Belt Sander vs Orbital Sander – Which is Effective for Your Project?

We all know that sanders are one of the most important tools for any home improvement project. It can be hard to choose which sander is best for your needs, especially with so many options on the market. This blog post will compare belt sanders vs orbital sanders to help you make an informed choice about which type of sander is right for your nexct project!


Best Random Orbital Sanders: Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Belt Sanders: Reviews and Buying Guide

Table of Contents

  • Belt Sander Basics
    • What is a belt sander, and what is the usage of it?
    • Pros and cons of belt sander
  • Orbital Sander Basics
    • What is orbital sander and what is the usage of it:
    • What is Random Orbital Sander?
    • Pros and cons of Orbital Sanders:
  • Differences between Belt Sander and Orbital Sander
  • Is a belt sander better than an orbital sander?

Belt Sander Basics

What is a belt sander, and what is the usage of it?

  • The multiuse tool belt sander is used for trimming and sanding rough surfaces. It will give a finish like a replacement board.
  • It is highly capable of handling coarse grit and rapid removal of woods. But it might be too much for homework arsenal and suits best for larger purposes.
  • Capable of aggressive actions.
  • It can be used both for the beginning sanding process and the removal of hard materials.
  • It can be used to gain a smooth surface.
  • Less porn to clogging.

Pros and cons of belt sander


  • When it comes to quickness (like sanding large amount of woods) belt sander is best.
  • You can use it for large areas or bigger furniture and doors.
  •  Capable of working on meal too


  • It might unnecessarily sand away too much material
  • Not a right choice for small furniture or tight spaces.

Orbital Sander Basics

What is orbital sander and what is the usage of it:

  • Orbit sander is mainly a hand-held power tool that you can use to deliver finer finishing.
  • The sanding blade associated with it gives random orbit action.
  • There are three different types of orbit sanders available in the market- air-powered, electrically powered, and orbital floor sanders.
  • Can sand two pieces of wood at the same time
  • Orbital sand has the capability to deliver smooth surface no matter where the grain goes.
  • Should not be used after paint layers.

What is Random Orbital Sander?

  • The random orbit sander is a little bit different than regular orbit sander. It uses a circular sanding pad; spines and rotates to wipe off the marks.
  • It is capable of removing more materials than orbital sanders.
  • Moreover, the hook and look sandpapers on it are easy to change.
  • On the disadvantages side, it costs a bit higher than orbital sander. But hey! the price is quite the worth when it comes to perfection.

Pros and cons of Orbital Sanders:


  • Flexible than belt sanders
  • Promises fineness in finishing
  • Can be used in corners and edges


  • Not a good choice for a large set of woods
  • Not best when it comes to power
  • The traditional orbit sander may leave swirl marks even after finishing.

Differences between Belt Sander and Orbital Sander

There are differences between a belt sander and orbital sander; you should choose to suit your purpose. I’m narrowing down the differences for you:

1. Differences in terms of aggressiveness

When it comes to aggressiveness, belt sanders are best. The zirconium aluminum oxide causes the sharpening effect; thus, it’s the best pick for aggressiveness. To finish hard jobs like finishing entire planks, you should choose a belt sander. It can peel not only wood but also coating material paints.

2. Differences in terms of sanding Results

If you intend a fine and smooth finishing for the floor, then you should choose orbital sander. Orbital sander has excellent flexibility and capable of giving a fine finish to curved woods. Remember, an orbital sander is ideal of shaping woods or smoothing woods on small areas like corners and edges; the belt sander is a wise choice for large surfaces.

3. Differences in terms of sandpaper type

The sandpaper in belt sander is inherently capable of working on woods, fiberglass, aluminum, or rubber. The loops of sandpapers are used in a belt sander. It provides heavy-duty and mostly being heat and moisture resistant. The sandpaper on the orbital sander comes with anti-clog coating performance delivering smooth touch and capable of working on woods, spackle, metal, concrete or car polishing. It comes in a disk shape.

4. Differences in terms of speed

The speed with a belt sander is measured in feet per minute. Choosing a variable speed belt sander might be best in terms of using and switching it for different tasks. The speed on orbital sander is counted as orbits per minute. You can expect an orbital sander to work 10,000 orbits per minute. The chances are that the more speed the orbital sander gains, the more you are likely to lose control; thus, you might make mistakes.

5. Differences in terms of usage

You should sand with a belt sander if you intend to mend flat surfaces in the shortest possible time. Orbital sander, on the other hand, is best for sanding on different angles. But if you intend to reduce mare swirl marks, then definitely go for an orbital sander.

6. Differences in terms of power

Amps count the power in the orbital sander. As the number runs higher, orbital sander becomes powerful. However, an orbital sander is not a wise choice when it comes to removing a lot of material. In terms of power, a belt sander is a lot more powerful than an orbital sander. It has around 8-10 amp motor.

7. Differences in terms of cost

Belt sanders are a little bit costly than an orbital sander. The sanding belts are longer than the sanding discs. Thus orbital sanders are cheaper. The orbital sander may cost $30 to $50, while belts sander will cost around $250. The random orbital sander is costly than orbital sanders as it costs around $60 to $170.

Is a belt sander better than an orbital sander?

The answer to the question depends on the purpose you have for using a sander. If you have read above, you might already have guessed that in terms of power and quickness, an orbital sander cannot beat belt sander. It’s aggressive and can be used for hardwoods and metals.

But for smaller woods, floors or furniture using belt sander is not necessary. It will cost according to your purpose. As you want to renew your furniture, you would want smooth finishing. Here orbit sander will do the job for you. It’s simpler and less expensive. As the orbit sander is not so aggressive, you cannot use it to remove too much material. But it will leave less cross-grain marks compared to belt sanders.

So the answer is which one suits your goals!

Final Words

Both orbital sander and a belt sander can prove to be fruitful for you if you know well where to use. You can use an orbital sander for polishing purposes. However, you need to install a polishing sponge for that.

For versatile and powerful tasks, use a belt sander. If you want to get your large surface areas done quickly, then belts sander would be better than an orbital sander. Remember, the belt sander is capable of removing from hard pieces of wood.

The awkward corners and places of your home do not require a giant sander. For this purpose, always choose orbital sander. Its best for sanding stairs, preparing/varnishing surfaces for painting.

You should be extra-cautious wiring with any sander. When it becomes too hot, utilize a little bit of time to cool it off. Thus you can avoid the danger of creating fire.

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