Everything you need to know about sanding belt [Part 1]

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Sanding belts are great tools used to help in smoothing wooden, metallic and rubber parts to clear scared outlook and old paints. The sanding belts are fitted in a belt sander. In the tool, the belt stretches on two wheels and shifts continuously on rotating elements at different speeds to deliver tension on a forward shift.

Sanding belts types

Aluminum Oxide Belts

Aluminum Oxide Belts

  • Aluminum oxide belts: this is considered the most powerful belt and comes either in closed or open design. In the closed model, the grits are tightly pressed on the resin belt that makes it ideal for basic sanding requirements. The open sanding belt is mainly used for leather products, rubber, and non-ferrous materials. The grit in the closed belt re-stretched to avoid clogging the belt sander. In addition, the open belt is sold as a safety aid for protecting delicate projects.
  • Zirconia alumina belts: Here, the belts are designed from materials that are water resistant such as polyester and are therefore better for smoothing wet surfaces. The sanders will easily grid wooden or metallic surface to get a smooth finish. It is important to get a smoothing aid when using this sanding belt because the temperatures might get very high and damage the entire project.

Silicon carbide belt

  • Silicon carbide belt models: This belt is used for grinding very hard materials and surfaces like marble, ceramics, and glass. Te backing is designed from waterproof cotton and can, therefore, work on both wet and dry conditions.
  • Garnet sanding type: This belt is brittle and should be used for fine wood finishing. It is made with an average harness and the material also has a special cutting edge.

Great Sanding Tips

When one is using a sanding belt, it is important to ensure the wooden project is well clamped to hold it in position. This is critical in protecting the project and avoiding an accident. In addition, the sander should be allowed to reach maximum speed before commencing with a smoothing task.

When working with a belt sander, the sanding belt should be allowed to stop moving prior to lowering the power tool down. In every sanding process, the user should let the machine rotate the sanding belt and do most of the work. Therefore, only a small amount of pressure should be applied for smooth and even results.

When using the belt sander, it is important to have the surface leveled to make the work easy and fast. Uneven surfaces often result in more work for the sanding belt. Only sand angles when working on edges or finishing any grinding task.

During a sanding process, it is important to keep checking the belt position regularly. At times, the belt can slide from the roller and get damaged. Some sanders have a knob at the real for tracking the belt and returning it to the correct position without having to stop the machine. For those that do not have the tracking knob, make sure to stop and correct the belt manually.

Maintenance of a sanding belt

After buying a sanding belt, the user can easily extend its lifespan by caring it properly. After every use, it is important to clean the belt in order to remove debris, dust, and other dirt that attaches or gets stuck to the belt grit particles. After a sanding process, hold the sanders on its side or slanting position and rotate on a rubber material or neoprene block.

When using a sanding belt on the sanders, always put the right amount of pressure. Avoid exerting a lot of pressure because it strains the machine and the belt. In addition, avoid sharp items like screws and nails on the surface. Such sharp items can easily damage the belt and even the sanders.

Once a task is complete, make sure to store the sanding belt separate from the sander. By disconnecting the two, it will be possible to check the condition of the belt and the machine for any faults. Store the sanding belt in a clean, dry, and dust free area. Make sure also to clean the machine and oil the moving parts before storage.


A sanding belt helps to smooth different surfaces such as wood, metal, and rubber to get a lovely outlook. By selecting the right sanding belt, it will be easy to work on the surface and achieve the anticipated results fast. However, the outlined sanding tips and maintenance procedures should be carefully followed to protect the project and extend the lifespan of a sanding machine. With above knowledge on sanding belts, check out the next article on selecting the best sanding belt for your sander.

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