Belt vs Disc Sander: Which One Should You Get for Your Project?


Confused about which type of sander is ideal for your project? We’re here to help you with our take on belt vs disc sander.

Belt sanders use a seamless loop of sandpaper

Belt and disc sanders have distinct designs. As the name suggests, the first type of sander uses a sandpaper that looks like a belt when installed. Of course, there’s a purpose for this structure.

Check out the pros and cons of belt sanders!


  • Can be stationary or hand-held
  • Have a wide range of available sizes
  • Efficient for stripping finishes, smoothing out hardwood floors, removing dry adhesive, and sharpening small metal items


  • Not effective enough for a smoother finish
  • Limited capabilities

Disc sanders use circular sandpaper

What can you expect from a “disc” sander? The sandpaper obviously forms a circle. The shape of the sandpaper leads to these advantages and disadvantages:


  • Perfect for preparing wood before painting, priming, or varnishing because of the smoother finish
  • Ideal for materials like aluminum and plastic


  • Not portable
  • Fewer size options
  • Not efficient enough for a bigger coverage

In Conclusion

Based on the pros and cons of belt vs disc sander, you should consider the nature of your task before buying the machine. For big projects like flooring, belt sanders are more appropriate. On the other hand, disc sanders are for quality finishing, which can be time-consuming.

If you really prefer smaller types, check out the best detail and palm sanders.

For more tips on how to guarantee a better finish, learn how to use a putty knife.