Best Benchtop Sanders of 2021

| Last Updated: June 29, 2021

Ask any serious woodworker what their most valuable tool is, and even a hobbyist woodworker will likely tell you that it is without question their benchtop sander. It is true that for any real woodworking job, a benchtop sander can make the difference between a finished product to be proud of and one that you will have to start all over.

Read on to learn more about these amazing tools and how they can help you take your woodworking experience all the way to the next level.

Comparison of the Best Benchtop Sanders

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Belt table can be tilted from 0 to 45 degrees
  • The RIKON is perfect for small craft projects, including jewelry, home decorations, and toys
  • 2” dust port and safety on/off switch makes the unit incredible safe and easy to use
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  • Deluxe miter gauge can be locked and turned for common angles
  • Can be used to sand, finish, and grind large work pieces quickly and efficiently
  • Abrasive belt unit is able to remove and finish material simultaneously, enabling users to handle odd angles and shapes
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  • The 2-in-1 sanding machine is designed with both a 6”x6” disc and a 4”x36” belt
  • Powered by a 4.3-amp motor, the unit is able to deliver up to 3600 RPM
  • Tension release lever allows users to quickly change between sandpaper grits
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  • Belt can be tilted from 0-90-degrees for vertical and horizontal sanding, while the driven drum enables the sanding of curved work pieces
  • Rubber foot and a heavy-duty cast aluminum base reduce vibrations
  • Innovative direct-drive design of the motor increases efficiency by 25% compared to traditional models
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  • 1 HP motor provides superior sanding control, making the unit perfect for heavier use
  • Conveyer belt trackers eliminate the need of making belt adjustments manually
  • Aluminum, self-cooling drum is innovatively designed to protect the sanding surface from overheating
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  • Equipped with a ½ HP 3.5-amp motor, the WEN 6510T is able to deliver 2000 RPM and 58 OPM
  • Six different 80-grit sleeve sizes enable users to make a wide range of curvatures
  • 1.5-inch dust port can be used to attach a dust extractor for a cleaner work surface
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  • Contoured height-adjustable support table enables quicker and easier sanding of curved panels
  • Quick belt release, built-in dust hood, and convenient adjustment knobs make the unit incredibly easy to use
  • Equipped with a powerful 1725 RPM motor, the unit is able to reach a belt speed of 1800 FPM
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What is a Benchtop Sander and What is it Used For?

Benchtop sanders are large sanders that are designed to be placed right on your work bench. Like all sanders, they are primarily intended to be used with woodworking projects, although there are plenty of sanders that are tough enough to also handle finishing rough edges on metal surfaces as well. Benchtop sanders can range in size from those that are intended to improve the experience of do it yourself woodworking for household objects, to those that can sand edges on pieces of wood you intend to use for doors and other larger projects.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Models

There are a wide range of benchtop sanders out there on the market today, so we have compiled a list of some of the most important qualities to look for in these awesome products:

Versatility

As we just mentioned above, benchtop sanders are always intended for use in woodworking, but it can be helpful to invest in a sander that can also stand up to working with metal as well. Plus, that kind of sander is typically more durable anyway.

JET 2-Inch by 42-Inch 3/4-Horsepower Bench Belt and 8-Inch Disc Sander

Volume Level

You are not really going to be able to get around it – sanding tools are just straight up loud, and benchtop sanders are no different. But there are definitely types of benchtop sanders that are louder than others, so it is worth looking into noise levels when reading through product reviews.

Sturdiness

These tools are pretty intense and, as with all power tools, have the potential to go horribly wrong. The sturdier the benchtop sander, the less likely it is to tip over and cause a terrible accident, or at the very least, a huge mess to clean up. Some benchtop sanders are so sturdy they do not even technically need to be bolted down – although of course, we always still recommend the utmost safety precautions.

Review of the Best Benchtop Sanders

Keeping in mind everything that you have read above about good benchtop sanders, let us go look at our list of the best products:

Best Overall:
RIKON Power Tools Belt With 5” Disc Sander

RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt with 5' Disc Sander, 1' x 30', Blue

PROS

  • Safe to use
  • Sturdy and powerful
  • Has a variable speed motor
  • Great for sharpening knives
  • Does not produce a lot of vibration
  • Compatible with other manufacturer’s belts

CONS

  • Process of changing belts is complicated and requires undoing three screws with a screwdriver

The RIKON Power Tools Belt with 5” Disc Sander is a phenomenal benchtop sander and our number one overall choice for this type of product. There are a number of reasons why this sander stands out from its competitors.

 First, it is incredibly durable – its brushless induction motor is built to last, it is well designed and well built out of almost entirely metal parts, and even if something were to happen to it, it comes with a five year warranty, so no matter what, your purchase is protected.

It also has a number of convenience features, including separate dust ports for the belt and for the disc that can be hooked up to a vacuum cleaner for simple and easy cleaning. You may be thinking that with a system like that, this sander must be complicated to set up and to use, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Bottom Line

The RIKON Power Tools Belt with 5” Disc Sander is an amazing sander that will last a long time and make your life simpler with its convenience features. The only inconvenient thing about it is the process of changing out its belts.   

Runner-up:
JET 2 Inch by 42 Inch ¾ Horsepower Bench Belt and 8 Inch Disc Sander

JET J-41002 2'x42' Bench Belt and Disc Sander (577004)

PROS

  • Well built
  • On the quiet side
  • Has a ton of power
  • Fairly simple to set up
  • JET provides great customer service

CONS

  • In order to change out the belt you have to remove the table component, which requires recalibration after the belt has been replaced

The JET 2 Inch by 42 Inch ¾ Horsepower Bench Belt and 8 Inch Disc Sander is a close second for the most awesome benchtop sander we were able to find, right behind the RIKON Power Tools Belt with 5” Disc Sander.

This sander has got some versatility, as it also comes with a disc grinder component that users report works particularly well when shaping and grinding knives. The sander itself is also excellent: it can sand through different grades of aluminum and even stainless steel without getting bogged down.

Plus, the included instructions are fantastic – they come with a list of numbered parts with pictures, so that if something breaks and you need a replacement, you can easily determine what it is you need. How has no one else thought of that?  

Bottom Line

The JET 2 Inch by 42 Inch ¾ Horsepower Bench Belt and 8 Inch Disc Sander is a top notch sander with a great grinder attachment as well. Changing out the belt can be complicated and requires recalibration, though.        

Best Belt Sander:
BUCKTOOL 4 x 36 Inch Belt and 6 Inch Disc Sander

BUCKTOOL Belt Disc Sander 4 in. x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander Benchtop with 3/4HP Direct-drive Motor and Portable Al Base BD4603

PROS

  • Has a lot of power
  • Great for working with metal
  • The best option for a belt benchtop sander
  • BUCKTOOL provides excellent customer service
  • Easy to set up, to use, and to change out the belts

CONS

  • Odd set up, with the disk and belt on opposite ends

The CUKTOOL 4 x 36 Inch Belt and 6 Inch Disc Sander is a hardy little belt benchtop sander that will be able to handle pretty much any sanding job you throw at it. As long as you take your time with this sander, there is no sanding project that is too large or too intense for it to accomplish.

It is durable enough to stand up to quite a bit of use and abuse – users report that even when regularly using it to sand metal, it still works just as well as it did on the very first day they sanded with it.

It also runs smoothly enough to not require being secured to a work bench, though of course that is always more advisable for safety reasons.

Bottom Line

The BUCKTOOL 4 x 36 Inch Belt and 6 Inch Disc Sander is a fantastic sander that will last you for years and years. It is a bit counterintuitive when you first start using it, but you will catch on quickly and be nothing but pleased with the outcome.

Best Drum Sander:
JET Mini 10 Inch 1 Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

PROS

  • Has a five year warranty
  • The best option for a drum sander
  • Belt changing is quick and efficient
  • Dust port is four inches wide for efficient dust collection

CONS

  • Sanding belts will need to be tightened upon arrival with curved pliers

The JET Mini 10 Inch 1 Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander is a remarkable drum sander with a number of unique qualities that set it apart from its competitors.

First, this sander has a huge surface area. Its sanding area is twenty inches wide, so if you have a larger project that you are trying to tackle, this is the sander for you.

Additionally, that surface area is fully protected from any heat damage, thanks to the self cooling drum component. The fit and finish overall on this tool is very high quality and quite impressive as well. And, the drive belt has a wide range of adjustment capabilities and is extremely easy to use.

Bottom Line

The JET Mini 10 Inch 1 Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander is a phenomenal benchtop sander and the best drum sander we were able to find, with its giant sanding surface area that is always kept cool. It will require some adjustment upon arrival with curved pliers, though.

Best Spindle Sander:
WEN 3.5 Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander

WEN AT6535 3.5-Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander with Extra Large Beveling Table Top

PROS

  • Well built
  • Has plenty of power
  • Oscillating action is super smooth
  • The best option for a spindle sander
  • WEN provides great customer service

CONS

  • On the louder side
  • Does not come with instructions for use

The WEN 3.5 Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander is the market leader when it comes to spindle sanders, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is easy to use, even when it comes to changing out the sandpaper belts. And its included sandpaper sleeves are incredibly durable – users report being surprised after completing a sanding project at the belts still looking just as good as new!

Also, the sander comes with a variety of different spindle sizes that you can change out, so you will always be able to spindle sand, no matter what the angle or tight area you are trying to fit into. It is heavy and sturdy and will not require being attached to a surface.

Bottom Line

The WEN 3.5 Amp Oscillating Spindle Sander is the best spindle sander you will be able to find, with its wide range of different included spindles and the durability of its sandpaper belts. Just know this is one tool that may need to stay in the far corner of your workshop because of its volume level.

Best Edge Sander:
Grizzly G1531 Edge Sander, 6 x 80 Inch

Grizzly Industrial G1531-6' x 80' Benchtop Edge Sander

PROS

  • The best option for an edge sander
  • Assembly is simple and straightforward
  • Adjustment knobs are conveniently placed
  • Grizzly is a reliable power tool brand you can trust

CONS

  • So heavy it will require two people to lift it  

The Grizzly G1531 Edge Sander, 6 x 80 Inch is a top notch edge sander that has the “edge” (get it?) on its competition. Unlike many other edge sanders, the Grizzly is made almost entirely of high quality cast iron, so it is definitely not messing around.

Its quick release system makes it simple and straightforward to change out its sanding belts, so there is no grapple and hassle associated with that activity.

And, the height of the support table can be adjusted so that you can really customize the sanding experience to each project. There is not much to dislike about the Grizzly G1531 Edge Sander!

Bottom Line

The Grizzly G1531 Edge Sander, 6 x 80 Inch is a phenomenal edge sander with a number of quality features, including a quick release belt change system and a support table with adjustable height settings. Just make sure you have a buddy on hand to help you set it up, since this is one of the heaviest sanders on this list.  

Best for the Money:
WEN 4.3 Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander

WEN 6502 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Does not wobble at all
  • WEN provides good customer service
  • The best benchtop sander for the money
  • Endorsed by professional carpenters, cabinet makers, and woodworkers

CONS

  • Miter gauge is loose fitting
  • Safety guard is not sufficient to block the spot where the belt meets the machine

The WEN 4.3 Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander is such an incredible sander, you will find it difficult to believe you can actually buy it at its listed price. But it is true – if you want a quality sander that will not break the bank for you, you will not be able to find one better than the WEN 4.3 Amp!

Despite its low price point, this sander is made almost entirely out of high quality cast iron. It has a tension release lever for changing out the sandpaper belts, making belt changing a much more simple and straightforward process than it is for many of its competitor products.

Plus, the belt angle is adjustable and can be tilted from anywhere from one degree to ninety degrees. You can’t get more versatile than that!

Bottom Line

The WEN 4.3 Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander is a great sander for the money that is high quality and easy to use. Watch your fingers, though – the safety guard does not fully block the meeting point between the machine and the belt.     

Conclusion

Benchtop sanders are pretty freaking amazing, there is just no way around it. If you are a serious woodworker, or if you just need wood and/or metal sanded occasionally, a solid benchtop sander can be a really wise investment. Before you make a purchase, make a list in your head of the important qualities you are looking for a in a benchtop sander. Do you need a sander of a certain size for certain projects, or will a smaller one do? Do you anticipate using a sander on both wood and metal surfaces, or just with wood? Once you have determined what you need from a sander, go with one of our products reviewed here. We promise you will be happy with your choice.

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