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5 Best Wide Belt Sander – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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If you are looking to buy a wide belt sander then you will realize that there are a lot of different units that come with different features. Since this type of sanders cost a lot of money, that means that you don’t have the luxury to try different ones until you find the right one.

That’s why we have made a list of the best wide belt sander that you can buy. The list contains different units that have different features, prices, etc.  We have also made a buyer’s guide to help you make a better decision.

Product NameDetailsPrice


  • Maximum sanding width: 24-inches
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  • Maximum sanding width: 43-inches
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Powermatic 1791251

  • Maximum sanding width: 54-inches
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  • Maximum sanding width: 36-1/2-inches
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Safety Speed Cut 3760

  • Maximum sanding width: 36"/915mm
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What Are Wide Belt Sanders?

These types of sanders are mostly used in the woodworking world, wide belt sanders are mostly used by professionals or contractors.  Wide belt sanders use a combination of drums and platens to finish large wood pieces. 

It is an electric-powered machine, but it uses air to control the belt. That’s why you should always leave the air valve open before you start working. 

What is the Difference Between a Belt Sander and a Drum Sander?

These two tools use different sandpaper. The belt sanders just allow the sandpaper to slip the belt on and off without any big effort. On the other hand, the drum sanders will take longer with abrasive sheets because they only use a single drum.

Best Wide Belt Sander

1. Shop Fox W1710

Best Features  SHOP FOX W1710 10 HP 24-Inch Wide-belt Sander with Digital Readout

  • Beginner Friendly
  • Control Pad
  • Digital Readout

More detailed review ↴

This is a smaller version than the usual wide belt sander.  It is only 24-inches, but it’s a perfect choice if you are a beginner. This sander is mostly used by people who own a small woodworking shop and deal with smaller projects.  It’s easy to use, and that’s why it is recommended for beginners.

Shop Fox W1710 comes with a numeric control pad and a digital readout too.  The digital readout is pretty easy to use and it provides accurate data that is very needed for woodworkers.

What makes this sander special is that it can operate in a single power phase, where other similar sanders need at least 3 phases. It features 3 motors ( Sanding motor, Feed motor, Elevation Motor). The sanding motor has 10 HP and it’s pretty fast (1725 RPM). Feed Motor has 1 HP and has the same speed, where the elevation motor comes with 1/3 HP. All of the motors are single-phase.

This sander comes with a Quick-Change Belt System. You only have to release the tension, take the belt off, put a new belt, turn the knob on and the belt will be automatically set to the right tension.

On the downside, we don’t recommend using this one for large projects.

What We Liked:

  • Easy To Use – Made mostly for beginners.
  • Single Phase – Needs only one phase where similar sanders need at least 3.
  • 3 Motors – Sanding Motor, Feed Motor, Elevation Motor
  • Drum – Drum Speed: 3550 FPM
  • Easy Belt Change
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not recommended for large projects.

2. SHOP FOX W1757

Best Features  SHOP FOX W1757 25 HP 43-Inch Three Phase Double Head Wide-belt Sander

  • Beginner Friendly
  • Control Pad
  • Digital Readout

More detailed review ↴

If you have a big woodworking shop and work with big projects daily than this Shop Fox sander is the perfect choice for you. It accepts stocks as long as 43 inches and 6 inches thick.

Since this is a professional wide belt sander that means that this one will cost a lot more money, it is bigger and heavier. So, if you are a beginner I don’t recommend you buy this.

I have used this wide belt sander for surface removing, surface smoothing and feathering all in one go. It also features an emergency stop that can stop the whole process if you are unsatisfied with the early results.

It features a Digital Control, Steel Cabinet and it comes with a variable speed settings feature. It has a 25 HP motor (3-phase).

What We Liked:

  • Professional – Made for bigger and professional projects.
  • Big – It’s big and heavy, it accepts stock as long as 43-inches, and 6-inches thick.
  • Digital Control
  • Motor – 25 HP Motor
  • Steel Cabinet
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricey

3. Powermatic 1791251 Model 1632

Best Features  Powermatic 16-Inch Open-End Belt Sander, 7-1/2 HP, 3Ph 230/460V (1632)

  • Beginner Friendly
  • Control Pad
  • Digital Readout

More detailed review ↴

This is another open wide belt sander, which means that even if the capacity is limited, the length is still unlimited.  This Powermatic unit is a smaller and cheaper sander than the other ones listed here.

This unit comes with a separate digital readout that you can choose to buy or not to buy. If you are looking to save some money then you don’t have to buy it.

Since this is an open sander that means that maintaining is easier. The closed sanders give you less space to clean and it’s harder to replace the parts on your own.

This unit comes with a 4-inch dust port, which means that you can connect another vacuum to the tool to get rid of the dust. The belt changing process can be problematic. I recommend this for everyone who wants to try a wide belt sander without having to spend a lot of money.

What We Liked:

  • Open Wide – Allows you to work with unlimited length.
  • Smaller – Easier to move around
  • 4-inch Dust Port – Allows you to connect another vacuum.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Belt Changing can be problematic.

4. SHOP FOX W1738

Best Features  SHOP FOX W1738 37-Inch Three Phase Wide-belt Sander

  • 15 HP Motor
  • 3 Sanding Options
  • Digital Control Pad

More detailed review ↴

If you are serious about woodworking then this sander is the perfect choice for you. I have used this unit for doors and cabinets. It is a 37-inch wide sander.

SHOP FOX W1738 features a 15 HP motor that is mostly made for heavy-duty projects.  What I like about this unit is that it comes with a really good digital control pad, the pad automatically adjustments the tables and it is accurate to 0.005-inch, meaning that you don’t need to spend time measuring.

You can choose 3 different sanding options.  You can choose the platen up, platen down, or the platen even sanding option. 

If you have a little experience and you choose the right sanding option then this unit can do wonders. It features a variable speed conveyor and adjustable oscillation controls. This unit will give you “soft” and smooth finishes.

On the downside, this wide belt sander is very large and takes a lot of space.

What We Liked:

  • Heavy-Duty – It is made for heavy-duty projects.
  • Powerful Motor – 15 HP Motor.
  • Digital Control Pad – Doesn’t let you do anything manually and it is very precise.
  • 3 Different Sanding Options 
  • Variable Speed Conveyor
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Large

5. Safety Speed Cut 3760 WBS3760101 

Best Features  Safety Speed Cut 3760 WBS3760101 10HP Wide-belt Sander

  • Beginner Friendly
  • Two Motors
  • 5 Emergency Stops

More detailed review ↴

This is an open wide belt sander that can work with unlimited length. The WBS3760101 comes with two different motors, a 10 HP and a 15 HP. Depending on your power source, you can choose one or the other and you can order the three phases or the one phase.

This sander doesn’t have all the features that the others that we listed here have. It does lack in the technology part, but the good thing about this is that it will cost less. 

It comes with an electric belt tracking system and it has 5 different emergency stops. These features make this tool accurate and safe.

This sander offers a conveyor speed that can be changed from 0-18 CFM, the CFM requirement of this tool is 1000.

What We Liked:

  • Unlimited Length –  Open Wide Belt Sander.
  • Two Motor – 10 HP ( single-phase), 15 HP ( 3 phase motor).
  • 5 Different Emergency Stops
  • Maximum Width – 36-inches.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lacks some features.

Best Wide Belt Sander – Buyers Guide

All of the wide belt sanders we have listed here are good. You can choose one or the other and you will end up with a good sander. But, if for some reason you can’t decide which one to pick or you want to buy another one that we didn’t include then we are more than happy to list the things you should check before buying a wide belt sander.

Read more: Best Sander For Metal

Control Panel

Nowadays, most wide belt sanders come with a control panel. You can use the control panel to check what is going on with the sander. But, some sanders come with a very complicated control panel.

If you are a beginner then make sure to pick a wide belt sander that comes with a simple control panel.  Sanders with a complicated control panel are good too, maybe even better, but as a beginner, you will find it much easier to work with a simple control panel.

Variable Speed

The variable speed setting is a must-have feature for sanders. If you don’t already know, this feature makes it possible for you to change the speed of the sander. You can change the speed to match the project you are working on. Therefore, you can use the same sander for different projects. Most of the sanders come with this feature, especially the expensive ones.

If a wide belt sander doesn’t come with this feature, then make sure to check how fast the sander rotates. Although, I always recommend picking a sander with variable speed.

You might also read: Best Floor Sander Reviews

Dust Collection

As you may know, sanders produce a lot of dust, especially the wide belt sanders. That’s why you need a sander that comes with a smart dust collection system. This system will ensure that you won’t end up with a messy place once you finish your project. This system is a must-have. I don’t recommend buying a sander without this.


One of the most important things you need to consider when buying a wide belt sander is the power. Most of the sanders come with 20 HP of power. 20 HP of power is more than enough for most of the projects, a little less than 20 HP is also okay. I don’t recommend buying a sander with less than 10 HP of power.

Also, you need to check the power source of the machine. Is it electric-powered or battery-powered? You should choose the one that works best for you.  If you work outside of the garage then a battery-powered one would be a good choice. If you work inside and have power outlets near then an electric-powered is a good choice.

Features That Will Help You Work Better

The 4 features we mentioned earlier are features that make the tool better. But, you also need features that will make the process easier for you and help you get the results you want.


The most important thing when working with tools is your safety and the safety of the tool. If you have a group of people who will work with the tool then make sure that the tool comes with safety features that will protect them.

A wide belt sander should come with different standards and also it should have an emergency stop that can be easily found when needed.

Belt Changing Difficulty

The belt changing process should be easy. That means if for some reason the belt breaks while working, you should be able to change the belt in a short time.

If the process is too difficult or if it takes too much time, then you won’t be able to complete the project in time. That’s why you should always check the ease of the process.


You never know when or where you have to work. That’s why portability is a must-have feature for wide belt sanders.

You should be able to move the tool around or adjust the position however you want. There are a lot of portable sanders that come with less weight and come with features that help will help you move the tool easier.  Also, a portable sander should be battery-powered.

Final Words

Now that you have seen our list of the best wide belt sander and you have read the buyers guide, it will be easier for you to make a choice.  A thing that you need to know is the size of the project you will be working on.

Check the project requirements and find a sander that has the features to complete the project. That’s how you get the results you want. The most important thing you need to know while working with sanders is to keep yourself safe. Always wear safety gear.

If you have any questions about wide belt sanders make sure to comment down below and we will try to reply.

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We’re a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

The Tool Geeks Team

We're a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

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