September 18, 2022
Being exposed to harsher elements of nature, the deck of your house might need refinishing over time. However, refinishing a deck will require sanding as an essential step. Hence, you will need an electric sander, and one sander type that is best for sanding decks is the belt sander. Of course, you can also use an oscillating deck sander or a random orbital sander, and both would indeed leave fewer marks on the deck surface.
But if you would use an oscillating or random orbital sander, you might take longer to finish the sanding process, which can be crucial if you are a busy guy. Thus, it will be best to use a belt sander to speed up the sanding process. Besides, the belt sander—being larger than the orbital sander—can cover a larger surface area at once. It is likewise easy to learn and use.
Best Belt Sanders that Most Suitable for Sanding Deck
Belt sanders come in a wide variety of brands and models; hence, choosing the ideal one for sanding your decks might prove tricky. To enable you to zero in on the best belt sander for deck, you can check out the following most recommended belt sanders for deck:
1) Makita 9403
If you’re looking for a powerful belt sander, you should check out the Makita 9403. It features a speedy belt sander that emits a low level of noise. It is likewise equipped with a powerful motor (11 amp) and can speed up to 1,640 feet per minute. It is perfect for sanding decks that have been damaged and have lost their sheen over time.
The Makita 9403 is also ideal for use by carpenters, woodworkers, floor installers, and general contractors. Equipped with a four-inch belt, it can remove more materials quickly. Moreover, it comes with a dust bag that can rotate 360 degrees. However, it will help if you are careful with its use because it is powerful and can overheat.
- Dust bag can swivel 360 degrees
- Emits low level of noise
- Equipped with a powerful motor
- Might overheat
- Doesn’t leave a smooth finish
2) Metabo HPT Belt Sander
Another excellent sander for the deck is the Metabo HPT Belt Sander. This one features a powerful motor to provide you with a superb sanding job. It offers greater visibility of the sanded surface and comes with an ergonomic design. Thus, you can use it for a more extended period before your hands get tired.
This belt sander also features a dust bag (left-mounted) for a cleaner workspace. It also offers a flush surface structure for even sanding.
The Metabo HPT Belt Sander comes with a compact and lightweight design. Hence, it is not challenging to handle and offers enhanced control. All the features, including the transparent front cover, allow for greater versatility and an improved sanding experience. Besides, it offers variable speed for matching its speed with the work at hand. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty.
- Offers variable speeds
- Features clear visibility of the sanded surface
- Ergonomic in design.
- The belt tends to tear more often
3) SKIL 7510-01
The SKIL 7510-01 is another excellent sander for the deck. It features an innovative technology (Pressure Control) that lets the user know if too much pressure is applied. This technology allows you to monitor the sanding pressure using an indicator light. Moreover, it features a powerful motor (6 amp) that enables sanding any wood surface type.
Another excellent feature of SKIL 7510-01 is its micro-filtration system that helps contain dust particles. It also comes with an auto-aligning belt for perfect centering. Besides, it has a dust port suited for a vacuum hose.
- Features a light indicator to indicate the amount of pressure you apply
- Comes with an auto-tracking system
- Equipped with a micro-filtration system
- Might not last longer
4) BLACK+DECKER Power Tools Ds321
Another high-performing belt sander is the BLACK+DECKER Power Tools Ds321. It comes equipped with a seven-amp motor that provides it enough power to sand any wood. You can use it for sanding tight spaces because of its front roller along with its retractable handle. This retractable handle is adjustable to three positions. Moreover, this feature means you got better control over the process of sanding.
You can get closer and sand the edges well with its angled design. Its dust collector system also includes a cloth dust collector, which seems ineffective in collecting dust. This belt sander, however, works quietly. But it is not ideal for use in larger projects.
- Features a powerful motor
- Angled design for closer-to-the-edge sanding
- Features a three-position handle
- The dust collection system isn’t great
- Not ideal for larger projects.
5) CRAFTSMAN CMEW213
The CRAFTSMAN CMEW213 is another excellent option for sanding your deck. It comes equipped with a powerful motor (7-amp). It can easily remove materials and get the job done for you quickly. Besides, it features an angled form that allows you to reach the edges and hard-to-reach areas. It also lets you see the sanded surface for better visibility.
The CMEW213 features a molded handle that allows for three positionings. You can also replace its belt without needing elaborate tools. You only need to pull the belt lever until the belt gets loose. Afterward, you can install the new belt. It also fits the VERSATRACK system. Lastly, it comes with a three-year limited warranty.
- It is compact and lightweight
- Ideal for medium-difficulty tasks
- Allows for three adjustable handle positions
- Might overheat after prolonged continuous use
6) The Genesis GBS321A
The Genesis GBS321A features a powerful 8-amp motor. So, you can be sure that this one can handle any sanding job. It also comes with speed control to ensure enough speed for your different sanding tasks. You can adjust its speed via its speed dial to match the sanding needs. It also offers a high level of versatility which makes for better sanding.
You can change its belt with ease, saving you from the hassles accompanying the usual changing of the belt. It also has an ergonomic handle design allowing for easy adjusting. Besides, it comes with the needed accessories like a dust bag and sanding belt.
It is likewise easy to move around with its 8.5lbs weight. Moreover, it provides a balanced weight to let you work with ease. Lastly, it is perfect for sanding the deck, allowing you to cover a larger area easily.
- Offers excellent versatility with its variable speed
- Easy to handle
- Comes with a long cord for working in a larger area.
- Equipped with a powerful motor
- Features a porous dust bag
Tips on Choosing a Belt Sander for Deck Refinishing
As mentioned above, given the myriads of brands and models of sanders at hand, you might get confused in the choosing process of belt sanders. Nevertheless, if you are familiar with the following essential factors to consider, you can quickly zero in on the ideal belt sander for deck refinishing:
You need to consider when choosing a belt sander is its motor. While you might not need incredible power when sanding the deck, you still need to check if a model has enough power to get the job done.
Most belt sanders come with motors ranging from six amps to ten amps. Of course, the higher amps are more efficient than those with lower amps. Yet, they are more often expensive likewise.
Another factor to consider is the belt size. The range of belt size is from 3 x 21 to 4 x 24 inches. The smaller ones get more often used due to their portable and compact feature. Yet, if you need to sand larger panels, the ones with the more extensive belt will do better.
Speed is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a belt sander. Belt sanders, of course, can be single-speed or multiple-speed. The single-speed ones are limited in their usage. Yet, they are less expensive.
Nevertheless, the variable speed belt sanders can come in handy when working on various projects. With the variable speed feature, you can vary the speed from 500 FPM to 1,500 FPM to match your working speed.
The weight of the belt sander will also factor well in your choice because the weight can affect the efficiency and convenience of the belt sander’s usage. However, if you only engage in minor home improvement, you won’t need something heavy.
The lighter belt sander will do better and will be convenient to use. The range of weight of belt sanders is from five to fifteen pounds. Hence, you need to choose the belt sander with the right weight for the task at hand.
When using a belt sander, expect a messy workspace due to billows of dust created by the sanding process. Thus, the dust collection system of the belt sander must be crucial to your choice. You would indeed want a belt sander with an excellent dust collection system. It should let you connect to the shop vac. Hence, it should have a dust port that enables you to connect to the standard vacuum hose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the most recommended belt sanders for the deck and the crucial factors to consider, it will also help if you are familiar with the following FAQs about the use of belt sanders for sanding decks:
What Sandpaper Grit Should You Use for the Deck?
The type of wood you will sand will factor well in your choice of grit and the number of passes you would like to make. For the first pass, you can sand the deck using rougher grits of 20 to 50-grit. Then, you can transition to 60 to 80-grit on your second pass. In this way, you can prepare the wood grain for absorbing paint or stain.
You should refrain from using finer grit sandpaper higher than the 80-grit sandpaper, for you might run the risk of closing the pores of the wood grain, preventing the easy absorption of stain.
You can sand the hardwood deck with 20-grit sandpaper. Yet, you can sand softwood using 50-grit sandpaper for initial sanding.
How are Belt Sanders Sized?
Belt sanders come in various sizes of 3 x 18, 3 x 21, and 3 x 24 inches. The traditional belt sanders come with a three-inch-wide belt. Yet, you can choose from the abovementioned sizes when selecting belt sanders.
The lightest and smallest of the dimensions is the 3 x 18-inch sanders. You can operate this sander with a single hand.
The 3 x 21-inch sander, however, is medium-sized. It is a popular size. The largest is the 3 x 24-inch sander which can cover a larger area and provide a consistent finish.
One of the common usages of the belt sander is for sanding decks. It can strip down the wood quickly and aggressively, making the sanding process quick and easy. However, choosing the right belt sander is quite challenging, given the myriads of options at hand. So, you need to know which one you should choose to ensure that you can zero in on the right belt sander.
However, if you are familiar with the most recommended belt sanders and the factors to consider, you can facilitate the choosing process and choose the ideal belt sander for your deck-sanding needs. Lastly, if you choose the best belt sander, you can breeze through the sanding process of your deck with ease and efficiency.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.