Belt Sander vs Disc Sander ( Which To Pick )

Sanding is the step in a woodworking job where you give your creation a final polish. Due to the fact that it improves the overall aesthetic of your final result.

And from then confusion starts to arise about which one is good to go with. 

Belt sanders are praised by some, while disc sanders are preferred by others. However, you are seeking the one that best fits your line of employment.

So, You might be trying to decide between Belt Sander and Disc Sander which one to choose? 

Belt sanders offer you versatility and portability. whereas Disc sanders offer you efficiency and accuracy. Belt sanders are much cheaper in price compared to disc sanders. Belt sanders are great for large projects, disc sanders are not. Also, belt sanders are small machines, disc sanders are huge.

Now you have a summarized idea of the differences between these two machines. But, to pick the best one based on the requirements, you have to know more.

Belt Sander vs Disc Sander: Quick Comparison

Choosing between a belt and disc sander is like choosing one from skip chain and full comp. Both Belt and Disc Sanders are great tools for woodworking.

Differentiating Factors Belt Sander Disc Sander
Ideal use Leveling, flattening and getting the wood ready Precision edge work, shaping, contouring, and smoothing 
Orientation  Vertical and horizontal, can be used at any angle   Only horizontal 
Efficiency Works fast but might damage the wood. Can remove more material as well as polish and detail the wood
Accuracy Lower machining accuracy  Very precise and accurate 
Space and Portability Can be handheld or stationary   Require bigger space but not portable
Dust Collection System Yes Yes
Price Range Around 50-70$ Around 350-400$

Well, we know you may not be clear about the whole thing. No worries. In our next section, we will compare each and every aspect for you.

What is the Difference Between a Belt Sander And a Disc Sander

You already know about the basic differences between belt sanders and disc sanders. But to make the correct decision you need to know about them in detail. 

1. Usability

The belt sander is specially used for leveling, flattening, and preparing the wood. Disc sanders are mainly used for finishing work. As it is used for smoothing and shaping.

But what makes a belt sander different from a disc sander is its versatility. You can use the belt sander for different types of work. But disc sanders do not have that versatility.

Besides leveling, you can use belt sanders for trimming, rounding, shaping, etc. Disc sanders are only good for finishing work.

Winner: Belt Sander 

2. Orientation

Belt sanders can work both horizontally and vertically. But Disc sanders can only work horizontally.

That makes belt sanders good for large projects, unlike disc sanders. Disc sanders are only good for small projects.

Winner: Belt Sanders  

3. Efficiency

Belt sanders are great for removing material from the surface level. They can do it faster than disc sanders.

But disc sanders are more efficient. Because there is no chance it would damage the wood but a belt sander might.

There are also other types of sanders that can be more efficient for you. 

Winner: Disc Sander 

4. Accuracy

Disc sanders are perfect for detailed work because they are so precise. Best sander? Not so much.

Belt sanders have much lower accuracy than disc sanders. So, you cannot do any detailing work with them.

Winner: Disc Sanders

5. Space and portability

Belt Sanders are small handheld machines. So, you can take it anywhere and everywhere. Also, there are some best belt sanders that are stationary. So, you have more options with belt sanders.

But disc sanders are stationary and require a huge amount of space compared to belt sanders. 

Winner: Belt Sanders

6. Dust Collection System

Disc sanders have a dust collection system. It collects all the wood dust to keep your workspace clean. This is very handy for woodworkers as it does not create a mess no matter how much work is done.

Belt sanders also have a dust collection system. It is a plastic bag that is attached to the equipment.

Winner: It’s a tie!

7. Price

The price gap is huge between these two tools. You can buy brand-new belt sanders for around 70 dollars. But a disc sander will cost you more than 300 dollars. 

Now, let’s consider the value the belt sander machine brings to the table for only 70$. It gives you versatility, portability, and speed. They are handy and great for DIY projects. 

Disc sanders offer you accuracy and efficiency but require a huge amount of space. And it is not portable. Also, you cannot use them for big projects but it will cost you 300$.

So, considering all these, belt sanders bring more value for money.

Winner: Belt Sanders.

Which One You Should Choose?

Finally, after all these comparisons, it’s time to choose. 

Because for a project, you may want to cut 2×4 wood with a 5 and ½ inch circular saw. And now to work for further process, you need to choose the perfect sanding tool for you.  

According to our investigation, we think belt sanders offer you more and cost you less. On the other hand, a disc sander costs you more but doesn’t bring you that much value.  So, we think it’s best if you go with belt sanders.

But if you need the efficiency and accuracy disc sanders provide, then go for it. After all, you know what you need the most. You can also check this below product if you want.


Why Is My Belt Sander Leaving Lines?

Burn marks or lines may appear because of excessive dust accumulation. There may be a problem with the equipment if the inside of the sander is quite dusty. The materials that are processed by the machine often bear this out. Tracking problems can also result from dust accumulation. 

Can You Sand Floors With a Belt Sander?

Yes, a belt sander can be used to sand floors. The floor will be effectively leveled and ready for finer sand with its help. It gives speedy results using a circulating loop of sandpaper. It’s recommended to use a hand-held belt sander.

What Should You Not Do With a Disc Sander?

When sanding, don’t use a rag to hold the piece or wear gloves. Sand in the wood’s grain. Never sand materials that are too tiny to be held securely. Maintain proper hand positioning. A hand could accidentally move into the sanding belt or disc due to the sudden slide.

Which Side of the Disc Sander Is Safe to Use?

The downside of the disc sander is always safe. When using the machine’s disc portion, always sand on the left side. The workpiece can fly up if you sand the upward side of the disc. And this is very dangerous. 


So, now you know which one to pick Belt Sander vs Disc Sander. Which one did you ultimately choose?  Do let us know! 

Also, did we miss anything? Any feedback about this article is appreciated.

We will be taking our leave now. Take care and stay safe!

Jim Boslice

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