Bench sanders are very useful tools for woodworkers to have in their workshops. These machines enable you to sand the wooden surfaces of your project easily. They have a heavy base and are not portable, but the best benchtop sanders are very powerful and there lies their value. After mentioning the benchtop belt sander reviews in my previous post, I have decided to put together bench sander reviews of my favorite tools I have used so far.
- WEN 6515 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander with 5 in. Sanding Disc
- Best for sanding small projects and very good for sharpening hand carving tools as well. Best cheap belt sander.
- Price not available
- BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 8 in. Disc Sander
- Best for professionals. Two sanders in one, designed for wide wooden surfaces, and a strong engine.
- RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt with 5 Disc Sander
- Best for beginners at wood carving, working with small-size basswood projects.
- Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander
- Best for new woodworkers who need a reliable tool. Dual sander for larger projects, not the best for a resilient hardwood. Best benchtop sander for the money.
- Ridgid EB4424 Sander, Oscillating/Edge Belt
- Best for finishing small-size projects. Woodworkers who need a belt and spindle sander in the same tool should choose this one.
In my previous post, Top 7 Belt Sanders to buy in 2021 – Detailed Review, I have been elaborating my experience with portable belt tools, but I have also mentioned WEN and SKIL bench sanders, among which the WEN tool is one of the best benchtop belt/disk sanders I have used so far. Sometimes after sanding my carvings roughly with a bench sander, I like to use the thin sandpaper with a very fine grit to additionally smoothen the surface. It is best if you keep your carvings in place with bar clamps when doing this, and here are some proposals for the bar clamps you can use: Top 7 Woodworking Bar Clamps Review. Of course, you don’t need bar clamps for this, but I got used to using them since I often do engravings and wood-burning over my carving projects. I recently started using a scroll saw as well, and I am quite happy with the results. Best 6 Scroll Saw – Reviews are my best picks when it comes to these tools.
Things you need to know before buying a benchtop sander
The main difference between a table sander and a handheld belt sander is the portability. A tabletop sander usually includes a belt sander, plus it most commonly also includes a disc sander on the side.
These machines are designed to stay at one spot in your workshop and they are usually very powerful for sanding wood carving projects made of softwood or hardwood. The lack of portability means that you can sand small objects and surfaces, and you cannot approach your outdoor woodworking project with these sanders.
The most important thing to consider when searching for the best table sander is the power of the engine. What you need is a durable motor and one that is strong for sanding demanding projects. It is important to pay attention to the best benchtop belt sander reviews that can suggest if the motor overheats easily.
If you are looking for quality then you won’t always find the best budget benchtop sander. The price of the sanders will also depend on whether it is the belt sander, disc sander, or you are looking for the best benchtop combination sander which contains both, but it is expectedly more expensive.
The base of the tabletop belt sander is also a significant aspect because you need minimal vibration while you are sanding. Also, check whether the sander comes with a dust collector and if the belt can be bent up to a degree, which will make your woodworking job much easier.
WEN 6515 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander with 5 in. Sanding Disc – Quality sander for sanding small carving projects
This hybrid belt plus disc sander is a top-rated belt sander by the users, and it reflects an excellent quality that every WEN benchtop sander has. Different sanders by this manufacturer vary mainly in size, and they are designed to satisfy different woodworker’s needs.
This belt sander is just one inch wide, stretched vertically with a metal disc on the bottom. This makes it easy to sharpen blades as well, including chisels and gouges, you only have to find a good grit and you’re good to go. Sandpaper is easy to replace as well.
The motor is solid and can pull at a speed as high as 3160 FPM for the belt and 3450 RPM for the disc. You can screw the base into the workbench, but it takes some effort to do it properly.
- A combined sander with a disc and a belt.
- Two dust ports for both sanders.
- Resilient engine, fast and strong.
- Good for sharpening small blades.
- 2-year warranty by the manufacturer.
- Not suitable for the wide wooden surfaces.
- The belt sander is not adjustable.
To Sum Up
This tool can be purchased for a solid price, and the quality of the machine is not questionable. The belt sander is very thin which makes this the best benchtop combo sander for small projects, and it is also great for sharpening small carving tools.
BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 8 in. Disc Sander – A combined sander with a powerful engine for professional woodworkers
This machine has a strong engine, even three times stronger than the WEN tool above. It is also heavier and bigger, with a 4-inch wide belt that is 36 inches high, and an 8-inch wide disc. It is particularly useful for bigger woodworking projects and sanding long, wide laths.
The belt is adjustable to anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees, and both aluminum tables are adjustable as well. The base is reinforced with a rubber layer to ease the vibrations, and it is very efficient. The belt tension is completely taken care of, you don’t need to spend any time adapting it.
Two dust collector ports are included for each sanding tool.
- Large belt sander and a wide disc sander combo.
- A wide, adjustable belt sander.
- Aluminum tables can be set up to an angle.
- Rubber reinforcement for the base, to prevent vibrations.
- Because of the size of the sanders, this tool is not the best choice for small sculptures or blades.
- It is expensive, and not for beginners.
To Sum Up
This is a strong machine, and a valuable piece of equipment for woodworkers and professional carvers. It is designed to be used for large projects, and because of the adjustable tables and belt, there are many possibilities of using this machine. It could be very expensive if you don’t need it for your daily job.
RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt with 5″ Disc Sander – A solid sanding machine for wood carving beginners
The belt of this sander is very thin (only one inch), and a bit shorter as well (30 inches). It is covered with a belt tracking nob, but it is not designed in the very best way, and it can still break as the belt approaches higher speed.
The disc sander is medium-sized and does a great job with the aluminum table underneath. The belt itself can bend up to 45 degrees, and both sanders have their own dust collecting ports. The engine, however, is strong for basswood or pine, but it will cause you trouble when you try it with hardwood that is hard to sand.
It is a good tool for beginner carving projects, but not at all recommended for furniture making and similar demanding woodworking endeavors.
- Adjustable belt, additionally secured on top.
- Two-in-one sander for small-size projects.
- The belt is thin for sharpening carving blades.
- Affordable price.
- Not a very resilient tool.
- Not designed to carve demanding projects or hardwood projects.
To Sum Up
This is the best benchtop belt disc sander for craftsmen who need this kind of tool on a regular basis, for sharpening small blades and sanding small hand carving projects. It comes at an affordable price, and the belt bends enough to finish small-size sculptures.
Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander – Good adjustable dual sander for young professionals
Another dual sander on my list, this could be the best stationary belt sander, because of its useful features. The belt is 4-inch wide and can be lifted up to 90 degrees for both vertical and horizontal use. Alongside this, the table can be bent for 45 degrees for even better results.
The bench disk sander is 6-inches wide and gets to an optimal speed with a 4.2 amp strong motor. The engine is strong enough to get most of your projects done, and I haven’t had any problem with it overheating during my work.
The belt is easy to change when it is needed, and the tension of it is adjustable, but the tool will hold it still for you.
- Flexible product for larger woodworking projects.
- Adjustable belt and the sanding table for better results.
- Good quality, durable machine.
- Best budget benchtop belt sander.
- Stronger vibrations make this belt sander benchtop louder than other tools on this list.
To Sum Up
This is the best benchtop sander for new woodworkers who are getting serious about this hobby. Overall, it is a great quality machine with a solid engine, but even though I did not have any problems with its performance, according to the other bench sander reviews the belt can get loose.
Ridgid EB4424 Sander, Oscillating/Edge Belt – Strong machine for finishing small woodworking projects around the house
This is not a typical sanding machine we are used to, and it operates under a different principle than the other woodworking sanders on this list. It includes a small sanding belt with an oscillating edge, but it can also transform into a spindle sander when you need it.
Spindle sanding is sometimes useful when you have demanding edges in your project, or you need to sand a hole inside your design. The engine is quite strong and it is possible to go faster than you want it to, thus there is a risk of burning your project surface.
I wouldn’t say this is the best benchtop oscillating belt sander, and overall it is not the most useful one I have tried.
- An oscillating belt sander and spindle sander in one product.
- A strong engine that can reach high speed.
- Good for final sanding of small projects.
- Not the most versatile machine.
- Overpriced and unreliable.
To Sum Up
Not the best benchtop oscillating sander, I would much rather use a double sanding machine for both woodworking and wood carving. But, when it comes to choosing only the belt and spindle sander, this is a fair choice for the price.
POWERTEC BD4600 Belt Disc Sander For Woodworking – The best benchtop tool overall
Many carvers would say this is the best tabletop belt sander, and it is truly an excellent machine. This tool has it all: wide sanding belt, good-size disc, two dust collecting ports, strong base, and both the belt and the table are adjustable.
This POWERTEC design has a safety switch, and the belt is really well adjusted to keep up with the tension and stay in place even when you use it for hardwood. I find this tool to be the best benchtop sander for furniture making, because it can really live up to the task.
It has the best mitter gauge out of all tools here, and the dust collector is keeping everything perfectly clean.
- Strong engine for both softwood and hardwood.
- Excellent tension control of the belt.
- Adjustable belt and the sanding table.
- Great mitter gauge and dust collector with two ports.
- The only downside to this tool is the price, but if you are planning on using it for serious woodworking projects, it is worth the money.
To Sum Up
POWERTEC is really good at designing the best belt sanders for woodworking, and this is a top-notch tool, all things considerate. It will not disappoint for woodworking or furniture making, so if what you need is a reliable machine this is it. For the best budget belt sanders, check out either WEN or Rockwell instead.
Best benchtop sanders are not always the ones with the most powerful engine or the fastest speed of the belt rotation. Very fast sanding can result in damaging your wood surface, so what you should be looking for instead is a resilient motor that will be running for long without overheating. In these benchtop belt sander reviews, I have shared what are the best ways to use each of these tools. Most of them have both the belt and the disc, and it is quite important if the belt tension is solid and whether I can adjust the tables to the needs of my project.
I hope these bench sander reviews were useful for you to choose your next purchase, and make your workshop a better-equipped space for new, smoother designs.
What is a benchtop sander used for?
A bechtop sander is used by beginners and professional woodworkers for sanding wooden surfaces on small and medium-size projects in the workshop. Depending on the size and the grit of the belt, it can also be used for sharpening wood carving tools.
What are the main characteristics of a benchtop sander?
The benchtop sanders are heavy and corded tools designed to be used in one place in your workshop. They can often also be screwed to your workbench for fewer vibrations while sanding. Most commonly, benchtop sanders include a sanding belt, and on the side a disc sander as well. Nearly all of these machines have built-in dust collecting port and a miter gauge.
How high to mount a benchtop belt sander?
The height of the sander is very important to set before you start using it for your project. The ideal situation is that the sander is two inches underneath your hands when you put them in front of you in the general position in which you carve.