Best Belt Sander for Knife Making

Best Belt Sander for Knife Making [Guide & Reviews 2021]

In the world of knife making, there are many tools that you can have at your disposal to make the job easier. However, one piece of equipment that is becoming much more desirable in this field is the belt sander. This powerful device makes grinding and sharpening knives much easier, provided that you know what you’re doing. If you are a novice at the craft, then a belt sander may be too advanced for you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get better at it, so you might want to start with a cheaper model and improve your skills as you go.

So, with that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the best belt sander for knife making, as well as go over the ins and outs of making sure that you use the machine to your advantage. You can also read our top sander for stairs reviews here.

What is Belt Sander?

Belt sanders are power tools that use an abrasive belt to remove material from a work-piece. Belt sanders come in different sizes and models for different projects. Belt sanders typically have a flat, oval-shaped disc called a platen which rotates in front of a fixed abrasive belt. They be used for knife sharpening, shaping wood or metal, and other purposes.

The Belt sanders are one of the most useful tools for knife making. They are commonly used for trimming and finishing metal. This sanders are used to shape and smooth wood, plastic, fiberglass, laminates and drywall compound. Belt sanders can be used for sharpening knives or blades as well. Read our another top selected sander for trim works.

5 Best Belt Sander for Knife Making

ImageProductPrice
Best Wood JointerPowermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-InchCheck Price
Best Wood JointerJET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-InchCheck Price
Best Wood JointerJET JJP-12 12-Inch Wood JointerCheck Price
Best Wood JointerPowermatic 1610086K 8-InchCheck Price
Best Wood JointerCutech 40160H-CT 6-Inch Wood JointerCheck Price

Top 5 Best Belt Sander for Knife Making Reviews

There are many different models of bench top or stationary sanders that might be used as alternative choices, but they will not be discussed here. The focus remains on belt sanders and how to choose one specific model. Some key factors involved in selecting a good product include power consumption, variable speeds & range, motor type (AC or DC), grinding belt wheel speed and size, dust collection capabilities etc. This article discusses 5 best belt sanders which can help you make your decision easier while buying one:

1. Kalamazoo 1SM 1″ Belt Sander 1725 RPM Belt For Knife Making

Best Belt Sander for Knife Making
Kalamazoo 1SM

As far as sanders go, Kalamazoo is one of the more well-respected brands out there. However, most of the company’s sanders are built for wood, so this isn’t technically made for knife sharpening or creation. Nonetheless, the power and features of this product are decent enough that you can alter it to fit your needs, which is why it’s on this list.

As for power, this sander is on the lower end with an rpm belt speed of 1725. This means that it can be great for sharpening but grinding and shaping will take a bit longer overall. The size of the belt is perfect for novice or experienced users, as having a 1” x 42” belt is great for most knives.

The only major downside is the contact plate, which is both small and limited in how much it can tilt. Sharpening can be difficult as a result, but you can modify it to fit your needs relatively easily, provided that you know what you’re doing.

Pros:

  • Powerful ⅓ horsepower motor
  • Operates at 1725 rpm
  • Uses 1” x 42” belts
  • Four-inch contact wheel
  • Weighs thirty-two pounds
  • Little vibration when operating
  • Easy to belt change
  • Contact plate angles up to 45 degrees
  • One-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Contact plate is too close to the motor
  • Layout can be a bit awkward for some users

2. Generic Mini 1 x 30 Belt Sander 3400 RPM

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004D96ZCG&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=servicezgos 20&language=en US
Generic Mini 1 x 30

If you’re just starting out and want an inexpensive model on which to practice your skills, this portable belt sander is just the ticket. The size and price are ideal for anyone who wants to see how well they can work with such a machine before they graduate to a more industrial-strength unit.

Overall, we recommend using this sander for sharpening and light shaping, but don’t expect to create knives from scratch with this machine.

Although it operates at 3400 rpm and has a decent contact plate, the size and durability of the sander are not enough to make it worthwhile for long-term knife making.

Pros:

  • Powerful ⅓ horsepower motor
  • Operates at 3400 rpm
  • Contact plate tilts up to 45 degrees
  • Uses 1” x 30” belts
  • Quick change setup
  • Dust collection system included

Cons:

  • Some components are not as durable as others
  • Can be difficult to assemble
  • Check Latest Price!

3. JET J-4002 1-Inch by 42-Inch Bench Belt and Disc Sander

Best Belt Sander for Knife Making
JET J-4002

Next, we have another two-in-one model, but this one is far more industrious than the other one we’ve seen. The J-4002 from Jet is built to be a powerhouse of a machine, meaning that you can do a lot with this sander. Having both a belt and disc sander means that you can work with metal, wood, or plastic and get perfect results every time.

The size of the belt is decent, although a bit small for hardcore knife maker.

Also, the speed of the belt is a little lower than we would like, operating at 3000 rpm instead of 3400 or more. Nonetheless, the durability and reliability of this machine make it more than worthwhile.

Pros:

  • Two-in-one unit
  • Belt sander and disc sander
  • Powerful ⅓ horsepower motor
  • Operates at 3000 rpm
  • Uses 1” x 42” belts
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Contact plates tilt up to 45 degrees
  • Four-inch disc sander
  • Weighs sixty-two pounds
  • Two-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Assembly can be tricky
  • Heavier than other models
  • Some components are not as durable as others

4. Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

Best Belt Sander for Knife Making
Grizzly G1015

Our final stop is with a sander that is made for knife creation. The size and power of this unit are enough to be industrial grade, meaning that if you’re serious about making knives, this could be the best option for you. The size of the belt is perfect, measuring 2” x 74 or 76”, and having a one horsepower motor means you can power through your work in no time.

The only major flaw that we see with this knife sander is the size of the contact plate, but you can easily attach a larger piece to it to make it a better system overall.

Also, it comes with an auxiliary arbor that you can use as a buffer to make your knives shine.

Pros:

  • Powerful one horsepower motor
  • Belt operates at 3600 rpm
  • Uses 2” x 74” belts
  • Auxiliary arbor works with buffers or sanding drums
  • Runs at 1,725 rpm
  • Cast iron body for stability
  • All ball bearing construction
  • Quick release mechanism for belt change
  • Weighs sixty pounds
  • Contact plate tilts up to 45 degrees
  • Low noise operation
  • Belts last longer due to length

Cons:

  • More expensive than other similar models
  • Contact plate is rather small

5. WEN 6508 6 x 48 in. Belt and 9 inches Disc Sander with Stand

Best Belt Sander for Knife Making
WEN 6508

WEN Disc Sander with Stand is a powerful two-in-one sander that provides the convenience and flexibility of both a belt and disc sanding machine. The heavy duty body prevents any heavy vibrations while using it, making work much easier to perform. It is able to provide up to 3450 rotations per minute for discs and 2700 feet per minute for belt.

The tension quick release lever makes changing grits simple due to its power, allowing you switch between different types of sandpaper as needed without wasting time or effort in doing so.

It also includes an 80-grit sanding belt along with an 80-grit sanding disc, miter gauge for angled surfaces/woodworking projects, and has two dust ports which help minimize cleanup after use. To keep your workspace free of mess, this pack also includes an open frame stand that elevates the unit up to three feet off of any surface.

Highlighted Features:

  • Heavy duty body prevents heavy vibrations
  • Adjustable 90 degree tilting belt allows you turn your machine into a vertical sander
  • Tension release lever makes changing sandpaper grits simple and efficient without wasting time or effort
  • Includes 80 grit sanding disc & belt, miter gauge for angled surfaces/woodworking projects, two dust ports minimizes cleanup after use
  • Constructed with durable cast iron base and rubber table top bumpers
  • Max RPM 3450 rotations per minute on both discs and belts combined; Belt speed 2700 ft./minute; Disc Speed 3450 RPM.

After looking through these different sanders, our top pick has to be the Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander as it has the ideal specifications for making your blades. However, its features and powerful motor are best used for those who have a lot of skills, so if you’re still mastering your technique, then we would recommend the Jet J-4002 model instead. Both of these sanders are well built and provide the performance you need to create awesome knives every time.

After looking through these different sanders, our top pick has to be the Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander as it has the ideal specifications for making your blades. However, its features and powerful motor are best used for those who have a lot of skills, so if you’re still mastering your technique, then we would recommend the Jet J-4002 model instead. Both of these sanders are well built and provide the performance you need to create awesome knives every time.

Why Belt Sanders for Making Knives?

There is a distinct advantage to using this kind of sander to make a knife, and the reason is that you are creating a convex edge rather than a concave one. Traditional knife-making techniques shave away the metal to create a sharp edge, but that means that you are reducing the overall integrity of the knife. Also, having a concave blade will also cause the edge to get duller faster.

Thus, having a belt sander means that you are not going through as much metal as you normally would, and you can create an edge that will retain its sharpness for much longer. Overall, this is an ideal situation for making knives, which is why belt sanders are becoming so popular.

How to Choose a Belt Sander for Knife Making

So we understand why you want a portable belt sander, but how do you know which one will be best for your needs? Well, here are the most important factors you should be paying attention to when picking out the right sander for your knives.

Size

When talking about size, we are referring to two things. First, the size of the sander itself can be important as you need to make sure that you have enough space for it and it won’t be too heavy for you to install. Belt sanders can be small or large and weigh as little as twenty pounds or as much as seventy, so make sure that you know what space limitations you have before picking out a model.

The second thing to consider is the size of the belt. Most of these sanders use belts that are an inch wide and either thirty or forty-two inches long, but the best size for making knives is actually two inches by seventy-four inches. The reason that a larger belt is ideal is that you can get better grinding and sharpening while shaping the knife, and the belt lasts longer because there is more surface area, thus reducing the amount of wear and tear that it gets overall.

Motor

For most belt sanders, the motor will tell you how much power is behind the belt as well as how fast it can potentially spin. Smaller units will have a ⅓ horsepower motor, but you can get a full-size model that has a full horsepower running it. The bigger the motor, the more versatile the machine is and the easier it can be to shape and grind your knives. However, don’t assume that a larger motor means that the whole thing is better, as size and belt speed are also crucial, as well as the contact point.

Contact Point

When making your knives, it’s imperative that you have a sufficient plate on which to work so that you can make all of your adjustments without having the knife hanging off the side. Some stationary belt sander have a wide platen while others have a small one, meaning that you may need to adjust it manually to ensure you have enough room. Changing the plate simply means attaching a larger one on top, so you may have to either weld one on or affix it some other way.

Another necessary function of the plate is that it has to be able to tilt at forty-five degrees or more. This will be important when it comes to sharpening the knife; otherwise, you won’t be able to do that with the sander, which is kind of a waste of time.

Speed

Finally, the speed of the belt is crucial to ensure that you can work efficiently. If the belt moves too slowly then you will take a lot longer to complete each piece, so don’t buy one that has two few rpm. The bare minimum that you need is 1725, but we highly recommend getting a unit that operates at 3000 or higher, as that will make grinding and shaping much easier to do overall.

Dust Collection

The dust collection from belt sanders is much finer and often times sticks to the worker rather than being collected. Dust collection can be done through a vacuum with an adapter or by using compressed air. The use of filters in combination with either method helps reduce the amount that escapes into the atmosphere, while still allowing for easy clean up after work.

Tips for Using a Belt Sander

Using a Belt Sander

If you’re just starting out with using a belt sander to make your knives, then you will want to follow this advice to ensure that you don’t injure yourself or ruin your material as you work.

Wear Heat-Resistant Gloves

The blade will get scalding after a few minutes, so don’t risk burning your fingers and wear gloves. If you don’t have them, then place some tape over your fingers before you start working.

Keep Water Handy

As the blade heats up, you will have to cool it off repeatedly to avoid damaging it or the sander. If the knife gets too hot, it could burn the belt and cause it to snap, which could result in injury. Have a water bucket next to you at all times to cool the blade regularly.

Use Your Body

You may think that it’s best to use your hands and fingers to shape the edge, but that can lead to imperfect lines or the potential for accidents. Instead, get a solid grip and use your body to maneuver while keeping your elbows tight. This will ensure that you have proper control at all times.

Use Both Hands

To make sure that you’re shaping and sharpening evenly on both sides you will have to switch the knife around on the plate. This means that you have to practice working with both hands. Hone your skills so that you can do this with your less dominant side and still create perfect lines.

Benefits of A Belt Sander

Benefits of A Belt Sander

Powerful

Belt sanders are the most powerful hand-held power tools. Belt sander size and weight can vary but all belt sanders have one thing in common which is their ability to remove a lot of material quickly.

Versatility

Belt sanders can be used for sharpening blades, shaping wood or metal, polishing surfaces or other purposes. Belt sanders can be used for many different applications which makes them so versatile.

Economical

Belt sander costs are low and easy to maintain, they also have long life spans. Belt sanders come with standard platen sizes that allow you to do more work in less time saving you money on labor and materials. They save material and labor costs. Belt sanders are a great value for the price and they last longer than other types of power tools.

Consistent

Belt sander has straight cuts which is consistent with blade angle, making it much easier to use as compared to jigsaws or scroll saws. Belt sanders have a straight line that can be used to guide a blade for straight cuts. Belt sanders are very easy and safe to use particularly if you’re new at knife making.

Belt Sander Maintenance

Belt sanders should be used with caution because of the sharp blades and loud noise they produce. Belt sander safety tips include wearing ear protection, eye protection, gloves, and proper clothing when using them. Belt sanders are also equipped with electric motors so it’s important not to touch these parts while the machine is on. Belt sanders can be very dangerous so it’s always good to exercise caution when operating them.

Belt sander safety tips

It’s important to remember to always wear safety gear when using a belt sander. These include eye protection, gloves, and hearing protection. Belt sanders are very loud machines that could potentially cause hearing damage if you’re not wearing ear plugs or other types of ear protection. Belt sanders also use really sharp blades which can be painful to the skin if they hit your hand because you’re not wearing gloves. Belt sanders can throw off pieces of wood so it’s good to keep children and pets away from them too.

Belt sanders can also throw off pieces of wood so it’s good to keep children and pets away from them too. Belt sanders are also equipped with electric motors so it’s important not to touch these parts while the machine is on. Belt sanders can be very dangerous so it’s important to always exercise caution when using them.

Conclusion

With so many belt sanders to choose from, it can be tough to find the one that is right for your needs. But by following these guidelines and using this buyer’s guide as a reference, you should have no problem finding the best belt sander for knife making in 2021!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *