Imagine trying to complete a large woodworking task with a detail sander. It would take forever to get the job done, slowing you down. That’s why benchtop sanders are so useful. They speed up the process and save you time.
We take a tour of the best benchtop sanders to give you the lowdown on what they do and why they are so good.
- Wheel speed of 3,460 RPM
- 60-grit grinding surface
- Powerful 3.5-amp motor
- 58 OPM
- 2,000 RPM
- 6 interchangeable sanding sleeves
- 2-in-1 sanding machine
- Disc speed of 3,450 RPM
- 8-inch grinding disc
- 4.3-Amp motor
- Generates 3,600 RPM
- Cast iron base
- 12-inch disc
- Powerful 8-Amp motor
- Cast iron vacuum port
- Features a miter gauge
- 3-in-1 tool
- Cast iron tilting table
- Smart control monitor
- Has a stand with conveyor system
- 4-inch extraction port
What Are Benchtop Sanders Used For?
Benchtop sanders are designed to maximize efficiency when working on larger projects. They enable you to minimize the amount of effort and time when completing woodwork tasks.
Benchtop sanders are also excellent for smaller work, where detail is a necessity, and they can even sharpen your favorite knives. Many models have a disc attachment that enables you to grind and shape metal and wood to create intricate designs.
Common Types of Benchtop Sanders
The most commonly used benchtop sanders fall into 2 categories, namely, disc and belt sanders. While they are slightly different, they do the same things.
Belt sanders are versatile. They can be used as handheld devices or stationary tabletop varieties. They operate by an electric motor rotating a pair of drums to turn a looped abrasive belt.
These sanders range from large to small and cater to lighter as well as heavy-duty work. Belt sanders have a dust collection bag to safely store any hazardous waste, while some connect directly to a dry central vacuum unit to remove all traces of debris from the workplace.
Disc sanders are stationary machines used to smooth wooden surfaces. It is common to clamp disc sanders in place to restrict them from moving while you work. The disc has abrasive paper attached and rotates while you feed the wood.
You can adjust the angles of the sander to accommodate awkward shapes, and it has a dust collection system to remove debris. Disc sanders are versatile because you can use them on wood, metal, and plastic.
How To Choose the Best Benchtop Sanders
So, what should you be looking for when shopping for a benchtop sander? What are the number one considerations? Let’s take a look.
The size of the motor dictates what tasks your sander is suited to. Some are better for small projects and occasional DIY tasks, while others perform better in an industrial and commercial setting.
Just remember that sanders tend to run hot, so it might be advisable to rest your sander at regular intervals to give it time to cool down.
How Versatile Is It?
Versatility is not only better for multiple tasks; it also saves you money buying different sanders for different jobs. You might like to work exclusively with wood, but some people want to work with metal and composites.
Getting a benchtop sander with a belt and a disc is your best bet because it can handle most large and small tasks with ease, and when you want to swap wood for metal, you can.
What About Dust Collection?
Dust collection is an essential part of the tool because removing hazardous waste keeps you safe. Wood debris contains pollutants that cause damage to the lungs when inhaled. Sometimes, the long-term effects of dust inhalation can lead to serious, life-threatening diseases.
So, keeping the debris from your face is vital. Never buy a benchtop sander that doesn’t offer dust collection.
Most collect the waste matter in a canister or bag, ready to empty when it becomes full. Some allow you to connect a hose to a central vacuum system that removes all the workplace pollutants.
Look for Quality
There is no substitute for quality. You get what you pay for, so buying cheap is not always the best policy. It might be an idea to look for well-known brands like Jet, Bucktool, and WEN. That way, you know that you are getting quality.
Try and avoid cheap components or loose-fitting parts. It needs to feel solid, right from the get-go. Read customer reviews online to get a handle on what people are saying. Ask friends and family if they have experience with your preferred brand.
In the end, you will hopefully have a good idea of which one is best and why.
What’s Your Budget?
Budget is the key driver in most of our decisions. Not everyone has an endless pot of money, so the price you pay will affect the type of tool you get. Try and avoid the cheapest if you can, and go for something in the mid-price bracket.
That way, you are not getting a cheaply made tool, nor are you paying a fortune.
The Best Benchtop Sanders of 2022
With so many makes and models to choose from, it can be quite confusing to choose.
We narrowed the search down to our favorite 7 benchtop sanders.
1. Bucktool BG2600 Combo Belt Sander Belt Grinder
If you are looking for a benchtop sander suited to knife making, this Bucktool combo model is ideal. Not only does it have a 120-grit, 42-inch by 2-inch belt sander, but it also has a 6-inch bench grinder, which is perfect for sharpening and shaping knives.
The grinding wheel has a 60-grit surface with a face shield to protect against debris and sparks. It removes rust and paint with ease. You can also adjust the belt sander to sit flat, at 0 degrees or 90 degrees.
The motor is 3.5 amps, generating 3,450 RPM (revolutions per minute) wheel speed, as well as 4,480 FPM (feet per minute) belt speed. It has fast belt tensioning and an easy tracking knob, as well as tool-free belt changing.
Ideal for Knife Sharpening
When you are making and sharpening knives, you need a tool that caters to your chosen material. This Bucktool has a belt sander and a 6-inch grinding disc, and a brush wheel for rust removal.
Cast Iron Base
When you need stability, you can’t get much better than a cast iron base. The added weight keeps the sander in place, making it easier to adjust your material without fearing that the sander will move.
Powerful 3.5-Amp Motor
The 3.5-amp motor generates a wheel speed of 3,460 RPM and a belt speed of 4,480 FPM. That’s ample for most grinding and sanding tasks.
This Bucktool is not the cheapest sander to make the list. You would need a decent budget to afford this, making it unlikely to be a favorite with novices and occasional users.
|Dimensions (inches)||25 x 19.5 x 12.25|
|Belt size (inches)||42 x 2|
2. WEN 6510T 3.5-Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander
When you need a specialist tool for shaping edges, this WEN spindle sander is ideal. It has a 3.5-amp motor, providing 58 orbits per minute (OPM) and 2,000 RPM. This sander works by the sanding drum spinning and moving up and down at the same time.
It comes with 6 different sanding sleeves to help you adjust gradients for detailed work, plus 5 rubber drum spindles. It has a cast-iron work table that measures 15 x 11.5 inches, and it has a 1.5-inch dust port to extract hazardous debris.
The base has pre-drilled holes to enable you to clamp it to a work table, ensuring it stays in place during operation.
Ideal for Detail Sanding
If you are hand-building a kitchen or making cabinetry, this spindle sander is the ideal tool to use. It has different sanding sleeves to adjust the gradient, plus it gives you the versatility you need.
Stability is crucial if you want the best results when sanding. This WEN has pre-drilled holes so you can screw it to the worktop. Once bolted down, it definitely won’t move.
Versatility and Detail
With a 15 x 11.5-inch table and interchangeable sanding sleeves, there is no limit to the type of detail you can achieve. Creating awkward shapes and intricate edges are a breeze with this spindle sander.
While it is the ideal tool for edges and corners, its specialist nature restricts the type of projects you can work on. If you need a sander for a large task, find something more suitable.
|Dimensions (inches)||20.3 x 15.5 x 24|
|Belt size (inches)||N/A|
3. Bucktool BD4801 Bench Belt Sander
This is a 2-in-1 sanding machine, thanks to the 4 x 36-inch sanding belt and the 8-inch grinding disc. When you are shaping, polishing, and grinding metal, nothing could be better. This sander has a direct-drive motor that increases efficiency by 25 percent.
It also generates a disc speed of 3,450 RPM and a belt speed of 2,161 FPM. The sanding belt adjusts from 90 degrees to zero degrees, giving greater flexibility when working with metal, and the cast aluminum base and rubber feet keep the whole thing steady.
Thanks to the direct-drive motor, this sander is almost completely maintenance-free, making life so much easier and giving you more time to concentrate on your projects.
Ideal for Metal
The sanding belt is adjustable, so you can grind and smooth almost any metal shape, while the 8-inch wheel shapes and curves metal and wood to give you the best results.
Direct-drive motors are more efficient and require less maintenance. It makes this model almost maintenance-free, allowing you to spend less time fretting about malfunctions.
Versatility and Detail
The grinding disc shapes and smooths rough metal edges, as well as wood and other materials, while the adjustable sanding belt makes light work of larger pieces of wood and metal.
While there are other more expensive sanders on the market, this Bucktool is far from cheap. It costs double the price of the WEN models, making it a costly tool. That said, it is a quality item.
|Dimensions (inches)||22.6 x 20 x 11|
|Belt size (inches)||4 x 36|
4. WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander
Like the Bucktool models, the belt sits from 90 degrees to completely flat with a simple adjustment knob. The belt measures 4 x 36 inches, so it rivals the Bucktool model, and the grinding disc is slightly smaller, at 6 inches.
Where the two models really differ is in the price. This one is almost half that of the Bucktool. It has a 4.3-amp motor that generates 3,600 RPM, and the safety guard above the grinding wheel protects your eyes from flying debris.
The dust port measures 2.25 inches, and the table next to the grinding disc has a miter. Couple all the above with a cast iron base with mounting holes, and you have an affordable benchtop sander that delivers the same performance as some more expensive models.
Ideal for Woodworking
The disc removes rough edges and shapes wood, while the wide sanding belt allows you to work on larger pieces to get super-smooth results. The belt sander adjusts angles as well, making it easier to sand awkward angles.
When it comes to power, this WEN has it in spades. The 4.3-amp engine drives the disc and belt, generating speeds of 3,600 RPM. That’s more than enough for most tasks.
When you compare this sander with the competition, one thing that stands out is the price-tag. It retails at almost half the cost of the Bucktool comparable model, and yet it doesn’t suffer an inferior performance.
Build Quality Issues
WEN products are not intended for the premium market. They are cheap and cheerful, which explains why there is so much plastic included in their designs. Plastic is a cheaper substitute for metal and aluminum and affects the durability of the sander.
|Dimensions (inches)||22 x 11 x 12.5|
|Belt size (inches)||4 x 36|
5. Eastwood 12-Inch Heavy-Duty Disc Sander
Okay, so now we get to the dedicated disc sander, and this Eastwood packs a punch. The disc measures 12 inches, and the 8-amp motor generates 1.25 horsepower. The table adjusts to create complicated angles, and the table miter enables you to work consistently while shaping the metal and wood.
The emphasis is on sturdiness with this disc sander. The base is cast iron, and it has rubber feet to increase grip and reduce vibration. Even the vacuum port is cast iron. With all this sturdy metal construction, this sander will last for years to come.
When you need to work hard, you need a disc sander up to the task. This Eastwood model is almost all cast iron, so you can expect it to last the distance and keep working for years to come.
Powerful 8-Amp Motor
If you want power, you can have it, thanks to the 8-amp motor. It means you can grind metal, wood, and other materials with ease. It generates 1.25 horsepower, which is more than enough for most tasks.
The exhaust port connects directly to the central vacuum in your workspace. It means all the debris is sucked away to a central storage area, keeping you safe.
It’s a disc sander, so you may find it restricts you to fewer tasks. It is better suited to shaping and grinding edges and corners rather than sanding large flat surfaces.
|Dimensions (inches)||18 x 20.3|
|Belt size (inches)||N/A|
6. Jet J-41002 Bench Belt Sander
This Jet benchtop sander is a deluxe model. It features a miter gauge that locks in place for cutting multiple 45-degree angles, a cast iron tilting table, a heavy-duty steel base, and rubber feet.
The belt sander measures 2 x 42 inches, and the sanding wheel is 8 inches in diameter. The 0.75 horsepower motor generates a disc speed of 3,450 RPM and a belt speed of 3,100 FPM, so it has the power to tackle most tasks.
This benchtop sander performs the same functions as a jigsaw, a coping saw and a hand file. The only downside with this sander is the price-tag. It retails at twice the amount of the Bucktool models, making it the second most expensive sander to feature.
With a heavy-duty steel base, a cast iron construction, and precision engineering, this Jet sander is built to last. So, while it may be expensive, it should last the distance.
It does the job of a jigsaw, a coping saw, and a hand sander. That’s three vital woodworking tools in one sander.
Not only does it have a locking miter gauge for repeated accurate angles, but the table also tilts up and down to increase the capacity of the cuts you can make.
Given that this sander costs twice the price of the Bucktool models, this is likely to appeal to professionals and experienced woodworkers alike. It is unlikely to feature on any novice wish lists.
|Dimensions (inches)||20.5 x 22.75 x 20|
|Belt size (inches)||2 x 42|
7. Jet 723520K JWDS -2550 Drum Sander with Stand
Drum sanders are the ultimate big project tool. This Jet model sits on a stand that measures 24 x 50 inches to increase stability. It also channels the dust and debris through the hood to a 4-inch extraction port to remove hazardous material from the workplace.
The SandSmart control continuously monitors the load on the drum and changes the conveyor speed, while the variable speed control maxes out at 10 feet per minute. You can adjust the table to different angles using the tool-less table parallelism dial.
The aluminum drum is precision machined to reduce heat and protect your material from heat damage. The drum motors provide independent control and optimal feed, with the newly designed conveyor system pulling the material through rather than you pushing.
Ideal for Big Projects
Drum sanders are the perfect solution when you need to sand a lot of wood fast. The conveyor system pulls the workpiece through rather than pushing, speeding up the process.
Comes With a Stand
If you are stuck for somewhere to mount this sander, don’t fret. It comes with a 24 x 50-inch stand with adjustable feet and the option of fitting casters for increased mobility.
Excellent Dust Extraction
The hood sits above the drum and extracts chippings, dust, and debris, removing them from the workpiece and channeling them into a 4-inch dust port.
You would only consider getting this drum sander if you were an experienced woodworker or a professional construction site worker. The cost inhibits most buyers from choosing this model.
|Dimensions (inches)||51.81 x 27 x 30.69|
|Belt size (inches)||Not stated|
|Product||Best||Weight||Dimensions||RPM||Additional wheel||Belt size||Amps||Grit||Warranty|
|Bucktool Belt Sander & Grinder||Knife Making||39 lbs||25 x 19.5 x 12.25″||4,480||Yes||42 x 2″||3.5||60/120||2-year limited|
|WEN Oscillating Spindle Sander||Spindle Sander||30 lbs||20.3 x 15.5 x 24″||2,000||No||N/A||4||80||2-year|
|Bucktool Bench Belt Sander||Metal||40.1 lbs||22.6 x 20 x 11″||3,450||Yes||4 x 36″||5||80||1-year|
|WEN Belt and Disc Sander||Woodworking||39 lbs||22 x 11 x 12.5″||3,600||Yes||4 x 36″||4.3||80||1-year limited|
|Eastwood Heavy-Duty Disc Sander||Disc Sander||61.6 lbs||18 x 20.3″||N/A||No||N/A||8||N/A||1-year|
|Jet Bench Belt Sander||Belt Sander||60 lbs||20.5 x 22.75 x 20″||3,450||Yes||2 x 42″||N/A||N/A||2-year|
|Jet Drum Sander with Stand||Drum Sander||234 lbs||51.81 x 27 x 30.69″||N/A||No||N/A||1.75||80||5-year|
How High To Mount a Benchtop Sander
Where you mount your benchtop sander depends on your height. There is no right or wrong answer here. If you are 6 ft 4 inches, your sander will be higher than someone 4 ft 6 inches.
Also, do you intend to sand sitting down or standing up? Most people prefer to mount their benchtop sander at between 30 and 34 inches, which caters to the average size person.