 inch option will cost you somewhere between $11,000 and $16,000. A 24 inch wide belt sander will cost you around $10,200.
Safety Speed WBS3760101
This is a popular piece of machinery that is among the most searched for online, and depending on where you’re buying it from, you can get this piece of machinery at a really good price, considering all the various features it brings to the table. The Safety Speed WBS3760101 also offers another great thing and that is that you will be supporting the US economy with it. Yes, that’s right. This bad boy was made in the US. It’s a great and popular option for small woodworking shops as this piece of machinery packs a lot of the features that are so popular with some of the bigger pieces of machinery, while still being a very affordable machine, everything considered. With either a single phase motor you’re able to get 10 HP or raw power or with a three phase motor, you can achieve 15 HP of power, and with 5 emergency stops, you are also making sure that everything you are doing is done in a safe manner. It is also able to sand down an impressive thickness of 184 mm, or the equivalent of 7-1/4″, making this a considerable upgrade compared to a thing like a drum sander that can usually not handle such thick boards.
SHOP FOX W1738
The SHOP FOX W1738 is another recommended piece of machinery that is manufactured by Woodstock International and has the capability to offer you sanding of bords as wide as 37″, which can be convenient for small shops as well as people building doors or places that make cabinets. This machine includes a 15 HP three phase sanding motor making it perfect for those that require industrial grade equipment. It even has a built-in ir filter and regulator. Need precision? This machine offers digital control providing you with accuracy to 0.005″, which we find really quite impressive. It has all the bells and whistles including a variable-speed conveyor, among other features, making it easy for the user to achieve that perfect finish you are looking for.
While it may seem like a smaller investment, this is a machine that operates on 440V, so there are additional components that you will need in order to operate this machine, if you don’t already have them in your shop. Hopefully the information on this page has helped you get a better understand of some of your options when it comes to wide belt sanders.