Belt Sander vs Palm Sander | Which one is better for your sanding job ?

Finding the correct sander to complete your job is crucial, especially  when you enjoy woodworking. When you are working on a project, sanding is the final phase. By sanding a surface, you are giving it a smooth finish. Although you can sand by hand with a piece of sandpaper, using a sander is far more efficient. 

When you are sanding by hand, it can take a long time. Keep in mind that the right sander for the job is essential. A sander is a wise investment.

Not every sander is appropriate for every task. Each particular type of finishing requires a specific sanding assistance. Therefore it is crucial to understand the differences between a belt sander and a palm sander when shopping for a sander.

Let’s zoom in to explore in detail.

Table of Contents

Belt Sander

Belt sanders are the most used tool for removing material fast and forcefully. The belt is constantly moving between two and three pulley systems. Many belt sanders adjust automatically while in use to keep the belt in the middle of the pulley.

Belt sanders are typically available in three sizes: 18 inches, 21 inches, and 24 inches, which are ideal for individuals who wish to do it themselves. Both of these sanders have a belt that is 3 inch wide.

Two drums are encircled by a sanding belt. The front drum is self-moving, whilst the back drum is powered. Belt sanders contain a tension release mechanism that makes changing the belt simple and quick. The tracking of the sander can be adjusted using a knob on the sander.

The 18-inch belt sander is the easiest to use and is ideal for beginners. It boasts the best balance, with a superb mix of speed, power, and balance. The larger belt sander, which is 24 inches in length, is more difficult to handle but covers a wider surface area. In addition, they have a lower level of stability.

When it comes to removing old finishes, such as paint, a belt sander comes in handy. When many boards are joined together to smooth all of the edges, a belt sander is ideal.

Belt sanders are ideal for constructing furniture and other larger woodworking projects. The only disadvantage to be aware of is the possibility of scratching the wood when using a belt sander.

Palm Sander

The meaning lies within its name! As the name implies palm sanders fit in your palm while working! They are also known as finishing sanders. Palm sanders are considered as the smallest as well as lightest among the sander family. It is said by the woodworkers that they contain the weakest motor and work with 160 to 220 grit of sandpaper.

Palm sanders are remarkably simple to use. The pad is moved around by the palm sander in small circular orbits. Square pads are clamped to the bottom of palm sanders. Palm sanders are perfect tools for light-duty tasks like polishing unpainted finish wood. They are the cheapest power sanders.

Palm sanders have a few drawbacks. Firstly, you won’t be able to take away any paint or other materials that have clung to the wood. Another disadvantage of utilising a palm sander is that it requires the lightest touch. Your tool might be damaged if you push it too hard while working. Lastly, palm sanders could consume lots of pads.

In a nutshell, it’s useful to know everything there about belt sanders and palm sanders before deciding which one to use. Knowing the distinctions between these sanders can help you make a better decision.

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