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When To Use Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander

When To Use Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander

Despite many types of sanders belt and orbital sanders are the most widely utilized. Although they are excellent for wood floors and furniture, you shouldn't use them interchangeably. Choosing one of these tools can be challenging because they are so similar.

If you have huge work, you should get a belt sander with belt sanding paper. You should get an orbital sander if you have small or spherical jobs. Continue reading to learn more about the belt and orbital sanders. This article covers various types of sanders and how to operate them.

Belt Sanders Overview

The belt sander is a very effective tool. An electric motor moves a set of drums. The tool may then sand the surface down thanks to these drums, which also move through a sandpaper loop. This sander is a little bigger than other alternatives because of its shape, but it is very strong.


The number of feet a belt sander can sand in a minute is measured in feet per minute. The faster it moves and smoothes the surfaces, the higher the speed rating. Belt sanders have variable speed features that make speed control simple.


Belt sanders have extraordinary power, expressed in amps, and are well known. Power ratings for belt sanders range from 8 to 11 amps. Choose a belt sander with more amperage if you intend to perform much work.


While every belt sander is strong, there aren't many different models. Speed and power are the major factors that differentiate various belt sanders. However, you can choose between a handheld or stationary belt sander.

Suitable For Usage 

Large surfaces and rough surfaces are perfect for belt sanders. For example, belt sanders work wonders on large furniture like tables and hardwood floors. In contrast, because of their high power, belt sanders are not the most suitable choice for small components.

Pros And Cons Of Belt Sanders

Pros Of Belt Sanders

  • extraordinarily potent.
  • Operates swiftly.
  • Fantastic for metal and large surfaces.

Cons Of Belt Sanders

  • Not appropriate for tiny surfaces.
  • Too much material can be removed quickly with this.

Orbital Sanders Overview

An orbital sander, after which the tool is named, rotates in tiny circles or orbits while using sanding discs. These swirl patterns may quickly and easily sand down large sections. The sander's square design allows you to access corners and other tight spaces even though it rotates in circles. Due to their circular design, these sanders can produce swirly patterns on whatever you are working on.


Orbital sander speed is measured by how many orbits it completes in a minute. A typical orbital sander does 10,000 orbits per minute. You can do the task faster the faster the tool moves. So, if you work in broad areas, you should always look for high speeds.


Amps are the units used to measure orbital sander power. As you know, the more amps listed on the sander, the more powerful it becomes. Powerful enough to remove a lot of surface area at once are orbital sanders. Consider using a different instrument, like a belt sander, if you need to remove a lot of surface area.


Handle types mostly classify orbital sanders. Three different types of handles are most common:

  • Gun-Grip Handles - Maximum control since you use both hands;
  • Jug-Grip Handles - found on professional sanders. The sander is excellent for furniture.
  • Handles for palm grip - most popular since they are convenient to hold, compact, and comfy

Corded and cordless orbital sanders are available. The length of the cord caps the power of corded devices. In contrast, although cordless sanders are portable, they lack the same power.

Suitable For Usage

The most effective orbital sanders can work on rounded edges and fit into small areas. They are also suitable for sanding surfaces that will be treated later. If you don't treat the wood after sanding, you shouldn't use an orbital sander since it can leave swirl marks.

Pros And Cons Of Orbital Sanders

Pros Of Orbital Sanders

  • fantastic for rounded and cornered areas.
  • Completes the task quickly.
  • There are numerous options.

Cons Of Orbital Sanders

  • can produce swirly traces.
  • Not the strongest.

Belt Sanders Vs Orbital Sanders

Belt and orbital sanders differ in three ways:


Oscillating sanders lack belt sander power. With a belt sander, it is simple to remove too much material due to its strength accidentally. In contrast, orbital sanders have the right amount of power if you worry about removing too much material.

Mechanism For Sanding

These sanders have a distinctive sanding mechanism. Belt sanders push sandpaper in a loop to quickly sand down the material. In contrast to other sanders, orbital sanders move the sandpaper in a circle while lying flat on the surface. Peel and stick or Velcro systems fasten the sandpaper to the orbital sander.

Sanding Grit

The sandpaper for sanders is also different. The simplest sanders are orbital ones because you can use almost any kind of sandpaper on them. This is as long as you can connect it to the machine. Given that they are moved in a loop, they require a particular sandpaper. Sandpaper for belt sanders is more expensive as a result.

Which Should I Use And When?

Despite the similarities between belt and orbital sanders, you shouldn't use them interchangeably. Here are a couple of examples:

Belt Sanders Uses

  • Massive surface tasks.
  • Adjusting uneven surfaces.
  • Produces smooth, even finishes.
  • Tasks that won't require further treatment after sanding.

Orbital Sanders Uses

  • A few surface tasks.
  • Job corners.
  • Rounded exteriors.
  • Tasks that will undergo further treatment after sanding.

Belt Sander Vs Orbital Sander: Which Is Best For You?

The needs and projects you have will determine the right sander for you. Belt sanders are perfect for large, flat-surface projects that demand power. For small, flat surfaces or round surfaces, orbital sanders perform better. The orbital sander is better if you worry your hand is too sensitive to a belt sander.


Having a belt and orbital sanders on hand is a terrific idea. These tools are necessary, especially if you do woodworking and home remodeling. But, if you have large jobs, get a belt sander, and if you have tiny chores, use an orbital sander. Better yet, get both so you can handle a variety of tasks!

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