What is the difference between a Belt Grinder and a Belt Sander ? | The Edge Cutter

In the instrumentation or mechanical sector, we often deal with similar looking different equipment/devices. These equipment, though have most similar attributes, yet differ critically in certain aspects. So, today I will differentiate between two such hardware systems, namely; belt grinder and belt sander. If you, too, bear that common question of how both of these differ, then let me take you through this.

Belt Grinder Vs Belt Sander

Belt GrinderBelt Sander
It is utilized to grind the material surface, giving it a cleaner finishingIt is used to remove scrapes from the material
Can be used to grind for both metal and non-material materials, like woodCan be used for sanding only non-metals, mostly wood
Consists of a belt coated with abrasive metalConsists of a sander belt made of sandpaper

Belt Grinder

Also known as Bench Sander, it is used for belt grinding processes, as the name suggests. You will find its application in more or less any sort of hardware industry/factory/workshop. Belt grinding is the finishing process, essentially done to grind metal products. The grinder includes a machine that has a long abrasive metal strap for polishing the metal goods. Other than that, it has two wheels made of stone on both sides of the engine.

Now, you might be wondering, why did I mention it as a bench grinder? Well, the belt grinder is installed on a bench/desk and then used.The grinder is generally used to polish the metal and make its surface clean, giving it a concave finish.

Tip: Be sure about the type of belt strap you use on your belt grinder. Check out the grit value of the abrasive belt as per your material polishing requirement.

Note: Bench sander is designed to work both on metal as well as wood for surface material removal. 

Belt Sander 

It is a system used to give a proper shape and finishing as a final step of processing to a finished good. The machine includes an engine, a sander belt, and two pulleys. Unlike a belt grinder, a belt sander is used for shaping any non-metal object. The grit size of the sandpaper should be decided as per the type of material introduced for smoothening. Grit sizes ranging from 40 to 100 can be utilized in the initial phase of sanding the material. 

The good thing about a belt sander is it comes in both small and large sizes. So, people can buy accordingly as per their work scenario. If it is a small belt sander, then you can place it on a bench, just like a bench/belt grinder. 

The heavy duty belt sander was designed to do general material removal whether it’s wood and or metal. Making sure you use the right belt type and grit for the material that you’re wanting to sand. The material to be treated is moved onto the sander belt, or the vice versa if the material is clamped on a bench. 

Note: Certain stationary belt sander machines come with integrated disc sanders.   


So, if you are looking for a versatile polishing machine, then go for the belt grinder. Else, considering the price and applicability, a belt sander would suffice, especially if your work is limited to woodworking. 

The Edge Cutter is reader-supported website. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Comment