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The Benchtop Sander – Essential Garage Equipment

Are you thinking about buying a benchtop sander? The belt disc sander is a fabulous machine, tackling both trimming and smoothing beautifully, faster than hand tools and with no sharpening required, a biggie when sharpening tools properly – often a skilled job – can be such a pain in the ass if you’re not experienced. That’s why you’ll find benchtop sanders in home workshops as well as professional workshops and garages. They’re easy to use, a pleasure to work with and handy for everyone from carpenters and construction workers to hobbyists making furniture, in fact any job where wood is involved. Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing the Best Benchtop Sander for the Job

Benchtop wood sanders are generally used in the early stages of the sanding process, perfect for the fast removal of paints, stains, dirt and various unwanted wood finishes. They’re great for speeding up what can be a painfully slow process when done by hand. A good quality disc belt sander is a tough machine, powerful and built to last. While benchtop sanders are not as portable as handheld versions, they’re a whole lot more versatile and powerful. The best provide you with both a belt and a disc, all built into a single convenient machine.

It’s always good to spend as much as you can afford and get the best possible quality for your cash. Better sanders are an essential investment when you work with larger pieces of wood or do a lot of sanding work. While a handheld sander works great for simply cleaning up a finished product, the benchtop versions are ideal for heavier duty work, with more power and a bigger sandpaper surface on offer. Buy one with a really powerful motor and you’ll be able to sand a lot more than wood, using it on tough surfaces like metals and plastics as well.

A benchtop belt disk sander will deliver all the power and versatility you need for most home projects. The freestanding version is a lot more costly, takes heavier grade sandpapers and is usually bought for commercial applications. So what makes a really good worktop disk sander?

The Best Disc Sanders – Things to Look Out For

  • The adjustability of the belts – can you tilt them enough? If the belt drive is stationary you won’t enjoy that essential flexibility you need for detail work. Find one that tilts as much as 90  degrees and it should handle everything you need it to with ease as well as providing a more comfortable grip without any bending or twisting, which can be fatal for your back!
  • How sturdy is the base of your chosen bench belt sander? A cast iron base is best of all, very heavy and rugged, designed to stop vibrations in their tracks and making it safer and more comfortable to use
  • Motor size is also important. The power is measured in RPM, revs per minute, and the higher the RPMs, the more aggressive the sanding. Benchtop sanding tools with lower RPMs will rotate slower, better suited to small projects. Higher RPM levels are best for bigger jobs, heavier sandpaper grades and deeper sanding
  • Look for a model with a tension release lever, which lets you change the sandpaper grit levels quickly and easily
  • How heavy is the machine itself? A disc sander with a powerful motor weighs a lot more

9 Tips for Electric Sander Safety, Care and Maintenance

Any tool that runs on electricity, with moving parts, deserves respect. Here are some essential safety and maintenance measures:

  1. Always wear protective goggles or a face mask to protect yourself against flying dust and larger chips of wood, plastic or metal debris
  2. Wear protective gloves for the same reason – your hands are probably your most precious tools!
  3. Make sure the belt isn’t either too tight or loose
  4. Stop sanding the second the paper comes loose
  5. Never use too much force when pressing the material you’re sanding against the wheel
  6. Always sand using a downward stroking motion, never upwards towards your face
  7. Care for the machine properly, following ther advice in the manual to the letter
  8. Clean out the drum after every project. You can buy a special air hose which makes things a great deal easier and cleaner
  9. Check the plugs every time, too. If they’re not working 100% they can damage the machine

Belt Disc Sander Reviews

Belt disc sander uses cover a plethora of hobby projects and bigger commercial jobs. It makes sense to buy sanding tools that meet the requirements of the jobs you carry out the most frequently, an electric sander that is fit for purpose… for your own purpose. There are some excellent belt dic sanding machine reviews online, well worht checking out. First write a list of the jobs you will be doing with your new sander, then you’ll be able to compare your real-life requirememnts with the reviews you’re reading.

How to Use a Belt and Disc Sander

As with all power tools, it makes sense to learn how to use it safely and properly before giving it a go yourself. Here’s an excellent video.

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